Make your own 180 Amp TIG Welder...

Really fascinating link I'm throwing at you today involves Dave Barret's quest to make his own TIG welder from scratch. This project is built around TTL and CMOS logic to keep it simple, repeatable and easy to trouble shoot.

Here's his list of features:

1/ AC-DC welding variable via two thumbwheel switches from 1% (all Negative) right through full range of AC to 99% (all Positive).
AC frequencies available from 15 to 400 Hz
2/ Pulse Frequencies fully variable from .3 to 10 Hz This does away with having to pulse the foot peddle on thin materials.
3/ Variable control for Maximum Welding Current available to the Foot peddle control.
4/ Variable Start Current (period of higher current available (higher than max set) for short time heating of thick materials)
5/ Variable Start time for above.
6/ Variable End Current (Crater).
7/ Variable End Current time.
8/ Variable Gas Start time.
9/ Variable Gas End time (Dwell).
10/ HF Arc Start.
11/ Opto Interupter / Potentiometer foot peddle current control.

The page is packed with photos, schematics, even printable PDF's. It's a great piece of work.


Airgas expanding in Wisconsin; buying Airtec

According to MSN, Airgas, which has about 600 distributors nationwide, is buying Airtec. Inc. Airtec is based in the midwest, where Airgas is trying to expand its business base. The consolidation in the gas business continues...


MG welding offers productivity gain analysis online tool

MG Welding has a nifty welding productivity calculator you can play with over on their site.

Just enter your data and click "calculate" to estimate the gain in plate cutting productivity (inches cut per shift hour) when using MG Systems' technology. The application used is 1/2" thick mild steel plate (8' x 20') with 160 parts and 320 pierces, cutting 10 shifts per week.

The site warns that actual results may vary based on your application. It's more of a calculate for ballpark range, in my opinion, but very worthwhile for theorizing. I did a basic calculation and it spat out a 72% productivity gain, given my numbers.

Plate Processing Productivity Gain Estimator

Productivity Gain using MG technology:

Based on the following:

Current Method
MG Advanced Technology

Process Selection (ref only):
Cutting Process Speed (IPM):
Number of torches:
Rapid Traverse Speed:
Torch Lifter Speed:
In-Cycle Portion of Shift Time (%):
Cutting Support Table Cleaning:
4 hours / week
5 minutes / Day