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The 210 or 180SD for race car chassis welding?

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  • INTP
    replied
    FWIW, I started with O/A welding in class and spent a fair amount of the semester doing just this. I have to say that it was time well spent. I don't use O/A to weld any more, but it was really good for learning to control the heat. Because of this my MIG got a LOT better, and TIG was a rather easy transition. I personally feel that I learned more about what welding is about from O/A than I would have if I had just focused on MIG, for example.

    Class time is time well spent (unless the instructor is REALLY bad).

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  • pdog
    replied
    Speaking to the instructor ahead of time is a really good idea. I just purchased a book called Welding Essentials Q&A. I saw some people on other boards recommending it and it looks pretty informative.

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  • fun4now
    replied
    class

    i'm shoure the instructor will let you focus on TIG or MIG after you get the baisics. a lot of people take theas classes to play in there garage not to start a new career. and the instructors(most ) know and are willing to help you lern your toy as the main intrest. you could go to the school and speek to the instructor ahead of time to make shoure.

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  • pdog
    replied
    And just when I thought I was set on the 210.

    Thanks INTP, I never really thought about the whole "mig weld may look nice, but how strong is the actual weld" side of it. That makes me a little nervous. I have migged before, and the welds held nice on the cage I did. The problem around here in central NJ is that I do not know of any welding classes I could take. I checked the 2 local votech schools, and they have a welding class (started in Sept but hopefully I can get in for the next semester).

    The program summary is as follows:

    Welding Basic/Advanced – OFC-OFW, SMAW, 6TAW and GMAW will be covered. The student will learn metals in general use today and the process best suited to the work.

    Not sure if this is a general welding class, or if you can specify the type of welding you would like to do. Probably general.

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  • INTP
    replied
    I'll give my impression of the why TIG is referred to as stronger than MIG. TIG, like OAW, makes it very easy to see the puddle, and therefore see that you are getting good fusion. (TIG has the advantage over OAW of a higher concentration of heat, which means a lower HAZ.) As you add filler, you can see very well that it's going into the puddle of the base metal, and not just sitting on top of it.

    And that leads me to MIG. It is possible, if you don't yet know how to see it, to make a MIG weld with very little fusion. The wire is constantly being fed into the puddle, but that isn't a guarantee that there is any fusion with the base metal. So it's possible to get a nice looking bead that really just sits on top of the base metal. Still, it is also possible to get a nice looking bead that has excellent fusion. And I would say that someone who really knows how to see the difference in a MIG weld, and has a good MIG welder, could make MIG welds with comparable strength to a TIG weld. Andy has some fine examples that he's posted in previous posts.

    The difference, as I see it, is that it's much easier to see the quality with TIG than with MIG. The difficulty in seeing fusion in the MIG weld certainly erodes one's confidence for critical applications.


    Having said that, I just happen to have the two machines you are considering. They are both great machines (for their power ratings). I'd drive a race car welded with either one (using mild steel), assuming the operator was skilled at the process. I'd even trust myself to do it. Having the choice in my garage, I'd probably use the MM210 because the number of welds and the time. In my experience MIG is several times faster than TIG, but that may depend fully on the weldor.

    I got my SD180 first, though, and if I had to choose one or the other again, I'd do it in the same order. The TIG is more flexible as far as what it can do, and other than speed and max power, it isn't a compromise at all.

    Finally, don't be daunted by the TIG learning curve. I did start with OAW, which makes the transition easier, but I really think that a person could learn TIG pretty easily. The only thing that is tricky, IMHO, is that you have three limbs working at the same time, which is more than the other processes. Take it slow, break it down, and it will come. Run beads without filler, and then you just have to worry about the torch and the pedal. The pedal movement will be minor at first, so you're really just focusing on the torch. Once you get that down, work on the pedal for controlling heat. When you have that, work on adding filler. A comfortable position is very helpful in the beginning, and I prefer a tall table with a tallish stool to sit on. It's like learning to drive a manual transmission, in that it's a little awkward at first, but becomes second nature with experience.

