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TIG Welder Recommendation

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  1. #1
    Je pense, donc METRIX's Avatar
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    Default TIG Welder Recommendation

    I am after a new welder, I have an older CIGWELD MIG machine, and would like to get a new TIG / MIG / STICK machine.
    I am looking at machines such as the Transmig 185 Ultra, or Liincoln speedtec 200C, Lincoln Powercraft 200M

    These are the latest generation machines, that have an Auto setup feature to help you get the right voltage / current to suit whatever you are welding, they can also be fully manually controlled .

    Any one out there have any suggestions, I don't want to have two machines and would rather one that has the capability of handling the different modes.
    I don't know anything about TIG so don't know what to look for in a a machine, the Powercraft seems to have better specs than the other two, for similar price.

    Lincoln speedtec 200C
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMM_fLdDju8

    Lincoln Powercraft 200M
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQJf1Fx0_58
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNNDgiA8pKQ
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-aOwb-pG3c

    CIGWELD
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crnXzoIJ2l0





    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 185-ultra-facing-right-600x600.jpg   speedtec200c2_1024x1024.jpg   powercraft200mpackage_1024x1024.jpg  
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  2. #2
    Deactivated User Marc's Avatar
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    Only a professional welder would be able to give you a useful recommendation. Hobby or occasional welder experience is limited to what he uses.
    I don't TIG myself so I am out. Plus, I don't like multitask machines anyway.

    My suggestion is to visit a couple of local welding shops and ask questions, then go to a couple of welding supplies and ask some more. Lincoln and CIG are both good brands. YouTube welding sites provide some buying guidelines from time to time.
    TIG welding is nice to have, but is the hardest one to learn to weld properly. I have an old 3 phase rotary "bullet" welder that has TIG leads but I never use it. Too lazy to set it up.

  3. #3
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    I used to do a fair bit of TIG welding about 20+ years ago. We had machines of every type/brand but the one we used to rush towards was a small Esab unit that could be carried over a shoulder. It was great when working off ladders. Of course you would need a big unit with a duty cycle to suit, if you wanted to weld any sizable bits of aluminium.

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    Metrix, you may have already mastered it (it isn't that difficult to do with basic jobs) but this video and the comments are well worth checking out.

  5. #5
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    [QUOTE=Uncle Bob;1128647]Metrix, you may have already mastered it (it isn't that difficult to do with basic jobs) but this video and the comments are well worth checking out.

    It doesn't look too difficult to get started, I have many years of electronics soldering, it doesn't looks much different to that, just a bigger rod and a bit more power
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  6. #6
    Slow but rough Uncle Bob's Avatar
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    Pretty much. Just keep an eye on the puddle. Sometimes you don't even need filler rod.

  7. #7
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    I do a fair bit of welding and I'd go with a Unimig Razor 205 or 250 depending on how much you want to spend over any of those models you're looking at. The Unimig Viper series is cheaper but still very good. I wouldn't touch those CIGWELD machines, they are cheap Chinese rebadged units and I've seen several of them fail out of warranty with the parts to fix them costing nearly as much as a new welder. If you want to TIG weld all metals including aluminium you will need to buy an AC/DC TIG welder (you need AC to weld aluminium properly), most manufacturers don't make combo welders that have AC/DC TIG, MIG and Stick welder all in one. If you do find one, it will be priced a lot higher than the models you are looking at. You need to ask yourself what you'll be using the welder for and how much you want to enjoy using it, using cheap and crappy welders can send you mad
    Never argue with idiots, they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.


  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whitey66 View Post
    I do a fair bit of welding and I'd go with a Unimig Razor 205 or 250 depending on how much you want to spend over any of those models you're looking at. The Unimig Viper series is cheaper but still very good. I wouldn't touch those CIGWELD machines, they are cheap Chinese rebadged units and I've seen several of them fail out of warranty with the parts to fix them costing nearly as much as a new welder. If you want to TIG weld all metals including aluminium you will need to buy an AC/DC TIG welder (you need AC to weld aluminium properly), most manufacturers don't make combo welders that have AC/DC TIG, MIG and Stick welder all in one. If you do find one, it will be priced a lot higher than the models you are looking at. You need to ask yourself what you'll be using the welder for and how much you want to enjoy using it, using cheap and crappy welders can send you mad
    I was looking at the UNIMIG Razor 200 AC/DC the other day, it gets good reviews online, people seem to like the convenience of all the quick connect stuff and the handpiece that uses less gas for a superior finish seems to get the thumbs up be everyone., all the reviews have said it's probably the easiest welder out there to get really good results.

