PDA

View Full Version : TIG Welders; the Ins and Outs



philbey
08-05-2009, 8:07 PM
Hi Guys

I'm just about to start a TIG welding course, and once I've got my chops up I'll be looking at buying a decent compact tig welder.

Just like to hear from other people with TIG's about their units and what features they've got. What features have people found handy, what have they never bothered with etc.

I'm considering a Kemppi Miniarc Tig, the small Fronius units, BOC's etc. No chinese rubbish.

They've mostly all got lift start, high frequency control, up and downslope control.

Also, what metals are you welding? Aluminium and Stainless?

CreepyJack13
08-05-2009, 8:22 PM
Miller Dynasty 200DX. Expensive, but compact, runs on 110VAC, 220VAC (single or three phase), pulse control, etc. I love it.

http://www.millerwelds.com/products/tig/dynasty_200_series/

Of course, being that you're in Australia. I have no idea what's available down there, or how much stuff would cost, so that Miller might be totally unobtainable.

The main features that I would look for are AC/DC for welding ferrous and non ferrous metals, pulse, and high frequency start. (Lift start/scratch start isn't too bad, but I prefer not to touch the metal.)

I've never used the upslope/downslope features on my Dynasty.

Some folks think that pulse is cheating, but I've found it very handy.

I weld steel, stainless, and aluminum.

philbey
08-05-2009, 8:28 PM
Yeh we can get most of the american stuff like Miller and Lincoln down here. Not sure if you guys have CIGweld in the States as well? They supposedly make good gear.

Just to clarify, do you definitely need AC/DC to weld non ferrous? Because looking through the manufacturers literature, some DC only units claim to do aluminium.

CreepyJack13
08-05-2009, 8:59 PM
I'm 99.999% certain that you need AC to weld aluminum and magnesium and such. (However, you can weld thick sections of aluminum [like 3/4" and thicker] with a big enough DC power source. Go figure.)

AC is Alternating Current, DC is Direct Current. DC for ferrous, AC for non ferrous.

When do classes start?

If I may make a suggestion: learn to weld using oxyacetylene as well as TIG and/or MIG. If you can manipulate the gas torch, filler rod, and the puddle of molten metal, you'll have very few problems getting used to TIG. Pretty much the only difference is the current control (footpedal or thumbwheel). At least, that's how I went about it. Only took me about two weeks (two nights of class a week) to start running decent beads on aluminum.

philbey
08-05-2009, 9:13 PM
Next tuesday (here in Aus). I'm reasonably good at oxy welding, although it's a long time between drinks for me. That's why I went for the TIG course, a lot of pro welders at work suggested that the technique is quite similar so I should be able to pick it up.

I'll keep you all posted with my progress!

CreepyJack13
08-05-2009, 9:18 PM
Please do, and good luck!!

dragoro
08-06-2009, 5:21 AM
Fronius is good. I got a 150 lift start. I use it mostly for tubing and bars. TIG is best because of its penetrating qualities, cleaner too. You just have to find your own pulse for the hand movements. Should be a cinch for you. You definitely need an AC welder for auminum. All the best on your classes.

Rivet
08-06-2009, 7:30 AM
I have an HTP Invertig 201, it is one bad ass tig welder but obviously not as well known as Miller and Lincoln. Its their version of the dynasty but considerably cheaper. It really is an amazing machine, makes it look like I know what Im doing. And since its an inverter machine its small and has adjustable frequency up to 200hz in AC.

http://www.htpweld.com/products/tig_welders/tig201.html

They are used in A LOT of chassis fab shops and race teams. AMS, a well known import car fab shop uses their welders exclusively.

Some examples of work done by the machine by "trained" professionals...
http://www.yellowbullet.com/forum/showthread.php?t=108726

http://www.amsperformance.com/service_fabrication.php

CreepyJack13
08-06-2009, 9:12 AM
When I was looking to upgrade from the Miller EconoTIG, I considered the HTP inverTIG. It had plenty of features that I thought would be useful, and certainly the price was right.

