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 Posted: Nov 18, 2019 09:08PM
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Check the ESAB Sentinel 50 helmet they're around $300, solar power plus replaceable batteries.
I wanted a 3M Speedglass which is a really nice piece, but couldn't justify the cost based on the amount I weld.

 

 

 Posted: Nov 18, 2019 11:29AM
 Edited:  Nov 18, 2019 11:34AM
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Visit eBay and look at the "Antra" brand auto-darkening welding helmets.  Their helmets are very suitable for the weaker arc of low Amp sheet metal welding (I think they can go down to a 5 Amp arc).  Many of their helmets are equipped with 4 sensors instead of 2.  The more sensors, the less chance of flashing due to shadows thrown by your hand. 

I started with a so-so single sensor helmet from Arc One.  When that one started having problems (battery was not replaceable) I tried a Harbor Freight helmet with two sensors.  That was better and actually surprisingly good for the price.  As with the Arc One, the built in batteries died and were not replaceable.  Then I bought the Antra.  I really like it compared to the others I have owned.  I did go back and modify the HF helmet to use external, replaceable batteries.  I keep it around as a spare and as a helmet for any guests who want to watch what I am doing.

Speaking of seeing what you are doing, make sure whatever helmet you buy has provisions for an internal "cheater" lens.  I currently have a #2 (reading glass equivalent) clipped into my Antra helmet.  I have one duck taped into the HF helmet.  The lenses are very helpful.

When I chose the Antra helmet I had also been looking at Eastwood.  Generally the Eastwood models had good reviews.  However, before you buy one, consider contacting Eastwood about the availability of parts for the helmet.  Back when I was looking they did not carry the protective shields or suspensions for a couple of their models.  You may never need spares but it is good to know they are available.

Doug L.
 Posted: Nov 18, 2019 08:06AM
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I don't have a helmet. I'm researching that as well. I see Eastwood also has a 180 degree panavision helmet, $200.

 Posted: Nov 15, 2019 02:02PM
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I've watched this guy's Youtube videos and learned tons about TIG and MIG he does some brief stuff on machines. I have a multi-process Thermal Arc fabricator that works well for MIG and TIG.
Welding Tips and Tricks

 

 

 Posted: Nov 15, 2019 01:19PM
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Sounds like a nice welder. Just not sure I would write off AL welding to at least a 1/4" if purchasing a TIG welder. 

Just talking TIG welders

 Posted: Nov 15, 2019 08:57AM
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There are a few Everlast videos on YouTube.  Most seem to cover the model that replaced mine.

In addition to the units from Eastwood and Everlast you can always look at the big names.  There is a Hobart unit that lists for about $1.3k, some Miller units that start around $1.6k, and a Lincoln unit that starts around $1.7k.  You won't go wrong with them, they just represent a higher dollar entry point than the Everlast or Eastwood.

The first unit I bought was a scratch start, 90 Amp, DC inverter unit from Arc One.  I would still be using it today but I caused it to fail.  I used compressed air to clean that corner of my garage and blew some machining chips into the welder.  Not realizing what I had done, I powered it on and the unit exploded in a shower of sparks.  An autopsy revealed that I had screwed up.  I would still be using that tiny inverter unit today if I hand't caused its death.  It was a great basic unit.

Doug L.
 Posted: Nov 15, 2019 07:26AM
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One of the videos I had just started to watch was demonstrating with a Everlast. Weld.com

 Posted: Nov 14, 2019 10:56AM
 Edited:  Nov 14, 2019 11:06AM
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I have never used a thumb control so I cannot comment about their use.  The videos I have watched suggest they can be a bit tricky to use.  I know that they are not cheap and will add at least $150 to the cost of the torch itself.  You will need a welder that is foot pedal ready to use the thumb control.  If you are choosing the thumb control because you will be working on your back or in hard to reach areas, you also want to consider buying a unit with high frequency start for the arc.

A 120V welder will be sufficient for thin gage material.  If you are going to stick with mild steel, you can use a basic DC inverter TIG.  The sheet metal you are talking about can be handled by even the most compact units operating on 120V.    

Eastwood has a lot of good YouTube videos showing how to TIG and of course... demonstrating their equipment.  I have not bought a welder from them but their other tools have worked well for me.  You will be happy with one of their welders.

