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Old 09-16-2021, 02:58 PM
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CaddmannQ CaddmannQ is offline
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Default High Quality TIG Accessories

Folks, I am not a pro welder. I am a retired CNC guy.

I learned to weld in high school and I have done some stick, MIG, and TIG over the past 50 years. I always had access to high dollar welding rigs, but I am mostly a torch jockey. I own a few sets of Victor torches and regulators, but I have never owned an electric welder. I have modded cars and motorcycles with just a torch.

But now I am keen to buy a quality TIG or multi-function welder, and there are a lot of choices. I have a 240vac 50 amp receptacle available, so no 3-phase or high power gear will work.

And it’s unnecessary. I am just welding cars, and mostly light gage mild steel to 1/16 or 1/8. I may see a little 3/16” or 1/4” plate but I can make 3 passes if necessary. This welding only needs to please me. I also want to do some TIG brazing on 16ga cold rolled.

Since I’m not trying to make money, the duty cycle is less important than it could be. At my age I’ll probably be ready to take a break before the welder is anyway
.
What I want most is advice on high quality pedals, torches, and switches. I need the sensitivity to weld thin gage more than anything. I don’t want to diddle around with janky gear.

I have worked with a clunky pedal and it was torture. I want advice on the best stuff that isn’t unobtanium.
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  #2  
Old 09-16-2021, 06:18 PM
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mccutter mccutter is offline
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Welcome Aboard! I'm sure some others will be along with their recommendations.

I'll post up some links to keep you busy for now...

Foot pedals and other controls can be found at https://ssccontrols.com/

Miller now owns Weldcraft who makes quality torches. LINK

CK Worldwide also makes quality torches and accessories--I'm running one of their #20 torches on my rig. LINK

This link from Miller has a number of handy welding guides you can peruse and/or download. LINK

PS: CK had this .pdf guide on their site...
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TA Arcmaster 185 w/tig/stick kit
MillerMatic 252 w/3rd gen 30A
MM140 w/o AS, w/CO2
Hobart (Miller) 625 plasma
Hobart 250ci plasma
Victor O/A (always ready, but bored)
TA 95 lunchbox w/tig
45ACP Black Talons for those stubborn jobs...

Last edited by mccutter; 09-16-2021 at 06:26 PM.
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  #3  
Old 09-16-2021, 06:41 PM
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Shade Tree Welder Shade Tree Welder is offline
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If you are going to every want to TIG aluminum you should look at a AC square
wave machine with High Frequency stabilization.

If you will never weld aluminum a DC only machine will do you fine.

https://www.millerwelds.com/equipmen...-welder-m00337

I like weldcraft consumables and have a ProFax pedal.

Some members have some good reviews for HF Titanium series line of welders.
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Old 09-17-2021, 01:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shade Tree Welder View Post
I forgot to mention that we are very adept at spending other peoples' money here at SFT... Buy Once, Cry Once we say... But at $2600ish MSP and looking like the current going rate buying a Diversion 180 would be a hard pill to swallow. I haven't checked new US welder prices lately and this is about $1000 more than I recall them costing! I was going to say "spend up and get a Dynasty 210" but those are going for $4800!

Even if it WAS only $1600, I would have a problem because the torch is hard-wired in and not replaceable (ie: no water-cooled) unless you want to void the warranty by modifying the machine.

I saw this at debay for $379 which I would never consider BUT I might throw a $50 bill at it if I saw it at an auction Div165. Would be the perfect opportunity to adapt a Dinse connector and "common" torch connection. Maybe... It IS in my area (Orlando) but I'd buy a new HF, NT or EW before I did that...

PS: even if you are only welding at say 125A and well within the duty cycle, with extended welding that 150A torch will start to get "warm" and uncomfortable to hold.
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TA Arcmaster 185 w/tig/stick kit
MillerMatic 252 w/3rd gen 30A
MM140 w/o AS, w/CO2
Hobart (Miller) 625 plasma
Hobart 250ci plasma
Victor O/A (always ready, but bored)
TA 95 lunchbox w/tig
45ACP Black Talons for those stubborn jobs...

