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Topic Review (Newest First)
08-29-2012 08:26 PM
bentwings I use Ceriated electrodes for everything now. I grind to a sharp point then flatten the end very slightly. I use a cordless drill to spin them and turn very slowly so there are no grind marks. The inverter welders really like these. especially on aluminum. The Ceriated electrode is a little harder to start for the newbee but this is something you have to learn.

I do alum, 3 types of SS, mild steel and 4130 nearly every day and it is really great to only have to change electode sizes. It's really challenging to weld 1/4 in alum and switch to .019 SS within the same hour.
08-29-2012 08:43 AM
Augusto sure the econotig is not the best machine, but the price is good and makes acceptable jobs in most light situations, though I have even welded up a cracked head.

I don't like the torch withouth cooling, it gets too hot to handle even after a few minutes, that's what I would change the most.

.125 aluminum should get welded pretty well with the econotig.

For aluminum you need to prepare the electrode to a ball point, not a pencil tip, in order to do this you'll need a piece of copper, any copper scrap will do, I have this 2x2 inch piece of 1/8 thick copper stock, that I use for this task.

first off you grind the electrode to a tip, not very pointy, say 45 degrees is ok, then you strike an arc over the copper piece and keep the torch very straight up, don't move it, just keep the arc lit, a short arc is better, a nice ball point will melt and form in the tip of the electrode, now you are ready to start welding aluminum with it, remember you must do this in AC mode, the ball point will not form in DC mode.

Pencil tips are for welding steel and stainless steel only. and you grind them holding them up to the face of the grinding wheel, not the sides, if you don't grind them correctly the arc will jump to the sides and will not let you weld rigth.
08-28-2012 09:51 PM
red or blue welder.

I looked at new welders, and used. found a used miller syncro 250 with water cooler but it was all apart. I was there with cash, my truck with the lift gate, and said I had to weld with it first. to call me back when I could weld with I. . No return calls, then found a Lincoln 255 Sq wave with water cooler, and hand control, It's a good tig welder, for about 20% of new cost. the only thing I don't like is I have to disconnect the tig cables and bolt on the Arc stinger cable and CANNOT arc with High frequency. My Airco AC DC has plug in connectors, Hi freq, that I almost always have on, repairing a lot of rusty or painted Farm and construction equipment, after a while I think I need one of everything, lincoln ac buz box, Lincoln trailer mounted gasoline powered, suitcase mini wire feed, spool gun, etc.
08-28-2012 08:43 PM
monster76 remember most grinding wheels have aluminum oxide so in essence your not doing much with a grinding wheel other than removing material an leaving the same oxide layer you wanted to remove, another thing is try preheating the material you will see you will have easier starts and use less amperage at the same time
08-28-2012 08:32 PM
flamefront i'm trying to include image. This was the thickest i tried(.125) and the ugliest. Probably too thick for econotig. Dedicated stainless brush, non dedicated grinder wheel. ground green tungsten to a point.
08-28-2012 08:06 PM
flamefront thanks. will keep trying...the Econotig seems to work fine. Operator error i guess. Any experience with the orange tungsten?
08-28-2012 08:06 PM
monster76 i do not like the econo tig id rather spend money on a used syncrowave 250 than a new econo tig just my .02 its more of a hobby machine that good for steel and thin aluminum, my set up for tig is a bit different i have an old miller aead200le with a high frequency box and an air cooled torch that i scratch start i work mainly construction sites farmers fields repairing old heavy equipment and ag equip and implements , post a pic of your aluminum welds there is many things that can contribute to an ugly alum weld and you would be surprised what kind of things can contribute to an ugly weld. also tell us how you prep your electrode for aluminum and your typical arc length how gas flow filler material and metal prep
08-28-2012 07:53 PM
Augusto you need to weld alum in AC mode, use the green dot non toriated electrode, most of the time you'll have to use almost full power, pedal to the metal to start melting the aluminun, then ease off the heat, you should practice, practice and practice, it takes some time but I'm sure you'll end up loving welding aluminum with the econotig. I found the dipping of the rod the hardest part, this is what makes the weld look good.
08-27-2012 10:14 PM
flamefront I too have a Miller 185 and it just keeps working perfecto...Picked up an Econotig. Welds steel real nice, but my Alum welds look awful. anybody have a good class otn tig process they liked? thanks
03-15-2011 03:08 PM
Augusto old thread I found here but since I own a Econotig I decided to post that I'm very satisfyed with the machine, I've done most jobs I ever needed in the shop with it, I have even welded some cracked engine aluminum heads with it, I used helium to help penetrate this thick castings, of course the duty cycle must be kept low so the machine won't burn up, even titanium is easily welded with this machine.

the only task I haven't mastered with it yet is brazing, I found that a special rod is needed for this job but I can't get it over here.

In stick mode I love the way it starts and keeps the arc lit, I use this mode mostly for welding cast iron with nickel rods.

for the rest of the jobs I use a Miller 185 MIG welder that I really love, I'm a very satisfyed customer of Miller products.

just my 2cents.
07-17-2008 11:18 AM
Originally Posted by mike6845
to bad I recently picked up a 180 syncrowave otherwise I'd probably go for this one.

Yeah what a thing to get stuck with, we all should have such bad luck!
07-17-2008 10:41 AM
mike6845 Heads up on the Econotig's. Miller is introducing a new model for us hobbyists called the Diversion. It is a 165 amp stick and ac/dc tig which means you can do aluminum and weighs around 50# meaning it is an inverter type of welder. It is somewhere around $1400 if you shop around. It looks like a real winner, to bad I recently picked up a 180 syncrowave otherwise I'd probably go for this one.
07-15-2008 06:21 AM
scrimshaw Thanks again for the replies.

I have decided to take the advice and wait on it. Also I was able to do some tig last night with a Miller Dynasty DX and will be able to use it in the future. (Now I am dreaming about a Dynasty!)
07-14-2008 09:26 PM
Mike H I have used the TD inverter Mike is talking about is is pretty mean for a little machine but it is not cheap. The guy told me he gave around 2300.00 for his and I about fell over a little more and you could buy a base 250 Syncrowave and have a welder most of us would never catch the duty cycle on. I have a 180 Syncro. and an old Lincolin 300/300 and it will do anything you ask it to but sit down when you get the power bill. If I was going to buy new again I would look at the 185 Lincolin (it may be a 190 now but a few years ago it was a 185 squair wave) it has some of the features the 250 Miller does at just a little more than the 180 Miller.

Have fun with the new toy what ever you buy.
07-14-2008 08:27 AM
powerrodsmike I bought a minimally used one from a mobile welder guy who thought it was going to be a good thing for him to have, but he found it almost worthless and sold it to me for 200.00. IIRC it was in the 130 amp range.

I found the handle was big and got hot, the duty cycle was way too low to be of any use as any kind of production welder, it would have been an OK welder for sheet metal with a smaller water cooled torch, but there seemed to be no provision for a water solenoid.

As was stated before, welding aluminum would have been limited.

I used it on a couple of welding jobs but ultimatley found no reason to keep it. ( I do have a 300 amp Hobart square wave that does everything I need with no preoblems.) I sold it for 200.00 to a guy who uses it now on his kid's go-kart repairs.

He's all happy with it...I guess.

At least he hasn't asked for his money back. Hahahahah

A friend of mine recently bought a small thermal dynamics inverter tig...cutest thing I ever saw, carry it with one hand. I need to call him and see how he likes it.

Later, mikey
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