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woodnerd
10-10-2011, 11:08 AM
When I was a teen, my dad taught me to stick-weld. I even have his 1970's welder in the shop. However, in the subsequent 30+ years those skills are somewhat rusty.

I think I'd like to get back into welding by learning tig. However, I know nothing about what would constitute a decent machine. I'm hoping that I can get something suitable for around-the-homestead repairs and fabrication for under $2000.

Any suggestions?

Leos
10-10-2011, 11:31 AM
You don't state what metals you'd be welding. If aluminum is in the cards then you'd need an ac/dc machine. To conform to your budget I'd choose a Miller Synchrowave 200 which runs slightly over the 2K, used would lower your cost somewhat. With this sync you'd be limited to about 1/4" metal.
The machine has the stick function included, but is not really portable. For steel only - I'd choose something like the Maxstar 150 STH inverter. It will run on both 110 and 220 and is very portable - also includes the stick function, but does not burn 6010well at all. Lincoln and others make/may make similar machines. Good luck.

woodnerd
10-10-2011, 11:53 AM
The types of metal would mostly be steel, but I'd definitely like to be able to work with 6-series aluminum

I had looked at the Miller Syncrowave 200, but $2600 is probably stretching too far for me at this point.

The Miller Diversion 180 is one that I'm seriously considering, would the 200 really be that much better for +$750?

MichaelP
10-10-2011, 12:15 PM
You can find a used Miller Synchrowave 250 with a water cooler and still have some spare money left.

If you want to go portable, Thermal Arc inverter TIGs are very decent and not overly expensive.

macona
10-10-2011, 01:13 PM
You are on the edge of picking up a Miller Dynasty 200 for that price.

Highpower
10-10-2011, 01:47 PM
I had looked at the Miller Syncrowave 200, but $2600 is probably stretching too far for me at this point.

Nobody sells at MSRP except Miller themselves.... :rolleyes:

http://store.cyberweld.com/milsyn180sd2.html
and free shipping to boot. :)

Cons:
1) Not very portable. (HEAVY)
2) A lot more power hungry than an inverter unit. (60 amp circuit.)

Pros: Sturdy machine that will last FOREVER in a home shop environment. :D

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v82/Highpwr/Machining%20Projects/th_Syncrowave200.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v82/Highpwr/Machining%20Projects/?action=view&current=Syncrowave200.jpg)

rbertalotto
10-10-2011, 02:28 PM
The BIG issue with TIG welders is available input voltage. I had a Miller Syncrowave 200 and didn't have the proper service current to operate it effectively for relatively heavy aluminum. It needed 60amps at 230V. I sold it and bought a Miller Diversion 160...........FANTASTIC welder. These newer welders are "Inversion" based power supplies and require much lower current and are MUCH smaller and portable.

Although I have lots of experience with MIG and O/A, I had near zero experience with TIG. Lots of reading over on the Miller forum and other welding forums, and a ten hour TIG welding course at the local Vocational High School and I'm welding beautiful welds.

The problem I have with TIG is there are LOTS of things to remember. If you are TIG welding every day, thise things you need to remember come naturally. But if you are like me and might use your TIG every other month for an hour or so, you need to keep the welding manual close by.

The Miller Diversion products were made especially for folks like me. Turn it on, set a couple controls and start welding!

EddyCurr
10-10-2011, 03:32 PM
There is a Dynasty 200 DX w/ torch & foot pedal, purportedly with 4 hrs service
currently on eBay (330624342718) that is within budget at its present price.

One consideration is that this machine's serial is LF328734, which predates
the serial number marking Miller's introduction of new features (LJ280222L).


Dynasty 200 DX: The New Features (Long) (http://www.millerwelds.com/resources/communities/mboard/showthread.php?15568-Dynasty-200-DX-The-New-Features-(Long))

While I suppose that the new features available on the current production
machine are an improvement, my pre-update 200 DX welds quite satisfactorily
and I am in no hurry to kick mine to the curb.

(If you proceed to look at the Dynasty 200 series, take note that there is
a significant difference between the capabilities of the 200 DX and the
200 SD models.)

.

woodnerd
10-10-2011, 03:40 PM
Nobody sells at MSRP except Miller themselves.... :rolleyes:

I wasn't looking at the Miller site :rolleyes:

rode2rouen
10-10-2011, 04:02 PM
I'm hoping that I can get something suitable for around-the-homestead repairs and fabrication for under $2000.

Any suggestions?


You ought to be lookin' at your local Craig's List!
$2K can usually get you into a real nice, reasonably late model, TIG set up.



Rex

woodnerd
10-10-2011, 04:06 PM
You ought to be lookin' at your local Craig's List!
$2K can usually get you into a real nice, reasonably late model, TIG set up.

