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  • Help with TIG welder decision

    After wandering around a couple of welding shops I am confused about a TIG welder. I have a Maxstar 200 STR which is basically a portable TIG DC only machine and I want to get something that will do aluminum as well as steel. I would be willing to spend in the $2000 to $2500 range or more if necessary. The unit will be shop bound. Some of the people seem to push Miller and some Lincoln but the people say that the amperage is misleading because of the low duty cycle. I do mostly lighter things but it is nice to be able to weld heavier stuff occasionally.

    Thanks,

    Jim

  • #2
    Those guys can come back and chime in...My .02 is whose going to give me the better service, availability of parts, etc. I just happen to buy blue, 'cause they give me the best service, I love their machines, and they open 7 days a week (most days till 5pm, while red closes at 4pm and only open M-F)
    I'm not late...
    I'm just on Hawaiian Time

    Comment


    • #3
      THINK BLUE


      M I L L E R


      Look at duty cycles, and purchase accordingly.
      SYNCROWAVE 200
      Atlas 618 lathe (vintage 1960) reconditioned DC
      Sioux 3/8 Pneumatic Reversible Drill
      Makita Everything else
      2400 square feet of Sanford and Son lookin shop space
      "Once the spoon flys, putting the pin back in won't solve anything"
      USA 15T, 15V

      www.myspace.com/blackbird455

      http://i100.photobucket.com/albums/m...5/DSC00356.jpg two cans, one welder

      Comment


      • #4
        Can't go wrong

        Originally posted by modela View Post
        After wandering around a couple of welding shops I am confused about a TIG welder. I have a Maxstar 200 STR which is basically a portable TIG DC only machine and I want to get something that will do aluminum as well as steel. I would be willing to spend in the $2000 to $2500 range or more if necessary. The unit will be shop bound. Some of the people seem to push Miller and some Lincoln but the people say that the amperage is misleading because of the low duty cycle. I do mostly lighter things but it is nice to be able to weld heavier stuff occasionally.

        Thanks,

        Jim
        You will be more than pleased with the Thermal Arc Arcmaster 200 AC/DC.
        I use pulsing with a lot of my DC TIG jobs and find the TA products to be real workhorses. With a 5 year warranty and 5 "saved program" slots, I don't think you can beat the value. Replace that piece of junk pressure regulator supplied with a Smith Optimizer and the saved gas will pay for the powersource in less than 2 years. Good Luck no matter what brand you end up buying.

        Regards, Stillwelding

        Comment


        • #5
          I would say Dynasty 200DX or Sycrowave 200 if you have enough power now, just need to do aluminum as well.
          Miller Maxstar 200 DX
          RMLS-14 Momentary Hand Control
          Miller Syncrowave 180 SD
          Porter Cable 14" dry metal saw
          Hitachi 4.5" grinder
          http://mhayesdesign.com

          Comment


          • #6
            ill go against the flow. I like the PT 225 over the Snyco 200. the Lincoln made a little better machine on this size. you shouldnt have a problem on the duty cycle unless you are running 190+ amps. due to the fit up and prep time are rarely hit the duty cycle.

            if you were going bigger then go with the Miller because the 250 and 350 syncos are WAY better than Lincolns in this size range.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by tasslehawf View Post
              I would say Dynasty 200DX or Sycrowave 200 if you have enough power now, just need to do aluminum as well.
              What he said.
              Dynasty if you want to run it on low amps or syncro if you want to save a few bucks but will spend it on getting power to the welder.
              I own a sycro 200 and would only trade up for a 250 or a dynasty. but the 200 will do everything i need it to right now. Also for a little aluminum.
              Miller Syncrowave 200 W/Radiator 1A & water cooled torch
              Millermatic 252 on the wish list
              Bridgeport Mill W/ 2 axis CNC control
              South bend lathe 10LX40
              K.O. Lee surface grinder 6X18
              Over 20 years as a Machinist Toolmaker
              A TWO CAR garage full of tools and a fridge full of beer
              Auto shades are for rookies
              www.KLStottlemyer.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by kcstott View Post
                What he said.
                Dynasty if you want to run it on low amps or syncro if you want to save a few bucks but will spend it on getting power to the welder.
                I own a sycro 200 and would only trade up for a 250 or a dynasty. but the 200 will do everything i need it to right now. Also for a little aluminum.
                Dynasty 200DX if you wanna be the coolest kid on the block.

