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budget tig welders???

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by cdmorman, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. cdmorman
    Joined: Feb 12, 2012
    Posts: 7

    cdmorman
    Member
    from Myrtle ms

    i am looking to buy a tig welder but i wont be useing it every day so i wanted to get a cheaper one. i was wondering if anyone has some insight on which ones might be best. i will just be using it for sheet metal, and possible aluminum and would prefer a foot control. any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. BISHOP
    Joined: Jul 16, 2006
    Posts: 2,572

    BISHOP
    Member

    If your going to be welding aluminum, you need a water cooled unit, and I dont think you can get into that cheap.

    Whats your idea of cheap.??
     
  3. 65ssnova
    Joined: Jan 3, 2013
    Posts: 88

    65ssnova
    Member
    from Tulsa OK

    Dont go cheap, get a good welder that will last your lifetime for all your car project needs...just my .2
     
  4. john~N~dallas
    Joined: Dec 30, 2009
    Posts: 432

    john~N~dallas
    Member

    30 year old miller dialarc with hf... laying beads for $1200 once i bought the welder, argon bottle, water cooler... make sure you get one with foot pedal torch and all dont try and piece it together... here is how mine came for $580
     

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  5. Kevinsrodshop
    Joined: Aug 22, 2009
    Posts: 589

    Kevinsrodshop
    Member

    Depending on the thickness of the material you are welding (which means amperage) depends if you need a water cooled unit.

    Miller makes the Diversion 165 and 180 Tig. I have the 165. Its both an AC and DC unit so it will do Aluminum. The 180 you can get for around $1800-1900 depending where you shop. Comes with a food pedal. For an entry level unit that'll to the basics from a quality manufacturer I don't think you can go wrong with a Diversion unit.

    Keeping in mind if you buy an older tig that is a transformer unit vs a newer one that is inverter that your power consumption is vastly different. Any cost savings buying an older cheaper unit will get eaten up eventually with enough use of the unit in electricity costs.
     
  6. john~N~dallas
    Joined: Dec 30, 2009
    Posts: 432

    john~N~dallas
    Member


    this is true... i just checked my bill spread sheet and going back this year to last the my electric bill has gone up $83 total this year compared to last year... so over several years it will pay for itself.. but could be that my wife keeps the A/C colder when im not there in the summer.. i come home and raise it up!!!...
     
  7. repairmanrod
    Joined: Jan 6, 2007
    Posts: 77

    repairmanrod
    Member
    from colorado

    I am a welder repair tech by trade and i would have to agree that the Diversion welders are great for hobby. I have a Syncrowave 250 at home and it will draw the better part of 100 amps on 230 volts input! Thermal arc also makes a small inverter welder for the money. The only thing to remember with one of the inverter welders is if it happens to blow an igbt or scr it will take out the control pc board as well as the interconnect boards and if this happens out of warranty you might as well toss it in the dumpster. With a transformer machine they are heavy and they do take a lot of current to use them but for hobby use even an old Dialarc HF will last more than your life time. Just my 2 cents worth from a tech or repair point of view

    Rod
     
  8. DamnYankeesKustoms
    Joined: Jan 14, 2010
    Posts: 297

    DamnYankeesKustoms
    Member

    Bought my Square Wave Tig 300 for $750, looked pretty rough when I bought it, but looks like B/N now :D... works like new as well...built my water cooler for about $200( don't even bother with aluminum without a water cooled torch ), had to buy a foot pedal...$150 , a torch $150... Soooo right around $1250 ... plus you will need an argon bottle, flow meter/ reg, power cord, breaker etc etc... Keep an eye on C-list... there's always good deals available...
     

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  9. CutawayAl
    Joined: Aug 3, 2009
    Posts: 2,144

    CutawayAl
    Member
    from MI

    For a long time I had a Miller Dialarc 250. I remember it was 90 Amps single phase. A plug and receptacle for that much current is really expensive so I went with ones intended for 50 amps max.:eek: I eventually burned those up welding at high currents. Apparently those ratings actually do mean something.:rolleyes: We ended up wiring it directly to a disconnect with a long cord.
     
