O.T. Question for the welders here

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O.T. Question for the welders here

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I'm in the market for a new Ac/Dc TIG welder. I've been tigging for lots of years. I've used about every Miller and Lincoln out there, inverter and transformer both. I'm looking at a Weldpro brand Ac/Dc inverter Tig welder. Looking for feedback on brands other than Miller and Lincoln Ac/Dc Tig welders you guys have used. Particularly interested in how they perform with aluminum. Of course if I had the $$$ I'd buy a dynasty and be done with it, but I don't.
Thanks in advance.
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I don't think the brand is as important as the duty cycle and parts supply.
I personally would stay away from anything less than a 60 percent machine.
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74HARLEY wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 12:48 pm I don't think the brand is as important as the duty cycle and parts supply.
I personally would stay away from anything less than a 60 percent machine.
+1.... Unless you like taking breaks 😁
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74HARLEY wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 12:48 pm I don't think the brand is as important as the duty cycle and parts supply.
I personally would stay away from anything less than a 60 percent machine.
I agree. Won't even consider something less than 60. I've been a Tig welder for over 20 years. I can stick /mig/ flux core/braze & solder and all that jazz. I'm asking for what experience people have had with brands they have used. I've just been spoiled by having high end units at my disposal for most of my life.
Tgarner01 wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 12:52 pm
74HARLEY wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 12:48 pm I don't think the brand is as important as the duty cycle and parts supply.
I personally would stay away from anything less than a 60 percent machine.
+1.... Unless you like taking breaks 😁
There is that. Lol
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Re: O.T. Question for the welders here

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74HARLEY wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 12:48 pm I don't think the brand is as important as the duty cycle and parts supply.
I personally would stay away from anything less than a 60 percent machine.
I need to rephrase something. I wouldn't consider anything less than 60% duty cycle ac at a full amperage of 200 &220v. Considering that I now live in Florida duty cycle is more important. I believe the standard for most manufacturers is an ambient temperature of 104° for rating duty cycle. The chances of me floor boarding the pedal &200 amps on a 104° day for six straight minutes with an air cooled torch at home are pretty slim. Lol Plus the thickest I'll probably weld will be 3/16. Anything over that will be a " G " job at work. Lol
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Re: O.T. Question for the welders here

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kellyblues wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 2:53 pm
74HARLEY wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 12:48 pm I don't think the brand is as important as the duty cycle and parts supply.
I personally would stay away from anything less than a 60 percent machine.
I need to rephrase something. I wouldn't consider anything less than 60% duty cycle ac at a full amperage of 200 &220v. Considering that I now live in Florida duty cycle is more important. I believe the standard for most manufacturers is an ambient temperature of 104° for rating duty cycle. The chances of me floor boarding the pedal &200 amps on a 104° day for six straight minutes with an air cooled torch at home are pretty slim. Lol Plus the thickest I'll probably weld will be 3/16. Anything over that will be a " G " job at work. Lol
I would head over to the Garage Journal, there are a number of threads on different tig welders made. Many glowing reports on welders that are not blue or red which tend to lead to saving money.

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Re: O.T. Question for the welders here

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Whitegas Extraordinaire wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 3:01 pm
kellyblues wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 2:53 pm
74HARLEY wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 12:48 pm I don't think the brand is as important as the duty cycle and parts supply.
I personally would stay away from anything less than a 60 percent machine.
I need to rephrase something. I wouldn't consider anything less than 60% duty cycle ac at a full amperage of 200 &220v. Considering that I now live in Florida duty cycle is more important. I believe the standard for most manufacturers is an ambient temperature of 104° for rating duty cycle. The chances of me floor boarding the pedal &200 amps on a 104° day for six straight minutes with an air cooled torch at home are pretty slim. Lol Plus the thickest I'll probably weld will be 3/16. Anything over that will be a " G " job at work. Lol
I would head over to the Garage Journal, there are a number of threads on different tig welders made. Many glowing reports on welders that are not blue or red which tend to lead to saving money.
Good idea! I just went and logged in. 2015 was my last login there . Lol
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Re: O.T. Question for the welders here

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Best of luck Kelly, I am really watching this because I am currently working in California. Last week I got tagged as the official welder here, I'm running a cute little Lincoln mig set up all day. I think I have overrun the duty cycle a couple of times now. It's interesting trying to get used to running wire, I have been running old school stick for 30 years.
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Re: O.T. Question for the welders here

