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Tig Welder recommendation

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BOB BLACKSHAW13/05/2020 13:23:39
299 forum posts
64 photos

Can anyone recommend a Tig welder for light use and value for money please. When looking its a mine field and generally when I buy something I usually find a better product after. Basically it would be useful for re welding broken band saw blades that break on the weld and general light gauge. Any recommendations will be appreciated .

Bob

Edited By BOB BLACKSHAW on 13/05/2020 13:24:29

Dave Halford13/05/2020 13:43:12
742 forum posts
6 photos

Try looking on here link Bob

Simon Williams 313/05/2020 13:54:42
507 forum posts
80 photos

I'm a very happy customer of R-Tech in Gloucester.

Yer pays yer money and yer takes yer choice. The really cheap ones don't have HF start, so you start the arc by scratching the electrode on the work to get a connection, then withdrawing the electrode to the right distance to go welding. Easier said than done, and is a recipe for contravening rule no 1 "Don't contaminate the electrode with the weld metal"

The really really cheap ones don't have a gas control solenoid function either, so the gas is either on all the time or you have to rig up a switch and a solenoid to turn the gas on and off yourself. You can buy kits on line to adapt a MMA inverter welder to TIG - and it looks like a really economic way to do it. I suggest its false economy.

Learning to make good quality welds in TIG is firstly about cleanliness, but it's difficult enough without the handicaps of trying to work round the shortcomings of el cheapo equipment. The more so if you are a complete beginner and don't know what to expect.

If you look on their website R-Tech have some videos which cover the essentials. No I'm not on their payroll, or even furloughed - just a happy customer.

HTH Simon

Ian Parkin13/05/2020 13:55:37
avatar
785 forum posts
194 photos

Bob

i messed about with cheap inverter welders and scratch start tigs but after a while i spent £400 on a esab buddy tig

Its light weight if you need portable HF start and comes with everything you need to do MMA or tig (DC)

so no alloy welding

Best of all it makes me smile everytime i use it which i always feel makes a tool great

also you will get your money back almost when/if you sell it

Steviegtr13/05/2020 14:03:55
avatar
1228 forum posts
115 photos

I have a Thermal arc model 202 ac/dc. American, same as Esab. These are not cheap though. Are of a similar make to the R-tech. But if you are not going to do alloy, the a dc one will suffice. It is a bucket of worms. Go cheap as I have done twice & not had longevity from them. Or pay a bit more for quality. Also as said above idealy a HF start one so you can concentrate on the work in hand.

Steve.

BOB BLACKSHAW13/05/2020 15:42:45
299 forum posts
64 photos

Thanks for the replies, hoping that the cheap ones would be ok but nope go for a decent quality as said, will look at the esap and check out R-Tech.

Again thanks, Bob

Colin Heseltine13/05/2020 17:02:11
409 forum posts
110 photos

I am currently looking at a Tig welder but want to be able to do ally as well as steel. So needs to be AC/DC. I want a lightweight unit that I can easily move around. Jasic appear to have good reviews and they are in fact sold by BOC at their gas centres. The one I have looked at (Jasic Pro 200 AC/DC Mini Digital) is only 9Kg in weight and so is easy to move. It can spend most of its time sat on top of the MIG welder when not being used. Most of the dealers are selling at around £1285 on Ebay. Obviously need gas as well.

A aquaintance of mine is a Tig welder fabricator doing marine stuff down in Cornwall/Devon area. His work is absolutely stunning. If I can do even half as well as him I would be very pleased.

Colin

Jez13/05/2020 17:14:02
47 forum posts
1 photos

+1 for R-Tech. Excellent service too.

Joseph Noci 113/05/2020 18:41:13
671 forum posts
890 photos

Bob-

Tig welding of bandsaw blades mostly leads to heartache...The very localised hot line of weld ends up very brittle, inviting a re-break. The usual blade butt welders leave the blade in the same state, but said welders have an annealing function to bring the blade weld zone back to usefullness. You would need to anneal as well - gas torch flame, etc...

Some folk have good results silver-soldering blades.

Colin -Welding steel ( and stainless) with tig is quite easy with the small sub 10kg welders - depening on metal thickness and weld length. Its all a trade off - those machines have at best a 20%, maybe 30% duty cycle at mid-amperage range. For 1mm steel and a dozen weld runs exceeding 100mm, thats fine - @ 60 to 80amps, it will do well.

4mm steel, you might get away with a dozen 30mm welds @ 80 to 100amps - 120amps better

Aluminium @ 2mm, you need around 100amps min and fast travel - 6mm Aluminium you need around 150amps for good penetration, and those welders will at best do maybe 3 or 4 100mm welds - some I have tried died doing that..

Aluminium is a different game - you need lots of amps as the material conducts the heat away very fast. Pre-heating the job does help.

Some 2mm sheet bent into boxes and tig welded - no preheating, 140amps, travel around 5 to 8mm /second.

in Aluminium, going slower does not often help - the material conduscts all the heat away quickly, and then the job saturates, all gets very hot, and while you are taking you time at the weld face, the whole wall sags away..you cannot see when aluminium is about to melt!

