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Thinking about a MIG welder

Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Sep 28, 2015
38,136
Salem, Oregon
One of the primary uses for TIG is welding Stainless piping for process piping (chemical process, food process and power piping) did a lot of that years ago at Maxwell House coffee. It's also popular for aluminum fabrication such as Marine applications. For food process the piping is capped on the ends and purged with Argon to prevent any interior weld contamination. One of the attributes of TIG is that it uses no fluxes of any kind hence the weld are very clean..
I believe that the majority of my GenRight parts are TIG welded as they are aluminum. I could be wrong. But the welds look like the most beautiful stack of dimes you’ll ever see.
 

TJ4Jim

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Dec 9, 2015
1,305
Brookings, Oregon
I had a T-top fabricated for my boat a few years back and they used an aluminum spool gun, the welds were beautiful. That process involves a ton of practice and experience. The biggest problem I have is the ability to see the puddle as I'm welding, getting hard even with glasses.
 
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PCO6

TJ Enthusiast
Dec 25, 2016
730
Newmarket, Ontario
... The biggest problem I have is the ability to see the puddle as I'm welding, getting hard even with glasses.
I've been welding since my teens and a few years ago I thought I was getting worse not better. Cheap reading glasses solved the problem.

You're never too old to learn new tricks btw. A couple of days ago I learned how to spot weld aluminum. I have to find some new projects!
 
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tworley

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
May 23, 2018
2,271
Morrison, CO
All this talk about welding makes me want to buy one. I used to weld in high school and wasnt to bad. Not the prettiest but they held. Maybe I'll take a look and see what it would take to throw in a 220 into my garage....
 

cliffish

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Oct 22, 2017
2,710
St James, NY, United States
I am not sure I have room in the box to add another 220 line, already one each for dryer, pool pump, pool heat pump, central ac and a hot tub! Gee can imagine why my electric bill goes to over $1100/month in the summer???
 

Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Sep 28, 2015
38,136
Salem, Oregon
spool guns are used when using your mig welder for aluminum.
Got it! That's what I've been reading after posting that, but thanks for clarifying.

So a TIG welder isn't used for thick, hard steel, right? My understanding is that a TIG welder is used for alloys, but can also be used for thinner steels (i.e. stainless steel)?
 

Flib

TJ Enthusiast
Apr 15, 2018
464
Nova Scotia
Got it! That's what I've been reading after posting that, but thanks for clarifying.

So a TIG welder isn't used for thick, hard steel, right? My understanding is that a TIG welder is used for alloys, but can also be used for thinner steels (i.e. stainless steel)?
you can weld anything with a tig that you can do with a mig (to an extent obviously), however your technique would certainly be different. Not too many people would ever try to weld half inch plate with a tig, but you could.

TIG is more of a finesse method, typically used on thin metals, aluminum, stainless etc. and is much much slower then mig welding.

In the end it is all the same thing, the melting of parent metals together to form a bond.
 
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Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Sep 28, 2015
38,136
Salem, Oregon
you can weld anything with a tig that you can do with a mig (to an extent obviously), however your technique would certainly be different. Not too many people would ever try to weld half inch plate with a tig, but you could.

TIG is more of a finesse method, typically used on thin metals, aluminum, stainless etc. and is much much slower then mig welding.

In the end it is all the same thing, the melting of parent metals together to form a bond.
Great explanation. That definitely put it in perspective for me.
 

PCO6

TJ Enthusiast
Dec 25, 2016
730
Newmarket, Ontario
you can weld anything with a tig that you can do with a mig (to an extent obviously), however your technique would certainly be different. Not too many people would ever try to weld half inch plate with a tig, but you could.

TIG is more of a finesse method, typically used on thin metals, aluminum, stainless etc. and is much much slower then mig welding.

In the end it is all the same thing, the melting of parent metals together to form a bond.
That's true. Similarly you can weld pretty much anything with an O/A torch. It's not always the best thing to use … but you can. I watched my Dad braze the dynamic jaw of a broken bench vice back together in the early '70s. My brothers and I couldn't believe it and one of them is still using it! MIG is preferred for body work but I still use a torch for many things, hammer welding sheet metal for example.
 
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softballnrd27

Member
Supporting Member
I've had my Hobart Handler 210MVP for about 3 years now and it does everything I can ask of it on my Jeep. I don't even use the 110v plug. For now, I just use the 30 AMP Dryer plug for mine. I might try and get an electrician to install a true 50 AMP plug in the garage but since I rent that might not be possible.
 
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xackley

TJ Enthusiast
In pressure vessels, like generating plants, TIG is used to root the pipes and tubes. Usually stick to fill and cap. MIG or stick for structural.

For home use I find a flux core wire works fine if it is possible to get the surfaces clean. Even if you can't get it clean, it is better than nothing when fixing a crack in your niece's wood stove using the power from a normal wall outlet.
 

Akitadog

Member
Supporting Member
Jun 11, 2018
46
Lodi, Ca
I purchased a Millermatic 175 , 120-230v w/ 20/80 gas years ago and it has done everything I've asked to do. Even some 1/2" plate after heating it up with an acetylene torch. I plug it into the driers outlet via 20' 10/3 extension cord that will allow it to reach out to the driveway. It can run a spool gun to for aluminum. I would think you could pick up used one for around 400? You do need a cart for it also.
 

Flib

TJ Enthusiast
Apr 15, 2018
464
Nova Scotia
That's true. Similarly you can weld pretty much anything with an O/A torch. It's not always the best thing to use … but you can. I watched my Dad braze the dynamic jaw of a broken bench vice back together in the early '70s. My brothers and I couldn't believe it and one of them is still using it! MIG is preferred for body work but I still use a torch for many things, hammer welding sheet metal for example.
I built bicycle frames for a few years and loved brazing, loved the look of it :)

however brazing is not a form of welding as the parent metals are not fused but still a very strong joint, the benefit of brazing is you can join dissimilar metals.
 
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mrblaine

TJ Expert
Supporting Member
Nov 20, 2015
5,349
Quail Valley, CA
With MIG it is very important to have clean, shiny metal. Any rust, paint, dirt will result in a bad weld. Argon or CO gas is easier and prettier that flux core. 120v flux core is good for convenience. But I think the extra smoke and smaller puddle might make it harder to learn.
;)
DSC_2405.jpg
 

mrblaine

TJ Expert
Supporting Member
Nov 20, 2015
5,349
Quail Valley, CA
I believe that the majority of my GenRight parts are TIG welded as they are aluminum. I could be wrong. But the welds look like the most beautiful stack of dimes you’ll ever see.
They are Tig welded, (the aluminum parts) and the giant problem with "stack of dimes" as a criteria for a good looking weld is folks try to mimic the look with steel Mig welds and they shouldn't. Each weld type will have a proper appearance based on the process and material.
 
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mrblaine

TJ Expert
Supporting Member
Nov 20, 2015
5,349
Quail Valley, CA
I had a T-top fabricated for my boat a few years back and they used an aluminum spool gun, the welds were beautiful. That process involves a ton of practice and experience. The biggest problem I have is the ability to see the puddle as I'm welding, getting hard even with glasses.
The manufacturers have come a long way towards improving aluminum welding processes get them away from Tig for production. Typically takes a lot of horsepower but they are out there. The best I've seen are the push pull systems with pulse welding. I watched a "how its made" type show on making fuel tanks for big rigs and they were using what I believe is that type of welder. The Fab Shop for Savvy's gas tank skids bought one to avoid having to carry them next door to get Tig welded.
 
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mrblaine

TJ Expert
Supporting Member
Nov 20, 2015
5,349
Quail Valley, CA
I am not sure I have room in the box to add another 220 line, already one each for dryer, pool pump, pool heat pump, central ac and a hot tub! Gee can imagine why my electric bill goes to over $1100/month in the summer???
Be happy that all those aren't 110. That would just about double your bill.