Tig welding newbe

Looking at getting a tig welder but no idea what I need.?
Have a 400amp Lincoln mig with separate power source can I use it to power tig unit?
Want to weld normal steel steel along with stainless and aluminium
Would rather a big industrial machine secondhand rather than a new hobby machine
Seen a Lincoln “square wave ac/dc 355” with water cooling would that be any use?
Not sure what features I need and what would be gimmicks as I would not be a serious user day in day out
Thanks
 
You'll need an AC machine for aluminium. You'll realise quite quickly that the ones with AC capability are more expensive. I bought a second hand Fronius Magic Wave which is AC/DC at I think 300A. Quite honestly, I just can't get into the swing of it. I get on okay on steel but to be honest I bought it to get into the odd aluminium and stainless job.

I did a bit at college and got on well with it but since getting my own machine I've just never been able to replicate the results. I reckoned at first that the bits of scrap aluminium I'd acquired must be an odd alloy or contaminated, so I bought some brand new stuff instead. Then I convinced myself contamination was still the issue so I bought a cheap bench grinder to keep dedicated to the tungstens and a set of brand new stainless brushes to clean the stuff up. It's still all just pops and hisses when I try to weld though.
 
I think from memory for aluminium you use zirconated electrodes and stainless thoriated, and as you said keep a grinding wheel specifically for dressing the electrodes, stainless fine with a scratch start, but aluminium must be started with high frequency (so TIG for Aluminium is a far more expensive bit of kit) and a foot pedal helps too to regulate the arc.
 

dave mountain

Member
Livestock Farmer

you will want pulse, AC/DC and HF start as a minimum. ive the dc only version of this set (i dont often touch ally) and very pleased with is. Their tig machines are better than their migs IMO. you wont ever need more than 160 amps on a tig unless you intend on welding sch80 pipework, but if you were doing that i doubt youd be on here asking about welders. anything over 160 is MIG generally not TIG, so a big machine like the lincoln you mention is a lot of potential problems (water cooling, hard to transport, old machine, will have worked hard) for no gain
 
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you will want pulse, AC/DC and HF start as a minimum. ive the dc only version of this set (i dont often touch ally) and very pleased with is. Their tig machines are better than their migs IMO. you wont ever need more than 160 amps on a tig unless you intend on welding sch80 pipework, but if you were doing that i doubt youd be on here asking about welders. anything over 160 is MIG generally not TIG, so a big machine like the lincoln you mention is a lot of potential problems (water cooling, hard to transport, old machine, will have worked hard) for no gain
Yea I see what you mean about the bigger machine, with that one you listed I could then sell my inverter stick welder which I just have for occasional site use outside.
 

dave mountain

Member
Livestock Farmer
Yea I see what you mean about the bigger machine, with that one you listed I could then sell my inverter stick welder which I just have for occasional site use outside.
I'm not sure what stick inverter you have at the moment but these machines are brilliant for burning rods in off generators or long extension leads, the PFC really does work
 

Bury the Trash

Member
Mixed Farmer
Ok, what about the Oxford tig makers? if i had the money i would have one i think if nothing other than their claim that on (AC possibly ? )for MMA to be able to use cellulosic rods well / smoothly , like 6010's that i like to use sometimes but they are hard work...:unsure:
bit too expensive for me personally though but would get dual purpose/more use to justify.
 

dave mountain

Member
Livestock Farmer
Ok, what about the Oxford tig makers? if i had the money i would have one i think if nothing other than their claim that on (AC possibly ? )for MMA to be able to use cellulosic rods well / smoothly , like 6010's that i like to use sometimes but they are hard work...:unsure:
bit too expensive for me personally though but would get dual purpose/more use to justify.
oxford and tec arc make brilliant machines IMO, though ive never seen one of their tig sets. Their tig offering seems less competitive price wise compared to their migs so maybe thats why
 

dave mountain

Member
Livestock Farmer
i think i might've got previously mentioned ' R Tech' and 'Tech Arc ' mixed up, or is it the same company :unsure:
tec arc and oxford (and portamig) are the same company though the models are slightly different, all made in the same factory in Britain. Whereas Rtech is just rebadged everlast. Tec arc/oxford are built to order so they are customisable, I had to wait 5 months for my last machine from tec arc, was worth it though.
 

dave mountain

Member
Livestock Farmer
Ok, what about the Oxford tig makers? if i had the money i would have one i think if nothing other than their claim that on (AC possibly ? )for MMA to be able to use cellulosic rods well / smoothly , like 6010's that i like to use sometimes but they are hard work...:unsure:
bit too expensive for me personally though but would get dual purpose/more use to justify.
6010s are DC only, we don't do much stick any more but IME 6010s are fine on any decent arc welder, trouble is there are a lot of not-decent machines out there. We have run 6010 on my Tec arc multi-process and on the old Oxford oil cooled. For stick the multi process is slightly better but it is 50 years newer and a lot more powerful so can hardly knock the old one.
 

dave mountain

Member
Livestock Farmer
What is PFC? I don’t think it has it’s just a basic plant will burn 3.2s on the end of three or four extensions no bother
power factor correction, basically if the supply voltage varies (eg on strike up) while welding on a generator or on a long extension it doesn't affect the welding output at all. your jasic will likely have some form of PFC in the inverter but it probably wont be as sophisticated
 

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Five nature-recovery projects spanning 100,000ha launched

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Written by Michelle Martin from Agriland

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Five nature-recovery projects spanning nearly 100,000ha across the West Midlands, Cambridgeshire, the Peak District, Norfolk and Somerset have been announced by the government and Natural England today (Thursday, May 26).

This is the equivalent in size to all 219 current National Reserves.

The aim of the projects is to deliver nature recovery at a landscape scale, helping to tackle biodiversity loss, climate change and improve public health and well-being.

All five projects will make a significant contribution towards the national delivery of the international commitment to protect at least 30% of land and...
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