Results 1 to 50 of 50
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    11

    TIG Welding Machine

    Currently "matriculating" in a beginner welding class and also recently participated in a TIG workshop sponsored by the Experimental Aircraft Association (highly recommend for newbs). I'm curious what welding machines you builders out there (from hobbyists to the seasoned pros- Walt, Mr. Strong, et al) are using. Lincoln, Miller, inverter technology, torch#, 110/220v, amp range, pros/cons, etc?....will appreciate any and all feedback...

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: vulture's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    249
    miller maxstar 200 Inverter. I can run it with any input source voltage, but I am currently (pun intended) using 110. It is super portable, air cooled torch. I have used a miller syncrowave 250 lots and like the power and water cooled torch. Water cooled torches are more flexible than air cooled in my experience, thought not requred for welding bike frames.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: qbert2000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    3,226
    the maxstar 200 is a great welder but you can not weld aluminum with it. you would have to go with the miller dynasty which is a maxstar with the ability to run a/c. if you will only be welding steel or ti the maxstar will do.

  4. #4
    Moderator Moderator
    Reputation: Walt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    6,094

    Whatever is fine.

    I have a Maxstar 200 that I did about 150ish frames with before getting a Dynasty because of all the bells and whistles and ability to weld aluminum.

    The Maxstar is awesome if you don't care about aluminum or welding huge thick stuff. It's just as capable as most more expensive machines and SUPER portable. I do odd jobs all the time that require on-site TIG - easy money. Plug her into the hairdryer outlet and go to town.

    I've used some Lincoln machines too, and they seemed perfectly fine. I think pretty much anything you buy from the big 2 is going to be more than capable of bike work. The question is whether or not you'll need to do other projects down the road, really.

    If you haunt craigslist, you can find older transformer driven machines for cheap. But they need lots of room and power and often only do lift-start, which IMO would suck for doing bike work, though it's probably not impossible.

    -Walt
    Waltworks Custom Bicycles
    Park City, UT USA
    www.waltworks.com
    waltworks.com/blog/
    instagram.com/waltworks/

  5. #5
    Let's get weird
    Reputation: kampgnar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    145
    I have a Maxstar 150 sth. It has pulse (although limited to four fixed settings) and high frequency start, which is nice for thin wall tubing. I also have a small shop where space is limited and a transformer based machine would have taken up considerable amount of usable space, the Maxstar is tiny and around 13lbs.

    Just a note about the really old transformer machines, especially the buzz box/stick welders that were converted to TIG...they start by "scratch starting", which is just like striking a match on the work surface and contaminates the tungsten. "Lift Arc" start is a feature that comes with some of the newer Miller machines like the Maxstar 150 stl, where you just touch the work surface causing the machine to short creating a low current/heat arc, then you just lift the arc and begin to weld.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    323
    I've recently upgraded to a dynasty 200dx. Im new to bike work (but not to welding) and its the cats meow. The high speed pulser & HF AC make thin stuff and aluminum almost too easy. I had a miller econotig for ages. It worked very well EXCEPT for thin matl. Its low end current setting just isn't low enough (20A?) for really thin stuff. My dad has a transformer synchrowave that will go pretty low. So, for bike frames pay attention to the lowest current it can do. I agree w/ Walt, almost anything from the big 2 or 3 will be fine.

    kampgnar also hit the nail on the head w/ the difference between scratch-start (undesireable) and lift-start (works fine). The dynastys lift start mode doesn't run any welding current/gas until it detects the circuit opens (I suspect its the same w/ the maxstar). This works really well at very low currents since it starts the arc when the air gap is still tiny. I'll admit 99% of the time I use HF start but don't be afraid of a true lift-start.

    Almost all small machines come w/ a #17 air cooled torch. Will work fine for bikes.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: rickthewelder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    1,052
    Check out the Lincoln Precision Tig 275 with advanced control panel, it does it all.
    And if you ever weld monocoques, you'll love the pulse.
    RTW.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Evil4bc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    2,159
    The 200DX is a great machine !!!

    Quote Originally Posted by smdubovsky
    I've recently upgraded to a dynasty 200dx. Im new to bike work (but not to welding) and its the cats meow. The high speed pulser & HF AC make thin stuff and aluminum almost too easy. I had a miller econotig for ages. It worked very well EXCEPT for thin matl. Its low end current setting just isn't low enough (20A?) for really thin stuff. My dad has a transformer synchrowave that will go pretty low. So, for bike frames pay attention to the lowest current it can do. I agree w/ Walt, almost anything from the big 2 or 3 will be fine.

    kampgnar also hit the nail on the head w/ the difference between scratch-start (undesireable) and lift-start (works fine). The dynastys lift start mode doesn't run any welding current/gas until it detects the circuit opens (I suspect its the same w/ the maxstar). This works really well at very low currents since it starts the arc when the air gap is still tiny. I'll admit 99% of the time I use HF start but don't be afraid of a true lift-start.

    Almost all small machines come w/ a #17 air cooled torch. Will work fine for bikes.
    Follow me on Instagram for up to date build pics -Brad4130
    Nem-Pro store
    Nem-Pro Blog

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    11

    How about the Maxstar 150 STL- No Pulse Feature?

    Thanks for all the feedback!
    I'm gravitating towards the Miller Maxstar 150 STL (portability, affordability, 110 input, 5-150amp range, etc.).

    http://www.millerwelds.com/products/...xstar_150_stl/

    Feedback please? Sufficient for thin walled tubing? Any deficiencies?

  10. #10
    Moderator Moderator
    Reputation: Walt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    6,094

    It'll work.

    A lot of people like the pulse feature, though I personally just use my foot.

    FWIW, if you're looking to do this on the cheap, forget TIG. TIG is a big waste of money unless you're going to built LOTS of frames. And you'll need O/A tanks and a torch at some point anyway, so if I were you, I'd start there and do a couple fillet bikes first.

