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Technical Information => Fabrication => Topic started by: b20forlife on February 23, 2011, 09:35:03 PM

Title: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: b20forlife on February 23, 2011, 09:35:03 PM
so i am planing to buy my own little welder to fab up some stuff for my car. i live 90 miles away from phoenix were there are real fabricators unlike in my small town. so i plan to just buy a small welder which can tig and weld aluminum and some stainless. well i found 2 options in my price range. trying to stay under $800 so postt up if there is a better option than what i have chosen

1. Clarke Hot Shot Spool Gun Welder, Model# WE6441 $400
     seems simple to use and has a spool gun which will let me weld aluminum and some stainless.

2. Lincoln Electric Weld Pak 140 HD Wire Feed Welder $524+ $200 spool gun

i think the lincoln is a better welder but not sure. ill just be welding up my intercooler pipping, and cross over pipes for my turbo set up along with tabs for intercooler and radiator. so not going to be doing anything crazy that i would need a commercial welder for. i will practice alot before starting to weld on my vehicle. any advice is welcome along with welder options thanks
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: digitalsolo on February 23, 2011, 09:43:27 PM
You can do stainless with a regular MIG, you don't need a spool gun (though pretty may be another story without a lot of practice, my work is an excellent example).

I wouldn't do aluminum with a MIG, even with a spool gun, personally.

I'd also go with the Lincoln.    My take is spend the spool gun money to get a higher amp welder (220 volt) and have someone TIG the aluminum for you.
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: Rosey on February 23, 2011, 10:19:40 PM
Neither of those welders are TIG welders.  MIG welders can be great for aluminium, but not really so much for the kinds of things we as auto enthusiasts tend to weld (piping, brackets, thin stuff etc...).  I would just look for an entry level TIG from a major brand, which will probably be used for your kind of price range (check craigslist).  A lincoln square wave or miller diversion series TIG would probably be some good ones to look out for, but I can't say I've used either personally. 

Other option is to get a more basic welder, like the ones you listed, but you might end up doing the fabbing/tacking at home and bringing it somewhere that does welding to finish the welds if you want good quality welds.
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: Andrew R on March 01, 2011, 08:14:28 AM
The price on the Lincoln + spool gun puts you right at what the Millermatic 180 is going for...  I have been using my buddies for over a year now and love it. It's what we have used for 16g body work the whole way up to trans/motor mounts/cages -great all around performing machine that is very simple to use -it will basically do anything you need to -with the exception of aluminum. We just have a friend do our alum work.

If you plan on getting serious and have time to practice a nice TIG is the way to go -If you looking for simplicity I would go with the Miller -you just won't be able to do alum.  Go with something 230v if you go MIG  -all around better performing machines in my experience.
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: digitalsolo on March 01, 2011, 09:51:59 AM
FWIW, I really like my Millermatic 135, the only thing I wish is that I'd have just gotten a 180, so that I had some more leeway on how thick I can go.   I'm able to do 3/16" but 1/4" is really at the edge of the machine without hitting it with a torch and getting it HOT first.     I'd say figure out what you think you need, and add another 20% to that, better to have more than you need than not enough.  ;)
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: Speedfab on March 01, 2011, 11:18:25 AM
REAL Spool guns are for building trailers and truck bodies, not small detail work.  Little cheap ones are worthless IMO.  If you buy either of those, you'll regret it.  Buy a decent smal mig machine, practice, and save your money to either sell that and buy a tig later or keep it and buy one outright.
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: Speedfab on March 01, 2011, 11:25:56 AM
better to have more than you need than not enough.

My personal credo, and good words to live by.

You can always take your foot off the throttle, but you can't push it any further than the floor.
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: dream36realms on March 01, 2011, 12:01:23 PM
Quote from: Speedfab
You can always take your foot off the throttle, but you can't push it any further than the floor.

I am sigging this one. my old sig is getting old
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: LNF_AJ on March 01, 2011, 11:30:22 PM
Has anyone had any experiance with a miller dynasty 200 tig?
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: Speedfab on March 02, 2011, 01:15:41 AM
I have a Dynasty 350, they are great machines.
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: FabChild on March 02, 2011, 04:02:05 AM
I have a Dynasty 200, I absolutely love that machine.
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: rx7lee on March 02, 2011, 08:05:38 AM
im pertty happy with my holbart 185 mig welder. its 220v 185amps dose great for me
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: LNF_AJ on March 02, 2011, 09:58:48 AM
I have a Dynasty 350, they are great machines.

Would you say it's worth it to spend the money to get the 350 right off the bat?
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: Speedfab on March 02, 2011, 10:55:43 AM
I have a Dynasty 350, they are great machines.

Would you say it's worth it to spend the money to get the 350 right off the bat?

Only if this is your JOB and/or you own a welding and fabrication business.  If you want one for a hobby/light production welder, I wouldn't even buy a Miller 200, I'd avoid the "blue tax" altogether and buy an HTP Invertig.  In fact, I have one here and run it more than any welder in the shop, and their customer service is the best I've ever seen.

http://www.htpweld.com/products/tig_welders/tig201.html (http://www.htpweld.com/products/tig_welders/tig201.html)
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: gnx7 on March 02, 2011, 08:04:25 PM
I have a Miller Diversion 165.  It weighs only 50lbs and is very portable.  Can do just about anything I need.  Exhaust work (s/s), aluminum, etc.
http://store.cyberweld.com/mitigwedi165.html?gclid=CMaRn56WsacCFQI8gwod7jXxCA (http://store.cyberweld.com/mitigwedi165.html?gclid=CMaRn56WsacCFQI8gwod7jXxCA)

For anything thick as in steel roll cages.... I can use my buddies Lincoln MIG 350. 

Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: FabChild on March 02, 2011, 08:42:36 PM
Tracy I checked out that website for the Htp and It looks like the Dynasty 200 has it beat ever where you look even in weight dept.  I'm curious to know how they compare because i'm used to my Dynasty but i'm going to intern at a shop tomorrow and they have an htp with an air cooled torch i'll be using.  Do you recommend it just because of the price between the two or do you feel it's a better welder?
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: Speedfab on March 02, 2011, 10:42:25 PM
I dont know what you consider "beat", and weight is no consideration to me as every welder I own is on wheels.  I pretty much just based this on value for the money, I don't think either is better than the other in any appreciable way.  And like I said their customer service is nuts, HTP will practically do anything for you... Call Miller and see what you get, lol.  Also, the way it is put together is great - everything (electronics wise) is pretty well "modular" and easily replaced by the end user.  Mine has never had a problem, but when something DOES go wrong, they can not only tell you what it is but they can overnight you the parts to fix it yourself.  I know some people that have screwed them up, and were back up running in a day.

There is nothing wrong with a Miller Dynasty, like I said, I own one.  But Miller will pretty much rape you on everything, and when it needs fixing, well, bend over harder.  My big transformer machine (Syncrowave 350) is sitting in my garage at home because I dont feel like dropping the cash to fix it, and all that's wrong is the HF board is burned out.

I do this for a living, some people only want these things to play with.  Gimmicks and features I don't use aren't impressive to me.  I need my equiment to WORK, be cost effective, and be reliable.  Different people like different things, so take it for what it's worth to you.
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: burtoncr on March 03, 2011, 12:29:16 AM
Buy a decent smal mig machine, practice,

Suggestions on a decent small mig?
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: FabChild on March 03, 2011, 04:30:05 AM
Yea, I know you pay the price when it comes to blue and i'm sure it's a fine tig. The only reason I say beat is things like the balance and frequency the Dynasty has a more extended range also the htp site was big on the power consumption but the Dynasty 200 also pulls 30 amps from the wall and it looks like the htp uses and advanced squarewave where the Dynasty you have the 4 options to choose from. but again is it worth the difference in price that I guess is up to the person buying the machine. 
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: V8-rx7 on March 03, 2011, 01:08:41 PM
I like the Dynasty welders even though I almost never use all the features like pulsing and i really don't play with balance too much. I just set it and forget it for the most part, but I like the millers because I have never had a problem with them. Plus the only lincoln machine I have ever used is my Precision Tig.
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: Speedfab on March 03, 2011, 01:31:06 PM
I like the millers because I have never had a problem with them.

