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Shade tree fooling around....TIG experiment

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  • Shade tree fooling around....TIG experiment

    Today, just out of curiosity, I decided to try to do some stainless steel fusion (autogeneous, as some people call it) TIG with inputs from various machines I have to see if we could do it. I believe someone sells a setup that can be used with a stick welder to do TIG and I also know that, in the early days, pretty much all TIG was scratch start using DC. Anyway, what I did was use my old Miller Dial AC/DC dialarc turned way down (We tried in the neighborhood of 45 to about 90 amps), set it for DC negative and then put a tungsten in where a normal stick would usually go, but "choked up" so to speak with the pointed end only sticking out of the electrode holder about an inch or two. Since that setup wouldn't provide any shielding gas, I rolled a tank of 100% Argon into the shop, and hooked it up to a MIG machine. We used that setup to deliver the gas to the weld puddle two ways...one was for my buddy to hold the MIG gun, depress the trigger and aim the gas at the weld area. The other was to clamp the MIG gun down aimed at the weld area and then use another clamp to hold the trigger down so gas would flow. (I took the tension off of the drive rolls so no wirhe would be pushed through the MIG gun).

    Yeah, I can hear you guys saying right now..."BOY, those guys must have been REALLY BORED! That may be true, but it actually worked..and quite well. Both of us do some TIG and have only used HF for starts, but never have done scratch starts. I suppose all the "oldtimers" would call us spoiled, but it is what it is. Experimenting is one way a guy learns stuff. Next I guess we will have to try stick welding with a couple of car batteries, which I have heard can be done....hmmm...DC+.....DC-....hmmm.

    Anyway, does anyone know who it is that makes some kind of a TIG setup that uses a stick welder and a regulator/flowmeter setup to feed a TIG torch? Now I suppose I will have to try one of those. They say that curiosity killed the cat, but it hasn't killed this cat (so far). I have also heard that you can't teach an old dog new tricks, but I SAY that one way to keep from becoming an old dog is to just keep learning new tricks.
    Don J
    Reno, NV

    Never pick a fight with an old guy. Old guys are too smart to fight and get hurt. They'll just kill you and get it over with.

  • #2
    Miller makes high frequency boxes. Not sure if you need remote control, but if you add one of the remote control kits to the dialarc you could have a full TIG machine. Keep an eye on Craigslist and fleabay for 251 units.
    Con Fuse!
    Miller Dynasty 350
    Millermatic 350P
    -Spoolmatic 30A

    Hypertherm PowerMax 1000G3
    Miller Multimatic 200 - awesome portable MIG (and stick and TIG)
    Miller Maxstar 200DX - portable TIG and stick

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    • #3
      Yeah, a while back I thought about trying to make this into a machine I could use for TIG, but at the time it seemed to me that the old AC/DC (which mine is) that doesn't have HF would cost a fortune to make into a TIG machine and even then it wouldn't be a very good one. I have used Miller, Lincoln and ESAB TIG machines that have lots of controls for variables, foot controls, HF start or continuous for AC, liquid cooling, etc, etc... Yeah, I know that these fancy ones cost about half as much as my pickup truck, but it also seems to me that if a guy is patient, a decent used machine can be had at a somewhat reasonable price.

      Does anyone know how much it would take and what all would have to be added to my old non-HF dialarc AC/DC to make it into a TIG setup IF it is even possible? Would it be worth the expense and trouble VS just buying either a new machine or a good used one? If I had a TIG machine, a good bith of the use would be for aluminum....

      I would sure like to have a TIG machine of my own, but have a really hard time justifying the money compared to how much I would use it...
      Don J
      Reno, NV

      Never pick a fight with an old guy. Old guys are too smart to fight and get hurt. They'll just kill you and get it over with.

      Comment


      • #4
        You can put an air cooled tig torch on the dialarc and run it on DC (scratch start)
        I used to use an airco 200 amp transformer dc machine with the transformer primary running on 120 volts to cut the output down...we were tig welding stainless 18 ga and 16 ga restaurant equipment.... worked very well .

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by dondlhmn View Post
          I would sure like to have a TIG machine of my own, but have a really hard time justifying the money compared to how much I would use it...
          Never stopped me. With talk like that we're gonna have to kick you out of the club

          I see HF251 boxes all the time on either craigslist or ebay - search for "miller and 251" - you might find a good deal on an nice MIG machine on the way. There are two types, one that is for machines with a remote contactor, one for machines without. I think you can make either work.

