View Full Version : TIG Welders

08-11-2004, 10:10 AM
I am looking at purchasing a TIG unit. Not sure of which one, so any input would be appreciated.

Currently I have a Oxy/acetylene torch, a MIG and Stick welders. My work goes from tack welding to serious joining of metals. I probably need to be able to handle 1/2 inch thickness.

Thanks in advance,


[This message has been edited by jfsmith (edited 08-11-2004).]

08-11-2004, 11:20 AM
I have a Thermal Arc 185. I love it. But, it's not a 1/2" machine. curious why you want to tig 1/2" anyway. especially when you have a mig allready.

if you want a new efficient portable machine for precision work it's hard to beat, but a miller dynasty 200 does beat it. (I hear) mostly because it can run on 110 or 220, wheras the TA is 220 only.


08-11-2004, 01:08 PM
I do a lot of strange welding to create art work out of metal. My MIG is a lighter duty machine. It's a Lincoln Weld Pak 100, a 120VAC welder.


08-11-2004, 01:47 PM
Jerry...for 1/2" thick metal, tig is the LAST thing I'd weld it with. For small, delicate art stuff tig is great but it is a very slow, expensive process when it comes to welding thick material. My opinion...you could probably use a light tig machine for a lot of what you do but you need a better, bigger mig machine for filling 1/2" welds. At one time all I had was a Lincoln 275 tig. I welded everything with it. It cost a fortune and any heavy stuff took forever to weld. I'd never do that again.

Mike W
08-11-2004, 02:02 PM
I have a Miller Syncrowave 250 at work. It is mainly used on aluminum. For 1/2" steel I would be thinking arc welding.

08-11-2004, 03:53 PM
I have a Miller Syncrowave 250 as well with the pulser unit. I'd love to replace it with a Dynasty 200DX.

For 1/2" steel check out the Dynasty 300DX TIG and Stick power source.


08-11-2004, 03:59 PM
I am rethinking the usage, but still looking at TIG units. I may upgrade my MIG to a newer bigger model.


08-11-2004, 06:24 PM
my econotig miller serves me well for gauge thickness only.

08-12-2004, 08:44 AM
Tig machines are great for fusion welding parts that are fit up well and for precision welding of smaller parts. The Synchrowave 180 or bigger is a fine machine. I would use a stick welder or a mig welder for 1/2" thick material.

08-12-2004, 09:43 AM
You won't regret buying TIG, but it loses it's advantage on heavy welds.

08-12-2004, 04:54 PM
If you're on a budget I'd recommend either a Lincoln Squarewave 175 or the Miller equivalent, a Syncrowave 180 - both excellent machines. If your budget isn't so tight and you'll be doing alot of AC welding - aluminum and such... a Miller Dynasty 300DX is hard to beat, but then again it should be for the price. I wouldn't trade mine for any other welder, though.

Just my opinion...

08-12-2004, 05:21 PM
Just bought a Miller econotwin 150 yesterday. I consider it to be an ideal blend of low cost ($300.00 from my local weld shop with a good reputation) for about $700.00 with a new flexible tig torch w/ 25' cable, some thoriated electrodes, 40 cu ft. tank filled with argon a new flowmeter valve/gauge. You can switch to AC for stick if you want (why would you though) and it works on 220 volt. Not a 1/2" welder, but nice for art, bike frames, aluminum and other 1/4" or so metals. The name of the weld supply is Crumpton's in Tampa, Florida. They have at lest two more if you want to call them. The unit weighs about 275 lbs. (I could barely lift it off the ground).

08-12-2004, 05:51 PM
Check ebay..

I sold 3 tig rigs on there, they went for a average of 25$..

I still have a water cooled tig torch somewhere.
All you need is a water source and a drain..

My tig for my shop came from www.grainger.com (http://www.grainger.com) for about 150$, it is a namebrand too.. tweco? spelling.. They also have HF boxes that are pretty reasonable, thou if you get the right welder you won't need it.

David Cofer, Of:
Tunnel Hill, North Georgia

08-12-2004, 05:55 PM
We have a miller synch-wave at the shop, it is for sale, but has something wrong with it.. I am pretty covered up and have not had time to take it apart and check it out.

The small boxes we had at Sequoah would run a tig rig, had hotstart (blowes the glass off a 7018 and arcs) and voltage adjust.. I think them are about 700 and the size of a lunchbox..

Where are you located?

David Cofer, Of:
Tunnel Hill, North Georgia

08-12-2004, 07:02 PM
I think his profile says Ohio and Cananda as far as location.
My Tig is an old 330 A/B Miller. Paid less than $240 for it, from a welding supply store. A good neighbor worked for the company and got it for what they gave as trade in, plus 10%. They gave the University of Florida $200 for it, so I gave $220 plus $17 to repair it. It will go to 480 amps. I have welded 5/8" plate aluminum with it, making a part for a gattling gun. Had it for about 16 years.
David from jax

08-12-2004, 07:31 PM
I am in Ohio at the moment and probably will be for the next month or so.


