I really LOVE mine.
As a beginner (thanks to my TIG185) I've been able to successfully weld
both Stainless and Aluminum. It's also very smooth for stick welding.
I fabricated a cabinet to store my TIG junk:
Great online support (tips, tricks, discussion forums, etc) from Lincoln:
are also a great help.
It rates a 'double thumbs up' in my opinion. I picked mine up new off Ebay
and got the bottle locally.
My turbine powered boat project;
How well does it strike an arc on stick welding?
When I first got into TIG, I had ordered one of
these, and called and canceled it to get the Thermal
Arc 185 STF instead, and for the same price almost
down to the dollar. For me, it was space/size. I do
a lot of both, and I can't see anything being better
than the T.A. 185 for TIG, but gosh darn it, striking
an arc in stick mode makes me wish I didn't get it.
I gave up a miller Thunderbolt 300Amp A/C job
thinking that the T.A. 185 would suffice for stick.
But that stoopid "VRD" thing makes for impossible
arc starts. With the old Thunderbolt, it was like,
bang!, smash the electrode down anywhere, anytime,
and you were welding smoothly like a big dog.
So I wonder if the Lincoln P.T. has this goofy
VRD thing, and/or if stick mode, its "truely" a
non inverter type arc welder?
Very easily. I don't have a lot of time on other machines, so I don't have a
'baseline' to compare it to. It replaced an old Sears buzzbox and the
difference was 'night & day'. Of course the Sears was a POS anyway, but at
least it allowed me to learn. My TIG185 is sooooooo smooth. It does not seem
to 'stick' as often and is pretty forgiving.
I amazed myself by welding up a nice "T" out of Stainless for adding a
pressure gauge to monitor the fuel circuit on my T58 turbine. I'm "ok" now
with aluminum so I'll start on some of the brackets for my boat.
My turbine powered boat project;
Brackets for "what" ? Hopefully not for the ski tower, hehe!
I've gotten "ok" on Al, but thats not good enough for me,
I want to become "good". As in real good. But takes time.
Yeah, so my Thermal Arc 185 STW is *very* smooth
on stick (as any inverter would be since its computer
regulated), its just that VRD low-voltage drop back
thing that drops back to 12 volts so that you don't get
shocked when you're not welding - makes for impossible
arc starts in stick mode. (does stick fine once arc starts)
So curious, did you look at the other models like the
little inverters, and if so, what was the deciding factor ?
Actually I did very little comparing. A few other folks had posted questions
here, so I looked at a couple models the 'old timers' had recommended (and
digested the reasons why they favored those units). I think I had it down to
this Lincoln and a comparable Miller model.
I checked local prices, then hopped on Ebay. A couple guys on Ebay offered
free shipping and the total was several hundred under what I could get it
for locally. I think I went with the Lincoln because it had an extra feature
over the Miller- but don't quote me. Anyway, I got it from a dealer on Ebay
(who had a billion positive feedbacks) and it arrived about a week later.
I researched the additional stuff I'd need to get started (bottle, gloves,
helmet, rod) and stopped by the local welding shop. I made a 'rod tube' out
of some 3" PVC and a cabinet to stash my stuff.
The next step is a nice Plasma Cutter. I'm thinking I'll get a 'wild hair'
and order the Hypertherm Powermax 1000 here pretty soon. They go for about
$2000 on Ebay (new, delivered).
Then I'll take a Composites Class at the local Community College so I can
get to work on my boat. Don't know much about working Kevlar, but I'm a
quick learner. :-)
My turbine powered boat project;
Actually, I think thats where I first ordered my P.T. 185 - from a
guy on E-bay with about a billion feedbacks - he was nice enough
to cancel the order (when I went and got the Thermal Arc instead).
Isn't there some welding lay that says you have to
make welding tubes out of metal pipe ? hehe...
Imna look intoi that.
Dang dude, thats a serious boat project! Don't suspose one
of them will fit in my new 175 Baylinger, eh ?
