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RE: [welding_group] Re: AC or DC?

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  • Scott Williams
    A great place to ask about all the different options out there (or rather, read answers, because the questions have all been asked before) is:
    Message 1 of 8 , Mar 28, 2013
      A great place to ask about all the different options out there (or rather,
      read answers, because the questions have all been asked before) is:

      http://weldingweb.com/

      You can't go wrong there, in my experience, at least as helpful as this
      group, but much bigger. I enjoy this small mailing list group, but if I
      need answers from experience, weldingweb has them. And they have cool
      threads about people restoring old welders, people getting "China" welders
      and upgrading them with better components for a good end result, and other
      good DIY stuff.

      One thing that made my eyes go wide for a moment when I read the original
      post in this thread was "I have a coupla planes with a lot of aluminum in
      them." YIKES! I don't think an airplane is the place to learn your
      aluminum TIG skills!! I can't imagine you'd be allowed to weld on your own
      plane without special certification, unless it was an experimental, and even
      then, probably only ultralight. Just guessing here, but I'd err on the side
      of caution every time in a case like this.

      Scott in Penfield NY

      -----Original Message-----
      From: welding_group@yahoogroups.com [mailto:welding_group@yahoogroups.com]
      On Behalf Of jbrookes40
      Sent: Thursday, March 28, 2013 7:14 AM
      To: welding_group@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [welding_group] Re: AC or DC?

      Harbor Freight has a $200 TIG that I have. It does DC stick as well, which
      works very well. The TIG works OK, but won't do Aluminum. They also sell a
      digital TIG around 350 as I recall. For AC TIG, I see the Everlast for
      around $750, analog version. Also some Chinese welders are out there that
      will do plasma cutting, AC, DC for around $600. I don't know the reviews on
      these.
      Whether you should bother depends on how clean a weld you want. I often use
      stick for functional welds because its so quick and easy. Years ago I had an
      expensive DC TIG unit, and that thing would get perfect results, even in my
      hands. (not aluminum) The HF digital version is something to check out, and
      they have reviews online. The nice thing about Harbor is they have a 2 year
      warranty where you can trade it in for a new one. That's worth a lot.
      jb

      --- In welding_group@yahoogroups.com, "thubbadubba" <gab16@...> wrote:
      >
      > I am a novice welder. I have used stick and MIG, but I only own a
      > Wards 295A stick buzz-box.
      >
      > I have not used a DC stick welder. I am wondering if I should even
      bother...
      > I have thought about just selling this welder and buying an AC/DC. I
      > have a enough very heavy duty diodes I could build a rectifier. This
      > would give me
      > DC+ and DC- as well as AC. I read about using a heavy torroid to
      > DC+ smooth out
      > the DC. If any of you can comment on this, I am wondering if I should
      > bother fooling with it. I have a 75 lb torroid out of some fancy
      > surplus electronics. It is about one foot in outside diameter.
      >
      > If I could make it easier to strike an arc (more practice and clean
      > metal?) and have a smoother arc I doubt I would need a wire welder.
      >
      > Maybe/probably I should just go straight to a MIG or TIG. Any idea
      > what price range I might expect in order to find a used TIG? I want
      > reasonable quality but it will just be hobby use. I may do some
      > aircraft 4130 tubing repair and some 4x4 fabrication with heavier
      > metal. I saw some models on Craigslist for $600 on up. I suppose if I
      > search farther in the archives I'll find suggestions about welder
      > brand names for a beginner? TIG might be worth looking in to as I have
      > a coupla planes with a lot of aluminum in them.
      >
      > GeoB
      >




      ------------------------------------

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    • thubbadubba
      Thanks, James, for your thoughtful in-depth answer! GeoB
      Message 2 of 8 , Mar 29, 2013
        Thanks, James, for your thoughtful in-depth answer!
        GeoB
      • thubbadubba
        JA, thanks for your reply. Good information! ... Well.. welding isn t the only thing in my life. My welds aren t the prettiest but I don t recall any of them
        Message 3 of 8 , Mar 29, 2013
          JA, thanks for your reply. Good information!