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Hmm 🤔 I thought Kelly was looking for a tig welder. I have always considered a wire feed welder as a mig welder.
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74HARLEY wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 7:40 pm Best of luck Kelly, I am really watching this because I am currently working in California. Last week I got tagged as the official welder here, I'm running a cute little Lincoln mig set up all day. I think I have overrun the duty cycle a couple of times now. It's interesting trying to get used to running wire, I have been running old school stick for 30 years.
I've run more wire since I moved down here than I have in my life before moving. Lol. Probably haven't run near as much as you have. I worked at a fab shop when I first moved and worked with some certified cats that could really lay it down. These cats welded primary vessel hulls and such. Most of my mig knowledge and experience I've gained in the last 3 years. I've got a millermatic 211 for wire. That equates to a mig welder for dummies because it takes all the guess work out. At least that's what it is to this guy. Lol Of the big 3 I've run wire the least. I worked in food manufacturing for most of my career so tigging is what I'm most comfortable and knowledgeable with. Gimme an old Tig buzz box and and some random piece of tungsten and I can make it happen most likely. I now work in a hot roll steel mill where there's a Lincoln stick welder every 50 feet, literally. So kinda in the same boat as you are. Been tigging for probably 25+ years and now having to adjust over to stick welding almost every day. There's a weld I put on something just after I started here almost 2 years ago that I now claim was done by a fellow maintenance guy that got fired. Lol. It's holding strong, sure looks like crap though. Lol
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Rubing wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 8:32 pm Hmm 🤔 I thought Kelly was looking for a tig welder. I have always considered a wire feed welder as a mig welder.
A wire feed is a mig welder but duty cycle ratings are the specs to look for across all types. It's pretty well even now days. I'm not a primary mig welder by any means but the same duty cycle ratings apply.
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Re: O.T. Question for the welders here

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kellyblues wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 9:02 pm
Rubing wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 8:32 pm Hmm 🤔 I thought Kelly was looking for a tig welder. I have always considered a wire feed welder as a mig welder.
A wire feed is a mig welder but duty cycle ratings are the specs to look for across all types. It's pretty well even now days. I'm not a primary mig welder by any means but the same duty cycle ratings apply.
I worked 25 years in the machine tool industry and another 20 years in machine tool maintenance on production equipment.
I have extensive experience stick welding and mig welding but I admit that I have no experience tig welding.
I did watch my welders for the last 20 years and I thought they basically had a torch and a stick so I had a hard time relating that to duty cycle
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Rubing wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 9:43 pm
kellyblues wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 9:02 pm
Rubing wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 8:32 pm Hmm 🤔 I thought Kelly was looking for a tig welder. I have always considered a wire feed welder as a mig welder.
A wire feed is a mig welder but duty cycle ratings are the specs to look for across all types. It's pretty well even now days. I'm not a primary mig welder by any means but the same duty cycle ratings apply.
I worked 25 years in the machine tool industry and another 20 years in machine tool maintenance on production equipment.
I have extensive experience stick welding and mig welding but I admit that I have no experience tig welding.
I did watch my welders for the last 20 years and I thought they basically had a torch and a stick so I had a hard time relating that to duty cycle
I've done a fair amount of machine tool maintenance myself. Never got to the stage of being able to hand scrape a machine tool bed but I've seen it done by some old school guys. One of my first big jobs in machine tool repair was pouring a babbitt bearing in an old Lodge & Shipply lathe head with a man that spoke maybe 5 words a day, he was a fun teacher. ( 3 of those 5 were " stop " lol). After that I got in ground level in a tool room with some hard core cats that todays younger generation wouldn't cut it with. These guys were mostly Nam vets and a few WWII. To this day I won't lay a precision measurement instrument on a hard surface. I developed that habit after I sat a mic on the tail stock of a lathe and got hit by something that just " happened " to slip out of a surface grinder being run by the man that owned the mic. Even though said surface grinder was not located to support that theory, that's the story I got. Went into industrial maintenance after that and have stayed in it since. My 20 years at Frito lay I took care of all of the machine tools and did a lot of that when I first moved to Florida. Took a machinist position in a fab shop when I got here so tool repair was part of the gig. The newest thing there was a leblond regal that was made in the 80's. Half of my time was spent fixing some old machine tool or welder.
Anyway duty cycle is more important with inverter welders as I'm sure you know. Transformer welders not as critical.
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Re: O.T. Question for the welders here

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I built precision boring and turning equipment for 25 years and I have scraped in cast iron ways. Our full time scraper had biceps like steel.
I spent the last 20 years in supervision at a tier one automotive supplier maintaining CNC machining centers, assembly lines, production welders and automated paint lines.

