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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Huntington, NY


    Quote Originally Posted by elvis View Post
    I have not run them at all, but the Thermal arc 186ac/dc tig machine looks nice. It is a low cost way to get pulse, hf start, foot pedal or fingertip amptrol and pretty good adjustment. That might be the route I go while I save up for a dynasty.
    If the 186 is as good as the 185 was you will rethink going to a Dynasty 200.

    Now upgrading to a 280 or 350 is another question.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Milan Michigan


    MMW, It sounds like you have never actually did scratch start tig.

    I used to use my portable arc welder all the time to do scratch start tig.

    All you need is a air cooled tig torch, I would then take the welding lead that holds the welding rod and that Know becomes the ground, you then hook the ground cable to the tig torch along with your bottle of argon and you then manually turn the argon on at the torch and go back to the machine to set your heat untill you get it where you need it.

    I have welded alot of restaurant stainless and steel with the tig torch, Yes your tungsten will get a little contamination on it after a few starts so you have to resharpen once in a while. Its a poor mans tig that will work fine for most steel jobs ( Never used a copper plate either, I just arced off the clean material that I was welding.

    The only thing I dont know is how smooth of an arc your Thunder bolt has and make sure the machine is on DC.
    I always used a red band tungsten which is 2% Thoriated. You should be able to pick up a torch for about $ 200.00 to $ 300.00 along with a argon hose and then you will need 100% argon tank and regulator.

    This set up is not for doing aluminum however. Good Luck Portable Welder.

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