    -Walt

    Quote Originally Posted by smithga29
    Thanks for all the feedback!
    I'm gravitating towards the Miller Maxstar 150 STL (portability, affordability, 110 input, 5-150amp range, etc.).

    http://www.millerwelds.com/products/...xstar_150_stl/

    Feedback please? Sufficient for thin walled tubing? Any deficiencies?
    Waltworks Custom Bicycles
    Park City, UT USA
    www.waltworks.com
    waltworks.com/blog/
    instagram.com/waltworks/

  11. #11
    ♥ ς╥33£
    Reputation: longcat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    488
    Best one I ever used was a Cebora, italian I think, there is nothing you cant adjust on those. ESAB should be very nice also.
    Quote Originally Posted by Curmy
    Carbon is a fad.
    Quote Originally Posted by robicycle
    Just lube your ass with asscream and ride for how long you want.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    11

    O/a

    thanks Walt...right, O/A setup is a given...as well as a fillet bike initially...TIG is a desired skill to acquire, not only for bikes...but I'm interested in a machine with bike tube suitability...

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    323
    Quote Originally Posted by Walt
    A lot of people like the pulse feature, though I personally just use my foot.
    Im new to pulsing but you really can't do it w/ your foot. From what I understand, those who set the pps ~1-2 aren't exploiting the technology. Talk to a real welder and they'll recommend 20+pps (indirectly I know a guy who welds on 'porous stainless' - think of it as whipped cream made out of metal and you can imagine how hard it is to weld.) Machines doing thin matl are using 100+pps. The best explanation I have heard that really makes sense is that it increases the 'liquidity' of the puddle. W/ the pulser cranked up, you can get a wide&deep puddle that flows like you're adding a ton of heat but w/o actually doing so and melting though. You can still manually goose the pedal slowly in addition to the pulsing for the stack of dimes effect if you want.

  14. #14
    Let's get weird
    Reputation: kampgnar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    145
    Quote Originally Posted by smithga29
    Thanks for all the feedback!
    I'm gravitating towards the Miller Maxstar 150 STL (portability, affordability, 110 input, 5-150amp range, etc.).

    http://www.millerwelds.com/products/...xstar_150_stl/

    Feedback please? Sufficient for thin walled tubing? Any deficiencies?

    The stl is a basic inverter TIG box. No pulse, and no HF start...only lift arc. It may look attractive at a couple hundred less than the sth, but you'd be better off with the additional features if you find you prefer them. Much better to invest more up front and put the money into the right machine (or better) for the job, than to try and upgrade something that your invested in and doesn't fit the bill.

    I haven't run across any problems, just make sure you pick up the foot pedal control as they don't include it with any of the packages and the rotary finger control is awkward and really only for out of position work.

    Weldingweb.com, and the Millerwelds forum has a lot of information about the Maxstar series.

  15. #15
    Moderator Moderator
    Reputation: Walt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    6,094

    Interesting.

    I know some "real welders" and they've never said anything like that. In my experience, pulsers are most popular for welding aluminum. I don't hear much about using them with steel.

    Then again, "real welders" seldom do anything thinner than about 1/8", so who knows.

    Miller says "Built-in pulser reduces heat input; adds arc stability". I'll have to play around with that - I do remember trying something around 80 hertz back in the day and not liking how it worked much. But who knows? Worth checking out.

    Best info I found is here:http://www.rittercnc.com/welding/Pla...ser-11043-.htm

    -Walt

    Quote Originally Posted by smdubovsky
    Im new to pulsing but you really can't do it w/ your foot. From what I understand, those who set the pps ~1-2 aren't exploiting the technology. Talk to a real welder and they'll recommend 20+pps (indirectly I know a guy who welds on 'porous stainless' - think of it as whipped cream made out of metal and you can imagine how hard it is to weld.) Machines doing thin matl are using 100+pps. The best explanation I have heard that really makes sense is that it increases the 'liquidity' of the puddle. W/ the pulser cranked up, you can get a wide&deep puddle that flows like you're adding a ton of heat but w/o actually doing so and melting though. You can still manually goose the pedal slowly in addition to the pulsing for the stack of dimes effect if you want.
    Waltworks Custom Bicycles
    Park City, UT USA
    www.waltworks.com
    waltworks.com/blog/
    instagram.com/waltworks/

  16. #16
    what, no trials?
    Reputation: BeatAFool's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    129
    I was in the same spot the OP is a year ago. I bought the stl and bought a aftermarket pedal. I wish I'd gone ahead and bought the sth (reread kampgnars post). The no hf start is something I can see being a problem down the road. Overall it works prefect for my work related repairs. I still haven't built a frame with it. The next frame is gonna be tigged, I'm tired of all the mess and clean up with fillet.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    725
    Quote Originally Posted by BeatAFool
    The next frame is gonna be tigged, I'm tired of all the mess and clean up with fillet.
    Not a lot of people do, but it is possible if you become proficient enough at fillet to just soak off the flux and powder/paint it. I believe Curtlo does this. Steve's would look just great without any post cleanup.

    I have seen plenty of people lay down a pretty heinous TIG weld and roll with it. Seems like everyone wants a fillet braze to be really smooth though. I say, lay it down, ask your powder coater to go thick on the joints and roll.

    Dave Bohm
    Bohemian

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation: qbert2000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    3,226
    most thin metal is greatly benefited by welding with a pulse feature. here is some info on it from millers website along with alink. they have a lot of good articles on their site for new welders and experienced welders as well.
    http://www.millerwelds.com/education.../story113.html

    Pulsed TIG welding minimizes heat input through the “on and off pulsing action” of the arc (see Fig. 1). Note that while pulsing creates an audible difference between “regular” TIG, pulsing rates of even 30 PPS won’t be visible to the eye (for example, the lights in your house go on and off 60 times per second because of the 60 Hz AC wall power, yet you perceive the bulb as a constant source of light).



