Welding: TIG or MIG?

I know this was posted before, but if you weld you should see this, it could save your life.
Brake Cleaner = Phosgene Article
I have read this before . I have also had a run in with brake cleaner . In a shop I worked in 15 years ago , the owner decided to try to clean a sticking choke and grabbed the wrong can , and sprayed the choke with the engine running and filled the shop with a thick cloud of white smoke . We all ran out and were lucky no one got sick .

As for welders , the only machine I own at this time is a Lincoln 110 MIG .
Does most of what I need , and I have a TIG available in a friends shop . But I'm not very good with it , and have gotten very good at regrinding the tip on it .
When I get a larger shop , I'll get my own TIG . But for now the hot metal glue gun will do !
 

Dimi Terleckyj

Lifetime Supporter
Hi all

I learnt to weld 40 years ago with an electric arc welder and oxy acetaline system.

During the last 10 years I progressed to Mig and Tig.

I still use all 4 systems according to the job at hand as each has it's place and can be easier than the others for a given job.

Depending on whether the job needs looks, functionality. or structural strength and integrity plus ease of use.

Overall I would have to say that my electric arc welder would probably be the one most used for my welding jobs.

Dimi
 
As a beginner that wants to learn to weld (mig or tig), what's the best method? I'd love to find a practical hands-on class aimed at diy/car enthusiasts, but at my local colleges can only find lengthy courses with strong acedemic focus geared towards people looking to become a certified welder as a profession.
Is a book or DVD with lots of practice a viable option? or if anyone knows somone in Portland, OR or Vancouver,WA area?
Thanks a lot
Paul
 

Pat Buckley

GT40s Supporter
Check with some of your local welding supply places. I attended a three hour class put on by a retail welding supply place nearby. It wasn't super deep but it provided a lot of very useful information and an instructor who knew what he was doing and allowed the class to do some hands on welding while he watched. Oh, it was free.
 

Alan Watkins

Lifetime Supporter
As a beginner that wants to learn to weld (mig or tig), what's the best method?
I don't have a good answer and I'm in approximately the same boat. I have a 165A TIG setup and I've bought several of the books and haven't found one that i thought was better than what you can find on line at the manufacturer's sites (eg Miller, Lincoln, Hobart). Also especially "weldingtipsandtricks.com" which I just love but you have to kinda dig to find what you want; it's not a "course" or a "textbook". Also he makes it all look easy when for a beginner it's not.

However what's missing from that "self teach" concept is the experienced eye telling you what you're doing wrong and how to correct it. You have to fumble around a long time to create the equivalent of that interaction. Also, when you don't know anything you don't know what you don't know and therefore don't know what to go find out. (??)

I've not been impressed by any of the DVDs I've read about and previewed, so haven't bought them.

My local junior college has both career-oriented curricula as well as hobby-oriented classes. For me the downside is they all start on semester intervals so the next chance is in ~ six months. Also last semester I blinked and the class was full. And finally, I'd rather "just do it" (or is that "git 'er done?") than drag it out over 3-4 months.

In that vein I'm seriously considering Lincoln Electric's one-week TIG course (http://www.lincolnelectric.com/en-us/education-center/welding-school/Pages/gas-tungsten-arc-welding-course.aspx) $450 in Ohio. I figure if I can't perform after 40 hrs straight instruction I'm probably hopeless so either way at the end of that I'm done. :) Hobart offers a 2-week course which is maybe going to0 far, but then again maybe not....

Lincoln also offers a one-week "motorsports" course (Motorsports Basic Materials Welding Course) but the more I looked at it the more I figured focusing on just learning TIG welding in CS, SS and AL made more sense.

And there's the following week of part two in motorsports but it was basically more advanced materials (inconel, titanium, magnesium) which sound cool but does it make sense to spend a week on that given my level of experience? Probably additional basic TIG training or Oxy-Acetylene makes more sense for my purposes since I'm not actually going to build titanium pieces or work on magnesium or inconel any time soon.

Anyway, I'd certainly like to hear any leads or thoughts others have on this. And anybody who wants to meet up for a week or two of welding school in Ohio let me know!
 
Alan,
I had a friend who was a Tig specialist. He could weld aluminum cans.He gave me a few pointers and they were the type of info that will get you on to the right path. The rest was just practice, practice, practice. You can experiment with the different settings and the power level of the pedal. I learned that lap welds were the easiest and most forgiving. Any kind of gap was not easy at all. A lot of draw back that needed a lot of filler and less heat. Once you get a few pointers you will begin to get the hang of it, especially if you have any experience with gas welding. For those that have none, they will have to go the school route to understand how the metals acts and reacts.

