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aimless
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31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Somehow, I fooled the wife into thinking I need a tig welder. Not wanting to spend a fortune, I decided on the AHP Alphatig 200x



I ordered from amazon and had it at my door in about a week. The next day I stopped at
my friendly local gas supplier and got a tank of argon.

I have no prior experience with tig welding, so I am learning as I go.
Spent a few hours practicing on mild steel last night





I think there is something wrong with the included argon regulator. The needle bounces all over the place while welding and doesn't hold a steady flow. The regulator also makes pinging and popping noises while this is happening.

In spite of the crappy shielding flow, after a few dozen beads, they started to look decent

So I decided to try aluminum. I had no aluminum filler rods so I used some aluminum mig wire for filler. Had to twist a few strands together with a drill to get the diameter thick enough



After burning a few holes and making some sad looking beads, I decided to try the foot pedal that came with the welder. It made everything loads easier







I'm pretty happy with everything so far. The welder seems to work real well, but I think I am going to have to buy a better regulator. I can't get a constant flow out of this one.

So, how am I doing? Any pointers?
 

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4,653 Posts
I want a tig setup so bad. How much did that bad boy run you and how thick of metal can it get good penetration on?
 

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aimless
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31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Let's see

Welder 750$
Gas/cylinder 200$
Other consumables 30$


Came in just under 1000$. I already had a helmet, gloves, etc.

Specs say 1/4" aluminum and 3/8" steel. More than I'll ever need.

I've only run it on 115v so far though, so not much for penetration.
 

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aimless
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31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Just an update. Welder is still working great, and I think I'm really starting to get the hang of tig welding. I've been doing a lot of practice since getting the welder. Welding flat beads, t joints, butt joints, left and right handed, beads on top of beads etc.. Made a couple small parts for the bike already too:party-smiley:

This is a bead on top of a bead without cleaning the aluminum first
 

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Looking awesome so far, congrats! I just recently started tig welding myself. I'm using a thermal arc 181i. Love my machine but learened real quick I need the foot pedal attachment. Can't wait to get it in so I can start using the tig again, so much fun! Anyway keep up the good work looking real good so far!
 

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661 Posts
NIce work man, I have been looking at tig set ups for a while too, that price seems reasonable. I know a buddy of mine changes something with the frequency on his Miller Tig and it makes the cloudy area outside the bead way smaller. Not exactly sure what it is but I'm sure someone can shed some light on it.
 

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Looking really good! Practice makes perfect, if you really want to test yourself and get some good practice, try running a nice LOOOOOOOOOOOOONG bead. The aluminum will get quite tempermental when subjected to heat for that long, and give you a nice little challenge. You'll learn some nice little tricks.
 

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Newbie
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641 Posts
Not bad. I have a lincoln square wave 175 tig. very basic ac/dc welder just a tip that may work for you that i use to squeeze a little more power out of it. i use hi purity helium mixed with my argon to boost the power a little. 20-25 cfm on the argon and 30-50 on the helium. I also use this trick at work be where i work we tig weld up to 2" thick aluminum. give that a try if you ever feel you need more power on the aluminum welding.
 
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