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Thread: What tig welding machine

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    Proparc is offline VSalonistas
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    Default What tig welding machine

    Alright all you tungsten contaminators!! Time to anti-up, as to what tig welding machine you use. Also, why did you buy it and what do you like\dislike about it. If there is some other machine you would like to have, include that too,(you know, that dream machine you want, but don't really need).

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    abbeyQ's Avatar
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    Default Re: What tig welding machine

    dynasty 200, although I would be just as happy with a good ol syncrowave. Every fab shop I've ever been in has one and they are pretty damn reliable. All that aside I have used a Lincoln precision tig 185 once and I thought it had wonderful low amperage control, better than any Miller machine I've ever used.

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    VertigoCycles's Avatar
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    Default Re: What tig welding machine

    Dynasty 200DX. There have been a few times when welding thick steel for tables that I wish it had more output, but I do so little work requiring that much heat that it's not a big deal. I wanted the AC capability should I decide to take up aluminum. You could save $$ by sticking with a DC machine. The price of the DX has gone up so much in the last six years that if I had to do it over again at current prices I might choose differently.
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    Default Re: What tig welding machine

    Syncrowave 250DX. If you've got the space. I can see the appeal of the smaller Dynasty's for confined working areas and transportability. Dynasty's work well too but cost a bit more.

    Syncrowave's are great except for one thing: If you don't get one of the new ones WITH the pulser built in, you won't really be able to pulse very well just by adding the pulser. I've been trying to use an old PC-300 with one of the newer machines and I just don't get the response I'm after but then the old pulser may be dying...works better on the older, smaller syncrowave 250's. If you really need to weld anything heavy, just switch it to stick mode and burn up some 3/32" 7018. Even the little Dynasty's do some nice stick...multi pass 3/4" plate anyone?

    You'll be kicking yourself if you buy a DC only machine.
    It's a lot of money to spend, might as well do it right the first time.

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    abbeyQ's Avatar
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    Default Re: What tig welding machine

    ever tried pulsing with your foot? once you get used to it your machine pulser becomes irrelevant for almost everything

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    crumpton is offline VSalonistas

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    Default Re: What tig welding machine

    Quote Originally Posted by abbeyQ View Post
    ever tried pulsing with your foot? once you get used to it your machine pulser becomes irrelevant for almost everything
    you cant be serious.
    Nick Crumpton
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    54ny77 is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: What tig welding machine


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    Default Re: What tig welding machine

    At work I use a Lincoln Squarewave 300. I like it because of its nice low end starting amperage (<3amps). It also has pulse but I don't use the pulse on bikes so it doesn't really matter to me but I have used it on other applications and it is very user friendly. I have also used the Syncrowave 250 for many years and find its performance comparable to the Lincoln Squarewave. Both machines are bombproof and have required minimal maintenance in the last decade of daily use. Both of these machines are monsters (big and heavy).

    At home I have a Miller Maxstar 200 SD. It is a really nice machine and I have used it on frames as well and it performed on par with both the Syncrowave and the Squarewave. This is an inverter machine and is only DC and has no pulse (they do make a built-in pulse option). It is about as big as a large breadbox, has a handle, weighs very little, is very portable and quite powerful. It also automatically adjusts to whatever voltage you have available as long as you use the right plug (I have a few adapters just for these situations). The duty cycle is dependent on the incoming voltage though I run it off of 240 at home and haven't had any issues welding up to 1/4" steel, if i were running it off of 110v then I would be hesitant to weld anything that thick.

    No real complaints on any of them except that the bigger ones are just really large and heavy and not too portable, but if you have the space and aren't gonna move them much they are fine.

    As far as pulse welding by pulsing your foot goes.... maybe for a couple of pulses but beyond that... shin-splints.

    If you need the pulse feature get a welder it built-in.
    Last edited by Tyler Evans; 05-18-2010 at 07:11 PM. Reason: model is the SD not the DX...

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    Default Re: What tig welding machine

    Quote Originally Posted by The Chothen One View Post
    At home I have a Miller Maxstar 200dx. It is a really nice machine and I have used it on frames as well and it performed on par with both the Syncrowave and the Squarewave. This is an inverter machine and is only DC and has no pulse (they do make a built-in pulse option). It is about as big as a large breadbox, has a handle, weighs very little, is very portable and quite .

    .
    do you mean the LX? I have the maxstar dx as well and it has pulse built in, I find that when the pulse is set at 150-200 pps its no different than welding with my squarewave (transformer based) but the puddle is much smoother. I think that people assume that the stack of dimes look comes from the pulser feature but i'll wager that if you ask the Maietta's and Chaneys and Strongs of the world that you will find that it comes from carefull filler rod control not a 3-5 pps setting

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    Default Re: What tig welding machine

    Quote Originally Posted by bellman View Post
    do you mean the LX? I have the maxstar dx as well and it has pulse built in, I find that when the pulse is set at 150-200 pps its no different than welding with my squarewave (transformer based) but the puddle is much smoother. I think that people assume that the stack of dimes look comes from the pulser feature but i'll wager that if you ask the Maietta's and Chaneys and Strongs of the world that you will find that it comes from carefull filler rod control not a 3-5 pps setting
    Whoops, I was away from home and didn't remember exactly... it actually the Maxstar SD, 2009 version. I'll edit my post accordingly thanks.

