Buying a Tig Welder & Taking a Class**

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  1. Mad Dart

    Mad Dart Nothing to see Here!

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    Well I think it is about time I stepped up my game and purchase a TIg Welder.

    I am going to buy an Old School tried and tested Machine, an L-TEC (made in USA) 250HF Squarewave AC/DC TIG welder, 250 amp. It does Stick also AC or DC.

    The price is right at $700.00 and comes with everything but a Bottle. I have an extra bottle that will work. This machine will weld up to 3/4" thick material.

    Any ways the guy that sells the welder does classes also. I use to do some serious Gas/Acetylene welding back in the day and I was actually very good at it. I told the teacher of the class that I use to do Gas welding and he said I should pick it up quick. He said he will put me on a Mig first to see if I have puddle control, well I know I will pass that test. Then it is off to the Tig. He is going to teach me how to set up properly to TIG weld Aluminum, Steel, Stainless Steel, and ChromeMoly (4130). I am excited to learn something new.
     
  2. oldkimmer

    oldkimmer FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    .............Awesome......u will nail it....kim........
     
  3. zhandfull

    zhandfull Well-Known Member

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    :thumblef: Tig welding is a handy skill to have.
     
  4. needsaresto

    needsaresto Well-Known Member

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    Nice!! I sure could use one myself.
     
  5. Mad Dart

    Mad Dart Nothing to see Here!

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    Just met the guy and gave a deposit on the welder. I pick it up tomorrow. He did a couple welds with the machine. I watched him and it seems real easy. Gunna find out soon.
     
  6. 67cudaResto89

    67cudaResto89 Well-Known Member

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    thats awesome would love to take a welding class!
     
  7. pettybludart

    pettybludart Well-Known Member

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    Way to go Louis,I,ve always wanted to tig weld.I took a 9 mnth pipe fitters course when I left high school.(30 yrs ago)After seeing your welds,I think you,ll pick it up real quick.Good luck.:D
     
  8. 72bluNblu

    72bluNblu FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    TIG is awesome. I learned how to TIG first, kinda backwards from most folks that learned gas or MIG first. It's pretty much the same as gas welding as far as procedure goes, just because you have to manage the torch and fill rod separately. But its easier than gas because you can constantly adjust your amperage with the foot pedal, so the heat is easy to manage. If you've gas welded before it should be pretty easy to pick up.

    I picked up an old Miller 320 A/B/P, pretty much does everything. I'm still better at TIG than I am at MIG welding.
     
  9. Mad Dart

    Mad Dart Nothing to see Here!

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    First class is tomorrow afternoon at 3pm. This is a 1 on 1 training, just myself and the guy teaching me so it will be very informative.
     
  10. Burntorange70

    Burntorange70 Well-Known Member

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    My dad picked up a tig. We are also looking for some one to show us how to use it. If you could, let me know how it goes and how much the class is.
     
  11. Mad Dart

    Mad Dart Nothing to see Here!

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    PM Sent.
     
  12. gerahead

    gerahead Glutton for Punishment

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    Mad Dart,
    That is a smokin' price on the welder. I am assuming that it is one of the big, transformer based, older units. I picked up an inverter based 150A Miller TIG about a year and a half ago and have been periodically trying to teach myself how to use it. It is tougher (for me) than MIG, but I will keep at it. I got an offer from a friend to give me a lesson or two, but thought that I would try to get familiar with it myself first. Originally the torch was a finger control, well finger that:finga:. I have since gotten a foot control, but haven't had much time to fool with that set-up yet. Good luck. L8r
     
  13. srixon4406

    srixon4406 TURBO TOAD

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    I picked up a Lincoln idealarc 250/250 a couple months ago and have never tigged before the only problem that I have is I find it hard to push the bead and add the filler rod the filler like to creep up the Tungsten
    I'm thinking a couple of lessons would help out tremendously
    Good luck let us no how things go
    Aaron
     
  14. Mad Dart

    Mad Dart Nothing to see Here!

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    Yes it is an older model. It is set up now for a single phase hook up. It has the capability to hook up to 480V 3 Phase if you open up the side case. This one also has the Water Cooled Tig Torch hook ups. I would just need to swap out the torch and get a small tank and use a Fish Tank Pump to get it going. The torch is new and it came with a new pedal. The torch itself is worth $100.00 and the Pedal prices out at $300.00. So I think I got a real good deal on it.
     