          > Sounds like you need to learn how to weld before

          Well.. welding isn't the only thing in my life. My welds aren't the prettiest but I don't recall any of them breaking. Most of what I have done recently is in fabricating various things for my 4x4. Bumpers, etc. I don't care so much if my welds are pretty or not on there. I know I get strong welds with good penetration. I like to do things 'right' but sometimes have to prioritize.

          I do very little welding. I have no big welding project in mind, just incidental stuff. I figgered I should get a common versatile welder and get proficient on that. I'm an old fa.. uh, dude, and I learned to weld in high school. I have used those skills (arc and gas) only a few times. I am really out of practice.

          > An AC stick machine will do, generally speaking, what a DC machine will do.

          Great!

          > Don't buy crap equipment or that's what you will have.

          I have used a 110v Miller MIG machine and did pretty well with it.

          > You mentioned a "plane". If that is an AIRPLANE, you need to know what you are doing before you start welding on it!

          Not to worry. I am a cautious person. And not stupid. I am recently retired but have no idea how long I will live, probably shorter than longer. So I wanted to have a machine with capabilities I could grow into if I decided to build that 4130 aircraft frame down the road somewhere. I own both an ultralight and an Experimental/Amateur Built. I do have some 4130 tubing welding to do on it, but it is in very non-critical non load-bearing areas. I expect to use gas for that. And I will research more about the effects of the heat on the weld and surroundings.

          Thanks again!
          GeoB
        • Jallcorn
          They (miller & Lincoln) make multi purpose units. Miller XMT series. Had I known what I know now, I d have bought one of these instead of all the definite
          Message 4 of 8 , Mar 30, 2013
            They (miller & Lincoln) make multi purpose units. Miller XMT series. Had I known what I know now, I'd have bought one of these instead of all the definite purpose machines I now have. W/ a wire feeder they will run wire, will do stick and TIG.  But are pricy. I could have saved $2000 or so w/ one of these instead of buying things 1at a time for what I needed to do at the time. But I never dreamed I'd do the other stuff I do. Such is life. 

            I retired 14 yrs ago at 52. Welding is much like riding a bicycle. Once you learn you have a general idea how to do it.  

            Some pretty welds are bad and some ugly ones are good. Try not to get air/crap inclusions in welds as will make it weaker. Practice properly. That's what my welding instructor drilled into me. 
            James 

            Cindy or James 

            On Mar 29, 2013, at 2:49 PM, "thubbadubba" <gab16@...> wrote:

             

            JA, thanks for your reply. Good information!

            > Sounds like you need to learn how to weld before

            Well.. welding isn't the only thing in my life. My welds aren't the prettiest but I don't recall any of them breaking. Most of what I have done recently is in fabricating various things for my 4x4. Bumpers, etc. I don't care so much if my welds are pretty or not on there. I know I get strong welds with good penetration. I like to do things 'right' but sometimes have to prioritize.

            I do very little welding. I have no big welding project in mind, just incidental stuff. I figgered I should get a common versatile welder and get proficient on that. I'm an old fa.. uh, dude, and I learned to weld in high school. I have used those skills (arc and gas) only a few times. I am really out of practice.

            > An AC stick machine will do, generally speaking, what a DC machine will do.

            Great!

            > Don't buy crap equipment or that's what you will have.

            I have used a 110v Miller MIG machine and did pretty well with it.

            > You mentioned a "plane". If that is an AIRPLANE, you need to know what you are doing before you start welding on it!

            Not to worry. I am a cautious person. And not stupid. I am recently retired but have no idea how long I will live, probably shorter than longer. So I wanted to have a machine with capabilities I could grow into if I decided to build that 4130 aircraft frame down the road somewhere. I own both an ultralight and an Experimental/Amateur Built. I do have some 4130 tubing welding to do on it, but it is in very non-critical non load-bearing areas. I expect to use gas for that. And I will research more about the effects of the heat on the weld and surroundings.

            Thanks again!
            GeoB

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