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seattlejester

TIG welder recommendation

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Not sure, I know I want to work with on some intercooler piping (aluminum), definitely want to redo my engine mounts (stainless), and might have to revisit the turbo manifold (stainless). 

 

I read some guides on picking electrodes, cups, and torches, but kind of over my head at the moment.

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Posted (edited)

technique is way more important than electrode choice in tig welding.  Establish your puddle, then start moving the torch. keep arc TIGHT.

Feed in filler at appropriate increments, and don't stop the torch for too long otherwise you'll put too much heat into the part.  A million billion times more tricky than it sounds.

Edited by tim.d
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On 3/19/2018 at 5:41 PM, tim.d said:

technique is way more important than electrode choice in tig welding.  Establish your puddle, then start moving the torch. keep arc TIGHT.

Feed in filler at appropriate increments, and don't stop the torch for too long otherwise you'll put too much heat into the part.  A million billion times more tricky than it sounds.

 

completely agree that technique is very important, I'm no welder but from what I've read the wrong electrode choice can affect your arc. 

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2 hours ago, Exposed said:

 

completely agree that technique is very important, I'm no welder but from what I've read the wrong electrode choice can affect your arc. 

 

When really honing in on your skill, electrodes do make a difference. The video below does an excellent job of comparing the various 'colors' that are out there.  But no electrode will make up for beginner or sloppy technique. 

 

 

 

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So something interesting I learned. AHP and it looks like maybe Everlast as well have kind of a "order for the next shipment" kind of thing going on. That is why you sometimes see the price is higher for the same item. On amazon you can find some Alpha welders for $800 that are essentially available now, or some for $680 that is kind of a pre-order for the next batch or something of that nature. Same thing with Everlast, you can find some for $900, or you can find some that will ship very quickly for find some for over $1000 that in theory should ship same day.

 

I did miss a chance to grab an alpha locally for $450 NIB on craigslist. Granted that may have been for the better in case something went wrong I wouldn't be able to file a warranty claim.

 

I ended up grabbing an Everlast 185DV kind of as planned. I bounced back a lot, given the alphatig was a couple hundred cheaper even brand new and had all the controls I could pretty much ever need for a beginner welder, but looks like I missed the last shipment for May and the next one would come end of June. That means no chance to learn how to weld before the summer is in full swing and no chance of getting my trans in before June ends either.

 

So for an extra $200 or so I decided to grab the Everlast 185DV. Its about 20lbs lighter and much smaller with a longer warranty as well.

 

Planning on picking up a tank, as well as some Tig gloves. Tungsten I'll have to read up on and I find those pyrex cups kind of a neat idea as well. Thanks for everyone's thoughts. I'll kind of do my summary bit once I have some time under my belt.

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For people looking to do something similar, I thought a price breakdown might be useful.

 

Just like with MIG welding it is the accessories that kind of get you.

 

Everlast 185DV: $899

Furick cup kit with size 8 clear cups without diffusers (for AC) and gas lens conversion: $68 (optional, I think they'll be useful, the gas lens is weldtec and supposedly quite good)

Tungsten grinder: $80 (you can totally get by without this and just a grinding wheel, but I've heard it can help with beginners so I picked one up)

Lanthanated 2% Tungsten: $33 for 10x 7inch rods of both 1/16 and 3/32 (supposedly a decent all rounder, 3/32 is good for most things, 1/16 can be useful for really thin metal)

 

Already at $1180 not including tax

 

Still need to get:

Spare consumables alumina cups, gas lens, back caps, etc I used "series 4" type lens and collets, they didn't have them in stock, but had them shipped from a sister store ~$20 for spare collets and gas lenses

Filler rods $10/lb

TIG gloves (once again optional, but I've heard it helps to have the tighter fitting gloves) $15 for tillman gloves

Argon tank, pretty sure I screwed up here, I wanted a customer owned tank, but I bought a new one, I think I could have got a customer owned used tank for a bit less $230 

Pedal (going to try just using the button on the torch first)

 

Probably another $300 or so there.

 

All in I think I have about $1500.

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Turned the machine on for the first time this weekend. 

 

Goodness, it is quite different. Not having a pedal might have hurt us in some regard, but interesting to try. Definitely contaminated about 7 tips between my friend and I getting far too close to the material or too close with the filler rod.

 

Also definitely overheating the crap out of whatever we are welding, but the welds seem more than strong enough. I think we need a chart to go by.

 

Kind of got overzealous, but we just kind of dove in and played with AC welding as well, that is also a different animal. Aluminum seems to almost just run away from you. Still I can manage to make some ugly, but complete welds.

 

We managed to almost finish shortening my transmission assembly. Need to do a couple braces/supports, but the shifter assembly supports the shifter and shifts the transmission.

 

I'll be taking in my knuckles and probably my steering rack shortly to do so photos to come.

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