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Old 06-09-2019, 09:55 AM   #1
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Looking for advice on TIGs and plasma cutters

I'm in the market to purchase a tig and a plasma cutter.
Want to eventually be able to weld bumper thickness etc aluminum.

I've been around enough aluminum welding to not be delusional about the learning curve. Once again I have enough motivation and too little sense to not try. My intention is to build the various aluminum components that one would add to their conversion rigs.

My buddies son is a machinist and picked out the combination pictured below, for his dad.
Here is a link to the ESAB Thermo Dynamics Rebel 215i EMP pictured:

https://www.esabna.com/us/en/product...-emp-215ic.cfm

Any oppinions or advice on these or other options would be appreciated.

Thanks.
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Old 06-09-2019, 10:02 AM   #2
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ESAB Thermo Dynamics Rebel 215i EM (not the EMP)
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Old 06-09-2019, 10:04 AM   #3
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For some reason I need to post these individually.
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Old 06-09-2019, 10:06 AM   #4
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Old 06-09-2019, 11:55 AM   #5
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Make sure that what ever machine you get will do TIG in the AC mode. Most wire feed MIG machines will weld aluminum, but you have to use a spool gun with flux core wire. That's great for production welding of things like boats or bridges, but not nearly as good for fine work. I looked at the specs of the machine you posted, but couldn't find where it said it will weld with AC (required for aluminum TIG welding) Other considerations are the duty cycle, aluminum requires high amperage which reduces the duty cycle. A water cooled torch is desirable too, since less expensive air cooled torches get really hot quickly. After that, it's just practice, practice, practice. Have fun..........
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Old 06-09-2019, 03:08 PM   #6
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Thanks Arctictraveller,

Here is ESAB's Rebel 205ic with AC/DC. It goes for $2,999 which is more than I was hoping to spend but may be what I need to spend.
Being new to this I'd rather not pick up a tired used machine that will only frustrate me.
They have clearly designed this Rebel line of welders to facilitate a beginner getting up to speed and I'm sure you pay a premium for that.
I do want to be able to weld steel as well as Aluminum.
I have an old Miller sick welder that I suppose could suffice any steel welding.

Any thoughts on this machine a better value for the same of less money?

https://www.weldingsuppliesfromioc.c...der-0558102553

Thanks.
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Old 06-09-2019, 03:53 PM   #7
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Most multi process welders capable of welding aluminum start at $3k.
If you go to a TIG machine you can do aluminum for as little as $1500-$2000. (Hobart, Miller, ESAB, or Lincoln.
You can also get a decent 220v MIG machine for $900-$1500.(Hobart, Miller, ESAB, or Lincoln.
Hobart is probably the only way to get both in two machines for under $2500 unless you go to an off brand. With current rebates could probably get two Miller machines MIG and AC TIG for slightly less then a Multiprocess capable of AC TIG.
I have a Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 58 that is a few years old and has worked well for me with moderate use.
I already had a good MIG (older millermatic 210) so when I started with aluminum I picked up a Miller Diversion 180.
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:39 AM   #8
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Perfect, thanks to both of you. Will start looking at dedicated AC TIGS.
Thanks again!
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1972 Bronco, I sure wish I had checked the oil :/
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Old 06-10-2019, 02:33 PM   #9
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I've done both steel and aluminum welding with a Lincoln Precision Tig 225. I always found it pretty easy to get dialed in, good feature set, and good consistent welds. Looks like you have one available locally (Hudson) on CL with low hours and tank. Might be worth a look since it's close and since it's been listed for 3 weeks now there might be further wiggle room on the price.


https://tampa.craigslist.org/psc/tls...893470671.html


I'm not sure where you're planning on setting it up, but know that the Lincoln is a transformer based unit so it is heavy. If it's just going to be in the garage it's got wheels and you'll be fine.


The ESAB unit is an inverter based design so it's way more mobile if that's going to factor into your use at all. Years ago I bought an ESAB Caddymig 200 just for that reason. It's light enough that I can just throw it in the truck if I need to take it somewhere. No way you'll do that with the Lincoln.


Good luck with whatever you end up getting. I love your enthusiasm to just jump in and get going!
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Old 06-10-2019, 03:54 PM   #10
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... anybody ever worked on a reply for 45 minutes not signed in and then lost it? ugggg

... it should only take me 30 minutes to re-type it hunting and pecking since I've already done the research .... :/
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1972 Bronco, I sure wish I had checked the oil :/
'69 Schwinn
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