          BTW, since the need for HF251s is pretty light (basically only people who already have Miller welders would look for one) you can find them at significant discounts. I know this because I searched for "251", and see something that shows up for under $500 (thinking its a great deal on a MIG).
          Con Fuse!
          Miller Dynasty 350
          Millermatic 350P
          -Spoolmatic 30A

          Hypertherm PowerMax 1000G3
          Miller Multimatic 200 - awesome portable MIG (and stick and TIG)
          Miller Maxstar 200DX - portable TIG and stick

          Comment


          • #6
            Don't know exactly what your asking? You can take an aircooled torch with a gas valve, a power block & your stick leads. Clamp the stinger to the power block with the other end of the stinger attached to the machines negative terminal. The work or ground lead goes from the positive terminal to the work. Gas hose to the power block. Now you have a dc scratch start tig set up with no remote amp control.
            MM250
            Trailblazer 250g
            22a feeder
            Lincoln ac/dc 225
            Victor O/A
            MM200 black face
            Whitney 30 ton hydraulic punch
            Lown 1/8x 36" power roller
            Arco roto-phase model M
            Vectrax 7x12 band saw
            Miller spectrum 875
            30a spoolgun w/wc-24
            Syncrowave 250
            RCCS-14

            Comment


            • #7
              I used scratch start, and basic dc machines for years to do tig work in daries and bakeries.......
              mike sr

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              • #8
                Pics and parts list for standard portable universal scratch-start setup.

                http://weldingweb.com/showthread.php?t=38106

                Comment


                • #9
                  yea that high freq. box is gonna run u about 920.00 plus tax on line plus taxes of course .. .. one for a trailblazr anyway..

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    HF Box

                    Those HF boxes have been around for a long time... besides the Miller HF251, Esab Heliarc made one and Century Welding made one and marketed it under several names.. Had a MonkeyWard branded Century one about 1968.. it came with a torch that clamped into a stinger for stick.. Here is a picture of one that I found on another site..
                    It was a bit of a kluge but worked pretty well..once you got used to it.. served until I got a real tig machine in the early 70's..
                    Attached Files
                    .

                    *******************************************
                    The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

                    “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

                    Buy the best tools you can afford.. Learn to use them to the best of your ability.. and take care of them...

                    My Blue Stuff:
                    Dynasty 350DX Tigrunner
                    Dynasty 200DX
                    Millermatic 350P w/25ft Alumapro & 30A
                    Millermatic 200

                    TONS of Non-Blue Equip, plus CNC Mill, Lathes & a Plasmacam w/ PowerMax-1000

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MMW View Post
                      Don't know exactly what your asking? You can take an aircooled torch with a gas valve, a power block & your stick leads. Clamp the stinger to the power block with the other end of the stinger attached to the machines negative terminal. The work or ground lead goes from the positive terminal to the work. Gas hose to the power block. Now you have a dc scratch start tig set up with no remote amp control.
                      First, who do we take that stuff you mentioned above from? Yes, I DO KNOW what I was asking. OK, just for you, here it is again...EXACTLY what I was asking is if anyone happens to know who makes a premade setup to do what we did in our experiment. The experiment WHICH WAS PRETTY MUCH WHAT you described in your post above in the quotes, but done with the stuff I happened to have lying about in the shop.
                      Don J
                      Reno, NV

                      Never pick a fight with an old guy. Old guys are too smart to fight and get hurt. They'll just kill you and get it over with.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Years ago, Sears sold a tig kit for their stick welders. It was a barrel that you held inside of your stick electrode holder. The barrel held the tungsten and had a nozzle, gas hose and a back cap. The kit also had a flowmeter for the argon and a HF generator.

                        With a switch the HF could be turned on, but after the arc was lit it could not be turned of. That is a function of your powersource.

                        I dont know how many of these kits were sold, but there may be some out there somewhere.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by dondlhmn View Post
                          First, who do we take that stuff you mentioned above from? Yes, I DO KNOW what I was asking. OK, just for you, here it is again...EXACTLY what I was asking is if anyone happens to know who makes a premade setup to do what we did in our experiment. The experiment WHICH WAS PRETTY MUCH WHAT you described in your post above in the quotes, but done with the stuff I happened to have lying about in the shop.
                          I meant to say I didn't know what you were asking. But now that you clarified the question which I'm reading as--where to buy a set-up for tigging from a stick machine? Answer is any LWS sells an air cooled tig torch with a valve & also will sell a power block that the tig torch screws into one side & the gas hose screws into the other side. If you don't have an LWS than any online welding supply such as arc-zone will have it also. These parts are made by Weldcraft as well as many other companies.
                          MM250
                          Trailblazer 250g
                          22a feeder
                          Lincoln ac/dc 225
                          Victor O/A
                          MM200 black face
                          Whitney 30 ton hydraulic punch
                          Lown 1/8x 36" power roller
                          Arco roto-phase model M
                          Vectrax 7x12 band saw
                          Miller spectrum 875
                          30a spoolgun w/wc-24
                          Syncrowave 250
                          RCCS-14

                          Comment

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