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Thermal arc 181i fabricator. Anyone here own 1 are use 1 . How well does it tig weld ,and mig weld ? Are there any draw backs (other than not tiging aluminum) for home fabrication ?
 

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Thermal Arc does not have very much of the market share here in eastern pa I have only ever seen a few of the units in welding distributors in this neck of the country.

If your talking new you do have a warranty
 

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I don't have any experience with that particular model, but I do run a Fabricator 251 MIG and an Arc Master 165 TIG. Both have been great machines. They're a little tough to find parts for, but I haven't had any issues with parts failing to cause a problem.
 

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I have a TA 181i and I'm going to buy a TA 252i. I bought the T1 181i to replace my Miller Passport and I'm buying the TA 252i to replace my Miller 350P. I'll come out $1500 ahead after selling those machines.

The TA 181i is a really nice machine and I'm really pleased with it.
 

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Cheerokee 1, did you end up buying one? If so what do you think?

Unixadm, will it handle stuff heavier than 1/4" with the mig in a single pass? Is it worth springing for the foot control for the tig?

Anybody else have any input on these?

Could only find a couple real-world reviews on the Internets on these. I am about ready to pop on one myself as it looks like a really nice machine, and I like the idea that the mfg is a local company (even though the unit is made overseas).
 

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I Looked at one all decked out. At Dressel welding supply in Hazleton with a cart and spool gun for handling all but you most delicate aluminum jobs.

If you have limited room and a tight budget it would not be a bad starter unit.Priced at less than $1700.00

I really don`t need one but looking at the specs it is just a little on the light side for the fabrication I get into at times. there was some other questions I wanted to ask just did not have the time.
 

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I own the 181i and I was impressed by it. It puts out 25 volts on max MIG setting, so anything heavier than 1-4 is iffy in a single pass. I dont think the foot control works on the MIG setting because the MIG gun uses the same electrical connector as the foot pedal would hook up to. The TIG torch also hooks up to that connector but I think its only used for the trigger lock function because there is no gas solenoid for TIG. The TIG torch uses a gas valve on the handle. I would recommend buying it especially for the price, power and portabillity of this welder. I bought mine through WWW.weldersupply for 799.00 free shipping with a coupon for a free helmet.
 

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Mis-typed in my question, meant to say tig regarding the foot control. I really like the concept of this unit, I am just concerned that it doesnt have enough nut to weld stuff like scd 40 pipe (no, not for a cage:)).
 

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I thought it was odd asking about the pedal for MIG. This welder has plenty of power to MIG weld tube or pipe,I dont really know if TIG would would work well on heavier stuff. I bought mine because I wanted a lightweight stick welder like a Maxstar 150 or an Invertec 155. When I found this welder for about 800 bucks with a TIG torch I figured I would give it a try and it does what I needed and more.It does avery good job on stick as well, so you should have no problem welding pipe or tube.
 

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Thanks, that's the kind of input I was hoping for. I love my old Lincoln ac tombstone but dc is so much smoother. I do a lot of farm type repairs so the dc stick was another thing I like about this unit.
 
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