TIG Welders - Miata Turbo Forum - Boost cars, acquire cats.

Welcome to Miataturbo.net   Members
 


General Miata Chat A place to talk about anything Miata

Reply
 
 
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 06-05-2009, 03:49 PM   #1
Boost Pope
Thread Starter
iTrader: (8)
 
Joe Perez's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Chicago (Over two miles from Wrigley Field. Fuck the Cubs. Fuck them in their smarmy goat-hole.)
Posts: 26,317
Total Cats: 1,915
Default TIG Welders

I'm not a very good weldor.

I can make two pieces of mild steel stick together by throwing enough blobs of molten metal at them with a cheap-*** fluxcore MIG, but that's the only welding experience I have. Although it is somewhat gauche, I do to some extent blame the tool. Fluxcore spatters like hell, and the inability to adjust power apart from a hi-lo switch makes things doubly difficult, at least for a novice.

I don't want to make the same mistake twice (buying a welder that I regret.)

Having not even mastered MIG yet, I would like to try my hand at TIG welding. For one, it seems to be the technology that everyone who is making better-than-factory welds is using, and for two, it seems to be the tool of choice for aluminum, as well as other delicate work where you need to be able to slowly put heat into a joint without having wire automatically flying out of the gun at a hundred feet per second.

The thing with TIG welders though is that they seem to be really damned expensive. And I don't know enough about them to know how much of this cost represents bells and whistles that I don't need vs. the fact that they are, realistically speaking, more complex to make than just a transformer and a big rectifier.

As an example, here's a cheap ($350) welder: - Harbor Freight Tools - Quality Tools at the Lowest Prices It has one **** and two switches. From what little I know to look for, it seems to be DC only (is AC a must-have?) and it does not appear to support remote power control (though I could easily take it apart and remote the power **** to a foot pedal.)

By contrast, here's another TIG welder that costs 4.3x as much: WeldingDepot -- Hobart TIGMATE® 500425 230V 150A TIG / 130A Stick w/ Foot Control & 12-1/2' Tig Torch 5/3/1 Year Warranty Compared to the first unit, it seems to add precisely one switch, which allows for AC/DC selection.

More of same: Miller - TIG Welders - Diversion® 165


Would someone who has some experience with the TIG process care to enlighten me on what other differences might exist between these devices, and tell me why they would or would not be suitable for use by someone like myself whose interests do not include welding submarine hulls together, but rather joining tube sections and the like?
Joe Perez is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2009, 04:02 PM   #2
Senior Member
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Granbury, TX.
Posts: 1,278
Total Cats: 1
Default

Joe - do you have a mig presently?
With the right temp. settings and of course practice, you CAN get pretty beads with a wire feed internal fluxed setup. The hardest part period is blowing through the metal, and that can be easily done with any form of welding.
TIG from what I remember was just an addition of external gas.....replaces the internal flux from wire. Still uses wire, but makes for some great beads.
I can get with my "blacksmith guru" if no replies over the short period.

Now, the biggest PLUS for a TIG is the ability to weld aluminum. Basically the ability to switch from ferrous to non-ferrous metals without a problem.

I have welded stainless with my little unit, but I'm guessing it was just a low grade stainless with some ferrous impurities in it.
Edit**** He He - I read fast, but retain little....go figure.
I basically repeated what you said, just with different words. HA! Mig is for fixing the stuff, Tig is for showing it off. There!
Machismo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2009, 04:09 PM   #3
Senior Member
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Granbury, TX.
Posts: 1,278
Total Cats: 1
Default

Well, just from the link you provided......the ability to use .030 thickness is enough for me to want to step up to plate.
I would have to tack for hours just to get 12 gauge together without turning to swiss cheese with the MIG.
Machismo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2009, 04:18 PM   #4
Elite Member
iTrader: (14)
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Edmonton, AB
Posts: 4,921
Total Cats: 0
Default

What's your electrical service like? Depending on the Welder you go with, you might need a 50A + service. Interesting that at 230V the Hobart is rated at 52A, while the Miller is 23A. Yet they both claim to have the same output (150A @ 20% DC).

I personally would stay away from the HF machine, if it is only DC it won't do aluminum. You need the magic of AC for that. And it is likely a POS.
jayc72 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2009, 04:21 PM   #5
Elite Member
iTrader: (14)
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Edmonton, AB
Posts: 4,921
Total Cats: 0
Default

I'd personally buy a better MIG and a spool gun. Take the left over money and invest it in coke a ****** .... or welding classes. If your only experience is fluxcore you should really try with gas. It makes a huge difference.
jayc72 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2009, 04:27 PM   #6
Junior Member
iTrader: (6)
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: St Johns, Fl
Posts: 378
Total Cats: 0
Default

The "IG" in MIG is for Inert Gas. If it doesn't use gas, it's not really MIG welding. TIG is not just adding gas, it's totally different.

