Does anyone have any comments on the Lincoln Electric
Square Wave 300 primarily for aluminum TIG work?
I probably will still have stick and some exotic
stuff like Stainless tubing to do, too. I'm looking at
getting a used one of these machines.
Thanks in advance!
for years. And I'll take what you tell me as gospel.
Lincoln listed the weight as 550 Lbs, I think. That sounded good, as
some of the older AC TIG of the transformer variety weighed 1800 Lbs
or something like that. Do you have any comparisons to the Miller
300 DX? That's sort of what I've had my eye on for some time, but I
see them on eBay under $1500 (used).
Well, I think I can swing that. I have a 70 A feed to my buzz-box
and I think I ran #4 to the outlet, just in case I upgraded. I see the PF
correcting caps draw 60 A at idle! Yikes! I might have to make part of
switchable, depending on the power level I will be running the welder at.
Well, I bid on another Syncrowave 300, but didn't win it. It was
just the power source. Then, I did win the Lincoln Square Wave 300!
It has a stick holder, water cooled TIG torch with cooler, regulator
with flowmeter, cart, hand control, just about everything I could
ask for. I'm waiting to hear the total cost with shipping. The
seller has crated the whole works up for me.
I can't wait for it to get here.
Do you (or anyone else) have any suggestions on setting up an indoor
welding area for TIG work? I have been doing stick welding just
outside the garage door, which is pretty much necessary with the huge
amount of smoke from the flux. That smoke really gets to me, too.
I have a homemade fume hood that I made mostly for spray painting,
and have not had it hooked up since moving. Is it reasonable to
try TIG welding in a fume hood? I can rig several hundred CFM of
exhaust airflow if this is necessary (about 100 - 150 CMF worked
well for the spray painting.)
I'm trying to decide whether to just put the TIG machine where my
buzzbox welder has been (garage), or try to set it up in the basement
shop. I'm a little worried about putting such an expensive, wheeled
machine in a garage that stays open a lot of the day. Also, it
means a lot of trouble with getting all the water out of the cooler
and torch in the winter. (Can you put antifreeze in the TIG cooler?)
Thanks in advance for any comments!
You just won a whole lot of machine.
TIG produces no harmful vapors, unless you try welding through the zinc
on galvanized steel.
I would vote for the basement, if possible.
You can use anti-freeze in some water coolers, others don't like the
stuff and it ends up clogging the pump.
There is also dedicated water cooler anti-freeze which likely won't
clog any pumps.
You can get it at welding supply stores.
As to a working area.
You will need a sturdy table.
It doesn't have to be big, but as big as is convenient will do.
I like using a steel table and just running a permanent ground cable to
On my table I have a Tweco socket mounted under the edge of the table
just in case I need to ground something larger on the floor.
It is more convenient to run a temporary cable from the table, than the
A table top can be aluminum or steel, at least 1/4" thick.
A 3' x 4' table is a very good size for small jobs.
If you have a project bigger than your table just use adjustable
support stands of sawhorses to extend the table.
It is good to have at least 4 inches around the edge of the table clear
of obstructions below so you can clamp anywhere around the edge of the
table without trouble.
I mounted a small wood workers vise on my main TIG table.
It is very convenient for holding vertical shafts and jigs, and when
not being used it is below the surface of the table so it doesn't get
in the way.
Start collecting a small bucket odd steel scraps for shims and jigs.
Small pieces of 1/16". 1/8", 3/16", 1/4", 3/8", and 1/2", steel or
aluminum bar are very handy for jigging on the table.
Also short pieces of 1" x 2" steel tubing and larger are great for
Short pieces of angle iron are great for clamping corners for tacking.
The ultimate TIG jig is a large wok full of steel shot.
You nest parts in the shot and tack them, then lift them out of the
shot for final welding.
A wok about 18" diameter works well and if you have a local
sandblasting supplier they should carry shot-peening shot for about $50
for 30 lbs.
which is exactly how much steel shot fits nicely in a 18" wok.
Not only is a wok good for tacking, but it also acts as a very simple
turntable for pipe flange welds.
I like having a few small square drill press vises around for jigging.
The good ones have many square sides and work flat, sideways and on-end.
Here is my TIG basics post again.
It lists a good assortment of TIG rods.
A basic selection of TIG Rod should include Steel, Stainless steel,
aluminum, and bronze.
The basic TIG filler for steel.
It comes copper plated to prevent rust, but keep it in a tube or bag
0.045", 1/16", 3/32", 1/8"
308L is the standard filler for 304 SS which is the most common type.
309L is a better filler for joining any kind of stainless to steel.
316L is the best for marine work.
0.045", 1/16", 3/32"
4043 is the most common aluminum filler rod.
It works well for most situations, but...
5356 is stronger, better corrosion resistance and better color match
for polishing or anodizing.
4047 is my favorite for welding castings, but it is kind of hard to
1/16", 3/32", 1/8"
Silicon Bronze is excellent for joining other copper alloys such as
copper, brass and most bronzes.
It can also be used to TIG Braze Weld steel and stainless steel.
TIG Braze Welding is very useful for stainless steel since it doesn't
actually melt the base metal so there is no chromium oxides formed on
the back face of the metal.
0.045", 1/16", 3/32"
An advanced selection would include:
Some aerospace alloys like Inconel, Hastelloy, or Haynes alloys.
They are my favorite alloys for joining odd things and are extremely
Pure Nickel is excellent for joining cast iron..
Pure Copper is good for TIG welding copper where it will be seen.
ER80S-B2 is the current top choice for TIG welding Chrome-Moly tube for
planes, cars, motorcycles and bikes.
As to a vendor.
The only guys I know that even list TIG rod on the Web are:
Great outfit, they carry all things TIG.
You can also mail order from Central Welding at :
Just call them and they will ship it to you.
Here is an exercise to practice when not welding.
Take a 3/8" steel washer.
Place it on a piece of white paper.
Take a nice sharp pencil.
Place the tip of the pencil against the paper inside the washer.
Now start swirling the pencil tip around the inside of the washer to
draw a circle on the paper.
Keep circling the inside of the washer, while nudging the washer across
Try to end up with the washer traveling in a straight line across the
You should end up with a long swirl pattern across the page.
Keep practicing until the swirl pattern is even and in a straight line.
Same setup, with one change.
Once again slide the washer across the page while swirling the pencil
tip around the inside of the
washer, but now DON"T touch the paper with the pencil tip.
This means being able to hold the tip of the pencil within a 1/16" of
the paper without touching it
and without lifting out of the washer.
Do Level 2 while standing next to the table without any part of your
arm resting on the table.
Move to a 1/4" washer.
This exercise comes from a welding textbook from 1929, and it still
works quite nicely to train your
muscles for floating the torch.
Normally I do not swirl the torch while TIG welding, but this still
works as an exercise to build up muscle control.
Then, I did win the Lincoln Square Wave 300!
Thanks. I think I knew that already!
And, a BIG thanks for all the additional info you posted! I've got a
welding book from the library, and over about 5 chapters, it has almost
as much info relevant to TIG as you gave there.