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TIG Welder - Thermal Arc Tigwave 250 - Opinions

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by badsco, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. badsco
    Joined: Jun 11, 2009
    Posts: 104


    I've looked at a lot of threads reading up on tig welders, and though I dream of Millers and Lincolns, in my area, new is all that I seem to come across. I found this welder in the local classifieds for what seems to be a good deal - $1300, but dont have the knowledge or background to know exactly what I am getting into here. I value any input or opinions on this

    It's listed as, and pictures confirm that it is branded as a Thermal Arc tigwave 250. I can find very little online about this but found an older post here that made me wonder if this was in fact a Hobart machine as the case and controls look to be identical.

    Anyone know anything about this brand? I am worried about spare parts and service as well as performance.

    Comes with a Abicor Binzel water cooler and torch as shown in the pic, but no foot pedal control.

    Thanks in advance

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    Last edited: Oct 20, 2009
  2. RugBlaster
    Joined: Nov 12, 2006
    Posts: 563


    I think the local Airgas place sell that brand....I've heard their gas ac/dc welders are good.

    looks like a good deal
  3. budd
    Joined: Oct 31, 2006
    Posts: 3,478


  4. 52pickup
    Joined: Aug 11, 2004
    Posts: 833

    from Tucson, Az

    Thermal Arc is sold by Thermadyne . . . Thermadyne plasmas are pretty much the cream of the crop (at least in my experience). You would be able to get parts from thermadyne for sure, probably most welding supplies.

    I don't have any experience with the Thermal Arc welders, it doesn't look like they sell the 250 anymore, 185 or 300a models only, looks like the 300 goes for $6150-$6995
    and the 185 for $2000-$2550

    I searched google for thermal arc pedal, and clicked on shopping at the top. First thing that came up is "Hobart or Thermal Arc Foot Control" so they may very well be the same. It was $180.

  5. saltflatmatt
    Joined: Aug 12, 2001
    Posts: 630

    Alliance Vendor

    I used a Thermal Arc for 5-6 years in my ship, never had a problem.
  6. badsco
    Joined: Jun 11, 2009
    Posts: 104


    Thanks for the input everyone.
    Ok, so this thing is a beast. Requires 4 AWG input power cable and a 140 amp breaker according to the manual. This seems to be a bit (ok a lot) bigger than I want to get into in my 2 car garage, or my house service will accommodate. It seems to be a great machine though, will hold off for something a bit on the smaller side it seems.
  7. oj
    Joined: Jul 27, 2008
    Posts: 6,270


    You can get by on smaller power supply, just fuse it accordingly. You'll be able to weld everything you need on 50a (same as your range). You probably won't ever get into the 'high' range of the welder, in my shop the only time i touch high (at it lowest setting too) is when i am narrowing a rear housing. For most typical welding on hot rods/race car chassis i am in the 20-250a at 50 to 70% range. A 50a/240volt circuit handles that just fine, the current you weld at is different than the current you get from the outlet. Old machines used transformers to create the current, digital machines do it with switching power supplies but 10a @ 120v = 100a @ 12v; they are both 1200 watts and that is how you get all that current.
  8. badsco
    Joined: Jun 11, 2009
    Posts: 104


    Hey oj,
    So are you saying that I could wire this machine on the same line as my MIG uses (50A 12AWG) and weld most things i would need (20 gauge up to 1/4) and just dont turn up the amperage past where I need to and I should be ok?
    Makes sense (watts=volts X amps from high school electricity!) I worried there was some kind "overhead" required just to power up that sucker that would put me out of the ballpark, but this seems not to be the case - it draws what you need to use.
    Do I have this right (forgiving my non technical terms!)

  9. My mig is Thermal Arc and I couldn't be happier with it.

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