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Old 12-31-2007, 08:32 AM   #1
Grimsawyer
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Default Which welder to get?

Goofin with the idea of getting a welder. I want to have a foot pedal for sure and it needs to be able to do SS. And I'm I have a very limited SWMBO tool allowance. I am going to do keggles(after alot of practice on the tops I have cut out, want to get it right!) and make a frame for a brew stand(not stainless, painted steel tubing... WHEEE!!!) anyone have any suggestions of 2 or 3 models I should look for. Also, should I look on craig's for one?

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Old 12-31-2007, 02:38 PM   #2
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You might want to review this recent thread is this a decent welder since it has some potentially useful background info in it. It's mostly a discussion of MIG welders.

Foot pedal implies TIG. It's used to vary the amperage while welding. I'm a beginner weldor and not experienced enough to say for sure, but I don't think foot pedals are used in stick or MIG welding. Someone will correct me if I'm wrong.

Most people use MIG or stick for mild steel. With MIG, you just point and pull the trigger, it couldn't be simpler. (Ok, that is slight oversimplification, but not by much.) MIG is really easy to learn compared to stick. I have a Hobart Handler 187 MIG and I love it.

TIG is best for SS. Yuri TIGs and will probably weigh in on this with better info than I can give you. You can use MIG with stainless wire and argon gas, but you'll get much cleaner results with TIG. I don't know what your budget is, but TIG is expensive. Entry level is about $1000 higher than a comparable MIG setup. I would not settle for any import TIG machine at all, period. Stick with Miller, Lincoln, or Hobart.

Inverter TIG welders are lighter and cheaper to operate than transformer TIG machines. The inverter TIGs are truly portable. The least capable TIG machine I'd settle for is the Miller MaxStar 150 STH TIG package with Remote. Note that it is DC only and will not weld aluminum. You need AC/DC TIG for that, and the Miller Dynasty 200 SD would be my choice if I was planning on spending that much (over $2k with foot pedal, and that's not even counting gas, welding helmet, gloves, consumables, etc).

Check out specs for Miller TIG welders here Miller GTAW welders but of course, ignore any prices on their site and google for it. Cyberweld, Brweldingsupplies, etc.

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Old 01-01-2008, 12:58 AM   #3
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Miller all the way.

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Old 01-01-2008, 05:21 AM   #4
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A couple days ago on Epay I saw a used mint condition like new Miller 250 Synchrowave buy it now for $1,700. Once you go to Tig it makes Mig and
especially stick a nasty process. I myself have a Miller 350 Synchrowave
fully loaded plus a Millermatic 251 with 30A spoolgun with owner owned 280 cu/ft argon and C-25 bottles. Darn it I have 3 kegs to cut for brewing and a bad back preventing me from doing anything.
As mentioned before Cyberwelds has the best prices unless you go used or EPay.

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Old 01-01-2008, 05:26 AM   #5
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A couple days ago on Epay I saw a used mint condition like new Miller 250 Synchrowave buy it now for $1,700. Once you go to Tig it makes Mig and
especially stick a nasty process. I myself have a Miller 350 Synchrowave fully loaded plus a Millermatic 251 with 30A spoolgun with owner owned 280 cu/ft argon and C-25 bottles. Darn it I have 3 kegs to cut for brewing and a bad back preventing me from doing anything.
As mentioned before Cyberwelds has the best prices unless you go used or EPay.
Your not going to Tig stainless right away even with proper instruction without many many hours of welding time.....=o&o>.....

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Old 01-02-2008, 04:03 AM   #6
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I don't think you want that thing, it probably weighs 200+ lbs. I'd look into new lightweight inverter TIGs. I have never TIG'ed SS, just mild steel and Al at tech school.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BrewBeemer
A couple days ago on Epay I saw a used mint condition like new Miller 250 Synchrowave buy it now for $1,700. Once you go to Tig it makes Mig and
especially stick a nasty process. I myself have a Miller 350 Synchrowave
fully loaded plus a Millermatic 251 with 30A spoolgun with owner owned 280 cu/ft argon and C-25 bottles. Darn it I have 3 kegs to cut for brewing and a bad back preventing me from doing anything.
As mentioned before Cyberwelds has the best prices unless you go used or EPay.
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Old 01-02-2008, 04:09 AM   #7
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I've been thinking about an inverter TIG for a while, just don't have the justification to shell out 2k. One model I looked at was the HTP invertig, but I'm leery of parts availability with a relatively unknown brand (it is supposed to be a rebrand of some Italian machine)