  10. snaptwo
    Joined: Apr 25, 2011
    Posts: 696

    snaptwo
    Member

    Check out some of the videos on welding tips and tricks .com No BS , No PHDs, it might help you make your mind on what to buy. The guys here are telling you right . I just bought a fresh Miller Dynasty DX with all the bells and whistles I paid half price for it and I know it's history as it belonged to a weldors weldor, he passed away recently. Good quality equipment is cheaper in the long run.
     
  11. sevenevez
    Joined: Jul 21, 2010
    Posts: 539

    sevenevez
    Member
    from Yuma, AZ

    I am no amazing welder myself. But i can tell you, me and my buddy used a Harbor Freight Welder for like 2 years and just figured WE Sucked at welding. A couple weeks ago he borrowed a neighbors Lincoln Welder and it was mind blowing how smooth we were laying beads almost instantly. Save up for at least a decent one. That's what i am doing. :)
     
  12. kevin47
    Joined: Feb 12, 2011
    Posts: 43

    kevin47
    Member

    I'm a Miller man, myself...But, I still love how smooth them 'ol Lincoln's are...Especially, on Aluminum...Very forgiving...DialArc 250 W/Hf...Got one, a little rough...Got a Hobart TR W/Sq wave attachment...Will do thinner Al with an air cooled torch...I have a Miller Sincrowave...Tits...My Miller Delta 450 Mig is still the "work horse"...I'd look in to an older machine, their cheap in price and there all over...And it's probably all you'll need, $500 to a $1000 is all I'd fork over...Don't forget the Lincoln...
     
  13. DamnYankeesKustoms
    Joined: Jan 14, 2010
    Posts: 297

    DamnYankeesKustoms
    Member


    LOL, yes those H/F "mig" welders are junk... However..... I have a little Everlast 140 stick/lift tig welder and it welds just as smooth as red or blue welders, even the coveted Dynasty. For less than $300...
     
  14. Marcosmadness
    Joined: Dec 19, 2010
    Posts: 356

    Marcosmadness
    Member
    from California

    One mistake many people make when buying a TIG welder is to look at only the maximum thickness of metal that the machines are rated to weld. Generally speaking, most people will spend most of their time welding thin metal and it takes a good machine to weld the really thin stuff. Kevin47 is right, the better machines are easier to weld with than the "el cheapo" machines. The inverter welders are nice if floor space is tight. A used welder can be a good buy as long as the welder didn't come out of a "production shop" where it was being used 8 hours a day. I bought a Miller Syncrowave 350 with all the "bells and whistles" from sign shop. The sign shop bought the welder originally and decided it was too slow for their needs and replaced it with a MIG welder coupled with a spool gun. The welder had less than 5 hours on the hour meter when I bought it. Don't be in a hurry and shop around till you know what is a "good deal". There are a lot of good deals on welders. If you don't know how to TIG weld, find someone who does to check the machine before you buy it.
     
  15. kevin47
    Joined: Feb 12, 2011
    Posts: 43

    kevin47
    Member

    Oh...Is that what the "report" button is all about...? Spammers...?
     
  16. Cowtown Speed Shop
    Joined: Sep 26, 2010
    Posts: 1,182

    Cowtown Speed Shop
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from KC

    My advice would be to stay away from HF and the other Cheap machines, As for the most part they are a Bad joke! find a used Miller or Lincoln, forney etc, Your a little far away, But I have a Nice miller econo tig that has less than 30 hours on it with cart and bottle, torch and pedal (ready to weld) that I might part with, PM me if your interested. Or watch the local sites and buy one, If you do not get in a hurry the right deal will come along.
     
  17. ottoman
    Joined: May 4, 2008
    Posts: 284

    ottoman
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    You dont need a water cooled torch for most hobby/garage welding. I bought a Diversion 165 for my home welder and have run the snot out of it for three years with no issues. At full output I believe it draws around 25amps.. weighs around 50lbs and doesnt take up much room. I found mine on line new for $1250 and bought an after market foot control for around $150. I couldnt be happier
     
  18. Kevinsrodshop
    Joined: Aug 22, 2009
    Posts: 589

    Kevinsrodshop
    Member

    I completely agree. I've welded aluminum with mine just fine. It welds steel nicely and I'm no welder. However if you've never tig welded before I recommend taking a beginners tig course if possible. My local Tech college offered one and I took it. I learned a lot from it.
     