    Fig. 1 The operator sets four variables when programming a pulsed TIG output: peak amperage, background amperage, pulses per second (PPS) and peak time.
    PPS is simply how many times the machine will complete one pulsing cycle in a time span of one second. This feature enhances weld cosmetics and reduces heat input, thus reducing warping. Increasing the number of pulses per second produces:
    * A smoother the ripple effect in the weld bead
    * Narrows the weld bead
    * More “cooling effect”

    Reducing the number of pulses per second widens the weld bead. Slower pulsing also helps agitate the puddle and release any porosity or gas trapped in the weld (this is very helpful when welding aluminum with AC pulsed TIG). Some beginning TIG welders use a slow pulsing rate (perhaps .25 to 1 PPS) to help them develop a rhythm for adding filler metal. When beginners weld aluminum, an AC pulsed TIG rate of about 4 to 8 PPS may enhance cosmetics too. However, an experienced TIG welder may set a much higher PPS rate. It is not uncommon for them to weld aluminum at 4 to 130 PPS and stainless steel at 100 to 500 PPS (rates higher than 500 PPS are generally automated).

    The peak time (“PEAK t” on the Dynasty control panel) is simply the percentage of time during one pulsing cycle the power source spends at the peak amperage (main amperage). With peak time of 60 percent and a rate of 1 PPS, the Dynasty will spend 6/10ths of a second at peak amperage and 4/10ths of a second at the background amperage. Increasing the peak time percentage adds more heat to the part, while decreasing peak time percentage reduces heat. A good place to start for peak time is 50 to 60 percent.

    The background amperage (“BKGND A” on the Dynasty control panel) will be a percentage of the main amperage set on the machine. Thus, a machine set for an output of 200 amps and a background amperage of 50 percent produces a background amperage output of 100 amps during the background side of the pulse. This feature helps keep heat out of the part. Lowering the background amp percentage reduces the average heat input, while increasing the background amp percentage raises the overall amperage. When adjusting this feature, operators will especially notice how it affects weld puddle fluidity during the background portion of the cycle. Overall, operators want to shrink the puddle to about half its normal size while still keeping the puddle fluid. When welding stainless and carbon steels, start by setting the background amperage at 20 to 30 percent of peak amperage; on aluminum alloys, set the background to 35 to 50 percent of peak.

    Note that experimenting with PPS, Peak and Background Amperage is the only way to determine the parameters that work best for your specific application. For best results, only adjust one variable at a time. As noted earlier, those using pulse TIG welding in an industrial setting will benefit most from inverter technology. Where a conventional TIG machine is limited by the 60 Hz primary power, an inverter essential creates its own internal operating frequency, which is typically 20,000 to 60,000 Hz. This speed translates into significantly greater arc control, arc focus and arc stability—all things professional TIG welders demand!

  19. #19
    Moderator Moderator
    Reputation: Walt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    6,094

    A few experiments

    So I had some welding to do this morning, and I spent about 30 minutes messing with pulser settings. I tried from about 30 to 200 hertz or so.

    As far as I can tell, the pulser makes absolutely no difference (at least for me) in terms of heat input (in fact, if anything, there's a slightly larger HAZ than without), puddle behavior, or bead size. It does make a ton of noise and make it impossible to hear my music!

    I tried deliberately overheating some scrap to blow holes and didn't notice any difference there either, regardless of pulser settings.

    Maybe this is a feature aimed at folks who don't do much work with thin stuff? Or mostly for aluminum? I just don't see that it does anything, so unless I can find evidence otherwise, I'll stick with my old-fashioned foot-only amperage control.

    -Walt

    Quote Originally Posted by qbert2000
    most thin metal is greatly benefited by welding with a pulse feature. here is some info on it from millers website along with alink. they have a lot of good articles on their site for new welders and experienced welders as well.
    http://www.millerwelds.com/education.../story113.html

    Pulsed TIG welding minimizes heat input through the “on and off pulsing action” of the arc (see Fig. 1). Note that while pulsing creates an audible difference between “regular” TIG, pulsing rates of even 30 PPS won’t be visible to the eye (for example, the lights in your house go on and off 60 times per second because of the 60 Hz AC wall power, yet you perceive the bulb as a constant source of light).



    Fig. 1 The operator sets four variables when programming a pulsed TIG output: peak amperage, background amperage, pulses per second (PPS) and peak time.
    PPS is simply how many times the machine will complete one pulsing cycle in a time span of one second. This feature enhances weld cosmetics and reduces heat input, thus reducing warping. Increasing the number of pulses per second produces:
    * A smoother the ripple effect in the weld bead
    * Narrows the weld bead
    * More “cooling effect”

    Reducing the number of pulses per second widens the weld bead. Slower pulsing also helps agitate the puddle and release any porosity or gas trapped in the weld (this is very helpful when welding aluminum with AC pulsed TIG). Some beginning TIG welders use a slow pulsing rate (perhaps .25 to 1 PPS) to help them develop a rhythm for adding filler metal. When beginners weld aluminum, an AC pulsed TIG rate of about 4 to 8 PPS may enhance cosmetics too. However, an experienced TIG welder may set a much higher PPS rate. It is not uncommon for them to weld aluminum at 4 to 130 PPS and stainless steel at 100 to 500 PPS (rates higher than 500 PPS are generally automated).

    The peak time (“PEAK t” on the Dynasty control panel) is simply the percentage of time during one pulsing cycle the power source spends at the peak amperage (main amperage). With peak time of 60 percent and a rate of 1 PPS, the Dynasty will spend 6/10ths of a second at peak amperage and 4/10ths of a second at the background amperage. Increasing the peak time percentage adds more heat to the part, while decreasing peak time percentage reduces heat. A good place to start for peak time is 50 to 60 percent.

    The background amperage (“BKGND A” on the Dynasty control panel) will be a percentage of the main amperage set on the machine. Thus, a machine set for an output of 200 amps and a background amperage of 50 percent produces a background amperage output of 100 amps during the background side of the pulse. This feature helps keep heat out of the part. Lowering the background amp percentage reduces the average heat input, while increasing the background amp percentage raises the overall amperage. When adjusting this feature, operators will especially notice how it affects weld puddle fluidity during the background portion of the cycle. Overall, operators want to shrink the puddle to about half its normal size while still keeping the puddle fluid. When welding stainless and carbon steels, start by setting the background amperage at 20 to 30 percent of peak amperage; on aluminum alloys, set the background to 35 to 50 percent of peak.

