Looking into picking up a Tig

Discussion in 'Other metal working projects' started by crazybillybob, Jun 25, 2020.

  1. crazybillybob

    crazybillybob Silver Banner Member

    I don't want a bunch of RED and Blue argument If I had the cash for either one I'd be asking about them ;)

    I'm looking at picking up a starter AC/DC Tig. I have a little scratch start dc unit and have welded with oxy torches in the past. I'm not saying I'm a welder...Still better at grinding :D But I'm to the point where I want to weld thicker stuff and try out my hand on some aluminum.
    I'm looking at 2 units (but open to suggestions in the same price bracket)
    Primeweld 225
    WeldPro 200

    Anyone have any feedback or a push in one direction or the other?
    On paper both units are about the same. Both companies are said to have good support.
    I'm leaning toward the Weldpro because of the digital (less knobs for me to break) front panel.

    I had been looking at the AHP but they're back ordered till mid August at this point.

    Thanks guys!
  2. Melterskelter

    Melterskelter Gold Banner Member

    I can only comment on the CK Worldwide torch and cable. I love mine as the flex head feature is very useful and the cable is very flexible. You will appreciate those qualities which are not commonly present in many torches.

    Last edited: Jun 25, 2020
  3. Jason

    Jason Gold

    For your budget. I'd wait for the new Aphatig and get that. A friend of mine just bought an ESAB with some bs fancy screen on it. It has ZERO features, no pedal, no HF start and is DC only. Needless to say, it's going back. No red/ blue argument from me. Blue is stupidly overpriced and Red is made south of the border with far east parts.
    That ahp comes with CK gear. I've got a ck torch and love it.

    BUT if I had to pick one of the two machines you show, I'd go with the weld pro. (The chinglish is better on the weldpro page) Looking at the photo, I do not like the weldpro foot pedal. The other machine has the more common pedal. Not sure why? Without seeing the inside of these machines, it's kind of a crap shoot. The chinese have a nasty habit of excessively using daughter boards. This combined with poor build quality can cause connection issues. Whatever you buy that comes from china, take the hood off when you get it and nose around inside with a flashlight. Look for anything that doesn't look kosher. This means hardware floating around, poor connections, loose hardware and namely unsecured wiring. Zip tie stuff out of the way to keep it from getting itself in trouble. With any luck, you'll only find one or two issues. Maybe you've seen this video, but this is an everlast's test facility. If you can call it that. :rolleyes: If you hear anything rattling around inside, do not start it without finding what's making the noise. Shit floating around inside is very common.

    Last edited: Jun 25, 2020
  4. crazybillybob

    crazybillybob Silver Banner Member

    Comments I've seen is that the Weldpro foot pedal is the nicer one. The prime weld pedal is noted to be too light and easy to loose...and just uncomfortable.
    I've also noted seeing folks commenting that the were buying both brands to replace an Everlast. I hadn't seen that clip of the everlast "Testing" but have seen some other ones that explain the random extra crap that falls out when you open the cover for the first time.
  5. Jason

    Jason Gold

    I don't know why the chinese insist of F'ing with pedal designs. I've seen some real dumb designs in the last 5years. I have the miller pedal that looks more like the prime weld. Mine isn't light so maybe it's a cheap chinese knock off. I ALMOST bought an everlast until I came across that video. My issue is they started out cheap, got popular and then the price approached what a high quality machine costs. For a few bucks more, I could get the good stuff. That's what I did. Matt Pratt on yt did an under the hood look at my machine, that was all I needed. I sent that video to ToT and wasn't surprised when he bought one. It's pricey, but the arc is so smooth. I didn't realize how good it was until I used my buddies lincoln squarewave. There really is a reason for the money. It's sad no one in the America knows who Stel is. Be sure you get at least 125CF bottle. 100% argon ONLY. Plan on a couple hundred bucks for the bottle. Fills for me run $40.

    If this one doesn't make you want to weld shit together, it's time to go play with dead trees.

