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Old 09-20-2017, 06:54 PM
Bearwen Bearwen is offline
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Default What to buy???

I have a mig welder but was planning to buy a tig welder that is aluminum capable but have also thought about O/A.
Money is not the issue I can see lots of things I can use the tig welder for besides sheet work and the O/A not so much is O/A better for sheet work than a tig welder I will be doing both steel and aluminum and the tig welder is an a/c d/c welder so it welds aluminum.

Interested in hearing opinions.
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Old 09-21-2017, 12:25 AM
Bad Bob Bad Bob is offline
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If money isn't an issue, get a TIG machine and an O/A rig. For most sheet metal, I like the gas torch the best. I have a Meco Midget, but there are other small torches out there. Go to a metal meet or find someone locally ( probably some on this forum) that has what your interested in and perhaps get a test drive and some advice.
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Old 09-21-2017, 02:26 PM
billfunk29 billfunk29 is offline
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Default welder

It is hard to beat O/A for versatility. Welding, cutting, heating, brazing, sooting up aluminum for anneal. If you can only have one welder, I recommend O/A. Personally, I use TIG the most, O/A second.
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Old 09-21-2017, 03:47 PM
Bearwen Bearwen is offline
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Thanks for the replies.
I was thinking get both.
I did autobody in high school and learned O/A but that was over 20 years ago.
What size tanks do you guys recommend for O/A? I know use dictates tank size but don't think I need 125lbs tanks like I do with the tig but the 10 and 20 probably are to small.
I want to be able to weld for a reasonable amount of time before tank fills.
I don't plan to use the O/A for anything but sheet welding and annealing aluminum.
Would like to have tanks that are big enough to do all the welding on say a scratch built body for something like a 32 highboy or cobra before refill.
Obviously the better you are the faster you can go but tanks that are big enough to do the above by a proficient hobbiest welder.
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Old 09-21-2017, 09:29 PM
Bad Bob Bad Bob is offline
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My O2 bottle is an 80 cu. ft. Occasional cutting torch, heating stuff, and welding uses up the gas in 2-3 years.
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Old 09-21-2017, 09:44 PM
cliffrod cliffrod is offline
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As far as tanks, check with your local shop to see what you can buy & own and then simply exchange when you need a refill. Locally, the older welding supply shop will exchange 40cf tanks outright. That's what I have, based on the previous shop I used who had the same policy. The newer shop in town will exchange 80 cf tanks outright. If you want more capacity without a lease, buy extra tanks in the same size. I have multiple 40cf O2 tanks and acetylene tanks that I've accumulated, so I can weld for quite a while. A gas saver and peizio ground igniter are great accessories.

For reference, I rebuilt (braze & silver solder) a pile of chisels last weekend and used at least 2 lbs of fluxed 3/32 bronze rod. I used one whole 40cf tank of each plus less than half a tank each of their replacements. Hours of torch time. Without the gas saver, it would have been more o/a used and a lot less work finished.

My 20 yr old Miller TIG came home from the welding repair shop for a funeral this week, so I'm also looking to replace it at some point. The service tech suggested watching for a Lincoln Precision for used units, also to consider the new Lincoln Inverter TIG. If you are buying used, make sure things are serviceable- the diode boards on the Millers can be obsolete, expensive, if not impossible to fix. Similar things are true with other brands. New is great.

No matter- until I find a decent price on a good TIG, there'll be an order placed for a new Meco Midget, tips and lightweight hose.
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