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Cheap 3 in 1 tig welder - any one used one?

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Ajohnw07/12/2016 21:35:40
3631 forum posts
160 photos

Xmas is coming and I'm being asked about presents. Initial thoughts were tig gear for my inverter but while looking around I noticed these.

**LINK**

Anyone bought and or used one? I'm not sure how the cutting aspect works as have never been near a plasma cutter. Some state air. No mention of what this one needs or maybe all are the same?

The inverter with it is more powerful than I need and more powerful than the one I have but does go down to rather low currents which from playing with an industrial one I feel is important.

John

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Paul Lousick07/12/2016 22:20:53
2071 forum posts
725 photos

Hi John,

I have a Rossi CT416 Tig/Stick/Plasma Cutter welder which is similar to the one in your link. (probably made in the same factory). The welder comes with a cheap TIG torch which is OK for hobby use. I have not used the TIG much because it requires pure Argon gas as a shield. (I also have a better quality MIG welder which uses Argon/CO2 gas for most of my welding. This gas burns away the tungsten tips in the TIG torch). Tungsten tips are not included with the welder and the welding mask provided was thrown in the bin.

The stick welding option produces a better weld than my old transformer welder. It is also much lighter to carry. I have replaced the electrode holder with a better version but the one supplied does work.

A compressed air supply is required for plasma cutting. The electric arc melts the metal and a jet of air blasts the molten metal away. There are lots of articles on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xT6MmwyLDKM

with reviews and operation of this type of multi-function welder. It is a relatively cheap and useful addition to a home workshop. Not sure how it would stand up to heavy work.

Paul.

Edited By Paul Lousick on 07/12/2016 22:27:56

Nicholas Farr07/12/2016 23:04:42
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3414 forum posts
1590 photos

Hi John, not used one of this type, it probably does what it designed to do, but with only a 60% duty cycle, you should be able to small welding jobs OK, but you will not be able to do a lot of welding in one period, i.e. if you weld for six continuous minutes, you will have to allow it to cool for four minutes to prevent it from over heating. In my opinion the price reflects its value.

Regards Nick.

charadam08/12/2016 00:07:22
185 forum posts
6 photos

John,

The spec says 22A input for MMA and 21A for TIG.

These are presumably maximums, but just wanted to draw your attention.

Ajohnw08/12/2016 00:16:53
3631 forum posts
160 photos

Thanks Paul. I found a couple of video's. One put it over as a load of crap due to faults that prevented it from working at all. The one you linked to and another with a green case was pretty positive.

I'm not too worried about the duty cycle. 6min in real terms is a lot of continuous welding. If it will run that long. In practice it may not flat out and may do better at lower currents.

Think I am going to be tempted. One problem though. Not sure if I have enough pieces of scrap steel about to try all modes out. Sounds like it may be difficult to find out which bits go with which part. One of the video's showed it working via a foot switch but I wonder if the paddle on the torch is the part that actually controls the gas.

I'm more of a stick welder really. My ancient hobby type transformer one hasn't been used for a long time and will have got wet and god knows what sitting in the garage. Due to that and as a need crops up now and again I bought an inverter a while ago but it's sat unused. I do need to do one job shortly that would be better done with tig to save chipping the residue off as it will be made of 10swg mesh. The main thing I found with stick welding is the need for a decent open circuit voltage to make it easier to strike the arc. I'd hope that the inverter types are some what better than many of the smaller transformer ones. The one I have isn't too bad. A number of people bought them but it's still tricky compared with the real thing.

I'm tempted to do a Jason and fabricate a steam engine. Stick should be fine for that but tig should mean no chipping away at the slag. The cutting ability might be useful too.

blushI think I still have a heavy extension lead some where that isn't on a reel. I melted the cable in the drum on one once because I didn't pull all of the lead out. That one hadn't a 100% rating either but wasn't being run flat out. I was using 1/16" electrodes. I still have loads of those in a box I bought a long time ago. Kept right next to the boiler.

John

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Martin W08/12/2016 00:49:07
921 forum posts
30 photos

John

Item listed as being in Germany but seller is registered in China and been selling since 2011.

