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Which Miller TIG?

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Alan H.

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#1
I have a Miller MIG, an old school Miller Stick/TIG (scratch start), and a Hypertherm plasma cutter. I am Miller fan when it comes to welding machines.

I am beginning to study my options for a Miller TIG. Most of what I do from a fabrication standpoint is with the MIG but I would like to have a TIG for my hobby machine shop - more precise and ornate work. I want the capacity to weld aluminum as well.

So I am looking for advice on which Miller TIG to consider.
 

markba633csi

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#2
The Synchrowave is pretty much the gold standard I've heard, but I don't own one.
Mark
 
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#3
The Syncrowave is the way to go. A 250 minimum even though a 200 will do for most.

It also depends on what metals you are going to use it for. If your doing strictly steel, you could probably get by with one of the other Miller welders offered. But if you are going to want to weld aluminum or some of the other exotics that don't weld good with a average welder, then you better go with a Syncrowave welder. Be aware, if welding aluminum with any high frequency welder like the Syncrowave, it take lots of electricity to run, of course, weld size is a function of that too. A 250 amp Syncrowave welder can pull up to around 90 amps on 220 volts. If you are like me, that's almost what my house pulls on a normal day in the winter, current wise, when the heater is running!
My dad had a Syncrowave 300 welder. Had it on a 75 amp breaker and never did trip it that I know of. Even on the aluminum cylinder heads he welded cracks up on.
 

Firestopper

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#5
Alen,
Without knowing what your budgeting for your Tig purchase its hard to recommend one.
I will say to start with machine you won't out grow too soon. This one has a $700 rebate and can probably found a little better priced.
https://www.millerwelds.com/equipment/welders/tig-gtaw/diversion-180-tig-welder-m00337

If you plan on getting serious and require higher amperage than consider a water cooled set up but the cost goes way up.
I happen to be a fan of transformer machines but Tig units have come along way with inverter technology.
This is the setup I run with an upgraded torch.
https://www.millerwelds.com/equipme...30-460-v-foot-control-complete-package-951117
They are pricy, but transformer machine longevity has been proven to last. Not uncommon to find a 30+ year old Syncrowave for sale and in working order.

The latest and "greatest" TIG Miller offers are the Dynasty series. Very versatile with everything the Syncrowave has to offer and more. They have the ability chang the current frequency. This has made new users into pretty good TIG operators.
https://www.millerwelds.com/equipme...=dynasty-280-dx-208-575-v-tigrunner-907514001
Keep in mind, the Syncrowave and the Dynasty links are middle of the road miller offers. There is higher amperage machines available in the same series.

I first purchased a Miller Econtig back in the day and was able to work with that machine for 10 years. Originally costing $1200 and sold 10 years later for $800. I guarantee you I made more than $400 with that machine. It was kept clean and fetched a good resale (without cylinder).
These machines also stick weld (GMAW).

I seldom use my TIG, compared to the MIG, but its nice to have one in the arsenal. I can MIG weld very thin material including Aluminum but when working on funny cars, firearms and aircraft a TIG is required plain and simple. It requires special attention to tungsten selection and material prep. Takes twice as long and requires patience and practice. That said, welcome to the TIG world.
EDIT: Q&A
https://www.millerwelds.com/resources/article-library/choosing-a-tig-system-qa
Paco
 
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Alan H.

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#6
I have taken a little deeper look at the Miller line.

The "studies" shall continue. The price of a Miller definitely qualifies as what one could call premium. I am going to dig a bit into other manufacturers to be sure Miller is the best answer for my situation but as I said before, I am a Miller fan.

The Dynasty 210 DX has caught my eye. Here's a snippet from their spec sheet. It appears the DX is quite versatile.

1511705183044.png
 
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frugalguido

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#7
I would highly recommend that you look into a HTP 221, it is made by STEL in Italy which makes high end industrial welders. I have had a Dynasty and I like the HTP better, especially considering the price and the features.
 

Railin93

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#8
Everlast has come a long way in just a short time and they are getting better...look into them and for the prices, you can upgrade for a fraction of big box names and produce just as good a result...or maybe better
 

ezduzit

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#9
...The price of a Miller definitely qualifies as what one could call premium...
Miller quality is really what qualifies it as premium. It's not just blue koolaid.
 

dennys502

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#10
I have a Miller 330 A/BP That I use for Arc - Tig.
I used the same model close to 50 years ago in the Air Force and it does everything I need it to do.
 

zmotorsports

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#11
For Miller TIG (GTAW) setup I think it is hard to beat the good ole' transformer Synchrowave machines. We've had a Synchrowave 250 at work for pushing 20-years now and it is bullet proof. My co-workers do NOT treat it nicely and it just keeps on taking it.

That being said, the Synchrowave is "hard" to beat but I wouldn't trade my Dynasty 300DX at my home shop for anything out there. I have had my Dynasty 300 for about 12-years now and it is an AWESOME machine. They nailed it with their inverter technology and ability to change frequency, pulse, ramp, etc and all while using less power.

No matter which machine you get I highly recommend a water cooled torch with the flexible rubber hoses. I have both the Weldcraft WP that I really like and the CK FLexLoc torch with the flexible hoses in 25' length, both have the flexible hoses and they are so much lighter and induce so much less fatigue into your day of welding.

