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Spoolgun or Tig welder

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  • Spoolgun or Tig welder

    Several new jobs have come up for me regarding some welding of SS and/or aluminum nothing thicker than 3/16th (sink stands for boat docks). I have a Mig welder that I can put on a spoolgun but I was thinking about just buying a Tig welder to do the work. Would it be smarter to just buy the spoolgun and let it be, or spend the money on a Miller Syncrowave 200.

  • #2
    I personaly would go with the spool gun but do whatever you think would work best.

    thunderbolt xl
    hypertherm powermax 380
    jet bandsaw

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    • #3
      How thin do you need to be able to go? The spoolgun will give you much more productivity, but TIG will go thinner and give more control over bead appearance, plus give you a SMAW and exotic metals capability.

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      • #4
        MAC702,

        That's what I'm fighting about, the capablity of Tig welding on thinner material and the overal appearance of the weld. The spoolgun would be alot cheaper than a new Tig machine.

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        • #5
          You may get by with just a Teflon Liner for your mig gun, i welded a million miles of weld like that at work with a Delta Weld 452, but it may not work for you. A spoolgun would be faster and better than a liner but give it a try. A tig would be real nice if you want to buy another machine.
          But a liner may not be avail for your machine, i don't know what you have....Bob

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          • #6
            aametalmaster is right and a Teflon Liner will help in the decision process. I love my 15A spool gun. 0.062 - 0.075 cheep tool box’s are a dream to weld back up, if you prep and clean the material first.

            The 15 A spool gun was difficult to get use to at first because of the weight and fiscal size of the gun and hoses. I've learned to loop the hoses over my shoulder and cross hand the gun for more control of the bead (appearance) .

            Try to find someone in the area that has one and test it out first.

            jim

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            • #7
              I wouldnt base your choice on the cost of the machine, but the cost of welding time. tig is very slow you will get faster but how long will that take. if you can mig the thickness & the weld looks good than you should mig I weld a lot of thin alluminum & do not have a choice but I sure whis I could mig it I could finish in a fraction of the time.

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              • #8
                Sounds like for your project (boat docks) you could go either way. But consider what else you may be using it for.

                A spoolgun is great for production work with a long, easy to access weld. But I'd never attempt using a spoolgun for something like a bicycle frame...

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                • #9
                  Maybe a steel frame and the gun was loaded with .030 S6 steel wire...Bob

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                  • #10
                    If the spool gun will solve all of your fabrication issues - then by all means buy it. It will be the cheaper solution. However, if you will need to do finished SS, Alum, then a TIG machine might be a better answer.

                    Steve

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                    • #11
                      mig vs tig aluminum

                      I used to work for Rocky Mountain bycicles, and I learned to TIG there. I was told that a 30% penetration TIG joint on aluminum equaled the strength of a 100% mig joint. Since then I have found this to be somewhat true. Buy whatever suits your needs and the application.

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                      • #12
                        I went with an old 70's cobramatic handle, wire feeder and pulse box run off an equally old three phase Miller CP 200 three phase power source. All that only cost me $185 believe it or not. It puts out welds that are very near tig quality when it's pumpin' out thin wire. The down side is I have to run it off a three phase Bobcat welder/generator that cost me $3600 whether I'm in the field or even when I'm in the shop, at least until I can rig up some kind of rotary phase converter. Still, it's nice to be burning 16 pound spools instead of one pounders and the handle isn't so bulky either. Anybody know what size four wire extention cord I should use between the generator and the CP 200? I'm expecting to need to get 50 or 100 feet away from the generator on the truck.

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                        • #13
                          Is your CP-200 set up for 208V input or 480V input? The 3-phase Bobcat puts out 480V for 3-phase, right? My CP-200 is 208V. This will make the difference in the size of extension cord you use. #12 works fine for 208V (19.5A on mine at rated output, if I remember right), and you could easily use #14 on the higher voltage. Do you have your manual? You can get it by clicking the "Service & Support" tab in the header at the top of this page.
                          Last edited by MAC702; 07-25-2006, 08:29 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Mig is good but Tig is going to give you quality and maximise your material usage. Also produces strongest welds
                            Syncowave 200 is a good machine. I would look into the Dynasty line eather a 200 or 300. I'm not kidding folks Auto link and Auto-line is the way to go. We just outfitted the school here in VA with both units and the cost savings in power alone payed for the Machines in the first year. Running 12 machines we found our savings to be right around 724 KWH a DAY.

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                            • #15
                              Purchased a Miller Syncrowave 200 Tig welder today. I'm looking forward to using it.

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