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Need advice on upgrading my Tig welder so I can start welding aluminum

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  • Need advice on upgrading my Tig welder so I can start welding aluminum

    About six months ago, my father was kind enough to give me his old welder. It is a Miller Econotig. He told me the Tig didn’t work. Wouldn’t get hot and he just used the stick anyways.
    I took the pedal apart and the switch had fallen out of place. I put it back and, viola! Works!

    So, I’ve been trying to learn to Tig weld and when I’m not grinding my tungstens I’m actually starting to improve my skills welding steel.
    I love it. It’s fun. I mean, really fun. If I can make myself take the time to set up properly I can make decent welds.
    So, I decided to try aluminum. I knew it was gonna be harder, but didn’t think it would be this hard!
    I might be exaggerating, but a buddy told me that you can weld aluminum all day with the Econotig, but if I had a “square wave” machine it would be a lot less frustrating and easier to learn the unique characteristics of welding alumnum. He talked about frequency and pulse and oxide cleaning.

    I kinda understand that stuff, and it’s not exactly the advice I’m after.

    What i I need help with is finding a way to upgrade my machine.

    Is is there any way to trade in my Econotig for a better Tig welder, or will I have to sell it first, then get one?

    If so, how in the world do I find a value for it, and where could I sell it?

    Im not asking to go crazy, I just want a machine that has the same capabilities as the Econotig, but is a little more advanced for welding aluminum.

    I’ve been told the Lincoln Tig 200 is close to what I’m looking for and it’s priced at about $1,700.00.

    I can spend MAYBE 300 or 400 bucks towards a new machine, so that means I would need over $1000 for my Econotig, or I need to find another, more affordable upgrade.

    Is is this doable at all? Can I hope to stay within the aforementioned budget??

    any and all help, advice, and info is greatly appreciated. I would like to continue to learn and gain the ability to weld aluminum. If I can’t upgrade, I’ll keep trying with the rig I’ve got. I won’t give up, it’s too much fun and I want to be good at it too bad.

    i plan to update this post with pictures if that helps.

    Thanks for for reading my super long post, and thanks for any help.
    Last edited by Cookhx; 02-25-2019, 08:04 PM. Reason: Add info

  • #2
    I wanted to clarify that I don’t have to buy a new welder. I figured I would have to get a used one to be able to afford to upgrade from the Econotig.

    Any my suggestions and recommendations of machines is greatly appriciated.

    Thanks again

    Comment


    • #3
      Just my opinion,,,,,,, Get a used Lincoln square wave tig 175/185 or a Miller syncrowave 180. You should be able to buy one of these for what you could sell yours for plus a few hundred.
      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


      • #4
        What about a welder that isn’t a top brand such as Miller, Lincoln, or Hobart?
        If you go to a Home Depot, or Lowe’s, they have welders that Tig, stick, and plasma cut, with what seems to be all the bells and whistles you would ever need for presice arc control, and they are cheap!
        i know, you get what you pay for, but where there’s smoke, there’s fire, right?

        I think the brand on the machine I saw was Everlast.
        It had the ability to adjust pulse, frequency, balance, post abs pre flow, as well as programs for the 2T/4T switch. Pretty sure it’s a much more advanced machine than the old Econotig, and seems to be all I would need.

        Brand new cost is $1200.00

        thoughts.....

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by MMW View Post
          Just my opinion,,,,,,, Get a used Lincoln square wave tig 175/185 or a Miller syncrowave 180. You should be able to buy one of these for what you could sell yours for plus a few hundred.
          What is the Econotig worth, you think? About $1000?

          Comment


          • #6
            What's your trouble with welding aluminum on the econotig? I've never used one, but seems like for your level of experience it would do just fine.

            There's nothing magical about technology that's going to make you a better weldor. That's what practice is for. Aluminum was welded without all that fancy square wave this and that adjustment and whatever other doofloppies you can name for decades and decades.

