Kendall Frederick
Kendall Frederick GRM+ Memberand New Reader
11/11/22 11:11 p.m.

First, why I'm asking this question:

I broke both my MIG and TIG welders in the last two days trying to weld up a couple of seams in an old roll bar/light bar for my buddy's truck.  First the MIG jammed the wire repeatedly until I finally gave up and said OK, we'll TIG it tomorrow.  Started in with the TIG this morning and about 1" into the first weld I got some "BZZT" noise from the welder and no arc.  Foot pedal still switches the gas on and off, maybe I burned up the contactor, dunno.  This is a 50 year old Miller 320 machine and maybe it's time I joined the new millennium.  

I have a new liner and some tips, etc. on order for the MIG.  I'm just tired of messing with it; I just want to turn it on and pull the trigger, not disassemble the torch, the feed mechanism, and every other damn thing each time I use it.

That brings me to the TIG: I have had this machine for probably 20 years.  I've had to put a gas solenoid on it once, and some parts in the foot pedal once, but it's worked reliably for many years.  Now I've likely burned something up in it.  I have the manual with a parts list and schematic and I can probably troubleshoot and repair it, but I've been lusting after a new machine with fancy features like pulse and balance control.

I'd like something that will do AC and DC, at least 200 amp capacity, that's not many thousands of dollars.  It'd be nice if I could get service parts in five years.. probably not the case for the many imported welders I see on Amazon and at Hazard Fraught.  

What've you bought and how'd it work out for you?  Recommendations?

 

wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L)
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
11/12/22 7:45 a.m.

I bought an Everlast, and like it, despite not having any real Tig experience with another machine to compare it to. Dunno about parts replacement in years to come, but the price was right at a grand all in.

TJL (Forum Supporter)
TJL (Forum Supporter) Dork
11/12/22 8:13 a.m.

The alphaTig is nice. I got one a while ago off amazon.  I see them around often and a few members on here have them. 
https://ahpwelds.com

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
11/12/22 9:09 a.m.

I picked up a YesWelder 7-in-1 when it was on its Kickstarter phase, so it isn't as much of a deal as what I got but I've been very happy with it so far.  Still learning though

Review

Link to Buy

Run_Away
Run_Away GRM+ Memberand Dork
11/12/22 12:23 p.m.

Timely thread, I was just about to ask a similar question. I'm a welding newb, never done any TIG but want to learn. I want to do aluminum so AC capable. I don't have 220V in my garage at home, so I wanted dual voltage.

I'm probably going to be going with Everlast, either the PowerTIG 185DV or 200DV.

Also considering the AHP AlphaTIG 203XI, the PrimeWeld 225X, and the Eastwood 200

RacetruckRon
RacetruckRon GRM+ Memberand Dork
11/12/22 12:43 p.m.

I've owned both a Vulcan ProTIG 205 and more recently a Primeweld 225X. They are both great machines but the Primeweld has a smoother arc, more control for balance, frequency, etc and come with a way nicer torch. I think the Primeweld is the best value for the money because of the CK Worldwide torch it comes with. 
 

A couple past GRM threads on TIG welder cross shopping and the Vulcan:

thread 1   thread 2

Kendall Frederick
Kendall Frederick GRM+ Memberand New Reader
11/12/22 8:21 p.m.

In reply to RacetruckRon :

Thanks for those threads; looks like a number of people like those Primeweld machines.  

Thanks everyone else for the suggestions also!  I am going to give it until after the holidays and if I haven't found time to troubleshoot my old Miller 330 then I'll pull the trigger (hah!) on something new.

 

Gettingoldercarguy
Gettingoldercarguy GRM+ Memberand New Reader
11/16/22 5:01 p.m.

In reply to Kendall Frederick :

Huge thanks to this post.  Just in time for Christmas!

Kendall Frederick
Kendall Frederick GRM+ Memberand New Reader
11/16/22 7:30 p.m.
Gettingoldercarguy said:

In reply to Kendall Frederick :

Huge thanks to this post.  Just in time for Christmas!

You're buying me a welder?!  That's awesome!   :-D

03Panther
03Panther PowerDork
11/16/22 8:07 p.m.

Hey! I got cussed out and insulted for that kinda joke!!! 
maybe I'm too dry for it?

adam525i
adam525i GRM+ Memberand Dork
11/16/22 10:39 p.m.

I bought the cheapest AC/DC Tig on amazon.ca and learned to weld Al with it, I managed to finish the project I bought it for but the next time I used it something popped. Fortunately amazon took it back and gave me a refund. Don't buy a no name welder with no support.

I replaced it with the Primeweld TIG225X and it's been great. The manual and all of the accessories (at least the ones you use, the torch, pedal) are great and the support is supposed to be as well (haven't needed it). Shipping was free in the US but quite expensive into Canada (to be fair, it is a big, well packaged box that it comes in) so I had it delivered on the other side of the border and picked it up. The only thing that would make it better was if the display showed what the settings were when you adjusted all of the individual knobs and then went back to displaying amps, not a big deal but it would make adjustments a bit quicker and more accurate. 

For my mig welder I have a small Everlast 120V unit and it has been great for me, no issues at all over the past 6 years that I've had it so I would not hesitate to buy from them again. The value of the Primeweld though pushed me in that direction and if I were to replace my mig it would be with a Primeweld again (MIG180 most likely).

Gettingoldercarguy
Gettingoldercarguy GRM+ Memberand New Reader
11/17/22 12:19 a.m.

In reply to Kendall Frederick :

 

gsettle
gsettle New Reader
11/19/22 8:01 a.m.

I have a Miller 330A/BP Goldstar that was mad in the 70's, probably real similar to yours. 
I've watched a lot of videos of people using the newer machines and they do seem real nice. But, I'll just fix mine if/when something happens to it... it's still a better welder than I am a weldor. I've not run across anything I couldn't weld with it. Not sure if I could weld the crack of dawn,or fix a broken heart, but I can weld steel, stainless,Aluminum with it just fine. 
I vote you fix yours then use savings for more track days.✌️

Gettingoldercarguy
Gettingoldercarguy GRM+ Memberand New Reader
11/25/22 11:29 a.m.

Primeweld is having a black Friday sale.  $100 off their tig 225x.

Run_Away
Run_Away GRM+ Memberand Dork
11/25/22 2:28 p.m.

Yup. Probably going to make a purchase tonight.

$1079 for the everlast, $765 for the primeweld 

Being in Canada, the everlast has the advantage of having Canadian distribution for shipping and warranty. I'd have to cross the border with the Primeweld unit. 

 

Any recommendations for consumables to grab beyond what's included? The main project I want to use it for is welding up an aluminum radiator (relocating outlets) and building some control arms for my challenge car.

RacetruckRon
RacetruckRon GRM+ Memberand Dork
11/25/22 4:22 p.m.

In reply to Run_Away :

I'd pick up some 4043 AL rod in 1/16" and 3/32", I like Pure tungsten electrodes for aluminum but there's a lot of options out there and a stainless steel brush just for using to clean aluminum.  Those are a few of the basics that come to mind aside from gloves and a helmet.

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