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  • Wanna be TIG'r

    Ok, I'm a new poster here been lurking for a little while. I'm blessed with the fact that my wife understands my need to have a 40x60 shop in our back yard so I've finally gotten some room to play with the things I like! I grew up on a farm and farm some on my own still and have access to the equipment there for doing big stuff. I'm a mediocre MIG welder and I like tinkering with building metal things and aluminum is what I would like to master. I purchased a miller 211 MIG in Feb. with spoolmate 150 after getting talked down from a 225 from the local welding shop. I've very pleased with the performance and utility of that machine. I purchased it with the thought that I could add a TIG machine to the mix later. Well.... Now miller is offering the $700 discount on the Diversion 180 which could very well be a nice companion for my 211 and that's got me itchy to pull the trigger.... HOWEVER...
    I do a lot of research on stuff and when I look at the competition at that price point even with the discount, The Lincoln squarewave 200 and the ESAB 186i appear to beat the diversion in performance, options, and size??? Is there something I'm missing? I don't really care much about stick welding but I don't see having it as an option a negative?? Are all the options and adjustments detrimental to someone such as myself who's NEVER even held a TIG torch? An added unique situation for me is that I have to wear leg braces that keep my ankles fixed at a 90 degree position so I would guess a hand control would be a better option.

  • #2
    How heavy is your anticipated aluminum work? It it's of any significant thickness, you're going to need a pretty robust machine with a good duty cycle. I don't think that is the Diversion. I can't speak to the other ones you listed but I'm sure there are folks here who can.
    Last edited by Aeronca41; 12-22-2017, 03:14 PM.

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    • #3
      HERE is a previous thread on this machine, for more do a search of Diversion 180
      Richard

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Aeronca41 View Post
        How heavy is your anticipated aluminum work? It it's of any significant thickness, you're going to need a pretty robust machine with a good duty cycle. I don't think that is the Diversion. I can't speak to the other ones you listed but I'm sure there are folks here who can.
        I figured my 211 with the spoolmate would do the heavy work for the thicker aluminum and then I could TIG thinner stuff with the Diversion was my original plan. I guess I maybe need to get my feet wet and see if I can actually TIG weld especially with my limited mobility in my ankles.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Ltbadd View Post
          HERE is a previous thread on this machine, for more do a search of Diversion 180
          Thank you for that link. I guess I started a new thread because I have unique issues and also wanted to speak specifically with the comparison to the competition.

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          • #6
            I would figure out a way to use a foot pedal. Maybe use your heel to press down on it. I am no good at the finger control, but some guys are wizards at it. It seems that so many people start out in tig welding aluminum get the more budget friendly machines like the diversion. Those same people also outgrow them in short order. I believe the majority of the recommendations you'll get will be to pass on the diversion and move in to something more robust. As for the competition, I can't speak for most of them. Don't rule out the used market. Lots of places and individuals moving to inverter based machines and letting go of older, transformer type machines. Keep an eye out for a good deal and jump on it.

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            • #7
              When are we going to get voice-activated welding machines like they surely have on the Enterprise?

              "Computer, lower output by 5 amps." "Working!"

              "Computer, execute amperage ramp down maneuver Mac45!" "Working!"

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              • #8
                Computer, get that job tacked and welded before I get back, or I'll format you!!
                Richard

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sled208 View Post
                  Ok, I'm a new poster here been lurking for a little while. I'm blessed with the fact that my wife understands my need to have a 40x60 shop in our back yard so I've finally gotten some room to play with the things I like! I grew up on a farm and farm some on my own still and have access to the equipment there for doing big stuff. I'm a mediocre MIG welder and I like tinkering with building metal things and aluminum is what I would like to master. I purchased a miller 211 MIG in Feb. with spoolmate 150 after getting talked down from a 225 from the local welding shop. I've very pleased with the performance and utility of that machine. I purchased it with the thought that I could add a TIG machine to the mix later. Well.... Now miller is offering the $700 discount on the Diversion 180 which could very well be a nice companion for my 211 and that's got me itchy to pull the trigger.... HOWEVER...
                  I do a lot of research on stuff and when I look at the competition at that price point even with the discount, The Lincoln squarewave 200 and the ESAB 186i appear to beat the diversion in performance, options, and size??? Is there something I'm missing? I don't really care much about stick welding but I don't see having it as an option a negative?? Are all the options and adjustments detrimental to someone such as myself who's NEVER even held a TIG torch? An added unique situation for me is that I have to wear leg braces that keep my ankles fixed at a 90 degree position so I would guess a hand control would be a better option.
                  I've been very satisfied with my 8 year old Diversion 165 for all of my hobby needs, so suggest you give that 180 a shot. My 165 came with a torch that has an on/off switch, along with a potentiometer to control amps. Since the machine didn't come with a foot pedal, and since the hand controls felt clumsy to use, I made my own pedal (attached link).