We had plasma cutters in the workshop and they were very impressive, alright they were dedicated expensive units, but they cut through metals with surprising ease and had minimum cut width plus only a small area of local heating to the metal either side of the cut and quite a smooth cut. One fired the plasma arc up as soon as the trigger was pressed, quite impressive but somewhat risky in careless hands, but the other would only fire up when the head was in contact or very close to the work piece, I believe it had some sort of RF sensor that controlled the system.

Martin W

Neil Wyatt08/12/2016 10:01:56
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Moderator
19076 forum posts
736 photos
80 articles

Have you considered MIG? Less skill required compared to TIG (even I can do it - sort of!)

Ajohnw08/12/2016 10:02:03
3631 forum posts
160 photos

The currents should be peak not rms. From amazon questions people are running them on ordinary 3 pin plugs but I could switch to a 25amp plug and socket. I haven't worked the figures out but they quote the efficiency. Taking cut for instance 30amps at say 100v is 3kw 80% efficiency would up that and that could be a problem. I do know however that when an charger for EV's was designed to draw exactly 13 amp RMS the only plugs and sockets that would take it for extended periods were MK's. If they have changed I still have fine examples of Brit engineering on other things that don't need it. I'd have been happy with 80 amps on tig and stick. No idea what cutting needs but it seems it will cut 8mm.

I did notice that the company address is in China and item in Germany, or should be. Some of the sellers do have EU warehouses. Not sure how they arrange for this to work. Some don't and an email arrives saying no stock and etc and jam tomorrow with a longer delivery time. Just have to wait and see but I don't think they could make the delivery time they quote directly from China and I picked a listing that definitely showed stock. £199 including postage. As the bottom of the listing mentions tax being the buyers problem if shipped from China I added a note to the paypal payment - I wont pay tax etc. One thing for sure if it has to go back I wont pay the shipping costs. It's buy it now so ebay will look after that.

frownIf I look at the listing again I might find that all of them have mysteriously been sold. That's what happened last time I tried to buy something listed in the same way. It took a while to get a refund. Another was in the EU. It arrived on time but proved unsuitable. I was refunded eventually and they didn't collect the item so it was sold some months later.

John

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old Al08/12/2016 13:25:10
186 forum posts

If you want a TIG outfit, spend a little more and get one with an impulse start. Scratch start ones are not good. TIG is an art, but, with a bit (lot) of practice, you can get some really good results. Give 'Welders Warehouse' a ring.(on the internet somewhere). they have been very helfull to me.

I junked my mig for doing welding on models and the other thing i did was junk the non refillable gas bottles.Check the availability of gas in your area.

Cant do without my tig now.

Best of luck

Ajohnw08/12/2016 13:54:44
3631 forum posts
160 photos

I've already ordered it Al. If I can cope with my transformer stick welder 55v to strike should be like being in heaven on stick anyway.

Bit of a problem. How do I know what to buy in terms of bits and pieces for the torches. When I used TIG at work a long time ago I'm pretty sure that it used plain tungsten electrodes but then there are collets etc of different sizes and no idea of what will fit. Plus the parts for the cutting torch look to be completely different. I assume both fit the torch that is supplied with it.

As mentioned it doesn't seem to come with any tig electrodes so wondering what to order. It looks like there are some collets and some cutting torch parts but ???

John

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John Stevenson08/12/2016 14:27:05
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5068 forum posts
3 photos

You need to ask yourself

"Is it fit for purpose ? "

Or is it

" Fit for purse ? "

Neil Wyatt08/12/2016 14:36:58
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19076 forum posts
736 photos
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Or if you gorge yourself on dolphin blubber, ask yourself, "is it fat for porpoise?"

I'll get my coat...

Simon Williams 308/12/2016 15:24:02
662 forum posts
82 photos

I had one of these a while ago I bought out of curiosity to try plasma cutting. I thought it was the vicar's underwear until it got nicked. I bought a much fancier replacement so I could weld alluminium. and a dedicated plasma cutter, but for the money I think this is a brilliant idea for a Christmas present. Enjoy! Simon

Ajohnw08/12/2016 15:42:46
3631 forum posts
160 photos
Posted by John Stevenson on 08/12/2016 14:27:05:

You need to ask yourself

"Is it fit for purpose ? "

Or is it

" Fit for purse ? "

As it's unlikely to be used much - fit for both providing it works and sparks come out of the end.

