buying new TIG welder, what to get?

I have been looking at getting one of these little things:
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I can get a factory refurbished model for about 500$ US
The other commonly available options are from Esab, Kemppi and Telwin and
not exactly affordable..
Another option would be getting a TIG conversion kit for a stickwelder..
Either way I'd prefer having something that doesnt involve scratch-starting
the arc ( The Lift TIG thing look to be similar to the Lift-Arc Miller uses,
but what is that all about ? )
Suggestions, ideas etc will be greatly appreciated..
I'd prefer a single phase machine since I dont have 3 phase in my shop..
I am not afraid of buying from a US shop if they will ship international (
to scandinavia )
One important issue tho:
Linevoltages here are 230V single phase and 3*400V 3 phase, so the machine
will have to be able to run on that..
Thanks in advance
/peter
Reply to
Q
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I live in Germany and went through the same questions a year ago. I tried lift tig and scratch and could not tell the difference. Basically, your choices are: -a small stick inverter (from ?120 for 80A) and a tig torch (?50 + the regulator and bottle) -a real tig inverter with HF start and a gas electrovalve (about ?1000 for about 150A) -the same for aluminium (double that price)
The prices may be cheaper in the States, as the dollar is low, but you'll have to be sure that the machine can accept 220V.
Reply to
jerry_tig2003
Anything above the Crackerbox toy level does.
Gary
Reply to
Gary Coffman
"jerry_tig2003" skrev i en meddelelse news: snipped-for-privacy@posting.google.com...
I think the inverter + torch is the solution..
The prices you mention are pretty low compared to whats available here..
I found a 120 amp, 20% duty cycle inverter for about 300 Euro here :-(
Can you point me to some german/european online shops, or even better: a real shop in the Flensburg area ( about 3 hours drive from here)
/peter
Reply to
Q
These tiny inverters are cheaper in France, actually... In Germany, they cost around ?200, and you'll find them in about every "Baumarkt". In France, you'll find them at under ?140 in "Monsieur Bricolage", but I don't think they do mail order. The manufacturer of the French version is gys
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the cheaper model is the "green line" Inverter 2500: 65A at 60% duty cycle, up to 80A, 2.8 kg, tiny. I have the older version of it, called "Gysmi 125" and it works very well. Those inverters exist in different brands and colours, all have very similar technical charateristics, but from a peek at the inside through the venting openings, at least 2 designs exist.
As to the tig torch for ?50, you'll find that on ebay.de. That is the "buy it know" price of dealers using ebay for advertising in Germany.
If you want to tig for cheap, this is the way to go, but you should be aware of the limitations of this setup: -you can't weld anything thicker than about 2mm (but stick electrodes are probably a better choice for thick iron, anyway) -you'll use more gas (you have to turn it manually on and off instead of having the machine doing that for you) -you can't control amps as you weld (no foot pedal or sequencer), which makes it awkward to end welds -you'll have to scratch start (no big deal actually) -you can't really weld aluminium.
A last word of caution: my post was not written to advise you to buy this particular tig setup, but to look around on the Internet. Generally speaking, traditional welding shops tend to have famous brands at a steep price, but there appears to be a lot of low end inverters coming from less known brands at a lower price and distributed either in home improvement centers or on the internet. This is what I wanted to point out.
Of course, there is a catch. If any of these machines fails after 3 years, junk them. You won't get them repaired. The smallest inverters are also not particularly well protected against dust. The gys model is also is also not very well protected mechanically: if you let it fall on the ground or hit it around a bit roughly, the motherboard will break (at least on early models). But if you want to weld 1-2mm steel (tube, angle iron, metal sheet... the typical materials an amateur works with), it will work very, very well (stick or tig).
Reply to
jerry_tig2003
"jerry_tig2003" skrev i en meddelelse news: snipped-for-privacy@posting.google.com...
Sounds like I am going to try to find a Bauhaus or something next time I make a trip to the german border to get cheap beer and firecrackers
Another option could be to get a regular stickwelder instead of an inverter?.. That way I could get both AC and DC and the cost isnt as high as an inverter ?
Will check it out... TIG translates to WIG in german right ?
Well... That could be taken care of w. a timer and a gas valve connected to the switch in the torch right ?
I could do that if I got a conventional AC/DC stickwelder and the TIG torch right ?
Just like french cars.. Drives well, breaks easily and cost a fortune to fix.. been there, done that, still hoping the car will set itself on fire :-)
If I need to TIG heavier stuff I can easily get the maintenance guys at work to do it..
Thanks
/peter
Reply to
Q
A regular stick welder does only AC and that won't do tig. When the current crosses zero, the arc is gone. Transformer based AC tig welders add high frequency each time to restart the arc.
The only stick machines who do tig are DC ones and nowadays, that means inverters.
Indeed: Wolfram = Tungsten
That is not really worth the effort. After all, you just need to turn the little valve on the torch on or off...
No. See above.
My Peugeot works very well...
Reply to
jerry_tig2003
"jerry_tig2003" skrev i en meddelelse news: snipped-for-privacy@posting.google.com...
Sounds right now you mention it :-)
True, but why not do it when I have a pile of timers, gas solenoids and other automation parts sitting around :-)
It would be relatively simple to move the current potentiometer to a footswitch tho...
The Pugs are nice, but believe me.. Dont EVER get a renault.. This car has spent more time at the shop than on the road..
Thanks for the help
Will go shop for an inverter next time I get to germany
/peter
Reply to
Q
Fair enough.
That depends on the motherboard design. On the gys machine, it is not that easy. But one could use a little servo to turn the potentiometer remotely.
My father has had 3 Renaults and little problems. I know somebody who drives a BMW and only has problems with it. It is more a question of bad luck, I think.
Reply to
jerry_tig2003

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