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Picture of aileron
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I want a TIG welder. I don't need one, I want one. I can gas weld with proficiency, but most of my needs are aircraft or automotive hobby stuff: mostly aluminum, SS and some 4130. Maximum 3/16" Alum, maybe .090" steel and SS

This is a treat for myself; I received payment on a debt I'd long ago given up on. I understand there's a steep learning curve, but am willing to put in the time I need to become proficient, but not expert. I live in the boonies, so it's going to be self teaching. I have plenty of 240 V power in my shop. New only, it's a treat, remember Smile

What do I need and what brands?
 
Posts: 807 | Location: Lake County Montana - bear country | Registered: March 20, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You are well ahead of most people, if you're proficient in OA, and have 240v. Do you have a budget? The cost of a welder is connected to duty cycle first, and then features, so for your purposes, you don't need to spend a lot really.

I would recommend buying from an actual welding supplier, more than a simple brand recommendation. If you walk into a "big box," the feature card might sound appealing, but the guts of the machine are a toy.

Lincoln, Hobart, Miller, more, when I was welding I used mostly Miller, but if you're just laying bead all day it is about parts and supply. For your purposes, I don't think brand is a huge factor.

I'd say, go foot pedal, I could do thumb wheel but less discretely.


Arc.
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Posts: 24149 | Location: Love that dirty water, oh | Registered: June 09, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have this one:

https://www.hobartwelders.com/...ucts/tig/eztig_165i/

For me, a self-taught welding hack, it was affordable and easy to use and perfect for the (very) occasional times I've used it.
 
Posts: 1092 | Location: WI | Registered: December 29, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'd like to keep it under $5K, but will need to get a welding table, welder, TIG torch, helmet, etc. Is that possible? I have nothing except the desire to learn. There's little in my town, so I'll need to go 75 miles North/South to Missoula or Kalispell. Or is this something you buy online? I get my Ox/Acet from the NAPA store, so they aren't much help.

One guy in town told me to get a water cooled torch, another told me it was a waste of money. Neither has a TIG welder, so I'm not considering either one's advice as solid.
 
Posts: 807 | Location: Lake County Montana - bear country | Registered: March 20, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Just because you can,
doesn't mean you should
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I've owned Lincoln and Miller and both are fine. Get one in the 250-300 amp range and a water cooler for the torch.
Look on craigslist and buy a large gas bottle for your argon so you don't pay rent each month. Be careful to get one that has a current inspection and from a company that will refill it for you.
I've always bought something used but not real old and saved a lot of money over buying new.
I also started out learning how to weld with a gas torch and TIG welding is similar and easy to learn with that background.
Here is a great site to learn from;

www.weldingtipsandtricks.com
 
Posts: 3915 | Location: North GA | Registered: August 22, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Uh, no need for water cooling.

Auto glass is a luxury, but not a necessity. Weight is a major factor, and I recommend it being adjustable shade so you can use it for other types of welding.


Arc.
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"Like a bitter weed, I'm a bad seed"- Johnny Cash

"I'm a loner, Dottie. A rebel." - Pee Wee Herman

 
Posts: 24149 | Location: Love that dirty water, oh | Registered: June 09, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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For thin aluminum, an air cooled torch should work okay. For heavier aluminum, try preheating with electric hot plates, etc.

I agree that there are lots of good deals on Craigslist and ebay for welding equipment. Probably can save nearly half the price of new. However newer AC welders, which is what you need for aluminum, will probably use inverter technology so are much lighter than legacy products.

TIG is easier than gas welding, you will have no problems. With aluminum, just keep the area clean with a SS wire brush and the welding goes well.


-c1steve
 
Posts: 2097 | Location: West coast | Registered: March 31, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Take a look at Cyberweld on line. I've had good experiences buying from them. Free shipping and very good prices.
 
Posts: 634 | Location: Vermont | Registered: February 11, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by arcwelder76:
Uh, no need for water cooling.

Auto glass is a luxury, but not a necessity. Weight is a major factor, and I recommend it being adjustable shade so you can use it for other types of welding.


e-mail sent
 
Posts: 807 | Location: Lake County Montana - bear country | Registered: March 20, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'm decent with MIG w/gas (GMAW) but really wanted to learn Tig. As a treat to myself I bought a Miller 210DX, water cooled no9 torch and I love it. Definitely not cheap but the water cooled torch is great. Light, small and less fatiguing. When you see how much heat these things put into work; I wouldnt want an air cooled.

Get the foot control

I bought through cyber weld and they did right by me.


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Posts: 1165 | Location: Near Austin, TX | Registered: December 12, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'm a simple guy on a farm, I weld non critical stuff only and get real help if its going to hurt somebody when it breaks. I use a Miller for steel and a small Lincoln setup for al only (wire feeder)MIG. I don't do TIG as its not really useful for what I need (mostly steel parts and pieces on tractors, excavators, etc.)
But in my area anyone who comes to my house for stuff I don't want to do and makes a living welding uses either Miller or Lincoln. Never seen another brand. I'd focus on those.
I've been pretty happy with Miller accessories (I have a Miller auto glass helmet etc.) but that's really because my local place sells those.
You are probably going to be happy with anything really. I take my motorcycle racing problems to a guy who can fix anything and he uses a water cooled torch fwiw.


“So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong, and strike at what is weak.”
 