Duty Cycle & TIG welding
When it comes to TIG, the importance of duty cycle can vary considerably.

TIG is commonly used for detailed work on thinner materials and/or smaller parts. In this case, the machine will often never even come close to reaching it's duty cycle limit... and indeed a lot of welding is done at low amperage where the machine may have a duty cycle of 100%. Also, because TIG is a manual process (where the filler metal is fed by hand), the "welding/on time" vs "off time" ratio is lower (compared to MIG).

However, there are some TIG applications where a high duty cycle becomes very important. One example of this is TIG welding of pipe joints where a long, continuous weld is
Last edited by Rubing on Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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I've been looking at yeswelder machines, they don't seem to bad and at a decent price
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My needs won't be continuous so I'm not overly concerned about it but don't want to go below 60%

I've got time to shop so I'm in no rush.
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Again the chances of me floor boarding the pedal at 200a for six minutes straight with a air cooled torch on a 104°f day are pretty slim. Lol
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We didn’t have the luxury of bagging potato chips. We would occasionally work on a lodge if a machine went down in our tool room where we repaired or manufactured repair parts for our production equipment.
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' Our full time scraper had biceps like steel."
I bet he did!! Wouldn't want to mess with him!

It sounds like you worked in an amazing facility!

I was at work today and typing / responding as I had the chance and kinda jumped all over the place with my comment.

At Frito as most food manufacturing facilities the processing area is food grade of course. That means stainless steel. The equipment, structure, utility lines (other than steam headers and fire system risers) is all stainless steel. Aluminum isn't used because of the chemicals required to " sanitize " stainless steel on that level eats aluminum. Everything gets tigged. That's why we had 480v Tig welders with water cooled torches. It was not uncommon to weld 1/4 inch SS for long periods of time and that's what those welders were for.

