TIG vs MIG welding opinions for beginner

Discussion in 'Garages, Workshops & Tools' started by Aceshigh, Feb 1, 2010.

TIG or MIG For a beginner ??

Poll closed Feb 22, 2010.
  1. TIG

    5 vote(s)
  2. MIG

    35 vote(s)
  1. BonzoHansen

    BonzoHansen Administrator Lifetime Gold Member

    ace you can wear a respirator if you want.
  2. mrdragster1970

    mrdragster1970 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member


    I doubt anyone doing some welding around the garage will smother.
    I've welded a couple of hours straight, and never had any issues with 100% argon.
    The breeze thing is very true. I have 7 big fans in my shop, and I have to turn them off.
    The one above my welding plate would cause some problems.
    I'm not that good, and it was bothering my concentration.

    I also love the auto helmets. I hated the flip style. Plus I have to wear my glass', so it was not a good thing.
    I have a average model, about $150 and it works awesome. My chassis guy used it and liked it.

  3. Aceshigh

    Aceshigh Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    I'll have to look up argon's hazmat info to see how dangerous it is.
    No biggie.

    Thanks for all the info gents. As usual, a great resource with quick answers.
    I wish the Olds site I'm on was even 1/4 as fast.
  4. 67lemanster

    67lemanster Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Oct 20, 2003
    I AM ILK
    i am no more wierded out in the melon than when i was shootin coke.

    who honestly worries about the shielding gas???? sorry jim but ace wont weld enough and i know i wont or ever will for it to make a difference.

    i weld in my garage when its cold with the doors down and all is ok.

    my shielding gas is a mix that i think you can also use for stainless(i dont really remember the reason i have been using a mix of 75% argon and 25% carbon dioxide.

    do you plan to huff the nozzle end? roflmao trust me your around a lot worse things without worrying about them. this is a non issue in my book.

    btw i have welded for 3-4 hours straight like mrdragster1970 worst i got was a severe sun burn on my arms and chest. lol lol lol
  5. Widowmaker01

    Widowmaker01 Veteran Member

    Apr 23, 2009
    North East, PA
    Argon, CO2, and helium gases aren't hazardous by themselves...the fact that they displace oxygen in a confined space such as an airtight vessel is what will get ya.
    That's how we can weld on half full 5000 gallon fuel tanks on locomotives...pump argon gas into them and they won't explode...no oxygen.
  6. Kamikaze

    Kamikaze Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member


    You need to PM John Wright and get more info to guide you.

    FWIW, here is my experiences:

    I learned the basics of Oxy / Acetylene torch welding,
    Learned on a Lincoln Buzz Box arc welder,
    was taught to MIG weld using a Lincoln wire feed.
    Learned TIG on a Miller.

    I own a Victor Journeyman Oxy / Acetylene torch
    A Miller DVI MIG welder ( Dual voltage predecessor to the MillerMatic 211), with the SP100 Aluminum Spool gun.
    A HyperTherm 30 Plasma Cutter
    A Miller Bobcat Generator / Welder
    A Miller Dynasty TIG
    And a Miller Diversion 165 TIG

    Now I have to tell you that I used to be a die hard Lincoln fan but because of the Miller MVP plug system where I can use my MIG in 110 & 220 V outlets, and the newere autoset features, they make things so much more convenient.

    I would suggest you invest in a good MIG welder and start learning. It is less frustrating and easier to learn and make good progress. Stick with the name brands like Miller, Lincoln or Hobart. Replacement parts and warranty service is much easier to come by!

    Another thing about MIG welding is that it is usually two settings to deal with: Arc and wire feed speed. Simple!

    Get a good quality (Spend the $$$), for good equipment like the helmet, gloves, Welpers, Clamps, jacket, bibs, etc...

    Get yourself solid core and flux core wires in ER70-S to start doing general purpose steel welding.

    If you get the Miller 211 you can add the Spoolmate 100 and get some 4043 aluminum wire but will also need some argon gas for shielding.

    The thing about shielding gas & soild core wire as opposed to no gas and flux core wire is that the shielding gas will weld cleaner and thinner materials in the right conditions. If you are outside or anywhere that there is the slightest breeze, you will need to ditch the gas and use a flux core and deal with the spatter.

    For standard steel welding, I use a tri-mix gas or also known as C-25 Gold. It is a little bit more costly but cleans up and sheilds much better IMO.

    If you are the least bit interested in super clean welds, (Stack of dimes type of beads), and are dealing with chromoly, stainless, aluminum or higher quality metals, TIG is a cleaner system.

