TIG with Pulse feature

I am planning to build a tube chassis vehicle and I want to invest in an AC/DC TIG welding machine.

The thing is, there also is a similar TIG welding machine with a Pulse feature.

Is this feature necessary?

or do I just buy the AC/DC TIG without the pulse feature?

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ernie always says the thermal arc 185 is the best value. i wish i bought it instead of the lincoln i got (squarewave tig 175), though, i'm satisfied with the lincoln but it weighs over 200 pounds, would be nice to have the capability to EASILY transport it. i'm not an expert here, just putting in my $.02. from what i gather you can make serviceable welds w/o the pulse feature (and save yourself some money not buying the pulser) but i think the pulser allows you to more easily make prettier welds (stack of dimes bead). oh, was going to ask if you are subscribe to sci.engr.joining.welding but i see you are. ernie is generally regarded as the resident uber-guru, if you ever expect to get any welding advice on these lists in the future (which you inevitably will). :-) you'd better beg forgiveness, he's a font of invaluable free information and advice, (and is well regarded amongst the other denizens on these lists)


Reply to
William Wixon

Some people take to the pulser like a fish to water, others find it frustrating and hard to adjust. I would try it first before purchasing.

I don't see much use for it in your stated application. The pulser is used to control heat input on thin sections or in high amperage applications. Neither which applies to tubular frame construction.

If given the choice I would spend the money on a water cooler. Not a necessity but much more useful.


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Build it with mild steel dom and mig it.

Reply to
Steve Austin

TIG isn't necessary (or it could be argued, appropriate) for what you want to do.

Nice welds, if you have the skill, but overkill for doing a nice job on fairly heavy tubing. MIG for speed. Stick for cheap. TIG for neither of those. :-)

If you don't know whether the pulse is a requirement, you probably don't need or want it.

Now, if you wanted to get into welding your own aluminum tube frame bicycles together, pulse would be quite a handy thing to have, I think.

Cheers Trevor Jones

(Who also want a TIG machine in his shop!)

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Trevor Jones

the TIG welding machine I'm planning to buy can be switched between AC and DC, which gives it more flexibility in the metals it can weld.

Some welders told me that many people have problems with achieving sufficient weld penetration with a MIG.

Most expert recommend TIG so I'm just following their advice.

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Application is a tube chassis vehicle: No specification given for the tubing. Is this round tubing or square stock? What diameter or dimesions is the tubing? What is the wall thickness? A little more information could help clarify what weld process would be best.

Some have suggested MIG, but MIG runs very quickly and can be difficult to make good welds with on round tubing. Particularly if you have little experience welding pipe. You may find that consistant weld penetration is difficult to achieve as you constantly have to modify the gun angle when you work your way around the tubing. Or, you may over penetrate from not being able to adjust quickly enough and blow holes. Further, you will probably need to stop the weld at least once, rearrange your position, and restart the weld on the other unwelded half of the joint. Without properly grinding the preexisting weld ends, you may have a serious weak spot in the weld where it laps the preexisting welded area.

If you do decide to use a MIG welder, I would suggest using flux cored wire. The stuff runs very smoothly in all positions, has good penetration, and even if you have little experience with pipe/tube welding, a little practice should have you making acceptable welds.

Since it sounds like you need high quality welds with a lesser chance of cracking or breaking due to vibration in the finished vehicle, I would go with TIG. Try to find weld inserts suiable to your base metal if you use TIG. This makes for a great method to produce a high quality root pass. TIG welds will, however, take a much longer time to apply.

Joint preparation is KEY in this type of welding. Read up about how to do it for the stock you are using and the process you are using. Dave

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