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New TIG vs old TIG

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  • New TIG vs old TIG

    My guess is that HAWK has tons to say on this topic.

    I have an EconoTwin HF, older machine, transformer based with squarewave technology.

    There are none of the fancy controls on the machine to change duty cycle, pulse, frequency etc. In fact the only thing that my foot pedal does is start the HF.

    I can see big advantages to being able to adjust the weld current in mid-bead and I am sure that the other high-tech features help out my question is is it really worth spending the big bucks on a new machine with all the bells and whistles? Are the welds that superior?

    I have read about the new features and they seem real nice in theory but aluminum and steel were welded with excellent results before these high tech add ons were around.

    Is it still possible to weld solid beads on thin walled items such as mountain bike frames? It was done before...right?

    I may need to purchase a lighter inverter based machine in the future because of power/size/weight restrictions but would like to keep this one as long as possible. (I don't have 3k burning a hole in my pocket right now)

    If I get very good at the older machine will I have to relearn everything when I get a high-tech machine or will I be better because I did not have to rely on the other features?

    When starting a aluminum bead it takes a while to get the puddle but in the end, is it that big of a deal for the garage welder?

    I will be taking a course in November and I am sure that I will get to experience the latest technology. (The college replaces machines every two years)

    Comments appreciated.



  • #2
    collage replacement

    if the school repalces there machines every 2 years you might look into geting 1 of there 2 year old's you could find a real deal there and 2 years aint nothing on a good welder that has sat in a class room its hole life.
    thanks for the help
    hope i helped
    feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. [email protected]
    summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.


    • #3
      i would have to disagree with FUN .......i am involed with the welding program at the local voc school and every machine in that shop has gotten its *** kicked by one student or another.....

      i have seen people foget to turn on the watercooler....drop a hot piece of metal on the cords.......drop mig guns on the floor ect.

      plus the majority of colleges and schools auction that stuff off !

      but as far as learning goes......i learned on machines older then me (25) and they weld great then you go to a inverter and the welds are even better...... its all welding.......right ? kinda driving a vw bug compared to a vette.......still driving a car ?



      • #4

        Steve: No tons. Here's the basics:

        I learned on a Lincoln Ideal Arc. It is not even a squarewave machine. Sinewave is fine. It does not have all the frills, but I still love to weld with one when I get the chance. Nostalgia? Maybe. Good machine and good welds? Definitely.

        I prefer the Dynasty or even one of 40K+ VPPAW units. However, the Dynasty and comparable units are overboard for most people. They are nice to own and definitley have considerable features that make GTAW process is easier.

        If I had not learned on such a dinosaur, I would not appreciate todays inverter and VP technology as much as I do. Those starting with and learning on these new units have nothing for comparsion and a lack of appreciation for them by lack of experience. Twenty-five years from now the cycle will repeat many times, thanks to rapidly advancing technology, and this generation learning on invereters will look back and say the same thing.


        • #5
          I have to agree with Hawk on this one, i learned how to tig weld on an old dialarc 250 ac/dc, and even though it was a pain in the butt to use, now i've got the dynasty 200dx there are some things you have to learn but it's fun to try new things and when you know what your doing it makes it so much better. Well best of luck welding and good luck in your deceision.


          Dynasty 200DX
          Coolmate 3
          MM210 w/3035 spoolgun
          Cutmaster 101
          LC1230 12" Metal Cutting Saw


          • #6

            Thanks for the vote! It is a hard thing to understand if you have never used an older squarewave machine or ancient sinewave machine for a long time and then: The Dynasty and other great inverters!


            • #7
              better weld ?

              perhaps its not about a beter weld so much as less agravaiting.bells and whistels usualy arnt needed just make the ride nicer. my ponteac grand prie dosent have the bells and wistels that my mercades dose and they bolth get me to walmart.1 just uses more gas and looks cooler.
              i beleave hawk said he did anadized aluminum without having to remove the anadize first. i think that would fall into the bells and wistels collem, as the older welder would requier more prep.
              thanks for the help
              hope i helped
              feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. [email protected]
              summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.


              • #8

                Yes the pulser makes anodized much easier. Many people still use 100% helium and a Suncrowave 350 without pulsing. It depends on your needs and final results.


                • #9
                  I can say that; my Tig beginnings were on my Trailblazer and HF251. Got pretty good with that combo. I do agree the bells and whistles are nice and can make it easier, but I find myself using the engine drive most of the time due to being completely mobile. Like HAWK said, those of us that learned on sinewaves can really appreciate the newer technology!


                  • #10
                    That is good news then. By the sounds of it, if I get really good on this machine I will be excellent when I get a Dynasty.

                    Thanks for all the input.

                    Incidently, since I have be practicing on aluminum I have found out that I can no longer weld mild steel as well.....I guess it is time to practice mild steel once again.



                    • #11
                      Old is good!!

                      This is interesting because last year I joined a group of fellow car hobbyists in a series of community college welding courses. We learned on older, early 1980's vintage Miller, Airco (made by Miller) and "Red Brand" equipment. Even though many of these guys could afford the new "high-tech" inverter technology, to a man they all bought older transformer type welders. As far as I know, they are all very happy with their purchases and are very pleased with the results that they're getting.

                      I guess if they had to make a living with the machines they would have made different choices, but "old" still works very well.