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Thread: Type of welding machine?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Default Type of welding machine?

    Hi, newbie here. I've no real experience of welding but about 35 years ago I did spend a summer college break working at a factory making vehicle exhaust sytems - spent a long time brazing the bolts in the backplates of the rear exhaust box for the Hillman Imp........... so that doesn't really count as 'welding' experience.

    I'm hoping to start making a few golf putters and will need to get myself a MIG or TIG kit. The sort of welding I'll be doing isn't major stuff, but something like those in the attached pics.

    The first pic shows a putter head that has had the neck welded onto the head and has an ornamental weld-bead along the length of the flange.

    The second pic is of a putter that has been made using three different components that have been welded together (flange, neck and face) so the welds showing are practical, not just decorative.

    I'll be working with both 1017/1018 carbon steel and aluminium bronze (but not in the same putter), so I'm thinking TIG, but what size of unit should I be looking at?

    (neither of the putters shown are my work)


    Last edited by LindenH; 03-24-2009 at 03:12 PM.

  2. #2
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    Well you want TIG for sure and of course you will also have a fine stick welder to boot, in the same machine. Aluminum calls for a AC and DC machine, the other question is how heavy aluminum, because as it gets thicker the size of the machine and cost goes up. I'm partial to Miller products and I owned a SD-180 with the foot petal control at one time. Never used enough to justify, ended up now with a DC only lunch box size invertor (14lbs) from Miller. Does TIG and stick, but no AC. I love it, cause I can take it anywhere, 120 or 240 volt, autoswitch over, just plug it in and go.
    Retired - Journeyman Refrigeration Pipefitter - Master Electrician - Amateur Machinist

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmgeorge
    Well you want TIG for sure and of course you will also have a fine stick welder to boot, in the same machine. Aluminum calls for a AC and DC machine, the other question is how heavy aluminum, because as it gets thicker the size of the machine and cost goes up. I'm partial to Miller products and I owned a SD-180 with the foot petal control at one time. Never used enough to justify, ended up now with a DC only lunch box size invertor (14lbs) from Miller. Does TIG and stick, but no AC. I love it, cause I can take it anywhere, 120 or 240 volt, autoswitch over, just plug it in and go.

    So, is aluminium-bronze considered to be 'aluminium' for welding requirements?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by LindenH
    So, is aluminium-bronze considered to be 'aluminium' for welding requirements?
    No, it's more like copper. It TIGs pretty well. I would think that you would want an AC/DC TIG with foot control. Other rigs might be a bit cheaper or more portable but I've found that it's hard to have too much machine, especially if you're going to weld high thermal conductivity metals like aluminum or the copper alloys. I'd get something with at least a 120 amp output.

    You don't need fancy bells and whistles like many new rigs have, just a good solid power supply.

    Pete

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by 10KPete
    No, it's more like copper. It TIGs pretty well. I would think that you would want an AC/DC TIG with foot control. Other rigs might be a bit cheaper or more portable but I've found that it's hard to have too much machine, especially if you're going to weld high thermal conductivity metals like aluminum or the copper alloys. I'd get something with at least a 120 amp output.

    You don't need fancy bells and whistles like many new rigs have, just a good solid power supply.

    Pete
    I would even consider an slightly older TIG welder,as long as it has a foot petal and water cooled torch.Miller HF 250,etc.Should'nt set you back more than $700-$900 dollars.And would be good to learn on it. Rich

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by LindenH
    So, is aluminium-bronze considered to be 'aluminium' for welding requirements?
    The size or amperage of the machine you get depends on what and how thick is your material to be welded? My SD-180 or 180 amp rated ballpark, was fine for what I did TIGing 1/8 inch or 3/16. You will find that when TIG welding on high amperage needed for heavier aluminum or copper alloys the torch handle gets very warm, or hot in some cases. A water cooled torch helps. The problem is, the larger the machine the more room in your shop gets used up and the water cooling adds more expense and takes up even more room. So that also makes your welder less portable. I sometimes haul either my TIG/Stick or MIG welder outside to do welding in my driveway or I've taken the little Miller Maxstar 150 inverter down to our lake property to weld.

    If your local community college offers a night class in TIG welding, take it. TIG is a lot like welding with an oxygen - acetylene torch, sometimes they require you either take that class first or at least know how to do.

    Try the Weld Talk forum here > http://www.hobartwelders.com/

    Get Miller info here > http://www.millerwelds.com/
    Retired - Journeyman Refrigeration Pipefitter - Master Electrician - Amateur Machinist

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by landspeedrich
    I would even consider an slightly older TIG welder,as long as it has a foot petal and water cooled torch.Miller HF 250,etc.Should'nt set you back more than $700-$900 dollars.And would be good to learn on it. Rich
    I'm still using a 30 year old Miller Dial-Arc. When I had my shop back in the early '80s I bought one of the first Syncro-Wave 250's. What a unit!! Man it allowed all sorts of tricks we could only dream of back then.

    But for the stuff I do around here now the old Dial-Arc does just find.
    Won't go to an air cooled torch. I've always had water cooled and seen too many air cooled torches burn up when someone pushes them too hard. Torchcraft makes the best in my book.

    Pete

  8. #8
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    I'll ad my .02.
    I bought a Miller 300 synchro-wave about 4 years ago. It was about 15 years old. It came with all the bells and whistles and I wouldn't part with it, but if I had to do it over I'd get an inverter, because that big miller takes up a lot of room in the garage.

  9. #9
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    http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/showthread.php?t=33823

    Running on 220, this one plasma cuts like a shear.


    I used the stick weld function.. so far it looks like a good bargain as a multi purpose machine.. much better than the one I started designing and building.. it may be done over as a spot welder-edm.. only..
    Excuse me, I farted.

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