Unfortunately, not around here. I've been looking for a month or so, everything's either super-cheap (junky) or some industrial behemoth that I'm hesitant to hook up to my power panel. Or beat all to hell and back. Decent machinery is hard to come by around here, my CL finds are few and far-between.

noah katz
10-10-2011, 06:05 PM
These newer welders are "Inversion" based power supplies and require much lower current and are MUCH smaller and portable.

Are non-inverter welders very inefficient?

Otherwise, I don't see how the current can be much lower for a given welding voltage/current.

Ries
10-10-2011, 08:03 PM
Inverter welders are much more efficient than old transformer style welders.
Its in the design, and the electronics.

I have a transformer model Syncrowave 250 tig machine, and it really does need a 100 amp breaker, and big copper wires feeding it, or it will overheat the wires and melt the insulation, and it will trip the breaker, if you try to weld thick aluminum with it.

I also have a newer, inverter, a Miller XMT 304. It will weld the same number of output amps, at between half and 60% or so of input amps.

So, yes, if you have a small home electrical panel, and dont have a spare 100 amp breaker, you will be a lot better off with a new inverter welder, be it a Miller, or Thermal Arc, or Lincoln, or even a chinese one.

macona
10-10-2011, 08:24 PM
Are non-inverter welders very inefficient?

Otherwise, I don't see how the current can be much lower for a given welding voltage/current.


Yes, the inverters are actually a switching power supply like in your computer. Line voltage is turned to DC, and then switched at several 10's of khz and ran through the transformer and re rectified. Much, much, more efficient. The transformer in a 300 amp inverter machine like the XMT-304 Ries and I have is small enough to hold with one hand. The same transformer in a normal transformer machine is several hundred pounds.

We have a Synchro 250 here at work but they only put in a 50 amp outlet for it. We needed to weld something up in aluminum but kept tripping the breaker. I brought in my Thermal Arc 300GTSW and never had a problem with the breaker.

woodnerd
10-10-2011, 10:18 PM
I have a line on a used Miller XMT 304 cv/cc. From the photos it looks to be in decent shape, the guy's asking $2k. It appears to have a max draw of 55 amp, is this one of the inverter models?

macona
10-10-2011, 10:22 PM
Yes, it is. But it is a DC only machine for DC Tig, Stick, and Mig. Very good machine, I have one and gave one to my dad.

J.Ramsey
10-11-2011, 01:24 AM
Here's a pic of the 330 A/BP mentioned above,excellent machine but they're getting old,this an '83 model.I have another I picked up about 10 years ago for cheap as a spare/back up.
http://img684.imageshack.us/img684/7140/welders.jpg

noah katz
10-11-2011, 01:51 AM
Thanks for the education on xformer vs. inverter, good to know.

Jim Caudill
10-11-2011, 03:10 AM
Quote: "I have a line on a used Miller XMT 304 cv/cc. From the photos it looks to be in decent shape, the guy's asking $2k. It appears to have a max draw of 55 amp, is this one of the inverter models?"

Yes, it is one of the inverter models, but that is probably NOT what you want and thta is too much $.

I have the older version in "like new" condition (XMT300). These are multi-purpose machines that can do most any type of DC welding. I do have an older spool gun so I can MIG weld Aluminum.

Look at the Hobart version of the Diversion TIG welder. It is the same thing but comes with a foot pedal instead of the handle-mounted control. It runs about $1200 from cyberweld.

http://store.cyberweld.com/hotigweez16.html

woodnerd
10-11-2011, 03:39 PM
Yeah, I've been looking closely at the Hobart, too. But with Miller's $150 rebate on the Diversion 180, the price difference is only a bit over $300 so I'm really leaning in that direction.

Alistair Hosie
10-11-2011, 04:00 PM
I am not a welder, but I get by with a mig with rough spot's here and there.It holds and I am happy.So I cannot advise but without being rude if your new to tig welding wouldn't you be better going to a few classes ,like I did ,and get the hang of it before spending your hard earned cash .Just maybe you will find you don't like it as a medium .I mean it's just a thought .Whatever you decide I wish you Brotherly best wishes and have fun. Alistair

John Stevenson
10-11-2011, 04:10 PM
I have a Murex Tradestig, 200 amp, nice machine but big and heavy, also thirsty. In fact you can get more heat off the gimbal of the electric meter than the torch.

Last year it started playing up a bit so under the time honoured idea of if you have s spare the main one doesn't break down I bought a cheap 200 amp Chinese AC/ DC Tig with 30,001 knobs on the front.

Pick it up with one hand, needs 25 amp at 240 volt, tradestig needs 17,856 amps at 440 volts.

Awesome little machine, in fact it's now become my main TiG welder with the Murex kept as backup.

This is the one I bought.

http://www.stevenson-engineers.co.uk/files/tigwelder.jpg

woodnerd
10-11-2011, 04:27 PM
wouldn't you be better going to a few classes

Unfortunately, I don't know of any kind of classes available that wouldn't involve several hours of driving. I kinda live out in the sticks.

noah katz
10-11-2011, 04:43 PM
Interesting spec differences between the Diversion 165 and 180

http://www.millerwelds.com/pdf/spec_sheets/AD1-5.pdf

While they have identical dimensions and weight, for 230 V input and 150V@16A output, the 165 pulls 23 A and the 180 pulls 16.

