I just bought the Idealarc and everyone was kind enough to comment on it.
Now, I have a chance to buy a Hobart Cybertig 300 amp machine, too.
The Hobart will cost $500.00, just like the Idealarc did (coincidence). I
am curious as to which one would be the best machine and why?
Also, the Idealarc did not come with a torch. Which one would be the best
Thanks for the input, Don.
Well, I love bells, whistles, lights, knobs, switches, etc.
I GUESS neither of these machines are squarewave. I don't even know if I
would want squarewave never having drawn a tig arc or seen anyone do it.
I hope that I can find a how-to video on tig so that I can have some idea of
what I may be doing.
Are all tig torches (water-cooled) pretty much alike? I may can get a
Profax unit cheaply.
What would you recommend as far as consumables, etc?
Squarewave is nice for aluminum welding, but not required.
A torch. Gas cooled is cheaper, water cooled is a lot nicer. With a
water cooled torch, the torch is smaller, the lines are lighter and more
flexible and you can weld until the duty cycle on your machine says
stop. For water, a continuous loss system like the wall tap works. A 5
gallon bucket with a gear or diaphram pump (need enough pressure) works.
I can't speak to brands too much - I have been using mostly Weldcraft
water cooled torches. Others are probably good but I don't know.
A ground lead and clamp.
A foot pedal or other remote current control, arc on/off thing. For
bench work a foot pedal works fine, for climbing under or into stuff,
forget it, a foot pdedal will drive you nuts.
Torch bits - collets, cups, and tungstens. I think that the rule of
thumb is that the tungsten should be a similar thickness to the work,
but I stop and 1/8" tungstens. The collets are sized to the tungstens,
the cups to your torch and the work you are doing.
Filler rod. ER60S2 is a common one for steel, 4043 is a common one for
aluminum and stainless needs to be matched to the flavor of stainless
you are welding. I use a lot of 1/16" rod and some 1/8" for jobs with
crummy fitup or thick material.
A helmet, #10 or so filter
A pair of light leather gloves.
Some non-synthetic long sleeve shirts and long pants.