View Full Version : Re: Tig Welding Machines
01-11-2008, 08:57 PM
I am in need of a TIG welding machine. 1919A4 M2 tripods, etc. Harbor Freight has them on sale this weekend for $100.00 off the normal price of $299.00 with a printout from the internet. If you need to weld 3/16" or less metal, this is your ticket to a sweet firearms precision welding machine.
Funshow in Jacksonville first, Harbor Freight next........
01-11-2008, 09:54 PM
Care to share the coupon link?
01-11-2008, 11:38 PM
they put them on sale for $199 pretty often, I snagged one up about a month ago. It works pretty well. You'll have to spend a bit more after that for the regulator, bottle,220 plug, filler rod, and tungsten electrodes. It can make some nice welds, its a real welder as compared to their somewhat crappy cheap migs
01-11-2008, 11:57 PM
Have fun with your new toy. My TIG machine is probably the third most commonly used tool in the workshop - right behind compressor and bench grinder/wire wheel.
01-12-2008, 11:04 AM
I heard it won't do aluminum. Is this true? I guess its a polarity issue?
I also saw in a thread a while back someone was going to modify their with an old WAH guitar pedal ... has that been done? I'd love to know the outcome and if it worked, I would do the same thing!
01-12-2008, 05:58 PM
you need ac to do aluminum, I have gotten 10,000.00 worth of use out of my $199.00 machine!
01-12-2008, 06:13 PM
You need high frequency AC for aluminum. This machine is DC only. Perfect for steel, not so good for aluminum. The alternating current makes the impurities burn off when the polarity switches on-off. This doesn't happen with DC.
I bought a similar welder from HF about two years ago. It was about half the size of a shoe box and weighed about 3 pounds. I thought it was a joke gone bad until I struck an arc with it. It actually worked well for a scratch start TIG welder. In the end, it whetted my appetite for TIG welding. The actual cost of this little inverter welder turned out to be $1500. That's what it cost to get a real TIG with lift start and all the goodies.
I did learn a lot with the little box. I had to everything exactly right or it didn't work. No room for sloppy technique. I did fry a few tungstens by forgetting to turn the gas on. Sometime it was frustrating getting the arc going.
01-12-2008, 09:44 PM
I got a cheap Wah pedal off Ebay to try with the HF Tig I bought a few months ago, haven't gotten around to finishing it yet. Took it apart and discovered I need a 10Kohm linear taper pot with a short splined shaft. Radio Shack has the proper electrical spec but their pots are long shaft with a flat. The original splined shaft has a small gear pressed over it so I need something with the same shaft to get it working. Need to go through my spare parts boxes and see if I have anything that will work. Kind of a back burner project right now, been really busy at work and haven't had much time to play with it. No reason it shouldn't work though, it's just relocating the control.
01-13-2008, 09:26 PM
Just read a thread about these on Practical Machinist. One user claims it is a lift start machine. Touch the tungsten to the work, wait for gas flow/purge, lift and arc starts. Who knew. It isn't in the instruction sheet. He got the welder cheap from someone that couldn't get it start an arc via scratch start. He tried it lift method and it worked fine.
Still no variable amps but lift start is 80% of the battle. Should work ok for basic gunsmithing.