    They also say it's been designed so well, you have really got to push it hard to hit the duty cycle, and the cooling fan only comes on when it's really being worked hard.

    The Lincoln fan comes on as soon as the machine is switched on, and it's on full speed, even when just sitting there, that would drive you nuts, the Razor is almost completely silent during normal use.

    I'm starting to understand the differences now, and now see most TIG are only DC, I might as well get an AC / DC so I don't limit what you can do in the future as I wouldn't have any plans to get rid of it in 6 months to get another machine.

    The Razor 200 is around $1780, I don't want to buy a crap machine as I know these types of tools you get what you pay for, and couldn't use a machine that was just some cheap throw together thing that would only last 6 months.
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  9. #9
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    I have the Razor 200 AC/DC, the reason I didn't recommend it to you was because you said you wanted a MIG built in. Unimig don't make a MIG welder that comes with AC/DC TIG. For this reason I kept my old CIG mig welder ( full sized workshop welder). I also have the Razor Cut 45 Plasma cutter set up on the same compact trolley as the Razor 200 AC/DC TIG welder, I can put up some pics if you're interested?
    I bought both of mine for 20% off when Ebay had their sales for Plus members. You can usually pick up the Razor AC/DC TIG for around $1600.
    Never argue with idiots, they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.


  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whitey66 View Post
    I have the Razor 200 AC/DC, the reason I didn't recommend it to you was because you said you wanted a MIG built in. Unimig don't make a MIG welder that comes with AC/DC TIG. For this reason I kept my old CIG mig welder ( full sized workshop welder). I also have the Razor Cut 45 Plasma cutter set up on the same compact trolley as the Razor 200 AC/DC TIG welder, I can put up some pics if you're interested?
    I bought both of mine for 20% off when Ebay had their sales for Plus members. You can usually pick up the Razor AC/DC TIG for around $1600.
    I was looking at a plasma cutter as well, as they are fairly cheap, and would be good to have a play with it.

    Initially I was looking at a combo machine that did everything until I now realise these are rare.
    I have a full sized older transmig and just thought to get rid of it and replace with a machine that did them all.

    Now I'm starting to understand what is what, saying that the Lincoln Powercraft I linked to originally is actually a AC / DC Tig. Stick and Mig unit.
    It's a 200A and only a 10A plug, supposedly there is some witchcraft going on inside.

    It gets good reviews online as being a very capable welder, with the added bonus of having Mig facility.
    The downside of it, is it has an extremely loud fan, that starts up as soon as the unit is switched on, even if not using it the fan runs continuously.

    It's funny because some of the other Lincoln units have what's called Fan on Demand, that only turns on when the unit hits a certain temperature.

    Can you explain the VRD function, all the brochures highlight this feature on the welders, and promote it as a user safety feature when using Stick or TIG
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  11. #11
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    A VRD is a voltage reduction device, basically a welder fitted with a VRD will reduce the open circuit voltage to a safe level when the welder isn't under load (ie. welding).
    When the welder is welding it will increase to full output, when welding is finished it will reduce it back to a safe level. This makes it safer if you accidently touch the welding stick electrode or TIG tip while not welding. If you have ever got a decent zap from welding in wet conditions you'll know what I mean. With a welder fitted with a VRD, the voltage is usually reduced to as low as 12 volts while the welder is unloaded (not welding). VRDs are compulsory on a lot of worksites due to the increased safety benefits. It also makes changing welding rods a lot safer, especially if you're sitting, laying or standing on or touching the earthed object being welded. The safest way to change rods on a non VRD welder is to turn it off each time a rod is changed, but nobody ever does that
    Never argue with idiots, they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.


  12. #12
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    Ok thanks that make sense.

    Also when doing TIG you earth the workpiece to the positive terminal ?

    I was looking up some Aluminium welding with DC only TIG, you can do it but it's a lot trickier, they said you really need to use a spool gun and has to be 100% Argon gas or it just look like crap.

    There was a good demonstration showing the difference between TIG AC and DC, DC sort of left an oxidised coating on top of the weld, but AC gets rid of this oxidation with the square wave trickery circuitry, was rather fascination how it works.

    Yes if you have some pics of your setup that would be great
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by METRIX View Post
    Ok thanks that make sense.

    Also when doing TIG you earth the workpiece to the positive terminal ?

    I was looking up some Aluminium welding with DC only TIG, you can do it but it's a lot trickier, they said you really need to use a spool gun and has to be 100% Argon gas or it just look like crap.

