quick help on Miller Econotig suggestion - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old May 16th, 2006, 12:21 AM
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Chris Davis
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quick help on Miller Econotig suggestion

Sorry for the not-quite-D90 intrusion, just figured this may be the quickest way to pick up the advice. I have a good MIG welder that is great for most all my steel work, but I want to do some aluminum work, just hobby stuff like making air tanks and sheet aluminum up to about 3/8". I may have a line on a Miller Econotig slightly used for about $800, which is my $$ cap. Is this a worthy welder or am I better off not getting anything and waiting a while for a better machine--I thought one of you all may have one and can let me know. Thanks.
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  #2  
Old May 16th, 2006, 01:01 AM
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Price-wise, for occasional use the Econotig is a great little machine. If I recall correctly there is no option for water cooling, which means if you have a lot of work to do, you're going to be spending a lot of time waiting for it to cool down. If you want to make tanks, while welding the end caps on you probably won't make it all the way around before overheating - every time you stop/start you increase the chances of pinhole leaks.

That would be the situation for me even with a more full-featured machine. While I am competent with a MIG machine, I haven't mastered the wire-feed technique for TIG. Most of the aluminum stuff I've done is serviceable, but not too pretty.

At $800 for lightly use machine, I wouldn't think twice. Snatch it up. When you outgrow it, sell it and trade up.

A word of caution - once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny.
  • brake/shear
  • tubing bender
  • plasma cutter
  • once you've mastered aluminum, you're going to want to remake all the stuff you made in aluminum only this time in STAINLESS!
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  #3  
Old May 16th, 2006, 10:00 AM
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Bill Lewis
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Not to hijack, but Chris are you in Colorado Springs? I worked with a Chris Davis and the 'net, saw your post and thought it might be you....
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  #4  
Old May 16th, 2006, 03:26 PM
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Chris Davis
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Probably a different Chris--I work in Denver, live in Boulder and only rarely do I make it down to the Springs. Doesn't preclude us from hooking up in the future, though!
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Old May 18th, 2006, 09:52 AM
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Kyle Caskey
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The econotig may work OK but you mentioned wanting to do 3/8" aluminum? That, it will not come even close to doing. That machine will only be able to do thin aluminum sheet metal. Aluminum takes a lot of amperage to weld as it transfers the heat away so fast.
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