The one thing that drew me to the Dynasty was the fact that it's completely mobile because of it's input requirements. 110VAC or 220VAC (single phase or three phase) means that I can take it to work if there's something that needs to be welded that the old Lincoln we have won't handle (like thin aluminum), or if one of my homies has something that he can't bring to me, but also doesn't have 220VAC in his garage. I can weld damn near anywhere with my Dynasty.

66triumph
08-06-2009, 11:08 PM
I'm 99.999% certain that you need AC to weld aluminum and magnesium and such. (However, you can weld thick sections of aluminum [like 3/4" and thicker] with a big enough DC power source. Go figure.)

AC is Alternating Current, DC is Direct Current. DC for ferrous, AC for non ferrous.

When do classes start?

If I may make a suggestion: learn to weld using oxyacetylene as well as TIG and/or MIG. If you can manipulate the gas torch, filler rod, and the puddle of molten metal, you'll have very few problems getting used to TIG. Pretty much the only difference is the current control (footpedal or thumbwheel). At least, that's how I went about it. Only took me about two weeks (two nights of class a week) to start running decent beads on aluminum.

I thought magnesium would burn when an intense flame was introduced? sort of "self consume" so-to-speak... I could be wrong though, it's happened before...

-A.

CreepyJack13
08-07-2009, 6:35 AM
Nope!! Magnesium chips and magnesium dust can spontaneously self ignite. Solid magnesium can be welded.

RustyKnuckles
08-07-2009, 10:10 AM
I was checking into the HTP inverTIG and was curious to get some more opinions about them. Never seen one in person or know of anyone that uses HTP machines. What kind of price point am I looking at for a decent TIG from them?

Rivet
08-07-2009, 10:28 AM
I was checking into the HTP inverTIG and was curious to get some more opinions about them. Never seen one in person or know of anyone that uses HTP machines. What kind of price point am I looking at for a decent TIG from them?

Check out the links I posted for some examples of professionals using their products.

I got my 201 for 2500 shipped to my door, came two days after I ordered.

66triumph
08-07-2009, 11:35 AM
Nope!! Magnesium chips and magnesium dust can spontaneously self ignite. Solid magnesium can be welded.

see! I told you I could be wrong, It happened again damnit...

thats some crazy shit. learn something new everyday! ever thrown bondo dust, coffee creamer, or metal grinding shavings on a fire? that shit is cool!

-A.

kaos
08-07-2009, 1:20 PM
I have an miller synchrowave 250 with all the good stuff its what I learned on easy to use and maintain. went from years of OA welding straight to that easy transition!!!, have fun

BlueCollarMoto
08-07-2009, 9:19 PM
Miller Dynasty 200DX. Expensive, but compact, runs on 110VAC, 220VAC (single or three phase), pulse control, etc. I love it.
http://www.millerwelds.com/products/tig/dynasty_200_series/
Of course, being that you're in Australia. I have no idea what's available down there, or how much stuff would cost, so that Miller might be totally unobtainable.
The main features that I would look for are AC/DC for welding ferrous and non ferrous metals, pulse, and high frequency start. (Lift start/scratch start isn't too bad, but I prefer not to touch the metal.)
I've never used the upslope/downslope features on my Dynasty.
Some folks think that pulse is cheating, but I've found it very handy.
I weld steel, stainless, and aluminum.


Big x2 on the Dynasty 200DX!
Weld anything from a ducks beak to its butt. Lightweight, doesn't use as much power as a big older unit. Just depends on what you want to spend. Plenty of great deals out there now a days on used machines. The Cadillac of small tigs.

Fredmotorco
08-08-2009, 5:33 AM
There is no better TIG machine on the planet for motorcycle or automotive fabrication than a Dynasty 200DX. Always buy more welder than you will ever need then you will never need to upgrade.

RustyKnuckles
08-13-2009, 10:22 PM
Always to buy more than you think you might need. My big problem is that I unfortunately only have 120v into my shop as it was a patch job off from our house. Until I upgrade to 230v with a new connection most tig machines are out of my reach. Much more inclined to save up on get a Miller dynasty as I have used them and they are just solid.