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rolland
05-12-2008, 06:52 PM
I have been looking to learn to tig weld both steel and aluminum and since I don't have bunches of money to spend, was looking at the Miller Econotig welder. Was wondering if they are worth the money.
I have a mig and use it for a lot of my work, I don't weld anything more than 3 /16 anymore, and most is 13 to 18 guage sheet metal. Would also want it for welding bolt handles. Besides I don't have one.

Chipslinger
05-12-2008, 07:02 PM
I have an Econotig, I wouldn't use it for production work.

But for hobby stuff it is ok, I have welded 3/8 alum. using Helium, but the torch gets way to hot.

Blacksmith
05-12-2008, 08:20 PM
If you have an ao rig in the shop, you should truck over to Tinmantech and at least consider their flux and torch. Way cheaper and more pro (you would probably keep it for ever for some kinds of work)

I forget what is wrong with the econotig. There is some problem like it doesn' have frequency. Welding aluminum puts a heavy load on a TIG, so check carefully into the power capacity. also check whether you have the amps in your shop to get even that level. The other problem is that I don't think any of the periferals are useful with other TIGs, so you buy all the torches and pedals and you can't move them to a better machine if stuff goes in that direction. So basically just read it really carefully get the answers to anything missing from the basic package; check power consumption and output; look at items that can't be upgrades.

I think another thing most people believe is that for the relative money, same items in the package, the syncro 185 (or whatever number they are up to) solves almost all the problems, has better resale, upgrade and features. Sure it is about 500 bucks more, or whatever, but it is so much better the alternative is pretty much a 2000 dollar mistake.

mechanicalmagic
05-12-2008, 09:45 PM
Rolland,
I have the Hobart branded machine. An older model. I can't say for sure they still have the problem, but. For sheet metal it's a PITA. The lowest current melts thru on startup.

All "air" cooled torches get hot when run full bore, I have a water cooled torch, home brew cooler.

There was a thread here (where I inserted foot in mouth), might be of interest. The machines are all in the same price range.

http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/showthread.php?t=28830

Dave

macona
05-12-2008, 10:44 PM
The Econotig and the hobart version are a real joke. Spend a few hundred more and pick up a Synchrowave 200 or Get a used Synchrowave 180. You may even be able to find a used Synchro 250.

Basically the Econotig is a Buzz-box with a pseudo high freq and phase angle current control (Like a light dimmer but bigger). 20% Duty cycle at even partial output.

With the price of a Synchrowave 200 being so little more I and others just dont understand why they still make them.

torker
05-12-2008, 10:50 PM
I've know a half dozen guys over the years that bought Econotigs... they all sold them soon after.. to another unsuspecting newb to tig.
As macona said.. the 20% duty cycle was their biggest beef.
Tig can be a slow process so duty cycle is pretty important.
Russ

rolland
05-13-2008, 12:09 AM
Thanks for the information I will look into a different set up. Since I have not learned to tig weld yet I need all the help I can get.