But for me at home, I don't plan on doing anything that continuous. Largest single welding project will probably be a couple of aluminum fuel tanks. So a 220v 200a 60% duty cycle machine should suit me fine. I'll probably never even get close to hitting the limit.lol
Rubing wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:48 pm We didn’t have the luxury of bagging potato chips. We would occasionally work on a laBlonde if a machine went down in our tool room where we repaired or manufactured repair parts for our production equipment.
Bagging potato chips was no luxury. Probably not the rigors of meeting production demands of the automotive industry. The facility I spent 20 years at is the largest salty snack food manufacturing facility in the world in both size and volume produced. It runs 24/7 holidays included IF enough people volunteer to work it. 1,100 full time employees work in a facility that spans 135 acres. Not a small time operation. For example, we processed 100,000 pounds of potatoes an hour. 4 to 1 ratio means 25,000 pounds of potato chips went in a bag an hour. Think about how many bags of chips it takes to total 25,000 pounds. And that just the Lays products. 17 production lines including the two potato lines. Processed a couple hundred thousand pounds of corn an hour and a host of other things. I think there's something like 190 bag makers. So like in your facility we made many things in house for our production equipment. Gears, shafts, splines, acme shafts & nuts and the list goes on. And shift mechanics like me took care of all that mess, including electrical and automation. And we had to supply our own tools. With your experience I'm sure you can look at this picture and tell where I've spent a lot of my time and I have 3 kennedy side boxes not in this picture because they won't fit in my current arrangement. I put the stuff I'm never going to use at home in those and put them in storage because I had to sell my lathe when I moved last month like my tool post holder sets and other machining tools.
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Sasquatchian Nightmare wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:01 pm I've been looking at yeswelder machines, they don't seem to bad and at a decent price
I looked at those. They have a great price point. And good reviews! Weldpro is slightly more expensive and made here in the states. They have great reviews as well. Yes welder still a possibility
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I spent about a year and a half building saw mill equipment then at the old age of 20 I started building precision machine tools. I was employee #35. When I left the company there were 175 employees plus we would employ up to 200 additional contractors.
On my first day on the job in this big plant a guy about 45-50 came up to me and said “hey kid do you do drugs?” I said no and he said “well you will and you will buy them from me” I thought WTF?
It turned out this guy was Tony Sabo our full time scraper hand. He was a piece of work but when he was on his game you could actually see smoke coming off of his scraper.
About 15 years after I first met Tony he walked out in his backyard and shot himself in the head. WTF?
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kellyblues wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:02 amPicture
You're considerably taller than I if you can clip those clamps to the overhead door rail!
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Ok. I’ll bite cause I find all of this fascinating. Whats a scraper?
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You might wanna take a look at Eastwood welders. Just my 2 cents.....
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Rubing wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:24 am I spent about a year and a half building saw mill equipment then at the old age of 20 I started building precision machine tools. I was employee #35. When I left the company there were 175 employees plus we would employ up to 200 additional contractors.
On my first day on the job in this big plant a guy about 45-50 came up to me and said “hey kid do you do drugs?” I said no and he said “well you will and you will buy them from me” I thought WTF?
It turned out this guy was Tony Sabo our full time scraper hand. He was a piece of work but when he was on his game you could actually see smoke coming off of his scraper.
About 15 years after I first met Tony he walked out in his backyard and shot himself in the head. WTF?
:o :o :o Dude, that f'd up! Yeah that the kind of scraper I've worked around and why I don't call myself one. Lol. I can do it and make it passable but it's not something I ever got really good at. That why I don't really claim to have the ability. On the subject of strong guys my first food manufacturing facilities was a Gatorade bottling plant. The guy that first started teaching me how to TIG had worked there back when it was Stokley VanCamp and they made beanie weenies. His first 15 years his job was feeding coal to a boiler, with a shovel. You couldn't hurt this dude. Lol
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Gunhippie wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 3:03 am
kellyblues wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:02 amPicture
You're considerably taller than I if you can clip those clamps to the overhead door rail!
Hahaha. 6'2 & 1/2 with my boots on. ( I'm a true Texan and have boots on most of the time) 6'1 with bare feet. My little boy is 6'6 & 260lbs.
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Rfieldbuilds wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 3:58 am Ok. I’ll bite cause I find all of this fascinating. Whats a scraper?

It's a process for trueing machine ways.


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Josey wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 4:29 am You might wanna take a look at Eastwood welders. Just my 2 cents.....
Yeah I've looked at eastwood. My only real con about them is they make very little of thier own stuff. Granted most of it is really nice.
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Scraping of machine tool ways is a lost art and necessity unless you are working on an antique piece of tool room equipment.
When I entered the trade 45 years ago the machine bases were cast iron as well as the slides. I could never figure out how Tony got the slide flat way and vee way level.
Fast forward we started using hardened steel ways on the base but still had to scrape in the cast iron slide.
We had two Mattison grinders with about a 15 ft stroke to grind the ways after the rails were installed on the base.
We also had a boring mill where the operator’s seat was mounted on the spindle.
Shortly after that we went from hardened ways and Rulon type anti friction type material on the slide unit.
Then we started using THK style rails and bearings.
After that ball screws couldn’t handle the speed requirements of modern production equipment so we turned to linear motors.
I did go out in the garage and grab a hand scraper from one of my tool boxes. Please note that the scraper blade is carbide.
Our old scraper hand Tony used an electric scraper to rough stuff in
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Rubing wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 10:09 pm Scraping of machine tool ways is a lost art and necessity unless you are working on an antique piece of tool room equipment.
When I entered the trade 45 years ago the machine bases were cast iron as well as the slides. I could never figure out how Tony got the slide flat way and vee way level.
Fast forward we started using hardened steel ways on the base but still had to scrape in the cast iron slide.
We had two Mattison grinders with about a 15 ft stroke to grind the ways after the rails were installed on the base.
We also had a boring mill where the operator’s seat was mounted on the spindle.
Shortly after that we went from hardened ways and Rulon type anti friction type material on the slide unit.
Then we started using THK style rails and bearings.
After that ball screws couldn’t handle the speed requirements of modern production equipment so we turned to linear motors.
I did go out in the garage and grab a hand scraper from one of my tool boxes. Please note that the scraper blade is carbide.
Our old scraper hand Tony used an electric scraper to rough stuff in
Man that's awesome experience! Thank you for sharing this. It is definitely a lost art. That looks very similar to what I remember being used. Of course that was 30 years ago. Lol I see that's probably a Nicholson file that's been run on a surface grinder and had a piece of carbide brazed on the end. I've got a drawer full of old Nicholson files , wouldn't trade em. New ones don't hold like those old ones do.
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Re: O.T. Question for the welders here