Last edited by mccutter; 09-17-2021 at 01:10 AM.
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  #5  
Old 09-17-2021, 05:06 AM
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toprecycler toprecycler is offline
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A shop I sometimes work at on the side bought a Esab Rebal ( not exactly sure the model, but will do AC tig aluminum) multiprocess welder couple years ago. Unfortunately, right after I needed it for an aluminum handrail project I did for them.

They have been real happy with it. Owner told me last week that it would be all a typical home garage would ever need.

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  #6  
Old 09-17-2021, 07:27 AM
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greywynd greywynd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mccutter View Post
I forgot to mention that we are very adept at spending other peoples' money here at SFT... Buy Once, Cry Once we say... But at $2600ish MSP and looking like the current going rate buying a Diversion 180 would be a hard pill to swallow. I haven't checked new US welder prices lately and this is about $1000 more than I recall them costing! I was going to say "spend up and get a Dynasty 210" but those are going for $4800!

Even if it WAS only $1600, I would have a problem because the torch is hard-wired in and not replaceable (ie: no water-cooled) unless you want to void the warranty by modifying the machine.

I saw this at debay for $379 which I would never consider BUT I might throw a $50 bill at it if I saw it at an auction Div165. Would be the perfect opportunity to adapt a Dinse connector and "common" torch connection. Maybe... It IS in my area (Orlando) but I'd buy a new HF, NT or EW before I did that...

PS: even if you are only welding at say 125A and well within the duty cycle, with extended welding that 150A torch will start to get "warm" and uncomfortable to hold.

Not often that one tig welds at 125A though unless doing aluminum. If one is tigging steel at 125A, they may as well break out some wire or stick instead.


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  #7  
Old 09-17-2021, 10:16 AM
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Shade Tree Welder Shade Tree Welder is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mccutter View Post
I forgot to mention that we are very adept at spending other peoples' money here at SFT... Buy Once, Cry Once we say...
Yes we are...

I will add that Millers MSRP is high and generally you can find them for 20-
24% below MSRP at you LWS. Mine would discount them at 24.5%. So I did
not have to call them for pricing. Accessories were a different discount and
not as flat rate so I had to call for that. I am a fan of blue paint, but the red
machines I have been told have a following.

I have not welded with any of the HF welders but a few members have.
Here is an option. Hopefully Jack chimes in.

https://www.harborfreight.com/weldin...put-56254.html
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  #8  
Old 09-17-2021, 05:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaddmannQ View Post
I have worked with a clunky pedal and it was torture.
Uhm.....Yeah....
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  #9  
Old 09-17-2021, 07:09 PM
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CaddmannQ CaddmannQ is offline
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It’s kind of strange that it’s difficult to find a used welder here and then all of a sudden six of them show up on craigslist.

Unfortunately they are all overpriced or too old and heavy for my taste.

I could pick up a used Lincoln Idealarc 300 Tig for $1500 With a bottle cart and accessories.. Unfortunately I can’t pick it up. Period. It’s a freaking boat anchor!

I’m going to need something a little more portable that I can roll from my garage out to my boat yard and back Without a towmotor.
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  #10  
Old 09-17-2021, 10:22 PM
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Matt Shade Matt Shade is offline
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I really am not up on tig machines, but for welders in general right now if you are worried about size and features more than duty cycle, then an inverter type machine is the way to go.

I run lincoln welders in my shop. Dad had an old tombstone stick welder I learned on and they had lincoln welders in the lab when I was in college. I have had good luck with them. I know you're talking tig but my lincoln power mig 216 is a transformer machine, and my MP 210 is an inverter. The 210 has 3/4 the power and much lower duty cycle but I can carry it like a suitcase, where the 216 requires a loader, and the 210 has many more features/parameters to fine tune with.

For the criteria you listed I would be shopping new small inverters and passing on the old industrial stuff even though they are familiar names.
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