    Note that experimenting with PPS, Peak and Background Amperage is the only way to determine the parameters that work best for your specific application. For best results, only adjust one variable at a time. As noted earlier, those using pulse TIG welding in an industrial setting will benefit most from inverter technology. Where a conventional TIG machine is limited by the 60 Hz primary power, an inverter essential creates its own internal operating frequency, which is typically 20,000 to 60,000 Hz. This speed translates into significantly greater arc control, arc focus and arc stability—all things professional TIG welders demand!
    Waltworks Custom Bicycles
    Park City, UT USA
    www.waltworks.com
    waltworks.com/blog/
    instagram.com/waltworks/

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation: qbert2000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    3,226
    the pulser does help with thin stock but mostly used on sheet goods. i weld .065 ss tubing at work and do not use the pulse feature for that. i have used the pulse when i was making some thin gauge panels and i noticed a difference. the main thing is you set up the initial amperage high with a drop on the background amperage. if you search welding stainless with pulse on google you'll see a lot of different articles that have welder settings in them. when i was welding the panels up i used 30 amps main and 18 amps as my background with the pps at 175. it helped me but i can't say for everyone. there are fabrication shops that swear by it for sheet metal work, i don't know about tube welding shops swearing by it though. it is nice to have as an optio though.

  21. #21
    ♥ ς╥33£
    Reputation: longcat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    488
    I thought pulsing was used for stainless and aluminum to break the oxide layer, maybe its not the same thing/pulses ?
    Quote Originally Posted by Curmy
    Carbon is a fad.
    Quote Originally Posted by robicycle
    Just lube your ass with asscream and ride for how long you want.

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation: qbert2000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    3,226
    from millers website

    True pulsing

    All advanced TIG inverters incorporate pulsed welding capabilities. Pulsed TIG welding is extremely beneficial when welding thin gauge steel and stainless steel. It allows the operator to tailor the amount of heat to the application, decreasing distortion and heat input. Pulsing can also help teach beginning TIG welders because it provides a rhythm for adding the filler rod (i.e., add the filler rod during peak amperage pulse).

    For critical applications, discerning operators want precise heat (amperage) control to best prevent burn-through, warping or discoloration.

    Welders with true pulsing controls, such as the Dynasty 300 DX, let the operator carefully tailor the pulsed wave form by setting: background amp range, pulse frequency (pulses per second) and peak time adjustment (duration of peak amperage). This gives the operator much more leeway when fine tuning the arc. A series of switch pads lets the operator precisely set parameter values

    Pulsed TIG Beats the Heat
    Whenever excess heat, loss of mechanical properties and warping are an issue, consider a pulsed welding process for the solution. With pulsed TIG, the arc pulses between a high peak and low background current (see chart). The peak current provides good penetration, but the background current allows the weld puddle to cool slightly, preventing warping, embrittlement and carbide precipitation.


    This close-up shows the weld bead and its relatively small heat affected zone on .304 stainless steel pipe. A small heat affected zone helps to avoid warping and ensures precision fit and performance.


    Higher pulsing (generally above 100 pulses per second) increase puddle agitation, which in turn produces a better grain molecular structure within the weld. High speed pulsing also constricts and focuses the arc. This increases arc stability, penetration and travel speeds, and it produces a smaller heat-affected zone.


    The long, smooth shape of CNC billet aluminum end cap looks good and restricts noise levels for racing events. Various colors are available for all Big Gun exhaust systems.

    High speed pulsed TIG requires using a TIG inverter, such as Miller’s Dynasty® series. Conventional TIG technology limits pulsing to a relatively narrow range of .25 to 10.0 pulses per second (PPS), where inverter technology enables pulsed at up to 5,000 PPS.

    Suggesting Starting Variables
    Pulsed TIG welding requires setting four variables: peak amperage, background amperage, peak time and pulse rate. Determining good values for setting peak amperage works much the same as setting maximum amperage values for regular DC TIG: use 1 amp for every .001 in. of thickness.

    The peak time is simply the percentage of time during one pulsing cycle the power source spends at the peak amperage (main amperage). With peak time of 80 percent and a rate of 1 pulse per second (PPS), the inverter will spend 8/10ths of a second at peak amperage and 2/10ths of a second at the background amperage. Increasing the peak time percentage adds more heat to the part, while decreasing peak time percentage reduces heat. As general rule of thumb, begin experimenting at 50 to 60 percent peak time.

    The background amperage will be a percentage of the main amperage set on the machine. Thus, a machine set for an output of 150 amps and background amperage of 30 percent produces a background amperage output of 45 amps. Lowering the background amp percentage reduces the average heat input, while increasing the background amp percentage raises the overall amperage.

    Especially notice how background current adjustments affect weld puddle fluidity. As a rule, use enough background current to shrink the puddle to about half its normal size while still keeping the puddle fluid. When welding stainless and carbon steels, start by setting the background amperage at 20 to 30 percent of peak amperage.

    PPS is simply how many times the machine will complete one pulsing cycle in a time span of one second. Increasing the number of pulses per second produces a smoother the ripple effect in the weld bead, narrows the weld bead and adds more “cooling affect.” Reducing the number of pulses per second widens the weld bead. Slower pulsing also helps agitate the puddle and release any porosity or gas trapped in the weld (this is very helpful when welding aluminum with AC pulsed TIG).

    Some beginning TIG welders use a slow pulsing rate (perhaps .5 to 1 PPS) to help them develop a rhythm for adding filler metal. For welding carbon or stainless steel, use a rate of 100 to 500 PPS. Start at 100 and work upward. Note that rates higher than 500 PPS are generally automated.

    Depending on the part being welded, the cost of just a few scrapped parts or warranty claims could more than outweigh the cost of upgrading to a new inverter with advanced pulsed TIG capabilities. Also, consider that pulsed TIG makes it easier for welding operators to achieve betters results, so they’ll enjoy welding more.

