Thanks for all the responses. I'm leaning toward getting a tig/stick machine. The purchase agent where I work hooked me up with his welding rep, who is offering to give me the super industrial discount. That actually amounts to a lot, like 25%. I talked to a buddy of mine last night who is an excellent welder. Then in conversing with you all, and talking to some other guys, I'm going to try for the Lincoln Precision Tig 275. If I can't afford that one, then I'll probably get the Precision Tig 225. In addition to the tig process, both machines offer a 275 amp or 225 amp stick welder capability as well. I'll stick the trailer frame together, more than likely. Yes, I'd be forever tigging it together, but I should be good at it by the time I'm done
I think a mig would be superb for this application. But in balance, I think a combo tig/stick machine would do me better in the long run.
And yes, I had to laugh my head off at the "stupid rod" and "stupider rod." Doorgunner and Scott, you guys hit way too close to home on that one
My 6013 welds look professional all the way. My 6010 5P welds don't look so pretty. My 7018 welds don't look too bad. My 6010 vertical up looks like somebody blew their nose on the plate. I need more practice
So, what rod do you recommend? Can I do a decent job with 6013? Or do I need to use a deep penetrater like 6010? Or would 7018 or 7016 be the way to go? What about the jetrod? I forget the number...70-something. Supposed to flow like butter. 7024 maybe? I'm either going to use 36ksi steel or maybe 50ksi steel. So an E60 rod should be fine. Any advice?
I really do like the precision afforded by tig for fine work. I have an old Enfield action that I'm building a custom rifle on. It's a 1917 Winchester made action, and they had a big hole milled in the aft upper portion for the old receiver sight to fit. I needed to fill that hole in and grind to the contour of the rest of the receiver so I could drill and tap for scope mounts. We did it using tig and it turned out beautifully. After grinding and polishing, you can't tell there was ever a hole there. Could never have done that with stick or mig.
That being said, I've heard that Henrob makes really nice gas torches. that's what my best bud was talking about buying to weld up the 4130 tubes for his Bearhawk bushplane. If I got an oxy-fuel rig, that was what I was looking at for fine work. I'll probably still get one for cutting and general stuff. May just get a Victor torch to start with.
But anyway, I'd like to have a shop full of this stuff. But I think I'll probably start with as big a tig/stick machine as i can afford.
I'll keep you all posted.
On the subject of frames, I saw some pictures that Boatdoc had of the frame he made for his Argosy. He made a brand new frame completely out of stainless steel. It is absolutely beautiful! My hat is off to him! His job is the gold standard I could never hope to achieve. I just hope my humble carbon steel frame and Por-15 will last another 40 years. I'll be happy then