Would a home hobbyist actually need tig?

I bought a tig/stick welder. I am happy with it. I have a few projects
in mind, such as building frames for phase converter, generator, and
possibly building a small but sturdy trailer. Also, one day I could
redo my greenhouse, this time from steel angle.
I am interested in the tig process and am buying tig related stuff. A
question is nagging me though. Is stick really almost all that a home
hobbyist type of person actually needs? I do not need tig to weld a
trailer or a frame for a generator. When would I use tig,
realistically speaking?
i
Reply to
Ignoramus12004
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You use TIG to weld things not normally welded with stick, like brass or bronze or cast iron or aluminum. You use TIG to do small pretty little welds, not great globby things. You can fix many broken metal parts using TIG you could never dream of stick welding. Of course, you have to know what you're doing and stock a bazillion kinds of filler metal ..
GWE
Reply to
Grant Erwin
Grant hit it on the head. The average hobbyist could use TIG for lots of things. It is just that to get to the experience levels needed to weld exotic metals, it takes a lot of time, a lot of failures, and a lot of practice.
Like they say, a two year old kid could do it with twenty years of practice.
I think it would depend on the hobbyist. Having a TIG might lead one into areas of creativity, construction, and repair that they might not have ever experimented with.
Steve
Reply to
SteveB
This ability to fix things is definitely very nice. Thanks grant. Like I said, I am fully intent to learn TIG.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus12004
A tig is the Ferrari of joining metals. Some guys must have the latest and greatest wood working tools, my canvas is metal. Sounds like the bug is biting you. It's a tool of choice for anything a braze would do but just different technology in the torch and fluxing.... I make custom intake manifolds and exhaust, ect for pro drag racing. It's the best tool for that job. Like the old adage goes- Don't question a good thing. I love my tig units so much it's almost therapeutic to use. All my stress and bad thoughts sort of go away when I drop the helmet and work for the perfect bead. I guess it's stupid sounding really but it works for me. My Mig is just noisy, fast and dirty get it done and the tig is more delicate like target shooting. I use the tig for almost everything that does not need to be over 1/2" thick or big and rough frame work or hardfacing.
That and a plasma cutter really made my shop complete.
Rob
Fraser Competition Engines Chicago, IL. Long Beach, CA.
Reply to
RDF
Almost seems like a troll, especially since you just were bragging about getting one.
As others have said, it lets you do things that other methods can't do, or at least nearly as well, like aluminum or stainless. It can still do mild steel too, if that's what you want.
I'm just learning it myself. For a bit I was feeling good about it, then started burning holes I couldn't explain. I'm doing it on my own, so hope I get it consistent soon.
It was clear to me when I bought the welder that it would be the best way to get quality welds, and the only way to do certain metals. It can weld just about anything weldable. Not the fastest for lots of production type welds and maybe not the cheapest, but for versatility, and quality (when I get better) that's why I bought one.
As I mentioned I am far from an expert, but I always like to jump in pretty deep when I start a new thing, so TIG seems like a perfect way to start arc welding. I do have a stick cable and some 6011 and 6013 rods to try, but I'm going to try to get TIG under control first, unless I feel a need to put heavier steel together before I get comfortable with TIG.
Good luck to us both.
Reply to
xray
Ive been daubing for over 20 yrs, on and off. Im NOT a welder. And my welds often look like it. Shrug.
I started out with stick, and it can do 99% of everything I ever need. Even sheet metal with tiny stick.
But it can be slow and hard to control at times.
So started scrounging for a Mig. Now it does most of what I used to do with stick. Not all...but most. Its the most used welder in the shop. I even welded the busted leg back on an office chair my wife likes. I used it to weld up an old fan blade.
But its hard to do aluminum without a lot of futzing around and doesnt do delicate stuff very well..so I started scrounging around for a tig.
I found one..and it kicked my ass learning a new welding method. And it did delicate stuff marvelously..but it didnt do aluminum as well as I thought it should..so I scrounged up my Airco Squarewave 300, and loaned the Lincoln Tig 250/250 to a buddy. Now both of us are getting our asses kicked learning a new technique.
However...since getting it..Ive welded up cast iron machine tool castings that were quite fragile. Welded up an aluminum intake manifold, welded up an aluminum intake manifold plenum for NO injection for a street racer. Almost..almost welded two pepsi cans together. Welded up some SS boat parts for a friend...etc etc
It still kicks my ass. Im on my 3rd or 4th 125cf bottle of argon and Im still nearly as confused as when I started. Though..the welds look and hold much better. Even the aluminum ones.
Getting a pretty tig weld, is probably the hardest welding thing Ive ever tried. Which makes it one hell of a challange for me, and one that I enjoy/hate doing
Ive welded scope mounts and gun stuff I could never have done with any other welding method. Not even A/O. I still have a Remington 700 trigger guard with a break in the bow (aluminum) that Im saving for the day in the future Ill feel comfortable sitting down and welding, without worrying about slagging it down.
Would a home hobbiest have a use for tig? Not really..IMHO. But then..it sure is fun..and thats the key. And as my meager skill set improves (marginally and sloooowly)..I find more and more things to make or repair, that I couldnt do any other way.
Shrug...the .02USD opinon from a dauber
Gunner, who designed and welded up a complete motor/Reeves drive adaptor kit for a large cold header machine today at a customers place. And got compliments on the job...but hey..what do they know..shrug...they are button pushers, not welders. It involved making parts on mills, lathes, band saws and a really really nice Miller Mig welder that no one there knew how to use. "Pax Americana is a philosophy. Hardly an empire. Making sure other people play nice and dont kill each other (and us) off in job lots is hardly empire building, particularly when you give them self determination under "play nice" rules.
