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First Welder - Yes Welder???

Six O Two

(Marco)
One thing nobody's mentioned is that the YesWelder and multiprocess welders of that type say they do TIG, but it's only 'lift-arc TIG', which isn't ideal imho. If you really want to be proficient with TIG, and especially do low-amp thin metal welding, you really want a high-frequency start machine.
 

PeterT

Ultra Member
Premium Member
Nope, take Miller for example, of the entire current lineup only 3 have Ac tig, they have at least 7 others that don't, for example cst's, maxstar's, xmt's, multimatics, Bobcats, trailblazers, big blue's + the legacy machines

Good to know, thanks. I guess like most things - never assume.
Well AC for aluminum was on my personal check list when the time comes.
 

phaxtris

(Ryan)
Premium Member
Premium Member
One thing nobody's mentioned is that the YesWelder and multiprocess welders of that type say they do TIG, but it's only 'lift-arc TIG', which isn't ideal imho. If you really want to be proficient with TIG, and especially do low-amp thin metal welding, you really want a high-frequency start machine.

Lift arc works fine, very fine Tig the arc start with high freq can actually be to hot, years ago a production shop I worked in did runs of ss heat exchangers for GD, autogenous edge welding of 24g formed fins, had to set the syncrowaves to lift arc because the high freq would burn away to much on start. Average weld current was 6 amps

This is from one of my reoccuring Tig jobs, I do it with a maxstar, lift arc, high freq is nice, but lift arc works just fine, I wouldn't pay a bunch extra just to get high freq

IMG_20220730_101723_029.jpg
 

Six O Two

(Marco)
I'm a pretty poor hobby welder with aspirations of one day being somewhat better, ha. Many years ago I bought an Everlast TIG welder (which does ac/dc welding, and stick). I've been very happy with it so far, but TIG is pretty fussy and not the best for quickly fabbing up stuff in the home shop IME - Everything needs to be so clean... So I started looking at buying a MIG machine as well.

I started with a used 120v Mastercraft machine. It was ok, but I didn't find the voltage settings gave me enough adjustment, and more annoyingly it would trip a breaker a couple of times every session (even on a 30 amp circuit).
I currently have 220 in the shop, so I started looking at MIG machines which could take either 120v or 220v. I was leaning towards Lincoln, but their lower end units don't allow for this. I had shortlisted Everlast and Primeweld machines but I started to think that if I was going to go for lower end Chinese machines, I might as well go all in and go for the cheapest machine I could find. I ended up choosing this one from vevor (when I bought it in late May, it was $370. Now it's at $417). So far, I've been happy with it. It's done everything I've needed it to, which admittedly isn't a lot, but it's worked for me. YMMV.
 
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Six O Two

(Marco)
... had to set the syncrowaves to lift arc because the high freq would burn away to much on start. Average weld current was 6 amps

This is from one of my reoccuring Tig jobs, I do it with a maxstar, ...

Beautiful work! 6 amps, wow. One of the complaints I've read of the chinese Inverter machines is that they're not very precise at low amps. I can't say I've ever had an opportunity to test that out myself...

I first learned to TIG on a Maxstar, a 200DX iirc. That was a sweet machine. If I didn't have dreams of one day TIG'ing aluminum, I totally would've bought one.
 

Degen

Ultra Member
Premium Member
To be fair I'm not a trained welder by any means, but I have cut some of my welds in half and the penetration was good.

I only speak from experience.

I'd listen to the advise of @phaxtris in terms of what works and what doesn't.

For me I found MIG extremely easy, compared to the limited stick Which was extremely difficult to master. TIG I found was an easy transition as you could control penetration and puddle.
 

JReimer

Member
This has all been illuminating and slightly confusing. I really appreciate all the comments and it feels like finding which welder to go with is a little like going to a car form and asking which truck brand is better. But I do have more clarity so keep it coming.

I start getting annoyed when I look more into the cheap import because I am sure they are all made in the same factory with different branding. then I need to dig into the literature to find out that the one comes with a 2 foot power cord. I am sure there are good things out there on all the machines but trying to find the right combination of what are the essential gets tiring, if you can even find the stats in the literature.

Just by the standard big name brand and pay more (although they probably are from the same factory too for their low end machines), at least you get a decent warranty.
 

phaxtris

(Ryan)
Premium Member
Premium Member
@Degen thanks :)

For a starter welder, you can't go wrong with any 200a 3in1, the ability to have all the major processes in one box is really awesome, MIG is going to be the go to at first for sure, so get yourself a MIG mix bottle, and later on as the funds and desire leads you to Tig, grab an argon bottle

And for steel, 200a is all you will ever need in a garage (Ac Tig not included
 

phaxtris

(Ryan)
Premium Member
Premium Member
Beautiful work! 6 amps, wow. One of the complaints I've read of the chinese Inverter machines is that they're not very precise at low amps. I can't say I've ever had an opportunity to test that out myself...

