Getting Started with TIG
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  1. #1
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    Getting Started with TIG

    I caught heck from the chief financial officer , I bought another welder. I had been looking at used stick welders. I thought it would be nice to be able to weld stainless and use 7018. Big old transformers would sometime show up on CL. But they were big and take up nonexistent room in the garage.. Though I have never used a suitcase welder, I was amazed by them when the contactors showed up in the mill with them, and now they come with TIG as well. Sweet. So this what I bought https://www.kmstools.com/magnum-200a-ac ... der-137216 I didn't pay that for it, I got a pre-order price. I know it's Chinese, but it's not $4600 either, the local list on the Miller . By looking at various little welders on the net, that control panel is pretty distinctive, I think I found which Chinese factory that made it. It's the same control panel and specs as the http://www.esab.ca/ca/en/products/index ... de=V430014 Cyberweld has them on for $ 1693 USD .I think I did OK, mine just won't be the eye popping yellow, though. The Miller blue will match my 250x.

    I have an Argon tank from when I tried aluminum with a spoolgun on the MIG and a 50amp plug that the MIG uses. It's a bare machine, needing stringer, regulator, and foot pedal .When I ordered the machine, I bought the foot pedal as well. I'll pick up a flow meter this week. What consumables should I pick up to get started ?

    I'm just a retired millwright . But I have that millwright curse, "Oh, I can make that."

  2. #2
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    Re: Getting Started with TIG

    Way overpriced. I would try to cancel that order. So many better alternatives are available.

    Good luck, you will need 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.

  3. #3
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    Re: Getting Started with TIG

    Shovelon hates no-name welding equipment, but in this case I sort of agree with him. Not because it is no-name, but because it is just a little underpowered for my taste. I had a 180 amp Miller Econotig before I got my Miller 350 and my Everlast 250. 200 amps is just at that breakover point where it can probably do 1/4" aluminum, but the extra 50 amps gets you solidly into the area where you can definitely weld 1/4" without a problem.
    Miller Syncrowave 350
    Millermatic 252/ 30A spoolgun
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    Lincoln PowerArc4000
    Lincoln 175 Mig
    Lincoln 135 Mig
    Everlast 250EX Tig
    Century ac/dc 230 amp stick
    Victor O/A
    Hypertherm 1000 plasma

  4. #4
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    Re: Getting Started with TIG

    Yes, I hate no names. Especially when they don't come turnkey. And there are so many deficiencies in that model, well take a look for yourself. I was not impressed at all. One that it did not look dual voltage.

    Is there not a Lincoln dealer there? By the time you purchase all of the peripherals for the Magnum you are coming close to the price of the proven Lincoln SW200 . $1200 for a bare power supply is an insult. How many hundreds do they want for that foot control anyway??????????????????????????????????

    Again, cancel that trash.
    Last edited by shovelon; 03-11-2018 at 12:29 PM.
    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.

  5. #5
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    Re: Getting Started with TIG

    What would be in a beginner pack?. I know nothing really about TIG. Nor, do I consider myself I much of a welder. And here's a laugh, it's been 40 years since I gas welded, so I can't even claim that experience.

    No where have I read what were the power requirements, so that's interesting. For the 1/4" aluminum , I have Miller 250x and a Miller 200 spoolgun, so that's covered. And the 170amp should give me enough reserve to burn 1/8" 7018, the millwrights rod, smoothly.

    Being in Canada [B]all[B] welders are imported. It's not really an unknown, it's been around for while, it's the ESAB/ Thermal Arc 186, painted blue. And as such it's a much more robust and repairable welder then say the Lincoln Square Wave 200, a disposable consumer grade, which were twice the price. Not that there anything wrong with that, chuckle. And that's what most of your Chinese welders are as well. The warranty is the same as the Lincolns and Millers, the one two three. Same place, too. At $700 USD, is what I paid, I thought it was a good deal, but that's for a bare machine.

    My garage is wired 220, so that's non issue to me.
    Last edited by Downwindtracker2; 03-11-2018 at 01:28 PM. Reason: grammer

  6. #6
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    Re: Getting Started with TIG

    Well good luck then. How many days do you have to even tell if the unit is functioning properly? And how long before your foot control arrives? The Magnum looks like the typical re-badged mail order unit. Anything goes wrong and being a newbie, the burden of proof is on you. And how are you going to learn? Bet it take 3 times a long.
    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.