Think of it as having your older brother knock the shit out of you for torturing the cat." Gunner
Reply to
Gunner
I have an Ox/Act outfit, two stick welders (one with DC ability) a good MIG, and TIG. I keep Argon, 75/25 mix and CO2 shielding gas on hand. Not counting the cutting torch, I guess I use the MIG more than all the others combined, say 90% of the time or more.
Occasionally one of my neighbors (mostly farmers) will stop by for some repair or other that usually requires a stick welder due to the size and thickness of what they tear up. As for the boats I work on I use the Ox/Act for brazing copper/brass, so forth. If its aluminum and small I will use the TIG. Big jobs on aluminum usually involve the MIG, with maybe the TIG for touch up/finish work.
When you have some delicate work or time isn't important nothing beats a TIG for quality or satisfaction of use. But to most of us time is important
BTW if you really know what your doing you can weld just about everything (including aluminum) with an Ox/Act torch. But its usually not the method of choice.
I think the best thing I ever did was get a MIG after I had a stick welder
Reply to
Diamond Jim
If I had to do things over, I would not have purchased my stick and mig welders, and instead gone straight to tig. The advantage of tig for the home welder is that is does not produce smoke or sparks. Also you can easily do aluminum and stainless.
Reply to
Albert1234
Thanks Gunner. I will definitely try to learn tig welding...
i
Reply to
Ignoramus4243
Great answer xray. I was not trolling... I will definitely learn tig welding.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus4243
Thanks to all. I now understand some advantages of tig for me:
1. Nice clean welds 2. Less fumes, so I can weld in my garage, that's nice, esp. in winter. 3. More control 4. Being able to weld small things 5. Being able to repair things 6. Somewhat wider range of metals to weld (note though that my welder is DC).
I already ordered a tig torch and some 3/32" electrodes, and will soon get gas.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus4243
No one can say for certain what *you'll* eventually need or want, since everyone has their own preferences. For instance, if I had to choose between a plasma cutter and TIG, it'd be the TIG machine leaving. But the projects you've described are likely to be best done with MIG IMO. Not with one of the very small machines, but something that can do 3/16" comfortably in a single pass. Stick would be second choice, and probably mandatory for the inevitable occasional heavier stuff. TIG is nice for (generally) smaller more difficult projects, but those are more likely to come some time after you've put everything in your place on a steel cart. :-) A fair argument can be made that learning TIG first is a good idea, but I disagree. There's a lot more to learning to fabricate than the actual welding, and you might want to invest your time where it will be the most productive. You'd be wise to visit a fabrication shop or a well-equipped hobbyist, and actually try out a variety of equipment. All that said, since you already have a stick machine, it's time to start shortening a few pounds of electrodes. ;-) That should tell you a lot about whether you love or hate using a chipping hammer and wire brush, if you prefer working indoors or out, if you'd like to have a shear or cold saw etc. My guess is that if you stay interested, a year from now a lot of things will be more important to you than talk of upslope and postflow.
Wayne
Reply to
wmbjk
Wayne, thanks. I appreciate your opinion. I already have a tig/stick welder (Hobart CyberTig 200 DC-S), and getting another welder is out of question.
Yep, I mean to start that soon. I do not have welding cables yet, but I played a bit with some short 6 gauge cables and stick electrodes.
That could be. I am very open minded.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus4243
See now much you have learned already?
Steve
Reply to
SteveB
I will be building a shop at my mountain cabin so I can escape the heat of Las Vegas in the summertime. I will be purchasing a TIG machine there, and will use it to weld small ornamental steel creations. Far less sparks and fire in the middle of a forest!
Steve
Reply to
SteveB
yep...
i
Reply to
Ignoramus4243
Try welding rusty farm/oilfield stuff with one. Works..but damn it takes forever.
Gunner
"Pax Americana is a philosophy. Hardly an empire. Making sure other people play nice and dont kill each other (and us) off in job lots is hardly empire building, particularly when you give them self determination under "play nice" rules.
Think of it as having your older brother knock the shit out of you for torturing the cat." Gunner
Reply to
Gunner
in my oppinion.... there is different level of hobbiest, and the level can and will change rapidly as the hobbyist get a taste of the welding world. there is no straight answer your question.
I've been reading this group for about 5 years or so, and this question always comes up in different variations, like: what type of machines should I buy?
you will get 20 different answers from guys here since they all love their machine and welding process they love.. one may say stick is the best other swears by TIG.
here is my take on the issue. an average hobbiest will have easy access to mild steel just about any hardware store will sell the stuff. it is easy to work with and most forgiving. the hobbiests best friend !!!! for that MIG is the easiest ( I know you already have a TIG/stick and not planning to buy an other machine but read on. )
MIG allows a one hand operation, while the stuff you can weld will be limited by the machine you buy. 110 V hobby MIg will not do 1/2 inch plate in one pass. it can do rusty or coated metal (galvanized ) it can be used inside or out side (fluxcore) I went through 4 MIG machine before I settled on a Miller 210 . Also have a TIG , (wich is also a stick.) so I got 3 process covered. I use it for stainless and alu. I learned SMAW(stick) in school, but never needed to use it in the past 5 years.
A TIG/ Stick combo already gave you 2 welding process.
as a hobbiest , if I could only keep one it would be MIG,
if you know you will be working with exotic metals Stainless, alu, and so on .... than TIG.
Reply to
acrobat ants
I have a TIG/stick welder. I am also a "home hobyist". I use my weld er quite a bit fixing and making. I occasionaly use stick - probably half a dozen or so times in the last ten years.
Ted
Reply to
Ted Edwards

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