I like the end of the mini review on youtube that Paul posted. Fit for DIY. I have all sorts of kit kicking about ranging from the cheapest to what might be called pro stuff. Much depends how much work it will have to do and how well it does it. Often there is no way of knowing if anything is any good without buying and trying. Other than this

They might just have got it right by now but I will look at the leads to see if they need help.
John
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Ajohnw08/12/2016 16:33:20
3631 forum posts
160 photos

Here's one cutting. There are a number of video's about some on problems

Seems to be more on the 416 than 316 which I assume is a more powerful version.

John

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Ajohnw09/12/2016 17:04:27
3631 forum posts
160 photos

I just had the tracking info arrive - on route from Hamburg. Makes a change because I wondered if it was one of those that mysteriously sell out and an email arrives saying they will ship one from China but I wont be paying tax and sorry etc.

John

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Ajohnw15/12/2016 19:45:17
3631 forum posts
160 photos

I'm back and it's arrived. No signs of the problems mentioned in the video. Wires look well attached to the torch and they don't look too bad generally. In fact the lot looks pretty neat really - how well it works is TBD and I haven't looked inside it yet or powered it up.

The gas connections are all tapered ones with "serrations". I thought they might be rigid plastic pipe push fit ones. I'll need to buy a quick fit type to connect my compressor.

The rating plate reckons it's 100% rated at 93 amps and the effective current draw flat out I assume at 120 amps is 13 amps equivalent. So about as much as can be put on a 13 amp plug really so in that respect just what I wanted.

It mentions earthing the unit via a screw type terminal on the case. Can't get my head round that unless it's for rf emissions or doing car body work. Think I saw >= 2.5 mm^2 mentioned.

I wont be running argon though it willingly unless I can fit a flow gauge to it some how. I had wondered about using the regulator that comes with it that I assume is primarily for cutting but max pressure is 10bar. I assume that is the input. The disposable bottles run at 60 odd and the refillable ones at 200 bar. I'm not sure if the simple regulators that screw onto the disposable bottles really regulate or are just flow restrictors. Anyone know ?

There are plenty of regulators with flow guages about but that leaves the problem of connecting a disposable bottle to one. There are also 1/4" ntp flow gauges about. I don't really want to fork out for a refillable at the moment as I may find that I hardly ever use it.

indecision Any ideas ? No problem using stick and a minor problem connecting air for cutting but argon looks to be a bit trickier - on the cheap and simple side of things.

John

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Muzzer15/12/2016 20:01:30
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2904 forum posts
448 photos

However you do it, argon will cost you. The best deal is probably the special arrangement that BOC has for hobby users. When I enquired in May this year, the rental costs were:

Argon
£73.54 / yr rental
£42.68 refill

Argoshield light:
£50.89 / yr rental
£34.87 refill

They are prices with VAT. PS they are for the large (X?) size, not noddy bottles.

I can give you the contact details for the application form if you like. I think you'll find these are pretty good prices.

For TIG you need pure argon (optionally with some helium). For MIG with steel (technically MAG) you really need some CO2 in there too although you can also use pure CO2. It's very unlikely you will do any aluminium MIG for various reasons.

Pretty sure the tiny bottle regulators are indeed regulators. Argon doesn't liquify so the pressure varies proportional to the amount in the bottle. You'd have appalling regulation with just a flow restrictor and if you tried to turn the gas off downstream you'd have an interesting back pressure to contend with.

Murray

Edited By Muzzer on 15/12/2016 20:02:31

peak415/12/2016 20:46:51
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1776 forum posts
193 photos

There's a fair number of rent free options these days, Just have a look with your favourite search engine for "Rent Free Welding Gas"

Muzzer15/12/2016 21:00:27
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2904 forum posts
448 photos

We've been through all of this before. There's a thread here.

These "rent free" deals don't give you something for nothing - you end up having to buy the bottle and the gas costs more.

Read through the thread, check the latest prices and make up your own mind. As I said, I think you'll find the BOC hobby deal is pretty attractive....

Murray

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