  15. Mad Dart

    Mad Dart Nothing to see Here!

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    I would think the rod creeping up the tungston could just be a setting issue. I should know some good information here in the next few weeks.
     
  16. curleysracecars

    curleysracecars Well-Known Member

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    The rod should never make contact with the tungsten. If it is, you're either sticking the tungsten in the weld puddle, or hitting the tungsten with the filler rod when you try to add filler material.
    Sounds like a good deal MadDart. Not to put any damper on it, but with 250 amps, you're no where near welding 3/4" material. Figure as a basic guideline, 1 amp for every .001" of material. The 250 amps could probably safely do 3/8" steel, and 1/4" aluminum(probably with some helium for shielding gas). Keep us posted on how its coming along...remember, practice is what makes a good welder. Stick with it.
     
  17. Mad Dart

    Mad Dart Nothing to see Here!

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    Supposedly on 3 phase 480v it will do 3/4 plate from what I am told. I will never weld anything that thick so it doesn't really matter to me. I will be using the single phase 220 hook up.

    On the low setting it goes 5-80 amps, on the high setting it goes from 85-360 amps if that makes sense.

    I think it will put out 250 amps on 220 single phase and 360 amps on 480 3 phase.
     
  18. turbodart68

    turbodart68 Well-Known Member

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    I learned on an ancient Miller TIG machine that was the size of a 21 cubic foot refridgerator. After a few years of welding I bought a much smaller new miller 200 TIG and what a difference! The key to good TIG welding is proper shielding and meticulous prep, not like the mud gun that will blow through paint and everything else. As I get older I find my hand isn't as steady as it used to be and my welds suffer, frustrating. Once you start TIG welding you wont want to MIG anymore, you may have the urge to redo the welding you have already done. Don't do it. :violent1:
     
  19. Mad Dart

    Mad Dart Nothing to see Here!

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    I just set the welder up and thought I would share my very first tig welds with you guys.

    Remember this is 5 Minutes of Welding and I have never tig welded before in my life and I have not had any classes as of yet. The guy says he is booked til next week. He had to cancel the first lesson.

    This metal was not wire brushed, just wiped with denatured alcohol. I did not even clean the welding rod.

    View attachment phph6dMBNPM.jpg

    View attachment phpTyHhqoPM.jpg

    View attachment phpD0NJT7PM.jpg
     
  20. Badart

    Badart Senior Member

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    Looks like you passed to me. :cheers:
     
  21. Joe Dokes

    Joe Dokes Well-Known Member

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    I've seen a lot worse, assuming you've got adequate penetration those welds look quite good to me. Are they a stack of dimes laid on its side? Not quite, but I've seen beautiful welds fail, and crappy looking welds hold up.

    Regards,

    Joe Dokes
     
  22. curleysracecars

    curleysracecars Well-Known Member

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    They look really good. Definitely a strong weld, that would probably never give you any trouble. The pretty looks comes with lots of practice...nothing can be taught to make someone produce the pretty welds, just practice of the timing of everything. Keep at it, you'll progress quickly.
     
  23. Mad Dart

    Mad Dart Nothing to see Here!

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    Remember, this is 5 minutes of Under the Hood time, first TIG Experience going on. Nobody told me how to even set up the machine or anything.

    Yes there is some serious penetration going on. I never thought it would get as hot as it does. It gets crazy hot when you mash on the pedal. I had it set on High at 45% on all these welds. Seems it is a good setting. The one piece of plate is 1/2" thick that I welded to a piece of 3/16. This welder seems to be a serious unit.

    Stack of Dimes is just a look. It does not mean the weld is any stronger. The look of the weld is just a signature. I was dipping the rod in the puddle probably 2 times per second. I think that will be my signature on everything. We will see.
     
  24. Mad Dart

    Mad Dart Nothing to see Here!

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    Thanks John. It should only get better with time. I figured if I can do Ok with the crappiest conditions "Dirty Metal, un prepped" I should do alot better when I actually take the time to clean and prep it up nice.
     
  25. zhandfull

    zhandfull Well-Known Member

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    Looks like your not going to have any problems with the tig.
     
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