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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Most likely in Florida
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    Default Passport Pro and 16 gauge aluminum?

    I'm thinking about getting a Passport Pro. I need to be able to weld 16 guage aluminum. The Passport Pro PDF files says "18 guage to 1/4 inch aluminum". Should I believe it?

    The Miller web page on MIG aluminum welding hints says not to try MIG on anything under 14 gauge. I have never welded before, so will be happy to get any advice I can. I'd hate to spend the money and not be able to do what I need to do.

    The primary use is hobby auto. I'll be welding intakes, intercooler pipes, etc. I need both aluminum and stainless steel.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    near rochester NY
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    Default

    i think if it said 18 gage is doable it likely is. with that in mind i also think for a more precise weld a TIG might be in order.
    never welded an inter cooler, how small of a weld is needed?? i think a demo might be in order. maybe rent one for a week to see how well it handles the job at hand.
    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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Default

    Renting one is a good idea. I wonder if I could find one close by, and one that has the Passport Pro no-less.

    I'm not sure I plan on welding intercooler endtanks, I was more refering to the pipes leading to and from it (which is one of my immediate needs). They would likely be 16 gauge aluminum tubes 2.5" in diameter. I could use stainless for almost everything really (intercooler endtanks being one exception), but I like the idea of using aluminum for weight reasons.

    What I really want is a Dynasty 200 DX. However, cost is a factor and the Dynasty 200 DX doesn't even come with a torch, whereas the Passport Pro comes with most of the accessories. The price difference to get all set up between the two is almost two times.

    The middle ground is the Syncrowave 200. My problem with it is that it weighs in at ~250 lbs and it requires 230V. I know I'd need to run 230V with the Passport Pro and Dynasty 200 DX for thicker materials, but being able to run 120V for most of what I do is nice. And that I can pick the thing up and use it elsewhere in 120V is even nicer.

    The other issue is that I've never welded. Everyone says TIG is hard to learn. I don't have a lot of extra time. I don't expect to be an expert MIG welder instantly, but if I have a shot at being a good MIG in the amount of time that leaves me still as a sucky TIG welder, well, that is a point to consider as well.

    Is there anything that can't be done with TIG that should be done with MIG? I know MIG is faster, so probably better for huge jobs that need to get done quickly, but other then that, is there a plus MIG has going for it over TIG?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    near rochester NY
    Posts
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    Default

    the only + MIG has over TIG is speed, deposition rates. TIG can get it all done, slower but generally a nicer look, but it dose take skill and time to learn.once learned some guys will TIG at an impressive pace, but they been at it for a wile.
    if $ was the only concern i would suggest the TA-185 as a TIG option. i and many other members have them and every one (myself included) is very happy with them. no 120V option as its 240V only, but other then that its close to the same options as the Dyn 200. it comes complete ready to weld with every thing except the gas tank for $2,000.oo even. generally about $600-800 under the Dyn200. still only needs 30amp circuit and is easy to cary around.
    it sounds like the passport pro is more along what you are looking for. i would stop in at your LWS and see about a rental or demo. bring some samples to try out the pas-pro on. maybe have them do a few welds if you need time to learn. i'm shore if you buy one from them they will give you a crash coarse on it to get you started.
    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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Most likely in Florida
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    Default

    Cool. Thanks for the input. The TA185 looks interesting. I hadn't seen it before. So I guess I have it narrowed down to the following (prices general based on quick searches).

    1. Passport Plus ~$1550 with spoolgun (minus current $100 rebate)
    2. TA185 ~$2350
    3. Dynasty 200 DX ~$3250 for machine + "kit"

    Part me thinks I should get a TIG because I may want to do more, and then I'd end up having to buy one later. There have been many times I've bought something that did what I needed at the time only to kick myself later as I have a need which the tool wasn't capable of handling, so I ended up "upgrading" and losing money in the process. On the other hand, maybe the Passport Plus really can do everything I need. But I don't know if I can judge that until I can really weld myself and start playing around.

    Hard decisions.

    Now for a stupid question... Is there an average length of time that some which is fairly adept at learning new things can become a semi-decent TIG welder? I know it is different for everyone, but at this point I have no clue what to even think. It doesn't look that hard.
    Last edited by root; 01-27-2008 at 06:16 PM. Reason: Major goof in Dynasty DX 200 price

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    N.C.
    Posts
    362

    Default

    Some pick up TIG quicker than MIG...it depends on you and who can help you...it's best to have someone there that knows what they are doing to help you and possibly stop bad habits early....
    George W. Bush was saving your butt whether you liked it or not!
    Fear is temporary, regret is forever
    HH210 with SG

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    near rochester NY
    Posts
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    Default

    yep, what he said.
    look for local shop willing to help you learn. some LWS now offer buy here learn here incentives to get you to buy local. seeing it done right will really help.vo-tec schools are options also. even a simple metal art class might be an option if the instructor is willing to help you learn what you need. see whats out there.
    even with a TIG in the shop i think the pas-port would be a nice partner. the 2 together would offer you greater flexibility to meet deadlines or what ever may come up. starting out with a pas-port then adding a TIG later letting the pas port pay for the TIG would be best. always good to have more options, TIG and MIG go well together to round out a shop.
    i picked up TIG fast but struggle with stick ???? although i have an O/A background so TIG was easy for me. still no pro, nor am i very fast. but i can get the job done.

    i got all my welding equipment threw IOC.
    TA-185 = $2,049.oo free dilivery.
    http://cgi.ebay.com/THERMAL-ARC-AM-1...QQcmdZViewItem
    $2457.oo for a TA-200 fully equiped
    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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Most likely in Florida
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    Default

    Thanks guys. I think I now have enough info to make a decision, although it is still going to be a difficult one. The TA185 is close enough in price to the Passport Plus that it puts TIG back in the game again.

    It is down to those two. So it is essentially a TIG vs MIG decision. I definitely can't afford both (but I accept gifts, anybody? ). Even if I end up buying the other a year from now, I have to make the current decision as if this will be the only one I will ever buy.

    TA185 would be the most versatile and capable. The PP can run on 120V or 230V and they say it can weld 16 gauge aluminum (as I assume the TA185 can), which for the moment is the critical requirement.

    I'm not sure what I'll choose, but hopefully I'll make a choice.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    near rochester NY
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    Default

    I'm not sure what I'll choose, but hopefully I'll make a choice
    tuff call.
    see if ya cant do a little test driving.
    list your location, maybe one of the members is near you and would be willing to let ya come over and test drive theres or at least try it on your samples to see if its do able.maybe let ya know about a class option near you. i would be happy to let ya come over and try my TA-185.........or give ya a few good starter tip's to help ya get started any way. 16 gage is a piece of cake on the TA-185 well so is 20 gage for that matter.
    TIG is a lot of fun, but it is not the fastest option. if you are near me pop over and we will TIG up some stuff.

    good luck on your choice
    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

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Most likely in Florida
    Posts
    111

    Default

    Thanks for the offer to let me try yours. Unfortunately I'm in central Florida. A bit of a trek.

    The TA185 is really starting to tempt me though. The more I think about the things I could eventually do with it, the more I think I want the TA185. I was searching around the Internet and came across a thread from a guy that is doing pretty much the same sort of stuff I'm planning on doing and he bought the TA185 and loves it.

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