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  • cope
    replied
    Originally posted by pdog
    I will take your advice since your everyday work is what I plan on doing on a personal level. Your mention of a smaller gun for the mig, can you change guns on the Miller 210?

    I totally see what you mean regarding having to do more things at once with tig. There will be times you will be under the car welding and tig may be near impossible to perform.

    The MM210 comes withg a M 25 gun, and I am sure you could swap out for a M 15. Stay with one brand for all your guns if possible to allow use of the same consumables on both.

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  • pdog
    replied
    That looks well worth the $25.

    It looks like they also sell training videos, I wonder how good they are?

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  • fun4now
    replied
    student package

    might i sugjest you order the miller student package.It has some realy good TIG and MIG books in it and you also get a set of welding calculators for TIG,MIG, amd stick. I orderd it and was impresed with what you get, it is well werth the $25.00 shipping included. and you get a mail in coopon for a miller geens jacket with the purchas of a welder ,(verry nice jacket)All in all werth a lot more than $25.00, i atached a pic of what you get.

    here is a link to it but you can call miller and order over the phone if you want
    http://www.millerwelds.com/education/tools/

    good luck with your new welder and happy building
    Attached Files

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  • pdog
    replied
    I will take your advice since your everyday work is what I plan on doing on a personal level. Your mention of a smaller gun for the mig, can you change guns on the Miller 210?

    I totally see what you mean regarding having to do more things at once with tig. There will be times you will be under the car welding and tig may be near impossible to perform.

    Leave a comment:


  • Compchassis
    replied
    I would highly suggest that if you have never tig welded before that you not jump in the deep end with a brand new machine and try to build a car. Tig welding takes tons more patience than mig welding and is much more difficult, especially in hard to reach places. You have to remember, instead of just sticking a single gun in there and pulling the trigger, you now have to get both hands up there, a torch, a filler rod and your foot on the foot pedal and be able to operate it. You will spend more time sharpening your tungestens to start with than you will welding.

    Dont get me wrong, tig is a great thing, I own both a miller 200 wire welder and a miller 180SD tig and I build cars all day every day. The wire welder gets used 90% of the time. For small stuff, headers, moly and aluminum, the tig gets used, but for general welding and chassis fabrication, the mig is my choice.

    Also, a huge benefit to welding on chassis is to get a small gun for the mig welder. There are a lot of times you just cant get the big gun into tight spaces.

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  • HAWK
    replied
    pdog,

    The easiest explantion is by nature of the process. It is a fusion weld with filler added as needed.

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  • pdog
    replied
    Thanks Hawk. I was told that years ago but never really heard the explanation why.

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  • HAWK
    replied
    pdog,

    Welcome and good luck with the decision making process. Your assumption that a TIG weld (properly prepared and welded of course) is stonger than a MIG weld is correct.

    Leave a comment:


  • pdog
    replied
    I plan to be doing drag racing within the NHRA rules. As long as mild steel is used for the cage, mig is fine.

    The time to me is not an issue (this isn't going to be a profession for me).If a main hoop takes twice as long with tig, that is acceptable. I would think the tig weld would be stronger (or am I making an incorrect assumption?).

    I also believe that down the road the tig would allow me to do other things I hadn't even considered. As far as aluminum work, in my car would mostly be the dash and the rear floor kit along with the wheel tubs. I am not sure if most people weld this or maybe just rivet it together.

    It seems the tig is the way to go, even though I have never done it before. I am a quick learner, but I need to find the correct methods (either class or book) that will help me advance.

    Leave a comment:


  • fun4now
    replied
    andy coverd it

    tig will weld anything but is slower.
    if you can MIG all the metals you intend to use it will be faster for you..do you have to comlpy with any track roules on your car fab.?
    you seem to have power coverd.if you have the time TIG, if not MIG.

    MIG was invented for speed, not to be better than TIG just faster.TIG will give you a better weld with more aplications, just slower.

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