  23. #23
    Currywurst
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    529
    We use Miller Dynasty 300 / 350 DX's , weld tons and tons of aluminum and stainless steel. The lightest material that I have welded is .010, about the thickness of a razor blade. We weld .018 and .020 regulary on aircraft parts and fabricated parts here in the shop. This machine is the perfect match for us. As for controls, I prefer the foot pedal on the real thin stuff, But I really like the benefits and speed of the thumb controler for production. I have messed around with the pulser, but prefer the manual use of my right foot...So Walt - 1/8" thickness or more is a welder ( stick welder maybe, or "pro mig welder)...but anything lighter is an artist....Its amazing how many folks claim to be "professional" welders, and when they apply to my shop ( 100% GTAW ) btw, they can either stick or mig weld only..amazing. Go to the oil field and burn your 6010's downhill pal.

    Buy something that will get the job done, something that you can GROW into..dont sell yourself short with a cheap machine, you'll spend more in the long run if you go about it this way

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    11

    Keep Going...

    I truly appreciate all the feedback...and the level at which it's been conducted...very helpful...

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    20
    FWIW, buy the miller they have outstanding customer support(tech, setup,troubleshooting,etc..) I don't know about the other brands but miller tech was willing the walk me through diagnosing a failed circuit board on my engine drive(the only problem I have ever had with any of my machines and that machine was 15yrs old) and have helped me with numerous other tech questions. i currently own 4 miller machines 2mig and 2 tig, the inverter tigs are awesome light and efficient. check ebay for dynasty and maxstar they often come up for great prices and lots of then are hardly used. the 200 series are true industrial units capable of 1000s of arc hrs and built for abuse, if they don't have a problem early in their life they are not likely to.I picked up a maxstar 200dx w/ 40 arc hrs on it for 1000 bucks!
    As for the pulsing I too am undecided I talked to miller tech yesterday and the only thing I can add is high hz 100-300 tends to let the puddle freeze a little quicker and in my opinion does reduce heat input, but because the puddle freezes quicker it is more difficult to get the stacked dime effect than lower hz. seems to me that lower hz is just mimicking pumping the petal. I would like to see more discussion on pulsing as there doesn't seem to be much info on it , also what settings others are using.

  26. #26
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    13
    Hi, I'm looking to start building steel bike frames, and I'm interested in doing it with TIG. I've been looking at the various Miller machines, and I'm wondering what you guys think of the Diversion 165, Maxstar 150 STH and Dynasty 200 DX. Obviously the Dynasty is the best machine of the three, but it's also twice the price. Given that I don't see myself doing any aluminum work, I'm wondering if I really need everything the Dynasty has to offer, or whether the Maxstar or Diversion have the same capabilities in the steel (DC) department? If I'm only looking at doing steel, and only focused on building bicycle frames and racks (with 4130 and possibly other stuff like Reynolds 853 - nothing too fancy or out of the ordinary), then would the Maxstar be the best bang for the buck, or would the Dynasty have features that still outshine the Maxstar for this application?

    I like the light weight of the Maxstar, and the fact that you can plug it in just about anywhere (I'll be working at home, not in a special shop environment, so being able to work from more "normal" electrical outlets would be nice). The Maxstar 200 STH does pulse, but the specs say the minimum thickness of steel would be 0.020", whereas the Dynasty can go down to 0.004". Is that relevant for building bicycles?

    Also, is it feasible to do all the brazeons using the TIG, or do you still have to go to an oxyacetylene torch for that stuff? I get the impression that you can do small stuff with TIG too, I'm just wondering what people do there.

    And how about the humble Diversion 165? How would that compare to the Maxstar for steel welding?

    Just curious, there seems to be a lot of expertise here specifically related to bike building. Thanks for any insights...

    Neil

  27. #27
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    323
    Its feasable to do everything w/ tig if the amps go low enough
    (butted matl can be very thin in the middle). Though I used a propane torch and silver solder for mine. No need to fire up the OA rig for those little guys.

    Looks like the diversion has replaced the econotig in the miller line for the 'affordable' unit. Like I've stated, my old econotig wouldn't do thin matl very well (amps didn't go low enough) but looks like thats been lowered on the diversion. I'd buy used though. You can find both maxstars and syncrowave 180s for about a kilobuck. Though if you have to ship the latter its going to cost you...

  28. #28
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    725
    Quote Originally Posted by neilgunton
    Hi, I'm looking to start building steel bike frames, and I'm interested in doing it with TIG. I've been looking at the various Miller machines, and I'm wondering what you guys think
    Neil
    Neil, What are you doing this for. A profession or just personal enjoyment? I say this because the only true advantage of TIG is speed. Also handy if you want to fab other things.

    But with a much smaller investment in a gas setup and fillet brazing you can build just about any steel bike you want. Like 400 dollars vs. 2k or more. Then you have your braze-ons covered too.

    As far as speed goes, I can fillet braze pretty damn fast. In the scheme of things an extra 10min on the torch is a tiny part of the build. The time is in the finishing of the fillets and if you are good enough you don't really have to. Curtlo doesn't do it and people seem to did the look.

    If you want a TIG welder, get the best you can afford with the most features. You will always find a reason to be using it. I weld all sorts of stuff, from motorcycle parts to car junk. Stainless furniture. A good buck and if i had a cheap one I couldn't really do what I do with it.

    All the best,

    Dave Bohm
    Bohemian Bicycles

  29. #29
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    13
    Quote Originally Posted by smdubovsky
    Its feasable to do everything w/ tig if the amps go low enough
    (butted matl can be very thin in the middle). Though I used a propane torch and silver solder for mine. No need to fire up the OA rig for those little guys.

    Looks like the diversion has replaced the econotig in the miller line for the 'affordable' unit. Like I've stated, my old econotig wouldn't do thin matl very well (amps didn't go low enough) but looks like thats been lowered on the diversion. I'd buy used though. You can find both maxstars and syncrowave 180s for about a kilobuck. Though if you have to ship the latter its going to cost you...
    The Maxstar 150 STH goes down to 5 amps, and a minimum of 0.020", max 3/16th":

    http://www.millerwelds.com/products/...xstar_150_sth/

    Does that sound to you like it could handle the little brazeon stuff that you want to do on a bicycle frame? I don't know offhand how thick those things are.

    I just spoke to a Miller applications rep and described what I am wanting to do. He actually wanted to steer me toward the Maxstar 200 DX, which has some additional features he said might be useful. However that machine is up there in the same kind of price range (about $2200) with the Dynasty 200 DX - about $600 cheaper. He said those two machines are about equivalent in tems of DC capabilities. The Dynasty just adds on the AC.

