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Old 02-20-2011, 10:50 AM   #1
Weazer
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Default Small Tig Welder?

Did a search and didn't much. I am looking for a small Tig welder. I need to weld small parts on occasion and I need a Tig welder to get the control I need. Problem is that I know next to nothing about Tig welders. I am decently capable with a Mig welder, I dont have one at home but we have larger machines at work.

I have looked at machines and it seems like you get what you pay for. It would be nice that if I get one that it could be used to weld aluminum, but the machines cost more. So, I don't need to be able to weld aluminum at this time if I want to keep the cost down. I don't think i need a cooler, cause I don't think I will be doing that much welding with it.

For example some of the things I would like to weld are, well basically fill 1/8" holes on round stock after pins are inserted. I just cannot get the migs to do it very well.

It would be nice to get a new machine atleast this way there should be nothing wrong with it. Vs if I purchase a larger machine from CL or Fleabay I have no idea how much I might need to spend on repairs. Power wise I can do 120 here at home for a real small machine or I can do 220 at one of the unused shops at work.

So give me your thoughts,
Thanks,
Matt
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Old 02-20-2011, 10:59 AM   #2
35mastr
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Default Re: Small Tig Welder?

The Miller Diversion 180 is a great little machine for home use. Great for steel and aluminum.

I have a Miller Econo Tig and wished they had this one when I bought mine.

Or if you want a machine that will do everything. Step up to a Miller Syncrowave 200. Pricey but you will only need to buy it once.
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Old 02-20-2011, 11:08 AM   #3
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Default Re: Small Tig Welder?

I have a Longevity and love it. Hard to beat for $500 with plasma, stick and tig.
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Old 02-20-2011, 11:13 AM   #4
35mastr
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Default Re: Small Tig Welder?

Multi purpose machines are good until one part of it dies. Consumables can be a bear to find when they get dicontinued as they always have a new model every year. Then you are out of a machine. I personally would never spend money on those.
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Old 02-20-2011, 11:17 AM   #5
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Default Re: Small Tig Welder?

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Originally Posted by 35mastr View Post
Multi purpose machines are good until one part of it dies. Consumables can be a bear to find when they get dicontinued as they always have a new model every year. Then you are out of a machine. I personally would never spend money on those.
The first job it did paid for it. I could afford to throw it away after it did what it was bought to do.

One can spend a long time lusting after a piece of machinery, or, they can have a brand new machine with five-year parts/labor warranty (which the Longevity has).

I have a new Chi-Comm mig arriving tomorrow via UPS. Again, the first job it is used on , it will be paid for and free from that point on-it also uses Lincoln consumables and was bought from the on-line store of my LWS so they are within neck-wringing distance should there be a problem.
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Old 02-20-2011, 12:24 PM   #6
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Default Re: Small Tig Welder?

if you have small stuff to do you NEED a foot pedal machine
do not get one of those HF cheapie crap machines
I have the miller diversion and like it. I would recomend the machine
for size/cost/features

bob
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Old 02-20-2011, 07:19 PM   #7
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Default Re: Small Tig Welder?

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Originally Posted by ptschram View Post
The first job it did paid for it. I could afford to throw it away after it did what it was bought to do.

One can spend a long time lusting after a piece of machinery, or, they can have a brand new machine with five-year parts/labor warranty (which the Longevity has).

I have a new Chi-Comm mig arriving tomorrow via UPS. Again, the first job it is used on , it will be paid for and free from that point on-it also uses Lincoln consumables and was bought from the on-line store of my LWS so they are within neck-wringing distance should there be a problem.
The first jobs that I did with my Millers paid for themselves the first time also. I built 2 20 foot gates that paid 3,000.00 dollars. All out of 120 wall steel tubing. Then I did quite a bit of sheet metal work with my Tig that also paid for the machine and I will never need to throw them away when Chicom decides not to support them any more.

I support Miller And Lincoln as they are the best for any type of welding.
Will be here long after your Chicoms shit the bed.
I and most buy welders for the long run. That is what makes us money in the end.
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Old 02-20-2011, 09:04 PM   #8
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Default Re: Small Tig Welder?

I have a Miller Diversion 165 that I bought a couple years ago, and like very much. It does everything I've wanted to do so far. When they brought out the 180, the welding store guy tried to get me to upgrade, but I just didn't see the additional value for a few extra amps - and it cost several hundred dollars more.

If I were buying it today, I'd probably go with the Hobart EZtig, which is the same as the Diversion 165, but has the foot pedal vs the hand control - which is what you really want anyway.

If you really want a small unit, the Thermal Arc 95 is tiny - about the size of a shoebox and it costs just over $400.

I've read that they really work - I'd buy one of them over the Chicago Electrics...

http://store.cyberweld.com/tharcstwe95s1.html

Last edited by IndyGarage; 02-20-2011 at 09:09 PM.
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Old 02-20-2011, 10:42 PM   #9
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Default Re: Small Tig Welder?

