TIG Welder suggestions?

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by poadeleted21, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. poadeleted21

    poadeleted21 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2011
    Messages:
    12,332
  2. Dav8or

    Dav8or Final Approach

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2007
    Messages:
    5,070
    Location:
    Discovery Bay, CA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Dave
    Buy as big of a one as you can. Get a liquid cooled one. Try to buy used, but keep in mind that a TIG welder has way more electronics in it than a MIG welder does. So if you buy used, look for one that was lightly used and kept dry inside all the time. The problem with the low cost, small air cooled ones is, they're really only OK for welding sheet metal gauges together. If you try to start welding say, .120 and bigger, they'll over heat and shut down on you. If you're just going to weld sheet metal, or say light weight bicycle frames, the one you put the link for might be OK.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2014
  3. Alexb2000

    Alexb2000 En-Route

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Messages:
    3,530
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Alexb2000
    What thickness' are we talking about?

    Is TIG the only process you'll ever need?

    I use Miller Lincoln products, so I would probably spend a little more and get this:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Miller-Maxs...31104642018?pt=BI_Welders&hash=item4d175fe3e2

    Gives you multi-voltage (plug into 110 and 220)

    Gives you 150 vs. 95 amps, adds a stick process, built in gas valve, etc.

    95 amps at 30% duty is nothing on Aluminum IMO.

    If you don't like it, name brand resale is strong, you won't lose much on the example I posted.
     
  4. poadeleted21

    poadeleted21 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2011
    Messages:
    12,332
    Currently have a millermatic 200 MIG wire feed. Have an ancient old aluminum spool gun that I can use for the thick aluminum if I hook it to an argon bottle. It's not so great with the thin aluminum....or maybe I'm not so great using it on thin aluminum.

    Probably won't be doing much more than welding up sheet metal thicknesses.

    Was actually looking at the max star 150 stl. Dad liked the miller stuff inside the shop and the Lincoln stuff to mount on the truck.
     
  5. airdale

    airdale Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    Messages:
    1,585
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    airdale
    One rule I have learned (and, unfortunately, relearned) over the years is this:

    Do not buy cheap tools.

    My welder, a Miller Dialarc 250HF was bought from a hobbyist owner via the classified ads. (Remember them?) It is a magnificent machine and was virtually unused when I bought it.

    Hit CraigsList and, with patience, find a quality name brand welder that is bigger than you think you need. Hint: If it will run on 110 volts, it is too small. Aluminum eats amps.

    BTW, the one you linked to will not weld aluminum.
     
  6. poadeleted21

    poadeleted21 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2011
    Messages:
    12,332
    I'm noticing the Maxstar won't do AL either.

    Oh well, I suppose this will be like my plane. Started out looking at a late 1959 Cessna 150 and now have a Bonanza in the hangar.

    Started out at $500, up to $1700 now… Researching the Diversion 165

    http://www.millerwelds.com/products/tig/product.php?model=M00325
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2014
  7. Alexb2000

    Alexb2000 En-Route

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Messages:
    3,530
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Alexb2000
    Spool guns are fast and crude, like MIG in general.

    If you really want to save some money, I weld aluminum sheet with gas all the time. 050 and 032 are pretty easy after some practice. The quality is amazing. I did some training with Kent shown in this video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aF1Srs_e1Aw

    Watch the last minute to see what I'm talking about in terms of quality.

    I agree with Miller in the Shop and Lincoln on the truck.
     
  8. Alexb2000

    Alexb2000 En-Route

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Messages:
    3,530
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Alexb2000
    I am amazed also, never noticed, no AC.

    You can weld Aluminum TIG DC- with Helium, but that's more of a rhetorical comment.
     
  9. poadeleted21

    poadeleted21 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2011
    Messages:
    12,332
  10. airdale

    airdale Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    Messages:
    1,585
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    airdale
    You're a better man than I. I worked and worked to figure that out and all that came of it was a bunch of sheet with globs of welding alloy interspersed between holes blown through the sheet. :-(
     
  11. Alexb2000

    Alexb2000 En-Route

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Messages:
    3,530
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Alexb2000
    Did you use a good flux? I took a class with about 15 guys, maybe 8 years ago. None of us had ever welded aluminum sheet with gas before. By lunch we were all doing well with .050. Like anything the right process/tools help a lot.
     
  12. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2005
    Messages:
    39,482
    Location:
    Ft Lauderdale FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    iHenning
    That one is a DC only machine so it won't do aluminum.
     
  13. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    30,616
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom-D
    Watch Craig's list for a Miller Econo-TIG. it will do every thing you need, stick, TIG, positive and reversed polarity.

