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Thinking about a TIG

Discussion in 'Builds and Fabricators Forum' started by Warloch, Aug 27, 2009.

  1. Aug 27, 2009
    Warloch

    Warloch Did you say Flattie??? Staff Member

    Falcon, CO
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2003
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    4,570
    Guys - I am thinking that I will be getting a TIG sometime this winter and am trying to decide how much I should shoot for (time and money).

    I have pretty much narrowed it to the Miller Diversion 165 @ $1275 or the Synchrowave Runner 200 @ $2K. The 165 is simpler, cheaper, but does not Stick or weld as thick (3/16 vs 1/4)... Not sure how often the Stick would be used, but would be a nice option outside the shop (lots of wind here). This would be to round out my Miller MIG 175, Plasma, and gas setups. I am mostly wanting it to weld AL and (from what I have seen) makes better welds (or easier to seal) for gas tanks and such. If money were no object - the 200 wins hands down, but it will take me longer to scrounge that up than the funds for the 165.

    Anyone have any insights that a non current TIG welder should think about?
     
  2. Aug 27, 2009
    Dummy

    Dummy I kick hippies

    Escondido, CA
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2004
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    647
    I've got a Diversion 165. I like the simple, user-friendly aspects of it, but if I had my 'druthers I think I'd opt for the Synchrowave.

    The Diversion is really small and easy to move around the garage (I don't have mine on a cart). Setup is stupid-simple. The included torch has built in amperage control, but I run the optional foot switch 'cause I'm old-school. It welds fine and most of the time you're really not gonna be TIG welding anything thicker than 3/16-inch. That said, the air-cooled torch is sort of a bummer. It gets really hot - especially when welding aluminum.

    The Synchrowave is a huge unit and weighs more than 200lbs, but if you've got the room and the extra $800 I think it's a more permanent solution. You can upgrade to a water-cooled torch down the road and it's got built-in pulse control which is nice if you're a beginner or just lazy.

    Really, if I could have any welder it would be a Dynasty 200DX, but it includes so many bells and whistles the average hobbyist doesn't need the price is waaay too high.
     
  3. Aug 27, 2009
    Warloch

    Warloch Did you say Flattie??? Staff Member

    Falcon, CO
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2003
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    Thanks Dummy - good input. I looked at the Dynasty as well, and ya, no can do justify wise :)

    I am going to be 'learning' to TIG with this setup, but figure it can not be tougher than learning with gas as my first welding tool. I am especially interested in the heat issue with aluminum - one of my long term projects is an aluminum hard top for the flattie that is just a diamond plate version of a rag top. There is a guy in Pueblo that built one that I think is the cat's meow. I plan to start with gas tanks and tool boxes to learn on.

    Any advice from folks on where to get a TIG for Dummies Book or quick start (that's me, not Christian as he already knows how to TIG)?
     
  4. Aug 27, 2009
    Dummy

    Dummy I kick hippies

    Escondido, CA
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2004
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    647
    If you buy the Diversion it comes with a TIG for Dummies book.

    One more thing - the duty cycle on the Synchrowave is gonna be better. I've had to wait to let the Diversion cool down on a couple projects. No biggie, really, but it's just one more point in favor of the Synchro.

    The Synchrowave should come with an engine and a steering wheel, though. Things are massive for the home hobbyist.
     
  5. Aug 27, 2009
    Colorado_Baja

    Colorado_Baja JEEPS!!

    Fort...
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2006
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    304
    I can stop by and play with your new TIG, errr I mean give you some pointers on welding aluminum :D
     
  6. Aug 28, 2009
    djbutler

    djbutler Sponsor

    Rio Linda CA
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Messages:
    722
    I looked at a Dynasty 200D, thought it was too pricey as well. I have only owned Lincoln welders previously so I ended up getting a Lincoln 225 Precision package unit including the cart from Harris Welding in Ohio. It comes with the air cooled 150A torch.
    Free shipping, no sales tax to CA, and only 3 days on the truck to my driveway! Just got it last night, I'm itching to get it setup and in use to finish some frame work on my '69 CJ5.
    My only previous TIG unit was a High Frequency add-on box for a Lincoln 250 engine driven welder, it had no squarewave or balance control in AC, just High Frequency for arc stabilization and starting and gas postflow controls.

    Don
     
  7. Aug 28, 2009
    clay

    clay Driving

    Hopkinton, MA
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2005
    Messages:
    335
    I have the miller 210 with the spool gun it is great for aluminum. the gun is an extra $500+. The 210 was the smallest that could run the gun when I bought it 4 years ago. I love the set up but pricey.
     
