I have a 900 lb TIG welder in my shop building 5 miles away and am
considering getting rid of it to buy one I can move without a forklift. I
learned here that the little 120V Lincolns were a favorite for auto body,
any favorite TIG welders for general purpose, maybe auto, home shop, and
aluminum welding? I'm mainly interested in doing light gauge welding but it
would be nice if it was capable of maybe up to 3/16"-1/4" aluminum.
What price range do they usually sell for?
Years ago I went to a boat factory auction and they had several of these for
sale, they went in the $550 - $650 range. They had water coolers and looked
like they used them for fabricating boat parts out of stainless steel.
That price range is quite reasonable for a machine in good condition
with water cooler, torch, foot pedal and regulator / flowmeter. New
price for that package is/was around $3,500 or so. Iggy can of course
find one for $25...
They go between $150 apiece to $1500 apiece. $550 for a good condition
250 with TIG cooler is a good deal. I paid $150 apiece for a pair of
250's once, but it was unusual. Great stick welder and great TIG
welder, simple and reliable.
It sounds like the perfect home welder, I'll watch for one for a good price.
Are any of the portable lunchbox type TIG welders any good? I was wanting
something I could carry, maybe have to carry the argon bottle in a 2nd trip,
I don't really have an indoor place suitable for welding except in my shop,
and that's where my 900lb beast of a welder is. I know it's often too windy
to weld outside with shielding gas, but many evenings it is dead calm.
Add the wheel kit, water cooler, argon cylinder, torch, foot pedal and
work lead and the package is around 500#. But hey, it's got a lift ring
built in, so it's easy to use your engine hoist (or forklift) to put it
in your truck or trailer.
There are inverter type TIG welders that weigh about 50 lb and can
weld up to 1/4" aluminum. Once such is the Miller Dynasty 200.
They're pricey. Lots of electronics, very expensive to repair if
that becomes necessary.
The Syncrowave is a fine machine, but if you are on a budget, Harbor
Freight's larger TIG gets excellent reviews on constructor forums. I
bought one after reading about it and for $349 it is an astonishingly
good TIG machine, although it's DC only.
The handle, hose and collet set is made in Germany by Abicor-Binzel. It
comes packed in the orignal box from A-B, it isn't even in a Harbor
The machine welds flawlessly. The high frequency start is as good as it
gets, instantly firing across a 3/8" gap without a trace of a hum.
Amperage adjustment is smooth and linear.
The duty cycle is excellent, unlike the cheap 110 volt MIGs. 100% up to
128 amps, and 60% at full 165 amp output. I notice the web site now
lists it as 100% to 140 amps and only 30% at 165 amps which seems odd. I
did a lot of welding at 150 amps and the air was barely warm coming off
I added a gas lens set from McMaster-Carr.
There is a cottage industry springing up to make add-on foot pedals, you
can find them on eBay for $69, complete with the necessary connectors.
\Just be aware that the Miller site says they weigh 378 lbs.
Well, I wouldn't have much luck carrying it lunchbox style :-) But I guess
it would be easier to move than the one I have now (890lbs per Miller).
I'm wondering if I should get a small trailer and make an enclosure for the
Miller TIG I have, it would be more portable on a trailer than a synchrowave
setting in my utility room.
One of the primary things I want to learn to do with TIG is weld aluminum, I
thought maybe the HF unit wouldn't work for aluminum because of the DC only.
Other than that the HF welder sounds good.