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Thread: TIG suggestions

  1. #1
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    Default TIG suggestions

    I am looking into getting a TIG for my shop at home. I will primarily be welding steel, but would like the possibility to weld aluminum down the road. I will be doing some frame and suspension work ie. narrowing the rear frame and possible 3-link.

    What do you reccomend for me? I can't really spend 3k for a machine. Is there something I can get for less with a decent duty cycle? I will be learning to TIG soon, currently working on MIG skills. I am taking a welding course at the local tech school. They have some huge water cooled TIG's.

    Michael Barnes
    71 Chevelle - LS1/T56 swap - On the Street!!


  2. #2
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    TIG welders cost $2K minimum, at least they do if you want AC to weld aluminum.

    Do you have a welding supply store nearby? The might be able to get you into contact with someone selling a used machine in your local area.

    jp
    John Parsons



    II Much Fabrication's Blog -- New products, Fabrication sequences, etc.

  3. #3
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    Spend some time poking around ebay for a sycrowave 250 or 300. If you take your time you can put a rig together for less than a grand. The reason it takes a while is because you DON'T want to be paying for shiping on a transformer TIG. I saw a 300 on ebay that was in FL just this week. Stick with the syncrowave because they're work horses and the design hasn't changed much since the mid 70s.
    1967 #s RS

  4. #4
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    I recently purchased a syncrowave 180 sd brand new with warranty $1500 shipped to my door. Great machine so far AC/DC. Only bad thing about it is its size and only 220v outlet capabilities. but other than that i love it
    68 Camaro - never to be finished
    06 Silverado - Forged 370, L92 Heads, big cam, 4l80e ect. eventual donor for the above
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmB2y7uX38I

  5. #5
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    I have to agree with the statement about ebay. I have been looking for a couple of months now. The Syncrowave 250 units regurlarly go for $1500-1700. Most of these come with a cooler, torch, cables, etc. All you will have to provide in most cases is a gas tank. The only drawback I have seen, is most of these do NOT have the pulser option, or the pre-flow option. However, you should ask the real welding pros here how much you will need those options.

    Ken
    69 Camaro
    427, 4 speed, TTII's, Konis, JL8 clone brakes, solid AL body bushings, some assembly still required

    69 Corvette
    427, 4 speed, TTII's, Bilsteins, HEI, what I work on while the Camaro sits

  6. #6
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    Default

    I need to weld suspension parts, body panels, and some headers.
    Michael Barnes
    71 Chevelle - LS1/T56 swap - On the Street!!

  7. #7
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    Can I get by with an air cooled unit? How about something under $2000?

    John, what kind of welder are you using on II Much?
    Michael Barnes
    71 Chevelle - LS1/T56 swap - On the Street!!

  8. #8
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    I had a 180SD for a long time. Really enjoyed it and didnt' have any issues. I have no problem suggesting it to anybody.

    I recently upgraded to a 250dx. It is nicer but is up to you if double the price is worth it.

    Miller has a 200 out now also, in between the 180 and 250. Might look at that.

    I would stay with brand name.

    My 180 was air cooled and was ok for welding at lower amps, and short times. The water cooler is nice but again more money.

    Keep in mind aluminum if you want to weld thick takes a BIG welder. 180 is good for about 1/4" max if you preheat. For the steel you should be happy. Welders also hold value somewhat well. So you can sell it later and upgrade if you need. (what I did)

  9. #9
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    Stealthy,
    I have a Lincoln 175 Square Wave Professional. Total cost (bottles, cart, etc.) about $2200. I later converted it to a water-cooled torch, so add another $200 for that. I use tap water rather than a chiller. It comes in a bit light when I want to weld 1/4" aluminum, but otherwise does everything I've ever needed.

    jp
    John Parsons



    II Much Fabrication's Blog -- New products, Fabrication sequences, etc.

  10. #10
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    I found the Lincoln Precision TIG 185 w/ The basic machine (K-2345-1) which comes with work clamp, input cable, TIG Calculator and GTAW Handbook. For $1470 from: http://www.tigdepot.com

    Can I just get a water cooled torch and hook it up to the faucet. How much does a cooler go for? I would rather buy the welder without the torch and get a water cooled torch, than buy it with an air cooled and replace it. What do you think?

    John how are you running the tap water? Do you have this: http://www.weldingmart.com/Qstore/p002083.htm
    Michael Barnes
    71 Chevelle - LS1/T56 swap - On the Street!!

