So, you really want a Tig welder.......Here are the things I considered before buying

Discussion in 'Workshop Tips and Secrets / Tools' started by ekimneirbo, Mar 14, 2012.

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  1. Nov 20, 2012 #21

    bmcj

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    Re: So, you really want a Tig welder.......Here are the things I considered before bu

    I also agree!
     
  2. Jul 28, 2014 #22
    Re: So, you really want a Tig welder.......Here are the things I considered before bu

    Since there is some discussion of welders again, I thought I would do a post and float this back up to the top where some of the posters would see it.
     
  3. Jul 28, 2014 #23

    Pops

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    Re: So, you really want a Tig welder.......Here are the things I considered before bu

    I love my Miller. Dan
     
  4. Jul 28, 2014 #24

    dcstrng

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    Re: So, you really want a Tig welder.......Here are the things I considered before bu

    Okay, that is just plain purty… wish I could get an inch of bead out in the flat that looked that good, let alone wrapped around like a corkscrew in a cluster… Mine hold just fine (so far), but looks more like a grammar kid’s unfinished modeling clay project next to that… oomph… :grin:
     
  5. Jul 28, 2014 #25

    TFF

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    Re: So, you really want a Tig welder.......Here are the things I considered before bu

    That beautiful weld was made possible because of the TIG, but the TIG did not make the weld, the welder did. Whatever the weld process, never buy less; buy more. No one needs a $10,000 miller unless it is for work, but if you buy less or the cheapest and you are new, you will not know if it is your skill or the machine which is the bottleneck of learning. With welding there is a timing aspect, visual aspect, perception aspect, and a physical aspect; the machine does none of that. That picture up there is hitting on all cylinders; I weld like I have two spark plugs fouled. I do Ok, but dude above Oxy/A will look better than my TIG forever. I make it work; I make it acceptable. My Boss' dad was a pro welder; at age 94 I got his truck DC welder running as something to do and we started playing with it. With his age I could tell he was slowing, but I could also tell I dont have the lifetime to be as good a welder as he was at 94.
    Back to the point, you need a good welder and practice time and ability to analyze your mistakes if you have no help. Really being able to analyze the weld and figuring out how to make corrections is what welding is about. When you can do that you can work in any process with minimal help. Machine is really a secondary problem. If only EAA Grand Champion welds are ok one of two things will happen, you will devote your life to get good enough with nothing altering your focus, or you will fail. If you want to weld to make something competently, way more possible. You can be 80% quickly. That last 20% is lifetime; he is so good he does nothing else. As process, I am the Jack of all trades and master of none type. I can weld a little, do a little machining, a little carpentry, a little metal work, some engine work. I'm not the best at any of them; top drawer is full of hammers. I personally would be too board; I dont have infinite focus. I do bow to the best at whatever they do.
     
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  6. Jul 28, 2014 #26

    Pops

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    Re: So, you really want a Tig welder.......Here are the things I considered before bu

    I welded high pressure coal fired boiler tubes building electric power plants during the 60's and 70's, all 100% xray, and have welded all of my life, and went to Babcock and Wilcox welding school in my Boilermaker's apprenticeship in the 60's. But a close friend of mine of 40 years, that works with me 2-3 days a week in my hanger/shop can make welding works of art. He worked for a Dupont chemical plant as their specially welder for 35 years. I'll just a beginner compared to him. Dan
     
  7. Jul 29, 2014 #27
    Re: So, you really want a Tig welder.......Here are the things I considered before bu

    The thingis that we would all like to make beautiful "stacks of dimes" type welds every time, but you can still make an acceptable and strong weld without being perfect every time. Any welding takes practice in order to become better at it. When I was in the Navy going through a ship overhaul in Mare Island shipyard.....there was a guy on our ship that was a certified welder for nuclear power plants. He got a section of I Beam and started welding on it for practice. He said he was going to keep practicing until the I beam became a solid bar. It helped that the Navy was footing the bill for the rods. If someone welds every day for a living they will be better at it than most hobbists. Don't let that deter you. If you weld similar materials all the time, you will develop a feel and get the machine adjusted to suit the situation. Your welds will look better. On the other hand, if you weld different thickness materials all the time, you have to guess a little more about where to set the machine, and your welds suffer. Many of the perfect welds you see are by people who weld every day on exactly the same material, so don't over complicate trying to TIG by thinking all welds are failures if they aren't beautiful too. When you first start out, instructors will tell you to attempt to weld two edges together without any additional rod material. Once you get comfortable doing that, you start dabbing a rod into the puddle. It just takes a little practice is all, its not insurmountable.
     