    I've had one for about 20 years does every in the shop. even half inch plate with multi passes. It's a dry torch, and yes it does get hot on big jobs.

    This is what you are looking for( this one's priced too high)

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Miller-Econ...21137451517?pt=AU_Welding&hash=item1c345ad1fd
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2014
  14. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2005
    Messages:
    39,482
    Location:
    Ft Lauderdale FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    iHenning
    Not to mention what it will cost to import it from South Australia.
     
  15. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    30,616
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom-D
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2014
  16. Chip Sylverne

    Chip Sylverne En-Route PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2006
    Messages:
    4,448
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Fear is the poison of our lives.
    The Lincoln square wave stick, mig, tig machines are terrific. I got a 175 in a pawn shop for $600.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2014
  17. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2005
    Messages:
    39,482
    Location:
    Ft Lauderdale FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    iHenning
  18. poadeleted21

    poadeleted21 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2011
    Messages:
    12,332
  19. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2005
    Messages:
    39,482
    Location:
    Ft Lauderdale FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    iHenning
    I don't see where it has pulse control. I found pulse control to be invaluable in aluminum, CrMo, and CuNi fabrication as I had greater control of latent heat while still being able to get a hot penetration when having longer welds to do.
     
  20. poadeleted21

    poadeleted21 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2011
    Messages:
    12,332
    My dad had an ancient old arc starter connected to some sort of miller (Thunderbolt maybe) stick welder. That's my experience with a TIG welder… It's been at least 10 years since I touched it. He did buy 2 big 400lb miller units that I played with. "Pulse Control, what is that?" He did show me how to TIG without using filler… never did master that.
     
  21. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2005
    Messages:
    39,482
    Location:
    Ft Lauderdale FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    iHenning
    Pulse control gives you the ability to control the arc frequency between a low power and high power pulse. Here's a quick demo video.
    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PoyqG-u_l28

    I used to use this as my bench machine for fabricating parts at Brisbane Ship Construction. You can preset up to 8 pulse parameters that you can cycle through by triggering on the torch. You watch your puddle and work piece, when the heat starts spreading you can slow down the pulse without turning down the power so you can limit your latent heat without losing penetration. The Furonious 2200 Magicwave is a heck of a machine that gives you a lot of heat control.
     
  22. Old Geek

    Old Geek Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2011
    Messages:
    1,885
    Location:
    Northern California
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Old Geek
    I have an inverter Thermal Arc 185 amp AC TIG. Works great. Son-in-law says it works better than a Miller.
     
  23. poadeleted21

    poadeleted21 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2011
    Messages:
    12,332
    The welding forums speak highly of the Thermal Arc 185 ( I think the current model is called the Thermal Arc AC/DC or 186 ).
     
  24. poadeleted21

    poadeleted21 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2011
    Messages:
    12,332
    Gracias.

    On a side note. Taught my wife to run a bead tonight with the Millermatic. After a half hour of promising her the "sparks" wouldn't kill her, she ran some nice beads. It was 1/4" steel that I had her running "vertical downs" on. But by the time she got done, I let her put some beads on the trailer I'm rebuilding…. not too shabby. Took it up faster than anyone else I've shown how to weld.
     
  25. Topper

    Topper Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2012
    Messages:
    370
    Location:
    Benton
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Topper
    Been down this road, ended up with a Dynasty 200. Might as well start where you are going to end up.
     
  26. mondtster

    mondtster Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2011
    Messages:
    2,231
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    mondtster
    I like my Thermal Arc too. They're a nice, portable welder that does everything well.
     
  27. foka4

    foka4 Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2006
    Messages:
    234
    Location:
    Ankeny (Des Moines), IA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Matt Scudwalker
    +1 for the Miller Dynasty 200DX.

    I know several professional welders with tons of TIG time, and those who have bothered to try the new inverter machines can't believe how much quality and power they get in a small package.

    There are plenty of low cost inverter machines on the market these days, but after months of research and waffling, I took the sure bet on the Miller.

    When looking at lower cost machines, pay attention to input voltages - they don't all run on 110v, which greatly impacts how portable and versatile they are. It's amazing what the Miller Dynasty will do on a standard 110v household power outlet.

    But I can burn holes in aluminum with any of them ;)

    M
     
  28. poadeleted21

    poadeleted21 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2011
    Messages:
    12,332
    I got 220 single phase (Power company won't bring me 3 phase…closest 3 phase is 8 miles away), not looking to be portable, I like some of the either/or (110/220) machines I've found. Found a Lincoln Square Wave TIG 275 priced right. Might snatch it up.