            If you're having trouble welding aluminum, let's hear your specific welding troubles and maybe we can adjust your habits and improve your abilities. When welding aluminum, the normal things that go wrong with steel welding go really wrong with aluminum. Practice on aluminum will make you a better steel weldor too. So if it's aluminum you want to weld, practice on aluminum.

            Maybe you can get good at it and make some side cash to buy a bigger and badder machine.

            Comment


            • #7
              I still have my Econotig, but I will say if it's in really good shape, you'd be lucky to get a thousand out of it. Not many folks looking for a Econotig. I agree with Ryan, since you are new to aluminum tig, I would use the crap out of that machine and hone your skills. Youtube has a 25 minute instructional video that came with machine if bought new. If you haven't seen it, it could be beneficial to you. Check it out. https://youtu.be/ou9LwwnJhnI

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Metjunkie View Post
                I still have my Econotig, but I will say if it's in really good shape, you'd be lucky to get a thousand out of it. Not many folks looking for a Econotig. I agree with Ryan, since you are new to aluminum tig, I would use the crap out of that machine and hone your skills. Youtube has a 25 minute instructional video that came with machine if bought new. If you haven't seen it, it could be beneficial to you. Check it out. https://youtu.be/ou9LwwnJhnI
                Good video
                very concise and straightforward.

                www.facebook.com/outbackaluminumwelding
                Miller Dynasty 700...OH YEA BABY!!
                MM 350P...PULSE SPRAYIN' MONSTER
                Miller Dynasty 280 with AC independent expansion card
                Miller Dynasty 200 DX "Blue Lightning"

                Miller Bobcat 225 NT (what I began my present Biz with!)
                Miller 30-A Spoolgun
                Miller WC-115-A
                Miller Spectrum 300
                Miller 225 Thunderbolt (my first machine bought new 1980)
                Miller Digital Elite Titanium 9400

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ryanjones2150 View Post
                  What's your trouble with welding aluminum on the econotig? I've never used one, but seems like for your level of experience it would do just fine.

                  There's nothing magical about technology that's going to make you a better weldor. That's what practice is for. Aluminum was welded without all that fancy square wave this and that adjustment and whatever other doofloppies you can name for decades and decades.

                  If you're having trouble welding aluminum, let's hear your specific welding troubles and maybe we can adjust your habits and improve your abilities. When welding aluminum, the normal things that go wrong with steel welding go really wrong with aluminum. Practice on aluminum will make you a better steel weldor too. So if it's aluminum you want to weld, practice on aluminum.

                  Maybe you can get good at it and make some side cash to buy a bigger and badder machine.
                  Exactly. I fancier welder isn't going to suddenly make you an all star welder. Most of us probably learned on something basic like what you got.
                  www.silvercreekwelding.com

                  Miller Trailblazer 325 efi
                  Miller extreme 12vs
                  Thermal arc 186 ac/dc
                  Lincoln power wave 455m/stt with 10m dual feeder

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I would shy away from the Lincoln tig 200 they fail quite a bit

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Used econotig value. $400-600. If you sell it with the bottle another $125, lots of consumables maybe a little more. Older used 175/180/185 Miller/Lincoln tig around $1000 +or-. Again just my opinion. I would not buy anything but Miller or Lincoln. If you ever need parts they can be very hard to get on off brand machines plus resale value is way better.
                      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


                      • #12
                        But if you can't help yourself...….then only buy a Dynasty
                        People give stupid prices for them every day. Buy cheap and sell high

                        www.facebook.com/outbackaluminumwelding
                        Miller Dynasty 700...OH YEA BABY!!
                        MM 350P...PULSE SPRAYIN' MONSTER
                        Miller Dynasty 280 with AC independent expansion card
                        Miller Dynasty 200 DX "Blue Lightning"

                        Miller Bobcat 225 NT (what I began my present Biz with!)
                        Miller 30-A Spoolgun
                        Miller WC-115-A
                        Miller Spectrum 300
                        Miller 225 Thunderbolt (my first machine bought new 1980)
                        Miller Digital Elite Titanium 9400

                        Comment

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