My current welder is a 10 year old Everlast PowerTIG 185.  It does not have all the bells and whistles of their current 185 Amp unit but it is similar.  I have been pleased with the Everlast and suggest you look at their 161STH and older 160iSTH models.  They are priced just below $500 and they come with a flow meter, #17 torch, starter consumables (less tungsten), and a storage case.  They can operate on either 120V or 240v, are foot pedal ready (your thumb control will connect where the foot pedal normally would), they have high-frequency start for the arc, and are covered by a 5 year warranty.  Everlast has been around for 15 years so they should be around for years to come.  See the link below for Everlast.


Link to Everlast TIG Welders

Doug L.
 Posted: Nov 14, 2019 09:39AM
 Edited:  Nov 14, 2019 09:40AM
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I just started roaming around youtube last night. A guy was testing eastwood tig. $600.

I just want to weld mild sheet steel about 22ga. less than 1/16. 

Need a finger trigger. As I will be welding insitu, I only have 120v now in garage. 

No aluminum welding.

I just want to do basic universal welding on minis. No production. One of a kind stuff.

Budget ? I really haven't thought about it.

 Posted: Nov 14, 2019 07:31AM
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From your MIG welding you will be able to use your helmet.  If you don’t have a jacket, buy one as TIG exposes you to a lot of concentrated UV light (= sun/weld burns).  Flame resistant cotton is sufficient.  You will need a new gas setup for 100% Argon (you cannot use the MIG gas mix).  You will need some highly flexible gloves (TIG gloves or mechanics gloves).  You will also need consumables for your TIG torch (extra collets, electrodes, and assorted back caps for the torch).  You will need to sharpen the electrodes.  I started with a bench grinder but something that works MUCH better is a cheap 2” diamond wheel (eBay) mounted in a Dremel tool.
 
For panel work, a small #9 size torch (0.040” and 0.060” diameter electrodes) works well.  A #17 size torch will also fit many locations and it has the capability of using electrodes up to 1/8”.  
 
Answer the three questions below and we’ll be able to make some general recommendations.
 
1) Do you anticipate basic panel welding ( steel only (no alumium), thickness up to maybe 1/4”)? 
2) Do you see the need for any aluminum welding and/or welding thicker than 1/4” material?
3) Do you have 240V available in your shop or does your welder need to work on only 120V?
 
You can get started for a lot less than the $3k Miller mentioned by OneTim.  The nice units from Miller, Lincoln, and ESAB are sophisticated welders with high duty cycles aimed at production environments.  They are great but you don’t typically need a $3k welder for home use.
 
Let us know what your budget is and if you need or anticipate needing to weld aluminum and I’ll offer some specific brand recommendations.
 

Doug L.
 Posted: Nov 14, 2019 05:48AM
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Depends on you budget, but the Miller Syncrowave is a really nice machine. I use the 350 version at work, about $8000, but I would buy the 210 which is under $3000 for home. Also using 2% Ceriated electrodes (Gray) for all TIG work now.

 Posted: Nov 14, 2019 04:50AM
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I have a mig with argon/co2 gas. Throughout the years, I have been welding and grinding in patch panels in my daily driver mini. When something breaks or it develops a hole, or the need to fabricate something, I break out the mig.


I'm building a mini beach car and have designed new lower side box sections that will require fabrication.
I am going to use it for welding mild 20ga sheet steel, outside & inside corner welds. No, I have not TIG welded before. 

This is a hugh project.

 Posted: Nov 13, 2019 07:52PM
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I have a TIG welder and I pretend I can use it.

I started a lengthy post and decided instead to ask what information you are looking for. 
Have you TIG welded before? 
What are you planning on TIG welding? 
Do you already have any welding equipment? 
Do you have a budget in mind?

I used a scratch start inverter DC TIG unit for several years.  I replaced it with an Everlast AC/DC unit with more capability and capacity.  The two welders were both capable of panel work but the AC/DC unit provides a lot more capability... at a price.

Doug L.
 Posted: Nov 13, 2019 07:04PM
 Edited:  Nov 13, 2019 07:08PM
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Any of you guys tig welding? Looking to get a setup. What are some machine recommendations? What machines to stay away from.