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Thread: TIG welder options - thinking.

  1. #26
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    Re: TIG welder options - thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by G-ManBart View Post
    Your example simply doesn't work from a logical standpoint. You can't compare prices on an imported Primeweld to that of a major U.S. brand and have it mean anything other than imported Chinese machines cost less....pretty sure we all know that.

    Miller just stopped selling the Syncrowave 250DX and replaced it with the Syncrowvae 300...similar output machines. The 250DX TIGRunner package was going for right around $7K. The new Syncrowave 300 TIGRunner package is $7500. Let that sink in for a minute.....no real savings, but I know which is more likely to live long past the warranty.

    Only cheap, imported inverters are less expensive than transformer machines....and I own one of them so I can point fingers all I want.

    You can debate all you want, but with the current foreseeable technology, when inverter welders die, they often go in the scrap pile once out of warranty. That isn't true of the transformer machines...and they don't die frequently to start with. The obvious tradeoff is size, power draw and less bells and whistles....just the way it is. I have both and almost never turn on the inverter, but it's a good backup.
    Once again you don't get it. There is a reason for machines at different price points. Obviously you are a transformer fanboy( most likely due to real world experience with inverter machines), and that's fine, I was in that position many years ago. No where did I say a lower priced inverter was the best solution or the high end inverter the solution to all situations. What I said is the inverter is the Now and the Future. Used transformer machines can be a good option for some or a non-existent option for others. I still own and use transformer machines, as at the time of purchase it was the best option ( miller 252). I've used the crap out of that machine using 100s of 12" spools and more 1lb rolls of aluminum wire than I could count. If it died tomorrow I honestly would look for another to replace it. I also use several inverter welders as well, 181i, xmt304, mini arc 161, primeweld 225 and a miller 211. The only one I wouldn't replace with a similar model is the 181i. Reasons for that are it was pretty much the first generation of 3 in 1 inverter welders and the newer 3 in 1 inverters have better features at a better price point, mainly dual voltage input. In all honesty at current repair rates the majority of welders aren't necessarily worth repairing whether transformer or inverter. That's just the way it is when dealing with repair facilities. DIY repair may be an option for some but for many of us the best use of a welding machine is time spent doing actual welding related work. So all in all maybe you should throw your opinions at Miller or Lincoln as they obviously see the present and the future in a different light as they are discontinuing transformer machine production and focusing towards more and more inverter based offerings. Maybe that makes a more logical viewpoint to those living in the past.

  2. #27
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    Re: TIG welder options - thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by M J D View Post
    Once again you don't get it. There is a reason for machines at different price points. Obviously you are a transformer fanboy( most likely due to real world experience with inverter machines), and that's fine, I was in that position many years ago. No where did I say a lower priced inverter was the best solution or the high end inverter the solution to all situations. What I said is the inverter is the Now and the Future. Used transformer machines can be a good option for some or a non-existent option for others. I still own and use transformer machines, as at the time of purchase it was the best option ( miller 252). I've used the crap out of that machine using 100s of 12" spools and more 1lb rolls of aluminum wire than I could count. If it died tomorrow I honestly would look for another to replace it. I also use several inverter welders as well, 181i, xmt304, mini arc 161, primeweld 225 and a miller 211. The only one I wouldn't replace with a similar model is the 181i. Reasons for that are it was pretty much the first generation of 3 in 1 inverter welders and the newer 3 in 1 inverters have better features at a better price point, mainly dual voltage input. In all honesty at current repair rates the majority of welders aren't necessarily worth repairing whether transformer or inverter. That's just the way it is when dealing with repair facilities. DIY repair may be an option for some but for many of us the best use of a welding machine is time spent doing actual welding related work. So all in all maybe you should throw your opinions at Miller or Lincoln as they obviously see the present and the future in a different light as they are discontinuing transformer machine production and focusing towards more and more inverter based offerings. Maybe that makes a more logical viewpoint to those living in the past.
    You obviously haven't read what I posted. Two of my four machines are inverters....and one of the two that isn't is an engine drive...completely different category. So saying I'm a transformer fanboy is ridiculous.

    I really don't understand why you continue throwing insults at me....the whole "let this sink in" calling me a "fanboy", adding the "those living in the past" sort of crap is just rude....for no reason.

