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  • MIG or TIG

    I am a pretty good welder, but never with TIG or on thin material and no formal training. I will be doing some small business maintenance; steel, aluminum, stainless, maybe even cast. TIG sounds like the way to go not having to buy spoolgun for MIG or change wire often and having stick. EconoTIG looks pretty good right? I am also thinking about doing stainless steel kitchen fabrication and might need to weld as thin as 22 or 24ga. What is thinest I can weld with 30A EconoTIG? Also, if I get into any type of fabrication, lets say 24ga to 0.125 316SS, what is actual speed advantage of MIG over TIG. Do I need a pulse welder for 24ga? Any recommendations are appreciated and cost is an issue.

  • #2
    umm i dont know the most about welders im still learning, but this is what ive been told for similar questions! when it comes to the EconoTig its best welding steel/stianless steel 1.2mm(.048") to 4.8mm(.186"), i believe the lowest it can go is 30 amps. so i think it cant go low enough? also ive been told thats its just "alright" welding aluminum since it runs AC "sinewave?" so your other choice could be a Syncrowave 180! its goes down to 10 amps AC and 7 amps DC! i think that would be perfect for what you want to do! its got "squarewave" so it would be much better in AC(?)! i really think you would be better with the Syncrowave 180!

    Mig is a much faster process than Tig! how much well it depends, bottomline Mig is faster! now you know you cant do 24g with the Econotig, and if you still even cant go that low with the Syncro 180(im pretty sure you can though) and a pulser would do the trick i think you can get an after market chip for the syncro 180 to pulse... blah blah blah...

    check with your local welding shop with prices. im was just looking at gettin the econotig or the syncrowave 180, and it turns out the syncro is ONLY $200 MORE! with that said its a much better welder its goin to be the welder im goin to get!

    now maybe some of you welder guys want to give me a thumbs up if any of this is right! sorry for blabbering on so much i think its all there though!


    • #3
      Thanks JWD. I'm learning too. I haven't yet found a table of recommended settings for various metals/thiknesses. Gotta be one somewhere. My first project is kitchen countertop. I have Kohler SS sink (just measured 0.042") and I want to weld into SS countertop.

      I didn't know you could get aftermarket chip to pulse the Syncro 180. I thought I would have to go Syncro 250DX to get that. Good information!

      So now I'm looking at Syncro 180 or Millermatic 210 w/spoolgun or Millermatic Pulser w/spoolgun.

      If I start building SS motorcycle trailers in my spare time (like I have spare time), am I going to regret buying a TIG? I just don't have a feel for the speed difference.


      • #4
        maybe ive been told wrong about the "pulse chip" check my other post on that!

        have you ever done tig and mig? i guess you have never done tig by what your getting at in terms of "speed" between the TIG and MIG process! im getting TIG because i want to learn and ive done MIG and i find its just too fast, so if im goin to be building small jet engines for my hobby! anyways i would like to TIG it just to get the nicest looking welds and well, this may sound crazy but just TO GET THE MOST TIME OUT OF THE WELDER and THE PROJECT!

        i guess over speed is probably the learning curve for you? i was told by Dan on another post I should expect a year to become "real good" on both AC and DC of TIG! i may be wrong but think of TIG welding as dabbing the filler one dab at a time along a line and MIG as just pushing the torch along that same line, well thats a bad example! have you ever seen someone TIG?

        one more option is the MILLERMATIC 251 with the PUSH+PULL thingy

        i dont know if you would regret getting TIG, im sure you can make trailers well you can always stick weld if you need to do real thick steel!

        got to go, ill be back


        • #5
          I have done MIG, but not TIG. When I was in college, we were building a cart for a SAE mini-baja contest. The frame was all T6 Al and I remember our welder asking everone to help find a MIG to borrow because he was never going to finish the frame in time using the TIG.

          Here in Arkansas, there is someone building trailers on every street corner. For the deer hunters to haul 4-wheeler I guess. I'm not interested in competing with them. I want to build a high-end motorcycle trailer to sell at mc rallies. These guys pay $25,000 - $50,000 for custom motorcycles and probably wouldn't bat an eye at $7,000 - $10,000 for a trick trailer. And my trip to the rally is suddenly a tax deduction. The trailers gotta be stainless tube and thats a lot of welding.

          My dellima is: If I don't do the trailers, I'll wish I had bought the TIG. (I think) If I do the trailers or some other production in the future, I'm probably going to wish I had the MIG.

          I've had jobs welding and I'm 44 yrs old. I'm not interested in more welding time. I want more money and more swimming pool with a beer time.


