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Thread: Picked up my first machine, could use some advice

  1. #1
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    Picked up my first machine, could use some advice

    Hey all,
    I'm new here, although i've been creeping around reading threads since picking up my first machine a few months ago. I've got no prior experience with any form of welding, but i've always wanted to learn. I work on motorcycles as a bit of a hobby but have always had to outsource the welding side of things.

    Recently I was out picking up some parts and the old guy had a bunch of machines, I mentioned I wanted to learn to weld and he said I could buy one of the machines off of him that he didn't use for $100. It came with a foot pedal but no torch or cylinder. I ended up picking up a CK 17 torch and a cylinder and started practicing.

    The machine I purchased is a Cigweld Transtig 150. It's an AC/DC HF TIG machine it can put out 150 amps at a duty cycle of 17%. I've been reading quite a bit and watching tutorials on youtube and i'm starting to get the hang of it.

    My question is that I am concerned the machine will not be able to handle what I need it to. It will mostly be used for welding mounts and brackets to frames. Usually i'll use either 1/4" or 3/16" mild for brackets welded to 1/8" wall tube and 304 stainless in 1/4" or 3/16" for anything I do not have to weld to the frame. I'll also occasionally be welding tabs of 1/4" or 3/16" to 5/16" stainless round stock for sissy bars and foot controls etc.

    I've been looking at some charts and doing some reading about the minimum amps required for the types of welds i'll need and it seems my machine is not up to the task.

    Forgive my ignorance as i mentioned this is all pretty new to me but i'm looking for some opinions as to whether or not i can get by with this machine or if I should start saving for something more powerful.

    I've attached a screenshot of the spec sheet from the manual.

    Thanks
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  2. #2
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    Re: Picked up my first machine, could use some advice

    Quote Originally Posted by jarlenfos View Post
    Hey all,
    I'm new here, although i've been creeping around reading threads since picking up my first machine a few months ago. I've got no prior experience with any form of welding, but i've always wanted to learn. I work on motorcycles as a bit of a hobby but have always had to outsource the welding side of things.

    Recently I was out picking up some parts and the old guy had a bunch of machines, I mentioned I wanted to learn to weld and he said I could buy one of the machines off of him that he didn't use for $100. It came with a foot pedal but no torch or cylinder. I ended up picking up a CK 17 torch and a cylinder and started practicing.

    The machine I purchased is a Cigweld Transtig 150. It's an AC/DC HF TIG machine it can put out 150 amps at a duty cycle of 17%. I've been reading quite a bit and watching tutorials on youtube and i'm starting to get the hang of it.

    My question is that I am concerned the machine will not be able to handle what I need it to. It will mostly be used for welding mounts and brackets to frames. Usually i'll use either 1/4" or 3/16" mild for brackets welded to 1/8" wall tube and 304 stainless in 1/4" or 3/16" for anything I do not have to weld to the frame. I'll also occasionally be welding tabs of 1/4" or 3/16" to 5/16" stainless round stock for sissy bars and foot controls etc.

    I've been looking at some charts and doing some reading about the minimum amps required for the types of welds i'll need and it seems my machine is not up to the task.

    Forgive my ignorance as i mentioned this is all pretty new to me but i'm looking for some opinions as to whether or not i can get by with this machine or if I should start saving for something more powerful.

    I've attached a screenshot of the spec sheet from the manual.

    Thanks
    .
    obviously in 1 or 2 minutes you will see you can tig weld steel at 100 amps. 150 amps is if you want to make bigger / wider welds. it actually takes the greatest skill using the least amps making the smallest welds to not warp what you are welding. sharp pointed tungsten helps to make smaller welds at lower amps
    .
    not sure why you would ask when you can quickly see what your machine can do

  3. #3
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    Re: Picked up my first machine, could use some advice

    That should be a decenct welder to get your self started. Pretty low duty cycle tho is the bad part. id be running it wide open at 150 amps on 3/16 and 1/4" even 1/8 sometimes. Your post flow only hits 5 sec. It says so you will wanna keep it at about 5 or 6 maybe a touch more sense you on air cooled torch when at full Amps. My rule is don't let your tungsten go purple after welding, a little color won't hurt but back to silver is best for torch parts or you will be going through them. Try 6 cup 13 cfh. And have fun, AL can be frustrating until you get the hang of it. Could take you 1 day or 2 weeks depending on your learning curve, much better if someone is there to guide you so post your pics up here and we will help!

  4. #4
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    Re: Picked up my first machine, could use some advice

    Yeah,

    Your concern is not really a question that can be answered by anybody but you.

    But, since you already own the unit at an incredibly good value, I'd say use it until your requirements absolutely demand a more powerful unit or one with a better duty cycle.

    I mean, the unit looks like a better quality one for the Oz and Kiwi market.

    And there is a sneaky way to get more heat input from a lower powered unit by mixing your Argon gas with Helium.

    If the unit has High Frequency arc starting and adjustable AC balance it may suit your purposes for a while.

    Please let us all hear what you decide about your machine. And I'll post a clip of the unit below.

    Quote Originally Posted by jarlenfos View Post
    ...My question is that I am concerned the machine will not be able to handle what I need it to...

    Forgive my ignorance as i mentioned this is all pretty new to me but i'm looking for some opinions as to whether or not i can get by with this machine or if I should start saving for something more powerful...
    Name:  Cigweld.jpg
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    Last edited by C. Livingstone; 02-01-2016 at 10:36 AM.

  5. #5
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    Re: Picked up my first machine, could use some advice

    on AC even if you have continuous high frequency 150 amps is not enough to weld thick aluminum. may do 3/8 or thinner. helium or argon helium mix gives hotter arc and might help
    .
    aluminum in general needs higher amps to form a molten metal under arc compared to steel. at 250 amps there is usually no problem forming molten puddle even with thicker aluminum and 100% argon

  6. #6
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    Re: Picked up my first machine, could use some advice

    I'll give you $125 for it

    Great deal on that machine.

  7. #7
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    Re: Picked up my first machine, could use some advice

    With all due respect a motorcycle frame is not a project to learn how to weld on.
    REAL TRUCKS DON'T HAVE SPARK PLUGS

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