Lincoln Precision TIG 185
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  1. #1
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    Jul 2011
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    Lincoln Precision TIG 185

    Does a Lincoln Precision TIG 185 have the power to handle most basic fabrication and repair welding, within reason?
    I wouldn't expect it to weld 1/2" steel plate, but for all around use and as a machine to learn TIG welding on, how do these machines rate?
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    western kentucky
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    Re: Lincoln Precision TIG 185

    I wouldnt go over 1/4" steel with it..

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
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    484

    Re: Lincoln Precision TIG 185

    Quote Originally Posted by Steevo View Post
    Does a Lincoln Precision TIG 185 have the power to handle most basic fabrication and repair welding, within reason?
    I wouldn't expect it to weld 1/2" steel plate, but for all around use and as a machine to learn TIG welding on, how do these machines rate?
    I too am a new guy to TIG, and I think that is an excellent machine for what you are describing. A general guideline for TIG welding steel is one amp of current for every 0.001" of material thickness. Generally that means the 185 unit is good for 3/16" metal (3/16 = 0.1875", very close to the rating of that machine!)

    Welcome to the world of "gotta practice, gotta practice, read up online stuff, look at projects in weldingweb, then practice some more..."

    Do check out the Miller online educational materials. They also have an online TIG calculator for specifics on amperage, filler rod size, Tungsten size, Click here for Miller Online TIG Calculator

    Also spend some time at www.weldingtipsandtricks.com as well.

    Good luck with it!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Southern IL
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    118

    Re: Lincoln Precision TIG 185

    I have never understood why people who are buying a machine for general fab get so worked up about the max amperage of a machine. If you are worried about the duty cycle, running air arc, or will be welding thick aluminum, I understand. Otherwise, it shouldn't be an issue. Not a dig on you Steevo, its just that I read this all the time.

    You can make multiple passes guys. What I mean by that is you could fill a groove weld on 4" thick plate with a machine that puts out 90 amps if you really needed to.

    That 185 will be an excellent machine.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    3,422

    Re: Lincoln Precision TIG 185

    so you guys think you need a 1000 amp machine to weld 1" thick steel ?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Pittsburgh
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    329

    Re: Lincoln Precision TIG 185

    My machine rarely goes over 125 amps with 1/8 8018 for heavy 1/2in and above welds. Full pen welds are achieved by proper joint preparation.
    ESAB MigMaster 275
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    On a farm, north of Scranton, PA
    Posts
    234

    Re: Lincoln Precision TIG 185

    I've built and repaired a lot with this machine. There have only been a handful of times where I lost track of weld time on some thick stainless and tripped the overload. I've since learned that patience and multiple passes are much cheaper than a 1000 amp machine.

    My only gripe is that the pulser doesn't have a good indicator. I digital readout would have been great to speed up setup. I'm just not too great at remembering exactly how fast that little light was blinking. Pulse with the pedal? Often I'm contorted in a place where I have to use a hand amptrol.

    Other than that, I've been happy with it.

  8. #8
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    Feb 2008
    Location
    North of Philly
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    16,317

    Re: Lincoln Precision TIG 185

    Quote Originally Posted by JoshD View Post
    You can make multiple passes guys. What I mean by that is you could fill a groove weld on 4" thick plate with a machine that puts out 90 amps if you really needed to.
    .
    This is not really a true statement taken at face value. It leaves out a lot. There's no way you could get decent welds with only 90 amps on 1" steel, let alone 4" material, without a lot of fancy "tricks" and experience, even running stick. If it's a 90 amp wire machine there's pretty much no chance you'll be able to make that work.

    Yes if you just wanted to glob metal on a plate you could do so, but it would never pass any sort of test in the hands of the average user. I usually use the machines ability to easily produce welds that will pass industry test criteria like bend tests, when used by the average user, as the determination on if it's got enough power. There's a certain minimum amount of power required to get a decent bond between the weld and the base material. That minimum varies depending on material, thickness and process.

    If your statement was true in the real world, there'd be no reason to "waste" money on high amp machines. I will admit the 1 amp per .001 breaks down above a certain point and doesn't apply with stick like it does with tig. Mig sort of splits the extremes. 125 amps with mig is really border line too low to do 1/8" with gas, and 250 amps with mig is way more than what's needed to do 1/4".

    As far as a "starter" tig, that machine is fine. Personally I'd find 185 amps a bit on the light end for alum, but it's got enough power to do 1/8" alum to learn on. As long as you limit yourself to alum 1/8" and below and steel 3/16" and less with tig, you are good. The average person usually doesn't need to weld much heavier with tig in general unless it's alum. Need to do thicker steel? Then run stick and you have enough to do pretty much any thickness the average home user needs to do.
    Last edited by DSW; 05-03-2012 at 12:26 PM.
    .



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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    59

    Re: Lincoln Precision TIG 185

    I have this machine and have very happy with it. If I want to do thick material or I am in a hurry I use the mig machine anyway. I use the tig for all of the thin stuff and anytime I want it to look better as you do have more control than the mig. I also got a smaller air cooled torch for tubing/roll cage work. I don't have the need to weld aluminum thicker than 10 gage so this has worked ok for me. I was a toss up between the Lincoln and the Miller at the time but the Lincoln included the pulse feature at the same price.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    100

    Re: Lincoln Precision TIG 185

    Quote Originally Posted by weldbead View Post
    so you guys think you need a 1000 amp machine to weld 1" thick steel ?
    I had to laugh at that one too....

    For the fact I've ran countless 1" coupon tests in all positions with 3/32" only at around 85-90 amps and have yet(knock on wood) to fail one on an Xray or side bend..and if i decide to use the 1/8" rod,max will be about 130 amps..........

    I've also ran fluxcore and dual shield on 1" and thicker base metals and never even come close to that amperage "needed" rule of thumb theory....

    Gotta love some of those engineering theories they come up with sitting in the office in there kaki's and suite and ties..........
    Lincoln Ranger 8 225
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    International Ironworkers Local 709

    30+ years and counting

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    10

    Re: Lincoln Precision TIG 185

    Thanks for the feedback on your experiences with the Lincoln PT 185 welder, guys.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Southern IL
    Posts
    118

    Re: Lincoln Precision TIG 185

    Quote Originally Posted by FabCrazyGuy View Post
    I had to laugh at that one too....

    For the fact I've ran countless 1" coupon tests in all positions with 3/32" only at around 85-90 amps and have yet(knock on wood) to fail one on an Xray or side bend..and if i decide to use the 1/8" rod,max will be about 130 amps..........

    I've also ran fluxcore and dual shield on 1" and thicker base metals and never even come close to that amperage "needed" rule of thumb theory....

    Gotta love some of those engineering theories they come up with sitting in the office in there kaki's and suite and ties..........
    Thank you for reinforcing my point.

    There is no trick needed for welding extra thick steel with relatively low amps. Its done on a daily basis. You just have to stack a lot of beads.

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