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hoffman
02-09-2005, 07:16 PM
I have a line on a big honkin Lincoln idealarc 250 ac/dc welder. I'd like to have a TIG but I was wondering if I could put a high freq. box on this thing. I'd like to weld aluminum. It's a model 250-250. I'll see if I can find a pic of one. Any ideas on what would be a fair price?
Just like this one
http://images.andale.com/f2/129/111/8188590/1107230907758_Lincoln_20Idealarc_20250_20welder.jp g
The price of admission for a store bought TIG is just too much for me to bear and I was wondering if this'd be a good box to use for Al welding. I know very little about doing this sort of thing...
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Hoffman in Warner Robins Ga

[This message has been edited by hoffman (edited 02-09-2005).]

[This message has been edited by hoffman (edited 02-09-2005).]

[This message has been edited by hoffman (edited 02-09-2005).]

Joel
02-09-2005, 09:05 PM
I am far from an expert, but all you need is DC to stick weld aluminum.

Rustybolt
02-09-2005, 09:11 PM
Joel. he wants to TiG weld alum. For that you need HF AC.

Hoff. They usuall go for a couple of hundred on ebay for AC/DC and a lot less for AC only. Millers seem to command a premium.(I been shoppin' em too);-)

I don't know nuffin bout no HF boxes.
Let us know how you make out.

#66B
02-10-2005, 06:09 AM
That is a excellant stick welder, I sold 1 for $250.00,to a good freind, yes it will do a fine job on alum. Lincoln mahes a add on High Freq. box, that is what the guy that bought it is doing with it now. On the street I would have ask 450.00- 500.00 for the welder itself (good machine)

#66B
02-10-2005, 06:12 AM
That is a excellant stick welder, I sold 1 for $250.00,to a good freind, yes it will do a fine job on alum. Lincoln mahes a add on High Freq. box, that is what the guy that bought it is doing with it now. On the street I would have ask 450.00- 500.00 for the welder itself (good machine)

vinito
02-10-2005, 10:16 AM
Sounds like there's a consensus. Here's the rig I picked up a few years ago:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v110/mikeyphoto/300.jpg . http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v110/mikeyphoto/tig.jpg

Even honkiner Idealarc 300 with a Miller HF attachment. I seldom set the welder higher than 1/3 its range for the work I do. Your "little brother" will handle TIG just as well.
Note that anybody's HF attachment should work fine - as long as it's not broken. Mine was just a package deal.
You can't do quite as nice work as you could with a "real" tig welder, but it still does very well. I haven't tried using it with aluminum yet, but it does a really good job welding with stainless rod so it should do Al well too. Hard to beat TIG in my opinion.
Note that you'll need a shield gas tank too if you don't have one already. I have a water cooled torch and I just run tap water through it in the summer (don't TIG in the winter). I really need to get a coolant recirculator and keep anti-freeze in it so I can forget about it and just use it any time. There are air-cooled torches too, but I don't know if they work as well or not - you might ask around.
$.02

[This message has been edited by vinito (edited 02-10-2005).]

Timewarp
02-10-2005, 11:25 AM
Looks like a nice welder! I have picked up 4 welders over the last 3 years according to my needs.
#1 Miller ac/dc buzzbox(My workhorse)
#2 Hobart 185 amp Mig
#3 Linde 350 amp HF AC/DC Tig ( cost $600 Can)
#4 Readywelder pound gun.
The Tig rig was cheap, works well, But draws a lot of power compared to the new inverter rigs. Also It takes a lot of amps to do any thickness in Al. I have come to the conclusion that Tigging Al is not going to be a reality for me.
Therefore - I got the Readywelder pound gun for Al, gonna get rid of the hobart and the linde machines and get a Dc inverter tig machine. CC/CV would be a bonus, but I don't think I'll need it for this pound gun. The readywelder is currently being shipped so I havn't used it yet but I have heard some good honest reviews.
I think I'll keep the miller thunderbolt - nice small machine and I don't think I'd get much for it anyhow, rather get the satisfaction of giving it to a welderless friend.
Hey I am a selftaught amateur welder, but I weld a lot. This is just my opinion on the matter.
And now - Tada - My welding project!
http://img144.exs.cx/img144/6467/sboat2nz.jpg
Oh yeah- my point. I think If I would wait and find a tig unit if that is what you want. Lots of welding shops are either upgrading or would like to.


[This message has been edited by Timewarp (edited 02-10-2005).]

rbjscott
02-10-2005, 11:34 AM
The 250 Lincoln is bringing about $200 to $300 in my area. Add on High freq. works fine. An gas cooled torch is a natural with add-on HF.
I used a Sears unit for years, repairing Al. boats.

ibewgypsie
02-10-2005, 03:55 PM
I gave 165 or thereabouts in 96 for a dayton hi freq add on box from grainger. It works great. The welder just ties in through it.

I have some industrial sized welders here still. I need to get rid of them. If you get ready to convert to DC I can "find" you some diodes out of one of these.

For real good tig welding of aluminum you need a foot control rig. The sulphates on the surface melt at a much higher temp than the core aluminum does. Once you liquidfy the surface you need to be able to back off the heat. A square wave tig machine is the "best" But if you are "poor" like me you make do.

A mig is a viable alternative to welding aluminum cheaply. A .060 liner and solid alum wire and argon. Not as good as a spool gun but it works. We have a couple of square wave machines at the shop, but I think they belong to a friend of a friend. Not ours. I think I was supposed to check them out and repair them for free for someone. (yeah right)

If these welders here was not as large as a car hood, I'd suggest you come get one of these. BIG-UN'S 400 amp machines.

David

{Ain't that just a kick in the pants.. I went to grainger to get you a picture/model number of the hi freq box I got.. No more are they listed}

[This message has been edited by ibewgypsie (edited 02-10-2005).]

hoffman
02-10-2005, 05:53 PM
Thanks guys. I can get the box for $300. I have a Hobart 135 MIG which is a great little machine for most stuff but I'm really itchin' to be able to weld AL. I figured I could get this box and add a hi freq, foot control and gas to it as I go. It'd save having to cough up a couple of grand at once for a store bought outfit. Any ideas on cost for these things? I looked at a Lincoln hi freq module and it was $1300!! If that's what I'm looking at then I may hold off until I can get a purpose built rig. This welder I'm looking at is an AC/DC Just like the band... It's also single phase.
Hey Timewarp, tell us about that project!

[This message has been edited by hoffman (edited 02-10-2005).]

Timewarp
02-10-2005, 06:42 PM
Hi Hoffman, It's around 60 ft, all steel on the outside. My pal drew up the design, we made a small model and then ordered the steel. It started out as 2 flat shapes on the ground, each half was pulled into shape, then joined together. I'm about 3 years into it, but I'm pretty lazy and take breaks. It is in the yard so I can work on it whenever I want.
http://img217.exs.cx/img217/56/pattern0ym.jpg
These are the patterns I started from.
I hope to have a modest machine shop on board.
Paul

hoffman
02-10-2005, 07:04 PM
Dude...ummm...errr...
Steel don't float http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//wink.gif
That's waaay cool!