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Old 12-08-2005, 02:17 AM
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Mig or Tig

Hi Jon, Can You tell me the difference between Mig & Tig Welders & which would be better for home use?

Rgds Frank

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Old 12-08-2005, 03:47 AM
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Welcome to the Hotrodders Bulletin Board, frank speigel

I'm moving this discussion over to our "Garage - Tools" forum, where I'm sure more people will be able to see it.
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Old 12-08-2005, 07:36 AM
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welder

Frank,
A MIG will be better for your hobby use. You can buy a new Miller 210 for around $1,200 dollars that will weld most anything you need. The MIG is easier to learn to use than the TIG.
You can do a search online for info on the different processes.
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Old 12-13-2005, 01:06 AM
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Tig will weld everything and will make you a better welder. Lincoln makes a Ranger GXT that handles all processes including gouging. If you had a GXT, you'd be capable of welding on panels on up to fabricating your own battleship.
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Old 12-13-2005, 04:57 AM
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Frank... The type of machine you buy will depend on what you expect from it. If you are talking about just welding in patch panels and the like (under 3/16" materials), mainly steel, a Mig in the 120V range will do that. They are usually also capable of welding aluminum, when set-up right. If you will need to weld metal that is thicker than that, a 220V unit would be better suited. Both of those machines are available in the "under $1000 range". If you want to have better control, and be able to weld most anything, AND cost is not an object, a Tig is nice to have. They will cost in the $1500++ range.

Aaron
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Old 12-13-2005, 10:35 AM
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If you are limited to only one welder then MIG would be the better all-around choice. Also as adtkart already pointed out you will not need a big expensive outfit just to weld body panels or hobby type welding. A bigger welder is nice to have(that Miller 210 that was mentioned is a really good choice) but if it will never be used on anything over 1/8" it really is not necessary, depends a lot on what you intend to use it for.
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Old 12-13-2005, 11:07 AM
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For home use MIG is the only way to go. It is some what easy to learn and it will not cost a fortune to get set up. As I have always said "MIG will make a welder out of anybody."
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Old 12-14-2005, 12:27 AM
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Yeah if thats all he is doing is patch panels then yeah a mig will work fine. If on the other hand he is welding on anything structural, critical, or someone's safety depends on it, the mig process is useless to me at least. In terms of using a mig spool gun to weld aluminum, well it wouldn't be my aluminum.
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Old 12-14-2005, 01:47 AM
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Frank,

I have a Miller-matic 135 (110v) and it's really great for sheet metal and up to 1/8". It will weld up to 5/16 but you really need to bevel the edges and burn it in. This setup with bottle, helmut and gloves was around 700.00+- Mostly I do sheet metal work with it but anything heavy I use my friend 220V mig.

I have never TIG welded (but am going to learn someday) - but if I had had the money I would have bought a TIG instead. Millers comparable TIG (to the 135) starts around 1200.00

Simply put MIG welding produces slag which requires cleanup. TIG welding is much cleaner with little to no slag.

MIG welding is the easiest to learn - I heard Jesse James described it once as "pouring a weld" - TIG I am told takes a bit longer to learn
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Old 12-14-2005, 04:29 AM
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Rambo

I don't know what kind of Mig welding you are doint that produces "slag". You may get that using flux core wire, I don't know for sure, as I have never tried that stuff.

The Miller 135 is a good machine for sheetmetal and light work, in fact I plan on getting one to replace the old Craftsman that I have. The last shop I was at had one, and I liked it better than the Lincoln. If the weld areas are properly cleaned, and the machine is setup properly with gas, you can get really clean, strong welds.

One advantage to a Tig is that the welds can be worked to be very smooth. Since there is usually less filler added, the weld is basically parent metal. To me, that would be a stronger weld. On the other hand, I have never to my knowledge had one of my Mig welds fail.

I have not taken any actual welding classes since late 60's shop classes, and I can do it. We only had stick welders and torches back then. I figure that it can't be that hard to learn. If I can do it, I figure most anyone can, specially if they take some classes.