  8. Aug 28, 2009
    Warloch

    Warloch Did you say Flattie??? Staff Member

    Falcon, CO
    Joined:
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    Gee - for some reason I thought I could count on you to come down to the house and play... errr help with a new TIG R) We will have to see how the timeline works for getting it.

    I looked at this path when I bought the Miller 175, but just could not justify the cost at the time.

    I have been a Miller man since I started Drinking Highlife... But my first lectric welder was a Lincoln buzz box. Please keep us informed as to how you like it.

    Thanks guys
     
  9. Aug 28, 2009
    birddog56

    birddog56 Member

    Pennsylvania
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2009
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    163
    I have a miller synchrowave 180. It was about 1800 several years ago and I think the new version is the 200. Here is my 2 cents............ Buy the bigger welder and put it on wheels. I roll my unit around the shop, or you can long leads for stick welding. Squarewave is the way to go. It makes aluminum much easier to weld nicely. I have welded with many kinds of machines, and my Miller is the sh**. Don't get a foot pedal. I have one and curse it all the time. A thumb switch is the ticket, unless you plan on welding only on the bench. Laying on your back with the pedal under your arm to do overhead is a pain! Postion welding is easier with the thumb unit.
    I have the air cooled torch, and have had no problems. It does get hot, but it cools quickly. I use the stick way more than the torch, it is very convieneient. Buy the biggest welder you can budget. Welders are like garge space. You always want more than you have. Buy a small unit and you will eventually regret it.
     
  10. Sep 22, 2009
    pyro4x4

    pyro4x4 New Member

    Columbia, Tn
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2006
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    32
    Im resurecting a little here but I have a miller synchrowave 250dx that in an amazing machine. I do anything I want with it and it does it well. A tip, get the thumb control option. I have it, and its really nice being able to switch the control around to what is needed for the job. Mine is expensive but nice. I couldnt have afforded it if I hadnt known a guy that was selling it very cheap. I was with him the day he bought it. Everything together was almost $5000. Four tubes of rods, tons of tungsten, a cover, the thumb control, different tips for the gun. He used it twice and 6 months later sold it to me for $1500. I said he was a friend, I didnt say he made smart decisions, lol
     
  11. Nov 13, 2009
    Warloch

    Warloch Did you say Flattie??? Staff Member

    Falcon, CO
    Joined:
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    Pulling the trigger on the TIG - I pick up the Synchrowave Runner 200 on Monday. I am also getting a Millermatic 180 AutoSet for my new Step Dad. He has never welded before and I thought it was a good way to go for a newbe.

    Now I have to save money for the Powerjection III...
     
  12. Nov 21, 2009
    neptco19

    neptco19 That guy....

    Athens, GA
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    Sep 26, 2003
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    So how do you like it???
     
  13. Nov 22, 2009
    Warloch

    Warloch Did you say Flattie??? Staff Member

    Falcon, CO
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    I have not gotten to play with it yet. Have to go out to the farm for Turkey day(s) so won't get to play till next week. I have to wire the plug, get the gas, and then figure out what Tungsten I should by...

    Then I get to play with it.

    Any one with experience on the supplies I will most likley need, please chime in.
     
  14. Nov 22, 2009
    neptco19

    neptco19 That guy....

    Athens, GA
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    Get some 2% thoriated (sp?) red tungsten. prob 3/32 thick and some er70s-2 filler 3/32 also. Depending on the thickness. Thats what we use the most at work. 1/16 works well for sheet metal. Get a couple different size cups, 4-7 should be a good start. That should be enough to get going.
     
  15. Nov 22, 2009
    neptco19

    neptco19 That guy....

    Athens, GA
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    Thats assuming you want to tig steel.
     
  16. Nov 22, 2009
    USMC_LB

    USMC_LB Member

    Tipton Co, TN
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2009
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    129
    Keep us updated on your welder!

    I am looking at getting a Miller 211 MIG for my home shop.

    TD
     
  17. Nov 23, 2009
    Warloch

    Warloch Did you say Flattie??? Staff Member

    Falcon, CO
    Joined:
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    Yup - steel to start AL later. Thanks for the info - verifies what I was supposing :)

    I have a Miller 175 and just got a 180 for my Step Dad. I love the MIG boxes and based on Dummies input I think the TIGs will be just as good.

    'Course I gotta do some teaching ;)
     

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