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Old 17 December 2020, 15:51   #1
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Budget tig

Anyone got any reccomendations for budget tig sets? Under £250 for a hobbiest. Not welded since my apprenticeship but have several jobs father Xmas could help me out with.
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Old 17 December 2020, 17:26   #2
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I absolutely wouldn't go tig at that price point. I appreciate there are ones available, but when I did my research on them, it wasn't worth it. In the end I saved up for another couple of months to go for a parweld xtt 202p.

Or stick with Mig. If Ali or Stainless, Tig is a bit of a must, but with practice and the right gas (CO2 Argon mix) you can do a nice job with mig on mild steel. At a push, you can Mig stainless too, although it won't be the prettiest job.
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Old 17 December 2020, 18:44   #3
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A cheap TIG will hold you back by just being Crap and not allowing you to learn.
You'll just get frustrated and keep cocking it up.

I've used MIG for years and have always found it to be more than acceptable for Stainless.

I recently brought one of these so I could TIG Ali, which is fantastic:
https://www.r-techwelding.co.uk/tig-...al-tig-170ext/
Although I'm still experimenting with it.

BUT, whatever you do, go and spend a day with Natalie on one of her courses
https://www.bradwellblacksmiths.com/courses.

I did one back in early March, and not only did she teach me to TIG, but improved my MIG skills and I had a great day for very little outlay.

Nasher.
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Old 18 December 2020, 12:34   #4
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I don't know that r-tech tig welder - I stumped for the parweld as above.
I do know r-tech have a good reputation though and I have their plasma cutter as well.
Might need to book in a course with that lass too - looks like a good course.

@Nasher - stainless - I'd say on MIG, it's at best a functional weld. Very hard to get the puddle to flow well with pure argon, which leads to voids/leaks. Flows better with an argon/co2 mix - but of course, you lose the stainless aspect then. Plus Mig usually puts too much heat in as well compared to tig. This is just a small sample of the number of ways I've screwed up a piece of 316 stainless trying to mig it, am sure I could think of more too.
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Old 18 December 2020, 12:38   #5
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@Nasher - where do you get your argon from?
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Old 18 December 2020, 13:26   #6
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For your budget the way to go (not counting cheapo unbranded) will be get a MMA(stick) with lift TIG function and buy the additional torch with gas valve.

You won’t get a TIG machine at that budget unless you go unbranded. Otherwise go good brand used on eBay, but there is risks.
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Old 18 December 2020, 13:53   #7
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Matt

I always use an Argon/Co2 mix for Stainless.

I used to get it through work in a pub size bottle, but I lost that facility late last year. So at the moment I'm using the small disposable SIP Bottles, but buy them from Screwfix or Toolstation whoever is cheapest at the time using my work account. I don't do lots of SS welding, so they actually last a while.

The R-tech came with some small bottles, but I need to sort out a reliable supply going forward.

I can't recommend Natalie or her courses enough, she's a genius and demonstrated how flexible TIG is by using cut up strips of Copper pipe as filler to write her name in Weld on a sheet of Stainless.
I managed a short length of Brass on a MS sheet but it's really hard to get it to look good.
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Old 18 December 2020, 14:17   #8
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Wow! I totally can't recommend using the argon co2 mix for rust resistance, although does make the puddle flow a little easier. I did some as prototype job some time back and it rusted quickly.

I'll look up some links to where I source my argon later if you want - there's a couple of options.
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Old 18 December 2020, 14:58   #9
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Quote:
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Wow! I totally can't recommend using the argon co2 mix for rust resistance, although does make the puddle flow a little easier. I did some as prototype job some time back and it rusted quickly.

I'll look up some links to where I source my argon later if you want - there's a couple of options.


Does pickling stop the rusting? I’ve had some half decent results stick welding stainless (“half” being the operative term) In my previous life as a water industry walla, we worked with many stainless fabs, invariably migged. Only the “posh stuff” was tigged.
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Old 18 December 2020, 16:12   #10
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Anyone got any reccomendations for budget tig sets? Under £250 for a hobbiest. Not welded since my apprenticeship but have several jobs father Xmas could help me out with.
I'm presuming you want to weld stainless since this is a boaty forum... For the money you quote you can't go far wrong with an inverter and a tig kit. It won't be classy, it'll eat the tig rods but for an occasional welding bout it'll work fine. If you can find one that isn't scratch start that's a definite plus. I've had a Machine Mart one for about 20 years and it's been excellent and I have no plans to change it. However, for aluminium it's more than tricky.

I use pure argon as my welding gas.

You can also mig stainless and use pure argon there too.

I use the tig for thinner work and mig for heavy stuff just because mig kinda blasts the weld in quickly and easily.

You can open an account with one of the gas suppliers for your argon but the annual standing charge will spank you if you don't use much gas. Or you can find a motor factors who supply gasses. The deal I have for the past few years is with a motor factor and it's kinda like Calor gas, I pay a once off deposit for the cylinder then just buy gas refills as I need them.

You'll need a tub of pickling paste to clean up the grung from your stainless welds. If you're careless and you spatter it on your clothes, next time you wash them they be like lace curtain...apply it carefully...

Now welding; if you've not tig welded or gas welded you'll need to learn a new skill. If you've gas welded you'll be fine with half an hour's practise.
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Old 19 December 2020, 04:28   #11
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For disposable bottles, I use these, they have a decent amount more capacity :
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/172298603673

However, since buying the tig welder, I use SGS Gases, could even be the same gang as wj. : https://www.sgsgases.co.uk/

You don't pay rent, you just pay a deposit on the bottle, so for infrequent use this works out better than the old BOC rental way.
@Nasher, so you've got Havant, Portsmouth or Petersfield as obvious choices: https://www.sgsgases.co.uk/find-a-distributor/
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Old 19 December 2020, 12:07   #12
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Thanks all. Home diy level welding planned. Need some log racks out of mild and the odd bracket making. Potentially with the capability to weld some stainless too as jw is correct this is a bit forum and I love shiny things.

My mates given me half hour lesson so far, he has a decent rtech with hf start. Maybe I don’t need tig. I did look at the stick sets that can add tig later from machine mart etc but I was dubious.
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Old 19 December 2020, 15:17   #13
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.... I did look at the stick sets that can add tig later from machine mart etc but I was dubious.
Don't be, they're fine. If you have a unit which needs to scratch start then the issue is you damage the electrode tip as you scratch so the welding flame doesn't necessarily hold a good shape then that affects the neatness of your weld. You can still make a good weld but it'll not be that lovely fine way of a proper tig welder. But you pays yer money etc....

Here's one I made earlier...
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Old 19 December 2020, 16:01   #14
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Snap. I needed to tidy my workbench too.
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Old 13 January 2021, 14:41   #15
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Ive just upgraded the mig welder too, to an Oxford Migmaker 240-1.
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Old 15 January 2021, 16:21   #16
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Did Father Christmas bring it?
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