    I guess I'm still intrigued by the Maxstar 150 STH. It sounds like a neat little machine - only 14 lbs, multi-plug options, only does DC, but I wonder if it might be "good enough" for what I'm wanting to do. The big question is whether I'd find myself limited in how low the amps can go - the 150 goes down to 5 amps, and the 200 DX goes down to 1 amp, which is obviously a lot more flexible - but does that affect me, practically, given what I'm wanting to do?

    Thanks again - I've posted this question on other general welding forums, but it's good to get some insight from people who have specific knowledge of building bicycle frames.

    Neil

  30. #30
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    13
    Quote Originally Posted by dbohemian
    Neil, What are you doing this for. A profession or just personal enjoyment? I say this because the only true advantage of TIG is speed. Also handy if you want to fab other things.

    But with a much smaller investment in a gas setup and fillet brazing you can build just about any steel bike you want. Like 400 dollars vs. 2k or more. Then you have your braze-ons covered too.

    As far as speed goes, I can fillet braze pretty damn fast. In the scheme of things an extra 10min on the torch is a tiny part of the build. The time is in the finishing of the fillets and if you are good enough you don't really have to. Curtlo doesn't do it and people seem to did the look.

    If you want a TIG welder, get the best you can afford with the most features. You will always find a reason to be using it. I weld all sorts of stuff, from motorcycle parts to car junk. Stainless furniture. A good buck and if i had a cheap one I couldn't really do what I do with it.
    I am interested in TIG because it sounds like a very clean process. I am not going to make the argument that it makes stronger bikes, because we've all been down that road before and I know it's possible to make bicycles using lugs, fillet brazing or TIG that are well strong enough for anything. A lot depends on the skill of the builder, obviously.

    I guess it's just that I am starting from scratch here, and so I could go in any direction, and for some reason I just like the idea of TIG. As I said, very clean, no spatter or cleanup, and also the same process can handle many different types of metal (though all I'm looking at initially is steel, that's primarily a budget concern at the moment - if I get more into it, then I'd very much like to experiment down the line with more stuff like aluminum, but that's not what I need right now).

    I've got nothing against fillet brazing, lugs or any of the other joining methods. You just go in a direction that feels right, and based on what I've seen, I just "like" the idea of TIG welding.

    By the way, I am playing this by ear. I have no big plans in terms of wanting to make it into a business or whatever - but if that happens then ok. Initially I just want to learn how to build my own bicycle frames. I am particularly interested in making an expedition touring bike - i.e. 26" wheels, a lot like a MTB but with longer wheelbase, lower BB and a much stiffer than usual frame that can handle the added weight of fore-and-aft panniers without becoming too wobbly (as all my other touring bikes seemed to do). I want to build a bike whose "natural state" is fully-loaded. It might feel too stiff unladen, but that's ok - I just want it to settle down to just-right once it's loaded up. I'll probably try using oversized, large diameter, thick 4130 tubing initially, maybe even straight gauge (for dent resistance), and down the line I may also play with Reynolds 853 (which is good with TIG, so I hear). But I'll also be making other bikes - a road bike for doing local club rides, a townie, etc. So it's hobby to start, but the sky's the limit. I run crazyguyonabike.com, so if I really get into this then I might try making the touring bikes and marketing them off that website which is specific to the touring community. But I'm trying to start small, and that's why I'm interested in the Maxstar 150 - it seems to do "just enough" for what I want, it's around $1200 new, and is a pretty neat little machine all round. Do I absolutely need it? No of course not, O/A could do the job just fine. But as I said, something just grabs me about TIG, so I'm following my gut a bit. I'll be doing intro courses on welding at the local tech college this summer hopefully, so I'll be learning about brazing etc as well.

    Thanks,

    Neil

  31. #31
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    725
    Neil,

    If you want to build touring bikes with all the tidbits and various things they come with you will have to learn how to braze too. There are things that are just not appropriate with TIG and IMHO welded on braze ons look ghetto in addition to being really hard to do.

    Always buy the best tool. Your miller rep is right, the DX is the way to go. In addition if this doesn't work for you the DX is worth far more on the open market than the 150 and its still tiny. Heck you should see my old Linde plasma needle arc welder. 750lbs. Now that takes up some real estate.

    I think you should get a laser....cleaner still

    Dave Bohm
    Bohemian Bicycles

    P.S. sounds like you want to build a Bruce Gordon Rock n. road. He is the shiznit at that stuff.

  32. #32
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    323
    Quote Originally Posted by neilgunton
    ...the 150 goes down to 5 amps, and the 200 DX goes down to 1 amp, which is obviously a lot more flexible - but does that affect me, practically, given what I'm wanting to do?
    I don't think so. IIRC, the dynasty 200 is the only miller that goes below 5A. IMO, 5A is great for thin stuff (I think my old econotig was 25A). The 1A is crazy low. Usefull for welding razor blades together or something I've not needed it yet but Im sure there are crazy applications and matls that do.

    I agree w/ Dave that you'll want to learn to braze too but I understand your "like" of the idea of tig. Its just so neat and clean (and really darn usefull for other stuff.)

    I still say buy something used to get into the game (a fully outfitted maxstar 140/150 looks like $6-700 on ebay). If you later decide a dynasty dx is the right machine, you won't have to eat as much depreciation selling the old one. A $3500 dynasty is a LOT of machine for something your not sure what you're going to do w/ it yet. I don't think anyone here would recommend a custom Ti seven as anyones first bike either...

  33. #33
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    13
    Quote Originally Posted by smdubovsky
    I don't think so. IIRC, the dynasty 200 is the only miller that goes below 5A. IMO, 5A is great for thin stuff (I think my old econotig was 25A). The 1A is crazy low. Usefull for welding razor blades together or something I've not needed it yet but Im sure there are crazy applications and matls that do.

    I agree w/ Dave that you'll want to learn to braze too but I understand your "like" of the idea of tig. Its just so neat and clean (and really darn usefull for other stuff.)