I've done very little TIG, but I can say that you can do a lot with a good MIG setup (good name brand welder, proper gas, etc). A good MIG will have infinitely adjustable wire feed and voltage which would make your MIG welding much more capable and enjoyable.

Also, TIG is great for nice welds, but not as portable as MIG. You have to use both hands and your foot so obviously things like welding the exhaust on the car are more of a hassle. You can't really hold a pipe with one hand while welding with a TIG so you need everything clamped in place.

I too would love a TIG and I've been recently pricing them, but I can't see buying one without selling my MIG and my MIG is much more useful for the projects I do. Instead I think I'm going to step up to a 220V MIG setup and go from there.
clay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2009, 04:40 PM   #7
Senior Member
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Granbury, TX.
Posts: 1,278
Total Cats: 1
Default

Thanks Clay - and I say screw those creative marketing hags. My little wire feed says MIG on it. Now I know I use internal fluxed 25lb. wire, but maybe there's an add on or something that I need that will allow the use of a bottle.
Hmmmm.......I need to check more into this.
Machismo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2009, 04:44 PM   #8
Boost Pope
Thread Starter
iTrader: (8)
 
Joe Perez's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Chicago (Over two miles from Wrigley Field. Fuck the Cubs. Fuck them in their smarmy goat-hole.)
Posts: 26,317
Total Cats: 1,915
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Machismo View Post
Joe - do you have a mig presently?
No, I sold all of my shop tools when I left CA.

Quote:
TIG from what I remember was just an addition of external gas.....replaces the internal flux from wire. Still uses wire, but makes for some great beads.
Not even close. You're describing MIG.

With TIG, there is no spool of wire feeding through the gun. The gun has a fixed tungsten electrode, surrounded by gas. You hold the gun in one hand and use it to draw an arc to heat the metal, and then feed in a piece of filler material with your other hand. It's a bit like soldering in that regard. (And I am really good at soldering. )
Joe Perez is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2009, 04:50 PM   #9
Junior Member
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: South Florida
Posts: 491
Total Cats: -1
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post

It's a bit like soldering in that regard. (And I am really good at soldering. )
Soldering doesn't melt the base metal. All types of welding rely on melting the base metal, one of the differences between the main welding types is how you apply the filler material...gas and TIG being quite similar.
mrtonyg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2009, 04:53 PM   #10
Senior Member
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Granbury, TX.
Posts: 1,278
Total Cats: 1
Default

Ah gotcha!
Other than the ability to do aluminum, that would prolly not be justified for my needs.<(insert budget here)
But I do like to see those pretty beads.
Machismo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2009, 04:53 PM   #11
Boost Pope
Thread Starter
iTrader: (8)
 
Joe Perez's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Chicago (Over two miles from Wrigley Field. Fuck the Cubs. Fuck them in their smarmy goat-hole.)
Posts: 26,317
Total Cats: 1,915
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jayc72 View Post
I'd personally buy a better MIG and a spool gun. Take the left over money and invest it in coke a ****** .... or welding classes. If your only experience is fluxcore you should really try with gas. It makes a huge difference.
I would really love to take a semester of welding at the local vo-tech, but I travel so much for work that it's just not practical. If there were some place where I could learn "at my own pace" (ie: it's ok if I'm gone for a month, we'll pick up where I left off) then I'd pay good money for that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jayc72 View Post
What's your electrical service like?
Presently, I have a 300 amp 110/220 panel in the garage, with a dozen or so empty breaker positions. Short of 3 phase, I do not have a power problem.

Quote:
I personally would stay away from the HF machine, if it is only DC it won't do aluminum. You need the magic of AC for that. And it is likely a POS.
Well, I figured it was a POS. But then, my lathe was also a cheap Chinese POS from HF, and I've built some respectable (albeit small) stuff on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by clay View Post
I've done very little TIG, but I can say that you can do a lot with a good MIG setup (good name brand welder, proper gas, etc). A good MIG will have infinitely adjustable wire feed and voltage which would make your MIG welding much more capable and enjoyable.
Yeah, I've heard that, but I have no first-hand experience with it. Based on how much I dislike my old fluxcore, unit, it's hard for me to accept that a wirefed welder can be "good". OTOH, I want something that will do aluminum well, and from what I've heard, aluminum is tough with MIG for many reasons, such as the wire (being soft) not liking to feed through the hose.



