Vulcan Pro-tig 200 thread - Page 5
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  1. #101
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    Re: Vulcan Pro-tig 200 thread

    My how time flies....

    Well going on 4 months now, and she’s still running like a champ. I am by no means a heavy user, but I’ve averaged about 10-15 hours per week of actual arc time on the new machine and have had zero hiccups. Stick work fines, As does TIG. I’ve run some E6011 on it, and it works pretty well. It has a stick arc that’s a little on the soft side, so bear that in mind if you intend to do a bunch of stick work and like a stiff arc. This is a TIG machine first however. On the TIG side all functions work well, frequency, pulse, cleaning action, it’s all good. No complaints.

    I liked my experience with this machine enough that I went and got the 215 MIG unit too.

    Certainly satisfied.
    -Mark Smith

    Vulcan ProTig200
    Vulcan MigMax215

    Everlast PowerArc 210STL
    Hypertherm PowerMax45 Xp

  2. #102
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    Re: Vulcan Pro-tig 200 thread

    Thanks for the update, I have been wondering how these machines are holding up since you really do not hear all that much about them on the forums.

  3. #103
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    Re: Vulcan Pro-tig 200 thread

    The
    Quote Originally Posted by cmh31909 View Post
    Thanks for the update, I have been wondering how these machines are holding up since you really do not hear all that much about them on the forums.
    Certainly! If anyone has any questions you can ask them here and I’ll do my best to answer. These machines strike a good balance of quality and price, and for folks that are strapped for cash, or those just getting into welding but not comfortable throwing down a pile on a red or blue box, this is a good option. The equipment is good enough that it shouldn’t be outgrown by the majority of home/hobbyist/project weldors, it’s a good option. HF biggest hurdle with these I’m sure was overcoming their reputation for cheap disposable products, in my own opinion I do not feel that either of my two Vulcans fit that description.

    I don’t think people talk about them a lot because they’re relatively new on the market, and the stigma of owning a Harbor Freight product. Personally I don’t care.. I can’t see the machine when my hood is down and the weld is going in, when I lift my hood and the product of my effort is good I’m happy. If people want to laugh at my machine, and theirs doesn’t produce a better bead, who really is the one laughing? Me. Why? Because we both put down identical weld beads but his cost per weld is higher because he purchased his machine for $2100 with rebate. I got mine for under a grand. Lol but that’s just me, some folks are more concerned with vanity than I am.
    -Mark Smith

    Vulcan ProTig200
    Vulcan MigMax215

    Everlast PowerArc 210STL
    Hypertherm PowerMax45 Xp

  4. #104
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    Sep 2018
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    23

    Re: Vulcan Pro-tig 200 thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Mmock4 View Post
    The

    Certainly! If anyone has any questions you can ask them here and I’ll do my best to answer. These machines strike a good balance of quality and price, and for folks that are strapped for cash, or those just getting into welding but not comfortable throwing down a pile on a red or blue box, this is a good option. The equipment is good enough that it shouldn’t be outgrown by the majority of home/hobbyist/project weldors, it’s a good option. HF biggest hurdle with these I’m sure was overcoming their reputation for cheap disposable products, in my own opinion I do not feel that either of my two Vulcans fit that description.

    I don’t think people talk about them a lot because they’re relatively new on the market, and the stigma of owning a Harbor Freight product. Personally I don’t care.. I can’t see the machine when my hood is down and the weld is going in, when I lift my hood and the product of my effort is good I’m happy. If people want to laugh at my machine, and theirs doesn’t produce a better bead, who really is the one laughing? Me. Why? Because we both put down identical weld beads but his cost per weld is higher because he purchased his machine for $2100 with rebate. I got mine for under a grand. Lol but that’s just me, some folks are more concerned with vanity than I am.
    I have both the ProTig 200 and MigMax 215, and although I have not used them much, they seem to be good machine for the price. I don't get that 'cheap Chinese' feel from them. Although I cannot substantiate it, I did hear that HF hired an ex-Lincoln Electric engineer to design them.

    My only concern would be how to get them repaired should one of the boards go out, or more accurately, would we be able to get replacement boards so that we can swap them ourselves should something happen outside of the warranty period.

