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Unread 08-22-2012, 10:39 PM   #1
MO2500
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Recommendations for TIG

I'm beginning to look at getting into TIG welding. I've been welding for about 2.5 years now with my Hobart 187 MIG on all of my Jeep an non-jeep related projects. I'm hoping some of the more experienced TIG guys out there might be able to recommend some good beginner setups for me to research.

I'm looking for something I can use for welding roll cages, brackets and things in both steel and aluminum. I would like to be able to TIG up to 1/4" steel and if I venture into aluminum it will be mostly thinner material and at most 1/8-3/16". I'm not wanting to break the bank but also am willing to spend a little more for a good quality machine I can learn and grow into. Any advice is much appreciated.



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Unread 08-23-2012, 03:53 PM   #2
zachv
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Miller Diversion TIG welders are a great entry level way to start TIG welding, but 1/4" in Aluminum is going to be a little thick for them. You are going to need a big machine for 1/4" Aluminum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MO2500 View Post
I'm beginning to look at getting into TIG welding. I've been welding for about 2.5 years now with my Hobart 187 MIG on all of my Jeep an non-jeep related projects. I'm hoping some of the more experienced TIG guys out there might be able to recommend some good beginner setups for me to research.

I'm looking for something I can use for welding roll cages, brackets and things in both steel and aluminum. I would like to be able to TIG up to 1/4" steel and if I venture into aluminum it will be mostly thinner material and at most 1/8-3/16". I'm not wanting to break the bank but also am willing to spend a little more for a good quality machine I can learn and grow into. Any advice is much appreciated.

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Unread 08-23-2012, 04:27 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zachv View Post
Miller Diversion TIG welders are a great entry level way to start TIG welding, but 1/4" in Aluminum is going to be a little thick for them. You are going to need a big machine for 1/4" Aluminum.
Thanks, I don't think I need to weld 1/4" aluminum. I would like to be able to do up to 1/4" steel on occasion but most any aluminum I would try would be mostly 1/8" or thinner for body panels, small projects, ect.

I see that the Diversion series (both 165 and 180) is rated for 3/16" steel and 3/16" aluminum. I mostly want to learn TIG for tube work (.120" wall or thinner) and smaller projects but it would be nice to be able to TIG 1/4" every now and then. Would you say 1/4" steel is out of the range of say the Diversion 180 or doable with enough practice? I suppose I could live with using the MIG on thicker stuff if need be since most of the bigger TIG welders are quickly getting out of my budget.
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Unread 08-23-2012, 11:00 PM   #4
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For the amperage you'll need to run for those thicknesses, be sure to get a water cooled torch. I'm still making do with the air cooled torch that came with my machine, but I am welding much thinner material than you are asking about.
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Unread 08-23-2012, 11:04 PM   #5
04WJny
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x2 on the Miller Diversion. The 180 is easy to setup, lightweight, portable, and pretty cheap. If you really wanna weld 1/4" and have enough cash get the dynasty 200 otherwise the diversion 180 is great for welding 3/16 steel or aluminum
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Unread 08-24-2012, 06:37 PM   #6
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Anyone have experience with the HTP Invertig 221 or older model (Invertig 201)? These machines and the Dynasty 200 probably have more features than I'll need for awhile but I also hate buying something too small just to end up wanting or needing to upgrade in the near future.

A water cooler setup is something I'm looking into as well but if I spend more on a bigger machine I might have to wait a little bit on purchasing the cooler.

I'm keeping my eye out for deals on used machines too.
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Unread 08-24-2012, 07:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MO2500 View Post
Anyone have experience with the HTP Invertig 221 or older model (Invertig 201)? These machines and the Dynasty 200 probably have more features than I'll need for awhile but I also hate buying something too small just to end up wanting or needing to upgrade in the near future.

A water cooler setup is something I'm looking into as well but if I spend more on a bigger machine I might have to wait a little bit on purchasing the cooler.

I'm keeping my eye out for deals on used machines too.
I don't own one "yet"..but it's on my shop addition list,after i get my shop built...

They have more settings than the dynasty's and 1/2 the price,and i've YET to find a bad review on any of the HTP machines.
These are the ONLY machines outside of Lincoln,Miller and Hobart that I'd consider buying new

You can also save some money on building your own cooler for it,just do an internet search and see all the builds people have done and what materials and parts you need.
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Unread 08-24-2012, 07:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironworker709 View Post
I don't own one "yet"..but it's on my shop addition list,after i get my shop built...

They have more settings than the dynasty's and 1/2 the price,and i've YET to find a bad review on any of the HTP machines.
These are the ONLY machines outside of Lincoln,Miller and Hobart that I'd consider buying new

You can also save some money on building your own cooler for it,just do an internet search and see all the builds people have done and what materials and parts you need.
All I can find is good reviews as well. I've spent most of the day reading up on different machines. They seem to have pretty good specs as far as duty cycle and features. A buddy of mine just got a HTP MIG welder and so far he likes it but he hasn't had it for very long so I durability and reliability hasn't really been put to the test yet. Customer service is said to be top notch which is important to me with any machine I end up purchasing.

