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Thread: About TIG welding and inverter conversion to TIG

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    Christophe Mineau's Avatar
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    About TIG welding and inverter conversion to TIG

    Hi friends,
    I have always been curious about TIG welding, something I discovered watching at various Youtube makers videos.

    Some years ago, I used to do arc Welding, and then I have moved to MIG , gas less, and I am wondering if it could be interesting to invest in TIG.
    I find the TIG weld joints to be apparently much more neat than what I can manage with my equipment.

    Any thoughts about that ?

    I recently saw that there are kits , quite affordable, that could permit to convert my old inverter to TIG, but I'm asking myself a couple of questions :

    - is my old tech inverter really suitable for that, it's the kind that you adjust the current with a big spider like knob you have to turn painfully many times.
    like this one :
    http://www.mig-welding.co.uk/buying-...oled-large.jpg

    - are the Argon gas bottles really affordable. For the occasional use, I think I would first go with disposable bottles (~25 €), but how long will last the 60L ?
    If I compare with my brazing equipment (butane/propane + oxygen), the butane/propane bottle lasts forever and is quite cheap where my 60L oxygen bottle costs me an arm and lasts no more than 20 mn ...
    Is it the same for Argon and TIG welding ?

    I would be happy to hear from your experience,
    thanks !

    Christophe
    Cheers !
    Christophe
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    thehomeengineer's Avatar
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    Hi Christophe
    Is it possible to get rent-free gas bottles where you live? I use these in the UK and you pay a refundable £50 for the bottle and then just pay for the gas. Great if you are an infrequent user. In addition, TIG requires pure argon and not a mixture that MIG uses. TIG units can also be AC/DC the cheaper models are only DC so this does not permit the welding of aluminium. The gas doesn’t last too long on the TIG welding.
    Hope this helps
    The Home Engineer

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    Rather than convert your inverter, it may be a much better investment to just buy an ac/dc tig welder. As for gas usage, I would strongly recommend that you buy "gas lenses" for your tig torch. For about 10 to 20 U.S. dollars, they will cut your argon usage nearly in half( as compared to using a standard gas nozzle) with much better gas coverage.

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    Christophe Mineau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thehomeengineer View Post
    Hi Christophe
    Is it possible to get rent-free gas bottles where you live? I use these in the UK and you pay a refundable £50 for the bottle and then just pay for the gas. Great if you are an infrequent user. In addition, TIG requires pure argon and not a mixture that MIG uses. TIG units can also be AC/DC the cheaper models are only DC so this does not permit the welding of aluminium. The gas doesn’t last too long on the TIG welding.
    Hope this helps
    The Home Engineer
    Hi, thanks for your answer.
    Yes I think this is possible, but just to give it a try, I may first purchase a disposable one. If I am successful, I may look for something like that, thanks for the tip.
    I understand that my DC unit can not weld Aluminium, honestly, I never had the need until now. I think if I had to do it, I would purchase a true TIG welder.

    So my question was more, just to give it a try on steel, is it simply usable to use an old arc inverter for TIG welding ?
    Has someone already tried that ?

    Other question I forgot to ask, what kind of filler metal is used ? Is it the same as for brazing ?

    Thanks
    Christophe
    Cheers !
    Christophe
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zkemp View Post
    Rather than convert your inverter, it may be a much better investment to just buy an ac/dc tig welder. As for gas usage, I would strongly recommend that you buy "gas lenses" for your tig torch. For about 10 to 20 U.S. dollars, they will cut your argon usage nearly in half( as compared to using a standard gas nozzle) with much better gas coverage.
    Hi Thanks also for your answer.
    Yes, sure, but the the shop starts to be full with cumbersome tools, and I already have an Arc inverter + a MIG welder, the question is can I try my hand at TIG welding with what I already have (+ small invest).
    Economically, I can purchase a torch kit with electrodes for less than 30€ and a disposable argon bottle for 25€, so less more than a brand new TIG welder.
    I weld steel maybe less than once a month, so I wonder if this 55€ investment is worthwhile.

    Thanks for the "gas lense" tip, I will certainly try to find that if I decide to go TIG.

    Thanks a lot !
    Christophe
    Cheers !
    Christophe
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    Steel filler rod please, at welding temps brass brazing rod will have the zinc in the alloy burn off, zinc fumes are some thing to stay far away from. I have learned this from tryng to weld too close to a brazed joint, ruined both joints I'm afraid. Hope this helps.
    Eric

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    Christophe Mineau (05-18-2018)

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    To answer your question in a nutshell, NO. That welder you posted appears to be an AC arc welder and to TIG weld steel with a machine similar to that it has to be a DC machine. Then it would would scratch start weld steel with argon gas. To clarify what people are saying about having an AC machine for welding aluminum, this is true but you need to have HIGH Frequency AC to TIG weld aluminum. There are several ways to accomplish both of these task but the easiest and cheapest nowadays is to buy a small multi-process machine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Truckeemtnfords View Post
    To answer your question in a nutshell, NO. That welder you posted appears to be an AC arc welder and to TIG weld steel with a machine similar to that it has to be a DC machine. Then it would would scratch start weld steel with argon gas. To clarify what people are saying about having an AC machine for welding aluminum, this is true but you need to have HIGH Frequency AC to TIG weld aluminum. There are several ways to accomplish both of these task but the easiest and cheapest nowadays is to buy a small multi-process machine.
    Ok, this is very clear, thanks ! I think I will save my money. And maby one day, I will look for this kind of multipurpose machine you are talking about, maybe selling away my current machines.
    Thanks for answering!

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    Since your inverter seems to be ac , you cannot use it to weld steel effectively.
    Also, I have heard someone on this thread say that you cannot use brazing filler rod with the tig process, and that's just incorrect. TIG brazing is a widely accepted process, it just requires more/different skill than Tig welding.
    In America (not sure if it's the same elsewhere or not), we use ER70S-2 filler almost religiously, haha. But a great, slightly cheaper alternative is is RG45( or whatevery you would use gas welding steel) and that's what I learned learned on.

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    hi! if your machine is like the one in the link, you don`t have an inverter. it`s an ac transformer machine, and the star knob is the end of a threaded rod which moves in and out a magnetic shield in the mains transformer so you can adjust amperage, if it`s a quality machine the transformer winding will be copper wire or if cheaper in aluminium wire, these machines are heavy and almost indestructible if used accordingly and the ac gives a useful stable arc suited for general purpose welding. the ac is sinusoidal wave just like what comes out of the wall socket (not the square wave needed to tig aluminium). you can convert this unit to dc with a diode rectifier and a choke, the dc rectifier is the easy part the choke isn`t but there are kits or dc converters in the market (depending where you are). you will be able to tig weld steel and stainless with the scratch start method providing you get yourself a torch with gas valve, a bottle and regulator. a small 20 liter bottle will be good at 7lpm of flow for about 5 rods (1.6 to 2.4 mm dia). ask what you want even if it`s the most basic thing don`t be afraid, i`m a teacher at the local tech school and i`m a welder (mostly tig). regards. pete

    edit : once you learn to tig you`ll love it! it opens a world of possibilities to weld thin, small, big whatever stuff you like... and fix the sink in the kitchen . check the manual in the migwelding uk site it`s awesome you`ll learn a ton there
    Last edited by penca; 05-18-2018 at 09:44 PM.

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