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Thread: My Shop and a Request for TIG Recommendation

  1. #1
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    My Shop and a Request for TIG Recommendation

    Hi all.
    Background
    I'm 52 and live in CT. I do cyber security work for a living and have always maintained my home, cars, and motorcycles so I enjoy working with my hands. Welding and metal work was always on my todo list and 2 years ago I did something about it. I took three college welding classes at a local community college that had a recent infusion of state grant money. Suffice to say, I learned how to weld and learned how to use all of the shop equipment - presses, torches, presses, etc. I spent most of my time stick welding in all the positions, but also spent some time on MIG and TIG.

    My Gear
    My current house has only 100 AMP service. I've looked into an upgrade but based on underground wiring and how it enters the house, it has been cost-prohibitive. Based on that I bought an engine-driven welder and attachments. That has enabled me to practice the various processes, though before last weekend, it had been about 8 months since I touched any of it. Here is what I have:

    Thermal-Arc TA-10/270-HE. This is a DC CC/CV machine.
    Tweco stinger
    50' cables
    Miller S-32P MIG suitcase setup for gas and .035 wire with a Bernard 300 AMP gun
    CK 17 FX TIG torch with gas valve
    SSC C810 14-pin TIG foot pedal

    Hobart Handler 135 110v machine setup for .035 wire.

    With this setup I generally run 7018 rods for ARC welding. I use the suitcase on CV for most MIG stuff I do unless it's thin metal and I use the Hobart just because its quicker to setup and use since it's 110v. Besides flash, the screen also provides wind protection at my garage door.

    The TIG setup is fairly new, so I spent some time last weekend playing around with the lift start, machine settings, etc. I finally got it to a point where I could make puddles.

    Attachment 1713184

    TIG Recommendation

    With my current setup I can pretty much weld anything. The problem is that welding time involves running the engine, which gets a little old sometime. Winters also suck since my garage isn't heated, though I can get it fairly warm with portable heat. I'm also considering a propane heater. My garage is adjacent to my kitchen. My stove is adjacent to the dividing wall and has a 3 prong plug with double tapped 40 AMP fuses in the panel. I was thinking I could have another run from the panel to my garage with the same setup or maybe 50 AMP circuit that I could use to run a machine when the stove isn't in use. So if I do that, what kind of machine could I get that would allow me to do more TIG welding and improve my skills with that process. I know I can also run it off my generator/welder too. I am a hobby welder who enjoys welding and wants to see where this takes me.
    Thanks
    Nick
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    Last edited by nicksorg; 07-07-2020 at 09:09 PM. Reason: fix picture orientation

  2. #2
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    Re: My Shop and a Request for TIG Recommendation

    If you have 100 amp power you have a lot of options. Do you have open breaker space in the panel? There is no excuse to mess with the range. Run from the panel with #6 copper, put it on a 60 amp breaker. ALL inverter welders will work on that, many transformer units will also.
    An optimist is usually wrong, and when the unexpected happens is unprepared. A pessimist is usually right, when wrong, is delighted, and well prepared.

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  4. #3
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    Re: My Shop and a Request for TIG Recommendation

    A 200A modern inverter TIG welder will only pull about 30A, and that's IF you run it full-tilt. My Invertig 221 at WOT only sucks up 32A. Since it has a 20% duty cycle, for a TIG like it, all you'd need is a #10 wire with a 30A breaker. The Ieff rating on 230V is 12A due to the duty cycle, so it allows derating of the wire, so 10awg would be just fine for it. Surely you can spare 30A from your 100A service for 2min out of every 10min?

    When you say, "welding time involves running the engine, which gets a little old sometime.", do you mean it gets old because of the expense of fuel, or because of the noise?
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  5. #4
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    Re: My Shop and a Request for TIG Recommendation

    I upgraded the panel last year and there is plenty of room for additional breakers. Sometimes the engine noise from the welder/generator concerns me based on my family and neighbors. Additionally, I learned TIG on a unit that had a HF start so that was a little better than lift start.

  6. #5
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    Re: My Shop and a Request for TIG Recommendation

    You can always build a sound-proof enclosure for the generator too. I just built a "prototype" for mine to test out Roxul soundproofing material inside the walls of the enclosure, and it works amazingly well. Top, bottom, and sides are 2.5" wide, with 3" thick Roxul stuffed inside. Front/back have downward-facing large-opening ducts; front is fresh air intake with a 10" fan to force air in, rear is where all air/exhaust exits. Reduces sound to inconsequential levels.
    Last edited by Oscar; 07-08-2020 at 07:46 AM.
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  7. #6
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    Re: My Shop and a Request for TIG Recommendation

    Check out your transformer. I share a transformer with two neighbors. Standard transformer might be 25 KW (104 amps) They'll tolerate double that for short periods. Dimming lights in the whole neighborhood prompted the power company to upgrade us to 37.5 KW.