Why is this $7000 welder sitting in the corner unplugged all sad and forlorn?  Because it's broken and at the moment it isn't economically feasible to fix.

(http://i677.photobucket.com/albums/vv132/speedfab/phone010.jpg)
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: digitalsolo on March 03, 2011, 02:12:55 PM
You know my uncle is a EE and does freelance stuff like that.    Depending on what's wrong, I bet he could rebuild that HF board for you Tracy.
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: LNF_AJ on March 03, 2011, 03:38:22 PM
I just got my own millermatic 140 to do a little stainless exhaust work.  So we will see what i do for a tig welder.
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: voetsek on March 04, 2011, 02:44:16 PM
Welding web has some good discussions on the pros and cons of a lot of welders. Here's one on the Invertig.

http://weldingweb.com/showthread.php?t=15371 (http://weldingweb.com/showthread.php?t=15371)
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: 12secondscooby on March 15, 2011, 04:07:51 PM
I am finally getting my own welder in a couple weeks and I think I am going to go with Eastwood. There was a good thread over on welding web which had a lot of positive info about their MIG units:

http://weldingweb.com/showthread.php?t=41965&highlight=eastwood+welders (http://weldingweb.com/showthread.php?t=41965&highlight=eastwood+welders)

It seems the biggest complaint on welding web is customer service (or lack thereof). I can deal with that given the three year warranty and the fact that the company has been around for 30+ years so I don't think they're going anywhere. I wanted to see what some of our experts thought of their stuff. I am looking at the 175 MIG machine or the new TIG machine. I've done MIG welding on steel and aluminum before, but I would really like to learn to TIG weld. I was just wondering if anyone had any experience with them or any comment on the capabilities.

175 Amp MIG
http://www.eastwood.com/mig-175-welder-cart-and-helmet-kit.html (http://www.eastwood.com/mig-175-welder-cart-and-helmet-kit.html)
TIG
http://www.eastwood.com/eastwood-s-ac-dc-tig-200-welder.html (http://www.eastwood.com/eastwood-s-ac-dc-tig-200-welder.html)
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: mxman on July 19, 2013, 04:20:26 PM
I was just looking at the eastwood tig 200...and lol that cheap 40 amp? plasma cutter...

A buddy just bought the eastwood and he loves it so far..we're both shite welders so i'm sure it will be fine for our day to day bubblegum.. 
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: zmm95 on July 19, 2013, 08:40:28 PM
I reccomend the Everlast powertig 185.
I've got one and love it! Its super easy to use and for the price kicks major ass. I've read mixed reviews on the eastwood 200 but nothing but good from the everlast.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0081BEOD4/ref=cm_sw_r_an_am_ap_am_us?ie=UTF8

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: Mtalon on August 15, 2013, 09:27:58 AM
Since the OP is MIA i am thread jacking this!

I am at a toss up on 2 welders and could use a little convincing/help.

This will be my first welder since I am sick of paying shops to do stupid little jobs for me.

Dont tell me about other welders because I don't care I just want help picking between these two

-Hobart Handler 140 mig

-Everlast 185 micro tig

I have been searching for weeks and weeks and still haven't decided.

Will be for exhaust, manifolds, and brackets. Possibly intercooler piping as well
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: digitalsolo on August 15, 2013, 10:41:30 AM
I've used that Hobart and it's a nice entry level welder.   

Do you know how to TIG or MIG?   The TIG will let you do aluminum and such, I can't speak to how good the Everlast is though, never used one (never TIG welded for that matter).    You're comparing pretty damn different setups there though.
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: Mtalon on August 15, 2013, 12:07:42 PM
I don't know how to do either. I know tig and mig are pretty different. But for what I will be doing is a baseline tig worth the extra pennies for a first welder.

I always like to get more than what I need. Call it a curse

Sent from my SGH-I317 using Tapatalk 2

Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: SuperSlow on August 15, 2013, 12:40:43 PM
One thing to consider is that some people charge out the ass for welding aluminum. If you dont have anyone that will do your welding at a decent price then it might just be cheaper to jump straight to a tig.

There is a member here who has a line on used machines, ill have to check my pm box to remind me of his sn.
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: Mtalon on August 15, 2013, 01:13:03 PM
That's my thought. If I need 6-700 bucks in welding done and I can get something for under double that. Then why not.

I just need something that can run 110/115

Sent from my SGH-I317 using Tapatalk 2

Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: SuperSlow on August 15, 2013, 01:33:03 PM
Bowtie7 is his name on here.
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: Exidous on September 10, 2013, 05:29:04 PM
Longevity makes a 110v TIG. I have the 160 SX. At 160 amps it pulls about 35amps from the wall. Most I can get from 110v circuit is about 85A. Which is enough for SS exhaust as long at your are only doing V-bands and no 1/2" 3 bolt flanges. I tried to do some flanges and could only do about 1.5" before the breaker would pop. Was very slow. Now I'm in Holland and the 220V/15A gives me a little more head room. The extra 1100VA goes a long way. Now if I could just find a decent argon distributor.

The only downfall to the 160 or 200SX is the fixed freq for Aluminum. I think it's fixed at whatever the input voltage is. 50/60Hz.
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: frijolee on September 10, 2013, 06:56:04 PM
Only if this is your JOB and/or you own a welding and fabrication business.  If you want one for a hobby/light production welder, I wouldn't even buy a Miller 200, I'd avoid the "blue tax" altogether and buy an HTP Invertig.  In fact, I have one here and run it more than any welder in the shop, and their customer service is the best I've ever seen.

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

For what it's worth this had me curious enough that I just did some looking.  The HTP 201 has now been replaced by the 221.  It's sounds as good or better than the previous model while being up to 220 amps (vs. 200) and going on a diet from 68 lbs down to 40.  It as has a new dual voltage (110/220) option for +$500.

Oh and it looks like HTP has offered a pre-black friday deal for about $300 off the 201 and/or 221 for the last couple years so I know I'll be looking to see if they do that come the end of this month.  $2195 as a turn key kit would have me seriously tempted.  Need to talk with the Mrs.

http://www.usaweld.com/TIG-WELDER-Invertig-221-Welder-p/70221-12.5.htm (http://www.usaweld.com/TIG-WELDER-Invertig-221-Welder-p/70221-12.5.htm)
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: frijolee on October 14, 2013, 05:32:10 PM
FYI:  The HTP pre-black Friday sales starts tomorrow.  This year's deal is $200 off a welder plus $100 free accessories.  I only found out about the deal because I called today to see if they would could honor last year's black friday price early for me (without me waiting for November).  Turns out the deal is getting started a little earlier than I expected.   

A) I got connected to a real person in two rings B) they hooked me up even though I was early.  No special waivers required, the gal on the phone just did it.

Heading my way:

-Invertig 221, Dual Voltage
-25' torch / pedal upgrade
-25' ground upgrade, (only charged me $60 since they were out of ground extensions)
-Flow control (included in the kit)
-Torch holder
-Random automotive encyclopedia (just because it looked fun).  http://www.usaweld.com/Hemmings-Car-Encyclopedia-p/hmen2011.htm (http://www.usaweld.com/Hemmings-Car-Encyclopedia-p/hmen2011.htm)

Should be fun...

Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: Russell Walker on October 14, 2013, 10:22:48 PM
I've heard really good things about the Invertig, my buddy has one and says he likes it more than his Dynasty except that the pedal sucks.


Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: Exidous on October 24, 2013, 09:07:07 AM
That invertig has SO many more options than my Longevity. Looks like a nice unit. I just wish mine could adjust the A/C frequency then I'd be set.
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: wickedrx7 on December 15, 2013, 08:14:14 PM
Looks like I am finally going to step up to a welder, originally thought about a hobart but then saw the eastwood.  Gets some pretty good reveiws and can't beat the price.  Any thoughts or negatives about it.  http://www.eastwood.com/mig-175-welder-cart-and-helmet-kit.html (http://www.eastwood.com/mig-175-welder-cart-and-helmet-kit.html)
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: SOB Racing on December 15, 2013, 09:27:46 PM
My neighbor just bought the Eastwood welder with the plasma setup and likes it.
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: Exidous on December 16, 2013, 02:44:04 AM
As long as you aren't planning on Aluminum welding that's not a bad choice at all!
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: wickedrx7 on December 16, 2013, 07:54:39 AM
My plan is to get this and then down the road step up to a tig if I get to that point. I do plan on welding some alumnin here and there.  Why so against aluminum welding with a mig? I know you can't go that thin but it looks like people have had some success with this unit and aluminum.
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: SOB Racing on December 16, 2013, 09:15:06 PM
As long as you aren't planning on Aluminum welding that's not a bad choice at all!

Why?   It came with a spool gun for Al.    I used a Miller spool gun setup (another friends) and they work OK, not a substitute for TIG, but worked for me.
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: wickedrx7 on December 16, 2013, 10:18:53 PM
As long as you aren't planning on Aluminum welding that's not a bad choice at all!

Why?   It came with a spool gun for Al.    I used a Miller spool gun setup (another friends) and they work OK, not a substitute for TIG, but worked for me.

Just ordered the Eastwood so we will see!
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: Dvous on December 18, 2013, 07:14:27 PM
I picked up an AHP 200dx Tig a while back, it's a chinese product, controlled by an American company.  Service is outstanding.  I paid a little less than $700 for it on an introductory buy, since then i've seen nothing but good reviews including my own.  It also has a lot more options than the comparable everlast or longevity.  Not sure where the pricing stands now, but the rep. told me it was going to be around $1200 once the first few hundred units went.

As far as a mig, being that the price point is much easier to swallow i'd stick with a USA made product.  I got my lincoln mig and everything I needed to get welding for like $800.
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: digitalsolo on December 18, 2013, 07:18:53 PM
I picked up my Miller MIG for 400 bucks on eBay.   I had to drive a few hours to pick it up, but it had less than 1 spool put through it.  I love the thing.
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: mobythevan on January 09, 2014, 11:12:58 AM
Looks like I'm going to order a Hobart EZ-TIG 165 for $1350.  After reading these threads and the yellow bullet threads it seems like a good hobby machine.  Until I learn more about tig I can't select a better machine anyway.  Unless JAX04 jumps in and says he wished he never bought the Miller Diversion 165.  I need to spend a couple years learning and then I will know why I want or if I need certain features on a machine.

[EDIT]: it is ordered, will be here early next week.  Prime shipping on Amazon.   
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: jax04 on January 09, 2014, 03:08:54 PM
I think you have made a good choice, to be honest. 

I enjoy my machine, and you've got a one up on me already, the hobart comes with foot control... I hated the hand controls.


Once you get her setup and running, take some pics man, remember, 100% Argon.  On my normal welding, where im not anywhere crazy, i run about 25cfh, for anything ive done my car, i like the #9 torch with a 7nozzle, I THINK, i dont remember the nozzle off hand. 

Ive ran my gas up real high, like 50s when i was trying to weld into an area where i had to extend the electrode out a good ways to reach in there, merge pipes come to mind, welding the inside the "Y".

remember a few things, CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN your material, always use separate stainless brushes for steel vs alum, and a needle point tungsten, those things will make your life much easier to get moving. 

oh yeah, get you a GOOD hood.  I've learned my lesson using cheap ass hoods with a single sensor bar etc.  Your face and hands are going to be so close to the action now, its very easy to block the sensor and BLAM, your blinded for a second, lol.  Miller Elite is coming my way soon.  I have a pair of Kobalt mid length welding gloves that i love too. 20 bucks, great buy.

Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: mobythevan on January 09, 2014, 03:16:42 PM
Excellent, thank you for the tips.
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: ls3_rob on January 09, 2014, 04:40:42 PM
what do you guys thank about these?

All I need them for is stainless steel exhaust tacking

Lincoln 115v
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Lincoln-Electric-Weld-Pack-HD-Feed-Welder-K2188-1/100031840# (http://www.homedepot.com/p/Lincoln-Electric-Weld-Pack-HD-Feed-Welder-K2188-1/100031840#)

Campbell Hausfeld 115 volt
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Campbell-Hausfeld-115-Volt-100-Amp-MIG-Flux-WG2160/202754695# (http://www.homedepot.com/p/Campbell-Hausfeld-115-Volt-100-Amp-MIG-Flux-WG2160/202754695#)

Chicago electric 110
http://www.harborfreight.com/170-amp-migflux-wire-welder-22-volts-110-amps-68885.html (http://www.harborfreight.com/170-amp-migflux-wire-welder-22-volts-110-amps-68885.html)

century 80gl
http://www.centurytool.net/K2501_1_Century_80_Amp_Flux_Cored_Wire_Feed_Welder_p/k2501-1.htm (http://www.centurytool.net/K2501_1_Century_80_Amp_Flux_Cored_Wire_Feed_Welder_p/k2501-1.htm)
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: DDv8 on January 09, 2014, 10:34:58 PM
what do you guys thank about these?

All I need them for is stainless steel exhaust tacking


Just make sure you tack in stainless (mig with gas) no flux core,  otherwise you need to grind the tacks compleatly away to avoid rust spots from contamination.

DD

Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: Dvous on January 10, 2014, 12:46:38 PM
what do you guys thank about these?

All I need them for is stainless steel exhaust tacking

Lincoln 115v
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Lincoln-Electric-Weld-Pack-HD-Feed-Welder-K2188-1/100031840# (http://www.homedepot.com/p/Lincoln-Electric-Weld-Pack-HD-Feed-Welder-K2188-1/100031840#)

Campbell Hausfeld 115 volt
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Campbell-Hausfeld-115-Volt-100-Amp-MIG-Flux-WG2160/202754695# (http://www.homedepot.com/p/Campbell-Hausfeld-115-Volt-100-Amp-MIG-Flux-WG2160/202754695#)

Chicago electric 110
http://www.harborfreight.com/170-amp-migflux-wire-welder-22-volts-110-amps-68885.html (http://www.harborfreight.com/170-amp-migflux-wire-welder-22-volts-110-amps-68885.html)

century 80gl
http://www.centurytool.net/K2501_1_Century_80_Amp_Flux_Cored_Wire_Feed_Welder_p/k2501-1.htm (http://www.centurytool.net/K2501_1_Century_80_Amp_Flux_Cored_Wire_Feed_Welder_p/k2501-1.htm)

all of those (in factory configuration) use flux-core wire with no shielding gas.  For SS you need solid wire and shielding gas.  However atleast the lincoln should accomodate shielding gas if you buy the kit for it.  I have a Lincoln 140 mig converted to run gas, it works fantastic for small stuff.

You can use the flux core for certain things, but for exhaust not too many people will advise it due mostly to the inherent pin holes in the bead, the spatter that is going to get everywhere, and the residue inside the exhaust (this is of particular interest in pre-turbo hotparts, if that's what your doing).
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: nuimpykid on March 09, 2014, 05:11:06 PM
I picked up an AHP 200dx Tig a while back, it's a chinese product, controlled by an American company.  Service is outstanding.  I paid a little less than $700 for it on an introductory buy, since then i've seen nothing but good reviews including my own.  It also has a lot more options than the comparable everlast or longevity.  Not sure where the pricing stands now, but the rep. told me it was going to be around $1200 once the first few hundred units went.

