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Mig or Tig?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Dexter The Dog, Apr 14, 2013.

  1. Dexter The Dog
    Joined: Jun 27, 2009
    Posts: 195

    Dexter The Dog

    I've got a miller 185 mig welder. I've never had much luck with it on sheet metal but I've seen welds others have done that look good.
    I have trouble seeing where to strike for starters then things just get too hot too fast.
    I used to do a lot of gas welding but can't seem to get that flow with the Mig.

    I've been considering looking for a Tig setup to do some sheet work.

    Any suggestions?
  2. Dirty Dug
    Joined: Jan 11, 2003
    Posts: 3,606

    Dirty Dug

    You might want to try smaller wire like .23 or .25 and turn it down. I have the same welder and have had some success with it welding sheet metal but prefer a 110 machine for it.
  3. metalman
    Joined: Dec 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,274


    We have a small Miller tig at the shop, sorry, can't remember the number but they use to call it the Econotig. 110/220 ac/dc so it will do aluminum as well. I love it for sheet metal work and up to 1/8", not so much for heavy stuff over 1/8. If you can gas weld it should be easy and will spoil you.
  4. I bought a Miller syncrowave 250 TIG welder and took a class at the local community collage. They start you with oxy/acc tourch. I had no trouble as I could weld with a tourch. If you can weld with a tourch the switch is easy.
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  5. the metalsurgeon
    Joined: Apr 19, 2009
    Posts: 1,239

    the metalsurgeon
    from Denver

  6. customrod48
    Joined: Oct 10, 2010
    Posts: 201


    Try a series of spot welds with your mig.. after some practice you will be able to lay a series of spots in quick succession without blowing through.........
  7. fordcragar
    Joined: Dec 28, 2005
    Posts: 3,180

    from Yakima WA.

    Why not just gas weld then. Some people like using a MIG for sheet metal, but it never worked well for me either. If you are going to use the TIG for a lot of other things, I wouldn't spend the money.
  8. Dexter The Dog
    Joined: Jun 27, 2009
    Posts: 195

    Dexter The Dog

    Gas welding with steel is always a mess because of the oxidizing from not having gas around it. I could never get a nice weld without a lot of "crispy lava" all over it. Bronzing I don't like because of the bubbling issues under bondo, even after sandblasting.
  9. oj
    Joined: Jul 27, 2008
    Posts: 6,230


    TIG. It is slow to weld but the metalfinishing aspect is worth the welding effort.
    Get a good machine, one that will do far more than you need will be just right.
  10. Then you're doing it wrong. Any type of welding has to be done properly. A new or different tool isn't going to help, if you don't know how to run it.
  11. Street Is Neat
    Joined: Oct 11, 2011
    Posts: 155

    Street Is Neat
    from Hat City

    Try running mixture of argon ,it will run cooler ....
  12. hobbyjp
    Joined: Mar 14, 2006
    Posts: 327

    from socal

    You already have a Mig welder and cant use that and your asking if you should buy a Tig? I would love to have a Tig but its not in my budget plus its sometimes hard to justify one. Your not going to have any more luck with a Tig. It takes practice, a class is only going to teach you the theory you have to burn some rod and melt some wire if you ever want to master it. Its not the machine its the user. If your having problems with seeing the arc get an auto darkening helmet and setup your work so that you have good lighting on the area to be welded. those two things will improve your welding more than throwing money at a new machine. Tig is not the end all be all, regardless how many armchair jockeys on here claim that it is.
  13. tinmann
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 1,589


    Have you considered getting your eyes tested?

  14. Fenders
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 3,922


    What Hobby said.

    Best advice I learned here for a MIG is to tip the torch over about 60 degrees or more to make spot welds, it won't blow through.

    But to summarize Hobby's advice -- it's not what you got that counts, it's what you do with what you've got.
  15. Lazlobassett
    Joined: Apr 12, 2010
    Posts: 479


    I have both and use both, same miller, the 185 and I do sheet metal with it all the time. I've been making friends witht eh tig over the last 2 years, use it for stainess and aluminium mostly.
  16. Olderchild
    Joined: Nov 21, 2012
    Posts: 476

    from Ohio

    I were photo gray glasses and they seam to screw with me when i weld:mad:
  17. thebugbox
    Joined: Nov 29, 2009
    Posts: 255


    I used to have one of the econobox Flux Core welders. After 2 spools of wire, the most I could do is make metal bubble gum. So I called over a certified welder, and asked him if he could show me how to do it. He made just as bad bubble gum and cursed at me a lot for buying a toy. I bought the Millermatic 185 (smallest 220v I could find) and have been welding happily ever since. I've done a few patch panels, and burned through 2 or 3 large rolls of .23 wire. What I am saying here is get someone to test your machine that knows how to use it. There is a small chance it isn't functioning properly. More likely it is just practice. I can't lay down beads like the pro's do here, but after grinding / sanding you'd never know it. I never continuous weld sheet metal. I spot weld about 1 inch apart. Left everything cool, then stitch about 1/4" at a time moving around a lot and letting it cool a lot. Anything more than 1/4" and I seem to start burning through. Then grind, grind, grind. Also letting it cool. I highly recommend an auto darkening helmet and a great light so that you can see everything before you start an arc.

    Just my $0.01 (worth about half of other's comments)...
  18. hobbyjp
    Joined: Mar 14, 2006
    Posts: 327

    from socal

    I will also add that it is just as important to have good clean metal and your ground to be connected to a good clean area on thin sheet metal as it would be if you were welding thick plate. If your using any kind of extension chord make sure its able to carry the amperage, if your machine cant get the electricity it needs your failing before you even get started.
  19. You can not lift your tourch to reduce heat when tig welding. There are three things that make a good welder. Practice,practice and practice.
    Keep trying you will get it.

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