    There are numerous stretches of conductors between your transformer, and welder. Each loses some voltage. Most inverter welders adjust, but transformer welders work best at or above rated voltage.
    An optimist is usually wrong, and when the unexpected happens is unprepared. A pessimist is usually right, when wrong, is delighted, and well prepared.

  8. #7
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    Re: My Shop and a Request for TIG Recommendation

    60 amp breaker should cover it. Just make sure no one turns the oven or dryer on when you're welding. I had a Lincoln Square Wave Tig 255 transformer hooked up by an electrician on a 60 amp breaker. No problems.

  9. #8
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    Re: My Shop and a Request for TIG Recommendation

    Sometimes the engine noise from the welder/generator concerns me based on my family and neighbors.
    Knowing West Hartford as intimately as I do (I was a paramedic there for 10 years), I can't imagine one of your neighbors hasn't called the cops to complain already! I would ditch the TA and get an inverter or two. As Bill mentioned you have lots of options for a 240 volt circuit to the garage. Something like a Lincoln 210MP or a Miller Multimatic 215 could pretty much replace your entire setup since the TA only has DC welding output. You may not need the full 270 amps of power as a hobby guy, but if you do, you could go with something like an ESAB Rebel 285 or a Miller Multimatic 255. The bigger Miller gives you pulse MIG and only draws 40 amps at its rated output. The smaller Miller only draws 27 amps. With all of these you get MIG, Stick and Lift TIG in one unit.
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  11. #9
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    Re: My Shop and a Request for TIG Recommendation

    Quote Originally Posted by Louie1961 View Post
    Knowing West Hartford as intimately as I do (I was a paramedic there for 10 years), I can't imagine one of your neighbors hasn't called the cops to complain already!
    That's funny. You do know my town. I like your recommendation. If I can get it to all work out, I would save a bunch of space also. Thanks!

  12. #10
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    Re: My Shop and a Request for TIG Recommendation

    Yeah I actually live close by..like 20 miles west. Let me know what you get. We can set up a weld-o-rama...
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  13. #11
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    Re: My Shop and a Request for TIG Recommendation

    I recommend a primeweld 225 tig inverter, or if you want to spend double, a sanrex sanarg 180ap .

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    Re: My Shop and a Request for TIG Recommendation

    Quote Originally Posted by Louie1961 View Post
    Yeah I actually live close by..like 20 miles west. Let me know what you get. We can set up a weld-o-rama...
    Sounds good. I don't know anyone else in this town who welds, shoots, wrenches, etc...
    Last edited by nicksorg; 07-09-2020 at 02:26 PM.

  16. #13
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    Re: My Shop and a Request for TIG Recommendation

    I run a 100' 10 ga extension cord from my basement dryer outlet to my upstairs attached garage. The dryer isn't in use much and that gives me 220v/30a which has never been a limitation.

    I can weld 1/4 material easily all day.

  17. #14
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    Re: My Shop and a Request for TIG Recommendation

    I don't know anyone else in this town who welds, shoots, wrenches, etc...
    That's true. About as close as you will come is someone who fly fishes and hangs out at the Orvis up in Avon. :-)
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  18. #15
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    Re: My Shop and a Request for TIG Recommendation

    I would go with a Multimatic 220 AC/DC as it has AC capability so you will be able to weld alooominum with the Tig process.

    The Multimatic 255 is only DC.

    But it's easy to spend your money


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  19. #16
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    Re: My Shop and a Request for TIG Recommendation

    Quote Originally Posted by Louie1961 View Post
    That's true. About as close as you will come is someone who fly fishes and hangs out at the Orvis up in Avon. :-)
    Gee, I live 14 miles from Orvis main store in Manchester. Our former neighbor worked in returns. She'd save buckets full of fishing rod parts. Sort through the buckets I could build a new rod. Those are expensive! We had $200. down filled dog beds.

    I don't think I've been in the store in 40 years. Native born Vermonters aren't allowed in Manchester at all.
    An optimist is usually wrong, and when the unexpected happens is unprepared. A pessimist is usually right, when wrong, is delighted, and well prepared.

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