As far as a mig, being that the price point is much easier to swallow i'd stick with a USA made product.  I got my lincoln mig and everything I needed to get welding for like $800.
I bought one of these also. I am learning to tig with it... Interesting experience to say the least!
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: frijolee on August 23, 2016, 08:52:16 PM
HOT DAMN!!!

Back in here to sing some HTP praises.

There's a story here...  On a recent project I started intermittantly getting crappy welds from my Invertig 221.  Up until now the machine has been flawless (three years running).  I was convinced I wasn't cleaning material enough etc, maybe my bottle was on the dregs not sure.  However, a fresh bottle didn't solve it so I finally did some diagnosing and it seemed like I might have a restriction in my power cable's ability to carry argon where it needed to go.  It was especially noticable if I was putting some power through the machine.  I pulled the torch apart and found a small chunk of rubber inside.  There also seemed to be more flow coming out of the machine than out of the torch.  Bummer, hose (aka power cable) might be going.

Yesterday, I dropped USAWeld (HTP's USA branch) an email to see if these things just deteriorate over time and get a quick reply with some basic info and things to check.  Today I get a follow up phone call.  After chatting for a few minutes we work out a test to see if the line might be leaking.  I figure ball's in my court, I'll try the test, but I'm probably going to need to order another.  However, HTP proceeds to check in with their cable supplier and find that yes, there was a material switch around the timeframe I bought my machine 3 years ago with an upgrade to the inner liner.  He calls me back (before I even have a chance to do the pressure test we talked about) and they're going to warranty cable and see me a new one free.

I'm literally blown away.

A three year old hose?  Covered under warranty because they improved something?  Who are these people?

I'm so stoked on HTP welders right now.  @65imp can tell you some nightmare stories about Everlast's service on his machine.  Thumbs up to @Speedfab and norotors for turning me on to these guys in the first place.  Just though y'all should know.

-Joel
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: digitalsolo on August 24, 2016, 09:43:54 AM
Wow, that's a heck of pro way to treat a customer!
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: wickedrx7 on August 24, 2016, 10:42:57 AM
Impressive!
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: Cobranut on August 24, 2016, 10:38:41 PM
Anyone have any experience or opinions with this company and this product?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/322214528942?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT (http://www.ebay.com/itm/322214528942?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT)

They have 100% positive feedback, but only a few hundred reviews.   :scratch:

Thanks,
David
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: SH4DY on August 29, 2016, 12:16:40 PM
No experience with the one above but my little Longevity 140 MIG (110v) has kicked serious ass over the past year and a half. Two cages, subframes, manifolds,multiple exhausts. I think I paid like $550 with the spool gun for Aluminum. Works great with stainless but I can't get it to behave with thin Aluminum but that is probably user error more than anything. Did it's job filling in the ports on the steering rack but I either splatter or burn through aluminum intercooler pipes.
Good choice for the DIY type (stuck with 110v).
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: gc3 on November 28, 2016, 06:29:18 PM
super happy to hear more good things about HTP.
so far no issues with mine, although I've only gone through 2 big tanks so far
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: frijolee on November 28, 2016, 08:12:32 PM
I love my HTP Invertig.  I wish they made a water cooler that matched perfectly like the Miller Dynasty stuff, but at this point I don't do enough continuous welding to worry about it and air cooled has been fine.  That's literally about the only thing I can come up with...

By the way, I happened to call them Friday to see if they're accessories were on any kind of special.  Answer was no, but they were doing the deal on the Invertig again ($200 off and $100 free accessories).  I bet if someone called them shortly you could talk them into giving you the deal.
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: gc3 on November 29, 2016, 10:47:26 AM
I love my HTP Invertig.  I wish they made a water cooler that matched perfectly like the Miller Dynasty stuff, but at this point I don't do enough continuous welding to worry about it and air cooled has been fine.  That's literally about the only thing I can come up with...
I love having my water cooler. especially with the heavier metal work ive been doing recently.
I just made a cart that fits both the cooler and the invertig so the non-matching isn't that big of a deal.
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: Cobranut on December 02, 2016, 12:45:55 AM
Damn, the more I look at TIG units, the more confused I get on what I really need.  :scratch:

I know I want an AC/DC unit that will let me weld aluminum.
I've been reading about the Everlast PowerPro 256Si.
Apparently, HF start is a no-no when working on cars, due to the fact it can zap electronic components.
Unfortunately, this unit is HF start only, no Lift Start mode.  :o

It's looking more and more like I'll need to buy a dedicated TIG and separate Plasma cutter to get all the features I want.

I don't mind spending a couple grand to get a good reliable unit, but for my use, I can't justify what Miller and Lincoln units cost.

Any advice from you guys with experience would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: gc3 on December 02, 2016, 10:35:15 AM
Apparently, HF start is a no-no when working on cars, due to the fact it can zap electronic components.
Unfortunately, this unit is HF start only, no Lift Start mode.  :o

I have heard of this before, and have heard unplugging the pcm and battery are good ideas to avoid frying things.
I've been lazy and have never done this and never had an issue.

is this a real worry?
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: digitalsolo on December 02, 2016, 11:04:10 AM
Seems like you'd have to have a pretty long path between the ground and the torch and put an awful lot of energy in to hurt anything on a car with HF start.    If you keep it grounded near the torch and unhook the PCM, I can't imagine you'd hurt anything.
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: Cobranut on December 02, 2016, 03:07:31 PM
Thanks guys.
I know my motorhome, which has an 8.3 liter Cummins and an Allison MD3060 6-speed auto, has a big warning sticker in the battery box to disconnect the batteries and unplug the transmission controller before welding on the vehicle.

I agree, it seems to me that with your ground point reasonably close to where you're welding, there would be minimal current flow throughout the rest of the vehicle.
I'd just hate to find out the hard (and expensive) way, that it could do damage.  :'(

I've read quite a bit of good stuff about the Everlast PowerPro 256Si.
Anyone on here have any experience with it, or other similar units?

There are just so damn many units out there, with widely varying price points.
I don't want to waste money on an overly expensive unit, but don't want to end up with a POS either.

Thanks again,
David
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: digitalsolo on December 02, 2016, 03:18:02 PM
FWIW, I'm using Nick's AlphaTIG 200DX and it's a pretty sweet little thing for ~700 bucks to your door.   It's a far better machine than I am user of it and is pretty adjustable.     Another local just bought one and is very happy with it also, and he's a welder by trade (though he does stick/MIG at work, not TIG).

For a hobbyist/occasional welder, I think they're a great deal.   They use standard torch/pedals now, and have repair parts available which is always important.

Edit:  I'm pretty inept, but these are done on that machine:

(https://www.norotors.com/gallery/albums/65_Mustang/Dir_7/medium_8668.jpg) (https://www.norotors.com/index.php?action=gallery;sa=view;id=8668)
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: Cobranut on December 02, 2016, 09:04:49 PM
Blake,

Nice looking weld.

I checked out the AHP, and I can buy both their TIG and their 60a Plasma cutter for less than the Everlast combo machine.
I'll give that some serious thought.

Thanks,
David
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: 65imp on December 02, 2016, 09:13:06 PM
I've read quite a bit of good stuff about the Everlast PowerPro 256Si.
Anyone on here have any experience with it, or other similar units?

I had a powerpro 256. 
When it was working it was killer.  But when it went down (3 times) it took 6mo or more for everlast to fix it.  If you call about your repair within the first month they laugh at ya if you ask how long till I can expect it back. 
I'm a newb with TIG, but i found myself buying a better MIG to work with while my TIG was down - which was more often than it was up. 
I sold it recently and picked up a dynasty and hypertherm - so I spent a lot of $ on used units. 

