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tig weld question?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by mickeyc, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. mickeyc
    Joined: Jul 8, 2008
    Posts: 1,068


    Hello guys, and ladies, Mickey C here. I would like some input concering the Miller 180 Diversion tig welder. I am considering buying one for panel repair on my projects. I am having issues with both mig and oxy/actylene methods. Mainly burn through of old thin panels while joining them to repair pieces. If anyone may have had some expierence with
    this machine I would like to hear what they think regarding this product

    Thanks, Mick.
  2. ebfabman
    Joined: Mar 10, 2009
    Posts: 651


    Mick, tig is a great way to weld but sounds like you need to work on your technique. Tig is going to be similar to oxy/acet as far as how you weld goes. Get a tig if you can but put in the time to get good, regardless of what welder your using. Practice, practice, and more practice.

    Maybe get someone who is good to show you how you can improve.

    Just trying to help......eb
  3. the metalsurgeon
    Joined: Apr 19, 2009
    Posts: 1,238

    the metalsurgeon
    from Denver

    a great machine is a Miller 180 syncrowave.You can often buy them used off craigslist.The great thing with a Tig welder you can dial it down to 25/30 amps and weld tin foil thickness.

    my weekly metal work blog
  4. For DC welding on thin mild steel, the TIG machine isn't anywhere near as important as what you do with it. SMALL tungsten, small wire (ER70S6 .035 MIG spool wire works fine, even lower tensile will make it easier to hammer out).

    Agreed that you should be able to dial in a MIG so it will run that material. You may have to stitch to get a good penetration without blowing holes in it. Make sure the face and back side of the work is CLEAN, regardless of process. If you're blasting the panels, i'd wire brush the weld area before welding to get any media residue off.

    Another common problem is a poor ground path. If that MIG has to hunt for a ground, it will keep upping the voltage until it finds ground, usually followed by large holes in the metal...

  5. harley man
    Joined: Jan 24, 2009
    Posts: 152

    harley man

    Tig won't help you if you can't make a mig machine work.It's not as easy as it looks. You need to practice and learn proper welding.
  6. groundpounder
    Joined: Jul 1, 2010
    Posts: 260

    Member Emeritus

    The Miller Diversion 180....bought one and extremely happy with it. As Harley man has stated....lotta Practice!....
  7. chopolds
    Joined: Oct 22, 2001
    Posts: 5,805

    from howell, nj
    1. Kustom Painters

    Any of the welding techniques can be difficult to master, when working on old car panels. Since you can't see if the panel is thinned out on the backside, any of these methods will blow holes in a panel if you hit a thin spot. TIG is no better than any other, in that respect. You need to inspect your panels as best you can, and cut out past what you think is damaged in many circumstances, to be welding solid metal to you patch panels.
    Also with more experience, filling small blow throughs become easier. One of the things we have to live with.
  8. BobF
    Joined: Dec 30, 2004
    Posts: 230

    from Poway, CA

    If you're replacing panels which were eaten away by rust, you need to trim back far enough to get to the good metal, full thickness, not partially devoured by the rust.
    If you can get access to the rear it helps to put some copper strips 1" or wider and at least 1/8" but 3/16' or 1/4' better clamped behind the seam to be welded. Still no replacement for practice, practice.
  9. klug99
    Joined: Oct 12, 2009
    Posts: 27


    Do you have the soft start on, on the welder?
  10. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,758

    Member Emeritus

    You will have to learn how to adjust and handle the heat on any type of welding machine. A good experienced welder can run a machine a lot hotter than a weekend warrior. They have learned to sense when to back off. If you burn through with mig and oxy-acetelene you will probably burn through with a tig also until you learn how to adjust the heat. It takes practice to become a good welder no matter what type machine you are using.
  11. klug99
    Joined: Oct 12, 2009
    Posts: 27


    Well Said...
  12. oj
    Joined: Jul 27, 2008
    Posts: 6,247


    What others have said and i'd point out that tig is extremely difficult on rusted surfaces - very difficult and not something you want to learn on. Rust is oxydation and it drives tig crazy.
    Get a tig machine, you won't regret it but it isn't the do-all answer to your problem. It takes lots of screwing metal up to get it to the point of predicting when it'll screw up and that is when you start learning.
  13. rustyangels
    Joined: Sep 28, 2010
    Posts: 178


    I like to use a chunk of graphite block for a handheld backer, For mig wire, use solid wire.024" with a 75/25 gas mix, also what BobF said, use copper backing
  14. tig master
    Joined: Apr 9, 2009
    Posts: 416

    tig master
    from up north

    Tig must be squeaky clean it won't tolerate rust in any small amount You will also have a steep learning curve on thin material.Yes it is doable but not a good choice for a novice welder.It must also be done with a short run bead maybe 1/2" to 3/4" .040" electrode is a good starting point and .035" mig wire straightened out,and move around to a new spot and don't weld until your first weld is cool to the hand.This is a must to reduce the warpage to a minimum.Tig responds well to hammer welding after the weld.Another requirement is a tight fit up no gap on thin panels.Gaps on thin material for a beginner tig welder will give you nightmares.Much easier when you get some seat time.I would suggest finding a buddy that can tig weld and get you going with some correct guidance.That's where I was 25 years ago and 4 tig machines later.
    I started tig with only limited oxy gas experience.You haven't told us what mig you have tried?Is it a real machine or a Chinese "POS"
    Hopes this helps.And to respond to your query about a diversion it is a great entry level well made tig machine that could do what you require in a new york minute.
    Sorry for the long drawn out post.

  15. hillbilly4008
    Joined: Feb 13, 2009
    Posts: 2,917

    from Rome NY

    I bought the Diversion 180. Its my first TIG welder ever, actually the first time I ever TIG welded was the day it got dropped off at the shop. I'm pretty happy with it so far, and am learning it on my own. It will take ALOT of practice to get it right, but I'm getting there. What I really like about the Diversion 180 is you have the option to use the thumb trigger instead of the pedal. I'm sure this would come in handy while working inside a car.
  16. mickeyc
    Joined: Jul 8, 2008
    Posts: 1,068


    Hello Sir, I am using a Miller 252 mig welder. I am now using 030 wire.
    and will switch to 023 wire this week when the drive wheels for this wire come from miller. The machine will turn as low as 14 on the heat side but
    no further. The wire speed will go as slow or fast as you want. The panels are the wheel wells on the rear of a 40 ford coupe. I am fairly proficient on slightly heavier gauge with the oxy/ acet. I am also experienced with the mig on thicker metals as well. I have cleaned
    the rust off the metal with a high speed wire wheel of good quality.
    The victor brazing torch with a o tip is heating a spot much larger than needed. The Ford panels are very thin and with rust removal even thinner. They were not rusted badly but the cleaning did thin the metal some. As far as trimming the badly rusted ares to find the best metal to join to I have done that as well. I just thought the pin point accuracy of the tig would help with heat control as well. I will make sure to achieve a very close fit with little or no gaps and then try the mig again. I do thank you for taking your time to help me .

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