Posts: 6713 | Registered: October 14, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If this for a "hobby" (non commercial) welder, I'd strongly suggest you consider an AHP Alphatig 200x. They're about $710.00 delivered (https://www.amazon.com/AHP-AlphaTIG-Stick-Welder-WARRANTY/dp/B076BSD6PG).

After looking at Miller, Hobart and Lincoln (new and used) and doing my "homework" (reading all reviews and looking at all videos I could find) the AlphaTIG was far and away the best value for the $$$!

Before you dismiss this as a "Chinese junk"; consider where most of the internal electrical components for Miller, Hobart and Lincoln are made --- China.

The AHP machines have a one year warranty and there is an authorized service center in TN.

The 2018 model I received works flawlessly I m-a-y swap out the AHP foot pedal for a US made version. The Chinese one is "hinged backward" from what I'm used to.

I really wanted a Miller, having owned a 250 amp Miller MIG for 8 years. I just couldn't see investing that kind of bucks in a TIG machine that will see only occasional use.


------------------------------------------------------------
"I have resolved to fight as long as Marse Robert has a corporal's guard, or until he says give up. He is the man I shall follow or die in the attempt."

Feb. 27, 1865 Letter by Sgt. Henry P. Portson 'B' Co. 31st GA Vol. Inf.
 
Posts: 1042 | Location: Coastal NC | Registered: December 08, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If purchases are through the web you can invest in any name brand. If you are going to a local welding supply, find out what name brand they carry, buy that. I use Miller, both at home and work. Great machines (mine is a 251 MIG).
Good working used will save money.
 
Posts: 1185 | Location: south central Pennsylvania | Registered: November 05, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of aileron
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Thanks to all for the pointers; I have lots of homework now. If I used the TIG 8 hours a month after learning how to weld I'd be surprised.

aileron
 
Posts: 807 | Location: Lake County Montana - bear country | Registered: March 20, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I've narrowed it down to Miller Diversion 180 or Miller Synchrowave 210, both new. I can get the Diversion for $1,650 and the Synchrovwave for $2,300 online. The local Miller dealer can get within ~$ 150 of the online prices, but is strongly steering me away from the Diversion 180, claiming it's a "toy", it has a hard cabled torch that can't be changed, and has a duty cycle too light for anything. Of course, they have a Synchrowave 210 on their floor and no Diversion Smile

The Synchrowave 210 comes with a torch that unplugs, and a spool MIG gun I'll never use.

Since I've never TIG welded, I don't really know what I'l be welding, but likely my airplane stuff will still be done by a competent welder, as it's my ass in the air. Both are inverter machines that run on 120/240; I have a 60A 240V plug in my shop.

ArcWelder has been helping me decide, but this is a case of not knowing what I don't know. Probably should spend the extra $600, but that would be the GP100 I've been lusting for.
 
Posts: 807 | Location: Lake County Montana - bear country | Registered: March 20, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Just because you can,
doesn't mean you should
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Maybe ask your dealer about a good trade in. The first TIG I bought was a Miller, slightly used and I saved a lot of money and bought a welder that I could grow into. You might be able to get them to throw in a few accessories that you will need too.
 
Posts: 3915 | Location: North GA | Registered: August 22, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Quit staring at my wife's Butt
Picture of XLT
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I have the syncrowave 210 and love it, I weld aluminum stainless steel, mild steel, and I also have the spool gun for mig welding and it works great, I have welded steel and aluminum with the little mig gun and couldn't be happier so don't discount it.

Water cooled torch would be nice if I welded some thicker aluminum but it's not completely necessary , the torch just gets a little warm but nothing you cant handle.

If I had the extra funds I probably would have got the 250 with the built in water cooler and all the other 1000 different knobs that comes with it. with that machine the possibilities are endless but for the average fabricator who just wants to learn tig and do some project with it the 210 is a great machine.

Make sure you get some 3/32 2 percent tungsten ( RED TIP) for the aluminum and some 1/8 inch for the stainless or mild steel 5356 rod for aluminum welds much nicer then 4043. get the biggest argon bottom you can afford I have a 125 set at 20 and it is ok, but sometimes I wish it was larger. also gets some # 5 cups AND extra consumables a good sander or fine grinder to sharpen your tungsten is a must. another thing is to watch Jodi and welding tips and tricks on youtube that guy has some great videos. when welding aluminum, clean clean clean is the key, I even scotch bright my welding rod. it will take some time to get it down and most newbie mistakes are caused buy getting the metal too hot and not moving fast enough especially on stainless steel . good luck and I hope this helps.

here is a some aluminum welding I did on my boat, welding bench, and stands that I built I bought the decals off of ebay, it all has to match you know Wink .





This message has been edited. Last edited by: XLT,
 
Posts: 4403 | Registered: February 09, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Old, Slow,
but Lucky!
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OK, you finally gave me a reason to stop staring at your wife's butt... I'll stare at those beautiful beads instead! Cool

Nice work there!

Don


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Posts: 3337 | Location: Spokane, WA | Registered: March 15, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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^^^^ Beautiful welding and shop!! I can only dream of ever being able to lay a bead down like those!! Are you a professional welder? e-mail sent
 
Posts: 807 | Location: Lake County Montana - bear country | Registered: March 20, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Quit staring at my wife's Butt
Picture of XLT
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quote:
Originally posted by dsmack:
OK, you finally gave me a reason to stop staring at your wife's butt... I'll stare at those beautiful beads instead! Cool

Nice work there!

Don


Thank you I appreciate that.
 
Posts: 4403 | Registered: February 09, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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