For any tools I have found there is a lot to be said for something that works when you need it to work.  Nothing like starting a job, then getting hamstrung by non working stuff. 

Im a cheap SOB, but I'm learning the value of decent tools. 

That said - a lot of the cheap TIG units seem to have less that can go wrong as compared to the multi-process.  YMMV, but I recommend steering clear of the multiprocess. 
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: Dvous on December 04, 2016, 03:26:14 PM
Blake,

Nice looking weld.

I checked out the AHP, and I can buy both their TIG and their 60a Plasma cutter for less than the Everlast combo machine.
I'll give that some serious thought.

Thanks,
David

Just another positive review for the AHP unit: I've had mine for 3 (or maybe 4? :confused:) years now.  I've got at least a couple dozen tanks of argon through it and it's never let me down.  The only problem I have with it is the flow meter is a POS, but I think they come with a better one now.

Awesome machine for the money.
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: Cobranut on June 23, 2017, 03:55:07 PM
Wow, no shortage of opinions here.  :yay:

I still keep looking back at the Avortec units.
This one has a lot of features for the price, and I like the idea of having everything in one unit, which saves a lot of storage space, as well as being a lot cheaper than individual units.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/AVORTEC-MIG-PRO-250-TIG-AC-DC-pulse-sq-wave-ALUMINUM-SS-PILOT-ARC-PLASMA-ARC-/222533049296?hash=item33d000dbd0:g:OnoAAOSwmLlYAqLH (http://www.ebay.com/itm/AVORTEC-MIG-PRO-250-TIG-AC-DC-pulse-sq-wave-ALUMINUM-SS-PILOT-ARC-PLASMA-ARC-/222533049296?hash=item33d000dbd0:g:OnoAAOSwmLlYAqLH)

I just wish I could find more reviews, other than those that are obviously sponsored by Avortec themselves.

Anyone else had experience with this brand?
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: freeskier7791 on June 23, 2017, 08:49:39 PM
Is this much cheaper than the everlast? Or a used miller or lincoln?

Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk

Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: Cobranut on June 24, 2017, 08:12:33 PM
I've heard of a lot of problems with the Everlast.
 I've been looking at the Miller Synchrowave 210 at around $2800, or the HTP Invertig 221 for about $2400, but I'd still need to buy a Plasma cutter separately.

This Avortec for about $2100 does both, plus runs up to 250 amps, and also includes a spool gun to Mig steel or aluminum.

I'll probably use it 8 hours or less a year, so paying Miller or Lincoln prices seems a bit overkill.

Plus I can put it all on one cart and it takes up less space when not in use.

I'm temped to give it a shot, but really wish I could find more people with experience with it first.   :confused:
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: freeskier7791 on June 25, 2017, 07:43:45 AM
It seems like there are not many reviews for non name brand welders.  If youre not doing a lot of welding Im sure it would do fine

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Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: Cobranut on July 02, 2017, 11:25:49 PM
Well, I pulled the trigger on the Avortec AV6X+Pro combo unit.
I called the number listed and the owner actually answered, on Sunday on a holiday weekend.
He answered my questions and even gave me a deal on a plasma cutting guide, useful for cutting straight edges and circles.
The owner, Jeff, is really enthusiastic about his products, and the fact that he answers the phone on a Sunday makes me feel like I'll get support if I ever do need it.
It should ship tomorrow and UPS says it'll arrive Thursday.

After I practice and try it out a bit, I'll post back here with my impressions.

David
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: Exidous on July 03, 2017, 06:18:32 AM
Curious how you plan on powering it. It says 220/240 single phase. My Longevity said the same thing but I was able to run 2 phase into it. You just leave the neutral off and only use P1, P2 & Earth. Ends up with either 208 or 240 depending on if your 2 phase service is 120* or 180* out of phase.
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: Cobranut on July 03, 2017, 10:03:45 AM
Curious how you plan on powering it. It says 220/240 single phase. My Longevity said the same thing but I was able to run 2 phase into it. You just leave the neutral off and only use P1, P2 & Earth. Ends up with either 208 or 240 depending on if your 2 phase service is 120* or 180* out of phase.

Never seen a service called 2-phase.  :scratch:
Common residential single-phase service actually consists of 2 phases 180* out.
Each leg has 120v to neutral and 240v between legs.

Three-phase is 120* between each phase, so 120v phases have 208v between them.

I have 240v outlets all around my shop, but they're 30a breakers, and wired with #10-3 wire and 20a outlets.
I'm putting in a 50a circuit with #8 wire, and a couple 6-50R outlets today.
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: Exidous on July 03, 2017, 10:30:47 AM
The only caveat to your statements is that I've lived in homes where residential service "2-phase" was 208 meaning using two legs of 3 phase power. From what I was told by the local power company, it was done to distribute load on the 3 phase coming into the area. Three blocks next to each other would be using different phase combinations. 1-2, 2-3 & 3-1. When I was in Hawaii it was 240 "2-phase".

I've personally never seen what comes into a home be called single phase. I am, however, used to the "240 split-phase" service moniker. I've always thought the 208WYE was the most common "2-phase" setup.

That being said, what you're planning should be more than enough for that machine. Was just curious what you were planning on running. Once I finally get into a home I plan on staying in I'll setup a similar service.
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: Cobranut on July 09, 2017, 09:28:17 PM
The Avortec came in Friday.

I picked up a welding cabinet and a tilting/folding welding table at Harbor Freight, and got the unit setup on the cabinet.

I didn't have any Tig filler, and the local Tractor Supply didn't either.
I did get to play with the Plasma Cutter on Saturday though. 
My first few cuts were a little rough, but as I got the feel for it I was able to travel faster and smoother, which made he cuts better.  After a few cuts, I was able to get edge quality similar to a bandsaw, with only a small ridge left on the bottom side of the cuts.

It cuts aluminum and steel like going through butter.   :)  .125" aluminum only took about 25 amps, and .125" steel cut cleanly at only 20 amps.

The cabinet came with only a single bottle rack, so I found some steel angle I had laying around, and cut out a couple of double racks.
This let me mount both Argon/CO-2 and Pure Argon tanks side by side, so to switch gases I just move the regulator.

Avortec also includes a 3-port valve to select shielding gas or air.
To switch from welding to cutting, I simply plug in the air line and turn the valve.  :bacon:

I ordered some filler rod, as well as Lanthanated tungstens, so I can try my hand at TIG next weekend.

Attached a few pics of the setup.

David
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: freeskier7791 on July 13, 2017, 10:29:19 AM
nice! would love to hear how you like the welding.  It seems like the plasma cutter is working well for you
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: skeeg on August 22, 2017, 11:02:57 AM
I've been doing a lot of reading into tig machines, first time welder myself. And hands down the best bang for buck machine is the AHP alphatig 200X. $700 off amazon, the stock pedal sucks, and the torch is eh but both can be upgraded no problem and still come under the others with more adjustment from their budget lines. I've watched countless videos of guys welding with it and they all look great. I think it's better to buy a budget quality machine and be able to get consumables and proper gear.
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: 1point3liter on September 03, 2017, 12:36:58 PM
a local friend bought one of these new licoln square wave tig machines.  I like it.

http://www.lincolnelectric.com/en-us/equipment/Pages/product.aspx?product=K5126-1(LincolnElectric) (http://www.lincolnelectric.com/en-us/equipment/Pages/product.aspx?product=K5126-1(LincolnElectric))
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: freeskier7791 on October 23, 2017, 10:17:33 AM
Does everyone still agree that Everlast sucks?  I am gonna go look at a used 160STH next weekend.  I really can't justify the extra price of the AHP at this point and am thinking this machine will get me through learning TIG and I will upgrade in a few years
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: Cobranut on October 24, 2017, 05:53:58 PM
Here are some pics of the Firebottle mounts I made for the Pro-Challenge car.  I also moved the battery mount to the passenger side.

