Need advice on TIG welder
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    London Ontario Canada
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    10

    Need advice on TIG welder

    Hi all... I'm new to the boards from Ontario.
    I am presently involved in doing some steel sculpture artwork. I am using 1/8"
    diameter mild steel wire to build this artwork.
    I am currently using a (hand me down) 115 v MIG welder. I believe it is an Italian build of some kind -Decastar 150 E-.
    I am interested at this time in purchasing a TIG machine to do this artwork as
    it has an excellent weld quality and will dramatically cut down on my clean up
    for my finished product. I am now using .030" flux core wire and there is alot of cleanup required as I am very particular about finish.
    Can anybody recommend a TIG welder that is reasonably affordable or a site that has used units so that I can change over my process?
    I would prefer a 115v / 220v unit so I have the mobility to take it places.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    tn
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    974

    Re: Need advice on TIG welder

    What about Millers Econotig?
    weld it like you own it

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    288

    Re: Need advice on TIG welder

    The unit you have sounds like the one from princess auto. As stated, a Miller Econotig would be your cheaper option - there are cheaper off the internet, but what about parts, service, ect.
    Fire!, Fire! Oh wait, that's my torch...

    Lincoln PT-225 TIG
    Lincoln 175 MIG

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    London Ontario Canada
    Posts
    10

    Re: Need advice on TIG welder

    I checked it out ..and yes it is a Princess Auto machine. It works fine for what I am doing...(lotsa clean up though) but I still wanna go with TIG. How much does the Miller machine sell for ?
    I also have been looking on Ebay but I am not sure of the reliability of these machines. Are there any recommended machines that you know of that are available on Ebay etc. or should I stay away from this stuff, I realize parts/repairs could be an issue there.
    Thanx

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    208

    Re: Need advice on TIG welder

    post some pics of your art

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Troutdale, OR
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    512

    Re: Need advice on TIG welder

    Quote Originally Posted by firefist15
    I checked it out ..and yes it is a Princess Auto machine. It works fine for what I am doing...(lotsa clean up though) but I still wanna go with TIG. How much does the Miller machine sell for ?
    I also have been looking on Ebay but I am not sure of the reliability of these machines. Are there any recommended machines that you know of that are available on Ebay etc. or should I stay away from this stuff, I realize parts/repairs could be an issue there.
    Thanx

    Personally, I'd check out Cyberweld for some really good prices on EconoTig's.
    Also, take a look at the ThermalArc Arcmaster 185ACDC. Little more $, but ALOT more machine.
    ThermalArc 185
    MillerMatic 180 w/ Autoset
    Victor Cutskill Oxy/Acetylene
    Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 38
    and spite!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    4,157

    Re: Need advice on TIG welder

    The EconoTIG is good. Mine is for sale if you're interested (I want a 300+ Amp machine). Good shape and cheaper than buying new, plus I will stand behind it.
    John
    - fabricator extraordinaire, car nut!
    - bleeding Miller blue!

    http://www.weldfabzone.com


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    1,183

    Re: Need advice on TIG welder

    As olddad would say your answer is any AC/DC HF unit and ER70S-2,3,6 or ER80S-D2, if it is not a critical weld and you have to meet the tensel requirements . John G.
    SMAW,GMAW,FCAW,GTAW,SAW,PAC/PAW/OFC
    and Shielding Gases. There all here.


    :

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    London Ontario Canada
    Posts
    10

    Re: Need advice on TIG welder

    Thanks alot for the info guys!! I have yet to do some research on any machines and their prices here in town, so I must do that fer sure.
    MicroZone.. what are you asking for your Miller EconoTig ? Is it AC/DC ? What
    comes with the unit ? ie. Foot pedal etc. How old is it ? Is it 115/220 v ?
    Sorry for all the questions !!
    I definately have some research to do about all these machines...I was actually doing this just before checking the forum. In the meantime I will do some digging.
    Thanks everyone....

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    1,183

    Re: Need advice on TIG welder

    NEMA is the controling agency for building a welding machine and underneath, they are the same, except for the bells and whistles. What do you like Blue, Grey, Red, Brown, Green. If they have the same functions, there is not a dimes diference im any of them. John G. In your area, wher do you get the best service???? but there. Jophn G.
    SMAW,GMAW,FCAW,GTAW,SAW,PAC/PAW/OFC
    and Shielding Gases. There all here.


