Dumb question TIG vs MIG : Welding  -- General Tractor Discussion Forum and Review Dumb question TIG vs MIG : Welding -- General Tractor Discussion Forum

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 01-24-2005, 00:24 Post: 104796
tomrscott



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 Dumb question TIG vs MIG

Okay, dumb question time. Now that I've got a tractor, I want to get some welding capability. The budget probably dictates a stick welder to start, but I still want to learn all I can about the tradeoffs.

Q: I think I pretty well understood how MIG works, but I'm not sure what the difference is between MIG and TIG.

I first heard about TIG when I was thinking about getting some aluminum tubing welded, I think I understand pretty well what MIG is, but I guess MIG can do aluminum too if you have the right shielding gas (Argon I guess?).

I understand quite a bit about the difficulty with Aluminum, oxidizing, why you need shielding gas, etc. I gather that for MIG on steel you typically use CO2 and Argon mix for shielding? I understand why MIG gives much cleaner welds than stick. I also get it that an underpowered MIG can make pretty welds without enough penetration. I think I understand the preference for a spool gun with aluminum wire which is not stiff enough to easily feed down the hose. Easier to feed it right at the gun. I guess a 180amp MIG would do most of what I need, but at quite a bit more money than an equivalent amperage stick welder. AC/DC seems to be 50% to 100% more than an AC-only stick, MIG is maybe double that, very roughly?

I think a good welding shop salesman could own a second on your house if you weren't careful. (grin)

I get a lot of this, but it suddenly dawned on me that I can't explain the difference between TIG and MIG.

Thanks!






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 01-24-2005, 07:30 Post: 104799
beagle

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 Dumb question TIG vs MIG

TIG welding, or more technically Gas Tungsten Arc Welding, sometimes called Heliarc welding, uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to create the arc for welding. You can add filler metal, but is not necessary. Filler metal is added from a rod put into the arc. TIG welding takes a lot of practice, and wouldn't be the process of choice for welding ferrous metals. The shielding gas is just an inert gas, similar to MIG welding, and is only there to shield the weld from the atmosphere.

I would recommend you stay with a MIG process. It is much easier to produce quality welds and can be used for ferrous and nonferrous metals. TIG is used only on thin steels, and generally for the root pass of some thin wall pipe and tubing welds. TIG is the best way to weld alluminum, but not the only way.






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 01-24-2005, 08:35 Post: 104803
AV8R



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 Dumb question TIG vs MIG

Simply stated: The TIG welding process is similar to gas welding. You strike an arc with the torch which will cause a melted "pool", cool it witf filler-rod and move along the weld.

It is a very skill-oriented process, rather than MIG which is point and shoot.






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 01-24-2005, 12:38 Post: 104818
Iowafun

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 Dumb question TIG vs MIG

I've done some welding with all 3 forms. I'm fond of stick welding cause I'm not too bad at it. Takes some technique, but that also works for MIG. I love MIG since I can get a good weld really easy.

TIG. I suck at TIG. It's hard to balance the power with the distance and hand feeding the new material. Also had problems with the thin material it's used on. I'd get it to hot and create a hole.

If most of the material you will be using is ferous like steel, I'd stick with MIG or stick. Unless you plan on doing a lot of thin welding, I'd stay away from TIG cause you won't get enough time to develop and keep the skill needed to get a good weld.

The guys that are good at TIG get respect from me. It's hard.






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 01-24-2005, 16:37 Post: 104841
earthwrks

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 Dumb question TIG vs MIG

I was taught that TIG stood for "Tungsten Inert Gas" welding and did it on a production line making Harley-Davidson parts. We used carbon dioxide and I believe sometimes agron for the inert gas. That was 20 years ago. The equipment cost for that was outrageous! Not to mention buying the tungsten rods. It does make for a beautiful yet strong weld. Has the price of the equipment gone down that much to make affrodable for the average guy to buy?






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 01-24-2005, 16:43 Post: 104842
AV8R



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 Dumb question TIG vs MIG

If affordable = $2500, then yes.

Too rich for my blood.






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 01-24-2005, 18:51 Post: 104847
tomrscott



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 Dumb question TIG vs MIG

I guess I am going to go for a slightly used Miller Thunderbolt AC/DC. Looks like new brand new, checked out by a top service shop. $300






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 01-25-2005, 07:44 Post: 104874
shortmagnum

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 Dumb question TIG vs MIG

That is a good choice. For all around inexpensive but strong welding the AC/DC stick will do most anything you desire.
Dave






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