Can that be right?

rohart
10-11-2011, 04:55 PM
I was no welder before I got a 200A model identical to John's, (apart from the brand name). Taught my self on it to a level I can get by with. A good machine.

Except - John - if you find you're losing gas, it might be that the brass connector on the back of the machine doubles up as a bracket to hold the solenoid switch to the rear panel. Unsatisfactory, and needs the clamping nut to be remade to a different thickness.

macona
10-11-2011, 07:31 PM
The 180 probably runs at a higher primary frequency.

noah katz
10-11-2011, 08:17 PM
The 180 probably runs at a higher primary frequency.

I can't imagine that accounting for a 30% difference in current draw.

Now that I think about it, those numbers can't be right; an extra 7 amps means that 1.6 kW of additional power is being dissipated by the 165, unless it has a very low PF.

macona
10-11-2011, 08:22 PM
Depends on how much they stepped it up. Cheap machines run at a rather low frequency, the electronics are cheaper and easier to design.

The old SCR based POWCONs ran at a pretty audible frequency.

parrisw
10-11-2011, 08:52 PM
Did ya have a look around for a used machine? I picked up a near mint, Lincoln Percision Tig 185 Square Wave last year for a good price.

Rean nice machine.

precisionmetal
10-11-2011, 10:23 PM
I bought one of these:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Miller-Diversion-180-AC-DC-TIG-Welder-Package-907460-/270810777937?pt=BI_Welders&hash=item3f0d948951#ht_2792wt_1413

(actually bought mine from Indiana Oxygen).

Great little machine. Weighs almost nothing, runs on 110v or 220v. I've welded fairly thick aluminum with it without having to resort to helium.

Love it.

ak95xj
10-11-2011, 10:49 PM
I Have a diversion 180 ..Only thing I don't like is the leads/torch are hardwired into the machine..No stick welding..Very basic with no settings to adjust..But I like it It welds beutifully..

Because of a 30 amp breaker I am limited to inverters.. for about 1,000$ more could have (maybe should have )gotten a thermal arc 185.Heard alot of good things about them..

Dynastys, well I can't justify spending that kind of money on a welder..

If I had more than a 30 amp breaker I would have gotten a used transformer in a heartbeat..Not to take anything away from the diversion, it does what I need it to do just fine..I just want some extra knobs to fool around with (and be able to stick weld)

parrisw
10-11-2011, 11:08 PM
I Have a diversion 180 ..Only thing I don't like is the leads/torch are hardwired into the machine..No stick welding..Very basic with no settings to adjust..But I like it It welds beutifully..

Because of a 30 amp breaker I am limited to inverters.. for about 1,000$ more could have (maybe should have )gotten a thermal arc 185.Heard alot of good things about them..

Dynastys, well I can't justify spending that kind of money on a welder..

If I had more than a 30 amp breaker I would have gotten a used transformer in a heartbeat..Not to take anything away from the diversion, it does what I need it to do just fine..I just want some extra knobs to fool around with (and be able to stick weld)


You looked at the new Lincoln Percision Tig 175?

http://www.lincolnelectric.com/Catalog/equipmentdatasheet.aspx?p=108982

Jim Caudill
10-11-2011, 11:29 PM
The Lincoln is NOT an inverter welder, it is the old "transformer" style. The weight of the Lincoln is 185lbs, the weight of a Diversion 180 is 50lbs.

parrisw
10-11-2011, 11:53 PM
The Lincoln is NOT an inverter welder, it is the old "transformer" style. The weight of the Lincoln is 185lbs, the weight of a Diversion 180 is 50lbs.


Yes, I know its not a inverter. Is the OP just looking for an inverter welder? I thought it was just price range. Yes, its heavy, I have a 185 percision Tig, and its not LIGHT!!

vpt
10-12-2011, 07:39 AM
Yes, I know its not a inverter. Is the OP just looking for an inverter welder? I thought it was just price range. Yes, its heavy, I have a 185 percision Tig, and its not LIGHT!!



Love my 175! Pretty much nothing it won't do.

http://img683.imageshack.us/img683/4933/shopstuff013.jpg

woodnerd
10-12-2011, 08:57 AM
Is the OP just looking for an inverter welder?

No, portability is not a factor at all. Amp draw could be, I have a 90 amp feed to the shop, with perhaps 30 amps taken by lighting and other small loads. So I'd say I need to stay on a 60 amp breaker max. I've found a few used machines locally but their 80-100 amp loads are just too much.

A question based on total ignorance: Can any machine be outfitted with a water-cooled torch?

parrisw
10-12-2011, 10:38 AM
No, portability is not a factor at all. Amp draw could be, I have a 90 amp feed to the shop, with perhaps 30 amps taken by lighting and other small loads. So I'd say I need to stay on a 60 amp breaker max. I've found a few used machines locally but their 80-100 amp loads are just too much.