I'll have to look more into building a cooler.
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Unread 08-26-2012, 01:01 PM   #9
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When I get a TIG for my shop ill be getting a Lincoln Invertec 205 or a precision TIG 220. I use a Miller Syncrowave 200 at work every day and its VERY reliable.
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Unread 08-27-2012, 02:59 PM   #10
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Square Wave TIG 175 TIG Welder http://www.lincolnelectric.com/en-us...incolnElectric)
This is what I use, I have used miller and prefer this one.
I have a miller mig 210 and like it over the lincoln I have used. I would go try a few different kinds and get the one that feels the best to weld with.
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Unread 08-28-2012, 05:02 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MO2500 View Post
A water cooler setup is something I'm looking into as well but if I spend more on a bigger machine I might have to wait a little bit on purchasing the cooler.
If you've got a faucet and a shop drain in your shop, you don't necessarily need a cooler. You can get fittings to plumb the faucet into the water lines for your torch, and then run the outflow into the drain. Total loss system.
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Unread 08-28-2012, 12:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by youngjeepr View Post
When I get a TIG for my shop ill be getting a Lincoln Invertec 205 or a precision TIG 220. I use a Miller Syncrowave 200 at work every day and its VERY reliable.
I've looked into those machines as well but I think an inverter machine will better suit my needs in a smallish home shop. I'm limited on space as well as the power supply. Right now I'm wired for 50 amps and would prefer not to re-wire the setup I have now.

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Originally Posted by Three J View Post
Square Wave TIG 175 TIG Welder http://www.lincolnelectric.com/en-us...incolnElectric)
This is what I use, I have used miller and prefer this one.
I have a miller mig 210 and like it over the lincoln I have used. I would go try a few different kinds and get the one that feels the best to weld with.
I've looked into the Square Wave as well and it seems like a pretty good value. The only thing is that I'd really like to buy a machine from the start that I can weld 1/4" with no problem and also a unit I can grow into as I learn and not quickly grow out of. It sounds like I need 200+ amps to do this with TIG. Other thing I didn't like about the Square Wave was the set 15 sec post flow, seems like a lot of wasted gas if I'm welding on thin materials where that is more than enough post flow. That may not be that big of a deal though but the other machines I'm looking at now have adjustable pre and post flow settings. The auto-balance feature seems nice for a beginner that really doesn't understand or know much about all the features though. I know most of the bigger machines I'm looking at have more features than I know what to do with at the moment but if having the adjustability later is important I'd rather purchase it now if you know what I mean.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Netpackrat View Post
If you've got a faucet and a shop drain in your shop, you don't necessarily need a cooler. You can get fittings to plumb the faucet into the water lines for your torch, and then run the outflow into the drain. Total loss system.
I've read about that method for cooling as well and haven't tossed that Idea yet. Definitely something to consider at least until I could buy/build a closed system cooler. My only concern is how much water are we talking about running down the drain over the course of a welding project. If it's going to run the water bill up to the cost of a cooler then you kind of defeat the purpose right?



Right now I'm really interested in the HTP Invertig 221 and either buying or building a cooler setup. It seems like more machine than I need and I like the reviews so far. Wish someone was using this machine here and could give me their experience.
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Unread 08-28-2012, 02:52 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by MO2500 View Post
I've read about that method for cooling as well and haven't tossed that Idea yet. Definitely something to consider at least until I could buy/build a closed system cooler. My only concern is how much water are we talking about running down the drain over the course of a welding project. If it's going to run the water bill up to the cost of a cooler then you kind of defeat the purpose right?
Right. I forget that people in other places have water meters and have to pay extra for using more. Here it's just a flat monthly fee. There's not exactly any shortage of water in Alaska. Dunno how much that system would use, it was just something that was mentioned to me once. I don't have a faucet or a floor drain in my shop.
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Unread 10-04-2012, 09:47 AM   #14
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Bumping this back up to the top for some advice on a couple of local deals I am looking into. Have been hunting the local listings and these two popped up this week.

One is a Lincoln PrecisionTig 225, looks super clean, air cooled torch (foot pedal controled), w/ cart and bottom storage drawer for what seems like a really great deal. Says the welder is only two years old and used very little, looks like it from the pictures. Just sent him an email to make sure it's still available and see if I can take a look this weekend.

Other is a bit more (will see if I can negotiate the price a little more with the seller), however, it's a Miller Syncrowave 250DX which I think is probably way more machine than I'll ever need. 3-310amps, built in water cooler/water cooled torch (finger tip control), stick leads, looks super clean as well and is on a dual cylinder cart. If it's the last machine I'll ever have to buy then it might make it easier coming up with the extra cash. Seems like a great deal also.

Both of these machines are only about 30 min from me, hoping to take a look at both this weekend but open to recommendations as to which would you choose. Money is definitely an issue but trying to decide if the added features of the bigger Miller are something I really need for welding up to 1/4" thick steel and aluminum and predominantly up to 1/8" thick DOM tubing. Also pros and cons of foot vs. finger amperage control.
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Unread 10-06-2012, 01:47 PM   #15
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Well...

Beat the seller down some on the price and brought this home this morning



I ran a few beads with it at the seller's shop to test functionality and tested the cooling system. Before I can weld anymore with it I'll have to wire in a larger circuit in the garage. The "beast" needs a 100 amp circuit. Probably overkill for my use but I think I got a good deal and a good machine. I read about a few issues with the integrated water cooler which is why Miller went back to an external cooler on the newer TIG runner packages but I tested the cooler and got no trouble codes nor anything when I was welding with it. If the cooler goes later on down the road I'll probably switch to an external model.
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