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TIG Welders - Converted Stick any good or waste of time?

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26 Aug 2020 09:49 #227357 by Scimike
Any professional welders or keen hobbyist out there?

I fall into the keen hobbyist category and have a fairly decent MIG welder and a cheap DC inverter stick welder that is surprisingly good. I have always wanted a go a TIG welding but don’t want to invest too much.
I have seen youtube videos of people using a DC stick welder converted to scratch start TIG. I appreciate you won’t have hands free control for Amps / starting, but it does appear to be a cheap way to achieve TIG with kit I already have (Gas and torch aside).

Is this actually a viable proposition or should I just save my cash and go for a dedicated TIG welder?

Some cheap TIGs on the market appear to be DC Stick welders, so I am confused as why they are different.
Any feedback on this appreciated to help me decide.

Thanks
Mike

Yokohama Geolanders, Sony 2D head unit, Elvis Bobblehead, Jimnybits transfer Guard, Hand crafted Indian hanging Elephant, Koni Heavy track dampers, Voodoo Doll with pins (active spell - I believe it's working), Jimnybits Adventure Rack, towbar, Light bar and vintage caravan.

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26 Aug 2020 10:26 #227358 by sniper
I was a multi coded, multi process welder and the simple answer is yes, you can use the stick set as a power source for DC TIG scratch or lift start.

Cheap Chinese inverters have been a waste of money in the past but things may have changed. I have been out of the game nearly 10 years...

I have seen used commercial sets from Lincoln and Kempi from as little as £500. Thats where I would go, rather than buy a cheap new set.

Once you become proficient at TIG you won't want to use other processes....

Get a gas lens rather than a standard diffuser, much better gas cover....

sniper

Truck Cab tray back, 1600 VVT, R7ME gearbox & manual transfer, Quaife ATB diff, 4-2-1 manifold, Tony Banks 2" stainless exhaust, K&N panel filter, Mobil One oil, Eibach springs, AVO adjustable dampers, Limit straps, BFG 16" Km2 tyres, Drilled Grooved disks, EBC Greenstuff pads, Full breather kit...
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26 Aug 2020 21:30 #227388 by Busta
I've been an agricultural/hobby welder for many years and recently started doing TIG. I went for a UK made TecArc TIG186i which was around £500 with everything needed to get started (apart from the gas). It's basic by TIG standards but still has high frequency start, remote control either on the torch or a pedal, pulse settings, post flow, slope down etc. All useful features that you won't get on a converted stick unit.

Having done Arc and MIG for many years, and with a days professional TIG training, the learning curve was steep! I haven't tried scratch or lift start but I can only imagine it would make it much harder. HF start makes arcing up easy but it still takes time to get to grips with having a steady hand, maintaining good torch height, not dipping the tungsten etc. With the added complication of a scratch start I'm sure I would have spent even more time sharpening tungsten than I already have!
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27 Aug 2020 14:44 #227398 by Scimike
Thanks for the feedback chaps, very interesting and helpful.
Did not know what a gas lens was, Google sorted that, looks like a good device to have. Secondhand is an option, but it's always difficult to get one in your back yard, mainly to see it working.
TecArc don't look a bad unit and a reasonable price, certainly within my price range.

Looks like I need to save a bit of cash and just get the unit I want, be it new or secondhand - mind made up.

Don't fancy making it difficult for myself. I have also determined that without proper control it's not going to be suitable for thinner metal gauges.
So even if I did get it to work I would want a " proper unit " soon after to achieve the welds I want.

Thanks again.
Mike

Yokohama Geolanders, Sony 2D head unit, Elvis Bobblehead, Jimnybits transfer Guard, Hand crafted Indian hanging Elephant, Koni Heavy track dampers, Voodoo Doll with pins (active spell - I believe it's working), Jimnybits Adventure Rack, towbar, Light bar and vintage caravan.

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27 Aug 2020 16:49 #227404 by Busta
TecArc also do a multi process MIG/TIG/stick machine that is well specced and not over priced. It has all the features of my TIG model and all the features of a regular MIG, so not as compromised as some machines that claim to do it all. You could replace 2 machines with 1 and gain some more functionality!

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