A question based on total ignorance: Can any machine be outfitted with a water-cooled torch?


My Percision Tig runs on a 50a, I've never had a problem yet, but I haven't done thick aluminum yet.

parrisw
10-12-2011, 10:39 AM
Love my 175! Pretty much nothing it won't do.

http://img683.imageshack.us/img683/4933/shopstuff013.jpg


Sweet! I love my 185.

macona
10-12-2011, 11:01 AM
Yes. Water coolers are external to the tig machine and you do want one. Buy a Synchrowave 180 or 200 over a Lincoln. The lincoln precision tig does not offer balance control.

lakeside53
10-12-2011, 11:13 AM
Yes, I know its not a inverter. Is the OP just looking for an inverter welder? I thought it was just price range. Yes, its heavy, I have a 185 percision Tig, and its not LIGHT!!


Yes.. I also have a Tig185. Nice... High frequency start, post flow adjustment, cleaning cycles, DC/AC, stick yada yada.... The lincoln is not an "old type" - it's a modern TIG with a transformer front end and decent electronics for control. Supposed to go down to 5amps so I can weld alumiunum foil - maybe it can, but I sure can't ;)

Macona? - Mine has balance control...


Inverters are nice, most certainly when it comes to in weight, but if they fail it's very expensive to get them fixed. They are all expensive to fix - even the "transformer" Lincoln has a bunch of electronics but for those inclined, Lincoln will give you board level schematics.

I run my Lincoln from the recommended 50 amp outlet (it comes with a 50 amp plug attached!), but I have used it on a 30 amp dryer outlet at lower power. The efficiency difference between an inverter and a modern transformer unit at the SAME power output is maybe 5-10% at best. The transformer has a higher startup surge, but at decent power there isn't a great difference.

woodnerd
10-12-2011, 11:20 AM
I took a closer look at the Lincoln and it looks good. I like the inclusion of the stick welding function, it would give me a chance to work on those long-dormant skills.

I'm a little confused on the comment that it doesn't have balance control. It supposedly has an auto-balance function. But what is balance control, anyway?

Finally, any recommendation on a source? The only seller I've found is on Amazon and several hundred dollars over what appears to be the list price.

lakeside53
10-12-2011, 11:35 AM
Take a look at the used market also - I see Lincoln TiG185 around here all the time from $1000-1500 with gas bottle etc. Most are like new - some guys buy them and then figure out they take a little practise!

I bought mine used (like new) - it was still under warranty (transferable).

Unless you want to carry it around, don't sweat the "inverter/not inverter" issue. Heck, the Lincon has wheels, and you need a cart for the 100lb bottle anyhow. One good reason to own a non-inverter model - your friends have difficulty borrowing it!

Krunch
10-12-2011, 11:44 AM
I took a closer look at the Lincoln and it looks good. I like the inclusion of the stick welding function

Most (if not all) TIG welding machines will stick weld.

woodnerd
10-12-2011, 11:51 AM
One good reason to own a non-inverter model - your friend have difficulty borrowing it!

Heh, that's very true. Actually, my issue is a stepson who thinks he's co-owner of my tools :mad:

woodnerd
10-12-2011, 11:55 AM
Most (if not all) TIG welding machines will stick weld.

Not the lower-end ones that I've been looking at. Although they're busting my original budget, right now my thinking is the Lincoln vs a Syncrowave 200, which I didn't realize until a few minutes ago can also stick-weld. Pretty typical for me, I end up talking myself into more machine than I had planned on (or probably need). But my dad's old stick welder is so old that most of the printing on the machine is worn off, so setting it up would be a bit of a challenge :) Stepping up to the more expensive multifunction machines might be smarter than multiple single machines.

John Stevenson
10-12-2011, 11:59 AM
One good reason to own a non-inverter model - your friend have difficulty borrowing it!

Over here we can get 5 pin plugs in the red 440v format.
One pin is earth, one is neutral and the others are 3 phase at 440v.

Nothing to stop you wiring a 240 volt single phase appliance up with one of these plugs, just use any phase and neutral.

Good side of doing this is when someone wants to borrow a welder etc you appear all cheerful and helpful and say

"No problem, you do have three phase at home don't you ? " and point to the plugs.

lakeside53
10-12-2011, 12:03 PM
lol... Since I now have three phase at home (and nobody that knows me has) , I can also use that reasoning:)

lakeside53
10-12-2011, 12:04 PM
Heh, that's very true. Actually, my issue is a stepson who thinks he's co-owner of my tools :mad:


He will eventually - if he out-lasts you. :(

noah katz
10-12-2011, 04:43 PM
Depends on how much they stepped it up. Cheap machines run at a rather low frequency, the electronics are cheaper and easier to design.


I don't see how difference in freq can make that much difference in efficienecy.