  8. Jul 29, 2014 #28

    TFF

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    Re: So, you really want a Tig welder.......Here are the things I considered before bu

    I think that was my point. Getting a welder and practicing is way more important than any machine. Just dont get too cheap or buy one and try to make it do things its not suppose to. Every weld requires adjustment throughout the weld. If you cant judge that, it wont stick together much less look like a weld. Once you know what it is suppose to look like you can go to any type of welding machine and in 10 min be welding just about anything. Might not be professional quality, but it wont fall apart. If you cant see puddles and weld joining metals; you will have problems. That has nothing to do with machines. That is why people think MIG will be easier, but it is actually harder in aviation quality welding because the flow together is not really in control of the welder; the machine is just throwing weld; no changing dwell, no changing amps for more heat. It just throws weld.
     
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  9. Jul 29, 2014 #29

    TFF

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    Re: So, you really want a Tig welder.......Here are the things I considered before bu

    Multiplaz. Welding, Cutting, Soldering, Brazing... I got a buddy who wants one of these. He thinks he can carry this around in his car which has 500 lbs of tools and fix 4130 airframes, and then take it home and use it because it will cut bricks. He wants a machine that will do everything for him; he does not want to learn to weld. I tell him it will be a disappointment because it will not do anything well.
     
  10. Jul 30, 2014 #30
    Re: So, you really want a Tig welder.......Here are the things I considered before bu

    Often.....make that "Far too often" you can't convince friends that they will be wasting money if they buy a cheap or multi-purpose tool. They subconsciously fixate on the cost of the tool and it overwhelms any other logical conclusion. There are probably some exceptions (Swiss Army Knife ), but basically every multipurpose tool I have ever seen usually ends up setting in a corner somewhere...unused. Its usually too time consuming to switch back and forth between functions, and they usually don't provide the best quality result. Look at the little combination lathe/milling machines. They initially look like a nice tool, but actually are very limited and time consuming to use. The buyer uses it once or twice and then it sits there occupying space. There are certain tools that should be purchased with the idea of spending enough money to get a quality unit. Compressors,welders,plasma cutters, lathes,mills,sheet metal brakes,and shears all fall into this catagory. The buyer (or his wife) will convince themselves that the initial cost outlay is too prohibitive and they will settle on a lesser unit that they convince themselves will suffice. How many times have you seen someone disatisfied with one of the exceedingly loud/won't run an air tool cheap compressors? Search out a good condition used compressor with a large amp 5hp motor and you never hear any complaint. When you are done with the compressor (if you ever reach that point), its usually worth as much as you paid for it..........while the rinky dink compressor becomes yardsale fodder. The same logic applies to all the other items I mentioned. Except for the welder you can usually recoup your initial expense of purchase for a good used machine. Buy it for $500,$1000, or $3000. Five years from now you can resell it for the same price.....so its a cheaper investment. Buying a welder is a little more of a crapshoot if you purchase a used one. You may get an excellent buy, or you could end up with some junk. If you buy a new one, it will retain 80% of its value for about five years and about half after that. Plasma cutters, which don't really apply to airplane building are another potluck item. I bought a cheap one many years ago. It would cut thin sheetmetal but struggled with 1/8 material. Then a friend who had a Snap On (Century) unit that "just needed a new tip) swapped me for a cheap harbor freight tool he needed. Bought some new tips ($50) hooked it up and shortly thereafter watch the smoke roll out of the machine. Luckily one of the quality manufacturers has a deal where they will give you a several hundred dollar tradein for your old machine. Since I purchased online, the vendor had me ship the torch handle and ID plate to them and gave me the discount. I bought one for myself and my son used the other one to get one for his shop. So, I actually came out ahead on those deals. Look at Craigslist and almost all the units you find are ones that say they will cut 3/16 or less. Disappointed buyers whose machines have had little use. This same logic applies to virtually all major tools in your shop, so don't waste money, just buy wisely and spend what must be spent. You'll recoup it later.
     
