View Full Version : Tig Welder Advice

06-19-2014, 7:24 AM
Looking for a tig welder in the 500 clam range ,
wish I had the clams for a miller from what I have read so far.
Don't know shit about them and Im sick of running to the other guy to weld shit for me. I do want a Tig.

So maybe some links to what you guys have bought and used, would like one where it has all the shit if possible other than the tank
Thanks , Halp a old phart out............:banghead: ( don't know my ass from my elbow about this shit)

06-19-2014, 7:51 AM
Hit the Miller and Weldingweb forums for a shitload of info, in particular how to do well on Craigslist.

A welding machine is an answer to the question "what do you want to weld?".

You can get some great deals on industrial equipment after doing your homework. I scored a Miller 340 (not 330 which are also excellent) for 250 bucks because the owner thought it was 3-phase from a sticker on the switch box added to the unit.
I won't need 570A output but damn dat arc is nice.




I'm not a superb welder but know equipment fairly well from running a welding school toolroom and researching thoroughly. That got me more machines and cylinders and everyfuckingthingelse for cheap from liquidations, Ebay and Craigslist.

Post any machine you are considering to weldingweb for feedback (and to Miller forum if a Miller), including model and serial if an option because they matter.

06-19-2014, 7:21 PM
You really don't need a high end machine for TIG welding,I use a 220 Lincoln AC/DC I do a lot of TIG welding with it,wish I had AMP control but It does good for what it is....

06-20-2014, 3:45 AM
what you pay for it?

06-20-2014, 5:06 AM

Thermal Arc is a Miller companay and i have used this welder for the past 4 years.. great machine.. will do any welding you need for bike building.. looks like this one is on sale^^^^
i paid around 400 for just the machine without the gage and TIG rig. GREAT product. i would highly recomend this.

06-20-2014, 7:24 AM
A 95amp TIG machine will definitely not do everything you need for bike building.

06-20-2014, 7:39 AM
What is the thickest material you plan to weld? Do you plan to do aluminum welding? Do you have a 220v receptacle available?

While you can get a machine for $500 or less, it will be extremely limited. For $700-800 you can get a much better machine (though still not full featured). Keep in mind, even if you get one that comes with everything (torch, regulator, etc), you will still need to buy consumables and other odds and ends as well as getting setup with an argon tank. That alone will likely be upwards of $200. Your options typically are to outright buy a small 60cu ft tank for ~$200 which you can refill or pay the same ~$200 deposit and then pay a monthly lease for a larger tank. Just want to level set that even if you do get a $500 machine, you'll need close to another $300 in most cases to actually get started.

06-20-2014, 8:33 AM
i agree with boomboomthump.. maybe i should have worded that differantly.. I was thinking along the lines of, if he is asking this question than he is limited to the kind of building he will be doing and was suggesting a reasanble machine for the skill level.... but if you are doing a full frame ground up build you may want something a little better.

06-20-2014, 9:21 AM
Damn that looks like a great deal--is that Miller's attempt to shoehorn in w/ Chinese materials? And it includes consumables? That's probably right up what I'm looking for w/ tig. I was looking at picking up this 220v Miller 165:


he was trying to sell me on a lincoln 110v mig, which is probably better for me, I'm far more capable with mig and you can buy spool guns for aluminum and stainless. I don't have access to 220v unless I use the dryer plug in the basement of my rental, and I'm all ready pushing my landlord to madness.

06-22-2014, 5:11 PM
I have this one. It's been dormant for a bit but I will be firing it up shortly:


06-22-2014, 6:25 PM
What is the thickest material you plan to weld? Do you plan to do aluminum welding? Do you have a 220v receptacle available?

These questions require an answer for any help to be useful. Welding machines are specific answers to the question "what do you want to weld?".

The 95S is a neat little thing and handy for sheet metal, but I don't use mine much. I got it in trade for some OA gear but I wouldn't pay retail for one.

It IS perfectly good for learning TIG on light steel. Scratch-start TIG on steel has built and continues to produce billions of dollars worth of construction every year.

The canonical Tozzi TIG rig thread. You can connect a scratch-start rig to any appropriate power source, very much including DC stick welders:


There are many gas cylinder threads on Weldingweb which can benefit even experienced welders who want to own their own cylinders cheep.

Craigslist has been stupidly good to me because I learned what sizes and brands of cylinder I can exchange locally. Play that game and you can always have spare cylinders in case you run out or are just lazy as I am. It's easy to have MIG, TIG, oxygen, acetylene, nitrogen and CO2 (great for portable tire inflation and many other tasks) for little money.

06-22-2014, 6:28 PM
welp seems lower priced tig.s are all a crap shoot from what i read.
want to use it for making pipes , welding tabs fenders tanks and maybe frame work. welding aliminum would be cool also if needed, sure would be nice to build up a broken ear of a tranny .
Im prolly going to buy a welder off amazon when i pay my tab down.
would love a miller...........
oh yeah links to amazon tig welders would be pissah

06-22-2014, 7:44 PM
oh yeah links to amazon tig welders would be pissah

Vendor support matters. Determine via research which SPECIFIC model(s) interest you, then inquire on welding forums which vendors are best suited to your needs.

I recommend Indiana Oxygen Company if you order a machine online for their excellent customer service. Everybody drop-ships welders, but IOC facilitated exchanging a defective ESAB for me with no fuss. I was even able to drive to Florence and pick it up from the factory thanks to their communication with ESAB customer service.

You will require a local welding supply for welding gas, so find out by asking who is best in your area. If you make good connections there they can save you fat bank, and handle warranty service directly for you. That can be worth handing them a bit more cash for a welding machine than you'd spend anonymously via the internet.

I suggest posting in the Miller and Weldingweb forums asking about good LWS near you. You also might find someone who will help you learn TIG.

If you find an interesting machine via Craigslist or trade papers, ask about it online.

06-23-2014, 7:28 AM
Davestune,my machine was given to me as in "I know where it is if I need it"...nice gift...Adding aluminum to the equation and I mean quality aluminum welding isn't cheap and it would be nice to have that level of machine but for the amount of aluminum welding and the talent and ability to get the job done may not justify the cost.If you can live with a scratch start setup a 220 amp DC would do the trick and you can find them pretty reasonable definitely under 5 bills,my argon contract is 40 bucks and I bought a torch with hoses and flowmeter for around a buck 50...a tube of 70 grade mild steel wire was 19 bucks and 2 percent thoriated tungsten was about the same...Although my machine has AC/DC the AC is only used when I tie my High freq machine in for alum which has no heat control (pedal) and is hard to work with when you need to do it right with no practice...