Tigging the angles together on the bench, where I could get comfy, turned out pretty good.  The pulse function, once I got the settings down, really helped to get good penetration and puddle control without blowing through the metal.

Welding them into the chassis didn't turn out as pretty.  Working vertical and overhead at less than optimum positions made it a lot harder to get good results.  I think they'll hold, but I'm far from ready to start welding suspension parts. LOL

I especially like the fact that TIG produces no spatter at all.  It's slower, but less cleanup makes up for it.

David
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: frijolee on October 25, 2017, 02:08:56 AM
Does everyone still agree that Everlast sucks?  I am gonna go look at a used 160STH next weekend.  I really can't justify the extra price of the AHP at this point and am thinking this machine will get me through learning TIG and I will upgrade in a few years

It works great when it works.  When it doesn't you're in for some hurt.  FWIW It looks like HTP has already started their annual black friday deal on the Invertig 221.  I love this company.
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: freeskier7791 on October 25, 2017, 06:28:17 AM
Nice David is that the first time youve done tig?  I see the paint peeling, i assume you ground it away and cleaned the joint before you welded?

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Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: freeskier7791 on October 25, 2017, 08:17:17 AM
It works great when it works.  When it doesn't you're in for some hurt.  FWIW It looks like HTP has already started their annual black friday deal on the Invertig 221.  I love this company.

They have their accessories on sale as well, I think I might pick up their regulator since its over 50% off
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: Cobranut on October 25, 2017, 10:34:10 AM
Nice David is that the first time youve done tig?  I see the paint peeling, i assume you ground it away and cleaned the joint before you welded?

Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk

Until I bought this unit, I hadn't touched a TIG in 20 years. Even then, it was just briefly.
I practiced on some scraps first, trying to figure out what settings worked best, and to get the feel of handling the torch and filler rod.
It took a while, but all of a sudden I got a nice looking weld, so I noted the settings I used for the type and thickness of metal I was welding.
Next time I'll at least have a good starting point.

Yes, I removed the paint with a wire wheel and wiped it down with acetone. (Tip: Always put your acetone bottle away from your welding area.)  :chug:
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: freeskier7791 on October 25, 2017, 10:47:02 AM
Until I bought this unit, I hadn't touched a TIG in 20 years. Even then, it was just briefly.
I practiced on some scraps first, trying to figure out what settings worked best, and to get the feel of handling the torch and filler rod.
It took a while, but all of a sudden I got a nice looking weld, so I noted the settings I used for the type and thickness of metal I was welding.
Next time I'll at least have a good starting point.

Yes, I removed the paint with a wire wheel and wiped it down with acetone. (Tip: Always put your acetone bottle away from your welding area.)  :chug:

Cool! I can't wait to start learning TIG
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: freeskier7791 on November 02, 2017, 08:23:33 AM
I ended up buying a used Everlast Powerarc 160STH.  I paid $350 for it which I thought was fair.  Here is the best weld from last night, I think I am still running too many amps, but I am having issues with starting the arc when the amperage is too low, almost like the gas is blowing the arc out.  I may just need to get better at foot pedal modulation


(http://cornerbalanced.com/uploads/default/optimized/2X/f/f56f28ed945afd3fc423f933c9222876ebeff93a_1_374x499.jpg)
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: Cobranut on November 02, 2017, 11:28:25 AM
I ended up buying a used Everlast Powerarc 160STH.  I paid $350 for it which I thought was fair.  Here is the best weld from last night, I think I am still running too many amps, but I am having issues with starting the arc when the amperage is too low, almost like the gas is blowing the arc out.  I may just need to get better at foot pedal modulation


(http://cornerbalanced.com/uploads/default/optimized/2X/f/f56f28ed945afd3fc423f933c9222876ebeff93a_1_374x499.jpg)

Does that unit have HF start, or do you have to scratch start it?
With mine I can hear the HF start pulse, which switches off as soon as the arc starts.
Once in a while I won't have the tungsten close enough to the work, and it doesn't start an arc.  I just release the pedal for a second and try again when that happens.

Something I found that helps a lot is using pulse mode, which helps maintain the puddle without blowing through the metal as easily.
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: freeskier7791 on November 02, 2017, 12:04:10 PM
It has HF start, It seems like sometimes I have to almost touch the tungsten to get the arc started,  Im thinking I may not be cleaning my tungsten enough.  I do not have pulse unforunately but trying to learn the pedal
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: digitalsolo on November 02, 2017, 12:28:35 PM
The AlphaTIG I use has HF start, but it does occasionally get fussy and I'll do a quick scratch to get it going.   Once I start welding a piece it generally works fine, it's just the very first start that can be inconsistent.
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: freeskier7791 on November 02, 2017, 02:27:19 PM
The AlphaTIG I use has HF start, but it does occasionally get fussy and I'll do a quick scratch to get it going.   Once I start welding a piece it generally works fine, it's just the very first start that can be inconsistent.

Im glad im not the only one, I wonder why that happens maybe the way things are grounded?  HF definitely takes a different path to ground than normal DC current
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: digitalsolo on November 02, 2017, 03:00:23 PM
Yeah, I think HF spends more time in the "skin" layer, but it's been a while since I slept through EE 200 classes.
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: freeskier7791 on November 03, 2017, 01:51:15 PM
Yeah, I think HF spends more time in the "skin" layer, but it's been a while since I slept through EE 200 classes.

Lol something like that.  I work with RF welding machines at work.
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: Cobranut on November 03, 2017, 07:23:21 PM
The HF start function just serves to ionize the gas between the electrode and workpiece, creating a current path without touching the work.
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: freeskier7791 on November 10, 2017, 05:05:59 AM
Ive foind floorimg the pedal is much more effective, before I was rolling into it. If that makes sense

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Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: Cobranut on November 10, 2017, 08:00:05 AM
Ive foind floorimg the pedal is much more effective, before I was rolling into it. If that makes sense

Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk

It does, as a higher voltage will jump a longer air gap.
So basically, you start with a burnout.  :D
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: Cobranut on November 11, 2017, 12:52:15 PM
I welded a bracket for the oil filter mount.
Had quite a bit of difficulty getting a good puddle established.
Every time I'd get the puddle to start to flow, I'd get a weird shower of sparks, and the puddle would get lots of porosity.
I kept going back to reflow it, and it would happen again.
First thought was this tube, which also carries the pedal mount, was chromemoly or something, but it's welded into the rest of the mild steel chassis.
Second idea was contamination on the ID of the tubing.
About the time I finally finished, with a not so pretty bead, it occurred to me that this was a short section of tube, sealed at both ends, and the problem may have been that the air inside the tube heated up and built up pressure, and whenever I'd get a puddle going the internal pressure would blow out through the puddle, both physically disturbing it and allowing oxidation to occur in the liquid steel.

It would blow out so bad I had to grind my tungsten several times to get rid of steel splatter on it.
Next time something like this happens, I'll drill a tiny vent hole somewhere in the section of tube to relieve any pressure buildup.

Any other ideas or suggestions are appreciated.

Hopefully my oil filter won't fall off in the middle of a race.

[attachimg=2][attachimg=3][attachimg=4][attachimg=1]
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: Cobranut on November 11, 2017, 12:59:43 PM
Shit, it looks even worse in the pics than it did in person.  :barf:
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: digitalsolo on November 11, 2017, 06:24:32 PM
Looks like a lot of heat in the tube.   How thick is each piece?    If one is much thicker, you want to concentrate the torch time on that piece.

It looks like a lot of heat and and some contamination to me, but I am very much not a pro.
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: Cobranut on November 11, 2017, 08:17:10 PM
Looks like a lot of heat in the tube.   How thick is each piece?    If one is much thicker, you want to concentrate the torch time on that piece.