I first learned to TIG on a Maxstar, a 200DX iirc. That was a sweet machine. If I didn't have dreams of one day TIG'ing aluminum, I totally would've bought one.

Thanks, it comes up once or twice a month, 20 of those washers + vacuum ports a time, nice little Saturday morning gig

I wouldnt worry to much about the super low amperage capabilities of your machine...I did many of them but it was an unusual job, I had someone watch the display to see the amperage, that's how out of the ordinary it was

The maxstar's are nice machines, my little 150 usually gets some looks from people who don't know, "what are you gonna' weld with that ?!" Is usual the sentiment....oh you know...the building

I didn't get to learn with something as nice as a maxstar...I learnt on a Miller dial arc... no foot pedal/thumb wheel, set the amperage at the machine and go, scratch start with a manual gas valve
 

WilliamR

Member
This has all been illuminating and slightly confusing. I really appreciate all the comments and it feels like finding which welder to go with is a little like going to a car form and asking which truck brand is better. But I do have more clarity so keep it coming.

I start getting annoyed when I look more into the cheap import because I am sure they are all made in the same factory with different branding. then I need to dig into the literature to find out that the one comes with a 2 foot power cord. I am sure there are good things out there on all the machines but trying to find the right combination of what are the essential gets tiring, if you can even find the stats in the literature.

Just by the standard big name brand and pay more (although they probably are from the same factory too for their low end machines), at least you get a decent warranty.
Whichever you choose I would encourage try before you buy.

Maybe your tig welds will look like phaxtris', mine not so much, especially thin aluminum and stainless. Didn't really have a place or need for tig home use, everything done outdoors due to fire hazard. Removed my torch and put stinger on. I paid $$$$$ for a stick welder with accessories haha. Spool gun for aluminum and stick for non sanitary fits my non ferrous needs very well.

Seems like a lot of good deals on marketplace, maybe craigslist?
 

David_R8

Scrapper of metal
Moderator
Premium Member
I'll add my vote for the Primeweld machines. They have the best customer service out there as far as I'm concerned. All their machines get excellent reviews.
 

Degen

Ultra Member
Premium Member
@Degen thanks :)

For a starter welder, you can't go wrong with any 200a 3in1, the ability to have all the major processes in one box is really awesome, MIG is going to be the go to at first for sure, so get yourself a MIG mix bottle, and later on as the funds and desire leads you to Tig, grab an argon bottle

And for steel, 200a is all you will ever need in a garage (Ac Tig not included
I did my research which is why I went with the Primeweld TIG225x AC/DC welder. Good components CK17 Torch, 155amps 100% duty cycle (240vac input) higher if you are water cooled (option built in) and Primeweld sells one. Depending on your application easy to setup or for very difficult uses tweaked to no end. I also research 2% Lanthanated is the do all be all rod. Nice thing is it will do everything well so it is a one rod supply. No need to relearn for different rods or the added expense. To be fair there are rods out there that are better at one application but if you don't want to deal with the cost or headache of remembering, 2% Lanthanated is the way to go.


Second the machine is AC, this means aluminium.....I do work with aluminium so no brainer here.

Third is the machine does Stick, need to actual relearn and get the skill required but so far I haven't needed it (the dirty real heavy welds that stick would trive in). It is nice to have the option but it was not a requirement for my selection.

Like I said I sold my MIG 180 amp (220vac) Princess Auto welder, used it for years with Flux core wire (no bottle though it had the option). Did a lot of welding with that machine. Got decent at it.
But since the TIG does everything I need and a lot more with cleaner/better welds though slower and shop space is a Premium, MIG got sold.



My machine already has the better peddle included in the package.

 

phaxtris

(Ryan)
Premium Member
Premium Member
@Degen thats the main thing, that it works for you !

Good price, 1000$ for an AC tig welder is hard to beat, it looks huge for the rated output, is it as big as it looks on the video ?

I don't see a built in water cooler ? So I'm not sure what you mean by it's set up for that, either way a 17 series torch is perfectly adequate for a 200a....however a 250a water cooled torch is the cats a$$, the size difference alone is worth the money if you're thinking about going that way

I have never noticed much difference welding between the different Tungsten blends, other than the green.....pure garbage, red is a pretty good do-all, but nothing wrong with learning with one blend and sticking to it, don't be afraid to try a different blend if your favorite color isn't in stock

I snapped a pic of 17 series collects/cups compared to a 250 water cooled collet...quite the difference! (From left...17 series gas lens, 17 normal, 250 water cooled)....the only downside to the water cooled torch is they cups are very fragile
IMG_20221126_064018_530.jpg
 

Degen

Ultra Member
Premium Member
No it is a big machine. Water cooler and water cooled torch additional purchases. An additional $600-700 extra for both. BTW not miss lead anyone this is all US$.


