Im a newbe to this newsgroup, and have been wondering if it would be
practical to use a DC stick welder as the power supply for a tig welder.
I have a regulator, (from an old cheap, and dead, mig welder), and a
Power-Mate AC/DC welder that goes from 20 to 140 amps on DC. Could I
just get a tig torch, ($30 from Harbor Freight), and use the stick
welder as the power supply? I realise that I would have no pulse,
stitch, or HF start capability, but neither do any of the less than
$1200 dollar tig units. If this set-up would be practical could it be
used effectively on 16 gage sheet steel?
Yes it will work.
The torch will need a gas valve in the handle, and you will have to
DC Electrode Negative for steel, stainless steel, bronze, copper, and
most other metals.
DC Electrode Positive + a large tungsten, for aluminum and magnesium.
Argon shielding gas.
Just my 2 cents worth. Doing this is like taking a Toyota and trying to make
it into a Lexus. I believe you would be better off finding an older used TIG
machine that you could afford than trying to make a stick machine into a
TIG. You'd be way better off in the long run.
That's the way it was done in the past, AC/DC, DC arc welding machines
where used for TIG welding by adding a TIG torch. Some welders would add on
a high frequency box to allow AC TIG welding of aluminum. Most welders that
have few years under them remember those days.
Using stick arc welding machines is a cheap way to learn your basics skills
and some long lost TIG welding skills (scratch start / roll out). I think
there are less people today with the skills to TIG weld without foot
amp/start controls, high frequency arc start, programed settings, and pulser
That's the way it's still done in the construction world. No foot pedals
when you weld piping in position.
Some of the slickest welds you will ever see are made with an old Lincoln
pipeliner with a tig torch attached. And this is critical, high pressure