It looks like a lot of heat and and some contamination to me, but I am very much not a pro.

Hell, I can't even call myself an amateur yet.  ::)

The plate is probably thicker than the tube wall, but the edge of the plate still wanted to melt more quickly, hence I had to concentrate heat on the tube.

Could oxygen blowing out from the inside of the tube cause that type of problem?  I'm sure it overpowered the Argon when it blew out.
I wish I'd thought to drill a vent hole before I finished.  As it was, each time it blew out, it got a little better, which is why I now think the inner pressure was being reduced.
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: freeskier7791 on November 16, 2017, 10:16:00 AM
Hell, I can't even call myself an amateur yet.  ::)

The plate is probably thicker than the tube wall, but the edge of the plate still wanted to melt more quickly, hence I had to concentrate heat on the tube.

Could oxygen blowing out from the inside of the tube cause that type of problem?  I'm sure it overpowered the Argon when it blew out.
I wish I'd thought to drill a vent hole before I finished.  As it was, each time it blew out, it got a little better, which is why I now think the inner pressure was being reduced.

Looks like lots of contamination, what size nozzle and gas flow are you running?  A vent hole would definitely help too.  Did you wipe everything with acetone before welding too?  What amps are you running, it really looks like there was some undercutting.  Do you have time to grind it off and try again with a hole?
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: Cobranut on November 16, 2017, 03:40:11 PM
Thanks for the input.

The nozzle is whatever was in my WP-26 torch.  Gas flow was set at around 10 CFH I think.

I thought about cutting it off and redoing it, but this is hidden by the aluminum firewall.
I hit it pretty hard a bunch of times with a hammer, it sounded solid and showed no signs of flex or cracking.
I think it'll hold the oil filter mount just fine.
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: freeskier7791 on December 02, 2017, 10:12:01 PM
Heres my first tube project, modified steering link for the fb(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171203/022d7c2803c1d8cc01166e67fcfb4483.jpg)(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171203/d6ee198a88219f4459919dc0dc4383be.jpg)(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171203/664c79da9092d7e22a200c537b0cd009.jpg)

Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk

Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: Cobranut on December 03, 2017, 01:29:00 PM
Looks a lot better than my first attempts.   8)
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: freeskier7791 on December 04, 2017, 10:41:08 AM
Looks a lot better than my first attempts.   8)

Thanks!  I actually messed up and extended the steering arm too much so I have cut it apart and shortened it, more welding practice for me!
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: Cobranut on December 04, 2017, 11:56:06 AM
I don't think I'd want my welding "practice" to be on steering components.   :o
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: freeskier7791 on December 04, 2017, 01:37:13 PM
I don't think I'd want my welding "practice" to be on steering components.   :o

I have no other choice, I'm not too concerned with the strength, more the appearance.  I am adding plenty of filler rod and I know I am getting good penetration.
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: digitalsolo on December 04, 2017, 02:47:46 PM
I am adding plenty of filler rod and I know I am getting good penetration.

That's what she said?
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: wickedrx7 on November 21, 2020, 03:12:17 PM
I am bumping this thread back up because I felt it had a lot of good info in it and I am in the market for a Tig machine. 

I currently have a Eastwood Mig, while it is okay, I do occasionally get some inconsistent welding from it.  It isn't terrible but it does frustrate me from time to time. 

Questions:

1) What are your thoughts on Multi-process machines?  Once you started Tig'ing, do you find yourself not really needing the Mig?  So then my "okay" mig would do the job when I need it?
If I go this route, I am leaning towards the Rebel AC/DC unit - https://www.esabna.com/us/en/products/arc-welding-equipment/multi-process-equipment-cv-cc/rebel-emp-205ic-ac-dc.cfm
The multi-process machine in interesting from a space standpoint as well.
2) If I go standalone Tig Welder, any updates from some of the machines that people have?  Any new Tig's out there that are worth checking out?  I am looking around the 1500-2000 range and will probably stick with a name brand...
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: paul_3rdgen on November 21, 2020, 05:02:58 PM
Interested in this as well.... I want to redo my exhaust and I got some crazy quotes.  I can do it myself with a decent tig welder, I just donít want to break the bank buying one.


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Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: gnx7 on November 22, 2020, 08:50:19 PM
I run a Miller Diversion 165 I bought about 12 years ago.  Does everything I need (s/s and aluminum fab).  For mild steel I have a MIG.
https://bakersgas.com/products/millerdiversion180ac-dctigwelderw-footpedal-907627?variant=28831081922613&campaign=9414230862&adgroup=94697287839&feeditem=&keyword=&matchtype=&device=c&network=u&gclid=CjwKCAiAtej9BRAvEiwA0UAWXrmnu2q2GOxqyhAzbYGSl8ovqRWtTj-1oVf9_2x8YPiTVeiRRWCcKBoCieMQAvD_BwE&creative=419433943578https://ad.atdmt.com/s/go;adv=11242241809840;ec=11242241809912;c.a=9414230862;s.a=google;p.a=9414230862;as.a=94697287839;qpb=1;?bidkw=&dvc=c&h=https://bakersgas.com/products/millerdiversion180ac-dctigwelderw-footpedal-907627%3Fvariant%3D28831081922613&gclid=CjwKCAiAtej9BRAvEiwA0UAWXrmnu2q2GOxqyhAzbYGSl8ovqRWtTj-1oVf9_2x8YPiTVeiRRWCcKBoCieMQAvD_BwE
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: jwvand02 on November 23, 2020, 05:35:23 PM
I picked up a Primeweld TIG225X earlier this year as a learning machine. It was one of the best reviewed cheap import inverter machines. I think one of the major upsides is it starts you with a quality name-brand (CK Worldwide) torch.

Having used it for a while now, I will say I'm very glad I didn't spend more money. At this point and for a long time to come, my physical skill is the limiting factor here. My biggest complaint about the welder itself is that the digital display is only for the welding current, so it takes a little bit of fidgeting to get things like AC balance or pulse settings dialed in. That's not a huge deal if you're perpetually doing 1-offs like I am in my personal garage - if you were doing repeat jobs I think it'd be a dealbreaker.

Also one thing I didn't see coming, having spent plenty of time mig welding, was how much I was going to get nickel-and-dimed on all of the ancillary stuff. Sure you don't need gas lenses or huge cups to learn how to run the machine, but I found quickly that as soon as I was doing something besides butt welding two pieces of flat bar together, I often needed big stickouts to get into corners and stuff. Go get on weldmonger or something and I dare you to spend less than $100. You'll want to experiment with different tungsten types and thicknesses, etc. It adds up.
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: wickedrx7 on November 24, 2020, 04:15:25 PM
I picked up a Primeweld TIG225X earlier this year as a learning machine. It was one of the best reviewed cheap import inverter machines. I think one of the major upsides is it starts you with a quality name-brand (CK Worldwide) torch.

Having used it for a while now, I will say I'm very glad I didn't spend more money. At this point and for a long time to come, my physical skill is the limiting factor here. My biggest complaint about the welder itself is that the digital display is only for the welding current, so it takes a little bit of fidgeting to get things like AC balance or pulse settings dialed in. That's not a huge deal if you're perpetually doing 1-offs like I am in my personal garage - if you were doing repeat jobs I think it'd be a dealbreaker.

Also one thing I didn't see coming, having spent plenty of time mig welding, was how much I was going to get nickel-and-dimed on all of the ancillary stuff. Sure you don't need gas lenses or huge cups to learn how to run the machine, but I found quickly that as soon as I was doing something besides butt welding two pieces of flat bar together, I often needed big stickouts to get into corners and stuff. Go get on weldmonger or something and I dare you to spend less than $100. You'll want to experiment with different tungsten types and thicknesses, etc. It adds up.