    Matts inside look.
  6. Rocketman

    Rocketman Silver Banner Member

    I bought an Everlast PowerTIG 255EXT 1.5 years ago and it's been a solid machine and has served me well so far.
    Best bang for the buck for power at the time. Handles aluminum nicely, nice arc overall, and performs well with stick too.
    Picked up a cheapy water cooler for it last spring, it's loud but I can weld much higher powers and longer
    The welder is nicer than the brand new giant miller machines that my local vocational school has (I took night courses for TIG) with way more bells & whistles

    They seem to have mixed reviews but I like mine, and have had no issues with it [shrugs]

    I hear good things about the AlphaTig, but I wanted more power than it offered
  7. Jason

    Jason Gold

    That's good to hear. What water cooler did you buy? I didnt get one because it was too expensive. I can deal with loud.
  8. Rocketman

    Rocketman Silver Banner Member

    I bought a generic eBay "Powercool WRC-300" The listing is gone for the one I bought but similar units are out there. I ordered a green one but received a blue one which irked me a bit, but such is cheap eBay stuff
    Was about $300 at the time, looks like they are a bit cheaper now.
    Looked to be just about the same unit that Everlast sells but cheaper. I did not opt for the flow alarm option on it.
    Don't have a whole lot of time on the unit, but again so far so good. The 255EXT came with two torches, air cooled and water cooled, the water cooled is my standard torch now, much nicer to run.

    Also picked up the Harbor Freight "Vulcan" auto darkening welding helmet with a coupon, it's really nice compared to the super cheap solar panel jobs. The solar jobs don't react fast enough for the precise TIG work.
    It has needed batteries once or twice, they're an odd size, Amazon has em cheap though
    Jason likes this.
  9. I like my AHP Alphatig. I'm not much of a welder but my expert, and old code welder, loves it.

    I did have trouble with the high frequency start until the factory sent me the Miller instruction sheet to ground the metal building I'm in. One jumper from my welding outlet ground to my overhead door rail picked up everything and solved the issue. It would start the first time then would not HF start until turned off and back on.

    I was having trouble with my foot pedal until my welder friend explained I was using it backwards. Heel on the box, toe on the pedal. Works great for me, does everyone do that?
  10. Jason

    Jason Gold

  11. crazybillybob

    crazybillybob Silver Banner Member

    I was just at my gas place last week filling up the mig bottle, and oxygen bottle for my torches. 125# bottle of argon will set me back $205 out the door. Fill up is like $25-$30
    The other dealer down the street wants $90 to fill it. They don't get my business

    I was poking around the ahp website after seeing more good comments about them. I can't find anything that states they ship ck torches anymore. And they're about$100 less than the weldpro at the moment. Really thinking about it.
  12. Jason

    Jason Gold

    205bucks for a 125cf bottle with a fill is a good price. $25=$30 fills is a better price! I bet the other guy down the street is airgassholes??

    Call AHP, I doubt they've changed, At least I hope they havent cheaped out with some ck knockoff.:(
  13. OMM

    OMM Silver

    What kind of welding do you plan on doing (MIG, TIG, ARC)? What kind of portability is required? Are you looking inverter style or transformer? And what is your price range?

    Next, how often do you expect to use it? and when using it what is your duty cycle? And what is your expectations of life expectancy?

    What is your experience level??? And how much more are you willing to invest in dollars? Consumables I could drop $200 on (without thinking twice).

    Every year I spend about $200 Canadian for about 40 hours of welding time. TIG t0 argon. But, with the contract I can rent a bottle for $125 per year that is three times the size and a fill that is Half the price. But I work this out to be 3 to $400 per year. It's not worth it for me to go to a contract yet. I currently own my bottle that is about 92 ft.³. It also has a refundable deposit on it of $300.

    I spend $300-$600 in consumables every year for 40 hours of burn time... And I don't even consider electricity needs.
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2020
  14. Jason

    Jason Gold

    Matt, Down here, the companies usually only rent the really big bottles. Anything over 125 here is contract only. Buying one and running exchange for a full one is the only way to fly. You never have to worry about your bottle going out of date and someone else has to pay for the hydro.
  15. crazybillybob

    crazybillybob Silver Banner Member

    I willwwill a little bit of everything. Sometimes I go see the gas man every few weeks. Sometimes not. This last time was like 2years. ( Long enough for the place I used to use to close up shop).
    It really depends on what I'm doing.
    My experience is a bit of hobby welding. It isn't always pretty... But it always does the job. I started welding with oxy... Then bumped up to mig. Bought a tig torch to go on a cheap 100A DC arc welder and used a 25# argon bottle on it to do some exhaust work. I have been looking at a bigger boy Tig for awhile... I sold a plasma table I had and am looking to use that capital to pick one up. As for duty cycle.... Not a bunch. I would be welding up tubes and some plates. And I don't have a production quota for the day so if I need to take breaks for the welder to cool down...I'm sure I'll need a break. My guess is I'm going to cry uncle before the welder.

