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Any welders out there?

dklink2000

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#1
I’m looking at getting a welder for my shop. As a novice I’m not really sure as what to buy. If you had to pick one what would it be, MIG, or TIG? Thanks
 
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#2
I have mig, great for all types of steel, but you need tig for aluminum, I understand. Here is a good link for supplies. http://www.welding-direct.com/index.html
 

zero_it

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#3
A good starter welder would be a 110V MIG welder. They are cheap and easy to use. TIG is a bit more complicated and more expensive. If your'e serious about this, then go for a 220V MIG welder, you'll be able to do heavier/thicker stuff than with the 110V model.
 

zero_it

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#4
By the way.... welding aluminum does not require a TIG welder. With the correct wire and gas it can be done with a MIG welder. (My husband does it frequently!)
 

kawdude

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#5
Originally posted by zero_it
By the way.... welding aluminum does not require a TIG welder. With the correct wire and gas it can be done with a MIG welder. (My husband does it frequently!)
What is required to weld aluminum with a mig. What gas and what type of wire? Thanks!
 

WWR

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#6
I have a Hobart Handler 135 MIG, and it is awesome! You can get them new on Ebay for less than $400, and they come with all the gas accessories you need. Just need to go rent a CO2 or Argon bottle, and you are good to go.
 

Patman

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#7
Check out the web sites of some of the companies like Lincoln, Miller, etc... and it might help you decide. Harbor Freight has some good deals on auto darkening helmets and the misc tools you might need such as clamps, magnets, etc... Rich wanted a TIG unit so I picked up his unused MIG 135 with aluminum and stainless setups for a more than fair price. :worship:
 
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#8
Aluminum with a MIG will require the use of Argon sheilding gas. A teflon liner is helpful but not necessary, but w/o it you will have to keep your lead as straight as possible. MIG has a much eaiser learning curve but TIG is capable of welding almost all alloys. If it were me, I'd go with a 110v MIG to get started.
 

BSWIFT

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#9
Originally posted by Dennis Meyers
Aluminum with a MIG will require the use of Argon sheilding gas. A teflon liner is helpful but not necessary, but w/o it you will have to keep your lead as straight as possible. MIG has a much eaiser learning curve but TIG is capable of welding almost all alloys. If it were me, I'd go with a 110v MIG to get started.
I asked my brother-inlaw the same question(he is a Code Certified Welder) he said the exact same thing.
PS, I concur with Patman on supplies and such from Harbor Freight.
 
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#10
Originally posted by Dennis Meyers
Aluminum with a MIG will require the use of Argon sheilding gas. A teflon liner is helpful but not necessary, but w/o it you will have to keep your lead as straight as possible. MIG has a much eaiser learning curve but TIG is capable of welding almost all alloys. If it were me, I'd go with a 110v MIG to get started.
Good information. :thumb:

You can usually find used TIG machines for around $1,000 to $1,500. They usually come with a gas bottle, gauges, pedal and a torch. Like others have said, it is much harder to learn to use a TIG welder but, you can do a lot more with it. With a TIG you can weld aluminum, stainless, chrome moly, titanium, magnesium or mild steel. With a MIG you can weld aluminum and steel but, you have to change the wire spool and gas for different metals. On a TIG you simply change the dials.

A new TIG machine can cost from $2,500 up to about $4,000 once you buy all of the accessories.

On some of the 110V MIG welders they use a flux coated rod. They are good for quick little repairs but, they don't really give good penetration or a nice looking weld compared to a TIG. A 220V unit with a gas bottle will do a better job with better penetration than a flux coated rod type. Argon gas works good for aluminum and argon and CO2 mix is a good combination for welding different metals.

You might want to check at your local community college for some welding classes. That way you can use their machines to find out what will work best for you.

Just my $ .02

Ol'89r
 
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#11
As far as TIG goes, you can use a TIG torch with a built in gas valve hooked up to any stick welder. You'll need Hi-Frequency to weld Aluminum with AC but this set-up works well. As a matter of fact, this is the set-up I use at work to build ASME Code Vessels (along with a pulse MIG machine). The only drawback is you don't have a foot pedal or thumb throttle to control your heat. Otherwise this is an affordable alternative for someone interested in TIG. With that said, I'd still stick with MIG for starters. Good Luck!
 

kawdude

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#12
Excellent info. I currectly have a 220 mig and another very old stick welder. I definately will look into a setup for aluminum. Thanks!