  19. T Achilli
    Joined: Aug 25, 2009
    Posts: 239

    T Achilli
    Member
    from walworth

    Check out the InverTig 221 from HTP i did a bunch of research and although i was sold on a 200 Dynasty DX the invetig is comparable and comes in at 1000 bucks cheaper after buying a pedal and torch and ground( comes with HTP unit). It does every thing I need it to do , aluminum, sheet metal,and stainless It has a hook up to add a cooler later. Its worth at least checking into.
     
  20. I bought a big assed Hobart with everything included for 1,400 off of the HAMB classifieds a couple years ago....gotta watch, they pop up.
     
  21. 1949 caddyman
    Joined: Jun 30, 2010
    Posts: 225

    1949 caddyman
    Member
    from arizona

  22. I was able to buy my Miller Syncro 200 for $1200 I believe. I bought it from a shop that only used it once, so as far as I'm concerned it was brand new. Came with consumables, cart, thumb control. I bought an aftermarket foot control, but the thumb control is nice for tight places like roll cages, etc.
     
  23. mcmopar
    Joined: Nov 12, 2012
    Posts: 1,557

    mcmopar
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Strum, wi

    I also am looking for one I found this one, just don't know if it is a good deal or not. It looks clean and comes with extra tips and ceramics. I have read good and bad about them. I know that I will mainly us it on metal under 1/4 inch.

    </FIGURE><SECTION id=postingbody>Miller Syncwave 180 SD Tig Welder With extra Collets, Tips, And Tungstons....$1500
     
  24. joel
    Joined: Oct 10, 2009
    Posts: 1,673

    joel
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I bought the same machine new in 06 for 1400 plus a deal on the argon bottle. Dollar is worth less but I think that is a little high for a used machine. I love the machine however, I wish I could see better.
     
  25. ken1939
    Joined: Jul 5, 2008
    Posts: 1,558

    ken1939

    I bought the one from Eastwood just before Christmas. $100 off and free shipping. Just need a bottle of Argon and some rods and off I go. It was the best deal I could find that was 110V. Steel, Stainless and Aluminum.
     
  26. mitchell tannahill
    Joined: Nov 11, 2012
    Posts: 46

    mitchell tannahill
    Member
    from CHICAGO

  27. groundpounder
    Joined: Jul 1, 2010
    Posts: 260

    groundpounder
    Member Emeritus

    I have a Miller Diverson 180..... Had it for over two years and tig the shit out of it!.....dial on the torch and or pedal feed.....we use the Dynasty 300 / 350? (CRS Disease right now!) and 200s at work.....really like the 180 for the 1700 I paid for it!
     
  28. toreadorxlt
    Joined: Feb 27, 2008
    Posts: 733

    toreadorxlt
    Member
    from Nashua, NH

    squarewave 175 is a good out of the box easy to get into TIG machine. cheap...
     
  29. repairmanrod
    Joined: Jan 6, 2007
    Posts: 77

    repairmanrod
    Member
    from colorado

    I am with you on the seeing part! I go to the Dollar Store and buy 3.0 or 3.25 magnifying glasses and depending on what amperage i am welding at i use one of them. I also mounted a HF baseball cap flash light on my welding hood so i can see the weld joint before i start welding! Works like a champ. also for guys learning to tig, Miller Electric has a welding calculator that you can either download on your computer or for your smart phone. here is a link

    http://www.millerwelds.com/resources/calculators/tig_amperage_calculator.php

    Rod
     
  30. repairmanrod
    Joined: Jan 6, 2007
    Posts: 77

    repairmanrod
    Member
    from colorado

    PS.....Forgot to mention that in the Denver Craigslist there is an old L-Tec Heli-Arc ac/dc machine with foot control and Argon bottle right now for $500.00
     

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