Stationary TIG wire feeder setup
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  1. #1
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    Default Stationary TIG wire feeder setup

    I think it's been discussed here before, but couldn't find it.

    If I have a mig feeder and a TIG welder what else do I need?

    I want to switch up a product from an aluminum hogout to a steel weldment (11 gauge tube to 1/2" A36) and I think a killer looking TIG bead would really make it a winner.

    Anyone doing anything like this with TIG and a wire feeder?

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    There are cold wire feeders specifically for TIG, they feed then stop then feed again, with the time intervals of each adjustable. Some also retract the wire an adjustable amount at each pause. I have one but haven't seen fit to connect it up yet. It has a machine torch attachment that hold the wire nozzle right at the torch cup. I think a continuous feed would be difficult to make work perfectly, perhaps the MIG feeder could be controlled to suit?

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    That makes sense. I have a nice machine torch and feeder setup that came off a huge tank welding machine I bought by mistake once (auction $20 kinda deal).

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    To add to muds' response above, if you get the recipe right the feeder doesn't have to start & stop. I used to tool steel weld with a constant feed to overlay for needle bearings (ground to size after welding). Fricken welds were beautiful, shame to grind them...

    Good luck,
    Matt

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    If it's a production job, you would think you could dial in the MIG
    do doo the weld the way you want....and much faster at that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mud View Post
    I think a continuous feed would be difficult to make work perfectly, perhaps the MIG feeder could be controlled to suit?
    I have used the setup in this link:

    TIG like MIG

    Continuous feed (as compared to the pause and retract) was not an issue. Strict on/off of the wire feed might be, depending on how well you can get it setup. Note that the OTC unit in the link has a potentiometer to control wire speed on the fly. Setting something similar up to allow control of the MIG feeder speed would probably be wise.

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    1210151508b.jpg
    You can use a normal mig welder just fine, throw the ground clamp for the mig inside an old welding glove for safety and have at it. Start at the slow end of the WFS dial, and creep up until you hit the sweet spot.
    The pic was a 1/4" disk to an 1/8" wall tube both plain steel. had like 50-60 of the things to do. Pulse tig and a rotary table feeding wire with the mig. I had the thing set fairly hot and fast...
    I tried it on a few parts that weren't round and on a positioner with more limited success, its awkward adding another set of hand movements into the equation and unless you're in for some serious production it would be tricky to nail down with separate torches. IF you get creative and tape the mig to the tig torch (or something to that effect) it might work better. Never had enough of a chance to try it.

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    I have an old cold wire feed unit that just kicks ass on long welds. We used it years ago in making monocoque bike frames. They had about 30" of weld to join the two .050 aluminum frame halves together. Just perfect welds every time as long as you did not twitch your hand and mess up the travel speed.

    I have also been interested in the tip-tig way of welding. It is a tig torch with a wire feeder like the cold wire feeders but the wire is electrically hot like a mig welding wire. Yes, tig welding power and "some" mig welding power, coming from two power sources in one weld.
    Here is a link:
    How It Works | Tip Tig Welding

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    Tip TIG adds a motion to the wire, the whole feeding unit jiggles back and forth.
    Still a nifty process that I wish I could get a chance to try out...
    Hot wire tig is a "normal" process compared to TIP tig. Heating the wire is supposed to aid in deposition rates but you are half way down the rabbit hole of process control if you are worried about such things... 75-90% of most people (us on this forum...) would be hard pressed to run into occasions where such things would matter. The ones that do are usually kinda quite about it...

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    Quote Originally Posted by PlasmaOnTheBrain View Post
    1210151508b.jpg
    You can use a normal mig welder just fine, throw the ground clamp for the mig inside an old welding glove for safety and have at it. Start at the slow end of the WFS dial, and creep up until you hit the sweet spot.
    The pic was a 1/4" disk to an 1/8" wall tube both plain steel. had like 50-60 of the things to do. Pulse tig and a rotary table feeding wire with the mig. I had the thing set fairly hot and fast...
    I tried it on a few parts that weren't round and on a positioner with more limited success, its awkward adding another set of hand movements into the equation and unless you're in for some serious production it would be tricky to nail down with separate torches. IF you get creative and tape the mig to the tig torch (or something to that effect) it might work better. Never had enough of a chance to try it.
    Thank you for showing that, it's not something I'd previously considered.

    As far as the ground clamp, were I to do this I'd disconnect the lead going to the torch. It's just a wing nut on my Lincolns.

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