pulsed mig vs ac tig

  1. smashweld Member

    Messages:
    555
    Location:
    Central Scotland
    I have a tecarc universal/euro spool gun for the mig, it's stopped working (again) so considering ac tig or pulsed mig

    The spool gun hardly gets used tbh....but there's times I want to make things from 1.5/2mm alu sheet...the spool gun is pretty much impossible for me unless just doing lots of little tack/spot? welds
    like this wheel arch managed to stick together with the spool gun
    http://www.mig-welding.co.uk/forum/data/attachments/101/101794-ea16e8c505115ee4a080bfe9a6ddcc08.jpg


    from what I've read pulsed mig would be faster and reduce heat input compared to an ac tig....although I've seen comments like 'tig is better for some jobs'...what would be an example?

    basically, apart from the cost what advantages are there to AC TIG vs pulsed mig?
     
  2. Dutch Welder Member

    Messages:
    239
    Location:
    Oss, The Netherlands
    Pulsed mig is for long runs of Aluminium sheet (IMHO for a beginner at 3mm+ thickness, more proficient users might be able to weld 1.5/2mm thickness with pulse)
    AC Tig is better suited for thinner stuff (but with enough amps can do thicker stuff as well) and shorter weld lengths.
     
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  3. slim_boy_fat

    slim_boy_fat Forum Supporter

    I'm sure this would one for @Richard. - I'm sure he'll be along soon with his thoughts.
     
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  4. smashweld Member

    Messages:
    555
    Location:
    Central Scotland
    thanks

    I was thinking pulsed mig was easier but maybe that's not the case after all?

    would you say 1.5mm sheet is easier with ac tig or pulsed mig?
     
  5. Richard.

    Richard. Member

    Messages:
    18,197
    Location:
    Cambridgeshire
    Mig advantages are speed, productivity, skill level, reduced heat input and distortion control.
    Tig advantages- it generally looks more attractive. More control over weld size and more control on thinner gages like below 2mm
    Double pulse mig machines in skilled hands can achieve close visually appealing welds to tig but imo a tig weld always looks that little bit nicer and cleaner. Both excellent processes in there own field
     
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  6. Richard.

    Richard. Member

    Messages:
    18,197
    Location:
    Cambridgeshire
    Easier is not really the best word I’d use because mig is an easier process to get to grips with but tig will probably make a nicer job of materials at that gage. Pulse mig on alu is quite good for the thinner gages mind especially a double pulse. Alu without a pulse isn’t easy on thin gages.
     
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  7. smashweld Member

    Messages:
    555
    Location:
    Central Scotland
    hmm...not saying it doesn't matter....I understand tidier welds are usually better but almost everything I do will be hidden or ground flat so appearance isn't too important.....
    AC Tig seems more versatile for someone who doesn't do a lot of welding?

    I've seen good things about Parweld XTT 202 and GYS 207

    what price do decent double pulse migs start at?

    was thinking if going for pulsed mig selling the current mig could help but only model ive seen mentioned here is the EWM Phoenix 330 expert, can't find any prices tho so guessing selling the mig would hardly make any difference to total cost anyway! and prob OTT
     
  8. Richard.

    Richard. Member

    Messages:
    18,197
    Location:
    Cambridgeshire
    A tig isn’t something you buy if your not doing a lot it’s something you buy if you want the extra precision, visual appearance and extra control on the thinner gages.
    What area you wanting to do. If it’s manifolds, fuel tanks, bike frames, tube work, etc it’s a tig job all day long. If it’s long runs, chassis, boats, plate, sheet thicker gages then it’s a mig hands down. The two processes can cross over and lend themselves to to other side and be flexible but invest in the process to suit your work.
     
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  9. Brad93

    Brad93 M J B Engineering

    Messages:
    6,283
    Location:
    Essex
    You wont weld 1-2mm ali sheet with a parweld or GYS pulse mig.
    Think to be looking at the likes of the Lorch S3, EWM Phoenix or ESAB U8 to do those thicknesses with any sort of repeatability.

    Saying that I've welded 1.2mm ali sheet quite successfully with 1.0mm 5356 and ESAB QSet on a 4004i non-pulse. Not as spatter free or clean as pulse-on-pulse but it did a good job.
     
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  10. Hood

    Hood Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    9,634
    Location:
    Carnoustie, Scotland
    At a guess a Phoenix the same as mine will be around £5k new, maybe more.