    I still say buy something used to get into the game (a fully outfitted maxstar 140/150 looks like $6-700 on ebay). If you later decide a dynasty dx is the right machine, you won't have to eat as much depreciation selling the old one. A $3500 dynasty is a LOT of machine for something your not sure what you're going to do w/ it yet. I don't think anyone here would recommend a custom Ti seven as anyones first bike either...
    I have to say that I'm inclined to just get the Maxstar 150 STH and see what it can't do, rather than immediately buy into the larger machines (and then I'll never really know what I could've achieved with the smaller box).

    Here's the thing: I've been guilty in the past of way over-specifying on hardware before I really knew that was what I needed. One example from my line of work is computer servers. Back in 1999 I knew a fair bit about programming, but not a lot about what I wanted from a rackmount server (for web development etc). Anyway - long story short, I ended up ordering a kick-ass $14,000 server from Penguin Computing that had dual redundant hot-swap power supplies, 5-bay hot swap SCSI drive bay, dual 550 MHz (oooh, aaah) Xeon CPUs, SCSI tape backup the works. And what I found out over time was that most of that crap wasn't really necessary - I just didn't need it. I found out that backups were better done to a different machine in a different location, tapes are just a lot of hassle, and the dual redundant power supplies were useless after a while anyway, because they stopped making them. Now I have this server sitting in my closet, and I'd be lucky to get someone to pay me $50 for it.

    Another example: I was shopping for a circular saw a few years ago, and I was convinced by the guy in the store to go for a fairly hefty DeWalt because it had all these adjustable features and he said it was something contractors would like to use - more robust, made for using for long periods etc. What I've found since is that while yes, it's a very nice tool, it's also way more than I need for my little projects, and moreover it's heavier and more cumbersome for doing smaller tasks. I overspecified again.

    So I'm trying to learn and grow as a person (cue flowers and hippy music) and not go overboard on hardware, buying stuff that is way more than I'll probably ever need. That's why I'm intrigued by the humble Maxstar 150 STH. Yes, by "pro" standards it's certainly underpowered and lacking in important features (important to them, anyway) - but maybe it'll be fine for doing what I need to do. Moreover the fact that it is light, and plugs into just about any socket, and has some of the desirable features that DO matter, such as HF start and pulse, AND it's half the price of the DX... I'm thinking maybe it's just the thing to get started with. Like I said, maybe better to find out what it *can't* do, start small (but it's a very competent machine, no doubt) and go from there.

    That's my thinking... I understand why people would point me toward the better machines, but I don't want the perfect to become the enemy of the "good enough" either.

    I'm willing to be argued, by the way... but please, rather than just saying that X will be better than Y, also tell me exactly why Y won't be able to do the job, and why X will be so much better. I know the DX will be "better" already, but the question is whether I can get the job done just fine with the 150 STH.

    Thanks again,

    Neil

  34. #34
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    725
    Neil,

    Respectfully I don't have time to change your mind. Do what you wanna do. The 150 is a perfectly respectable machine that will make great welds under a good welder.

    Heck, I could make a perfectly fine riding machine with my MIG welder or my gas rig using steel rod. So it's not about the welder. This is my business, so I use my stuff heavily. Your mileage may vary.

    I always say. Just build it, then build some more. Nothing teaches better than practice and just so you know. Some of the best TIG welding I ever saw was done on a old dinosaur transformer machine without HF start or a pulser. The guy was that good.

    Dave Bohm

  35. #35
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    239
    Quote Originally Posted by Walt
    A lot of people like the pulse feature, though I personally just use my foot.

    FWIW, if you're looking to do this on the cheap, forget TIG. TIG is a big waste of money unless you're going to built LOTS of frames. And you'll need O/A tanks and a torch at some point anyway, so if I were you, I'd start there and do a couple fillet bikes first.

    -Walt
    Just curious, am I the only one that thinks tig welding is far easier than brazing?

    I am not claiming to be the best tig welder but I picked it up kinda quick, while I have a friend who is a very good frame builder try to teach me to braze and I never made a sucessfull joint. He would say "you just burned the flux, start over" but I could never see a change, I allways thought "what the hell hapened?" while tig welding its all right in front of you, its damn obvious when you burn a hole through a tube.

    I swear, brazing is like witchcraft. I will stick with tig welding

  36. #36
    Bike Dork
    Reputation: themanmonkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    1,365
    Has anyone used ThermalArc welders? I've seen a few good reviews other places. I've also heard rumors that they make the electronics for Miller or Lincoln but have no idea if this is true or not.

  37. #37
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    725
    I used one of the small ones a 160 I believe. It was for a mobile welding job I was working on. It is a really neat little unit. Had everything, pulser, HF start. The arc wasn't quite as stable as my big unit but dang close and plenty good enough to weld anything in bicycles. I would assume the bigger ones are even better.

    They have been around for a long time and make some pretty innovative equipment. If you find a good deal on one, I would go for it.

    Dave

  38. #38
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    35
    I have used the ThermalArc 185Arcmaster, 190 GTSW and the 185prowave all were excellent. They are a great value for your money, and have a 5 year warranty. Their dealer/ repair network is smaller than Lincoln or Miller. If you loose money when your welder is out for repair, go with blue or red. If you can wait a couple days extra, or have a nearby service facility, ThermalArc is a great choice. They are also much quieter than the Dynasty's.

    Wade Barocsi
    Cheshire, CT

  39. #39
    banned
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    1

    more about TIG

    its a great topic about TIG and i would like to add few more features about it.
    TIG welding is a very unique form of welding. When you begin to use the left and right hand simultaneously in any process there is more stress involved to the welder and this technique requires more agility than does the more common practices of welding.

  40. #40
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    207
    My first tig purchase was a used Miller Econo-Tig to weld up headers and exhaust parts for motorcycles and cars. My biggest problem was getting heat control low enough for thin wall tubing. The Econo-tig was a decent little machine, as long as tubing wasn't thinner than .049. It would do AC, high frequency start, stick and what not. All in all, a pretty decent machine for the $500 I had in it. Just not enough control for thin tubing.