  11. Mar 11, 2015 #31

    bmcj

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    Re: So, you really want a Tig welder.......Here are the things I considered before bu

    Just curious what possible reason there was for wanting the picture removed???
     
  12. Feb 22, 2016 #32

    Cynth

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    Re: So, you really want a Tig welder.......Here are the things I considered before bu

    I agree that the Tig/Oxy discussion is just a matter of preference, and I have to say a lot of it has to do with your skill level and the machine you are using. Personally, I have been using the arc170 for a while now. I decided to buy it on a recommendation from a tool shop, and I have to say - it was one of the best advices I was ever given. The run time is long, it never overheated, it is light and especially easy to use. So if you are looking for a good Tig welder, this is my recommendation.

    Welder Uni-Tig 170 DC + Carry Case Arc Lead Set
     
  13. Mar 18, 2016 #33

    ekimneirbo

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    Re: So, you really want a Tig welder.......Here are the things I considered before bu

    I have some new "Food for Thought" that I'm going to post on the choice of an Oxt/Acetylene outfit over a Tig outfit. I'm going to post it on a thread but figured I would update this thread.

    I went to get a small 65 cu ft acetylene tank filled today.It was given to me by a long time friend who acquired it while cleaning out an estate for a widow.

    It turns out that the company I have dealt with for the last 40 years is under different ownership. They no longer sell tanks to anyone ...only lease or rent.
    The cost of refilling an acetylene tank has risen drastically the last few years because of a damaged plant, and the need to acquire gas from South America.
    Once the plant was repaired and working again, the price of gas was supposed to come down. Now that the plant is up and working, apparently that plan was
    changed and the high prices continue. A small appx 65 cu ft tank cost me $68.80 (including tax) to refill. I asked what my large tank would now cost to refill
    and was told appx $135. Getting rediculous.

    When I got home, I called a couple of other local vendors and was told that because I own my tanks but they are from a different company, both of the companies
    I called said they would "only" refill them by sending them out ......no direct exchange.....and it can take up to 2 weeks to get them back. One company explained
    that they only send them out once a week...on Wednesdays. If you bring it in on Thursday, expect two weeks to get them back. The Oxygen tanks can be done
    overnight. IN ALL CASES, they would only do it if you can provide proof of ownership from the company that sold you the tanks. They said they do not
    accept any "Bill of Sale" from a private party or from an Auction.

    Both of these companies were less expensive to refill the tanks than my old source.

    My current Source Small $69 Large $135
    Source WS $47 $81
    Source HS $50 $65


    So if you are considering buying a Oxy/Acetylene outfit because of the initial cost

    , be sure to consider whether anyone will fill them for you,
    and how long it may take along with the costs of refilling. Check it out before you buy anything as it may be different in your area.:cry:
     
  14. Mar 18, 2016 #34

    Turd Ferguson

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    Re: So, you really want a Tig welder.......Here are the things I considered before bu

    I only use acetylene for welding. For cutting, burning, heating or other misc torch use I use LP gas, or as they say around here, propane.
     
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  15. Mar 22, 2016 #35

    Kevin N

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    Re: So, you really want a Tig welder.......Here are the things I considered before bu

    When I want to heat up something for bending etc. I use MAPP gas for the fuel. Will get mo' hotter than propane in my experience. On welding tanks, after doing all this for over 40 years "free" welding tanks are costlier than your own owner bottles. I have large bottles for everything with spares. I learned a long time ago that you only run out of welding gas late saturday afternoon when you are on a roll in your shop.
     
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