Larry, I could not find good pictures of your turbine engine. I am
very impressed with your project. Also wonder about the specs (beyond
the RPM, which you mention).
I own a boat and do not like going above 25 mph.
I am sat5isfied with your details, thanks a lot, that's very
I have a 22 year old, 21 foot boat with a Mercruiser 228 (GM 302,
IIRC). Last year we took on 13 ppl on board and even were able to
waterski. (half of the people were kids though)
I've got a Glasply 19' (Chev 305 V-8 + Volvo 280 O/D) that takes us out
'boat camping' in the beautiful San Juan Islands. This gets my vote in the
'best camping on the planet' category :-)
There are about 35 local, State, and Federal Parks sprinkled throughout the
islands (most only accessible by boat).
Somehow the 'boating crowd' is more tame and seldom brings those 'big city'
bad habits out with them.
Life is good.
I'm really happy with mine. It was a toss up between it and the Miller
Synchrowave 180 SD. The deciding factor for me was the Precision TIG
185 included a pulser and at the time the Miller didn't but I think
that's changed now. For stick I had to buy a stinger separately ($55)
as, unlike Miller, it wasn't included in the TIG 185 package.
I do mostly double and triple butted bicycle tubing, 4130 chromoly, and
some 6061 aluminum. It's worked great.
TIG - Lincoln 185
MIG - Miller DVI
O/A - Victor
Plasma - I wish
Yep, It was something like that little item that swayed me to the Lincoln
too. My CRS has been acting up lately and as a result, I Can't Remember Shit
I picked up a plug from the local welding shop and used one of my old
I just got back from the Delco Drags in Las Vegas the last four days.
Awesome drag races. Weather in the low 70s.
There was a Lincoln booth in the pits. I looked at the 185, and have
decided it is for me. I think it will do all I am capable of, and more. I
have been trying to decide on this one for about two years now, back when
they were the 175. The tekkie was helpful, and I got some info on my S175+
that has been acting up lately. Very helpful.
However, he did tell me that the HyperTherm plasma cutter was a lot better
than the Lincolns he was selling, which surprised me a little. Not that the
HT was better, but that he would say it while in a Lincoln shirt. It all
goes to show, Lincoln will help you if you got a problem, and they sell good
stuff. They don't even mind steering you to a better machine of another
name. Try that with that cheap Chinese crap.
I love boat races too. You may find this interesting:
It's some Offshore Racing flips and crashes. (paste the link into your
browser and it streams from the server).
I agree with his insight.
Every time the conversation comes up here, it's the same recommendation
(from all the 'old timers')- They say to get the Hypertherm Powermax Plasma
Cutter (in whatever size fits your needs). And it's the first choice bar far
(they say). Not even a close second. That's good enough for me! So, I'm
looking at the Hypertherm Powermax 1000. It's just a hair under two large on
Ebay (new, delivered).
Yes, it was odd he would say that while 'on the job'.
Honest Salesmen are a contradiction in terms. That's like saying Military
Intelligence- those two words cancel each other out :-)
Some of your early hydro pictures look a lot like Puget Sound? I grew up in
Everett and sunk my hydro off Mukeltieo in about 68' .. hit a deadhead and
things happened really fast :)
Fortunately I outgrew that phase or I probably wouldn't be here LOL
Ah! Looks like that answered my previous question :) Some of the best time
I had growing up were in the islands skiing and diving. You can gather
quite a crowd on the bridge waterskiing through Deception pass against the
Glenn's our winner today! What prize do we have for Glenn?
. . . . Ooops. Got a little carried away there. I thought this was Decaf?
Yep, that's Puget Sound in those photos Glenn.
Puget Sound sure is cold water. After taking an unexpected dip like that you
know firsthand just how *freezing* it really is! Hypothermia will get you in
about 20 minutes.
I have not 'outgrown' that phase yet. :-)
I've always loved fast boats, so naturally a turbine powered boat is the
first project on my retirement 'to do' list!