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.
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...
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 Freight package.
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 the fan.
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.