    For me doing Alu I am finding I am using the Phoenix much more than I would have previously and not doing so much Tig.
    Previously thinner than 4mm Alu and I would normally be reaching for the Tig unless it was long runs but under 3mm and I wouldn't even attempt to Mig it. That has changed now with the Phoenix, I think nothing of doing 3mm and under. I even tried 1mm as a test and it went well.

    If I want a very pretty weld (well pretty within my capabilities) I will use Tig, most other times I now use the Phoenix.

    You can get smaller Pulse Migs for around the £1.5 - £2K mark from decent named makers.

    Note though all my Mig is Alu so take the above info as you will.
     
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  11. Richard.

    Richard. Member

    Messages:
    18,197
    Location:
    Cambridgeshire
    I think He mentioned those two as tig possibilities not mig.
     
  12. smashweld Member

    Messages:
    555
    Location:
    Central Scotland
    have been using the spool gun to do simple shs/rhs alu frames in the past, that's all 3mm (I'm just quoting details given by Service Metals here) 6063 T6 I believe, 6082 for thicker walled sections. That was ok once I got the hang of it with the spool gun and a 250a kemppi, so would need to do that job sometimes

    The sheet <3mm is usually 1050A h14...I'd want to make wheel arch type things like in the first post, 1.5mm sheet...they worked ok but would rather be able to actually weld them rather than 100 tacks http://www.mig-welding.co.uk/forum/attachments/img_20161027_174854-jpg.105486/
    tbh I just used the sheet i had lying...there could be better grades to use

    as I say I don't do a lot of welding but now the spool gun is broken it's sorely missed! and since it can't do the thinner stuff thought should maybe explore other options

    no intention of spending anything near £5k tho. between 1-2k is doable, the £900 Parweld looks like it would be fine but happy to spend a bit more if it makes things easier
     
  13. Hood

    Hood Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    9,634
    Location:
    Carnoustie, Scotland
    Tube Alu is easier than sheet with the Mig, I used to do 1/8" wall round tube and 3mm Box all the time with standard Mig, sheet however is what I would avoid like the plague, not now though.

    Edit

    I was always in spray transfer even on the tube/box. I don't ever do Alu in Dip, have seen too many things crack in short order when they have been done that way. Granted the stuff I do gets abuse as it is on boats which take a pounding by the sea but even still.
     
  14. Brad93

    Brad93 M J B Engineering

    Messages:
    6,283
    Location:
    Essex
    You won't feed 1050A wire with a basic mig. You'd need 4 roller feed and a bloody decent liner.

    I would invest in a TIG. A 200-230A unit will do everything you want to do.
     
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  15. Hood

    Hood Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    9,634
    Location:
    Carnoustie, Scotland
    Oh never noticed that, yes 1050 is not easy to use without spool gun or push/pull so short torch and good feed rollers would be a must.
     
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  16. Hood

    Hood Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    9,634
    Location:
    Carnoustie, Scotland
    @Tom Orrow L was going to be testing out a Cebora on Alu, don't think he has got round to it yet, I am looking forward to see what it can do.
     
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  17. Hood

    Hood Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    9,634
    Location:
    Carnoustie, Scotland
    Here is what EWM list price is, seems to be with the water cooler it is £6k with the VAT.
    ScreenHunter_1352 Feb. 17 17.53.jpg
     
  18. Hood

    Hood Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    9,634
    Location:
    Carnoustie, Scotland
    Oh maybe the cooler is not included as it says this at the end of the blurb.

    ScreenHunter_1353 Feb. 17 17.55.jpg
     
  19. smashweld Member

    Messages:
    555
    Location:
    Central Scotland
    cheers Hood, that's put that idea to rest anyway! 5k too much and looks like TIG would be better for my use anyway. Prob better to have the mig for mild steel as ususal then the tig for what the mig can't manage

    I'm not sure what wire we used for the spool gun tbh, it was bought for doing the shs/rhs frames tho.

    Think you're right tho, TIG seems a better choice. Are some machines easier to get good results with than others? at what sort of price bracket does the law of diminishing returns start?

    no doubt there's different features but the Parweld XT202 and GYS 207 are both 200a but huge price difference
     
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  20. Hood

    Hood Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    9,634
    Location:
    Carnoustie, Scotland
    1050 would be no problem in a spool gun as you are only pushing it 150mm or so.

    Think a Tig does sound like the best option for what you do. I have the XTT202P and it is nice enough, not used the GYS so can't comment on it although I do have one of their stick inverters and it is lovely.
     
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