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    Proparc is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: What tig welding machine

    I use and absolutely love the Lincoln Squarewave 350. They just don't make them like that anymore!!!

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    Default Re: What tig welding machine

    Quote Originally Posted by abbeyQ View Post
    ever tried pulsing with your foot? once you get used to it your machine pulser becomes irrelevant for almost everything
    He's serious, I do it sometimes. I've seen tons of other guys do it, too. As long as you don't need anything more than one or two a second, you're good. Any more than that and I flip on the pulse. It's also handy when you want a few pulses and then you go back to steady amperage.
    Fwiw, the pulse function is not actually there to control bead cosmetics. It's used to retard heat buildup when welding thin materials, due to a reduced heat input cycle.That keeps .020" aluminum sheet from turning into a Pringle. It's also useful because it improves gap bridging ability, modulation of the weld pool, and increases arc stability. Using it to make your weld look nice is just a crutch.
    Eric Doswell, aka Edoz
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    Default Re: What tig welding machine

    yo i moved this thread to the frameforum atmo.

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    Default Re: What tig welding machine

    Miller Maxstar 150 STH. It's very very small, has built in pulsing, plenty power for framebuilding... and I'm not going to build with aluminum ever. One downside is that the pulsing isn't very adjustable, just a few presets, but I can't see messing with it too much anyway. I need to buy a flowmeter, and I'd like to try a gas lens too!

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    Default Re: What tig welding machine

    Quote Originally Posted by abbeyQ View Post
    ever tried pulsing with your foot? once you get used to it your machine pulser becomes irrelevant for almost everything
    this is true to a point.
    great for production welding and getting going fast.
    but it can get boring. the pulser challenges me to march in line and treat the material with a little more tlc.
    i like that. it's still important to temper the tlc with efficiency. and it's great for the thin stuff...which was already mentioned i'm sure.

    it's good to have options.
    the little maxstar's do a great job! ...but you're limited to steel. not that that's a bad thing. (oops and ti too)

    i've always wanted to mess with an aerowave. my understanding is that they're a bit more adjustable than the dynasty's.

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    Proparc is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: What tig welding machine

    One thing that has always interested me, is the almost unanimous use of Miller welders among bike builders. I almost never hear of "Old Red" being used by the bike building community. My guess is that, bike building is a very highly specific form of metal fabrication and Miller just happens to have the machines tube manglers need!!

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    kpaynter's Avatar
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    Default Re: What tig welding machine

    Quote Originally Posted by Proparc View Post
    One thing that has always interested me, is the almost unanimous use of Miller welders among bike builders. I almost never hear of "Old Red" being used by the bike building community. My guess is that, bike building is a very highly specific form of metal fabrication and Miller just happens to have the machines tube manglers need!!
    i've used lincoln and agree that the newer ones feel pretty good. i think it was miller that caught on to the whole squarewave technology first and aluminum welders liked it. at school i heard an old saying, "Miller in the shop, Lincoln in the field." ...bunch of old pipefitters. sounded like chevy vs. ford most of the time.

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    Default Re: What tig welding machine

    Quote Originally Posted by crumpton View Post
    you cant be serious.
    says the guy who builds bikes out of plastic :)

    The biggest drag to the machine pulser is the start and stop. I don't want the machine to pulse while I am waiting for the puddle to form or while I am backing off ever so slowly to prevent that crater at the end of the weld. I do use the machine pulse for long straight seems but I have never used one on a bike frame and I don't think I ever would. The manual mode is really nice for Aluminum, where it is nice to have the spike in amperage to help melt the filler. I am pretty sure that the bike biz uses the pulser in a completely different way than the people at Miller and Lincoln designed it for

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    Carl S's Avatar
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    Default Re: What tig welding machine

    I have an old Miller Syncrowave 250. I really like it. It's about 25 years old and is going strong. I've never had a problem with it. Before that I had a Maxstar and it was nice but I switched the the Sycrowave so I could weld aluminum. I also use a pulser. I weld all my steel with the pulser and titanium I switch back and forth depending on my mood, I don't use it when I weld aluminum. I can also foot pulse if I want. I think any welder worth their salt can weld with our without a pulser and foot pulse, that seems to be pretty basic stuff. This pulser yes/no debates pretty old. We all have different ways of doing things and whatever works is just fine. TIG welders all have different styles and their welds ultimately have different looks and that's the fun of it.
    Carl Strong
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    Linnaeus is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: What tig welding machine

    Quote Originally Posted by Proparc View Post
    One thing that has always interested me, is the almost unanimous use of Miller welders among bike builders.
    Airco here, but I'm not a pro, just a hobbyist. It's large and ancient (transformers), but it can do AC and has never done me wrong. Never owned a pulser.

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