Bill
 

Alan Watkins

Lifetime Supporter
...if you have any experience with gas welding. For those that have none, they will have to go the school route to understand how the metals acts and reacts.

Bill
Unfortunately that last paragraph describes me; some experience propane soldering, but other than that my experience with gas is limited to making tea with natural gas.
 
There's two things that in the last 10 or so years have made welding in general so much easier for the hobbyist...

1. The reduction in cost and ready availability of current regulated welding machines.
2. The ready availability of cheap - safe auto darkening welding helmets.

So to my mind these are the first 2 things to make sure you've got on the list. Then TIG v MIG it pretty much up to you from there. I use TIG now I've had a MIG (non regulated type) in the past and I would not chose to use MIG again for anything other than commercial production of stuff.
I've had a good look at a MIG welded NASCAR and I was stuck how rough it looked, I assume it was welded as well as MIG can do and was more than structurally sound but certainly it was not pretty like a TIG weld.

To get going with my TIG welder having not welded in about 10 years I read the Miller TIG book and then a couple of hours practice and it was off to the races, a lot easier than I thought it was going to be.

The other thing about TIG is it forces you to be better with your fit up, you just can't spray metal at the hole like a MIG can, and if there's big gaps being filled then the joint will be crap whatever method is being used.
 

DaveM

Supporter
As a beginner that wants to learn to weld (mig or tig), what's the best method? I'd love to find a practical hands-on class aimed at diy/car enthusiasts, but at my local colleges can only find lengthy courses with strong acedemic focus geared towards people looking to become a certified welder as a profession.
Is a book or DVD with lots of practice a viable option? or if anyone knows somone in Portland, OR or Vancouver,WA area?
Thanks a lot
Paul
I sent you a PM Paul with info about a welding contact in the Portland area.
Dave Miller
 

Chuck

Supporter
It has been 12 weeks since we started a basic welding course, which focused on gas and stick welding, but also gave us a chance at MIG and TIG. Want to go with a TIG welder.

Looking at a Lincoln 175 or 185. Almost 200 pounds each. Looking around for a decent deal.

Wondering if an inverter type unit is a viable option. No real price advantage, but certainly more portable.

Any pro or cons with the suggested possibilities? Most of our work will be aluminum.

We have a 220 volt, 80 amp service for a welder.
 
Chuck,

I have a Lincoln 185 and it is a great welder. I wish it had more power when I weld thicker aluminum, but what it needs more is a water-cooled torch (you can easily add that later).

You'll like it if you end up with one.

The Blue line is good as well- you really can't go wrong with either one.

Mine is on a cart, so weight is a non-issue. It rolls around nicely.

Here's a pic of the welder under the table I made for it:



Not much of a picture of the welder, but you get the idea.

You will, of course, have to make a welding table as your first project- I'm sure the welding instructor explained that. :shy:
 
I have a unit from (200amp DC):

Inverter TIG MIG ARC Welder Welding Machines Tokentools sales service Australia wide

Which probably aren't available under the same brand in the USA. I point this out as I would expect these to be labelled as 'Cheap Chinese crap'.
However mines roughly 4 years old, done everything on my car and not missed a beat, if it breaks I'll bin it and buy another and still be in front compared to a name brand item.

This one looks closest to my unit.
 
Chuck,

If you want to weld alluminium you will need an AC-DC Welder

I have a Thermal ARC AC-DC 180, with a water cooled torch. Its a good welder, easy to use, and I allways get good welds with it..

welder 002.jpg

My advice is, buy the best you can afford........

Ive been MIG welding steel for years, but TIG welding alluminium is a real pleasure.If you have a good welder, it actually very easy....

I wish you luck, with your welding, and if you need any advice, just ask

mick
 
I have used all 4, Oxy, Stick, Mig and Tig. I find Tig easy because in my trade and the years since Oxy was all we used and I got very good with it. Tig is the same theory you just have to add the foot control. You can buy welders that don't have the foot and I have used one recently, you just move a little quicker as the heat builds or stop start method. I actually use the stick more than anything else as for the home guy its a pain having to buy Gas and you always seem to be out or low just when you want it,
The bottom line for me is, the stick and the tig will give you the strongest/nicest looking weld, the Mig will be the Quickest You can also get Flux core wire for your Mig and you don't need Gas. If alloy is going to be most of the work then TIG is the only way to go. Just my opinon. Cheers Leonmac
 

Chuck

Supporter
Finally decided to go with a Lincoln 225 TIG. We found some good deals out there. (Internet is amazing). Hope to get it set up and running this week.
 

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You're building a Shaguar, aren't you....lucky devil. You're going to need four three-barrel IDF Webers, or some reasonable facsimile...this is going to be interesting.
 
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