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Old 03-26-2009, 09:29 PM
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Default Tig Unit Choices

I am thinking about getting a tig machine, but to be honest I have no idea of what range (power) I should be looking for. I have a Trailblazer 302 that I could set up for scratch tig, but I have pretty much decided not to go that route because I really do not want to have the noisy thing running every time I need to tig something at home in the shop. I would however like to get a machine I could run off the Trailblazer out in the field if needed. I guess my needs would pretty much dictate what size and type of unit I should get.

I have rarely ran across anything over 1/4" steel that absolutely need to be tigged. There have been times when a tig would have come in handy for 3/8 inch or less aluminum. I do welding repairs part-time in my shop and out in the field, so portability would be a concern as far as the weight.

At the present time I am between jobs so I would like to buy used if I can find what is recommended. I would like to keep as much of my survival cash stash that I can.

Then, on top of everything I have not tig welded for about 15 years so it will probably be like starting over because I never tigged much back then anyways. I would appreciate any information and advice I can get.
I am partial to Miller equipment, but I would be open to other brands as long as it was compatible in regards to hooking it up to the Trailblazer..........................thanks.
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Old 03-27-2009, 04:04 AM
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Pat, as to which one/model/amp/duty cycle etc etc there are no easy answers unless you have sat down in front of the different machines and tried each one.

If your looking for used equipment then you end up adding even more variables. Age, bells and whistles, any problems, future problems.

My rule of thumb for purchasing anything for the shop has been, if I think I know exactly how much money I want to spend, I add an additional 500 to 800 bucks automatically.

If I know for sure I'll only be needing a machine that will adequately weld 3/8th material, I choose the next size larger capable machine.

I've never bought exactly what I needed and found that it covered that which I should have gotten. My only exceptions was the purchase of the 180 miller mig and only because I was going to buy a 350P soon after.

I was able to pickup on a real nice, fairly new Miller 300+ amp TIG (Syncro351) all the while thinking that it would be a total waste of space and useless. Since I've had it, I've used the crap out of it and found more needs for it than ever imagined.

BTW, if you have the money at the ready, you can find very good Miller 300 to 400 amp TIGs from around 1,500 to double that amount. Depending on age and condition. Not all shop TIGs are used and abused that hard.

Good luck on your quest
LW
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Last edited by LW Hiway; 03-27-2009 at 04:13 AM.
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Old 03-28-2009, 05:59 PM
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Jeff,

Thank you very much for responding. After pondering this some more, I think I am going to hold off buying anything (new or used) until I have researched the options to death. After all, I have been getting along just fine without the equipment because I normally refer any tig work to friends and associates I know will do a good job for the customers. In the mean time it will give me a chance to get re-acquainted (actually start with the basics) with tig welding by way of having some willing friends share their knowledge and equipment. I believe it would be a great asset to at least have a basic understanding of the process so I can decide what bells and whistles would benefit me the most so I don't squander money on something the salesman thinks I can't live without.....................thanks again.
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Old 03-28-2009, 10:51 PM
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Quote:
In the mean time it will give me a chance to get re-acquainted (actually start with the basics) with tig welding by way of having some willing friends share their knowledge and equipment.
Which, BTW, will put you that much farther ahead in knowing what/which machines you want to choose from.

Quote:
I believe it would be a great asset to at least have a basic understanding of the process so I can decide what bells and whistles would benefit me the most so I don't squander money on something the salesman thinks I can't live without.....................thanks again.
If you take the time to do this, this way, you'll obviously make the right decision when the time comes.

What usually makes a purchase like this difficult or in some cases buying equipment prematurely is just plain costly and leads to unhappiness with a purchase soon down the road.

You've got the right attitude.
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Old 03-29-2009, 12:34 AM
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when you get ready it sounds like the Dynasty 200dx is what you are looking for. it's a 200 amp machine, weighs less than 75 pounds, takes up about twice as much space as your lunch bucket and pulls arround 25 amps on 240volt single phase. before using a inverter tig i thought they had a larger learning curve just because they have more buttons to play with, after buying one i now think they are better for a beginner because the arc is so much easier to shape and concentrate exactly where you need it (not that a transformer machine is bad in these areas) they are possibly harder to set up but a 5 minute chat with someone that owns one will get you some rough settings to get you up and running.
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