Also, joints must be good and tight!

If you are serious about ease of use, lack of frustration ( welding aluminium will frustrate you enough, let not the welder do so as well!) - then don't buy 'cheap'...

Joe

weld joints.jpg

weld joints1.jpg

weld1.jpg

weld2.jpg

Steviegtr13/05/2020 18:53:21
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1228 forum posts
115 photos

Nice welding Joseph. Dare not show a sample of my ally welding. I am good at most kinds of welding & was brought up on oxy/acetylene. Made a few exhaust systems with mig & tig. But alloy. Yes very frustrating. I made a foot controller for mine so I could concentrate on my hand movement. That in itself takes time to get used to.

Steve.

Involute Curve13/05/2020 19:59:20
avatar
337 forum posts
107 photos

Parweld are nice, I sold my R-tech and replaced it with a XT 220 P AC/DC, has most of the bells and whistles, and comes with 3 year warranty, not had to use this yet but had good reports I now have a water cooler for one of them,  this is used to weld the swingarms on our race bikes with it some of its 8mm.

img_20200415_075245.jpg

Edited By Involute Curve on 13/05/2020 20:00:46

Dave T13/05/2020 21:10:22
42 forum posts
1 photos

Parweld XT 220 P AC/DC for me too

Dave T

Chris George13/05/2020 21:42:00
5 forum posts
1 photos

Everyone will have their own opinion of whats cheap, however I tried the cheap TIG inverter a few years ago, needless to say it serverd as a starting point and a learning exercise. Six months later I sold all the Cheap stuff and went for a R-Tech. Very happy with the upgrade.

John Olsen13/05/2020 21:43:39
1033 forum posts
86 photos
1 articles

Having got into Tig late last year, I would agree with those who suggest getting something more than just the minimal machine. There are a couple of reasons for this. Although you might start out with a few limited sorts of work in mind, once you start to realise the possibilities, you will want to do more. One aspect of this is aluminium welding...you may not need to do it right now, but if you are going to have a tig machine and a gas bottle, it would be a pity not to have the capability. The other thing is that as with any welding, as amateurs we are not doing it all the time, so tend not to build up the skills of the full time welder. So the more the machine can help, with features like HF start, the better. I've also found recently that a glass cup is nice, it lets me see better.

What I bought is a 200A machine that does AC and DC, with HF start and with pulse capability. It can also do MMA (stick) welding, as is usual for most machines. This is about as much current as you will be able to get on a single phase machine. The actual brand name is not likely to help you, but there is sure to be something similar available where you are. Actually I found a better manual for the same machine as mine on line under a different name. The one thing that it can't do that some similar machines can is vary the AC frequency...it can vary the pulse frequency but not the AC. But while that would be nice to have, I am getting by fine without that refinement.

John

IRT13/05/2020 22:41:12
95 forum posts
24 photos

I went with the R-tech TIG200DV-PD.

I cannot fault it, although as a novice I cannot compare it to anything else.

There have been a few times however, when I wish I had spent a little more and gone for an AC welder.

Spurry13/05/2020 23:10:21
193 forum posts
63 photos
Posted by Dave T on 13/05/2020 21:10:22:

Parweld XT 220 P AC/DC for me too

Dave T

Is it really a 220, Mr Google seems to prefer 202? Or am I not looking properly?

Thanks

Pete

Steviegtr14/05/2020 00:34:41
avatar
1228 forum posts
115 photos

Yes the parweld is a very good machine. Most of the parts on my Thermal arc are common with that machine. Mine badged as 202. Parweld as 220. It matters not. There are plenty of tig welding video's, but be careful as some are pushing a particular machine.????

Steve.

Ady114/05/2020 01:00:55
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3681 forum posts
514 photos

Still using my 80A Lidl inverter stick unit

Its seems to penetrate to a couple of mill with a 1.6 stick and welds steel to decent quality cast iron

I wouldn't use it for life or death stuff lol but for model engineering scale stuff it seems to be sufficient for glueing metal together

I've tried to justify getting a sooper dooper welder but it's been really reliable for doing basic jobs and I don't need high penetration for any of the stuff I do, at least not so far anyway

Kiwi Bloke14/05/2020 12:35:10
424 forum posts
1 photos

Consider the service back-up, spares availability and warranty. These considerations probably push you towards a big name, rather than an outfit that gets his oriental supplier to slap a fancy brand label on a device of unknowable provenance.

I think I made a mistake when I decided not to spend more on a AC/DC machine. Now I'm frustrated by not being able to glue ally bits together. I'm glad I bought a foot pedal and a box with (albeit simple) pulse operation.

The torch is very important, not least because it's the bit you wrestle with. My impression is that the torches that come with many machines are big and clumsy and obviously have to withstand full-current working (for a bit, depending on the duty cycle). If you're considering doing delicate work, Have a look at CK torches, and consider a wieldy low-current one, if you're not welding bridges together. Rapid Welding sell 'em (and everything else).

BOB BLACKSHAW14/05/2020 12:57:36
299 forum posts
64 photos

Thanks all, good points noted.

Bob

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