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Getting started with TIG

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Downwindtracker2

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#1
I need a shopping list for 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 without buying another bottle for tri mix, and use 7018. Big old transformers would sometime show up on CL. But they were big, old, and take up nonexistent room. Though I have never used a suitcase inverter welder, I was amazed by them when the contractors used them in our mill and now they come with TIG as well. 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, their local list on a 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 . So I'll have what is basically an ESAB 186i , mine just won't be the eye popping yellow, though. But the blue will match my Millermatic 250x MIG. You know how important it is for welders to colour match.

It has three of downsides, it's a bare machine, needing stringer, regulator, and foot pedal, more flack. It's only has a, 35% flat out duty cycle, not that I would ever use that, I'm only about 10% duty cycle on a good day,.and it needs a smart experienced welder to program the arcs. No easy set ! I need a TIG for Dummies book.

I have Argon tank and 50amp plug that the MIG uses. So I'm good there. With 170 amp DC, I should be able to burn 1/8' 7018 easily.
 

rgray

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#2
The 186i is ac/dc
Why did no controls come with it.
If you've gas welded you can tig weld. It's a lot alike.
 

Crank

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#3
Downwindtracker,
At that price point, it's close to the Miller Diversion units. If that is an indicator, it may have the circuitry that allows you to initiate the arc without having to floor it for a HF start. I have the Diversion 165 and it is a treat to use, you roll into the pedal (definitely buy a pedal!) and when the potential is sensed, the arc starts. You can set the amps as high as you want and modulate the puddle with the pedal. The only reason you want to set the amps is if you are doing consistent work and want to set the max amps lower to run on lighter material. Like rgray said, a weld puddle is a weld puddle. TIG is straight forward, just make sure you get the post flow set up to allow adequate shielding and get used to the need to not pull the torch away until the post flow ends. That will keep your welds really clean. Miller actually comes with a "TIG for Dummies" DVD, that video may be online for you to watch it. Good luck with the new unit, your learning curve should be pretty easy.

Mark
 

rgray

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#4
get used to the need to not pull the torch away
And don't pull the torch away in an attempt to reduce the heat. I had to shake that habit from gas welding.
It reduces the heat alright....lose the arc and then start again.
 

Downwindtracker2

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#5
Those are Canadian dollars, the Lincoln Square Wave 200 was on sale too, at almost exactly twice the price. I was steered to the more robust and repairable unit. On a welding forum I was informed it's a Hugong Wave 200 . It's featured like a Miller Syncrcowave 210 , it too was also on sale but for $3600. I'm on a fixed income so the preferred choice. the Miller was out. The array of imports you Americans can get is impressive, but they involve crossing a border and shipping. I can get very local support with this one.

It's been 35 years since I gas welded, I'm an old phart.
 

brino

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#6
For me the best, most important thing I added after the TIG machine itself was a good GREAT helmet!

Sure your TIG machine might go down to low-Amp settings, but if you cannot see the joint then you haven't a chance.
I went with the Lincoln Viking 3350 Welding Helmet K3034-3.
I was able to find a better price on ebay shipped from Quebec (tgsindustrial), than from the States.
Sure, it still cost me ~ $310 (CAD, delivered), but what a difference.
From 10A to 250A I can see what I'm doing....you can't really put a price on that.

-brino
 

Downwindtracker2

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I'm lucky with the helmet, the company gave out new helmets before they closed so I have a Sperian. It says Linde on the outside lens area and on the inside Made In Switzerland. I wear my prescription safety glasses in the shop and for welding. How'bout Welding by the Braille Method by Ol'Shakey :grin:

I have Millermatic 250x MIG. And I've stick weldered at work, I was a millwright. I'm retired now and it's pain having to buy steel.
 

Groundhog

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#8
For me the best, most important thing I added after the TIG machine itself was a good GREAT helmet!

From 10A to 250A I can see what I'm doing....you can't really put a price on that.

-brino
For sure!

When I first got my tig I was using a fixed lens helmet and a HF auto helmet. Trying to weld thin aluminum. Couldn't weld for sh*t (and I am a good Oxy/Acetylene, stick & mig welder). I was trying all sorts of settings (square wave tig machine) and tungstens. Having a really hard time. Then I realized I had couldn't see the puddle very well as I was trying to run a bead. (I was focusing on the tungsten and the filler rod and didn't realize how hard it was to watch the puddle work its way along). In fact I had trouble even distinguishing the 2 individual pieces of metal (at low amps). Talked to the guys at the welding store and they sent me home with a SpeedGlass helmet to try. What a huge improvement. I went back to the store with the money instead of returning helmet (and a lot of $ at that time).
That was 10 years ago. I know there are many great tig helmets now - at better prices too.
 

Downwindtracker2

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#9
What setting did you use ? I started with one of those fiberglass Fibermetal helmet, heavy. At work before I was given this Auto, I used #11 shade otherwise I got migraines . I just looked at the setting for the MIG, and it's only #9 and no migraine.
 

Janderso

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#10
I just bought a Miller Diversion 180 TIG Welder. The fellow at MJB Welding asked me what I needed?
Oh boy, just give me the popular stuff, 2 or 3 of each.
I purchased Amazons choice for a helmet. I can always buy another one.
 
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