                Add a coolmate for extra .
                Miller Maxstar 200 DX
                RMLS-14 Momentary Hand Control
                Miller Syncrowave 180 SD
                Porter Cable 14" dry metal saw
                Hitachi 4.5" grinder
                http://mhayesdesign.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by tasslehawf View Post
                  Dynasty 200DX if you wanna be the coolest kid on the block.

                  Add a coolmate for extra .
                  I just GOT those toys....and I STILL get picked last for kickball....
                  I'm not late...
                  I'm just on Hawaiian Time

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hey I always got picked last for baseball, football, soccer, basketball.
                    But now they pick me first if the need a hoop, backstop, goal, or goal posts.
                    It's funny how things work out.
                    Miller Syncrowave 200 W/Radiator 1A & water cooled torch
                    Millermatic 252 on the wish list
                    Bridgeport Mill W/ 2 axis CNC control
                    South bend lathe 10LX40
                    K.O. Lee surface grinder 6X18
                    Over 20 years as a Machinist Toolmaker
                    A TWO CAR garage full of tools and a fridge full of beer
                    Auto shades are for rookies
                    www.KLStottlemyer.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Can't go wrong here either!

                      I still vote for the Dynasty 200 DX.
                      If you need to weld thicker stuff the power it has to produce a puddle at 200 amps and 250 hz is no less than amazing to me.
                      If you ever had a project that you needed to weld thicker material than it can handle then you can go to a helium mix and it will weld much hotter.
                      Same with the TA machine or any of those mentioned as well.
                      I buy Miller because that is what I can get service and parts for. Plus I think they are all around the worlds best welders And they are made in the good ole USA

                      www.facebook.com/outbackaluminumwelding
                      Miller Dynasty 700...OH YEA BABY!!
                      MM 350P...PULSE SPRAYIN' MONSTER
                      Miller Dynasty 280 with AC independent expansion card
                      Miller Dynasty 200 DX "Blue Lightning"

                      Miller Bobcat 225 NT (what I began my present Biz with!)
                      Miller 30-A Spoolgun
                      Miller WC-115-A
                      Miller Spectrum 300
                      Miller 225 Thunderbolt (my first machine bought new 1980)
                      Miller Digital Elite Titanium 9400

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by FusionKing View Post
                        I still vote for the Dynasty 200 DX.
                        If you need to weld thicker stuff the power it has to produce a puddle at 200 amps and 250 hz is no less than amazing to me.
                        If you ever had a project that you needed to weld thicker material than it can handle then you can go to a helium mix and it will weld much hotter.
                        Same with the TA machine or any of those mentioned as well.
                        I buy Miller because that is what I can get service and parts for. Plus I think they are all around the worlds best welders And they are made in the good ole USA
                        Amen! USA! USA! USA!
                        I'm not late...
                        I'm just on Hawaiian Time

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by kcstott View Post
                          Dynasty if you want to run it on low amps or syncro if you want to save a few bucks but will spend it on getting power to the welder.
                          honestly, they are two different animals, the Synchro's being squarewave tranny's don't have anywhere near the adjustability that the inverted Dynasty offers, this is important when working with Al. a 200 inverted will out weld a 250 tranny on Al. as evidenced here:

                          Originally posted by FusionKing View Post
                          I still vote for the Dynasty 200 DX.
                          If you need to weld thicker stuff the power it has to produce a puddle at 200 amps and 250 hz is no less than amazing to me.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Yeah but at 1K more that's why i offer the syncro. Like I said if you have the money get the Dynasty 200DX but if you need to save some bucks go with the syncro 200 it will still weld aluminum but as stated it won't be as user friendly.
                            If I had to do it over again I'd just save some more money and get the 200DX
                            Miller Syncrowave 200 W/Radiator 1A & water cooled torch
                            Millermatic 252 on the wish list
                            Bridgeport Mill W/ 2 axis CNC control
                            South bend lathe 10LX40
                            K.O. Lee surface grinder 6X18
                            Over 20 years as a Machinist Toolmaker
                            A TWO CAR garage full of tools and a fridge full of beer
                            Auto shades are for rookies
                            www.KLStottlemyer.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Heck if I had the money, I would have gotten the 350 !!! But since it would be YEARS to save up $4,000 more, I wanted a tig machine now!!!
                              I'm not late...
                              I'm just on Hawaiian Time

                              Comment

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