Miller Maxstar is a nice little DC only unit. Works real nice. I havent used mine much but I like it. Oh and by the way it was FREE I won it in a Miller Giveaway......
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Old 02-21-2011, 08:12 AM   #10
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Default Re: Small Tig Welder?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 35mastr View Post
Will be here long after your Chicoms shit the bed.
LOL-my Hyper-Therm plasma was dead more than it worked. My longevity is still cutting steel. I bought the Longevity as the Hyper-Therm had failed for the third time in two weeks and was costing me $150 each time it failed!

The longevity was used on a job about three times the size of the job you described.

I find it hilarious how quick folks are to jump up to bash machinery made anywhere but 'Merica. My business is still going because of my careful expenditures on all manner of tools.

The fact is that I have a plasma cutter, a TIG welder (with foot pedal), stick welder in a compact package, that cost me less than anyone of those tools, with a five-year no questions warranty. As far as consumables are concerned, replacement torches are easily available that will allow for use of commonly available consumables.

I was happily surprised to find that the tips for my Chi-Com spool gun are interchangable with my Hobart MIG!

My Chi-Com MIG that's arriving today uses the same torch that Prax-Air sells as replacement and uses Miller consumables.
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Old 02-21-2011, 08:41 AM   #11
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Default Re: Small Tig Welder?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Weazer View Post
I need to weld small parts on occasion and I need a Tig welder to get the control I need. Problem is that I know next to nothing about Tig welders.

I don't think i need a cooler, cause I don't think I will be doing that much welding with it.
For small detailed work, most non-scratch start TIG welders would suit you just fine. Just as you stated, the cost can be cheap or quite high depending on what features you want. For simple work on steel, I doubt you really need most of the advanced features that many of the welders have.

I don't know if space is an issue for you, but there is a large difference in the size of an inverter based TIG machine and a transformer based machine. Bear in mind that with either one you will need a tank though fro the shield gas.

I wave welded quite a bit on Miller machines, and personally would not look anyplace else. For home use, an older synchrowave, such as the 180 would be a great welder. It is not too big and would do most anything you want. As you stated, you probably would not need a cooler. The only benefits to a cooler when you are making small intermittent welds is that many of the water cooled torches are smaller than the air cooled torches for an equivalent amperage rating.
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:48 AM   #12
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Default Re: Small Tig Welder?

Forgive the question but where does one find the longevity tig/stick/plasma for $500 w/ warranty?
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Old 02-21-2011, 11:13 AM   #13
ptschram
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Default Re: Small Tig Welder?

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Originally Posted by olds70supreme View Post
Forgive the question but where does one find the longevity tig/stick/plasma for $500 w/ warranty?
Pirate4x4.com. They regularly have specials.

AFAIK, the warranty on Longevity stuff is always five years.
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Old 02-21-2011, 05:44 PM   #14
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Default Re: Small Tig Welder?

most people that have them love their thermal-arc

miller is nicer but more money

http://www.brweldingsupplies.com/bra...ndex.cfm?id=13
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Old 02-21-2011, 05:51 PM   #15
danski0224
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Default Re: Small Tig Welder?

Miller Maxstar
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Old 02-21-2011, 07:53 PM   #16
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Default Re: Small Tig Welder?

I got the thermal arc very happy
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Old 02-21-2011, 09:02 PM   #17
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Default Re: Small Tig Welder?

If i remember correctly, the Diversions only do DC. I thought you had to get a Dynasty to do AC.
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:11 PM   #18
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Default Re: Small Tig Welder?

I like my TA185.
Small, AC/DC/stick, inverter type.
Nice big foot pedal.

You might consider an HTP, too.
Miller and Lincoln inverters are a little pricey and rather rare to find used--I'm sure you wouldn't regret it if you could afford one.
Lots of used transformer types out there if you have the power to run them.
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Old 02-22-2011, 12:13 AM   #19
IndyGarage
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Default Re: Small Tig Welder?

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Originally Posted by 38D View Post
If i remember correctly, the Diversions only do DC. I thought you had to get a Dynasty to do AC.
Incorrect. My diversion does both AC and DC just perfectly. It has a high frequency arc start, which works great

The thing it is missing is all the adjustments to the arc - waveform, pre and post timing, pulser, etc. - all the stuff that a professional would use, but a hobbyist wouldn't.

The only controls are AC/DC - Amperage, and the on off button on the torch, or the pedal. Actually the torch button has some cool features built in as well that I didn't realize until I went back and read the manual again.

I've welded on a Dynasty 200 and they weld almost exactly the same. I noticed the Dynasty had a little more aggressive arc start than my Diversion and of course it has all the bells and whistles and a few more amps (1/4" rating vs 3/16).

Would I rather have the Dynasty? - of course. Is it worth $2K more? - nope - not for what I do with it.
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:33 AM   #20
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Default Re: Small Tig Welder?

HTP Invertig 201 I paid $2600 delivered with a watercooler/torch. Has worked flawlessly for 2yrs so far and HTP customer service is great. The comparable Miller machine I was looking at prior to purchase was closer to $4500 out the door.
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