08-12-2004, 08:22 PM
I have the lincoln Tig 175 nice machine.It is now updated to a 185,see link below.
The 175 is great for steel and stainless,but AL is limited to >1/4" or a lot of preheat.
link: http://www.tig185.com/

08-12-2004, 08:36 PM
MSC still has the 175 listed in the current online catalog. I know the new catalog will be out in a month, so things could change.


08-13-2004, 02:30 AM
I've never used either machine but I'm looking at the Miller Dynasty, and the Lincoln Invertec V205...they both go for about 2K but for the small shop and stuff significantly smaller than 1/2". The versatility of being able to switch from 110 to 210 (Both Invertec and Dynasty), and from single to three phase (Dynasty only) coupled with the power that a new inverter machine draws from the wall and lighter weight just trounces on the temporary economy of buying an older used or cheaper conventional machine. As stated this is all just "paper reasoning" I've never used either machine and my Tig experience is limited to a vocational school environment.

08-13-2004, 04:15 AM
My Lincoln squairwave 175 will jump an air gap of about 3/4inch to start the arc when I initilly press down the footpedal. The high frequency comess on for a few seconds. Because of the high frequency and the complexity of the control I see a concern about older used units from oerator safty factor. What is the Hf is on continuously when not supposed to be and through leakage , effectively irradiates the operator ?

08-13-2004, 06:05 AM
LA LAthe:

Any spark gap, or arc radiates the user. A spark is a broadband transmission. If you have a antennae come loose on a CB it'll talk on all channels at once. *another story.

The main danger I see welding is a gases that are produced. Especially the high chrormium flux rods.

Just for giggles download the MSDS on the rods.

I have a seperate HF box. It makes lighting easy.. but.. my hand shoots sparks to the vise through my gloves and the tig torch handle..

I have always wanted to take that rascal and power a tesla coil.....

David Cofer, Of:
Tunnel Hill, North Georgia

08-13-2004, 10:33 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by abn:
all just "paper reasoning" I've never used either machine and my Tig experience is limited to a vocational school environment.</font>

but good reasoning http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif you will love either machine.

might I suggest that trade the foot pedal for a hand controll. It's more to get used to at first but when you do you will really like it. I had my foot pedal, I was laying on my back welding on a boat trailer and trying to run the stupid pedal like a thigh-master (squeezing between the knees) before I came to realize that the pedal had to go.

also, Get a flex head torch. Oh my, that's handy too.

08-13-2004, 12:40 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by glenj:
I have a Miller Syncrowave 250 as well with the pulser unit. I'd love to replace it with a Dynasty 200DX.
I'm going to look at a used (supposedly like new) 1995 model Syncrowave 250 this afternoon for $1500.

What are the main benefits of the new dynasty 200dx? The 200dx is an inverter machine, correct? As opposed to the transformer machine in the syncrowaves? This is for home shop use. 75/25 aluminum/steel work on misc farm equipment, race cars, and trailers.


08-13-2004, 12:59 PM
Hmmm, or I could get a new lincoln tig 185 for ~$1600.

My concern is that whatever I get it needs to do Aluminum well. Although I will not need to weld over 1/2" thick, and "maybe" not over 1/4"... Sure would be nice if it did up to 1/2" aluminum.

The only steel I for-see doing any quantity of with this unit would be .095 roll cage tubing on race cars.


08-13-2004, 01:24 PM
aliminum requires alot mor heat than steel.

a 185-200amp squrewave is "balls to the wall" on 1/4". (single pass) With an air cooled torch it's doable now and then, but not full time practical.

1/8" is perfectly reasonable.

08-13-2004, 01:36 PM
I don't buy somethings from eBay, welders are one of the things. I will buy end mills and the like from eBay, but returning a welder that has something wrong with it is a different story.

I would rather deal with somebody I know, or a local shop or even a not so local shop for a TIG unit.


08-13-2004, 01:45 PM
&gt;I'm going to look at a used (supposedly like &gt;new) 1995 model Syncrowave 250 this &gt;afternoon for $1500.

&gt;What are the main benefits of the new &gt;dynasty 200dx? The 200dx is an inverter &gt;machine, correct? As opposed to the &gt;transformer machine in the syncrowaves? This &gt;is for home shop use. 75/25 aluminum/steel &gt;work on misc farm equipment, race cars, and &gt;trailers.

I'd like a 200DX for the built in pulser, low amp control for thin tube welding (.020") for bicycle frame building. The unit is small (45lbs) and portable and will work off a variety of power sources. The SyncroWave 250 weighs over 400lbs.

For welding farm stuff and race cars a used 250 in good condition would be just fine providing you can move it on a cart or bring the work to the welder.