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  1. #1
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    What make and model of welder for TIG steel?

    Hello. I am embarking on buying about $20K in framebuilding tools in order to TIG weld 4130 chromoly frames in my garage. This is only a hobby for me. I work long hours and I want to challenge myself on my few days off.

    I am taking 4 classes in framebuilding at United Bicycle Institute in Ashland, Oregon between April 2018 and January 2019. I took the mechanic's classes in Portland; I highly recommend this school.

    I'm sure that after I take the classes I will know what make and model welder to use, but I want to practice welding (on scrap metal) as much as possible while I am saving up for the fixtures, lathe, mill and probably a band saw.

    I will only be making frames like the cargo frames that I have. They are Design Logic Da Phat frames. They have 4130 chromoly tubing, 100mm English BB, 44mm headset, 190mm dropouts using Paragon Machine Works parts.

    So what make and model welder does one use for TIG steel on bicycle frames? I am a renter with no 220V in the garage now, but I will definitely be running 220V to the garage.

  2. #2
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    I also have questions on what mill, lathe and band saw to buy, but it will take me over a year to save for these tools. For now, I am just going to buy the welder, nozzle, regulator and whatever else I need to practice on scrap metal.

  3. #3
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    I am currently looking at https://www.millerwelds.com/equipmen...welders-m30132 (STH or STL models) or https://store.cyberweld.com/mitigwed...AaAo4hEALw_wcB or Square Wave™ TIG 175 TIG Welder

    I will be welding on .049" or possibly .035" straight gauge 4130 chromoly like this 4130 ALLOY STEEL ROUND SEAMLESS from Aircraft Spruce

  4. #4
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    First, your question is somewhat akin to, "I want to buy a four door sedan, what should I buy?". There's a lot of answer to your question, so I'll cut it into a few categories.

    First--budget? Prices range from ~$1,500 to $8k+.

    IMO, features to look for are 1st--pulse and 2nd--AC.

    For thin tubing, pulse makes it way, way, WAY easier. You can certainly weld thin sheet and tubing without pulse, welders successfully did it for decades, but jeebus it is way easier, less frustrating, and prettier with pulse. When using pulse, you're going to be using the 0.8-1.7 pulses per second settings 95% of the time, so don't get too wrapped around the axle if a specific welder model is limited to say 20 or 150 pulses per second. The higher settings are cool, but not a lot of use for them in bicycle making.

    Second, if you have the budget, definitely consider a welder with AC capability so you can weld aluminum.

    If you're concerned about budget, the Lincoln Squarewave 200 is a great machine with all of the features you will need to build virtually any bike frame. Includes pulse, AC, and several other useful features. It's similar in price to the Maxstar you mentioned, but way more "usable" IMO, IE higher amperage, more duty cycle, AC, etc. The small Maxstar is designed to be a portable tig machine for field repairs such as sanitary tubing, and it's a great machine, but not necessarily the best selection for bike frame building. A lot of people start of with Miller Diversion's, and they're not bad at all, but the Lincoln beats it out in multiple factors.

    If budget isn't a concern, you can't beat a Miller Dynasty 210 DX with CPS. Although it's a $4k machine, it can run on 110-480v inputs, has a load of great features, SD card slot to allow for expansion of features (a la setting independent AC balance), and Miller tig machines have great resale. My personal setup is a Miller Dynasty 200 DX with a coolmate 1 and 20 series torch. The water cooler is kind of a love hate relationship. I love being able to weld while basically holding the cup, but listening to tit run for hours is kind of annoying. I also have an air cooled torch, but it's sitting on the shelf and never gets used, so overall I definitely prefer the advantages of water cooled setup, it's definitely not a requirement, more of a luxury.

    Honestly, I wouldn't really consider any other machine than those two. The older transformer machines (IE Miller Synchrowave) come up for sale often, and they weld great, but suck power like mad, super heavy, not portable, and limited on features such as AC wave forms, AC balance, AC frequency, etc.

    The other important factors to consider with tig is accessories and consumables.

    For accessories, invest in a great helmet such as the Speedglas 9100xxi or ESAB Sentinel. It's hard to stack dimes if you can't see.

    The other major item is torch selection, tungsten selection, tungsten preparation, filler metal selection, etc. I could go on for pages about each item, but the moral of the story is don't skimp. You'll eventually end up with the nice stuff anyways, so pay once and cry once.