Quote:
Also, TIG is great for nice welds, but not as portable as MIG. You have to use both hands and your foot so obviously things like welding the exhaust on the car are more of a hassle.
I understand. In an ideal world, a person would probably have both a MIG and a TIG unit. Use the MIG to tack everything into place, and then the TIG to finish it. Aaah, but for an infinite budget...
Joe Perez is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2009, 04:54 PM   #12
Boost Pope
Thread Starter
iTrader: (8)
 
Joe Perez's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Chicago (Over two miles from Wrigley Field. Fuck the Cubs. Fuck them in their smarmy goat-hole.)
Posts: 26,317
Total Cats: 1,915
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrtonyg View Post
Soldering doesn't melt the base metal. All types of welding rely on melting the base metal, one of the differences between the main welding types is how you apply the filler material...gas and TIG being quite similar.
In know- I just meant the concept of having independent control over the heat source in one hand and the filler material in the other. Being able to linger the arc over a spot to put heat into it without depositing any filler, etc.

A while back, I was hanging around the Monster Miata shop in San Marcos, while Martin was using TIG to repair a cast aluminum trim piece from some old American car. It was fascinating to watch him use the torch to gently heat the part with a low arc, applying a dab of filler here and there, then using the torch to flow it into place, etc.

I like that level of control.
Joe Perez is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2009, 05:23 PM   #13
y8s
2 Props,3 Dildos,& 1 Cat
iTrader: (8)
 
y8s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Fake Virginia
Posts: 19,038
Total Cats: 407
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
In know- I just meant the concept of having independent control over the heat source in one hand and the filler material in the other. Being able to linger the arc over a spot to put heat into it without depositing any filler, etc.

A while back, I was hanging around the Monster Miata shop in San Marcos, while Martin was using TIG to repair a cast aluminum trim piece from some old American car. It was fascinating to watch him use the torch to gently heat the part with a low arc, applying a dab of filler here and there, then using the torch to flow it into place, etc.

I like that level of control.
dont forget the foot pedal for current control.

you can tig two pieces together without filler... but it wont be very strong.



honestly, having used many forms of welding (in my class at cal poly), MIG with proper settings and gas is still my favorite. it's faster, cheaper, and just plain point-and-shoot. the welds can be almost as pretty as TIG welds if you set it up properly.

the only change I'd make is to get a spool gun to avoid aluminum bird nests.
y8s is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2009, 05:51 PM   #14
Senior Member
iTrader: (2)
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 602
Total Cats: 0
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by y8s View Post
get a spool gun
THIS.

Like mentioned in your other threads, I do MIG welding w/ 75/25 gas and 316 SS .035 2lb spools ALL THE TIME, it's cake. You'll love the addition of gas to your current welder, but ditch the fluxcore spool when you add gas.

I wanted to do aluminum so I bought a SPOOL GUN which to use, all you do is disconnect your MIG gun assembly, connect your spool gun assembly, change gas tanks, flip a switch to change polarity, and point and shoot. Takes about 3 minutes to switch from my machine ready to weld stainless to ready to weld aluminum.


This is the exact setup I have. A Millermatic 140 w/ a Miller spool gun kit and an Argon tank.

Welder ran me $650, spool gun kit another $200
Project84 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2009, 06:03 PM   #15
Boost Pope
Thread Starter
iTrader: (8)
 
Joe Perez's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Chicago (Over two miles from Wrigley Field. Fuck the Cubs. Fuck them in their smarmy goat-hole.)
Posts: 26,317
Total Cats: 1,915
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by y8s
get a spool gun to avoid aluminum bird nests.
I has a confused.

With TIG, it is necessary to use AC to weld aluminum.

With MIG, you are always DC.

I can has explanation?


Quote:
Originally Posted by project84
I wanted to do aluminum so I bought a SPOOL GUN which to use, all you do is (...) flip a switch to change polarity
I still has a confused.

From "How To Successfully Weld Aluminum with a Compact MIG Welder" by Lincoln Electric:
All MIG welding, including on aluminum materials, requires electrode positive polarity, while flux-cored processes typically use electrode negative. If you are switching your wire feed welder between processes, make sure to switch your polarity. This is a common mistake that many beginning welders make.
So, if all gas-shielded MIG welding is done tip-positive, why are we switching polarity?
Joe Perez is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2009, 06:05 PM   #16
Elite Member
iTrader: (14)
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Edmonton, AB
Posts: 4,921
Total Cats: 0
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
I would really love to take a semester of welding at the local vo-tech, but I travel so much for work that it's just not practical. If there were some place where I could learn "at my own pace" (ie: it's ok if I'm gone for a month, we'll pick up where I left off) then I'd pay good money for that.
Pay a welder to teach you? I've had my 220V Mig for quite a while now and haven't welded much with it. Procreation has gotten in the way unfortunately.