    I picked up the Dynasty 200dx within 4 months of the Econotig and have since never regretted it; sans wishing I had spent the extra for the 300dx on the occasion I've needed to put some thick aluminum together. I usually tack it and go borrow a friends machine in this case. I've run the 200dx about 75% duty cycle in production of parts; over the past 7 years it hasn't missed a beat.

  41. #41
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,034
    I have an older Lincoln Invertec 200. Works great on thin stuff. Has a pulser built in. Only problem is it is only 220 or 440, but as long as you have the electric it works great. I haven't built any frames with it but maybe someday I will get around to it. I would imagine you could probably pick one up for 500ish.

  42. #42
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    425

    Updates on welders?

    Has anyone purchased anything new, or used (and liked) something different?

    I was interested in the Miller Dynasty 200 as it welds aluminum, but at an MSRP of $3,744, I thought there had to be a less expensive way to go.

    This is an interesting thread, and thought it should be revived.
    "I can only assume chan slap is what happens when you get assaulted by Jackie Chan. I don't think anybody can prevent that."

  43. #43
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    32
    I have been very happy with the ArcMaster 185 TIG. I have had it for about 3 years and it has worked very well. I am the very limiting factor on quality of welds.

    Nice little inverter machine w/ AC/DC, a pulser and pretty good process setting capability. It is 220V only, so not quite as portable as the miller 110/220V unit, but also less $$.

    I got mine for <2K, but looking on line right now they are going for about $2600-3000.

    It is not blue or red but Thermal Dynamics has a good name in the plasma cutting field.

    Paul

  44. #44
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Meriwether's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    430
    I second the ThermalArc 185 recommendation. I've only had it 2 years and used a total of 2 machines though, and the other one was a water-cooled Miller Synchrowave that weighed a metric ton.

    The inverter machines are IMO the only way to go. The pulser is awesome and the HF start is a must. I replaced the stock torch with a WeldTec 9f and a single gas/power flex hose since it comes with a larger 17 torch and two separate hoses for gas and power.

    Really I would've gotten a 160 if I had found one since I'm not planning to use the AC and having a 220 outlet can be costly to put in, less flexible in where you can put your machine in the shop, or take it to and work.

  45. #45
    shifty
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    39
    Quote Originally Posted by thesenator View Post
    Has anyone purchased anything new, or used (and liked) something different?
    An Everlast 250ex arrived at my door yesterday. I have limited tig experience so I'm not in a position to give great advice on its performance, but I'll post up impressions as i start to use it. assuming it even works out of the box

    I hemmed and hawed (sic?) for years as to what to buy, but eventually got nudged by a 'real welder' friend with only miller in his shop to get the import inverter machine.

    -Bernie

  46. #46
    shifty
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    39
    Ok, this is would make Mickey/FTWs heads explode (crappy AL beads on dirty scrap AL), but the pic below is my first sit down with an import welder doing aluminum. I wanted a decent bit of power for future projects (non bike related), but the thing sitting in the back of my head was that I'd like to build a frame with AL at some point. its just a hobby for me, so $4k+ for a red/blue box was out of the question. The machine worked just fine out of the box, everything as expected, etc.

    I have a good understanding of TIG, but very little puddle time so nothing is 'natural' (or good for that matter).

    The other amusing thing was 'confessing' to my local welding supply place when going in to fill oxy/acet tanks and buy argon. Once I reminded him this was only a hobby, he smiled, asked what machine I bought, and agreed it was a good decision. Might of been blowing smoke up my ass, but I appreciated it.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails TIG Welding Machine-img_0497.jpg  


  47. #47
    mtbr member
    Reputation: shovelon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    158
    Quote Originally Posted by einreb View Post
    Ok, this is would make Mickey/FTWs heads explode (crappy AL beads on dirty scrap AL), but the pic below is my first sit down with an import welder doing aluminum. I wanted a decent bit of power for future projects (non bike related), but the thing sitting in the back of my head was that I'd like to build a frame with AL at some point. its just a hobby for me, so $4k+ for a red/blue box was out of the question. The machine worked just fine out of the box, everything as expected, etc.

    I have a good understanding of TIG, but very little puddle time so nothing is 'natural' (or good for that matter).

    The other amusing thing was 'confessing' to my local welding supply place when going in to fill oxy/acet tanks and buy argon. Once I reminded him this was only a hobby, he smiled, asked what machine I bought, and agreed it was a good decision. Might of been blowing smoke up my ass, but I appreciated it.
    Looks like you have the touch.

    How is the machine holding up?

  48. #48
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    17
    I am planning on purchasing an HTP Invertig 221 TIG Welder and taking advantage of their 90 day money back guaranty if I'm not happy with it. About $1k less than Miller Dynasty 200DX...

  49. #49
    shifty
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    39
    Quote Originally Posted by shovelon View Post
    Looks like you have the touch.

    How is the machine holding up?
    So far so good... i've just been laying down beads on flat stock and am about ready to order up some 6061 to practice on the thickness and shapes for building a frame. no shortage of adjustment options or power.

    the one thing thats thrown me with aluminum is how much it heats up as you run the bead and how you have to account for that with the pedal. I've been playing with the pulse a bit at a higher frequency as to not push as much heat (rather than pulsing for the dimes). soooo many variables. very humbling learning process.

    -Bernie

  50. #50
    mtbr member
    Reputation: shovelon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    158
    Quote Originally Posted by einreb View Post
    So far so good... i've just been laying down beads on flat stock and am about ready to order up some 6061 to practice on the thickness and shapes for building a frame. no shortage of adjustment options or power.

    the one thing thats thrown me with aluminum is how much it heats up as you run the bead and how you have to account for that with the pedal. I've been playing with the pulse a bit at a higher frequency as to not push as much heat (rather than pulsing for the dimes). soooo many variables. very humbling learning process.

    -Bernie
    Well I never found pulsing for cadence to be of any value to me. But the higher frequency can tighten or columnize the arc to keep the sharp edges from fraying so much, and is good for tacking. I like the lower hertz to wet in the edges better. And wetting in for me means faster travel speeds. All machines run differently. My ThermalArc likes 60 hertz, but my Millers like 120 hertz.

    Good luck, keep laying beads.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •