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Welding with a DialArc HF

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  • Welding with a DialArc HF

    Hey guys. I've done some TIG welding on stainless sheet metal, but i was using newer machines, with fancier controls. I've recently bought a mid-80s model DialArc HF for my weekend projects. I'm not real sure how fine i'll be able to dial this machine down, but i believe the lowest setting is something like 10 Amps. It will be interesting and fun to learn the nuances of this machine after using inverter based, digitally controlled machines.

    My question for you guys is...

    What do you think of the old Miller DialArc HF? How do you like welding with it? Any major short-comings/issues with the machine in general?

    The machine currently is equipped with a foot pedal, but i would much prefer using finger/thumb controls on the TIG torch. I plan on picking up a finger/thumb controller once i get everything else in order.

  • #2
    Originally posted by McDaniel8402 View Post
    My question for you guys is...

    What do you think of the old Miller DialArc HF? How do you like welding with it? Any major short-comings/issues with the machine in general?

    The machine currently is equipped with a foot pedal, but i would much prefer using finger/thumb controls on the TIG torch. I plan on picking up a finger/thumb controller once i get everything else in order.
    The Dialarc HF is a good machine... it is rather thirsty in the power dept though... being a Magnetic Amplifyer/Transformer Machine...

    On a finger control... think you are pretty much out of luck... they used a "brute force" method to adjust the Mag-Amps that utilized a physically large, high wattage rheostat to control amperage (15 Ohm 150 Watt & about 1.5 Lbs weight)...... instead of compact lightweight electronics like used on more modern machines....
    SOoooo.... you are pretty much stuck with the big RFC-23 pedal you have...

    Am not aware of anybody that makes a hand/finger control for that machine.. here is a link to SSC who build aftermarket pedals.. they explain it better at the bottom of their page..

    http://www.ssccontrols.com/TIGchart.htm
    Last edited by H80N; 11-18-2013, 11:16 AM.

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    • #3
      Welding with a DialArc HF

      I also recently bought a 1973 model dialarc HF. Now I have not been spoiled by the modern machines. I am teaching myself to tig and made the assumption that if it worked back then; then I can make it work for me. So far I think things are going well with mine. As stated earlier they are power thirsty. My electric bill doubled from $5 a month to about $10.50 and I have been running it every night for a few hours and about 6-8 hours on the weekend. I haven't looked for any kind of finger remote but the only thing I have seen are the pedal an the RHC-3 hand voltage control.

      Good luck and let us know how you like it.

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