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I need help choosing a TIG.

I have a Hobart Handler 135 and an Airforce 400 and am very pleased with both. I'm ready to buy a TIG machine. Most of what I weld is mild, stainless, and aluminum less than 0.25". The smaller machines can handle this stuff, but I occasionaly want to weld up to 3/8 aluminum like what's on the intake of my roadster. I'm not really ready to spend five grand on a 400amp Miller. If I chamfer the edges can I make multiple passes like you would with a MIG?

I'm currently looking at the Hobart Tigmate($1200). My local welding supply has a refurbished Miller Econotwin HF ($600 with torch, cables & Foot Control), they also have a Pro-Wave 185TSW($1600).

Thanks,
Kevin
 

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Tazz
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I would go with the Miller...good for what your talking about. I bought the small 110v Miller plasma cutter and I'm VERY satisfied with it.


Tazz


Rat Rods Rule!
 

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Yes, you can make multiple passes. No more than 150-200 amps would be fine for .250" aluminum. However, especially while welding thicker aluminum such as that, you need to preheat the aluminum to 500 degrees before welding it. Aluminum dissipates heat very quickly and that makes getting a puddle started difficult. Preheating it soaks the material first with heat and then it's easier to get a puddle started and to keep it going. You can do that with a cutting torch. It's best if you have a temperature marking pen so that you know when you have hit 500 degrees.

Steve
 

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Old technology welder - Miller 330 A-BP, rated over 500 amps for AC TIG. $300 on eBay last year. Close enough to pick up so no freight.
Can be done but usually takes a while.
 
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