    The OP asked if there were old school transformers worth considering, and I answered with my experience. You're the one jumping in to the thread with a tangent that isn't what the OP asked about and using ridiculously flawed logic to support that unrequested opinion. It's not like he asked for an argument over inverter versus transformer.
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  3. #28
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    Re: TIG welder options - thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by G-ManBart View Post
    You obviously haven't read what I posted. Two of my four machines are inverters....and one of the two that isn't is an engine drive...completely different category. So saying I'm a transformer fanboy is ridiculous.

    I really don't understand why you continue throwing insults at me....the whole "let this sink in" calling me a "fanboy", adding the "those living in the past" sort of crap is just rude....for no reason.

    The OP asked if there were old school transformers worth considering, and I answered with my experience. You're the one jumping in to the thread with a tangent that isn't what the OP asked about and using ridiculously flawed logic to support that unrequested opinion. It's not like he asked for an argument over inverter versus transformer.
    No it's simply insight to the present and future and while purchasing machines with older technology isn't the best option. As for insults you like to play the " he said this" game. I guess it's just another one of your misinterpretations.

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    Re: TIG welder options - thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by M J D View Post
    As for insults you like to play the " he said this" game. I guess it's just another one of your misinterpretations.
    I learned a long time ago to filter out the noise.

    Thanks for all the input. Lots to think about. It sounds like even the "oldschool" TIG machines could be risky with parts availability and future board swaps (if able to be sourced). I'd be curious to see if there are any component level parts on the boards themselves (transistors, caps, IC's, resistors, chokes, diodes, rectifiers, etc) that can be replaced as opposed to swapping the whole board. It is common practice with old radios to re-cap them as old capacitors can be problematic, for example. With a detailed schematic (that provides component types & values) it would be relatively easy to do board repairs. The catch is if an IC or other chip goes that has proprietary programming/logic on it that is no longer able to be sourced. Though, I am sure in even remotely close to modern times (maybe 70s or 80s to present) the common repair tactic is whole board replacements as opposed to bench work reworking boards with new components (as in desoldering and removing what is there, replacing and soldering in to place the new part(s)). The good news is I don't think they knew much about surface mount parts back then...

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    Re: TIG welder options - thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by FlyFishn View Post
    I learned a long time ago to filter out the noise.

    Thanks for all the input. Lots to think about. It sounds like even the "oldschool" TIG machines could be risky with parts availability and future board swaps (if able to be sourced). I'd be curious to see if there are any component level parts on the boards themselves (transistors, caps, IC's, resistors, chokes, diodes, rectifiers, etc) that can be replaced as opposed to swapping the whole board. It is common practice with old radios to re-cap them as old capacitors can be problematic, for example. With a detailed schematic (that provides component types & values) it would be relatively easy to do board repairs. The catch is if an IC or other chip goes that has proprietary programming/logic on it that is no longer able to be sourced. Though, I am sure in even remotely close to modern times (maybe 70s or 80s to present) the common repair tactic is whole board replacements as opposed to bench work reworking boards with new components (as in desoldering and removing what is there, replacing and soldering in to place the new part(s)). The good news is I don't think they knew much about surface mount parts back then...

    I am sure if you are talking the SCR driven machines like the syncrowaves, I am guessing there isn't much proprietary code. The component parts are user replaceable. I have not seen any surface mounted devices in my Syncrowave, its all 1980's technology through the board soldering. Probably the most sophisticated part is a 555 timer. There are plenty of places out there that will repair these boards for a fee (usually $400-500)

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  7. #31
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    Re: TIG welder options - thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by Louie1961 View Post
    I am sure if you are talking the SCR driven machines like the syncrowaves, I am guessing there isn't much proprietary code. The component parts are user replaceable. I have not seen any surface mounted devices in my Syncrowave, its all 1980's technology through the board soldering. Probably the most sophisticated part is a 555 timer. There are plenty of places out there that will repair these boards for a fee (usually $400-500)
    There's the kicker and not just with welding machines but most things in general. The labor costs plus the parts, shipping ,etc. can quickly add up to more $$$ than the item is worth. Unfortunately that is the way of the world now and it will continue to get worse. Take auto or truck repair for example, a simple transmission replacement that 25 years ago was common even on older vehicles is often more than a vehicle that's only 10 years old is worth. Of course toxic road brine and other factors have only helped to devalue vehicles quickly. In this day and age if one can find a reliable and trustworthy repair center that is also relatively quick turnaround, you should consider yourself fortunate.

