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  • Help with Econotig

    I have just got a used Econotig. I am new to TIG, and only have seven years of MIG under my belt. Seven years of part time, about 15,000 dollars generated per year.

    Know back to the question. I am trying to learn how to TIG with it. It seems not to get hot enough to melt 1/4" aluminum. After taking apart the foot petal I noticed that the arm that engages the gas and electrictiy in the foot starts out touching the resistor for a lack of the right word. Then as it travels up closer to the top it slowley moves out. At the end of the travel it is not touching any thing. Is this correct. It seems that it should be touching all the time as it travels the entire lenght it. The higher it goes the more amps it puts out. Or is this machine to small of 1/4" aluminum.

    Thanks for any help

  • #2
    I never took the pedal apart,
    but my Eco-Tig won't quite get hot enough for 1/4" Al
    Not a good/solid weld- unless you're working on small pieces.

    Somebody that's really good might be able to make it work, but I can't.
    It shines doing 1/8" or so, but it just isn't big enough for the heavy stuff.
    Al. dissipates heat so well, you really have to have a large heat source
    to get the flow & all on large pieces or thick stuff.

    The stick welding functions on it are great for a home shop,
    but for TIG, I often wish I'd held out and gotten the next size bigger unit.
    "Gone are the days of wooden ships, and Iron men.
    I doubt we'll see either of their likes again".

    Circa 1920.
    Author:
    Unknown US Coast Guard unit Commander.

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    • #3
      Did more research

      I noticed that the Switch in question had an adjustment to hold it closer to the resistor. I adjusted it so it is touching throught the entire travel of the foot control.

      Next problem is that i noticed that the machine does not seem to change sounds as I press on the foot pedal. It make a louder noise with the hand control. As I increase the amperage it make more noise. Shouldn't it be changing sounds as I do the same with the foot control.

      It will melt a puddle in the 1/4" aluminum with the hand cotrol, but not with the foot. Does this sound correct.

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      • #4
        If it's a small part 1/4" thick yes it will weld it but if its a 4X4" plate 1/4" thick good luck.
        It won't do it just not enough heat.
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        • #5
          Originally posted by Taw Paw View Post
          I noticed that the Switch in question had an adjustment to hold it closer to the resistor. I adjusted it so it is touching throught the entire travel of the foot control.

          Next problem is that i noticed that the machine does not seem to change sounds as I press on the foot pedal. It make a louder noise with the hand control. As I increase the amperage it make more noise. Shouldn't it be changing sounds as I do the same with the foot control.

          It will melt a puddle in the 1/4" aluminum with the hand cotrol, but not with the foot. Does this sound correct.
          I sounds like your foot control is not working correctly if the hand control is outperforming it. Just learn how to use the hand one from the gitgo and you will be better by it anyhow. It's all about hand control anyhow

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Taw Paw View Post
            I noticed that the Switch in question had an adjustment to hold it closer to the resistor. I adjusted it so it is touching throught the entire travel of the foot control.

            Next problem is that i noticed that the machine does not seem to change sounds as I press on the foot pedal. It make a louder noise with the hand control. As I increase the amperage it make more noise. Shouldn't it be changing sounds as I do the same with the foot control.

            It will melt a puddle in the 1/4" aluminum with the hand cotrol, but not with the foot. Does this sound correct.
            Which hand control do you have? I can highly recommend the RMLS-14, if you've got 14 pin.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by tasslehawf View Post
              Which hand control do you have? I can highly recommend the RMLS-14, if you've got 14 pin.
              I have a Weldcraft WP-17, what u think about that one. Also do you use the foot control.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Taw Paw View Post
                I have a Weldcraft WP-17, what u think about that one. Also do you use the foot control.
                Well the WP-17 is the tig torch. I have a switch that attaches to my torch and replaces the need for the foot pedal. I do use a foot pedal when I'm sitting at a table, but from now on I'm using my hand swich! (RMLS-14)
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                • #9
                  an on/off switch like the RMLS-14 is not ideal for aluminum unless you only plan on doing short welds. well at least i would not recommend it. as the base aluminum heats up during welds that last > 10 seconds, you really need to decrease the heat to maintain a correctly sized puddle.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ridesideways View Post
                    an on/off switch like the RMLS-14 is not ideal for aluminum unless you only plan on doing short welds. well at least i would not recommend it. as the base aluminum heats up during welds that last > 10 seconds, you really need to decrease the heat to maintain a correctly sized puddle.
                    x2 I remember this now from school. Back off on the pedal once the piece has heated up. Better get that pedal fixed.

                    Perhaps the problem isn't with the pedal, but your input amperage. I see the econotig output is 30-160A. You need 60A input. Do you have it hooked up to 60A?
                    Last edited by tasslehawf; 04-07-2008, 08:23 AM.
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                    RMLS-14 Momentary Hand Control
                    Miller Syncrowave 180 SD
                    Porter Cable 14" dry metal saw
                    Hitachi 4.5" grinder
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                    • #11
                      Make sure your output control is set to 100%

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                      • #12
                        Just getting back to the thread. I will be checking these issues tomorrow and give you guys feed back. Thanks a Million for the help so far. I will be back!!!!!!

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                        • #13
                          T. P.-
                          If you've got a big project going, and have to suffer through it with a
                          EconoTig--- once you get the pedal fixed:

                          You (still) may, or may not have a large enough heat source for what you're doing.

                          Hey,,,
                          That's why some welders cost $1,500 bucks- and others cost $4,000.
                          They're different, you aren't 'just buying the name' or a 'decal'-
                          they really do different things, and the expensive one (really) is 'better'.

                          But;
                          You may be able to beat the system, or 'cheat'- for lack of a better word.

                          A little known 'Guru' trick to help ya compensate for a small welder-
                          and a big project, is to pre-heat the material around your intended weld,
                          with a propane, a Plumber's "B" tank, or a 'soft' flame from a Oxy/acetelane- torch.

                          If you're glueing together 1/4" Al. ,,, remember;
                          Heat is your friend...........

                          .
                          Last edited by Winger Ed.; 04-08-2008, 11:27 PM.
                          "Gone are the days of wooden ships, and Iron men.
                          I doubt we'll see either of their likes again".

                          Circa 1920.
                          Author:
                          Unknown US Coast Guard unit Commander.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I've had trouble doing 1/4" aluminum with the econotig. You're probably going to need a good preheat. Also get ready for the overheat protection to come one when you least expect it. IIRC, The econotig is 20% duty cycle at full output.

                            Some of the numbnuts mistakes I've made:
                            Be sure the big "ker-chunk" switch is set to the LARGER of the two AC amp ranges.
                            Be sure the knob is set to 100%

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                            • #15
                              Pre heat is the key on all aluminum welding. Not only does it burn off inpurities, but starts you off hot.
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