    :

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Troutdale, OR
    Posts
    512

    Re: Need advice on TIG welder

    Quote Originally Posted by MicroZone
    The EconoTIG is good. Mine is for sale if you're interested (I want a 300+ Amp machine). Good shape and cheaper than buying new, plus I will stand behind it.
    The EconoTig is NOT a good welder...Its a great welder, and forgiving too. Has all the right stuff, and less of the "fluff" that probably 90-95% of us will never need/want to know.
    ThermalArc 185
    MillerMatic 180 w/ Autoset
    Victor Cutskill Oxy/Acetylene
    Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 38
    and spite!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    St. Thomas VI. USA
    Posts
    209

    Re: Need advice on TIG welder

    No doubt the econotig is great. Do you do this a lot like for a living? If you do I would recomend moving us one step to an inverter a Maxstar 150stl It will stick and TIG all day every day. It runs off of 110 or 220 and you can get some diferent kits to suit your needs. My unit is a STH and I got it from BR Welding supply on ebay they have an ebay store and a real store in New Jersy cheapest price on the net and I got it for $1600 with free shipping. It even has the remote. The next cheapes price was $1900. The STL should run you about a grand and well worth it.
    Steel Thunder Welding LLC. St. Thomas VI USA
    MM350P
    BOBCAT 3
    MAXSTAR 150 STH
    375 EXTREME PLASMA
    6.5 HP COMPRESOR
    DEWALT 18, 24, AND 36 VOLT
    O/A TORCH SET
    AND SO MUCH MORE I DONT REMEMBER
    ALL IN MY 2005 2500HD EXTENDED CAB L/B

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    London Ontario Canada
    Posts
    10

    Re: Need advice on TIG welder

    Yes I have been looking at a lot of the miller machines. No I dont really do a day to day welding operation. This artwork is a side job for me at the present time. It may well work out to be full time in years to come, but not yet.
    I am mostly interested in the Econotig though due to the AC/DC feature in case I want to do some aluminum as well. I am checking out some used units
    that I have seen advertised. Thanks

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    St. Thomas VI. USA
    Posts
    209

    Re: Need advice on TIG welder

    The AC is very helpful and aluminum is hard to weld at first but after a while you will be welding like a champ. Remember to clean all parts to be welded not just aluminum. I use so many wire wheels it would scare you and I keep at least 4 cans of carborator cleaner in the truck at all times. If I TIG I clean everything no paint no rust no oil just metal. If you do this it goes great. Everytime I get lazy I get reminded to do it right the first time.
    Steel Thunder Welding LLC. St. Thomas VI USA
    MM350P
    BOBCAT 3
    MAXSTAR 150 STH
    375 EXTREME PLASMA
    6.5 HP COMPRESOR
    DEWALT 18, 24, AND 36 VOLT
    O/A TORCH SET
    AND SO MUCH MORE I DONT REMEMBER
    ALL IN MY 2005 2500HD EXTENDED CAB L/B

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    London Ontario Canada
    Posts
    10

    Re: Need advice on TIG welder

    Thanks alot for the info....TIG is the welding operation that I am most unfamiliar with. I have stick welded for ever (it is my favorite) and then learned to MIG. I somehow feel that TIG will soon become my favorite by far once I get a machine at home. I have been practicing at work with the machine there and man is it the cats pyjamas. NICE.
    Gotta get me one of these. I'll let you know when I get 'er goin.
    Thanx Don

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    716

    Re: Need advice on TIG welder

    For joining 1/8" steel wire, I'd definitely cross an Econotig off the list. The low end on the Econotig is around 30 amps, which isn't that low when the discussion is a TIG unit. A unit like my Maxstar 150 STH that goes down to five amps would make this a far easier task then it would ever be trying to use an Econotig.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    1,076

    Re: Need advice on TIG welder

    Quote Originally Posted by weldgault
    As olddad would say your answer is any AC/DC HF unit and ER70S-2,3,6 or ER80S-D2, if it is not a critical weld and you have to meet the tensel requirements . John G.
    OH WOULD I NOW ??
    Seems you don't pay attention very well...LOL.

    >>>"any AC/DC HF unit"<<<
    Wrong Answer !!...any of the Lincoln or Miller machines and there's no reason for him to pay for HF when "lift-start" is all he needs. He could could also get a Hobart, they are not the machines they used to be (now being Millers economy line) but are still "Made In The USA" I believe. I know the OP isn't from here but I'll not recommend a machine from anywhere else.

    >>>"ER70S-2,3,6 or ER80S-D2, if it is not a critical weld and you have to meet the tensil requirements"<<<
    Wrong Answer AGAIN!!...70S-2 and 80S-D2 are recommended for welding moly race cars...not what you state !! As for what he should use, other than for weather issues, he could use a coathanger for all I care. Not giving a rat's patoot about welded art, the main issues I see would be weathering and keeping it stuck together for liability reasons.

