Originally Posted by mattd2
Drake9 - sorry for the off topic but - Did you go straight to TIG or have you had experience with Arc/MIG? How did you find the leraning curve? Asking as I would like to get a entry level TIG set and learn, have minimal experience with arc / no MIG, and wanted to see how hard it was to pick up.
I am probably going to need to sell my current AG setup to fund the purchase of welder and equipment for the new AG setup though
No worries Matt. My TIG is the only welder (other then Oxy/Ace setup) that I own. I got into welding as I love to do stuff myself and bought an old Ironhead to turn into a chopper. I know I was going to need some welding done so I thought I might as well learn as knowledge never carries heavy.
I looked into classes at the local community college and they offered a welding cert program. So I went down that path. I took a MIG class first as that what fit into my schedule. Then it was onto Oxygen/ Acetylene (Oxy/Ace). After that it was TIG and then Stick. Then I took a "Auto Body Welding" class that was a lot of MIG but the instructor was the same guy I had for Oxy/Ace and probably the best instructor I have had.
I would recommend looking into your local community college and see if they offer any classes. If so I would start there. Might cost you a couple hundred dollars for the class but that is money well spent in my opinion. MIG and Stick are pretty easy to pick up and become efficient (notice I didn't say master). The learning curve for TIG was a little tough but I was in a class and I had already learned oxy/ace (remember I said by the best instructor I had) and that made a huge difference. The hardest part for me about TIG and oxy/Ace was getting the coordination down. I am by no means a master, I can weld and put out decent looking welds that more important shouldn't fail.
I feel your pain on the price of a welder, they are not cheap and as an E-5 in the Air Force I dont have a lot of spare cash. I picked mine up off CL for a good price. I would say buy the best/biggest machine you can afford. Save up some dough and watch CL like a hawk. Lincoln and Miller are both great and I have heard good things about the Eastwood units. I tend to buy the best tools I can as you wont be disappointed and I hate buying things twice.
I know that was probably a lot more then you were looking for, sorry just got going. If you have any more questions feel free to ask or PM me and we can talk more. I am just one source of information and lots of others out there with a lot more knowledge then me but I dont mind giving my opinion when asked.
Good luck and cheers