#32

Post by Rubing »

LOL actually the shank is just a piece of CRS but I do have a drawer full of Nicholson files.
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Re: O.T. Question for the welders here

#33

Post by kellyblues »

Rubing wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 10:35 pm LOL actually the shank is just a piece of CRS but I do have a drawer full of Nicholson files.
Well I'm at work using my phone so. Lol. That's what it looked like at a glance
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Re: O.T. Question for the welders here

#34

Post by Flyboyfwa »

Well. I have no idea about any of this but I am certainly enjoying the conversation and education. Now I am off to look up "duty cycle".
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Re: O.T. Question for the welders here

#35

Post by Rubing »

Flyboyfwa wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 2:19 am Well. I have no idea about any of this but I am certainly enjoying the conversation and education. Now I am off to look up "duty cycle".
LMAO Andy! 🤣
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Re: O.T. Question for the welders here

#36

Post by 74HARLEY »

Hey Andy, welding machines are rated on a 10 minute run cycle. So a 60 percent machine can run 6 minutes out of 10. The other 4 minutes are for the machine to cool down.
A good industrial machine has a 100 percent duty cycle. ( But you PAY for that). Inexpensive (read homeowner/hobbiest) machines go as low as 20 percent.
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Re: O.T. Question for the welders here

#37

Post by kellyblues »

Flyboyfwa wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 2:19 am Well. I have no idea about any of this but I am certainly enjoying the conversation and education. Now I am off to look up "duty cycle".
That's funny right there!
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Re: O.T. Question for the welders here

#38

Post by kellyblues »

74HARLEY wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 4:02 am Hey Andy, welding machines are rated on a 10 minute run cycle. So a 60 percent machine can run 6 minutes out of 10. The other 4 minutes are for the machine to cool down.
A good industrial machine has a 100 percent duty cycle. ( But you PAY for that). Inexpensive (read homeowner/hobbiest) machines go as low as 20 percent.
Don't forget the ambient temperature the machine is rated with. A friend of mine learned that the hard way a few years back. He thought he was getting a great deal on some off brand welder. It was rated at 60% & 80°f ambient temperature. Heat = resistance so when it got warmer he kept hitting the limit in just a couple of minutes. He used fans and a few other things before getting fed up with it and got something different.
Most reputable manufacturers rate duty cycle at 104°F.
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Re: O.T. Question for the welders here

#39

Post by 74HARLEY »

Yeah, that one slipped my mind! Great thing to remember.
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Re: O.T. Question for the welders here

#40

Post by Flyboyfwa »

Great! thanks for the info. I did actually look it up. I get it now. Besides the Coleman stuff, this is one of the things here that I really enjoy, the opportunity to learn new things. It was one of the reasons that brought me here in the first place. The scraping video was interesting also.
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Re: O.T. Question for the welders here

#41

Post by kellyblues »

Flyboyfwa wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 6:48 pm Great! thanks for the info. I did actually look it up. I get it now. Besides the Coleman stuff, this is one of the things here that I really enjoy, the opportunity to learn new things. It was one of the reasons that brought me here in the first place. The scraping video was interesting also.
It's part of what made me join when Frank Bebb had it at Old Town Coleman. Just a great knowledge base and group of people. And what makes me come back.

Duty cycle wasn't something I worried about much for a home machine when I see still lived in Indiana. For me it wasn't hard to keep the temperature around the welder under 104°. Now in Florida, that may be a challenge so. Lol

Hand scraping is an absolute art form. Like I mentioned I can make it passable and it takes me a while. Cats like Greg and the others mentioned above are way way way over my level. Lol. And I'm okay with that. I have my own areas I can certainly hold my own. Tig welding being one of those. Tig is a different world.
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