It is certainly possible to combine the three functions in one machine. And there are others out there selling low priced TIG units, anyway. TIG is all about control and cheaper units give up a lot of bells, and also have undertainties relative to service cost, in fact that's a problem with inverters in general.
When it comes to plasma, yo need an air supply, built in units are often described as unreliable, and externals normally are much higher priced. There are consumables with plasma, and you would want to be sure you can use off the rack stuff. No idea about the capcity for plasma of a samll invergter. The average welder pumps out a lot less heat than what is required to burn through plate. Also, anything nice like tool steel or chromoly is normally better cut with something that does not require so much grinding back. Great for making parts out of mild steel though. Never used this type of plasma.
New guy here...intro to follow. As for that unit I don't see an Argon regulator to go with it. A bottle and regulator are going to run you likely over $200. It's been 6 years since my last welding class but I recall aluminum required AC output on the welder - I didn't see that mentioned in the ad or pics. I used to have a little Miller maxstar inverter TIG (got stolen) and although it was a decent machine I couldn't do any exotic metals with it. I'm looking to replace it with a Henrob/Dillon/Cobra type torch. Not sure if those have been discussed around here but they'll allow you to weld aluminum with special flux/paste as I recall.
Well as to not dig up and old thread. I'll post it here. Watching the welding videos on the Henrob site and reading KendallF's post, I have a question. KendallF talks about not being able to creat the "roll of dimes" bead, but do you think it would be possible to create very smooth Al welds a'la Cannondale?
I don't have much experience with Al but I'll take a stab at this anyway. Cannondale 'metal finishes' their welds. All this means is they grind them down to blend in with the base metal(tubing or dropout or whatever). Here's a short tutorial (look for posts by SELLERS) by a relatively young and unknown master of this process. Bear with his poor grammar and lack of punctuation; it's worth it if you really want to learn the process. The thing about Al is it tends to 'load up' on your abrasives. Basically Al chips clog the sanding wheel and it loses it's effectiveness. Probably not an issue when your using little disposable sanding discs. I'm gonna try to find a chunk of Al to take to work tomorrow just to see how it reacts to grinding. The main thing to remember is not to grind into the base material at all. Only the weld.
ha. as of right now I have 7 tabs open on my internet explorer about oxygas torches. In fact I am the newest member of metal meet. NMSonny, i am assuming you have torch experience. Any recommendations?
My experience with torches is limited to heavy cutting/beveling of 1"+ steel. I have played with torches for some welding and brazing but it's not something I work with on a day to day basis. I'm tempted to suggest the Meco Midget but it tops out at 3/16" Aluminum - and requires another $54 in upgrades. How thick do you need to go?
You can't use DC tig to weld aluminum, and getting a decent DC TIG is an expensive process. You can go inverter, which is the best arc and the new wave, but it is super expensive, and it's like a laptop, if something fries you need to replace the whole unit. Or you can go perfectly wonderful old tech, but you can end up needing more amps than some home shops have available.
You can lay dimes without high frequency, however the finish requirements of modern frame welding pretty nearly reflect HF. If you aren't going commercial you have more options.
I would like to eventually sell frames, but thats along way off. I would rather concentrate on brazing for the time being. I posted the TIG thing because I figured it was to good to be true. (which it proved to be.)