                  I just went to the garage to see if I could operate the pedal by a sideways movement of my foot when the pedal is lying on its side, and found it simple to use in that position. I'm wondering, if a sideways movement of your foot is a possibility for you to consider, or pedal could be operated by sidewise movement of your knee, as done with some sewing machines. I would be happy to make a pedal for you, if you cannot find one suitable for your needs.

                  A couple weeks ago I had a small tig job to do, so just used the hand controls, rather than use the pedal. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the hand controls no longer felt clumsy to use, so I guess my acumen with the pedal has provided some transference of the skill to hand control, but I still would rather use the pedal.
                   
                  Last edited by Goodhand; 12-26-2017, 09:18 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Goodhand View Post

                    I've been very satisfied with my 8 year old Diversion 165 for all of my hobby needs, so suggest you give that 180 a shot. My 165 came with a torch that has an on/off switch, along with a potentiometer to control amps. Since the machine didn't come with a foot pedal, and since the hand controls felt clumsy to use, I made my own pedal (attached link).

                    I just went to the garage to see if I could operate the pedal by a sideways movement of my foot when the pedal is lying on its side, and found it simple to use in that position. I'm wondering, if a sideways movement of your foot is a possibility for you to consider, or pedal could be operated by sidewise movement of your knee, as done with some sewing machines. I would be happy to make a pedal for you, if you cannot find one suitable for your needs.

                    A couple weeks ago I had a small tig job to do, so just used the hand controls, rather than use the pedal. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the hand controls no longer felt clumsy to use, so I guess my acumen with the pedal has provided some transference of the skill to hand control, but I still would rather use the pedal.

                    That is a really interesting pedal you built and I appreciate the offer!! I did not end up purchasing a diversion 180 because I couldn't convince myself that it was the right rig for me. I look occasionally for welders on ebay and craigslist and I missed a nearly new synchrowave 210 for $1,500. I had customers walk into my office and by the time I was able to look at it again it had sold The more I look at that machine, the more I like it. It has a lot of flexibility. If for some reason the ability to learn to TIG welding eludes me, it still will run the spoolmate 150 and MIG aluminum with it rather than switching bottles on my current MIG welder.

                    Is there any reason to NOT get a transformer machine instead of an inverter?

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                    • #11
                      I have inverter machines in my arsenal but I prefer to use the transformer based ones unless there is some reason I think I need to increase the arc frequency for some aluminum work.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Sled208 View Post

                        If for some reason the ability to learn to TIG welding eludes me, it still will run the spoolmate 150 and MIG aluminum with it rather than switching bottles on my current MIG welder.
                        I hope you don't have to pass up TIG... it is the most rewarding method of welding that I've found. The only thing that compares to it is acetylene brazing or welding. Those methods are the only ones that don't spew weld spatter all over the place, burning hols into clothing and shoes... a hot piece of slag between the toes will make you yell, "Oh shift," but you can't pull the shoe off fast enough to give any relief. No need to worry about a painful slag burn when tigging. I'm an inventor/gadgeteer/fabricator, and would be lost without the ability to TIG.

                        BTW, I have foot drop on my TIG pedal foot, but am able to use the pedal, anyway.
                        Last edited by Goodhand; 01-09-2018, 10:16 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Sled208 View Post


                          That is a really interesting pedal you built and I appreciate the offer!! I did not end up purchasing a diversion 180 because I couldn't convince myself that it was the right rig for me. I look occasionally for welders on ebay and craigslist and I missed a nearly new synchrowave 210 for $1,500. I had customers walk into my office and by the time I was able to look at it again it had sold The more I look at that machine, the more I like it. It has a lot of flexibility. If for some reason the ability to learn to TIG welding eludes me, it still will run the spoolmate 150 and MIG aluminum with it rather than switching bottles on my current MIG welder.

                          Is there any reason to NOT get a transformer machine instead of an inverter?
                          Your last sentence i would say no for most unless you're doing alot of aluminum where the inverter has more control depending on machine and I would think a 180 200 would be marginal with little adjustments where a machine like a dynasty can put the heat where you want it, I've done some nice repairs on castings with the dynasty 200 that would have taken a lot more post weld clean up with time and amps had I just welded it at 60hz on square wave, got to have the power to run a good transformer and as much as I like the inverters given a choice if I had to have one more machine for the rest of my life a dynasty 280 or 400 or Lincoln presicion tig 275 or 375 I would go transformer

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                          • #14
                            Aluminum is my ultimate preferred media to work with so an inverter is better at that material? I'm not even close to being educated on these

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                            • #15
                              Not necessarily, it just has more features. Majority of my work in aluminum is done with a transformer machine, even though I have the inverter sitting right next to me. I prefer the arc on the transformer machine. If you're looking in the used market, it is more likely and affordable to look at older transformer machines. Excellent aluminum work has been done with those machines for a long, long time.

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