  7. #7
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    Re: Getting Started with TIG

    What is that warranty? No where in the manual is anything written.
    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. #8
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    Re: Getting Started with TIG

    Quote Originally Posted by shovelon View Post
    What is that warranty? No where in the manual is anything written.
    Warranty? Hell, I don't even see a welder or link that works!

  9. #9
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    Re: Getting Started with TIG

    It's not a mail order, it's a bricks and mortar, I just used that to show what I picked up. they sell Millers and Lincolns, too. They are big in BC and Alberta. But in Canada, Air Liquide (Liquid Air in the states, but the French spelling in the rest of the world) is by far the biggest by a factor of 10. I spent the morning picking the brains one of the buyers, that's where I got their experience with early Lincolns SW 200. The complaint that I have read about the 186 is the lag time from the foot pedal. That same foot pedal was $129 or $100USD. A flow valve and hose is on sale for $69 or $50 USD . I would have had to buy a Bernard handle for the stinger anyway.

    You can get good Chinese machines, you just have to pay for them. Years back my son and I went together on a 250x550 (10x22) metal lathe. I found it was a XIMA. There are a couple of factories making what looks like the same lathe, SEIG and XIMA. The SEIG are assembled, where as the XIMA were hand fitted. It shows clearly in the test results. BTW both were better lathes than the Austrian Maximat 8 they were copied from. You can find XIMA lathes but they cost more than the Taiwanese South Bends Grizzly sells. When my son moved out, I said to him I'll buy him out, "No,Dad, I'll buy you out."

  10. #10
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    Re: Getting Started with TIG

    I don't know what Shovelon is about, but a name brand AC/DC welder is nowhere near the price you pay for the Magnum.
    I would however look at Everlast, they also cater to the lower end of budgets, but have proven themselves.

  11. #11
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    Re: Getting Started with TIG

    Quote Originally Posted by Dutch Welder View Post
    I don't know what Shovelon is about, but a name brand AC/DC welder is nowhere near the price you pay for the Magnum.
    I would however look at Everlast, they also cater to the lower end of budgets, but have proven themselves.
    The Magnum is BS. It is a Chinese rebadged unit sold by a tool company that don't weld. The page listing the welder has a link to the owners manual. The warranty page is blank. WoW! As far as the all important foot control, no accesory listing. This thing shows maybe 4 machines in it's whole system with more incoming. That's rich alright. And you think there is a repair facility? Heck no, they will swap it out with stock in the other store. Or they will string you along until you give up and quit. Wow, just wow.

    As far as what I am about? I know a joke of a purchase when I see one. I will bet the pedal is not even available, and if it is it will be expensive. And I agree that Everlast would be 1000 times better.


    Good Luck to the OP. He says he known nothing about tig. Hope he is not stuck with liftarc.
    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.

  12. #12
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    Re: Getting Started with TIG

    I'm in Canada. A Canadian dollar is worth only .70 cents. The same welder painted yellow with a Swedish name is $1000 USD more. Even Princess Auto, out local version sorta of HF, has junk Chinese smart TIG for $300 Canadian more. I'm good with what I paid. I've burned a lot of rod with a Miller that was painted orange and said Acklands on it. Granger bought out Acklands, same same. So I found paint colour isn't all that important. Most of your Chinese is of the disposable class, the Lincoln SW 200 is too, just try repairing it's board, and I can't afford that. I know you guys are welders not electricians or programmers.

    If you are making your living with tools, you buy the best. But I'm just a retired millwright who likes puttering around. And I need a shopping list.

  13. #13
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    Re: Getting Started with TIG

    Heh, Shovelon,I've known these guys since '87, so I'm not worried about the warranty. We're living in a global village and with the 'net we can access it. What they have done is tracked down the factory that makes the ESAB 186 . If I can track down Chinese lathe factories, I'm sure they could do the same with welders. They also now have contacts in China and are importing other machinery as well. They then ordered a C-can or two and then they pre-sold them. They make a quick profit and you get a welder for less than half price. When I saw their flyer, I realized what they were up to, thought about for a couple of weeks and weathered the wrath of She Who Must Be Obeyed. ESAB might be displeased so it may end. They were very careful not to say ESAB.BTW. But again with the 'net it was pretty easy to figure out the model.
    Last edited by Downwindtracker2; 03-12-2018 at 12:01 AM. Reason: grammer and speling

  14. #14
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    Re: Getting Started with TIG

    Ok. So you have the bare machine. What is the warranty? You have it in writing or did they leave your manual blank too? How much do they want for that pedal?
    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.