http://www.usaweld.com/products/tig_welders/tig201.html

Quote:
Originally Posted by billtzk
You might want to review this recent thread [url=http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=49179]
Inverter TIG welders are lighter and cheaper to operate than transformer TIG machines. The inverter TIGs are truly portable. The least capable TIG machine I'd settle for is the Miller MaxStar 150 STH TIG package with Remote. Note that it is DC only and will not weld aluminum. You need AC/DC TIG for that, and the Miller Dynasty 200 SD would be my choice if I was planning on spending that much (over $2k with foot pedal, and that's not even counting gas, welding helmet, gloves, consumables, etc).
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Old 01-02-2008, 04:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vmpolesov
I've been thinking about an inverter TIG for a while, just don't have the justification to shell out 2k. One model I looked at was the HTP invertig, but I'm leery of parts availability with a relatively unknown brand (it is supposed to be a rebrand of some Italian machine)

http://www.usaweld.com/products/tig_welders/tig201.html
I have not researched that particular welder, but there are several recent (in the past few days) threads on http://www.hobartwelders.com/weldtalk/ that discuss the HTP Invertig. Just use the Search function on that forum to search for Invertig and you'll see them. There's a whole section of that forum devoted to TIG.
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Old 01-02-2008, 04:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billtzk
...weldor...
I see you've been reading Richard Finch's books...I like them for informative, easy reading. Anyway...

As has already been mentioned, you're looking at a $2,000+ investment for a TIG machine. I paid about $2,500 for my Lincoln SquareWave Pro unit a few years ago. It weighs almost exactly 200 lbs, so it's not really that portable. I've been very happy with it, but if I had it to do over, I'd have bought a Miller machine. Every welding professional with whom I've spoken recommends them 100% over Lincoln for ease of use and quality parts.

I have zero experience with inverter TIG machines, and no one I know uses one. I'm not sure if that's good or bad, but it seems a little on the negative side to me. I do know that many of the inexpensive machines don't have a high frequency module for arc ignition, so you have to "scratch start" - a troublesome technique that can easily contaminate your weld.

Avoid simple arc welders, AKA "buzz boxes" or "stick welders" Sure, they're cheap, but unless you're repairing farm machinery or doing heavy industrial work, they're nearly useless. You'll never get a good weld (for homebrewing) on stainless or aluminum with a stick welder. The only homebrewing application I can think of for a stick welder would be in welding a brew sculpture.

It sounds like your budget is really geared more toward a MIG unit. I own a Lincoln SP135+. It's VERY portable (~50 lbs), runs on standard 120VAC house current (you'll be lucky to find a TIG machine that doesn't require high amp 220VAC service), will lay a decent bead on properly prepared 3/16" plate steel in a single pass, and cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $500. Again, I'd rather own a similar sized Miller machine since most of them are a bit richer in features, but this one has served me well. I even had it shipped over to Korea and did some repair work (and/or customization) in a parking lot!

MIG welding is generally considered the easiest of the welding processes to learn. You simply set the machine up for the material you're welding, touch the protruding filler wire to your work, squeeze the trigger, and move the torch in the direction of the weld. With an hour's worth of practice, nearly anyone can lay a decent bead on mild steel. It's not too tough to MIG weld stainless, it'll just take a little more practice than welding mild steel, and you'll need to back gas or use flux on the backside of the weld to protect it. You can even MIG aluminum if you accessorize properly. If slag free welds aren't necessary, you don't even need to bring a shielding gas bottle to the job - you can just use flux core wire.

Whew...that was a lot of typing. To sum it up, I recommend a small MIG unit like the one I have. Feel free to ask questions, I love the subject!
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Old 01-02-2008, 09:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri_Rage
...Whew...that was a lot of typing. To sum it up, I recommend a small MIG unit like the one I have. Feel free to ask questions, I love the subject!
There we go, the $500ish range. When I saw someone typing about the $1700.00 type I just thought screw it, i'll hire someone to do stuff. Can't imagine how many keggles would cost 1700 bucks to weld up, heheheh! If I were going to become a welder by trade I'm sure that one is kick @$$, but for this simple hobbyist that there $500 model seems a more sure fit. Which models, old and new are about the same price range as the Lincoln SP135+? Should I look into used ones or would it be advised to just shell out the extra cash to get one I KNOW will work? Above people rave about miller but that's the 2k$ models. Is lincoln the way to go or is miller better in this price range? Is there any other good brands as well? Thank you very much for your imput Yuri, I trust your reccomendations. I just would like to know as much as i can when looking at anything more than $50 is all.
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