If anything, I think higher freq lowers efficiency (again, not a lot), because the power is lost on the up and down slopes of each cycle when the transistors are between full on and full off..

woodnerd
10-12-2011, 04:53 PM
I've been reading through the Syncrowave 200 manual. One thing that the Diversion had in it's favor was that it was pretty automated. I understand the Syncrowave has greater flexibility and control, but how much training is needed to understand and properly set/control all that flexibility? As I said earlier, a training class is pretty much out of the question, are there any good book/video/online courses?

macona
10-12-2011, 05:02 PM
I took a closer look at the Lincoln and it looks good. I like the inclusion of the stick welding function, it would give me a chance to work on those long-dormant skills.

I'm a little confused on the comment that it doesn't have balance control. It supposedly has an auto-balance function. But what is balance control, anyway?

Finally, any recommendation on a source? The only seller I've found is on Amazon and several hundred dollars over what appears to be the list price.

Auto balance is a joke. It cant look at a piece of material and adjust itself.

macona
10-12-2011, 05:12 PM
I don't see how difference in freq can make that much difference in efficienecy.

If anything, I think higher freq lowers efficiency (again, not a lot), because the power is lost on the up and down slopes of each cycle when the transistors are between full on and full off..

They dont use generic transisitors, they use IGBTs which have a nice rise time. Less than a microsecond usually, but the actual rise time will be effected by other parts of the circuit. IGBTs dont dissipate nearly as much heat as the banked MOSFETs used in cheap machines. Thats one of the reasons they have been so popular in the Solid State Tesla Coil crowd.

But it really comes down to the transformer, higher frequency means better coupling, smaller transformers for the size and higher efficiency.

parrisw
10-12-2011, 08:43 PM
Yes.. I also have a Tig185. Nice... High frequency start, post flow adjustment, cleaning cycles, DC/AC, stick yada yada.... The lincoln is not an "old type" - it's a modern TIG with a transformer front end and decent electronics for control. Supposed to go down to 5amps so I can weld alumiunum foil - maybe it can, but I sure can't ;)

Macona? - Mine has balance control...


Inverters are nice, most certainly when it comes to in weight, but if they fail it's very expensive to get them fixed. They are all expensive to fix - even the "transformer" Lincoln has a bunch of electronics but for those inclined, Lincoln will give you board level schematics.

I run my Lincoln from the recommended 50 amp outlet (it comes with a 50 amp plug attached!), but I have used it on a 30 amp dryer outlet at lower power. The efficiency difference between an inverter and a modern transformer unit at the SAME power output is maybe 5-10% at best. The transformer has a higher startup surge, but at decent power there isn't a great difference.


Cool. Ya I thought the OLD TYPE comment was kinda funny. Yes mine has balace control as well, or you can just leave it on auto. I think maybe the 175 only has auto. I find it works very well on auto actually.

I'm very happy with mine.

Good to hear from ya Lakeside! I want a mill do you have a spare Bridgeport!! LOL

MichaelP
10-12-2011, 11:43 PM
As I said earlier, a training class is pretty much out of the question, are there any good book/video/online courses?
Yes. Miller (as well as Lincoln) have excellent Web sites with many articles on different aspects of TIG welding, choice of tungstens, settings, technics, hints and tips etc. There are good forums too: Miller, Hobart, etc. A few very nice videos are available, although pretty expensive (check http://smartflix.com/store/category/27/Welding, HTP of Elk Grove, IL (they had very good TIG video), and the Web). You can also search the Web for some articles and simple video clips on the subject. There are books too, although some of them are not very good. I'm not at home now, so I cannot give you exact names.

With TIG (as with anything else) it's very desirable to have, at least, a few supervised sessions, so that you could see how professionals do it and have them examine your weldments and correct your technics. By the way, a TIG class at your local college or high school can be comparable to good videos in terms of price, so you may want to explore this option.

parrisw
10-13-2011, 01:28 AM
check this guys out. Lots of good video's. Get some scrap material and just start laying some welds down, you don't have to weld anything together, just start laying beads, it will greatly help your technique.

http://www.youtube.com/user/weldingtipsandtricks#p/u

woodnerd
10-13-2011, 10:18 AM
With TIG (as with anything else) it's very desirable to have, at least, a few supervised sessions, so that you could see how professionals do it and have them examine your weldments and correct your technics. By the way, a TIG class at your local college or high school can be comparable to good videos in terms of price, so you may want to explore this option.

The issue isn't cost, it's distance. There are no local high schools with welding classes that I know of and the nearest CC with a vocational program is really long drive.

The SmartFlix actually looks like a really good option.

woodnerd
10-13-2011, 10:53 AM
Well, despite the budget-busting price, I think I've settled on a Syncrowave 200 and add on a cooler later if/when I feel I need it.

Is the Runner kit worth the $200? Looks like just four wheels and a bit of sheet metal.

macona
10-13-2011, 10:56 AM
Well, despite the budget-busting price, I think I've settled on a Syncrowave 200 and add on a cooler later if/when I feel I need it.