  11. #11
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    Stealthy,
    Yes, I'm running exactly that. I hooked it up to the relay that enables gas flow, so that I have running water through the torch when gas is flowing. It works perfectly, and I can't tell any difference on my water bill.

    I hooked into my water supply under the sink I'd already installed in my garage. If you go this route, be sure and hook into the cold water. I screwed up at first and connected to the hot water ... giving me a water-heated torch instead of the more desirable water-cooled torch, lol.

    The only downside to all this is that you are now connected not only to your power supply for the welder, but also to the water supply. So be sure you leave enough slack in the lines to move the welder around some.

    My welding supply credited me the retail cost of my original air cooled (I prefer to think of it as the "non-cooled") torch and gave me a good deal on a Miller Diamondback water-cooled torch.

    jp
    John Parsons



    II Much Fabrication's Blog -- New products, Fabrication sequences, etc.

  12. #12
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    Either I didn't make my self clear or everybody here has way more money than me. EBAY, Syncrowave 300s, LOADED (bernard/miller chillers, regulators, pedals, torches...) for about a $1000. Give your credit card a brake for a few hours and do some research. Once you find out what you need, take your time and feret one out in the used equipment market. It doesnt make sense to me to pay a $500-1000 preminium for instant gratification.

    Also, I've always been VERY impressed by Miller products. That said, if JP endorses the red stuff, then it's good enough for me. He's a talented fabricator and a stand up guy.
    1967 #s RS

  13. #13
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    I've always been VERY impressed by Miller products. That said, if JP endorses the red stuff
    Actually, I'm using a Miller torch on my Lincoln TIG machine. My next machine will be one of them Syncrowaves. I want balance control, and my machine doesn't have it and can't be upgraded for it.

    jp
    John Parsons



    II Much Fabrication's Blog -- New products, Fabrication sequences, etc.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by parsonsj
    Actually, I'm using a Miller torch on my Lincoln TIG machine. My next machine will be one of them Syncrowaves. I want balance control, and my machine doesn't have it and can't be upgraded for it.

    jp
    Then I'm going to come out and say it...
    "the red stuff is junk and Miller is the only company that you should consider."

    Maybe this rousing endorsement will make Miller send me a dynasty 700 (incert drooling icon here)
    1967 #s RS

  15. #15
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    the red stuff is junk and Miller is the only company that you should consider
    Well, let's not go that far. I've always seen Miller as the higher end company, and Lincoln as the lower priced company. I don't know if that is actually true, but that's my perception. My Lincolns (I've got a pair of 'em: one MIG, one TIG) have never ever let me down. Hell, my previous Lincoln TIG welder is over 20 years old and is still going strong for Brian Schein (he bought it from me).

    I'm with you on the sponsorship thing. Miller, are you listening?

    jp
    John Parsons



    II Much Fabrication's Blog -- New products, Fabrication sequences, etc.

  16. #16
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    I bought another sync300 w/ a miller chiller, flow meter, pedal and 250A torch today for $1200 today. Its for a buddy. The liquidator I bought it at has four bridgeports and two HUGE rockwell/ delta vertical band saws for sale...
    1967 #s RS

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by wendell
    I bought another sync300 w/ a miller chiller, flow meter, pedal and 250A torch today for $1200 today. Its for a buddy. The liquidator I bought it at has four bridgeports and two HUGE rockwell/ delta vertical band saws for sale...
    Where did you get the 300 for $1200? Ebay shows like $2k.

  18. #18
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    The $1200 one was an "off ebay" sort of deal. That said, I bought a sync 300 power source for $600 on ebay about a year and a half ago. The trick is that they are too heavy to ship. you've got to wait till you find one local.
    1967 #s RS

  19. #19
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    Default I guess I'll chime in

    We bought (My dad and I) a Lincoln Pro 175 a few years back new for like $1450. It's treated us really well. It doesn't get used a great deal. I'm really wanting a water cooled torch. If I weld anything very thick my hands get pretty toasty.

    Lincoln vs. Miller seems to be the Chevy vs. Ford of equipment. We have all Lincoln at home, the body shop my dad manages has all Miller. Neither of them have ever let us down.

    Another buddy has a Lincoln Invertec - It's awesome and really small, but pricey as hell.

    Anyway - I wouldn't have any problem recommending the Pro 175 which is now the Pro 185 to anyone.
    Brandon Wiedeman
    1972 Suburban
    1967 Chevy II - Project not yet started

    I have about 3 lifetimes worth of projects planned out in my head!
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