    For smaller, detailed, tight tig work, you can't beat a 9/20 series torch. 9 is the air cooled version and 20 is water cooled, both use same consumables. I started out with a 26, use a 20 now, and have no clue how I welded with that giant club of a torch. For torch brands, I'd recommend CK Worldwide. Second, GET A GAS LENS SETUP for welding anything other than aluminum. For high end steel alloys and the occassional Ti job, you're going to want a variety of cup sizes ranging from 8 (.5") to 16 (1"). I use a combination of normal alumina cups for basic bitch errday welding and Mike Furick cups when I need to see better or if it's a critical weld on stainless.

    Dont skimp on filler. After battling with Harris and Radnor quality issues, I mostly use Lincoln, Hobart, American Filler Metals, and Voelkemp (sp?).

    Figure out some way to sharpen tungsten, cause jeebus you'll be sharpening often when you first start welding. With the low amp arc starts associated with thin bike tubing, you'll need to either run 1/16" electrodes or 3/32" and sharpen them to a long point. I prefer Thoriated (red) on steel, stainless, and Ti, 2% Lanthanated on aluminum. Don't get cheap electrodes, so stay away from amazon/ebay brands. CK makes a nice product. Sharpening tungsten is not very glamorous, but it's important to have a system that gets repetitive results. I use a 12v dewalt cordless drill and sander with higher grit discs and belts, but it's definitely a personal preference thing. There's a lot of ways to do it and I haven't found one that works much better unless you drop $2k and that's dumb.


    Like I wrote earlier, I could go on for pages on each item in this message, but moral of the story: you get what you pay for, don't make it harder than it has to be, make sure you're comfortable while welding, clean and prep your weld material 50x more than you thought you needed to, and keep learning. Tig is a load of fun, frustrating AF, and rewarding all at the same time. You're probably going to suck for a year, but that's ok, stick with it and things start to click.

    One more thing, watch all of Jody's videos on weldingtipsandtricks.com. Hands down best tig videos on interwebs and most of his wealth of knowledge carries over to bike welding. He also has a web store, weldmonger.com, where he sells a variety of good products. I use his tig fingers often.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by B Gillespie View Post
    First, your question is somewhat akin to, "I want to buy a four door sedan, what should I buy?". There's a lot of answer to your question, so I'll cut it into a few categories.

    First--budget? Prices range from ~$1,500 to $8k+.

    IMO, features to look for are 1st--pulse and 2nd--AC.

    For thin tubing, pulse makes it way, way, WAY easier. You can certainly weld thin sheet and tubing without pulse, welders successfully did it for decades, but jeebus it is way easier, less frustrating, and prettier with pulse. When using pulse, you're going to be using the 0.8-1.7 pulses per second settings 95% of the time, so don't get too wrapped around the axle if a specific welder model is limited to say 20 or 150 pulses per second. The higher settings are cool, but not a lot of use for them in bicycle making.

    Second, if you have the budget, definitely consider a welder with AC capability so you can weld aluminum.

    If you're concerned about budget, the Lincoln Squarewave 200 is a great machine with all of the features you will need to build virtually any bike frame. Includes pulse, AC, and several other useful features. It's similar in price to the Maxstar you mentioned, but way more "usable" IMO, IE higher amperage, more duty cycle, AC, etc. The small Maxstar is designed to be a portable tig machine for field repairs such as sanitary tubing, and it's a great machine, but not necessarily the best selection for bike frame building. A lot of people start of with Miller Diversion's, and they're not bad at all, but the Lincoln beats it out in multiple factors.

    If budget isn't a concern, you can't beat a Miller Dynasty 210 DX with CPS. Although it's a $4k machine, it can run on 110-480v inputs, has a load of great features, SD card slot to allow for expansion of features (a la setting independent AC balance), and Miller tig machines have great resale. My personal setup is a Miller Dynasty 200 DX with a coolmate 1 and 20 series torch. The water cooler is kind of a love hate relationship. I love being able to weld while basically holding the cup, but listening to tit run for hours is kind of annoying. I also have an air cooled torch, but it's sitting on the shelf and never gets used, so overall I definitely prefer the advantages of water cooled setup, it's definitely not a requirement, more of a luxury.