Is the Runner kit worth the $200? Looks like just four wheels and a bit of sheet metal.


Yeah, it is. The material alone is would end up costing you $100, and what's your time worth to you. Just bolt it together and its done.

rbertalotto
10-13-2011, 01:37 PM
excent place to lear is here:

http://www.weldingtipsandtricks.com/index.html

MichaelP
10-13-2011, 04:36 PM
Well, despite the budget-busting price, I think I've settled on a Syncrowave 200 and add on a cooler later if/when I feel I need it.
Good choice. You won't be disappointed.

Highpower
10-13-2011, 05:28 PM
Yeah, it is. The material alone is would end up costing you $100, and what's your time worth to you. Just bolt it together and its done.Just order the runner "package" and you won't even have to bolt it together.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v82/Highpwr/Machining%20Projects/th_P5180006.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v82/Highpwr/Machining%20Projects/?action=view&current=P5180006.jpg)

woodnerd
10-13-2011, 08:50 PM
Placed my order for the Syncrowave 200 Runner package, along with some wire and gloves, with CyberWeld.com. A few hours later, however, I found that apparently you need a much higher-end helmet than I have when doing low-amp tig. Why is that? What's different between a helmet that'll work with 5 amp tig and one that won't? :confused:

lakeside53
10-13-2011, 09:11 PM
A cheap helmet might not switch the lcd to "dark" with the the low light from say a 5-10amp arc. Buy the best helmet you can afford. If you need reader glasses make sure it has diopter lenses.

Highpower
10-13-2011, 10:28 PM
The higher end helmets also have more (lighter) shades available. A lot of folks are able to do low amp tig work with a #10 shade, but I'm not one of them.

You don't have to have an expensive helmet. They simply give you more options to chose from. Some people still tig weld with fixed shade helmets I'm sure.

MichaelP
10-13-2011, 11:35 PM
You don't have to have an expensive helmet.
I second that. Being a HSM, I wouldn't pour hundreds of $$ into very expensive helmets. I doubt you'll notice a very significant difference between $300 one and the lowly $50-$70 ones sold by Northern Tool $ Equipment. And yes, the latter will switch at low amp welding (that's for the distant future when you need and know how to weld at this low power level).

macona
10-13-2011, 11:36 PM
I recommend the Optrel Satellite.

But don't buy a new helmet until you get the machine. Chances are you will never weld at 5 amps, you really need .010 to .020 electrodes and consumable for that and they are special order.

Chances are even at 5 amps your helmet will work with this machine. With a inverter, probably not.

lakeside53
10-13-2011, 11:47 PM
I second that. Being a HSM, I wouldn't pour hundreds of $$ into very expensive helmets. I doubt you'll notice a very significant difference between $300 one and the lowly $50-$70 ones sold by Northern Tool $ Equipment. And yes, the latter will switch at low amp welding (that's for the distant future when you need and know how to weld at this low power level).


One aspect that seems to follow price is the field of view. I've used (and still own) the $50, but love my $300 helmet for "the view" and many other of the features.

parrisw
10-14-2011, 01:37 AM
One aspect that seems to follow price is the field of view. I've used (and still own) the $50, but love my $300 helmet for "the view" and many other of the features.


The bigger view is nice. I have a cheaper auto tint helmet. It works great when welding Steel, but when doing aluminum work it doesn't always tint??? I find, it works better with aluminum if it give it full pedal very quickly then back off, and it'll tint fine, but its kinda annoying.

vpt
10-14-2011, 07:44 AM
Only lid I have ever used is a cheapy that I bought back when I went to welding school. Don't even remember what lens it has, whatever the requirement was at the time of school which was for arc welding.

No frills, no auto darkening, nothing. Flip it down, lights out, start welding.

Never had a problem with not being able to see what I was doing and the best part is unless I forget to flip it down I NEVER get flashed! I see so many people talking about getting flashed with autos when something like their sensor gets blocked or something. I hate getting flashed! Unless it is a woman.

The cheapy is hanging on the side of the welder in the pic I posted earlier.

http://img683.imageshack.us/img683/4933/shopstuff013.jpg


Also just wanted to add that pretty much ANY machine can turn out nice welds no matter if it is cheap or the best money can buy. It is all up to the operator and his experience with his machine.

As far as duty cycle I had my poor little 175 floored almost the entire time building this mani and I only hit the duty limit once where I had to wait for the welder to cool back down.

http://img708.imageshack.us/img708/5494/porsche001.jpg

http://img200.imageshack.us/img200/5995/porscheintake017.jpg

woodnerd
10-14-2011, 08:45 AM
pretty much ANY machine can turn out nice welds no matter if it is cheap or the best money can buy

My experience is mainly in woodworking, where I've worked with both low-end tools like Ryobi and Craftsman, as well as the expensive stuff like Powermatic and Festool. Yes, a good craftsman can produce a quality product no matter the tools, but with cheap tools you spend a lot of time futzing with the tool instead of just working. For example, producing a straight, clean cut is a whole lot easier on my SawStop cabinet saw than my old Craftsman contractor saw. I'm not sure if that carries over into the metalworking world, but I'd be surprised if it didn't.

vpt
10-14-2011, 09:01 AM
My experience is mainly in woodworking, where I've worked with both low-end tools like Ryobi and Craftsman, as well as the expensive stuff like Powermatic and Festool. Yes, a good craftsman can produce a quality product no matter the tools, but with cheap tools you spend a lot of time futzing with the tool instead of just working. For example, producing a straight, clean cut is a whole lot easier on my SawStop cabinet saw than my old Craftsman contractor saw. I'm not sure if that carries over into the metalworking world, but I'd be surprised if it didn't.



Thats kind of a hard one to reply too because you are talking about cutting mostly. Yes in the metal world the more expensive better tools will cut metal straiter, cleaner, faster. But putting those pieces back together is what welding is, I guess the wood equivalent would be screws. No matter what screws or screw gun you use the pieces will fit together the same.

Yes, the better welding machine you get may produce a little better welds but it is still up to the operator to adjust the machine right and apply the right amount of heat and filler at the right angles with the right gas flow to the right material with the right gap.

Point is no matter what you are building or doing almost everything has to do with the fit up. Even painting a car can come out great with a cheap gun if the prep is good. A paint job will come like crap no matter what gun you use if the prep is slacked.

woodnerd
10-14-2011, 10:27 AM
it is still up to the operator to adjust the machine right

Right, and I imagine that on a cheap machine with limited, pre-set, or "auto" controls that adjustment would be more difficult if not impossible to tune in correctly. Especially if poor tolerances, cheap materials, or inferior components make the controls unable to hold outputs to a steady setting.

In my experience, more expensive machines are more expensive for a reason. A cheap tool will do 80% of what the expensive tool will do, because that first 80% is the easy (and cheap) part.

Oh, and the quality of a screw can make a huge difference in assembly. Cheap ones tend to snap off, split the wood, cam-out ...

parrisw
10-14-2011, 10:18 PM
Only lid I have ever used is a cheapy that I bought back when I went to welding school. Don't even remember what lens it has, whatever the requirement was at the time of school which was for arc welding.

No frills, no auto darkening, nothing. Flip it down, lights out, start welding.

Never had a problem with not being able to see what I was doing and the best part is unless I forget to flip it down I NEVER get flashed! I see so many people talking about getting flashed with autos when something like their sensor gets blocked or something. I hate getting flashed! Unless it is a woman.

The cheapy is hanging on the side of the welder in the pic I posted earlier.




Also just wanted to add that pretty much ANY machine can turn out nice welds no matter if it is cheap or the best money can buy. It is all up to the operator and his experience with his machine.

As far as duty cycle I had my poor little 175 floored almost the entire time building this mani and I only hit the duty limit once where I had to wait for the welder to cool back down.



Really great work! Is that a Volvo?

vpt
10-15-2011, 08:35 AM
Really great work! Is that a Volvo?


Thanks, that is a porsche.



Right, and I imagine that on a cheap machine with limited, pre-set, or "auto" controls that adjustment would be more difficult if not impossible to tune in correctly. Especially if poor tolerances, cheap materials, or inferior components make the controls unable to hold outputs to a steady setting.

In my experience, more expensive machines are more expensive for a reason. A cheap tool will do 80% of what the expensive tool will do, because that first 80% is the easy (and cheap) part.

Oh, and the quality of a screw can make a huge difference in assembly. Cheap ones tend to snap off, split the wood, cam-out ...


My machine is all auto with only a amperage adjustment and I really haven't had the need to adjust anything yet. I have incredible doubts that the OP will get to the level that he will need all kinds of manual adjustments on his TIG. Unless he is thinking of getting into nuclear reactor welding or aerospace stuff? With TIG I would say the cheaper machine can do 95% of the job an all adjustable machine can do. It just isn't worth the price difference.


Your quality of screws reply: If you would test the fragile screws first and set the clutch on the screw gun they wouldn't break. As for wood splitting and camming: predrill the holes first. See, its all operator, prep work, and fitup. ;)

Alistair Hosie
10-15-2011, 09:21 AM
John that's a nice machine what does it cost here in Blighty? also with regard plugs what's wrong with the blue single phase ones 16 or 32 amp for single phase ? just a thought a I have a whol;e bank of them along one wall I put in when building my shop. Alistair

also woodnerd I too had to travel along way for lessons and I believe it's worth it. try it even once and see how you like it or advertise for a shot of one nearer for a fair price. Just an idea.Alistair

woodnerd
10-15-2011, 12:11 PM
Your quality of screws reply: If you would test the fragile screws first and set the clutch on the screw gun they wouldn't break.