    Also, to be taken with a grain of salt, I was talking to one of the cashiers at a HF store and she said they have been selling quite a few of them and only had one come back for DOA.

  5. #105
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    Re: Vulcan Pro-tig 200 thread

    Getting them repaired after warranty will have the same odds as getting a red or blue machine repaired out of warranty slim to none, exceeds the cost of replacement, I said it before some people spend 1k on a phone that is worthless in a year or two and I got blasted by people,with a three year warranty the pro tig works out to less than a dollar a day if it's junk in 3 years,

  6. #106

    Re: Vulcan Pro-tig 200 thread

    Looking into this Tig for a bit now. I am an experienced mig welder and have even done aluminum with a spoolgun with great results. My question is, I plan on using for strictly aluminum anodized tubing and was told I would need a finger button torch for maneuverability. Anybody used this tig for this application with good reults or would I need a higher amperage model tig? Also, anyone rigged up a torch cooler to this machine yet? Thanks

  7. #107
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    Re: Vulcan Pro-tig 200 thread

    Quote Originally Posted by bcnucs View Post
    Looking into this Tig for a bit now. I am an experienced mig welder and have even done aluminum with a spoolgun with great results. My question is, I plan on using for strictly aluminum anodized tubing and was told I would need a finger button torch for maneuverability. Anybody used this tig for this application with good reults or would I need a higher amperage model tig? Also, anyone rigged up a torch cooler to this machine yet? Thanks
    I have been pondering your post for a bit. The ProTig does not have adjustable high frequency start, it has capacitor discharge start at 25amps for some milliseconds. You can adjust balance to help break and lift off the anodize at full 200 amps but IDK. As far as the finger controller SSC controls make a 4 step finger controller that works really good. Since they make the foot control the connector is available if you ask them to build one. Then you can ramp the amps up to full, floor the finger control and it may do what you want.

    HTP/usa weld can probably rig you up the dinse connector to water cool a ProTig. It uses the same argon flow thru dinse as Lincoln.

    Lastly if you just can't get it to perform the way you want, you have a year satisfaction guaranty to get your money back from Harbor Freight. Just make sure you buy it from Harbor Freight preferably at their store and preserve the reciepts.
    Weld like a "WELDOR", not a wel-"DERR"
    MillerDynasty700DX,Dynasty350DX3ea,Dynasty200DX,Th ermalArc400GTSW,LincolnSW2002ea., MillerMatic350P,MillerMatic200w/spoolgun,MKCobraMig260,Lincoln SP-170T,PlasmaCam/Hypertherm1250,HFProTig4ea,MigMax1ea.

  8. #108
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    Re: Vulcan Pro-tig 200 thread

    FWIW, AvE just bought one of these and featured it in one of his recent videos. I hope he does a tear down video on it like he did for the MigMax machine.
    Millermatic 252
    Syncrowave 250
    Purox Metalmaster

  9. #109

    Re: Vulcan Pro-tig 200 thread

    I have a Harbor Freight Pro Tig 200. I have a much larger old Hobart Tig welder but it doesn't have a high freq for thin aluminum. If you want to weld 3/16+ alum, it is fine. Not so good for thin stuff.
    The Pro Tig 200 works fine. It is sensitive to grounding. Put the ground lead as close to the weld as possible. I saw Chuckee2009's review before I bought it.
    My unit sometimes has intermittent starts. The problem on my rig is the stinger. The high freq start will blow right through the insulation of the stinger sometimes. When it doesn't start, watch the starting arc... it will either be very weak or not there at all.
    If the cable is on the ground it will sometimes leak off there and the unit will fail to start. I think there are pinholes in the stinger lead insulation.
    If I pick the lead off the ground it works. I bought the unit as a return from HF so I got it at a really good price. The failed starts is just a nuisance, but I can live with it until I get a better stinger. It works fine on alum.
    I'm welding a gas tank for a boat at the moment out of 1/8" alum. This welder almost pays for itself with just this one gas tank.