  15. #15
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    Re: Getting Started with TIG

    The same one two three as Miller and Lincoln have. That's a generic manual if I've ever seen one, so wouldn't go by it much . I bet the Aussies get the same one. Any Chinese number is highly questionable too. They copied large portions of the ESAB manual ,too. The pedal was $91 USD.

    On another note, I've read up on the Thermal Arc 186. Someone figured out the poor pedal response was slow sampling rate. I wonder if they have got more energetic pixies in the newer one? If not, I'll live with lazy ones.
    Last edited by Downwindtracker2; 03-12-2018 at 12:51 AM.

  16. #16
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    Re: Getting Started with TIG

    I often get curious when someone insinuates that a particular brand item is "the same as name brand X, but with a different color." I noticed that you said "they" determined what factory the welder comes out of. Who are "they", the people at the shop where you purchased the welder? Just curious.

    The Magnum Wave 200KD is a rebranded Hugong Wave 200 KD. Does the factory that builds Hugong welders also contract to build welders for other companies? Possibly. I can't say for sure that the ESAB ET 186i doesn't come out of the same factory as the Wave 200KD, but they are quite different, inside and out. On the outside, the control panels do bear a striking resemblance, but they are not identical. Slight differences in button alignment and function placement means that they definitely aren't the same panel with different printing. They are a different part. Significance? Hard to say either way. Could be from the same place but altered slightly on purpose, or one could simply be a copy of the other, with no other relation.

    The Wave 200KD has different gas connection fittings than the ESAB ET 186i, or actually any Miller, Lincoln or ESAB I've personally seen. Could just be a difference for the US market, can't say.

    Internally, there is a slight similarity in arrangement, but (at least from the breakdowns in the respective manuals) many components are different (maybe all, but I can't say for sure from just a drawing).

    So, is it the same welder with different paint, no. I can't say if they are built in the same factory or not, or even if the quality is similar. But I will say that even if they are built in the same factory it doesn't automatically mean the quality is the same. Component specs, QC processes and standards, etc. could all be different.

    Not trying to talk down your purchase. I hope you are happy with what you get. Just can't help getting curious, since you brought it up.

  17. #17
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    Re: Getting Started with TIG

    The source factory for ESAB TA units (at least before they merged) was WTL from china.
    http://www.wtl.com.cn/
    Esab Migmaster 250
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    Everlast PowerARC 300
    Everlast PowerARC 140ST
    Everlast PowerTIG 255EXT

  18. #18
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    Re: Getting Started with TIG

    Should have went with a ahp alpha tig 200x if ur budget is around $700.... Or Everlast. I have an Everlast 210EXT and absolutely LOVE IT. Its a beast of a machine and you can actually get support for it if you need it. You actually talk to ppl in california and they are running a sale right now all there products.

    You bought something that you will hate to be honest. Not trying to be mean or anything but being a complete beginner you should have went with something that AT LEAST comes with the entire package.... I feel like you should get a refund 100% for sure!!

    But, its ur money so i guess you do you lol....

    2017 Everlast Powertig 210 EXT with a CK 20 and water cooler
    Miller Multimatic 215
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  19. #19
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    Re: Getting Started with TIG

    BigTB, that is very interesting. You are absolutely right on quality. Now I can call it by it's proper name Hugong Wave200 . Thank You. It's saved me time on searching. The "they" I was talking to was a member of the evaluation group. The WTL units have a different control panel from the ESAB. From someone who was in maintenance and had worked with and on Chinese machinery, it's not just the ordered specs, but as production moves along, there's a lot of what can we get away with. It's a cultural thing. But they aren't only ones with that disease .

    Getting support for Everlast would involve crossing the border and shipping it off, for the Hugong, I'm 5 minutes from the local KMS, and 25 minutes from KMS head office and service center.
    Last edited by Downwindtracker2; 03-12-2018 at 12:23 PM.