Yeah, that's nice in theory, but not in practice. It's not fragility, it's inconsistency. Cheap screws will have have a large percentage that can snap off before the screw is fully driven. Clutch settings won't help there.


As for wood splitting and camming: predrill the holes first. See, its all operator, prep work, and fitup. ;)

Again, the expensive screws will self-drill and eliminate all that work.

Face it, cheap is cheap for a reason.

Highpower
10-15-2011, 12:58 PM
I've been reading through the Syncrowave 200 manual. One thing that the Diversion had in it's favor was that it was pretty automated. I understand the Syncrowave has greater flexibility and control, but how much training is needed to understand and properly set/control all that flexibility?The 200 only has a few more of the arc controls like A/C balance, pulse and a couple others, but those will be your most commonly used adjustments for fine tuning. I'm certain you won't have any problems understanding those. There are recommended basic settings in the manual and you probably won't vary too much from those in most cases.

It doesn't have the dozen control knobs on it like an inverter machine to control every microsecond of the waveform. But it's likely you would never use or need all of that. At least I don't.

One of the reasons I chose that machine is because I know no one will be able to pick it up and walk off with it. :D

woodnerd
10-15-2011, 02:07 PM
no one will be able to pick it up and walk off with it

Yeah, although mine will have wheels. But how far can they really get without picking it up? Huffing a 200+ lb machine down the road might be a bit obvious :D

I do like the lifting hook, though. Hang it off my tractor's front-end loader, hook my 13kw generator to the PTO, and I have my very own all-terrain welding vehicle :cool:

Highpower
10-15-2011, 02:41 PM
Yeah, although mine will have wheels. But how far can they really get without picking it up? About 1 foot to the door in my "shop". Then it's up a flight of stairs to get out.
Heh-heh-heh.... :D

parrisw
10-15-2011, 10:59 PM
Thanks, that is a porsche.






ha haha. sorry. the valve cover looks allot like a volvo one.

What model then? 924, 944?

lakeside53
10-16-2011, 01:07 AM
Yeah, that's nice in theory, but not in practice. It's not fragility, it's inconsistency. Cheap screws will have have a large percentage that can snap off before the screw is fully driven. Clutch settings won't help there.

Again, the expensive screws will self-drill and eliminate all that work.

Face it, cheap is cheap for a reason.

I agree 100%... Not just junk screws breaking, but they can have inconsistent or poorly formed drive and crappy steel / heat treatment / forging. You need a lot of torque to drive a decent length screw into tough woods - cam-out is not an option and invariably destroys the screw head. I use buckets of screws - Galv polyester coated torx drive with drill tips are my choice. I never use the clutch (18 volt Makita and Dewalt, both drill and impact driver), never break a screw and never cam out unless the tip is worn beyond reasonable limits. Today was a light day - only 500 3 1/2 inch screws into Doug Fir (code doesn't allow Teco nails for the joist hangers on log structures.).


I also use a lot of GRK (like SDS) "screws" - self drilling 3/8 screws up to 10 inches long that are rated stronger than 1/2 inch grade 5 bolts. Drive them all the way in with a corded impact driver. Nothing cheap about these ($$ each), but never have broken one.


Try building a deck with say Trex at temps lower then 50F - cam out is a real pita to deal with - the screw won't go in or come out, and at $7 a board foot, appearance matters. Cheap screws are a disaster.

I have friends that try to build everything with "long sheet rock" screws.... lol....

woodnerd
10-16-2011, 05:24 AM
I have friends that try to build everything with "long sheet rock" screws.... lol....

Friends don't let friends use drywall screws :)

Seriously, drywall screws are fine for lots of stuff, but nothing critical. A guy I met at a woodworking demo had used dw screws to mount a bowl blank on a lathe. He was roughing it out when a screw snapped and then they all went. Luckily, he was working the face and wasn't directly in front of it. The blank tore up his ear as it flew past his head on the way to burying itself in the wall behind him.

Have you ever tried the Kreg deck system? I just built a front porch using it, looks really good with the semi-hidden fasteners and easier than other hidden fastener systems I've used in the past.

parrisw
10-16-2011, 12:41 PM
I have friends that try to build everything with "long sheet rock" screws.... lol....


LOL, seen that too many times. That's right up there with using Marrets on automotive wiring!

I never buy cheap screws, I like to be able to drive a 4" screw without predrilling and no breaking of the screw.

Fireman11
10-17-2011, 11:06 AM
On the subject of TIG welders, I bought a used Dynasty 200 for around 2600, I know its more that 2k, but its a hell of a machine.

MikeHenry
10-22-2011, 12:59 PM
I recently bought a like new Dynasty 200DX for $1500. It was pretty much a full set with cables, electrodes, torch, rod, regulator, spare torch heads, and a nice Miller helmet. Only needed to buy gloves and a bottle of argon to get started. That's probably a better than typical deal, but I was willing to wait a couple years for that deal to turn up and put out the word amongst friends and acquaintances that I was in the market. I ended up buying from a friend.