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need a machine for a max of 1/4" to 3/8" alum tig

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  • need a machine for a max of 1/4" to 3/8" alum tig

    Hi guys,Thanks, I appreciate all of the knowledge on this board!

    I am looking to buy a inverter tig for some occasional welding. I will be using it for car customization and restoration. I have been trying to find my wildest project, and the most demanding thing I could come up with would be welding some 1/4" to 3/8" aluminum. It would be a tube to a open flange, so I could access both sides of the weld joint. I have been looking at all of the brands Miller Dynasty 200dx, lincoln 205, Thermal Arc 185 or ?, also HTP 201.
    Price is a huge factor for me, but I don't want to regret my purchase either.
    Will all of these machines be able to do this? Will I be working them to their limit?
    I was liking the HTP because I could get a whole liquid cooled set-up for less than air cooled Miller or Lincoln.
    Thanks again for your input.

  • #2
    Welcome aboard.

    If you plan on a steady diet of .375 aluminum, you'd better think 400-amp class machines. Aluminum needs lot of heat, as it heat sinks very effectively. My T/A 185 is rated at 3/16.

    Hank

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    • #3
      Originally posted by hankj View Post
      Welcome aboard.

      If you plan on a steady diet of .375 aluminum, you'd better think 400-amp class machines. Aluminum needs lot of heat, as it heat sinks very effectively. My T/A 185 is rated at 3/16.

      Hank
      Yes, you will be needing quite a bit of current for 3/8" material...at least 350 to 400 amps.

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      • #4
        Multiple pass OK?

        If you don't mind making several passes to build-up the bead on 3/8", then a Dynasty 200DX should be fine.

        However, as stated earlier, for single-pass beads you really need to crank-up the amps for thick aluminum.

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        • #5
          with proper prep and pre heat you could get by with the 200amp welder, but it will get old fast. you would be better off looking at some thing in the 300 and up range. nothing against the Dyn 200 DX its a great welder as is the TA-185, but 3/8" is just not its thing.

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          • #6
            What ya need is what I just got today check this
            Attached Files

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            • #7
              I have to agree
              My sycro wave can do alot of aluminum but it will only do so much and 1/4 to 3/8 requires preheat or a syncro 350.
              Aluminum is not cheep to weld at least from the machine cost point of view.
              kerry

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              • #8
                Originally posted by weldngod View Post
                What ya need is what I just got today check this
                Will they let me trade in my house and trucks on that thing??lol

                Actually, I don't think I'd be doing too many things with 3/8", that would be occasional. I probably do have a couple projects that I'd be doing with 1/4"
                Also, the 3/8" stuff is an open ended flange, so I will be welding the inside and the outside of it.

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                • #9
                  just warm it up with torch first.

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                  • #10
                    If you are looking at "list" price on Miller and Lincoln then you need to go back and price more.
                    The contractor kit isn't all that good of a price so that makes miller seem high.
                    Several internet sellers make better deals. I looked very hard at the HTP and was "sold" on it more than once but finally decided for an Italian machine it was not worth as much money as they wanted so I went with AMERICAN and am glad I did. I really cannot imagine using anything else now...it would be a step back except for maybe the Lincoln.
                    As far as welding 3/8ths thick aluminum it depends on how big or the mass of the piece is. For instance a piece of say 3/8ths x 2" isn't a big deal at all to weld. I have welded well over 1/2" thick castings daily with mine. (skegs and other outdrive castings) 200 amps is actually a lot of power. If your flange is open and really only a half inch wider around the hole you have more than enuff juice to overheat the part.
                    If you are trying to weld in the middle of a 4 ft square piece it would be tough but if you are talking about a flange like an intake it will handle it easily.
                    I use a dynasty 200 DX daily for whatever anybody sends me. It paid for itself in less than a month. Only once did I opt to use my 400+ amp machine in the last few months that I've owned the Dynasty. I would put it up against anything in it's class.
                    I also have been watching just how much amperage I do use and most of the time a 185 would do me fine. If your wildest project is 3/8ths then get it. If you end up needing more power you can sell a Dynasty or any of the machines you mentioned very fast on e-bay or Craiglist extremely easy.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks for going in-depth like you did. An intake would be somthing I would make, and that is probably the thickest I will go.
                      I did go to my local dealer, and he has given me a price right on with the internet prices. He also told me we would piece togeither the "kit" and will save me more. I think he has been more than fair. I'm probably going to give it a couple weeks, then go for the 200dx.
                      Thanks for everyones input so far. I bought my millermatic 210 with a spool gun several years ago ( I've been Extremely happy with it) and this is my next real "pricey" toy, so it's a big decision for me!

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                      • #12
                        Weldngod

                        Somebody's showing off again???
                        You take the time to take a pic of it and show it to us, you BETTER show up pics of that thing in use!!!!!!!!!!!!

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                        • #13
                          Fusion put it in perspective. A 200 Dyn will be fine for this type of work.

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                          • #14
                            save some $$ with SSC

                            piecing the cont. kit is a good way to save some big $$
                            SSC is a great start on that. they sell a good quality foot control at $159.00 or $165.00 for a chrome one with blue gripper.(very Dyn stylish)
                            http://cgi.ebay.com/Chrome-Foot-Cont...742.m153.l1262


                            this is there home page on e-bay.
                            http://stores.ebay.com/SSC-Controls-Company
                            this is the same foot control that comes standard on the TA-185's with a slight upgrade when you get it from SSC. great controller, many prefer it to the Miller version as its lower profile and wider, also flips to get the cord on aether side.
                            another big + is its about $100.00 under the other brands. but don't take that as a quality reduction as it is not. i ordered one direct from SSC and received one with my TA-185 both great quality but the SSC one had a nicer connector. i believe Lincoln also uses this foot control. any way, take a look at it when you get ready to get one. many have them and like them very much, myself included.

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                            • #15
                              just had it run in with load bank, it is now operational.I will start using it in the morning

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