    Honestly, I wouldn't really consider any other machine than those two. The older transformer machines (IE Miller Synchrowave) come up for sale often, and they weld great, but suck power like mad, super heavy, not portable, and limited on features such as AC wave forms, AC balance, AC frequency, etc.

    The other important factors to consider with tig is accessories and consumables.

    For accessories, invest in a great helmet such as the Speedglas 9100xxi or ESAB Sentinel. It's hard to stack dimes if you can't see.

    The other major item is torch selection, tungsten selection, tungsten preparation, filler metal selection, etc. I could go on for pages about each item, but the moral of the story is don't skimp. You'll eventually end up with the nice stuff anyways, so pay once and cry once.

    For smaller, detailed, tight tig work, you can't beat a 9/20 series torch. 9 is the air cooled version and 20 is water cooled, both use same consumables. I started out with a 26, use a 20 now, and have no clue how I welded with that giant club of a torch. For torch brands, I'd recommend CK Worldwide. Second, GET A GAS LENS SETUP for welding anything other than aluminum. For high end steel alloys and the occassional Ti job, you're going to want a variety of cup sizes ranging from 8 (.5") to 16 (1"). I use a combination of normal alumina cups for basic bitch errday welding and Mike Furick cups when I need to see better or if it's a critical weld on stainless.

    Dont skimp on filler. After battling with Harris and Radnor quality issues, I mostly use Lincoln, Hobart, American Filler Metals, and Voelkemp (sp?).

    Figure out some way to sharpen tungsten, cause jeebus you'll be sharpening often when you first start welding. With the low amp arc starts associated with thin bike tubing, you'll need to either run 1/16" electrodes or 3/32" and sharpen them to a long point. I prefer Thoriated (red) on steel, stainless, and Ti, 2% Lanthanated on aluminum. Don't get cheap electrodes, so stay away from amazon/ebay brands. CK makes a nice product. Sharpening tungsten is not very glamorous, but it's important to have a system that gets repetitive results. I use a 12v dewalt cordless drill and sander with higher grit discs and belts, but it's definitely a personal preference thing. There's a lot of ways to do it and I haven't found one that works much better unless you drop $2k and that's dumb.


    Like I wrote earlier, I could go on for pages on each item in this message, but moral of the story: you get what you pay for, don't make it harder than it has to be, make sure you're comfortable while welding, clean and prep your weld material 50x more than you thought you needed to, and keep learning. Tig is a load of fun, frustrating AF, and rewarding all at the same time. You're probably going to suck for a year, but that's ok, stick with it and things start to click.

    One more thing, watch all of Jody's videos on weldingtipsandtricks.com. Hands down best tig videos on interwebs and most of his wealth of knowledge carries over to bike welding. He also has a web store, weldmonger.com, where he sells a variety of good products. I use his tig fingers often.
    Your response is tremendously helpful. Budget is not a concern so I will grab a Miller Dynasty 210 DX with CPS. I will also be referring to your recommendations very closely for my purchases.

    If you are willing to, I invite you to elaborate on the extended points that you referred to. I will definitely soak it up and save the information. I am "investing" over $25K in tools and $15K in tuition to learn TIG steel frame building.

    I am 51 years old and I hope I can weld for many years. My Dad is 74 and his hands shake too much for him to do careful hand work such as TIG. I do not have the habits that caused his shaking, so I hope to be able to mess around in my garage for 20-30 years with this equipment.

    My day job keeps me busy 60+ hours Mon-Sat, so my hobby time will be limited until I retire in 15 years.

    I need reading glasses so the vision is going to be an issue.

  6. #6
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    I've used a Miller Dynasty 200DX extensively and it's great. I'm not a professional welder, but I used one all through college and I was the main welder on our Formula SAE racecar frames, and I use them at work now. If I had the funds, this would be my first choice in a welder. I haven't tried a whole lot of different welders, but I liked the way the Miller welded over the Lincoln that we had at school (I think the Lincoln was a Precision TIG). Since I don't have the funds for one, I just ordered an AHP AlphaTig 200X for $680. Friends and research says it's the best welding TIG you can get for under $1500-$2000, but it is Chinese so it sometimes come with it's quality issues. Just throwing this info out there, since you have the budget I would certainly go with a Miller!

