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What's a good starter tig machine?

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  • What's a good starter tig machine?

    I have a ac/dc Stickmate and a handler 140 an was thinking about making the ti jump. I consider myself a "decent" weldor. I tig'd little in a welding class I took which was every tuesday for 3 hours for four months.

    What would be a good tig machine to look into? I would want to do mild steel and some stainless/aluminum. Also something that wont break the bank. Thanks fellas.
    HH 140
    Hobart stickmate ac/dc
    Sanborn 7hp 60gal comp
    1950's Craftsman drillpress

  • #2
    Well, that depends on how proficient you are (are you confident in your machine setting skills), what features you want (these of course cost more).
    If you can live with an "Auto-Set" machine, look at the Miller Diversion, it's geared to the hobby weldor. An inverted, no frills, 'point and weld' type unit.
    ~1300usd, ~1400usd with foot control.


    http://www.millerwelds.com/pdf/spec_sheets/AD1-5.pdf

    A Synchrowave 200 is about $2k, 35 additional amperes, more features, but she's a tranny.
    Last edited by Pumpkinhead; 12-03-2008, 01:22 PM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Pumpkinhead View Post
      Well, that depends on how proficient you are (are you confident in your machine setting skills), what features you want (these of course cost more).
      If you can live with an "Auto-Set" machine, look at the Miller Diversion, it's geared to the hobby weldor. An inverted, no frills, 'point and weld' type unit.
      ~1300usd, ~1400usd with foot control.


      http://www.millerwelds.com/pdf/spec_sheets/AD1-5.pdf

      A Synchrowave 200 is about $2k, 35 additional amperes, more features, but she's a tranny.
      Would I be able to do "most" metals with the miller? I don't want to outgrow it really fast either.
      HH 140
      Hobart stickmate ac/dc
      Sanborn 7hp 60gal comp
      1950's Craftsman drillpress

      Comment


      • #4
        With the Diversion, you can weld any metal you can weld on any other TIG machine. I got one. Really like it so far.
        I live in my own little world. That's OK, they understand me here.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by scapegoat View Post
          Would I be able to do "most" metals with the miller? I don't want to outgrow it really fast either.
          As Mr. Slim said, yes.
          Your only limitation is output power of 165A, but don't fret that, a Miller Maxstar 150 (which I own) has 150A of power, and is only DC (no Al) and is comparably priced.
          A Purple brand has 20 extra amps and can do all metals as well, but is much more money (features).
          The Red and Blue industrial inverters are way, way expensive.
          And the trannys have some extra features and extra weight and power requirements.

          Cyberweld has the Diversion's for $1275 less foot control (extra $135) with free shipping in the contiguous.

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          • #6
            Yeah was looking to do a custom turbo build in the future and need something to do stainless pipe with.
            HH 140
            Hobart stickmate ac/dc
            Sanborn 7hp 60gal comp
            1950's Craftsman drillpress

            Comment


            • #7
              We have a Diversion at work, great machine, relatively easy to use. Good tip: If you have some rod at home, while your watching TV practice feeding the rod through your fingers. Sounds dumb I know, but by the time you get your welder it will be one less thing you have to learn.
              HH140
              Millermatic 135
              Miller Thunderbolt XL

              "If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough" -Mario Andretti

              Comment


              • #8
                If you're still not sure, cruise over to the link and read more, including Mr. Slim's comments, from what I've read seems like a sweet unit.

                http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...ad.php?t=14810

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                • #9
                  You mentioned having a hobart stickmate AC/DC. Have you considered just getting a standard air cooled, 150 amp tig rig with valve <$100, and a flowmeter and bottle of argon ?

                  Remote amperage control has some uses but can be worked around in all cases with proper settings and techniques.
                  Good day

                  Gerald Austin
                  http://www.weldingdata.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by G Austin View Post
                    You mentioned having a hobart stickmate AC/DC. Have you considered just getting a standard air cooled, 150 amp tig rig with valve <$100, and a flowmeter and bottle of argon ?

                    Remote amperage control has some uses but can be worked around in all cases with proper settings and techniques.
                    I'm with G Austin on this one. If all you're trying to do is stainless then this type of setup is fine for the application. If you're trying to do AL you might consider something different or a HF box. As far as amperage is concerned I've welded XXH wall pipe all day using 120 amps. I don't see a need extra high amperage for GTAW. Just my opinion though...
                    SA-250 Diesel
                    ASME Section IX Certified

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by G Austin View Post
                      You mentioned having a hobart stickmate AC/DC. Have you considered just getting a standard air cooled, 150 amp tig rig with valve <$100, and a flowmeter and bottle of argon ?

                      Remote amperage control has some uses but can be worked around in all cases with proper settings and techniques.
                      Yes I have heard about using the arc welders for a tig setup. I really don't know much about this setup though. Is it worth going this route? What metals could I do? What all would I need to buy? I have a tank but its 75/25 for my HH 140.
                      HH 140
                      Hobart stickmate ac/dc
                      Sanborn 7hp 60gal comp
                      1950's Craftsman drillpress

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Technically all you'll need is a valved torch, some tungstens, a connector block (adapter) and a bottle of argon, no C25 for TIG. that'll do you for everything but Al, Mg and exotic metals.

                        Now to me this is just a work-around and more hassle than it's worth.

                        If you factor in the price of a HF box for AC weldin', might as well just buy the Diversion.

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                        • #13
                          I'm also looking to buy a tig machine and was just wondering what wont i be able to weld with 150 amps, thickness wise. I have only been welding for two years and right now just do hobby stuff at home. Thanks for all your help.
                          Hobart Handler 140
                          14" HF Chop Saw

                          Go Cubs Go!!!!!

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                          • #14
                            I am just a hobby weldor and almost everything I weld is welded with 150 amps (tig) or less.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Pumpkinhead View Post
                              Technically all you'll need is a valved torch, some tungstens, a connector block (adapter) and a bottle of argon, no C25 for TIG. that'll do you for everything but Al, Mg and exotic metals.

                              Now to me this is just a work-around and more hassle than it's worth.

                              If you factor in the price of a HF box for AC weldin', might as well just buy the Diversion.
                              This is the common method for field construction using GTAW. I have welded with this setup on CS, SS, INconel, Hastalloy AND Aluminum using a DC machine. Fixed a pontoon lastyear with a Miller Thunderbolt 225 AC/DC and a bottle of helium.

                              If you are goingf to do a great deal of aluminum and don't want to get a bottle of helium then an AC/HF or AC Square Wave machine may be in order.

                              Note that you CANNOT use 75/25 Ar CO2 with much success.
                              Good day

                              Gerald Austin
                              http://www.weldingdata.com

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