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Good TIG welder for learning to weld on


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#1 MazerRackham

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 10:00 PM

Just a few things to say here. I'm using my birthday money and my budget it likely to be in the ~600 dollar range. I want to start on TIG because of the hassle of trying to sell my MIG welder — if I get a mig welder. I dabble in re-sale all day, and its a pain in the ass, and I hate it. Such is the life of a kid whose trying to get out of community college/living with single mom. So I figure I am going to have to do a lot of fabrication. I want to do it right the first time. What are my options. Please help.

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#2 Xnke

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 05:32 AM

Take a welding class at the local community college, and learn to TIG before you spend the money. Just like any other machine tool, the welding machine is only about half the cost of getting setup to weld.

You'll need:

TIG power supply (600$-60,000$)
Foot Pedal (100$ and up)
TIG torch (15$-150$ bodies, 5$ handles, 40-50$ cabling)
Torch parts (3$ collet bodies, 1$ collets, insulators, 2$ cups, backcaps)
Tungstens (10packs usually 20-30$)
Gas bottle (Mine is 50$/year lease, plus 36$ for Argon fill, I fill about every two weeks)
Gloves (12$/pr)
Filler rod (aluminum 5.60/lb, steel 4.30/lb, stainless 8.90/lb current and local)

Figure in if you are starting from scratch, that you'll go through two packs of tungsten, 40 collets, 8 cups, a pair of gloves, 30lbs of steel rod, and probably 8 tank fills on a Q size tank, before you are able to produce a consistent, clean, saleable weld.

Now, if you take the TIG class, then you get to pay the 400$ and burn through as much in the way of supplies as you want...get as good as you want...and THEN spend the big money on equipment, after you've already spent someone else's money on materials learning.

#3 rsicard

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 02:56 PM

Your post does not indicate what type of materials and thicknesses of same you want to weld. The post is confusing as to whether you have or do not have a MIG welder. If the material is lighter gauge steel used most of the time, the best is the MIG welder. Suggest getting a Miller 211 if you do not have a MIG welder. This will cover most of the welding tasks unless you are welding heavy gauge steel. Also there is a spool gun available for the Miller 211 that will allow you to weld Aluminum.

Most of my steel/iron welding can be done with a Miller 211. As for learning welding, some techniques apply to both MIG and TIG welding. Specifically, leaning your hand which is holding the torch onto something solid will allow much more precise control of the torch which is especially important in TIG welding. The same is true with MIG welding also. MIG is easier than is TIG.

As to learning welding MIG or TIG, recommend getting training DVD's by Ron Covell. He is a MASTER in metal working.

#4 proxlamus©

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 05:27 AM

I also recommend taking a welding class at a community college. My state college offered a class.. and it was the best class i've ever taken in all 4 years I went to school lol.
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#5 peyton

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 08:04 PM

So much win on your handle

#6 svMike

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 01:21 PM

+1 on community college welding class.

 

Don't buy a machine until you have some training. The class I took started us off with acetylene torches, then MIG, then TIG or stick, whichever you were interested in.

Everyone says MIG is easier, but I disagree. TIG allows you fine control of the puddle so you can adjust as you go. MIG is easy in that it is point and shoot.

Point is, you won't know what you want until you get some training and you can know what you prefer.

 

Also, much cheaper to learn on someone's machine, metal and consumables. That's probably your best way to getting it right the first time. Good luck!


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#7 m1ghtymaxXx

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 11:37 AM

With your budget I'm guessing you're not looking for an AC machine for aluminum?

 

I'm in the market for an AC/DC TIG and have settled on an Everlast 200DX (probably order at Christmas). It's a Chinese machine but with vendors in Canada and the US and retails for $1300 Canadian but matches a $4000 Miller Dynasty in features. I haven't heard a single negative review aside from the included torch (stiff leads) and pedal (just flimsy). It's enough to get started, but should be upgraded down the road, though many seem to have the same to say about the included Miller gear. Parts availability and customer support doesn't seem to be an issue.

 

They do have a budget DC machine that should be on your price range. 



#8 BLOZ UP

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 01:30 PM

You guys are reviving an old thread.

 

Still, I've been eyeing a new Everlast. I've heard good things as well, and it's got a ton more features than my Miller Diversion at the same price.


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#9 Tony D

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 09:38 PM

nocroposting bastiges...


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#10 Bohdan

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Posted 10 December 2014 - 05:43 PM

I just took a welding class in Aviation Mechanics school and they Aircraft Maint. textbook explains how its better to weld Aluminum in DC reverse polarity. They say it brings the oxides out of the metal much quicker than AC does.

 I am also looking to get a TIG, had my eye set on the Hobart EZ-TIG 165i. Let me know what you guys think. since ive been welding MIG for a while already and its just time to start messing with the TIG.



#11 BLOZ UP

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Posted 10 December 2014 - 05:48 PM

Hobart EZ-Tig is just a repackaged Miller Diversion. I have the Diverison, it's great but I'd like to have more controls, esp. for AC welding.


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#12 primeral

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Posted 11 December 2014 - 07:53 AM

I have a Miller Dynasty 200DX in my garage. Unfortunately, I'm nowhere near good enough to take advantage of its pure awesomeness. So like all of the good advice above, I'm taking a TIG course at my local college in the spring semester.

 

I am not familiar with other brand's models so I will use Millers for my examples. When you are ready to shop around for equipment, you will have your choice between a transformer power supply (Miller Syncrowave) or an inverter (Miller Dynasty). In the used market, I've often seen a comparable inverter box go for roughly double of the transformer. After a few failed attempts to buy cheap Syncrowaves I found a used Dynasty for a little over $2k.

 

Between a transformer and an inverter, there's the difference between hoisting the 300+ lb transformer onto a truck bed or putting a comparable inverter in your sedan's trunk. My Dynasty 200DX, for example, can also be run off 110v, 220v, and three phase 440v. Essentially, you can get a small bottle of Argon and weld with a Dynasty wherever your conventional extension cord goes.

 

I'm not against the Lincoln varieties, or even the more cost-effective Everlast and other Chinese models. You can definitely save yourself some money and try one out while you learn. Later on as your needs arise, move up to a higher-tier Dynasty for increased duty cycle, adjustable balance, frequencies, spot welding, etc. Oh, only get a TIG welder that is capable of DC & AC welding. I'm not sure if any power supplies these days offer just DC, but you require AC to weld aluminum.

 

Here's me learning on 4043 aluminum. Criticism and advice is highly welcomed!

 

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