  10. #110
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    Re: Vulcan Pro-tig 200 thread

    I bet you got a sweet deal on that return welder. I found that the tungsten they gave is really crappy, especially if it gets too balled up. I think it is ceriated as they are scared of thoriated. Anyway the thoriated with a pointed tip made the starts work well.

    I also found if it hard to start rubbing on the metal first cures it.
    Weld like a "WELDOR", not a wel-"DERR"
    MillerDynasty700DX,Dynasty350DX3ea,Dynasty200DX,Th ermalArc400GTSW,LincolnSW2002ea., MillerMatic350P,MillerMatic200w/spoolgun,MKCobraMig260,Lincoln SP-170T,PlasmaCam/Hypertherm1250,HFProTig4ea,MigMax1ea.

  11. #111
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    Re: Vulcan Pro-tig 200 thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Louie1961 View Post
    FWIW, AvE just bought one of these and featured it in one of his recent videos. I hope he does a tear down video on it like he did for the MigMax machine.
    I looked but couldn't find that video, I would like to watch it. Who is AvE?
    Ernie F.

  12. #112
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    Re: Vulcan Pro-tig 200 thread

    AvE is an internet sensation...funny as hell. He protects his real identity pretty fiercely so I am not sure anyone knows who he really is. Seems to have an engineering/manufacturing background. Does a lot of tear downs and other tool reviews.



    Millermatic 252
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    Purox Metalmaster

  13. #113
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    Re: Vulcan Pro-tig 200 thread

    Quote Originally Posted by shovelon View Post
    I bet you got a sweet deal on that return welder. I found that the tungsten they gave is really crappy, especially if it gets too balled up. I think it is ceriated as they are scared of thoriated. Anyway the thoriated with a pointed tip made the starts work well.

    I also found if it hard to start rubbing on the metal first cures it.
    Had to do the touch off before re-starting a arc on my dynasty sometimes, with red or orange, blue was better, local HF had a Vulcan mig 215 open box/return 285.00, seemed reasonable 30 day return, roll the dice win or lose,

  14. #114
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    Re: Vulcan Pro-tig 200 thread

    Quote Originally Posted by shovelon View Post
    Wow! It's been a long time since I addressed the Protig200. Let me start from the beginning. A guy visits my shop, says his company is designing a dual voltage 200 amp Tig welder. Wants me to evaluate. OK but what do you want to know? He says would you compare against your current dual voltage, air cooled, 200 amp Tigs, pros and cons, for a month? OK I says.

    That black box welded nothing like my Dynasty200, but very much like my Lincoln SW200, right down to the buzz, and the pulse adjustment and synergies like post flow timing. First thing was duty cycle. Yes I tried to kill it. Only plugged into 120 volts could I get it to trip off. Back on 230 volts I was welding heavy alum bar to see how fast I could push the torch. The original flex torches got smoking and alarmingly floppy. Eventually the rubber cracked off and the dude brought me some more to kill. I mentioned that this black box started the arc like my Lincoln right down to the pop start. He says we will talk about that when he brings the pre release unit.

    Well he brings 2 orange Tigs named Vulcan and a bunch of NDA forms and introduces himself as a product design engineer with Harbor Freight. Says if I would be so generous to killify these for a year and talk to him about my observations. Turns out there were a few others in the region doing the same. First off the flimsy torches had to go. There were 3 styles of pedals and the rear hinge pedal were useless. I lobbied for the center hinge but they improved the rear hinge pedal instead. One Tig had a pulse go to 20, and the other to 200. I told now 2 engineers that the 20 pulse max Tig was almost useless. I showed them why and I got my way on that one.

    So after a year of building structures and debriefing my findings I heard nothing other than "We are working on the final configuration". Then I get requested to have a film crew come in my shop to do a video showing me weld 'alum and a professional perspective. Hold the phone I say. In the current states of these machines I would not recommend. This did not go own well and after telling them why they discovered that they never gave me the final version. So they pulled a carton out of the warehouse and drove it over. I says give me a week or so. WOW! All of the issues were addressed! As much as I did not like the pedal and it's cheesy plug, it is fine, with a much better plug, and half my crew actually prefers it. The torch is now solid body and stands up to heat well enough. The hoses and flow gauges actually work well and are accurate (none worked at all before).

    So, what I do like is that it is idiot simple like my 2 Lincoln SW200s. I like the capacitor discharge "pop" arc start. I love the low to high speed pulse mode giving up to 200 pps. I like the copper contacts ground clamp just like my Lincolns. I like the one year trial, no questions asked.

    What I don't like is rigid torch. That would eventually become a TecTorch FX17. I still don't prefer the pedal, but SSC controls makes an aftermarket center pivot pedal, and also their new 4 step finger amptrol that can be bought from member Gamble on this forum. I detest the cheap Chinese standard soft copper torch parts. Those were immediately replaced with TecTorch medium gas lens kits. I also don't like to have to purchase the 3 year warranty. I fought on that one but lost. $75 is not horrible.

    The machine itself is as solid as my Lincoln SW200s. They even have the little hidden compartment on the face. One could outfit the machine with upgrades of their choice. Every part is interchangeable with my Lincoln Tigs as well. The dinse connectors are exactly the same.

    As far as the synergic post flow, if it feels like it is too long, well there are other steps to reduced gas consumption. Anyway Harbor Freight left me with 3 ProTigs. One per release is being used at the local university, the final release Tig is being used by my new hire, and the second per release is on standby for field jobs. I would recommend anyone considering a purchase to opt for the 3 year upgrade.
    Could you please elaborate on what i highlighted ? Im a newb and I'm concerned that the protig 200 is an argon eater because of the 16 second post flow. no post flow adjustment has stopped me from buying one already.
    When i grow up i want to be a welder


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    Not enough talent to use any of it very well

  15. #115
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    Re: Vulcan Pro-tig 200 thread

    Quote Originally Posted by bevis28 View Post
    Could you please elaborate on what i highlighted ? Im a newb and I'm concerned that the protig 200 is an argon eater because of the 16 second post flow. no post flow adjustment has stopped me from buying one already.
    Start with a gas lens kit and a portable gas flow checker to confirm flow at the torch. Then reduce gas flow as much as possible. A gas lens does a good job of providing a smooth coverage. The lower amps so you have to floor the pedal to get desired puddle. The synergic function times post flow at the amps set on the panel, which is 7 to 18 seconds.

    Here I the deal. At prolonged welding the air cooled torch will need long post-flows.
    Weld like a "WELDOR", not a wel-"DERR"
    MillerDynasty700DX,Dynasty350DX3ea,Dynasty200DX,Th ermalArc400GTSW,LincolnSW2002ea., MillerMatic350P,MillerMatic200w/spoolgun,MKCobraMig260,Lincoln SP-170T,PlasmaCam/Hypertherm1250,HFProTig4ea,MigMax1ea.

  16. #116
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    Re: Vulcan Pro-tig 200 thread

    Quote Originally Posted by shovelon View Post
    Start with a gas lens kit and a portable gas flow checker to confirm flow at the torch. Then reduce gas flow as much as possible. A gas lens does a good job of providing a smooth coverage. The lower amps so you have to floor the pedal to get desired puddle. The synergic function times post flow at the amps set on the panel, which is 7 to 18 seconds.

    Here I the deal. At prolonged welding the air cooled torch will need long post-flows.
    Thanks for the explanation.
    Much appreciated
    When i grow up i want to be a welder


    Millermatic 215
    Everlast PowerPlasma 50
    oxy/ac
    Not enough talent to use any of it very well

  17. #117
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    Re: Vulcan Pro-tig 200 thread

    Quote Originally Posted by bevis28 View Post
    Could you please elaborate on what i highlighted ? Im a newb and I'm concerned that the protig 200 is an argon eater because of the 16 second post flow. no post flow adjustment has stopped me from buying one already.
    Shovelon gave you good advice and I agree air cooled torches need more gas post flow time. That said I would not be put off by that. I have not had the opportunity to try that Vulcan 200 but from what I've read here, particularly posts from Shovelon, I think that machine would be a good machine to start with. Can't beat the 1 year return policy either.
    Ernie F.

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