    There was a good demonstration showing the difference between TIG AC and DC, DC sort of left an oxidised coating on top of the weld, but AC gets rid of this oxidation with the square wave trickery circuitry, was rather fascination how it works.

    Yes if you have some pics of your setup that would be great
    Polarity is usually dependant of the type of TIG welding
    For DC TIG it is usually DCEN electrode negative.
    For AC TIG it is usually DCEP electrode positive.
    There are exceptions to the rule and you should read the instructions for your welder.


    With AC welding aluminium you adjust the AC balance to get the right amount of cleaning cycle, it is all to do with the electron flow being from negative to positive.

  14. #14
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    Not mine but I did use it a while back to weld some aluminum. He bought it to well irrigation pipes after workers had run over them with tractors. Even using this machine I had problems at the end of the run as the aluminum heats up and the puddle falls off at the end. I have never had any trouble with steel or SS as it is easy but aluminum very different.

    img_0582.jpg

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bros View Post
    Not mine but I did use it a while back to weld some aluminum. He bought it to well irrigation pipes after workers had run over them with tractors. Even using this machine I had problems at the end of the run as the aluminum heats up and the puddle falls off at the end. I have never had any trouble with steel or SS as it is easy but aluminum very different.

    I have the same unit, different brand they were sold under many different names.
    Have done very little TIG with it, did a little aluminium and while it was strong enough it was not pretty but I put that down to practice.
    Just grabbed a bunch of filler for mild steel and will be trying again in the coming weeks.

    If I was in the market for a new one I would look at the Unimig range, I have Viper 182 MIG and very impressed with it.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by METRIX View Post
    Ok thanks that make sense.

    Also when doing TIG you earth the workpiece to the positive terminal ?

    I was looking up some Aluminium welding with DC only TIG, you can do it but it's a lot trickier, they said you really need to use a spool gun and has to be 100% Argon gas or it just look like crap.

    There was a good demonstration showing the difference between TIG AC and DC, DC sort of left an oxidised coating on top of the weld, but AC gets rid of this oxidation with the square wave trickery circuitry, was rather fascination how it works.

    Yes if you have some pics of your setup that would be great
    What is up with the photo uploader on this site?? I've resized the photos with snipping tool and they're jpegs but when I click the upload button the window disappears. I tried yesterday as well as tonight and still no luck, I've never had any issues adding photos before??

    Edit, I just sized them smaller and 2 photos worked.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 3.jpg   1.jpg   2.jpg   4.jpg  
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  17. #17
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    That's a nice setup, very neat, as is the tool bench in the background .

    Do you want to come around and tidy my garage up, I just can't keep it in order
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by METRIX View Post
    That's a nice setup, very neat, as is the tool bench in the background .

    Do you want to come around and tidy my garage up, I just can't keep it in order
    Thanks,
    I would come and do it for sure, unfortunately Sydney is a no-go zone for me due to covid
    The trolley is one of these - https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/253482031231
    I just had to make a wider top for it to fit the 2 units side by side. The 4 drawers are very handy to store all your doodads in.
    I was going to build a custom jobbie, but for this price I can put my time to better use.

    Edit: I got the other 2 photos uploaded above finally!
    Never argue with idiots, they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.


  19. #19
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    bugger me, that looks to be a nice workshop including the car hoist!
    Debating on one of these for a car restoration.

    Why the 2 welders...then looked a little closer - plasma and TIG...nice. Hows the plasma with your air compressor, do you need an additional water filter on the compressor and how many hours do you get out of an end nib?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bart1080 View Post
    Hows the plasma with your air compressor, do you need an additional water filter on the compressor
    If you look there is a toilet roll filter on the back of the welding trolley.

  21. #21
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    Yeh, I seen that one.

    The reason I ask is looking at a utuber the other day setting something similar up as a DIY CNC Plasma cutter. During testing, he found the toiletpaper sized standard filter wasn't enough and had to add an additional one at the air compressor.

    He could hear and see it sputter indicating some poor air quality. Interesting project though.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbo6soXn_kQ

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bart1080 View Post
    bugger me, that looks to be a nice workshop including the car hoist!
    Debating on one of these for a car restoration.

    Why the 2 welders...then looked a little closer - plasma and TIG...nice. Hows the plasma with your air compressor, do you need an additional water filter on the compressor and how many hours do you get out of an end nib?
    Yes, I have another 2 filters before the filter on the trolley (3 in total). It is also very important to drain the water from the compressor regularly. I'm still on the original tip and i've done quite a bit of cutting. I've got an SP18 triple cylinder belt drive compressor which is more than enough for the plasma cutter, - https://www.toolmart.com.au/sp-sp18.html
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