  7. #7
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    All of it is really good at this point - the inverter tech is pretty mature, so the differences between brands/machines are pretty subtle. I'd make the decision based on what you have available for power, and what you want to be able to do (ie, AC or no AC).

    If you're just going to build bikes, a bottom of the barrel modern TIG machine is more than good enough. If you want to get nuts and do other stuff, then you will want a fancy/expensive machine.

    -Walt

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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    All of it is really good at this point - the inverter tech is pretty mature, so the differences between brands/machines are pretty subtle. I'd make the decision based on what you have available for power, and what you want to be able to do (ie, AC or no AC).

    If you're just going to build bikes, a bottom of the barrel modern TIG machine is more than good enough. If you want to get nuts and do other stuff, then you will want a fancy/expensive machine.

    -Walt
    I am planning on putting 220V in the garage, but the electrician has definitely limited me to a 30A circuit breaker. The whole house only has 200A. I wonder if this will be a problem.

    Does anybody know what size circuit breaker I need for TIG welding steel in the garage? I am the only one working in the garage, but my family is in the house.

  9. #9
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    It looks like I will save about $700 if I buy the "Miller Dynasty 210 DX with CPS" online, as opposed to my local welding supply store. I wouldn't mind paying a little extra to support a local business, but an extra 19% seems like it would be a poor financial decision.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by vadimhellbike View Post
    It looks like I will save about $700 if I buy the "Miller Dynasty 210 DX with CPS" online, as opposed to my local welding supply store. I wouldn't mind paying a little extra to support a local business, but an extra 19% seems like it would be a poor financial decision.



    Until you require local support. Warranty issues may arise with internet sourced equipment so it pays to be extra cautious if you go down that path.
    Nothing that's worth anything is ever easy - M. Hall

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by vadimhellbike View Post
    It looks like I will save about $700 if I buy the "Miller Dynasty 210 DX with CPS" online, as opposed to my local welding supply store. I wouldn't mind paying a little extra to support a local business, but an extra 19% seems like it would be a poor financial decision.
    It is like a car dealership. Go haggle. In my experience the local shops tend to have zero tig knowledge, and they just ship machines to Miller/Lincoln/whoever for warranty work anyway, so if they won't make you a deal, it's not going to hurt that much to get it online. You'll need your gasses there no matter what, though.

    A 30A breaker is insane overkill for building bikes. You can easily build a steel bike with 120v/15A circuit and not have a problem. If you want to build a replica WWII liberty ship or a skyscraper, not so much, of course.

    -Walt

  12. #12
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    I spent 5hrs running my Dynasty today. I'd buy another one tomorrow if I needed to. I couldn't go without a water cooled torch but many builders run air cooled without issues. I've often thought they just don't know what they're missing.

    A thought if you're going to setup a full shop in your garage. Might just get one big phase converter. While you can get mills/lathes/saws/compressors in single phase that will do the job just fine, having the ability to run 3ph equipment will greatly open up your options when buying machinery.

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    Quote Originally Posted by customfab View Post
    I spent 5hrs running my Dynasty today. I'd buy another one tomorrow if I needed to. I couldn't go without a water cooled torch but many builders run air cooled without issues. I've often thought they just don't know what they're missing.
    It takes me ~15 minutes, at most, to weld a bike frame. With a bunch of 30-90 second pauses to reset/move things around/move things in and out of the jig. The fan doesn't even kick on, and the torch hardly gets warm.

    If you're doing LONG hours running the machine, water cooled is great. For framebuilding, it's pointless unless you're doing batch jobs or something where you're under the hood all day. Even then... the amperage is so low I'd be shocked if you really ran into a problem.

    I once did use my TIG machine to make a moderately complex railing for my basement. That sucked ass, for sure, and I would have killed for a water cooled torch.

    -Walt

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    Quote Originally Posted by vadimhellbike View Post
    I am taking 4 classes in framebuilding at United Bicycle Institute in Ashland, Oregon between April 2018 and January 2019. I took the mechanic's classes in Portland; I highly recommend this school.
    Four classes?! geez. Must be nice. are you doing each material and construction method? I did one class (brazing) + weekend tig workshop, and it was ace, for sure. You'll have a blast.

