Push-Pull gun or TIG?
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  1. #1
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    May 2012
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    Push-Pull gun or TIG?

    I'm in the process of slowly building up my arsenal of welding equipment. Only being 20 years old I don't have a lot of money to spend on welding equipment but when I do I try to make sure I'm going to get the most bang for my buck. I'm looking to buy something to weld aluminum with. I have a MM252 I am thinking about buying a Push/Pull gun for since I already have the machine. However for about the same price I pay for a Push/pull gun for my 252 I could buy a Everlast 250ex Tig welder. Most of what I would be welding would be 1/8'' or thicker but on occasion I would have to weld some thin stuff. I'm not a welding noob by no means, ive worked in a welding shop since I was 15, but most of what I weld is structural steel. I only weld aluminum on occasion when we have the occasional customer that needs something repaired in a hurry. I just cant seem to make up my mind on whether buying a cheap Tig or if it would be more beneficial to me to buy a Push pull gun for my Miller that I know is reliable and wont break on me. Anyone have any suggestions on this?
    Last edited by YoungBlood; 05-27-2012 at 07:12 PM.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Tampa FL
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    462

    Re: Push-Pull gun or TIG?

    I would stick with quality tools. Just my opinion. You could start with the miller gun and later add a decent tig welder. Shop C/L for a used syncrowave.

  3. #3
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    Re: Push-Pull gun or TIG?

    Not the same machine, but interesting reading.

    http://weldingweb.com/showthread.php?t=124011


    Get a push/pull for the Miller.
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  4. #4
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    May 2012
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    Re: Push-Pull gun or TIG?

    Quote Originally Posted by LarryO View Post
    Not the same machine, but interesting reading.

    http://weldingweb.com/showthread.php?t=124011


    Get a push/pull for the Miller.
    Thanks for the link! This just reassures my opinion on buy a push pull gun and staying away from the chinese stuff
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  5. #5
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    Oct 2009
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    Re: Push-Pull gun or TIG?

    push pull is a nice option over a spool gun, but have you ever welded aluminum with a pulsing welder? 10%-20% less heat input for the same quality of weld can make things come out with a lot less distortion, let alone how much easier the pretty looking weld can be.
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  6. #6
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    May 2012
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    25

    Re: Push-Pull gun or TIG?

    Quote Originally Posted by turk View Post
    push pull is a nice option over a spool gun, but have you ever welded aluminum with a pulsing welder? 10%-20% less heat input for the same quality of weld can make things come out with a lot less distortion, let alone how much easier the pretty looking weld can be.
    unfortunately i have never had the chance to weld with a pulsed mig with the push pull set up. for that matter I have never welded with a push pull gun on a regular mig welder either. The shop I worked at a couple years ago had a nice lincoln pulsed mig but i was never allowed to use it. It was the shop foremans baby and the last thing he wanted was some young man my age abusing it lol

    Maybe later on in the future I will be able to afford a mm350 alumapro and see what pulsed mig welding is all about
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  7. #7

    Re: Push-Pull gun or TIG?

    You could start with the miller gun and later add a decent tig welder

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Long Island, Socialist Republic of NY
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    Re: Push-Pull gun or TIG?

    Buy a used miller Syncrowave. MIG welding aluminum with a spool gun is not easy, at least for me.

  9. #9
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    Apr 2010
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    Kenai, Alaska
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    372

    Push-Pull gun or TIG/ decision

    youngblood,
    If your decision is influenced by your remark that you don't weld aluminum except in small repair jobs, then it sounds like the TIG set up was most useful to you?

    I'm not experienced in any brand of power supply but Hobart (antique CyberTIG), Lincoln and Miller so I'm not making brand recommendation; just talking about the process's usefulness to your work.

    Aluminum MIG, exactly like steel, is most useful for longer/more/extended seams. If all your welds are a few inches long or less then TIG sounds like it would be the tool?

    I think your use of the new tool is the most important decision factor. And I agree that used name brand equipment is a good value, I've seen both Miller and Lincoln TIG power supplies go for low cost and they have decades of use left in them. Maybe they're short of the newer arc control features but they're still running well and usually continue; great values for the costs.

    cheers,
    Kevin Morin

  10. #10
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    May 2012
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    25

    Re: Push-Pull gun or TIG/ decision

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Morin View Post
    youngblood,
    If your decision is influenced by your remark that you don't weld aluminum except in small repair jobs, then it sounds like the TIG set up was most useful to you?

