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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    3

    Default 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. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Browns Valley, California
    Posts
    1,713

    Default

    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
    ...from the Gadget Garage
    Millermatic 210 w/3035, BWE
    Handler 210 w/DP3035
    TA185TSW
    Victor O/A "J" series, SuperRange

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    184

    Default

    Quote 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.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Ventura, California
    Posts
    102

    Default 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.
    Dynasty 200 DX
    Coolmate 3

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    near rochester NY
    Posts
    9,881

    Default

    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.
    thanks for the help
    ......or..........
    hope i helped

    feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. james@newyorkmetalart.com
    summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.
    JAMES

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    NEWPORT NEWS ,VA
    Posts
    13

    Default

    What ya need is what I just got today check this
    Attached Images Attached Images
    2 TRAILBLAZER 302s AC/DC
    1 BIG40 DELUXE AC/DC
    2 MILLER HIGH FREQ. BOXES
    1 MILLER COOLMATE
    1 SPECTRUM 2050 PLASMA CUTTER
    1 SPOOLMATIC 30A
    1 MILLERMATIC 140
    1 LINCOLN LN-25 SUITCASE CC/CV
    INGERSOLL-RAND GAS POWERED AIR COMP.
    AND 2 BOX TRUCKS FULL OF TOOLS

    WWW.HOTWORXINC.COM

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    National City CA
    Posts
    1,086

    Default

    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
    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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Quote 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.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    NEWPORT NEWS ,VA
    Posts
    13

    Default

    just warm it up with torch first.
    2 TRAILBLAZER 302s AC/DC
    1 BIG40 DELUXE AC/DC
    2 MILLER HIGH FREQ. BOXES
    1 MILLER COOLMATE
    1 SPECTRUM 2050 PLASMA CUTTER
    1 SPOOLMATIC 30A
    1 MILLERMATIC 140
    1 LINCOLN LN-25 SUITCASE CC/CV
    INGERSOLL-RAND GAS POWERED AIR COMP.
    AND 2 BOX TRUCKS FULL OF TOOLS

    WWW.HOTWORXINC.COM

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Lake of the Ozarks MO
    Posts
    3,507

    Default

    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.
    Miller Dynasty 700...OH YEA BABY!!
    MM 350P...PULSE SPRAYIN' MONSTER
    Miller Dynasty 200 DX "Blue Lightning"

    Miller Bobcat 225 NT
    Miller 30-A Spoolgun
    Miller WC-115-A
    Miller Spectrum 300
    Miller Spoolmate 200
    Miller 225 Thunderbolt
    SPEEDGLAS 9100XX

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