Aaron
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Old 12-14-2005, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adtkart
Rambo

I don't know what kind of Mig welding you are doint that produces "slag". You may get that using flux core wire, I don't know for sure, as I have never tried that stuff.

....
Aaron
Hi Aaron,

Nah it's not flux core - never use the stuff - I use argon/c02 gas for shielding. The "slag" or "spatter" I'm talking about is just a by product of wire feed welding - Especially when you are doing repairs on old car bodies.

Sometimes the wire feed speed or arc changes with MIG welding depending on operator and nozzle positions, and the condition of the metal you are welding to.

2 clean pieces of metal sitting flat on a bench won't produce much spatter...try MIG welding upside down underneath a car sometime...

There is products out there that you can spay in the nozzle called "Anti-Spatter Shield" but I have had only limited results and IMHO is not worth spending the extra money for it.

Last edited by Rambo_The_Dog; 12-14-2005 at 08:20 AM. Reason: speling errors
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Old 12-14-2005, 07:45 PM
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You don't say what exactly you will be working on, so I assume it will be cars because you're on this site. My neighbor graduated from body shop technical school 2 or 3 years ago.
He was in a class of 22 people and all they used was the millermatic 135 (110) volt for body work. I have used the miller sidekick, which is almost identical to the 135 according to the welding supply that sells them. I bought the 110 in the 1980"s, and I use it a lot for a hobbist, and I have never had to take it in for repairs. To get a weld to hold in one quarter inch steel you need to really hold it in there, you're weld won't be pretty but it will hold.
As for working on cars, frames and bodies the 135 would be an excellent choice as per my .02 cents
Rob
http://webpages.charter.net/2manitowoc
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Old 12-14-2005, 08:01 PM
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"2 clean pieces of metal sitting flat on a bench won't produce much spatter...try MIG welding upside down underneath a car sometime..."

Rambo.... This is not something new to me. I am a body tech, and have been working on cars since the late 60's.

Generally "slag" is ised as a reference to the "build-up" that has to be chipped off, from using a stick welder. A clean, properly prepped weld joint, welded with a properly set welder, if done right should have very little, if any spatter. I have actually seen Tig welding done with spatter, because the metal was not prepped properly.

Aaron
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Old 12-14-2005, 08:34 PM
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One thing that seems to be overlooked here is the portability of the little 110 machines. When used with the really small tanks these things are just plain handy, grab them by the handle and tote them anywhere they are needed. For body work they will do about anything necessary for the job and won't break the bank to buy one, even the name brands. If you plan to do more than just hobby type work then the larger machines are probably better but the 110 outfits do have a place and are often overlooked when they would actually work just fine.

I probably have harped too much about this but it works so good, especially for 110 outfits that I thought I would mention it again.

www.jwharris.com/images/twentygauge.pdf

Last edited by oldred; 12-14-2005 at 08:41 PM.
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Old 12-15-2005, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adtkart
"2 clean pieces of metal sitting flat on a bench won't produce much spatter...try MIG welding upside down underneath a car sometime..."

Rambo.... This is not something new to me. I am a body tech, and have been working on cars since the late 60's.

Generally "slag" is ised as a reference to the "build-up" that has to be chipped off, from using a stick welder. A clean, properly prepped weld joint, welded with a properly set welder, if done right should have very little, if any spatter. I have actually seen Tig welding done with spatter, because the metal was not prepped properly.

Aaron
Cool - you've worked on some nice cars in your time. Muscle cars when they were new...Ahhh those were the days...

I didn't mean my comments as derogatory - there are just times where its tough to contort your body, the pieces you are welding and the welding nozzle to get a nice spatter free weld (spatter is a more correct description - as you point out slag is more associated with stick welding)

I also think you are right in that a clean surface makes for a cleaner, stronger and overall better weld - regardless of the welding method.

oldred makes a great point to the 110v units although not as robust are much more practical for moving around a house or garage at home.

Thanks

Dan
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