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Old 03-04-2010, 11:30 AM
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New Tig Welder

Ok Guy's I'm getting a new tig machine so that I can further enjoy my hobby! The million dollars question is which one Lol! As of right now I am looking at the Miller Maxstar 150. Anyone have any experience with this machine? Or should I say does anyone have any advice on what machine to buy? I need portability because I will also be using this for work.
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Old 03-05-2010, 08:24 PM
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I have a Miller ECONOTIG and is great I love it, more than enough for a starter, pretty good for stainless steel and aluminum jobs, I have even welded up cracked aluminum heads with it, you must preheat it a lot and use helium though to weld such a thick part but most regular jobs are done pretty well using argon, and is very easy to setup and operate, plus it can weld with regular stick electrodes, nice feature to weld cast iron with nickel electrodes because for regular steel jobs nothing beats my Miller 185 MIG machine.

buy the optional thumb control, it comes handy when working in odd positions where you can't reach to use the pedal.

Augusto.
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Old 03-05-2010, 10:08 PM
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Wow finally! Hey Augusto how do you like econo? Were you able to to do I understand that most can not afford such a toy and I want to be honest niether can I! I have had a bit of a windfall at work in which the powers that be have said what would it take (besidedes another Guy) to make you more efficiant! And I thought about a Mig but we have several in the district that I could use if I needed. I replied what if I wanted to weld all kinds of metals? And there was only one kind of welder that I wanted and that was a TIG! Now I sure would love to here any other experiances if any!
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Old 03-06-2010, 01:51 PM
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the beauty of the ECONOTIG is that for a beginer you don't have to deal with a lot of variables to calibrate the machine, just select polarity according to the metal to be welded, and then the amp range, in other words the max that the foot control will let flow to the torch, and that's all, start welding.

comes with a good video that guides you through all the setup and teaches the basiscs of welding.

It takes lots of practice to do a nice weld, specailly those that look like coins piled up, I can make them in steel and stainless steel but sometimes I screw up in aluminum, I have found that aluminum is the one that requieres more practice time, but my welds look quite good by now.

it takes some time to develop the rigth pulse to start the arc without sticking and damagin the point of the tungsten electrode.

the only drawback that I have found is that argon is quite expensive here, $240 for a large bottle, if it wasn't for that, I would of weld mostly anything with my TIG, so I reserve the TIG for stainless steel and aluminum only, I do most of the regular carbon steel welding jobs with my MIG because is very cheap, a large bottle of CO2 runs for $42 and a 15 kg roll of ER70S-6 wire cost $43, and they last a looong time. only special jobs where the welds must look very nice I make with the TIG.

For me I have the two best welders I could afford, the Miller ECONOTIG and the MILLERMATIC 185 MIG.
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Old 03-06-2010, 04:59 PM
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Wow you Augusto I was thinking the very same way! I love my Big but it simply does not cut it when you want to look at the weld! I have been thinking about putting a turbocharger on my 69 Pontiac Bird but Pontiac's simply do not have any Mfg. that offer off the shelf Turbocharger headers. So I have only one choice and that is to make a set myself! I just need a bit of practice and the way I look at it if a Guy can braze well he certainly can Tig weld, maybe? Lol! Practice makes perfect. How much gas do these welder's go through anyway?Sound's like a lot??
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Old 03-06-2010, 10:34 PM
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brazing and tig weld are very similar in a certain way, think of it like brazing with an electric flame.

welding headder tubes with a TIG welder is quite difficult, not the welding itself but making the tubes fit nearly perfect takes lots of time and patience, close fitting of the parts to be welded is part of the secret of a perfect TIG weld.

most of the time I weld headders with the MIG which allows large gaps to be fillead easily, I mean large up to 2mm (.080) gaps, more than that and you better scrap the tube and cut a new one.

perfect looking headders made of stainless steel are made with TIG only and the gaps need to be near zero, and for your turbo pontiac I would use stainless steel, turbo headders get a lot of heat beating.

lots of work but more than rewarding when finished. go ahead get your plastic card out of the wallet and finance the purchase, you will be glad you did, it's a nice toy.

btw, one thing I don't like of the econotig is that the torch becomes quite hot after some time welding, I wish I had a water cooled torch, but you can add one any time later.

about the gas, no they don't use that much, but it's expensive over here, don't know how much it costs in USA

Augusto.
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