  8. #32
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    Re: TIG welder options - thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by M J D View Post
    No it's simply insight to the present and future and while purchasing machines with older technology isn't the best option. As for insults you like to play the " he said this" game. I guess it's just another one of your misinterpretations.
    No, it's you forcing your opinion on someone who didn't ask the question, but feel free to justify it however you like.

    Not the best option? So you're deciding what's best for everyone else? I guess we're all just living in your world then....
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  9. #33
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    Re: TIG welder options - thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by G-ManBart View Post
    No, it's you forcing your opinion on someone who didn't ask the question, but feel free to justify it however you like.

    Not the best option? So you're deciding what's best for everyone else? I guess we're all just living in your world then....
    Out of respect for the OP I'm done with you and the piszing contest that you started by attacking an observation that I made. I know full well this isn't the first time you pulled this crap, obviously you have a beef with me over something in the past. If you want to continue your BS little games take it elsewhere, preferably to a PM. And yes I gave an opinion, that's what forums are for in case you didn't know. Whether you approve of my take on things matters none to me unless I missed the memo that I need your approval. Have a good day and hopefully you have achieved the self gratification that you obviously seek.

  10. #34
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    Re: TIG welder options - thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by M J D View Post
    Out of respect for the OP I'm done with you and the piszing contest that you started by attacking an observation that I made. I know full well this isn't the first time you pulled this crap, obviously you have a beef with me over something in the past. If you want to continue your BS little games take it elsewhere, preferably to a PM. And yes I gave an opinion, that's what forums are for in case you didn't know. Whether you approve of my take on things matters none to me unless I missed the memo that I need your approval. Have a good day and hopefully you have achieved the self gratification that you obviously seek.
    I have zero memory of any interaction with you in the past, but have a great day yourself!
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  11. #35
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    Re: TIG welder options - thinking.

    I think a good analogy for the original poster is an old tractor vs a new tractor. I bought a 1967 Ford 3000 that required quite a bit of work and expense to get it working the way I want it. The original cost was $2000 and I think I have spent $4000 in repairs and lots and lots of time on it. I would not recommend that to someone else, but now that I have it running I would never trade it for a new tractor. A new tractor would of course cost a lot and would have all kind of expensive and complex parts go out that I could never fix myself. My ford 3000 will be running for another fifty years and anything can be fixed or overhauled. I was even able to trash every wire on it and rewire it myself because that is how they built them. Imagine trying that on a new tractor.
    Now to welders. I bought an old Linde transformer that weighs 1000 pounds, but it runs beautifully. Amazingly smooth welds even with 6010. My invertor welder could not run 6010 or even 6011 but weighs only 6 pounds. An old transformer welder will last forever if you are a hobbyist and make you look like a professional with the beauty of your welds. An invertor welder to match a transformer welder's welds will cost you a lot and be prone to breaking down with expensive if not irreparable damage. If you have space, enough power and do not need your welder to be portable and are not a professional welder, go with the transformer. If you have lots and lots of money, buy a top end new invertor with a good and long warranty and expect to replace it every several years.
    For the OP, since you are worried about having a backup, I would recommend against the single multiprocessor welder. I had a Lincoln in the shop for warranty work for two weeks waiting for a part from China.

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  13. #36
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    Re: TIG welder options - thinking.

    Thanks for the post @JGPenfield.

    The concern of a "backup machine" with respect to the thread here comes down to Tig (or, with the original question - a multi-process or a tig/stick only rig - mig and tig combined). I already have a great transformer stick machine (round top, AC/DC) so I can always stick metal together. Any other process at this point would be a one-box deal for a while. So whether its Tig or Mig - if one goes down all I have to fall back to is stick.

    OK on the transformer machines and being able to fix them, albeit adding additional expense to it (gaining the knowledge of how it works along the way - another bonus for future repairs).

    Lots to consider.

    From what I have heard a few times - the transformer tig machines have a smoother arc than a lot of the inverters. What other tidbits either favoring one or the other are there?

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    Re: TIG welder options - thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by FlyFishn View Post
    Thanks for the post @JGPenfield.

    The concern of a "backup machine" with respect to the thread here comes down to Tig (or, with the original question - a multi-process or a tig/stick only rig - mig and tig combined). I already have a great transformer stick machine (round top, AC/DC) so I can always stick metal together. Any other process at this point would be a one-box deal for a while. So whether its Tig or Mig - if one goes down all I have to fall back to is stick.

    OK on the transformer machines and being able to fix them, albeit adding additional expense to it (gaining the knowledge of how it works along the way - another bonus for future repairs).