    I'm not experienced in any brand of power supply but Hobart (antique CyberTIG), Lincoln and Miller so I'm not making brand recommendation; just talking about the process's usefulness to your work.

    Aluminum MIG, exactly like steel, is most useful for longer/more/extended seams. If all your welds are a few inches long or less then TIG sounds like it would be the tool?

    I think your use of the new tool is the most important decision factor. And I agree that used name brand equipment is a good value, I've seen both Miller and Lincoln TIG power supplies go for low cost and they have decades of use left in them. Maybe they're short of the newer arc control features but they're still running well and usually continue; great values for the costs.

    cheers,
    Kevin Morin
    Yes i will only be doing small repair jobs, nothing huge. The only reason I was leaning towards a push pull gun is because 98% of the under the shield time i have had welding aluminum is with a MIG. I figured since i already know how to lay a decent aluminum bead with a MIG i wouldnt have to spend time honing my TIG skills.

    But after searching around I think im going to hold off a few more weeks, save a little more money and have to turn down a few jobs. But im going to bite the bullet and buy a Miller Syncwave 200. It will be stretching my budget but after doing some research on Everlast I realized you get what you pay for. Thanks for all the input Guys
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  11. #11
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    Re: Push-Pull gun or TIG?

    I'd buy a TIG over a spoolgun any day. Tig is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more flexible for repairs that a spoolgun.
    Welding/Fab Pics: www.UtahWeld.com

  12. #12
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    Nov 2009
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    Maryland
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    Re: Push-Pull gun or TIG?

    Not sure if I would go with a push-pull arrangement. As you said, you only do aluminum occasionally.
    I'd consider a spool gun like a 30A. I think E-bay new is something like $1000 and used closer to $600. Not only does your welder support gun on demand - allowing you to keep the spool gun hooked up and keeping the internal spool ready to go, but it allows you to buy small quantities for the quick jobs. Keep in mind, all spool guns are bulky.
    With the digital meters on the 252, spool guns are particularly nice and easy to setup and re-set to known settings.

    Now, the bad news. Aluminum MIG is a spray transfer process. More or less in the flat with rather thicker pieces. I'm sure people with higher skills can stretch the envelop beyond what I can do, but adding a spool gun will probably not mean you can do every aluminum project. Also aluminum requires pure argon (not bad on price, but a 2nd bottle you _must_ have).

    Generally speaking, a TIG machine is much more versatile. 99% of the work can be done with straight Argon. Same torch, same collets, same electrodes etc. Only really need to adjust the size and of course the filler.

    The bad news there is the skill level for TIG is a bit higher (need to use both hands and possibly one foot in tight coordination. Not impossible to learn, just requires practice and you need to re-practice if you put it down for too long. It is also much more intensive as far as concentration level and over all travel speeds tend to be significantly slower.

    Personally, I went with the TIG + stick welder route before MIG. I added MIG later. MIG is now my go-to process with TIG/stick as a 2nd option. Keep in mind I have a pulse MIG and can easily (for me) do thinner aluminum with the MIG (thinner means < 1/8"). TIG is for precision stuff (very small), and stick for ugly stuff and outdoor stuff (basically too lazy to drag gas bottle out there).
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  13. #13
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    May 2012
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    Re: Push-Pull gun or TIG?

    Thanks for all the info everyone. This is such a hard decision as i could really use both a TIG and a spool gun but with only being 20 years old and living pay check to pay check i think im just going to buy a TIG. This way I can weld thin stuff whether it be aluminum or stainless or steel. If i come across anything to thick for my TIG to weld i can always just weld it at work. Maybe I will pick up a few more jobs with my TIG and buy a spool gun sometime on the next few months to tackle thicker aluminum my TIG wont handle.
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  14. #14
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    May 2012
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    United States
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    Re: Push-Pull gun or TIG?

    well im a beginner welder not certified yet. but from what my instructor told me. you want what has the higher deposition rate. for example if your stick welding somthing and you have the option to use wire feed. you would be better off using the wire feed. stick welding takes longer than wire feed welding. but the process you use depends on what your welding and how your welding it! you want what will get your work done in the fastest most proficient way without using the wrong processes.
    Last edited by Welderman2495; 05-31-2012 at 05:30 PM.

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