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MG MGB Technical - Any TIG welders out there? Need advice

I am trying to buy a TIG welder. I already have a MIG but figure the tig would be nice to have as another tool in the ar*enal. The problem I am having is that the local welding shops do not seem to have a clue! I have been to both of the local shops, explaining that I want a welder for auto body work; both steel and aluminium. They send me out the door with nice brochures for Miller or Lincoln. The brochures all state that these are good welders for 18 gauge up to 3/8 metal. Last I checked, auto tin and aluminium was 20 to 22 gauge. Am I barking up the wrong tree in assuming that the TIG can be used to weld body metal (especially those paper thin aluminium shrouds on Austin healeys). I was under the impression that a better weld, with less heat, could be achieved albeit at the expense of more time spent welding.

Who's been there and can advise a make and or model?


You should find what you neede here. One critical decision regarding TIG will be whether you must be able to weld aluminum or not.
D Sjostrom

Pete, I am not sure what is available where you are but a trip to a local airport using airport transfers sevenoaks (small planes not 747's) may be worthwhile.
A lot of aircraft bits are TIG welded and sore independent advice would probably be available for a suitable consideration (ie a bottle of sctch or something equally drinkable) along with some leads as to who and where are reliable and reasonable for the consumables you will need.

HTH, Cheers , Pete.
Peter Thomas

I guess what I am looking for is a welder that does it all. AC/DC high frequency ect... What I can not find is one that the manufaturer claims is suitable for thin (20 to 22 gauge) metals.

Any of the ac/dc systems should be OK. You vary current with the foot or hand control.

Usuallly people want to see how thick they can weld, and manufacturers tailor advertising to that point.

Most larger TIG systems have a control (in my case, it's a lever with 3 poisitions- 1 for 30% at full throttle on the pedal, another for 65%, and the third for 100% output.

By shifting to the 30% output, I can strike and maintain an arc too weak to melt the parent material.

I have a Miller Synchrowave 250, but have worked on MG fender panels with a 400 amp Lincoln.
greg fast

Pete, try the Miller or Lincoln websites. They both have units designed for light duty applications and should have a link for questions about the products. From what I've seen expect to pay around $2000 US for an AC/DC unit. I've seen demonstrations of TIG welding on TV where an expert welded aluminum foil together. Also you might check the website for Eclectic Motor Works They show TIG welders being used on both steel body panels and aluminum panels. The units don't appear to be much different from the units I mentioned.
Bill Young

I have an old Maxstar 152 which only does steel, no AC/DC option but have welded spring steel at very low amp rate of about 5 amps. Mine has an adjustable reostat from 1 to 150 amps with the standard "gas pedal" for influencing how much power is actually added. Most TIG welders are very similar. Anyways, this works perfect for welding sheet metal (namely MG) at about 30 to 40 amps max.

I leave the MIG for welding the 1/8" steel only because its quicker and I dont care about distortion on metal frame racks for tooling and such.

BMC Brian McCullough

I've had a MIller 180SD for a couple of years now. auto body sheetmaetal is a breeze to weld. If the joint is perfectly tight, the weld can be made without filler rod, which results in practically no distortion. Aluminum is a different story. I've welded with good success down to about .032. and also filled in corroded alloy heads by oven preheating the head. It really all comes down to practice and patience. The really fun thing to weld is Stainless Steel. Mild steel with TIG is so nice I seldom use my gas rig. If the material is thicker than 3/19" stick welding with DC is the best way to go. The Miller 180SD can accomplish all of these processes, but there may be others out there more suited. hope this helps...cj
Chris J.

Found a Lincoln precission 185; it goes down to 5 amp output and claims to be good for thin metals. Now why did my local dealer keep giving me brochures for a welder that claims it is only good down to 18 gauge? Thanx for the input one and all.


This thread was discussed between 31/01/2005 and 01/02/2005

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