    Lots to consider.

    From what I have heard a few times - the transformer tig machines have a smoother arc than a lot of the inverters. What other tidbits either favoring one or the other are there?
    Transformer welders have a more fluid arc for constant voltage(mig/stick) welding. Inverter constant current side(tig) has a more stable arc where smoothness or fluidity does not matter. If that is a concern for you then you engage high speed pulse to soften and widen the arc.

    Transformer welders in general consume more current via the large primary power factor capacitor bank as opposed to tiny capacitors on the inverter boards, so monthly savings on electricity goes repair or replacement funds. ROI is much faster with inverter power supplies in general for that power savings and productivity gains. I must justify ROI within the 3 year warranty to justify my purchases, so it is inverter all the way with me.
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    Re: TIG welder options - thinking.

    Thanks for the replies.

    As for the savings on electricity - I don't weld nearly enough to worry about that. If I was welding every day that would be a concern, yes.

    I have some things coming down the proverbial pipeline where I will have to have portable welding ability = the tombstone I have can't make the trip (too big and heavy to load on a boat) and I'd like more flexibility and control than the flux core set up I've been using. I checked out the thread on cheap welders and looked at several of them but I don't think any of them are worth it. What I need is stick and the 3 things I really want are legitimate 6010 capability, digital/numerical display (not a pot with a numbered scale - an encoder with readout = precise amp control), and something that will run on 120v (respectably capable, not necessarily at full capacity). I looked at the Everlast machines and the PowerArc 200STi fit the criteria. However, working the details of the deal I ended up upgrading to a PowerArc 210STL because it is a more capable Tig machine that shares accessory compatibility with the 255EXT (on my radar, not decided but if I go that route the Tig stuff is interchangeable between them). I decided to get a full TIG set up for it with foot control, 17 series torch, as well as reg and stubby consumables kits just to play with if nothing else. Unfortunately, the machine is DC only so it is no substitute for a "proper" Tig set up, but it will be interesting to mess around with it. I just need the smaller stick machine. For as much as I'd love to run the tombstone for everything the one thing I can't do with it is throw it in the truck on a long trip. A random trek to friend's or family's places for a day is one thing, but not when I'm packed up crossing the country for a while.

  16. #39
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    Re: TIG welder options - thinking.

    A top-tier reliable stick welder that works the way it is supposed to, legitimately runs 6010s without arc snuffing, and without playing games and runs on 120V is top-dollar brand-new, IMO. Esab comes to mind at a bare minimum with the mini rogue series. That's about $600ish (?). Ready to bust out the checkbook (CC/DC), or are you waiting for a unicorn?
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    Re: TIG welder options - thinking.

    Mate ESAB, Everlast, PrimeWeld, and Miller, Lincoln are good too, as my personal experience primeweld tig welder are always up to the mark and quality is good too, they hardly go to workshops in the first 2-3 years of usage. Good Luck in finding one

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    Re: TIG welder options - thinking.

    Mate ESAB, Everlast, PrimeWeld, and Miller, Lincoln are good too, as my personal experience primeweld tig welder are always up to the mark and quality is good too, Important point is, these [BLOG-SPAM LINK REMOVED] they hardly go to workshops in the first 2-3 years of usage. Good Luck in finding one
    Last edited by Tensaiteki; 3 Weeks Ago at 02:19 PM. Reason: BLOG-SPAM LINK REMOVED

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    Re: TIG welder options - thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by shovelon View Post
    Transformer welders have a more fluid arc for constant voltage(mig/stick) welding. Inverter constant current side(tig) has a more stable arc where smoothness or fluidity does not matter. If that is a concern for you then you engage high speed pulse to soften and widen the arc.

    Transformer welders in general consume more current via the large primary power factor capacitor bank as opposed to tiny capacitors on the inverter boards, so monthly savings on electricity goes repair or replacement funds. ROI is much faster with inverter power supplies in general for that power savings and productivity gains. I must justify ROI within the 3 year warranty to justify my purchases, so it is inverter all the way with me.
    exactly this, if you are making a living off of the machine and it's used everyday, it's more cost effective to buy an inverter and replace it every 3 year's than it is to buy a transformer machine that last's for 40 years and pay the power bill, if your a hobbyist though it really doesn't matter if it sucks the juice, you won't be using it much so in that case an old transformer that will still work in 2050 is probably a good option.

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