    Most TIG machines are very specific on their features like scratch start, lift arc, slope, frequency, post gas, etc, etc, etc. Miller has the Diversion 165 and will soon bring out the Diversion 180 that has only two controls. It makes it easy for someone with very little welding knowledge to start gaining the skills to do TIG welding. For those with the skills and experience, it is a simple machine for the home shop and will do a great job. Another factor is the cost is very reasonable compared to other TIG welders. The Diversion 165 is just over $1000.00 while other models like the Maxstar and Dynasty are over $2500 or more! Add to the cost of the machines like the Torch parts that will increase the totals when you get additional size Tungstens with different coatings, gas lenses, collect, cups, and the right grinding wheels to sharpen the Tungsten...

    When looking at brands of welders, don't only look at cost! Make sure you deal with a major name brand and you will find it easier to get the consumables and parts to keep going! Snap On and Matco don't make their own and sometimes you have to special order their parts. Hobart is a good product and is owned by Miller Electric so some people consider it like a cheaper version of the Miller Professional products.
    Stay away from Century, and Harbor Freight stuff!

    Hope this didn't confuse you more...
  7. Aceshigh

    Aceshigh Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Apr 9, 2001

    That's how I shop for EVERYTHING, so this won't be any different.
    I only buy brand names in electronics. Harbor Freight for the odd ball tools
    I know will be good enough for the 4-5 times I'll ever use them in my life.

    But everything else, I only buy top brand names because I don't like wasting money on junk.
    A welder is not something I would half step.....I want the best options.
    I was looking at Lincoln because Big Orange sells it and I figured parts would be easy to come by.
    However, I hear ALOT of people saying "Miller" so I might just go that route.

    I can probably get a hookup on a Lincoln tho........so I gotta see
    120 is good enough I'm guessing, and I gotta figure out this gas thing too......
    not sure how it all ties in together yet.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2010
  8. earlysecond

    earlysecond Veteran Member

    Aug 9, 2002
    Altoona, PA
    I am sorely disappointed that NOBODY brought up zinc fever or welder's blindness.

    If you intentionally concentrate heavy gas and fill your lungs with it you could die. . . Holy Crap Batman, if you fill your lungs with water, pure nitrogen or a host of any other solids its gonna get tough to breate.

    You will be fine. Put up a poll and see how many people use breathing equiptment when welding. PAINTING uh yes and the effects of the paint can be quickly noticed, very dramaticlly.

    Again, it always makes sense to do homework and be prepared AND it is always better to be safe than sorry BUT if you get scared of all of the risks assocaited with everything, you will dry up. Things that are really dangerous, statistically that you may or may not do everyday. #1 Drive a car #2 tease mean looking dogs #3 walk across streets #4 have sex with partners who have not been tested.
    Obviously I am being over dramatic to prove a point. DO NOT WELD INSIDE A PLASTIC BUBBLE WITH GASES that displace oxygen.

    I drink soda over ice all the time, no exception ice in a cup with soda or I do not drink any. Sometimes in that perfectly poured cup which is pretty full and still effervessing, I am breathing in while raising to my face, I inhale a lungful of air that is rich in C02 then I realize, hey it is tough to breath, cough put down the cup and breathe then resume drinking. . .this is exactly what we are talking about. So to agree with Tommy DO NOT INTENTIONALLY INHALE CONCENTRATED welding gas, it is not a good idea

    You will be fine and soon you should be on information overload. I guess that we should all be glad though that so many people will answer our quesitons!


    See my siggy if you have taken offense to this post!
  9. ChevyReb

    ChevyReb Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Feb 4, 2003
    Brent great idea bringing up those two new dangers, but in all that rhetoric you never even mentioned anything about them LOL.

    Galvanized metal was brought up in an earlier post which produces zinc and that stuff stinks. I do wear a respirator when I have to weld that stuff.

    Not intending to bust your chops...just thought that was humorous. /nbl
  10. Kamikaze

    Kamikaze Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Another thing to consider is cleaning chemicals to wipe down the metals before welding....

    There was a thread not to long ago about a guy who used non-chorinated brake cleaner as a solvent to wipe down the base metal before welding.
    Once the arc hit the metal, the evaporated chemical turned into a noxious gas that took away the oxygen from the air and asphixiated the weldor! He has since suffered some neurological damages and has some breathing problems.

    Acetone is still the safest and most accepted cleaner...

Share This Page