    FWIW, when I was there (many years ago), they had Miller 200DX machines. So if you want to use the same machine that you'll be using in class, go with the miller. I couldn't justify the cost myself, so went with an import Everlast machine, but haven't really used it that much so I won't comment on it's durability (though it does work just fine...).

    But, to rain on your parade a bit, I'd suggest you to wait until after your courses to start tooling up, TIG welder included. If you've never done any welding before, you're likely to pick up more bad habits than good. I took a few continuing ed courses in welding at the local tech college before I took the UBI course, and while it was nice to get a handle on basic welding safety, its still completely different from welding thin tubes. The UBI courses are set up to give you lots of practice time to master the skills enough to make a frame. UBI in general really stresses NOT tooling up big time right after the course, and building with basic methods for your first few following frames. I suspect most people who are keen and can afford it (myself included) choose to ignore this advice, but if I did it over again, i'd definitely do it leaner.

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    Quote Originally Posted by acedeuce802 View Post
    Since I don't have the funds for one, I just ordered an AHP AlphaTig 200X for $680. Friends and research says it's the best welding TIG you can get for under $1500-$2000, but it is Chinese so it sometimes come with it's quality issues.
    You'll be very happy with that welder. I've been using a previous generation AlphaTig (it doesn't have the high-frequency pulse control) since 2014 without any issues, and I haven't seen a case online where AHP wasn't able to resolve a problem with a welder (or replace it outright). Folks tend to complain about the foot-pedal; add some rubber feet to it so it doesn't slide around as you're welding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VegasSingleSpeed View Post
    You'll be very happy with that welder. I've been using a previous generation AlphaTig (it doesn't have the high-frequency pulse control) since 2014 without any issues, and I haven't seen a case online where AHP wasn't able to resolve a problem with a welder (or replace it outright). Folks tend to complain about the foot-pedal; add some rubber feet to it so it doesn't slide around as you're welding.
    Glad to hear another personal success story. I'm beyond excited for it to come in!

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    Lots of valid opinions and good advice above. Honestly, get started welding. Screw up some parts, dip some electrodes, watch a load of youtube vids, listen to some podcasts, and get better. We could all go on for pages about with our personal opinions on the best way to do X, but one of the cool things about tig is that there really isn't a right or wrong way as long as you get the results you want.

    OP, if you have any specific questions, post up.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by B Gillespie View Post
    Lots of valid opinions and good advice above. Honestly, get started welding. Screw up some parts, dip some electrodes, watch a load of youtube vids, listen to some podcasts, and get better. We could all go on for pages about with our personal opinions on the best way to do X, but one of the cool things about tig is that there really isn't a right or wrong way as long as you get the results you want.

    OP, if you have any specific questions, post up.
    I do have one very specific question! I am ordering the welder https://store.cyberweld.com/midy210d...%25d%25UFbbh8t in 5 days. I would be very helpful for an experienced smith to tell me precisely (with links, if you would be so kind) what other parts that I need. I do want to get started practicing ASAP. Keep in mind that I intend to weld .035-.050" chromoly tubing for starters. I don't plan on using the welder for anything other than bicycle frames.

    That welder is good to go for making bicycles frames, yeah? Because I am pulling the trigger.

    I am watching so many YouTube videos and I will try to avoid developing bad habits.

    You would think that watching YouTube videos would answer the question "What accessories and consumables do I need?", but most of the videos are not directly related to frame building and different people recommend different products.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marco529 View Post
    Four classes?! geez. Must be nice. are you doing each material and construction method? I did one class (brazing) + weekend tig workshop, and it was ace, for sure. You'll have a blast.

    FWIW, when I was there (many years ago), they had Miller 200DX machines. So if you want to use the same machine that you'll be using in class, go with the miller. I couldn't justify the cost myself, so went with an import Everlast machine, but haven't really used it that much so I won't comment on it's durability (though it does work just fine...).

    But, to rain on your parade a bit, I'd suggest you to wait until after your courses to start tooling up, TIG welder included. If you've never done any welding before, you're likely to pick up more bad habits than good. I took a few continuing ed courses in welding at the local tech college before I took the UBI course, and while it was nice to get a handle on basic welding safety, its still completely different from welding thin tubes. The UBI courses are set up to give you lots of practice time to master the skills enough to make a frame. UBI in general really stresses NOT tooling up big time right after the course, and building with basic methods for your first few following frames. I suspect most people who are keen and can afford it (myself included) choose to ignore this advice, but if I did it over again, i'd definitely do it leaner.
    I am taking the Titanium class in January, at which point I will have taken every class that UBI offers. Great school. I certainly got a lot out of the mechanic's classes.

