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Newbie TIG or MIG?

pjc

Chairman
Okay, first off I say "thanks" to the folks that answered my "Lincoln 155" post awhile back. If I buy a MIG welder, it will be the Lincoln 200A.

But.... I have been thinking. I have a good amount of time on my hands to work at what will really be a hobby, i.e. fabrication.

I did some gas welding a long time ago and picked up the skills, call it "a knack", super quick. Some reliable people say that these skills will apply directly to TIG welding. I really like the precision nature of this process.

Should I just forget about the MIG welder and work down the path of becoming relativey proficient with TIG which seems to be the process of choice in the industry?



PJCinLV
 

Jimmy8

Well-Known Member
If you have the time, TIG is the way to go. It takes a lot longer to master than wire feed, but it is well worth it, and looks a lot nicer. I have seen some very nice vehicles done with MIG, but heliarc just seems to take your breath away. In my personal opinion I the TIG welds are stronger than MIG welds as well. I have heard things both ways, but I go with heliarc being stronger. I know nascars are wire fed, but they hit the wall every other day and most of those guys have 3 or 4 cars. It would take forever to TIG that many cars. Anyways, if you have the time to invest like it seems you do, i would definately learn to TIG. Anyone can take a MIG and stick 2 pieces of metal together (it may not look nice), but you can do it without ever touching a welder before, but to TIG proficiently it takes a long time to master.

PMC Racing
 

mike_hinson

Well-Known Member
I have both types of welders as well as stick. For everyday use, the MIG is much more convenient. It sets inside my garage door and has a 50 foot extension cord. For most things, the MIG will do an excellent job. I only pull out the TIG machine when I need to weld something very thin or extreme precision is required as well as aluminum. In addition, the MIG is quicker and doesn't run up my power bill as much. Both are fun to use. Make sure you get an auto-darkening helmet.
Mike
 

Donahoe

Well-Known Member
Pat. One thing that is a big help in learnig how to tig weld is take a class or two at your local jounior collage. You can really pick it up quick. Whats funny is they will start you out Gas welding becuse it is the warm up for learning to tig. The nice thing is you get instruction plus you will use all the schools welding supplies... Lots cheaper and faster then trial and error at home. Just a thought...

NEVER LIFT!!!!!
 

BradM

Well-Known Member
Keep in mind that the welding skills involved are only part of the equation. Time is often the major factor. It takes at least 4-5 times longer to make something with a tig over a mig. Tig joints often require a more precision fit and cleaner metal. Also keep in mind that you need to clamp everything or get someone else to hold parts for tacking with a tig. With a mig, you can do it all by yourself in much less time.

I use a tig for everything from sheet metal body work to aluminum, stainless, and chassis work. I really only use a mig for making jigs, racks, and stuff that I don't want to spend much time on.



"The only source of knowledge is experience." - Albert Einstein
 

Jack

Well-Known Member
I took a short class in welding, and picked up the gas and tig real easy, but the mig I couldn't get used to moving so fast.. (I didn't give it much time before I had to drop the class) I also like that you can go back and make it look good with the tig or gas, but withthe mig your just adding on top.
 

singlehanded

Well-Known Member
If you are only gonna have one machine definitely get a mig. It is faster easier to use and you can get to all those tight places a tig can't. They are the same strength and with alot a practice you can get the mig looking almost as good as the tig. Take a class like kreg said knowledge is very important. I just finished my 2nd semester of welding at fullerton jc, on the last day I tig welded my friends 67 mustangs motor mounts to make them solid. It turned out good. It is amazing how much a little school helps. I got a lincoln 200 mig and plan on buying an tig and plasma down the road.Good luck and remember research, research and then RESEARCH....

local
 

rdc

- users no longer part of the rdc family -
Solve the problem by getting a multi process machine so that you can do either process- all with one machine and of course the right accessories.
 

Jimmy8

Well-Known Member
If you have a lot of time to invest though, and it will be strictly a hobby to learn the fabrication process and so forth, TIG will be a lot more fun. If you are going to start making parts and cages for your truck though, a MIG will be better. You will pick it up faster, and as said before, some spots are just impossible to get to with a TIG.

PMC Racing
 

punkassslacker

Well-Known Member
I haven't done TIG yet but I would say that it's all your personal preference. Like Kreg said above I would also recommend the welding class, that way you can see what you like and then spend the money on MIG or TIG.
 

pjc

Chairman
Everyone, thanks much for the advice.

Have a fine 2002.



PJCinLV
 
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