Mike
 

Alan H.

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#12
I am likely going to move on the Dynasty 210 DX.

I am now struggling with the notion if I should break the bank and get the cooler package now or wait. Mike's advice is to "go for the gusto". It also appears that a package deal with it all is significantly cheaper than buying it piecemeal.

I have a torch and a regulator already. But the allure of a lighter weight handpiece/torch is calling but for only occasional use, I'm struggling with the additional cost.

Advice and opinions would be appreciated!
 

chips&more

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#13
I am likely going to move on the Dynasty 210 DX.

I am now struggling with the notion if I should break the bank and get the cooler package now or wait. Mike's advice is to "go for the gusto". It also appears that a package deal with it all is significantly cheaper than buying it piecemeal.

I have a torch and a regulator already. But the allure of a lighter weight handpiece/torch is calling but for only occasional use, I'm struggling with the additional cost.

Advice and opinions would be appreciated!
I do not tig weld much thicker than 3/16” and so do not need a cooler. And I’m not welding all day. Maybe more like 2-3 times a year. A cooler is maintenance. The two times I recall needing things cooler, I just hooked up the garden hose to the handle. And watered the plants as I welded…Dave.
 

Alan H.

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#14
Dave, If you use a light weight coolable torch, can you run it without the cooling? What brand is it?

Mike @zmotorsports can you run your WP torch without the cooling? EDIT - talked to someone that has one and their answer was no - Big Fubar if you do so. They'd had someone burn theirs up because of a mess up on cooling.

I have water and a drain in the shop, so maybe a once thru cooling hook up is another option. I think the cooler cost in the neighborhood of $700 just for the cooler itself and it appears that you need a powersupply either built into the 210DX as an option or a stand alone. EDIT: Further thoughts - this means I would never do it because I wouldn't want to take the time to hook it all up.

Is there a lightweight torch without the cooling capacity that someone might suggest?
 
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bss1

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#15
Alan

Reading through the thread it looks like you are getting some good advise and feedback. I think a miller tig is a good investment if you are willing to part with the high upfront cost. These machines have a great warranty and hold their value well.

I have a Miller Dynasty 200 that I purchased about 9 or ten years ago. I bet I could almost get my original investment back on a sale. I haven’t had any problems with it at all.

I purchased it with the intent of adding a cooler later on. I built a nice cart for it with a spot for a cooler but in the past ten years haven’t been able to justify it for my use. Don’t get me wrong the cooler is the Cadillac way to go, but for non-professional hobby use at 200 amps or less I haven’t had a need for it. The torch can get hot if making long continuous welds, or welding at high amperage for aluminum or something. If you were considering the larger higher amperage machines and were going to use it for aluminum, then the cooler would be a recommend. You can always add a cooler later.

I don’t weld a lot of aluminum. I mostly use it for steel and stainless steel. For these uses I haven’t needed more machine with higher amperage. I use tig a lot when I want a more cosmetically pleasing weld than I can produce with my MiG. I can control the profile of the weld bead better with TIG.

I have a CK flex head torch and some of the super flex lines. It’s been so long I can’t remember the number of the torch. I can try to dig through my files to see which torch it is if you need it. I do know it’s A CK torch and I think it’s rated for 200 amps. I have the stock Miller torch that came with it. It’s a little smaller in size and that’s nice but it did seem to get hotter quicker. The super flex lines are definitely a recommend.

Brad



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Alan H.

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#16
Thanks for the insights Brad. As you likely remember, when I am buying equipment I am always thinking about my son who has an equally large passion for this stuff. Good thing about a Miller is that it does last and my glide path will likely turn it over to him way before it is worn out. I have two Millers in the shop now, an old Econo Twin HF that belonged to my father and a Millermatic 211. The old Econo Twin is like new and a hoss of an old machine for stick welding but not so good for Tig. Therefore the chase for a new Tig machine. I want something that will allow me to weld thin materials and also put down a weld that is not fugly.

Paco (@firestopper) promises that a new Dynasty in my hands will let me produce welds as pretty as his! That's worth part of the entry price.
 

682bear

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#17
I have a Miller Dialarc 250 HF with the cooler... both units were made in 1984.

It doesn't have all the bells and whistles of the newer machines and when I turn it on lights dim in the next county, but it welds extremely well.

I would go ahead and buy the cooler... its worth it...

Bear
 

Alan H.

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#18
Thanks everyone for the feedback and the help.

The Miller bug bit today and I ordered the Miller # 951668 Dynasty 210 DX package:

1517544849231.png

I lost my bottle of gas to my son two years ago so I am going to go buy another bottle for when my new machine arrives next week.
 

Alan H.

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#19
The Dynasty 210DX arrived and is almost ready to go. I unpacked it and its in the shop now. I bought a 150 CF argon bottle.
She needs a plug on it and it should be buzzing this weekend.

in the truck.jpg

All dressed out ready for the game (except for the power plug):

tig v.jpg

I like the stand - it's stout.

tig iii.jpg
 

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Firestopper

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#20
OOOH, welding machine porn!
Thats a sexy machine Alan. I see a lot of practice welding in your future. I hope you bought some rod too (plenty of it). When you get some time under your belt, you can look into mixing helium for aluminum adding penetration.
 
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