The 17 is good to 150 amps 100% and it gets extremely hot. What Primeweld was suppling was the CK17 Flex head with the ultra soft hoses. I've read that very short momentary runs near the 200amp range are possible, but extend it and your CK17 melts. The TIG225x maxs out at 225amps.


I'm surprised you missed both as its clearly on both websites?

As to Tungsten I tried 2% Ceriated (Gary) it cane with the welder, its ok, but it does error faster. I did a lot of research before hand and different rods have advantages and disadvantages in the types of material being welded. The one that performs the most consistently without sacrificing anything is 2% Lanthanated (Blue).

The second most important thing for learn TIG is the least amount of changes in set up just makes things easier for someone learning. Lets you learn one setting at a time and not have to worry which of the multiple changes is making it difficult.
 
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phaxtris

(Ryan)
Premium Member
Premium Member
@Degen I did not miss the ratings of a 17 series torch, I know they are rated for 150, I own 4 of them and use/have used them all well above 150, and yes they get hot, are you going to burn one up on a 200a machine....very unlikely, that thing is going to duty out long before you kill the torch

I said a 200a because that's the class it's lumped in with, 20a this way or that does not make much difference, it's more marketing than anything else, just like having a 250hp V6 is not practically much different than a 265hp v6


The 100% duty cycle for welding is misleading, it does not really matter as no human can weld at 100% duty cycle in the real world...the time to get a new rod, repositioning yourself or the part, the time between each weld, taking a swing of your coffee, pee breaks, etc etc, it all adds up, 60% is the commonly accepted number that actually matters, that is where you can realistically weld steady

So what I'm getting at with that last bit is, forget about the 100% rating

Honestly you're putting to much stock in the tungsten selection, they all do the same job, the only real difference is how long they last and how well they handle contamination.

I have taught many people how to Tig weld, tungsten selection is probabaly the least important thing, if you have the hand skills to Tig weld it doesn't matter Wich tungsten you have in the collet so long as it is sharp
 
I have a multi process ProPoint welder from PA. I went with the 180 model, as it was on sale for 899, had the highest output ratings, and a 2 yr warranty.
They're made in China of course. Designed in Australia, by a company called Razorweld.
The TIG function is lift start, the arc is stable and does well so long as I don't dip the tip lol.
MIG is good, I've sent at least 30 lbs of wire through it in 4 yrs now
The stick function is where this little devil shines though...it will quite literally burn rod all day long.
For what I am currently up to...this machine fits my needs perfectly...
my only negative on the machine series...they use a EURO connector for the MIG and TIG cables...it has this microscopic small o-ring for the gas port...I called multiple vendors...as Princess Auto was very confused when I brought it up haha...no one had a source on this o-ring. I found a Canadian, in Scotland, who runs a welding supply shop. He moved across about 15 yrs ago. Dude was amazing, he mailed me 5 of the rings.
That is customer service!
 

historicalarms

Ultra Member
6-700 bucks for a water torch seems a wasted expense when a $4 five gallon pail with 3 gal of water in it will suffice. When my old man decided it was time to weld new grouser bars on the cat tracks it was time for 2 cables hooked to the 450 amp welder with one man on each side of the cat with one of the rod holders and one of the pails with water, another five gal bucket filled with 1/4" 7018. One man welded one pass while the others cooled in the water pail...3 day job to do winter grousers and a week to do summer grousers.
 

phaxtris

(Ryan)
Premium Member
Premium Member
6-700 bucks for a water torch seems a wasted expense when a $4 five gallon pail with 3 gal of water in it will suffice. When my old man decided it was time to weld new grouser bars on the cat tracks it was time for 2 cables hooked to the 450 amp welder with one man on each side of the cat with one of the rod holders and one of the pails with water, another five gal bucket filled with 1/4" 7018. One man welded one pass while the others cooled in the water pail...3 day job to do winter grousers and a week to do summer grousers.

He is talking about a water cooled Tig torch, there is a big difference between an air cooled and a water cooled Tig torch


If you have to dunk your stinger after 1 1/4" rod you have one or more bad connections or an undersized stinger....you can melt a 450a stinger with 150a because of bad connections...I've done it in my younger days
 

historicalarms

Ultra Member
There may have been poor connections in that welder all over... it was a WW ll U.S. Navy surplus purchase....but that old welder kept a construction company and a farm repaired up for us for 35 yrs and still running when the old man sold it at his farm auction.
 
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