I am cnsidering a tig welder. My main interests are welding aluminum, steel and stainless, in thicknesses up to 3/4 in, mostely repair and small shop fabrication projects. I have a big-a**ed stick welder for the heavy work on steel.
- The choices seem to be between the transformer welders and inverter welders. I know that generally inverter types have lower duty cycle. Other than that, are the as reliable? Has there been a problem with blown power semiconductors?? Is the ability to weld (within the capacity of thre machine) similar for transformer and inverter supplies?
2 I presume that if one tries to exceed the duty cycle for long, the machine will trip out on overload/thermal protector... How does this effect the weld in process?? Will an abrupt termination of the weld mid way result in damage/ruination of the parts, or does one merely commence welding again when the machine cools down? Can one extend the duty cycle by adding a fan to cool the inverter supply?3 Some TIG welders claim that HF is not needed because they output square wave power or other means to start the arc, Are the non-HF types as easy to use/start as the traditional HF equipped ones?
- Almost all of my welding jobs would be of short duration - a couple of minutes. Would a water cooled torch be needed or is air cooled sufficient
- I have noticed some off brand TIG machines on Ebay, mostly inverter types, i.e. an outfit called Smiley Tools which makes a combo tig/Plasma/ARC unit typically providing 120 or 150 Amps to the Tig torch. The unit looks like an inverter. There is a similar unit by MITECH. These units sell for under 00. Is this a strictly you get what you pay for situation?? Has anyone out there seen or used these units? I presume that they all are made in China or thereabouts.
Thank you in advance for your comments.