          • #6
            $7000-$10,000 thats pretty hefty ! well i dont know about this TIG speed thing im still in high school, and i just did a course called "Engineering", it was a great class we got to build a $1000 dollar electric kart(24 volt, 1hp motor), and have a hour long endurance race against other schools in our area on part of the indy track downtown ! to bad we we were beating the 3 time winners who had a 1.6hp motor, than we had tire trouble and the "race official" wouldnt let us race on flat. my patners uncle who is a REAL race official was just loosing it on the guy who having a nice little power trip with some good little teenagers who spent a year working for that race! **** next year better tires!
            anyways about the TIG thing a guy in my class TIG welded this aluminum frame in about 1/4 of the time it took my team to cover about the same area with MIG!

            well if you think you can get 7 to 10 for the trailer maybe you SHOULD get the MIG. it would probably be better if you want to sell it! and even with that kind of profit you can get a TIG if you need! well thats comin from a teenager who doesnt work or have any living expenses ! ill repost if you have any more questions, i just love to help others whenever i can !


            • #7
              Mig Or Tig


              Tough question. If you did not need AC for aluminum, you could lean toward a multiprocess machine like the ALT304/XMT304 and would have DC TIG, Add a feeder for MIG, and STICK all in one. When you toss in AC for aluminum, you are limited to TIG/STICK machines with AC/DC output. As for a pulser you'd be better off buying a machine that includes the pulse functions. An external pulser, like the PC300, is an expensive add on (something like 700.00). TIG is not a fast production process, but mig can be tough on the thin stuff. Just for fun: TIG will nicely weld 2 single edge razor blades together. Try that with a MIG and no telling how disappointed you'll be. Your answer may lie in 2 machines. Start with the most important one first-your maintenance work-perhaps a Dynasty 200 or the Syncrowave 180 or 250. Then if you get into production type trailers, check out a MillerMatic 210 or 251X running the standard torch or a spoolgun. You said cost is a factor, as is for most all of us including myself, still get all you can afford the first time. You almost never gain money on a trade in. Email or post what you end up doing. Either way you are going to end up with great equipment.


              • #8
                WRA........... Ah what a delima......... Let me mix it up a bit more consider the dynasty 200/300 series or the maxstar's for dc only..... You know I think if it were me I would head off to a local welding distributor or two....... Take those girls for a test weld......... Maybe even take some of the metal your going to be useing with you and try it........... After all when it all comes down to it...

                It is your hard earned cash and your the only one who can really decide on how to spend your money.............. Get what you know you need then if yuo have a little extra left over add on a few features, pulser maybe, or feeder maybe, multi process machines give lots of options as do inverters................

                Ah see just mentioning more options.........see ya.........Rock..
                [email protected]


                • #9
                  MIG OR TIG


                  After reading ROCK'S post and pouring some more thought into your situation I think the Dynasty may be your best choice. It gives you excellent TIG capabilities for all metals even aluminum. It may not be the fastest method if you end up doing trailers, but it will cover all the metals (including cast using the stick mode) and is extremely portable. My Maxstar 200 is the trick for stainless restaurant work and only draws about 22 amps at rated duty cycle on 230 volt 1 phase power. You may be able to charge more for tig welded trailers based on appearance of the welded joints. Tig welds are beautiful beads. However, how do increase your pool time without a production type machine such as the mig. Just more fuel on the fire-the ALT 304 is available with a built in gas valve for tig and offers the mig option for standard feeder or spool gun to use for production. All these machines (Dynasty, Maxstar, ALT 304) offer the Autoline circuitry for single and three phase input connections. TOUGH DECISIONS. TEST DRIVE THESE MACHINES IF POSSIBLE. GOOD LUCK!


                  • #10
                    I had pretty much decided on the Syncro 180. Now I've gotta look at the Dynasty. Let's face it, I can't keep up with everything I have going now. I don't have time to build trailers now. I can always build a couple with the TIG and if it turns into something, I'll simply buy a MIG if I need it.

                    HAWK, You say you are doing resturant work with the Maxstar. I assume that the improvement in weld quality outweighs the speed benifits of a MIG for you.


                    • #11
                      Let me put this to bed

                      DYNASTY 200!

                      Runs on 115-500V, Just plug it in anywhere and go. Nice for your maintenance job!
                      Has pulser built in.(DX model)
                      Can be used with an air cooled torch or water cooled with the Coolmate 3.
                      Would do a much better job on SS than MIG. If you are going to sell these trailers for $7K, a TIG weld will look like a million bucks over a MIG weld.



                      • #12
                        Tig Weld Benefits

                        HAWK, You say you are doing resturant work with the Maxstar. I assume that the improvement in weld quality outweighs the speed benefits of a MIG for you. [/B][/QUOTE]


                        Yes. Migged stainless flows well, but its not nearly as pretty and flush edges are a problem. Most all fit ups are butt welds.


                        • #13
                          Well I have a new Syncro 180 in the shop. Just couldn't afford the Dynasty. I haven't spent much time with it yet, but so far pretty happy.


                          • #14
                            Cool! The 180 syncro is a great machine!