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  #46 (permalink)  
Old 02-17-2009, 02:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrmccabe
The reason for a cooler is not to lower the amperage. Its to cool the gun and allows you to have smaller welding cable (easier to maneuver) because the power line is run though the coolant hose.

Rich
I realize that the cooler does not reduce the amperage, but a tig above 200 amps creates a whole bunch more heat than the lower amperage machines, I have never had a cooler on anything under 200 amps, and no problems,, with heat,

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  #47 (permalink)  
Old 02-17-2009, 08:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by austntexan
When I flip the switch, the 'overheat indicator' comes on and stays on, fan on the unit is running, gas switch turns on then off.


Most likely the welder is simply bad and you need to exchange it. The unit I mentioned before is still going after 4 years now and it is used quite often but like a lot of HF items sometimes you will pick up a dud and it may be that is what has happened here. That little outfit is definitly a cheap way to learn the basics of TIG welding and quite a handy tool to have around, although the one you have now may have a problem that certainly is not true for all of them and even the big names can have a problem occasionally. Don't be discouraged by the inevitable "you get what you pay for" comments because for the price this is not a bad little machine at all and most likely the replacement will work just fine.





Bad Rat, did you notice that quote was from 4 years ago?
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  #48 (permalink)  
Old 02-17-2009, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldred
Bad Rat, did you notice that quote was from 4 years ago?
Story of my life,, day late and many dollors short,

sorry never looked at the date,,
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Old 02-17-2009, 01:29 PM
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Harbor Freight TIG

Thanks Oldred. Actually, I'm on my 3rd unit, my savings is quickly being routed to my gastank with the trips I'm making to get a solid unit, last one was obviously dropped and was missing a few items out of the box. I'm going to try an 8 ft version of the 3/12 chord tonight and see if dropoff might be the issue, then I'll make the trip in. . . again. Where's the best place to find an old Maxstar 140, that would be perfect for my application?

Thanks again, T
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Old 02-22-2009, 12:49 AM
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Tried it out today. . .

Fired up the HF tig tonight. I've never used one of these little inverters, what noise are they supposed to make, obviously this is quite different than the Synchro we use at the CC. . . . it's a sort of high pitched almost squeal? This noise intensifies when the amps are tuned up, and quiets down when the amps are reduced. Is this normal. Welded ok. Also, what the best way to strike an arc, the 'manual' talked about the 'lift start', I'm not sure how this is different than the scratch start? I'm touching the tungsten to the base, this triggers the pre flo, then I touch it again and it arcs, is there a better way?
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  #51 (permalink)  
Old 02-22-2009, 07:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by austntexan
Thanks Oldred. Actually, I'm on my 3rd unit, my savings is quickly being routed to my gastank with the trips I'm making to get a solid unit, last one was obviously dropped and was missing a few items out of the box. I'm going to try an 8 ft version of the 3/12 chord tonight and see if dropoff might be the issue, then I'll make the trip in. . . again. Where's the best place to find an old Maxstar 140, that would be perfect for my application?

Thanks again, T
Maybe this question is stupid, but have you checked your wiring to make sure you are feeding 110 to each side and not to only one side?

Just seems odd to me you have went thru 3 and they are all bad yet every other person has got a good one right from the gitgo.

This is how I would do it: 12/3 use the red and black to each leg and use the green to ground. Then I would connect the cord to my service panel making darn sure not to put both "hot" legs on the same "hot" leg in the panel, it will only get 120v IF it doesn't trip the breaker or burn up the welder.

disclaimer: I am not a licensed electrician and believe you should hire a licensed electrician to do your wiring. I am just telling how I would do it for myself.

Last edited by Old Fool; 02-22-2009 at 07:27 AM.
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Old 02-22-2009, 09:43 AM
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Check craigslist or ebay for decent used name brand machines I just picked up a maxstar 90 (which is a little small but will work for what i want it for) on ebay for $175 and it came with an High Frequency arc starter (have to fix that) And I know its way late but thanks to whoever posted that link for the tig torches, great prices
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  #53 (permalink)  
Old 02-22-2009, 10:24 AM
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That "squeal" is normal for that thing.
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Old 02-22-2009, 02:45 PM
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HF Tig Squeel and Wiring

Thanks Oldred, feel better about using it now. The internal gas solenoid was loose and I was leaking a good amount of argon. That fixed, the thing does a decent job and the gas turns on/off when it's supposed to.

Still working on getting the lift-arc coordinated. I'm just tapping the tungsten to the surface, that opens the gas, then i tap a second time to strike the arc, it works ok. I was reading the Maxstar 140 manual, which supposedly has a similar start process, recommends you hold torch on the base metal 1-2 seconds, then slowly lift and & it should arc, I'm not finding that to be the case with the HF Tig, but for $160 I guess it does a good enough job as is.

Old Fool, I probably wired the first one incorrectly, it was just clicking when I'd turn it on but the fan was working, I'm guessing it was only getting 110 from a single leg, the other two were wired correctly though, one had been dropped and was pretty bent up, the solenoid was in contact with the air louvers so I took that back, then next one turned on but it only showed 'overheat' and wouldn't arc at all, the fourth and final unit worked fine (except for the leaky gas line). According to the specs, it only pulls 18A at most, so I shouldn't get close to popping the breaker (hopefully).

I'm very green, but if I get a chance, I'll put up a vid on youtube of it in action. All in all, this should work great for practicing during the week. thanks again for revisiting this old post and helping me get this up and running.

Last edited by austntexan; 02-22-2009 at 02:47 PM. Reason: redundancy: extra word
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  #55 (permalink)  
Old 02-22-2009, 06:00 PM
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The welder that started this thread is still working just fine 3 1/2 years after he bought it and he has gotten pretty good with it. The limitations of this machine have been no problem for him and it has done various body repairs, a plans built motorcycle frame and untold numbers of mower repairs.
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