I can totally get on board with this rationale, as I am not going to use it much and I tend to overlook all the accessories that will nickel and dime you. Is there any truth to a better machine being easier to setup? Iím starting to see some Lincoln square wave 200 machines come up used here and there for around $1200... not sure if it would be worth the extra $400.

Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: jwvand02 on November 24, 2020, 06:17:36 PM
I picked up a Primeweld TIG225X earlier this year as a learning machine. It was one of the best reviewed cheap import inverter machines. I think one of the major upsides is it starts you with a quality name-brand (CK Worldwide) torch.

Having used it for a while now, I will say I'm very glad I didn't spend more money. At this point and for a long time to come, my physical skill is the limiting factor here. My biggest complaint about the welder itself is that the digital display is only for the welding current, so it takes a little bit of fidgeting to get things like AC balance or pulse settings dialed in. That's not a huge deal if you're perpetually doing 1-offs like I am in my personal garage - if you were doing repeat jobs I think it'd be a dealbreaker.

Also one thing I didn't see coming, having spent plenty of time mig welding, was how much I was going to get nickel-and-dimed on all of the ancillary stuff. Sure you don't need gas lenses or huge cups to learn how to run the machine, but I found quickly that as soon as I was doing something besides butt welding two pieces of flat bar together, I often needed big stickouts to get into corners and stuff. Go get on weldmonger or something and I dare you to spend less than $100. You'll want to experiment with different tungsten types and thicknesses, etc. It adds up.

I can totally get on board with this rationale, as I am not going to use it much and I tend to overlook all the accessories that will nickel and dime you. Is there any truth to a better machine being easier to setup? Iím starting to see some Lincoln square wave 200 machines come up used here and there for around $1200... not sure if it would be worth the extra $400.

Yeah I think there's some truth to that - that's sort of what I was getting at with the whole digital display thing. If you watch some of the welding channels where they have nice machines, they punch in exactly what they want in a matter of seconds and start welding. I have to dick with dials for a while before things work out, and then I weld a nice inch or so before I dip the tungsten and have to cut and re-sharpen it  :D
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: Cobranut on November 24, 2020, 08:04:14 PM
I picked up a Primeweld TIG225X earlier this year as a learning machine. It was one of the best reviewed cheap import inverter machines. I think one of the major upsides is it starts you with a quality name-brand (CK Worldwide) torch.

Having used it for a while now, I will say I'm very glad I didn't spend more money. At this point and for a long time to come, my physical skill is the limiting factor here. My biggest complaint about the welder itself is that the digital display is only for the welding current, so it takes a little bit of fidgeting to get things like AC balance or pulse settings dialed in. That's not a huge deal if you're perpetually doing 1-offs like I am in my personal garage - if you were doing repeat jobs I think it'd be a dealbreaker.

Also one thing I didn't see coming, having spent plenty of time mig welding, was how much I was going to get nickel-and-dimed on all of the ancillary stuff. Sure you don't need gas lenses or huge cups to learn how to run the machine, but I found quickly that as soon as I was doing something besides butt welding two pieces of flat bar together, I often needed big stickouts to get into corners and stuff. Go get on weldmonger or something and I dare you to spend less than $100. You'll want to experiment with different tungsten types and thicknesses, etc. It adds up.

I can totally get on board with this rationale, as I am not going to use it much and I tend to overlook all the accessories that will nickel and dime you. Is there any truth to a better machine being easier to setup? Iím starting to see some Lincoln square wave 200 machines come up used here and there for around $1200... not sure if it would be worth the extra $400.

Yeah I think there's some truth to that - that's sort of what I was getting at with the whole digital display thing. If you watch some of the welding channels where they have nice machines, they punch in exactly what they want in a matter of seconds and start welding. I have to dick with dials for a while before things work out, and then I weld a nice inch or so before I dip the tungsten and have to cut and re-sharpen it  :D

You got that right.  I bought a small grinder and a set of diamond wheels just to use for tungsten's, as you don't want to contaminate it with any other metal.
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: jwvand02 on November 24, 2020, 09:32:00 PM
I picked up a Primeweld TIG225X earlier this year as a learning machine. It was one of the best reviewed cheap import inverter machines. I think one of the major upsides is it starts you with a quality name-brand (CK Worldwide) torch.

Having used it for a while now, I will say I'm very glad I didn't spend more money. At this point and for a long time to come, my physical skill is the limiting factor here. My biggest complaint about the welder itself is that the digital display is only for the welding current, so it takes a little bit of fidgeting to get things like AC balance or pulse settings dialed in. That's not a huge deal if you're perpetually doing 1-offs like I am in my personal garage - if you were doing repeat jobs I think it'd be a dealbreaker.

Also one thing I didn't see coming, having spent plenty of time mig welding, was how much I was going to get nickel-and-dimed on all of the ancillary stuff. Sure you don't need gas lenses or huge cups to learn how to run the machine, but I found quickly that as soon as I was doing something besides butt welding two pieces of flat bar together, I often needed big stickouts to get into corners and stuff. Go get on weldmonger or something and I dare you to spend less than $100. You'll want to experiment with different tungsten types and thicknesses, etc. It adds up.

I can totally get on board with this rationale, as I am not going to use it much and I tend to overlook all the accessories that will nickel and dime you. Is there any truth to a better machine being easier to setup? Iím starting to see some Lincoln square wave 200 machines come up used here and there for around $1200... not sure if it would be worth the extra $400.

Yeah I think there's some truth to that - that's sort of what I was getting at with the whole digital display thing. If you watch some of the welding channels where they have nice machines, they punch in exactly what they want in a matter of seconds and start welding. I have to dick with dials for a while before things work out, and then I weld a nice inch or so before I dip the tungsten and have to cut and re-sharpen it  :D

You got that right.  I bought a small grinder and a set of diamond wheels just to use for tungsten's, as you don't want to contaminate it with any other metal.

Yeah, I struggled a lot with wandering/unreliable arcs until I stopped using my general use belt sander to sharpen tungsten
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: wickedrx7 on November 26, 2020, 08:43:02 AM
After much research and sole searching, I am going to go with the Alpha Tig 201XD.   https://ahpwelds.com/catalog/tig

This machine gets really high marks, they now includes a decent foot pedal, Torch and you can't beat the $640 price point right now...  For the amount I am going to use it, it just didn't make sense to spend 2-3 times that amount.  I will have a good amount of money to invest in consumables, a good welding table and cart. 


Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: jwvand02 on November 26, 2020, 01:17:49 PM
After much research and sole searching, I am going to go with the Alpha Tig 201XD.   https://ahpwelds.com/catalog/tig

This machine gets really high marks, they now includes a decent foot pedal, Torch and you can't beat the $640 price point right now...  For the amount I am going to use it, it just didn't make sense to spend 2-3 times that amount.  I will have a good amount of money to invest in consumables, a good welding table and cart.
Good choice - I was originally going to get this one but they could never keep them in stock
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: stubbyfoil on December 16, 2020, 07:53:54 AM
I've been using AHP Alphatig 201xd for a few months now. I had the AlphaTig 200 for 6 years before that. The unit was still going strong, but I decided to let a buddy "borrow" it and it got trashed transporting it. I scored the 201xd for $660 and its better in every way. Pedal, Torch, Arch. All around it seems like a nicer machine. Perfect for the weekend hobbyist. I built 3+ race cars with my last one on top of fixing a few odds and ends around the house. AHP all the way for the hobbyist!
Title: Re: WHICH WELDER TO BUY?
Post by: wickedrx7 on December 16, 2020, 10:36:29 AM
Just fired up the Alpha Tig last night and played a little!  All around, I don't have a single complaint with the unit and I am glad I went with a lower cost machine to start.  I don't foresee this machine limiting me at this point. 

Now I just need to work on my skill level, which I really enjoy seeing my own progression.  It definitely reminds me of Gas welding back in the day, but a lot more control.