    I am too excited to wait three months to get my hands dirty, but I will definitely stick to the basics. I only have a few hours a week to play around, anyway.

    I had a very cheap wire feed MIG welder from Harbor Freight for my car projects. I as not impressed with that unit, although the problem may have been that I was a newbie, untrained welder. This time around I will get proper training.

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    Really great news about the 110V, 15A circuit as that it what is there now.

    On a different note, I am wondering what the smallest mill, lathe and bandsaw that I can get away with for use with the Anvil Bikes fixtures.

    The lathe that I want weighs over 2500 pounds and the same can be said about the lathe. I wouldn't mind this so much, but I am a renter. My landlord keeps renewing my 3 year leases, but who knows when I may have to move.

    The mill, lathe and bandsaw that I choose need to be able to be relocated a few times, if need be. My landlord says I can stay here forever, but I have heard that before and then the landlord decided to sell the house.

    I will probably just choose the nice, big tools and just deal with the hassle of moving them when the time comes. It would only be 0-3 times.

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    I believe that the matter of what filler rod to use has been answered in this thread, as well as some other items such as the TIG finger.

    I am just now making my list of torch, regulator, etc. I will post it here.

    Maybe this 20 series torch: https://www.weldingsuppliesfromioc.c...SABEgKH5vD_BwE

    Gas Lens Setup: couldn't figure it out, although I could guess this https://www.arc-zone.com/gas-lens-co...SABEgJ7DPD_BwE

    Maybe this "Coolmate 1": https://store.cyberweld.com/mico13co...iABEgL3hfD_BwE

    Gas hose: https://store.cyberweld.com/wegasho20set.html (?)

    Helmet: https://www.bakersgas.com/NAS711-06-...iABEgKUn_D_BwE

    Alumina or Pyrex cups: (couldn't figure it out because of my confusion over gas lens, gas saver and if a special cup is needed if one is using a gas lens)

    gas regulator: (not even close to figuring it out)
    Last edited by vadimhellbike; 1 Week Ago at 09:52 PM.

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    Continued...

    2% thoriated electrodes: I could not find any for sale by one of the quality brands (Lincoln, Hobart, American Filler Metals, and Voelkemp). I found many other brands, of course. Are these okay: https://www.arc-zone.com/thoriated-tungsten-ck-t-7gt2 ? There was an abundance of Miller Electric brand. Are those good?

    I wouldn't know which TIG finger: https://www.amazon.com/Welding-Tips-...ips+%26+Tricks

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    Update:

    I think I am going to buy this package https://store.cyberweld.com/midy210d...WJiREhtsv.ucAA

    I definitely like the cart that holds the welder and water cooler. It has a 20 series torch and a wireless foot pedal.

    Unfortunately, it does not have a gas lens setup, so I will have to get that separately.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by vadimhellbike View Post
    Continued...

    2% thoriated electrodes: I could not find any for sale by one of the quality brands (Lincoln, Hobart, American Filler Metals, and Voelkemp). I found many other brands, of course. Are these okay: https://www.arc-zone.com/thoriated-tungsten-ck-t-7gt2 ? There was an abundance of Miller Electric brand. Are those good?

    I wouldn't know which TIG finger: https://www.amazon.com/Welding-Tips-...ips+%26+Tricks
    Get ceriated tungsten. Thorium is radioactive and thorium dust in your lungs is no bueno. Ceriated costs a few cents more per stick.

    Any generic brand of tungsten is just fine.

    Any generic TIG finger is just fine too. It's a kevlar tube, not very complex.

    That helmet will be horrible for bike work. It's got a small window and it's auto-dark which means when you're peering through some seatstays to weld something, you'll get flashed. Ditch the auto dark and get a cheapo smoked glass helmet with the biggest window you can find. Buy a bunch of different shades for it (they're like $3) so you can figure out what you like best.