  20. #20
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    Re: Getting Started with TIG

    Quote Originally Posted by Downwindtracker2 View Post

    Getting support for Everlast would involve crossing the border and shipping it off, for the Hugong, I'm 5 minutes from the local KMS, and 25 minutes from KMS head office and service center.
    There is an Everlast Welders Canada.
    Address: 5109 Harvester Rd A2, Burlington, ON L7L 5Y9, Canada
    Hours:
    Monday 9AM–4PM
    Tuesday 9AM–4PM
    Wednesday 9AM–4PM
    Thursday 9AM–4PM
    Friday 9AM–12PM
    Saturday Closed
    Sunday Closed
    Phone: +1 905-637-1637
    Province: Ontario

    I would have responded earlier but I was ...................TIG WELDING.
    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.

  21. #21
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    Re: Getting Started with TIG

    Quote Originally Posted by Downwindtracker2 View Post
    The same one two three as Miller and Lincoln have. That's a generic manual if I've ever seen one, so wouldn't go by it much . I bet the Aussies get the same one. Any Chinese number is highly questionable too. They copied large portions of the ESAB manual ,too. The pedal was $91 USD.

    On another note, I've read up on the Thermal Arc 186. Someone figured out the poor pedal response was slow sampling rate. I wonder if they have got more energetic pixies in the newer one? If not, I'll live with lazy ones.
    You got that warranty in writing? Sounds really sketch to me. Also I would order that pedal ASAP.
    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.

  22. #22
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    Re: Getting Started with TIG

    Got the pedal. That's a suburb of Toronto, I' live in Abbotsford, up the Fraser Valley from Vancouver. Still good to know for others looking for a welder.

  23. #23
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    Re: Getting Started with TIG

    Quote Originally Posted by Downwindtracker2 View Post
    Got the pedal. That's a suburb of Toronto, I' live in Abbotsford, up the Fraser Valley from Vancouver. Still good to know for others looking for a welder.
    That is a relief. You should be able to lay down some welds now. Curious to see how you like 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.

  24. #24
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    Re: Getting Started with TIG

    This is just one opinion, you'll find lots of opinions here . I started like you a few years back. No real welding experience, just a vague recollection of gas welding from my youth. If you liked gas welding TIG is for you. Don't worry about your welder, the one you have will let you learn a lot.

    If you are on a budget start with an air cooled torch. Water cooled is really nice especially for production but they both weld the same and the kit is a lot more expensive. If you think you'll be on the low end of the amps get a 17 sized torch, if you expect to spend anytime at 200 A get a 26. The 17 is a bit smaller and the 26 is a bit bigger. The 17 handles 150 A and the 26 handles 200 A. You can push the 17 to 200 A for a short time. They will both get hot and you'll need to stop and let them cool if you are running any kind of amps. The consumables are interchangeable between those two. I really like torches that flex as I've found getting a comfortable grip and position is greatly aided by being able to bend the torch head. Spend a few extra bucks and get a CK Superflex hose, you'll never miss the money once it's gone and you'll curse having to fight a stiff cable if you get the cheap one. You can find variety pack set of gas lenses, nozzles and collets on ebay or amazon. Gas lenses will conserve gas. Get at least 1/16 and 3/32 collets and cups 5, 6, 7 and 8. They make them bigger and smaller but that's a good start. I personally use 2% lanthanated tungstens for all types of welding, again everyone has opinions on this... 1/16 and 3/32 are probably the only sizes you'll ever need. Also grab a torch end flow meter to check your flow at the torch tip, handy for checking your gage on the tank and trouble shooting.

    Also best to dedicate a grinder to tungstens, get 10 packs of tungstens and grind all of them to tip. I put mine in a battery powered drill to present them to the stone and just free hand the angle. Again, lots of opinons on how to this too. Some guys grind both ends but as a newbie you'll dip a lot and won't be able to get it out of the collet if you booger both ends so just grind one end. Nice to have full set ground for a welding session so you're not running back to the grinder everytime you booger a tungsten.

    Oh ya. And get some combination of cheaters or hood lenses that let you focus clearly between 6-10 inches from your nose. If you can't see you can weld. They make lenses that clip under the hood or just wear plain old cheaters. I ended up modifying some jewelers lenses to clip under the hood and they are awesome.
    Last edited by sand_man_red; 03-12-2018 at 06:27 PM.

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