    DISCLAIMER ; firefist15, that is my feelings and I normally wouldn't post them (wouldn't have responded to your thread) but was called out by one of the board members. weldgault, in the future please restrain from speaking for me unless you have removed your head from your rectom first...Thank You
    Anything worth doing is worth doing RIGHT

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    52

    Re: Need advice on TIG welder

    the econotig is a transformer machine, so that means it is heavy and will only run on 220v (i dont think you can even wire it for 115v). and it will use more jucie from the outlet compared to an inverter like the miller maxstar.

    But I dont know how critical that my be to you.

    my 2 cents

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    St. Thomas VI. USA
    Posts
    209

    Re: Need advice on TIG welder

    Just a side note I own a 150STH and really wish I had saved a few and got the 150STL lift start is great and all I use. I also tried a little something today. Granted I am a (profesional) but i welded som 1/8" wire tody at 30 amps and ended up turning it up to 40 to get a clean weld and good flow. Get what you can afford and keep an eye on versitility like a tig stick package you basicly get the leads for free in in a deal like that. Good Luck
    Steel Thunder Welding LLC. St. Thomas VI USA
    MM350P
    BOBCAT 3
    MAXSTAR 150 STH
    375 EXTREME PLASMA
    6.5 HP COMPRESOR
    DEWALT 18, 24, AND 36 VOLT
    O/A TORCH SET
    AND SO MUCH MORE I DONT REMEMBER
    ALL IN MY 2005 2500HD EXTENDED CAB L/B

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    London Ontario Canada
    Posts
    10

    Re: Need advice on TIG welder

    Thanks offrdfun73 I am in the process of searching and negotiating the best deal for me at the present time. It sounds like the LIFT START feature may be a good idea but I've never used it. How does it compare to say...using a foot pedal to control amperage when tig welding. I like the idea of a foot pedal on the Econotig because of this but wonder if the LIFT START would also be good. I have practiced some with a foot pedal where I work and I like it. Thanks
    Don

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    St. Thomas VI. USA
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    209

    Re: Need advice on TIG welder

    Lift Start works by setting the electrode to the metal and lifting. When I use my foot pedal I just push it down to about the same spot and do the lift start. I have a pedal and a thum switch I can use. Honestly I love a remote but as I have gotten better I rarly use it now I just set it and make one adjustment usualy and im off. If you get a Miller Lift Start remember not to slide or drad the electrode just poke it down and lift strait up.
    Steel Thunder Welding LLC. St. Thomas VI USA
    MM350P
    BOBCAT 3
    MAXSTAR 150 STH
    375 EXTREME PLASMA
    6.5 HP COMPRESOR
    DEWALT 18, 24, AND 36 VOLT
    O/A TORCH SET
    AND SO MUCH MORE I DONT REMEMBER
    ALL IN MY 2005 2500HD EXTENDED CAB L/B

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    London Ontario Canada
    Posts
    10

    Re: Need advice on TIG welder

    Well.....it's been a while since my last post because I was searching for my new machine. Well........I bought myself a late Christmas present this week and picked up a Miller Syncrowave 200. After some heavy deliberations and deep thought , I decided that this was it.
    So thanks to all who contributed their 2 cents. Will be able to finish some major projects now. As well ,continue my steel artwork.
    I'm off to the garage !!

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Guerneville Ca
    Posts
    1,721

    Re: Need advice on TIG welder

    Quote Originally Posted by firefist15 View Post
    Well.....it's been a while since my last post because I was searching for my new machine. Well........I bought myself a late Christmas present this week and picked up a Miller Syncrowave 200. After some heavy deliberations and deep thought , I decided that this was it.
    So thanks to all who contributed their 2 cents. Will be able to finish some major projects now. As well ,continue my steel artwork.
    I'm off to the garage !!
    I also have a Masters degree in sculpture.
    You did the right thing when you bought that Miller TIG machine, but get the water cooler and foot pedal or hand control for your sculpture work,
    i personally like the foot control more, as long as you can be standing or sitting and the sculpture is not taller than you are.
    Way to go!! Now you can think about all that stainless scrap.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Ca, USA
    Posts
    5,241

    Re: Need advice on TIG welder

    Glad you got it! Enjoy your new machine!!
    MM350P/Python/Q300
    MM175/Q300
    DialarcHF

    HTP MIG200
    PowCon300SM

    Hypertherm380
    ThermalArc185
    Purox oa
    F350CrewCab4x4
    LoadNGo utilitybed
    Bobcat250
    XMT304/Optima/Spoolmatic
    Suitcase12RC/Q300
    Suitcase8RC/Q400
    Passport/Q300

    Smith op

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