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Am I crazy!? Starting out with TIG.

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Am I crazy!? Starting out with TIG.

Postby Stevo450 » Sun Apr 17, 2016 9:28 am

I would like to learn how to weld, primarily aluminium, stainless, mild steel and titanium ( very ocassional )... I'm a bit of a weekend garage warrior and spend a lot of time dreaming up stuff that I want to make or find things I want to repair but always having to outsource stuff... I've been watching a LOT of Jody on welding tips and tricks for over a year and decided that I've got to learn to weld!

So I've had a good look at TIG machines and argon bottles etc and the cost of getting into it isn't cheap but for a lifelong skill set that I'll use for years to come I figure it's worth it!

I have Lincoln machines available at a tool store close by and hear good things about them!

So am I out of my depth here? I understand that this is going to take some time to get the hang of it but I have a lot of patience so I think I can do it :)

What do you think and what machine ( model ) is a good start point? Bearing in mind that down the track I don't want to be having to get another machine because I started out with the most basic model and that sort of thing....

Any advice/tips/ideas/thoughts would be great!
Thanks
Steve
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Re: Am I crazy!? Starting out with TIG.

Postby MinnesotaDave » Sun Apr 17, 2016 9:34 am

Tig has a long learning curve but it's just a welding process - it can be learned.

Have fun, don't take shortcuts, practice practice practice - after the first 100 hours it gets much easier.

Rule #1, never practice on an actual part - the grinding and rework more than negate any time saved by not practicing on scrap first.
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Re: Am I crazy!? Starting out with TIG.

Postby exnailpounder » Sun Apr 17, 2016 9:43 am

Stevo450 wrote:I would like to learn how to weld, primarily aluminium, stainless, mild steel and titanium ( very ocassional )... I'm a bit of a weekend garage warrior and spend a lot of time dreaming up stuff that I want to make or find things I want to repair but always having to outsource stuff... I've been watching a LOT of Jody on welding tips and tricks for over a year and decided that I've got to learn to weld!

So I've had a good look at TIG machines and argon bottles etc and the cost of getting into it isn't cheap but for a lifelong skill set that I'll use for years to come I figure it's worth it!

I have Lincoln machines available at a tool store close by and hear good things about them!

So am I out of my depth here? I understand that this is going to take some time to get the hang of it but I have a lot of patience so I think I can do it :)

What do you think and what machine ( model ) is a good start point? Bearing in mind that down the track I don't want to be having to get another machine because I started out with the most basic model and that sort of thing....

Any advice/tips/ideas/thoughts would be great!
Thanks
Steve

People have been welding and learning how to weld for a long time. You can do it too. Just don't try to re-invent anything. Jody's videos are priceless in the knowledge that he gives you. Welding is just a process that has been perfected and only takes practice to master. We were all beginners at one time. Have fun!
Ifyoucantellmewhatthissaysiwillbuyyouabeer.
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Re: Am I crazy!? Starting out with TIG.

Postby Sandow » Sun Apr 17, 2016 9:51 am

The miller machines are certainly good choices but there are a lot of options out there and for a hobby level welder, that may be over the top. Many people use machines like this and are very happy with them:

http://www.amazon.com/AHP-AlphaTIG-Stic ... ds=ahp+tig

Besides the welder itself, budget for an argon tank, gas lenses, torch heads, a selection of fill rods, welding outfit including a good helmet and a pair of high dexterity gloves.

I got into it much the same as you and practiced on my own for months before taking a welding class. The class did nothing for overall knowledge but it was a great chance to practice a lot and in the end, that is most of what gets you there.

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Re: Am I crazy!? Starting out with TIG.

Postby Oscar » Sun Apr 17, 2016 12:21 pm

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Re: Am I crazy!? Starting out with TIG.

Postby zank » Sun Apr 17, 2016 1:48 pm

With practice, perseverance, a thirst for knowledge, constant self evaluation, the ability to laugh at your mistakes, and a good attitude, you will be great!
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Re: Am I crazy!? Starting out with TIG.

Postby ex framie » Sun Apr 17, 2016 5:43 pm

As a weekend warrior the biggest issue you'll face is seat time.
You'll have a run where you'll get to a point where you'll start getting happy with your welds and comfortable with the process, all good.
Then there will be a bit of a hiatus where nothing needs welding.
Your next attempt will show just what "fido's butt" looks like and the kids learn some new words.
As mentioned practice on scrap first, learn from your mistakes and enjoy.

Cheers
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Re: Am I crazy!? Starting out with TIG.

Postby thespian » Sun Apr 17, 2016 5:48 pm

I would say you are not crazy at all. Learning tig is another thing to learn, so learn it.

I would say even before you buy a machine get a piece of welding rod , and set in front of the tv, and run it with one hand from end to end keeping in mind that you want to keep the end in the gas of the torch. This will give you a leg up for sure, as feeding wire is the "hardest" part of learning to tig weld.
As for machine , I think the everlast powertig 250 is a hard one to beat for a home welder. You can add a cooler down the road if you would like, and they are pretty cost effective as far as machines go.
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Re: Am I crazy!? Starting out with TIG.

Postby motox » Sun Apr 17, 2016 7:35 pm

if you have a oxy/acetylene welding set up its is
a nice stepping stone to TIG.
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Re: Am I crazy!? Starting out with TIG.

Postby Coldman » Tue Apr 19, 2016 8:38 am

You hear that alot. It's logical so there must be truth in it.
I've oxy welded for many years, damn I can just about oxy weld with my eyes closed.
Didn't seem to help me when I decided to learn tig. Man was I ham fisted. Stick and mig no probs but my teachers must have thought I was hopeless at tig. Seat time is the key. So if I was on a budget and didn't already have an oxy set I would go straight to the tig power source and get practicing.
Flat out like a lizard drinkin'
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