Quote:
Presently, I have a 300 amp 110/220 panel in the garage, with a dozen or so empty breaker positions. Short of 3 phase, I do not have a power problem.
Sweet Jayzus man, 300A? Are you supplimenting your income with a grow-op? I've got a 125A service which feeds house and garage.

Quote:
Yeah, I've heard that, but I have no first-hand experience with it. Based on how much I dislike my old fluxcore, unit, it's hard for me to accept that a wirefed welder can be "good". OTOH, I want something that will do aluminum well, and from what I've heard, aluminum is tough with MIG for many reasons, such as the wire (being soft) not liking to feed through the hose.
You can't judge your experience with wire feed welding from using a $150 fluxcore welder. Spend 10 minutes on a decent machine that is well setup and you might change your mind. Add a spool gun and you should be able to do a decent job on aluminum.

I understand. In an ideal world, a person would probably have both a MIG and a TIG unit. Use the MIG to tack everything into place, and then the TIG to finish it. Aaah, but for an infinite budget... [/QUOTE]

If you can only own one machine, MIG is going to be the most versitile and easy to use ... at least in my opinion.
jayc72 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2009, 06:24 PM   #17
y8s
2 Props,3 Dildos,& 1 Cat
iTrader: (8)
 
y8s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Fake Virginia
Posts: 19,038
Total Cats: 407
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
I has a confused.

With TIG, it is necessary to use AC to weld aluminum.

With MIG, you are always DC.

I can has explanation?


I still has a confused.

From "How To Successfully Weld Aluminum with a Compact MIG Welder" by Lincoln Electric:
All MIG welding, including on aluminum materials, requires electrode positive polarity, while flux-cored processes typically use electrode negative. If you are switching your wire feed welder between processes, make sure to switch your polarity. This is a common mistake that many beginning welders make.
So, if all gas-shielded MIG welding is done tip-positive, why are we switching polarity?
good question. though it's been a while, I recall switching polarity from steels to aluminum also. maybe brian can open up my welder and look at the post-it notes??

alls I know is that you can definitely do DC aluminum. because I did. and it came out almost pretty.
y8s is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2009, 06:30 PM   #18
Senior Member
iTrader: (2)
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 602
Total Cats: 0
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
So, if all gas-shielded MIG welding is done tip-positive, why are we switching polarity?
I just bought the kit and read the directions... kit came w/ this...


Which you just pop out a plastic insert inside the Miller machine, and connect harness to harness inside the machine.

Spool Gun instructions say something along the lines of "flip switch before using the spool gun."

lol

EDIT: I don't know why you switch it, other than the instruction say to do so, and w/o switching, you have no power feeding your spool gun.
Project84 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2009, 08:59 PM   #19
Boost Pope
Thread Starter
iTrader: (8)
 
Joe Perez's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Chicago (Over two miles from Wrigley Field. Fuck the Cubs. Fuck them in their smarmy goat-hole.)
Posts: 26,317
Total Cats: 1,915
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Project84 View Post
I just bought the kit and read the directions... kit came w/ this...(image)Which you just pop out a plastic insert inside the Miller machine, and connect harness to harness inside the machine.
Ah. I just read the manual for the Spoolmate 100. That switch turns off the wire feeder inside the unit and transfers control over to the spoolgun.

To change polarity on the MM140, you open up the case and then unbolt and reverse the position of two heavy wires on what I assume to be the rectifier stack:

Joe Perez is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2009, 09:52 PM   #20
Newb
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 3
Total Cats: 0
Default

I just bought my first TIG about 3 weeks ago. Should have bought it 30 years ago, always needed it.
I got the Miller Diversion 165, $1300. Can't beat it. It is a true tig with AC for aluminum. It strikes the arc at the push of a button, no contact with the material. This is what you want. I am still learning, but it does everything I could want.
JD
jaydee is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Project Gemini - Turbo Civic on the Cheap Full_Tilt_Boogie Build Threads 57 07-19-2017 05:11 PM
Fab9Tuning's NC MX-5 Turbo Kit Discussion- EFR/Garrett V-Band FAB Prefabbed Turbo Kits 216 03-22-2017 05:00 PM
elesjuan's mediocre 95 Miata adventure (google fiber edition) elesjuan Build Threads 8 02-16-2016 09:36 PM
Well Hello Dark Wanderer Insert BS here 11 12-31-2007 04:02 AM
my new turbo build paul DIY Turbo Discussion 63 12-19-2007 05:45 AM


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:11 PM.