    I like this one: https://weldingsupply.com/cgi-bin/ei...:UNDEF:X:14529

    -Walt

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    Walt, have you tried 2% Lanthanated? I have a pack and can drop off a few pieces, but it's 3/32".

    I dig thoriated for ferrous tig, but figure all of my bad habits will probably kill me before electrode grinding dust gets me. Also normally wear a respirator when I grind electrodes though.

    vaderhellbike, check your pm's.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by B Gillespie View Post
    Walt, have you tried 2% Lanthanated? I have a pack and can drop off a few pieces, but it's 3/32".

    I dig thoriated for ferrous tig, but figure all of my bad habits will probably kill me before electrode grinding dust gets me. Also normally wear a respirator when I grind electrodes though.

    vaderhellbike, check your pm's.
    To be completely honest, I can't tell the difference between ceriated, thoriated, lanthanated, at least when welding steel.

    -Walt

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    I really appreciate the help. I will get my parts order ready on Sunday and post it here.

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    Maybe you've already seen this from Jody at Welding Tips and Tricks,
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpanERwagaU

    A few years old but still relevant. Iirc he concludes that 2% Lanthanated is a good all around electrode.

    Alistair.

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    Speaking of tungstens, since you're leaning heavily on a whole lot of overkill, might I recommend this:

    TechSouth Power Point Standard Tungsten Grinder


    Yeah, yeah, a dedicated grinding wheel on your bench grinder would be cheaper. Whatever. Probably one of the best investments I've made on 'unnecessary' accessories.

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    I bought a https://store.cyberweld.com/midy210dxcps.html at the local brick and mortar welding store for $543 more than I could have bought the same unit online. Maybe a waste of $543, but it's a done deal now.

    For the other parts, I have this:

    Cart:
    https://store.cyberweld.com/mismruca30.html $561

    8 foot power cord:
    TBD

    Coolmate 1.3:
    https://store.cyberweld.com/mico13cosy30.html $676

    Coolant:
    https://store.cyberweld.com/lowconan.html 2 X $38

    Wireless Foot Control:
    https://store.cyberweld.com/miwifocosy30.html $671

    Torch:
    CK CK212SF FX TIG Torch Pkg 250A Flex, 12-1/2' SuperFlex $136

    Regulator/Flowmeter:
    https://store.cyberweld.com/mehrf14refl.html 2 X $115

    Furick Cups:
    https://furickcup.com/product/bbw-kit-with-cover-80/ $80
    https://furickcup.com/product/fupa-1...ss-with-cover/ $60
    https://furickcup.com/product/8-pro-cup/ $10
    https://furickcup.com/product/ally5-cup-for-920/ $25

    Furick cup for Ti:
    (Furick #16 BBW cup and Ti shield link needed)

    45V44 gas lens:
    hhttps://www.zoro.com/miller-electric-gas-lens-copper-brass-18-in-pk2-45v45/i/G4335825/ $11

    Collet bodies (size to match filler):
    https://thetoolcrate.com/products/ck...rd-collet-body $89

    to be continued...

  31. #31

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    Man, I hope you actually like building bikes after dropping all that coin.

    How does a collet body cost more than about 50 cents, btw? I finally replaced a 15 year old torch recently and the entire package (torch, full set of cups, gas lenses and collets for 4 different sizes of electrode, couple different length back caps, etc) was like $15. Maybe I should be pulling the collet bodies out and ebaying them!

    -Walt

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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    Man, I hope you actually like building bikes after dropping all that coin.

    How does a collet body cost more than about 50 cents, btw?

    -Walt
    I ought to like it. I have nothing else fun going on other than riding and working on my bikes.

    I had a hard time finding that link. I'm still not even sure what size fillers I will be starting off with.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by vadimhellbike View Post
    I'm still not even sure what size fillers I will be starting off with.
    Why are you concerned with filler size when getting collet bodies for your torch?

    -Walt

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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    Why are you concerned with filler size when getting collet bodies for your torch?

    -Walt
    Only now do I realize that I have been confusing the tungsten electrode with the filler, probably because they are both of the same shape (rods).

    Now that I think about it, I realize that the welder is, of course, holding the filler in his hand!

    TIG collets explained to newbies here at the 1:09 mark: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ODDD1XeBNU

    I will ramp up the pace of watching YouTube videos.

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