    I'm pretty sure that high dollar place has some affiliation with airgas their signage is similar but it doesn't straight up say airgas here. Around here airgas is the middle of the road in price.. praxair is the high dollar stuff. I've been told that if you're a business with an account their prices drop to reasonable....but I'm not so I steer clear.
    I might have to call ahp on Monday ask about that.
  16. OMM

    OMM Silver

    Up here in Canada it's very difficult own a bottle larger than 83 ft.³ with a refundable deposit on the bottle. Anything over 83 ft.³ Q size requires a contract/Account with a Credit card attached.

    We have mainly two companies. Air Liquide and Praxair. Economically, it's not worth going to a contract unless you are going through more than 300 ft.³ per year.

    I am currently using Praxair Q bottle and I could step up to the K bottle. The K bottle has exactly 3 times more air in it. But it cost to fill it once a year with rental, three times the price. Currently I am filling the Praxair Q bottle only twice a year at $200.

    Air liquide is cheaper if I go with they're 50 XPR bottle which has a rental of $125/y, but has 550 ft.³, one bottle fill per year will be $195.
  17. Jason

    Jason Gold

    Just saw something on the AHP site..I have a REALLY hard time believing the duty cycle on the ahp for some reason...
    They say 60% at 200amps? Big bullshit flag waving going on here.

    Here is the specs on my machine. 20% @ 220amps, 60% @ 165amps, and 100% @ 145amps
    I will say, I have an aircooled #17 and at 120amps, that sucker is blazing hot after 8-10mins of continuous welding. Hell, the #17 torch is only rated for 150amps ANYWAY!:rolleyes:
    Unless you have superman hands or a water cooled torch, I guess duty cycle is kinda moot at the end of the day.

    83Cf bottle??? That sucks for you guys.:( You know some pencil necked idiot somewhere thinks a 125cf bottle is too dangerous for you to have in your home right??? :rolleyes:
    You can actually buy 250's from a company in florida. Whatshisnutz with the octopus furnace bought one outright and it was cheaper than my 125cf! The issue I
    have is those big bastards weigh a ton and don't really fit in a car. I toss my 125cf in the trunk without a second thought. :p KAREN doesn't work at my welding shop
    and they dont care if I strap it to the front bumper or stick it in the passenger seat! No praxair here, just airass and a couple of awesome mom and pops trying to pedal miller stuff and lawnmowers.
  18. crazybillybob

    crazybillybob Silver Banner Member

    So after a phone call to AHP..... The Alpha tig ships with a Nova rotary tig torch. So that's the first knock against them. Now to go see what it would cost convert it to a CK ww Torch. Some of the Youtube reviews of the new Alphatig201 had issues with the torch lead... So I don't know what that says for NOVA.

    Looks like it's about $150 +shipping and taxes to get a CKWW 17 torch with the connector that fits this welder and 25' of hose.
    Makes it the same $$$ as the WeldPro. And I have to wait till August to get it.

    I got looking I my O2 tank is a 282# cylinder. And I own it. was $19 to fill/swap tanks.
    my 102# CO2Arg mix (for the mig) was $21 to fill/swap
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2020
  19. Jason

    Jason Gold

    Ugh.. DId you tell them you are considering the weldpro because of this and the WAIT??? Twist their tits, you want that ck torch.
  20. Al Puddle

    Al Puddle Silver

    Ok, so I bought the PrimeWeld machine. It's sitting in the box waiting for me to move the muller out of the way.
    What swayed me in this purchase is the knobs. the other machines have press pads or whatever and they go to sheet fro me.

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