View Full Version : harbor freight 91811 Tig

07-07-2007, 11:39 AM
Does anyone have any experience with the harbor freight 91811 220 volt Tig?
I understand that this would be an entry level machine but that is all I'm looking for as it would be just one of many tools in my shop. I already have a stick and a mig welder, but need something to do some small intricate welding with. I have had generally good results with harbor freight products but have been careful in what I bought from them, and have never bought a welder from them.

Lee Lemon
07-07-2007, 12:37 PM
I got one just over 2 years ago on sale for 199.99 and it's been great. I has enough power to do fairly thick steel, but at lower currents it is easy to do thin stuff too, plus it's super light. It only does steel since it's DC, it is scratch start, and the current control is set on the machine with no foot pedal control. I've never tried to stick weld with it, but being so portable it could be pretty convenient.

07-08-2007, 07:53 AM
this is a impresivly cheap tig machine , a good torch costs more than that, this could get u a litlle heads up.

-u get no HF start (u have to touch the work piece with the electrode) not good, u will contaminate the electrode from the start and will not have the same control of the arc.

-no pre/post arc voltage adjustment, u will get small holes in the material at every finished bead.

-no pre/post gas = carbonization.

-no 2-4 times , u will have to keep the buton on the torch pushed during the welding,

35%duty cycle @130A its not that bad, but tig welding is not as fast as mig-mag .

i think a decent tig starts at about 1000$ and could say that is entry level.

07-08-2007, 08:00 AM
Thank you for the response. What I want to do with this machine is weld throttle arms onto throttle shafts from the back side. The shafts would be out of the carburetor of course. I have been tacking the arms on with a MIG and then welding them with 3/32" 6011 set on 60 amps. I'll try to post a picture of some arms. In your opinion would the 91811 be able to do this? From my understanding I would need to start the arc on a penny and then slide it to the steel. After welding from the back side I would fill the hole in the end of the arm with weld. I have been returning to the MIG to do this. My problem has been that what I am welding is so small and the head on the MIG so large that I can't really see what I am doing with it when I am welding from the back side of the arm. And the stick gets so hot, even at only 60 amps, that I melt something unless I am really careful. When filling the hole with the MIG it isn't a problem I just get the tip really close before pulling the trigger and then pull the trigger and fill the hole up.

07-08-2007, 01:27 PM
Normally I'd recommend against it, but for what you're doing, it would probably be fine. Essentially, it's just a stick machine with a "dry rig" tig torch attached. The only advantage you'd have over just attaching a tig torch to your existing stick machine, is the ability to go down much lower, which you need for what you're doing. Just go into it with the understanding that it is disposable. If it breaks, you're going to be cheaper to buy another than take it into a shop for repair. Parts are usually impossible to find for such things, and cost more than it's worth to bother. Otherwise, it seems like a decent deal. Be sure the torch takes readily available consumables as well, or plan on getting one that does.

07-08-2007, 04:35 PM
To get around buying a Tig is there a substance I could use to direct the wire on my mig into the little crevices on the backside of the arms where I want to weld them onto the shafts. I could and will try different things like copper and brass tubing, aluminum tubing. All of these conduct electricity however so once the arc starts the arc will jump to the nearest point to the tip of the mig gun I would think? But the tip in the gun is brass isn't it so it should not jump as long as the brass tube isn't touching the work. Phenolic doesn't conduct so I may try it but it has a pretty low flame temperature.

Anyway thanks for the responses.

09-23-2007, 10:53 PM
Could you use one of the small oxy-acetylene torches? Here's a site if it o.k. to post same: http://www.tinmantech.com/
I have been trying to learn and getting things too hot too quick is not a problem. If I ever do master it, and find some money somewhere, my impression is that tig uses the same skill set as gas welding only 10 times hotter.