Eastwood TIG 200: Taking one for the team - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 22nd, 11, 10:54 PM Thread Starter
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Eastwood TIG 200: Taking one for the team

I got to try my new Eastwood TIG 200 today.

I know there's already this thread, but i decided to start a new one anyway.

About me

First, I'm no expert welder. I have experience with gas and stick welding. Never used a MIG or a TIG before. I prefer gas welding. I did even try welding stainless steel with gas (and the very-hard-to-find appropriate flux).

Why I chose Eastwood

Acetylene prices went way up in my region, so I wanted a TIG because I felt it was closer to the gas welding experience. Something like the syncrowave 200 would have been my choice, but the price was just a turn-off for me for a process I had no experience with. As for the (few) used machines, they were either barely used and cost as much as a new one or they were so old I did not know if they were equivalent to the more recent models and still a bit pricey for God knows how many decades of use.

I generally have no problem with Chinese tools, as I don't used them professionally, but for welders, the 3-in-1 machines that are available are kind of scary for 2 reasons: From what I've read combining all machines in one is feasible but not recommended and, secondly, my local welding shop informed me that he might not be able to get the parts (cups & collets for example); and repairing it, just forget it!

And then came the Eastwood TIG 200. A Chinese machine backed up by a reputable and established American company. Plus, because it's a new product, free shipping, even here in Canada (which never happens). I rarely take chances but this deal felt good, especially with the positive feedbacks that their MIG machine seem to have.

The machine

Everything is pretty much as I expected: Basically, you get what you pay for. First, the instructions are really basics and they could be better. You have to guess a few things. For example, I don't know how much amperage I can used when plugging the machine on 110V. Does it protect itself automatically or does the amperage control values have to be divided by a certain ratio? I don't know.

Another thing is the cable lengths. It was supposed to be 10' supply line and ground lead. It's actually 12' supply line and 8' ground lead. 8' is freakin' short! Although it shouldn't be a problem to lengthen it. The pedal wires are 14' long and the power cord is 6' long (+ 2' for the 110V adapter plug).

The funny thing is the torch. The thumb switch (which you don't need if you use the pedal) is a simple switch held with ... tie-wraps! It feels good and I guess it does the job, but that looks funny!

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Trial #1

I didn't have a lot of scrap sheet metal around, so I end up using a 0.030" that was previously stretched. The following was done:

1. Heating only without filler;
2. Heating with filler;
3. Hole filling (I've made a few );
4. Welding a «tear» in the metal sheet;

There was a lot of tungsten dipping and lack of hand-foot coordination. Plus, I don't have an auto darkening helmet, so once you put the torch and the filler rod where you want, there's an extra hand that would be needed to put the mask down! I probably won't have a choice and upgrade.

There was no heat distortion from the welding (the ones you see were already there).

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Trial #2

I then choose another 0.030",but this one was previously shrunk. I did one pass with heating only and then I went over it with filler. There were still no heat distortion, even with such a small strip of metal.

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Trial #3

Decided to see what it can do, so I took a 1/4" plate and set the machine to 200 A. As you can see, with heating only, I couldn't go through the part, it barely changed color on the back side. The part was completely red hot. Maybe a pro (or some tuning with the clearance effect knob?) could do better. 3/16" seems to be a more reasonable limit for the machine (I expected that).

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By the end, when I shut down the machine, I noticed that the gas flow had increased to slightly higher than 20 scfh (It was at 15 scfh). Maybe that had an effect on my welding results.

Nice feature: the fan runs a little longer after you shut it down to better cool the unit.

Everything considered, I'm glad with my purchase. Even if I want to upgrade later, once I master the process, I don't think I will have difficulties selling that machine for a fair price.

Now I guess it's practice, practice, practice.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 11, 1:06 AM
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Re: Eastwood TIG 200: Taking one for the team

Buy a huntsman 711p welding hood, super light and cheap. The big bulky auto shade hoods are expensive and un necessary.

When using the thumb controll , learn to use it separate from the torch, say the torch in one hand and the thumb remote in the other. With practice you can learn to to hold the thumb remote and rod in one hand , feeding the rod and controlling the heat as you walk the torch.

If you continue to dip the tungsten then you can actually drag your ceramic cup along the metal, pointing your tungsten at a 45• angle , this makes for clean welds by keeping 100% argon shield gas on the moltent metal.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old Apr 7th, 11, 11:24 AM
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Re: Eastwood TIG 200: Taking one for the team

Great write up
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old Apr 7th, 11, 7:49 PM
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Re: Eastwood TIG 200: Taking one for the team

thanks for sharing that

Originally Posted by jpete, Dean, Derek69SS, hoffbug, rubadub, Grandsport, Thomas Jefferson, 1badss396, MEJ1990TM, and mrdjc99
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 3rd, 12, 4:15 PM
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Re: Eastwood TIG 200: Taking one for the team

Ricardo, how is this tig working for you? Is it worth giving it a try?
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 10th, 12, 7:10 PM
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Re: Eastwood TIG 200: Taking one for the team

I have an Eastwood tig 200 had a little trouble with the foot pedal at first but once that was solved seems to weld just fine and it does seem to have plenty of power but now that Ive done tig welding I am thinking of getting somthing with more options and I would sell it in "as new" condition I paid 899 with no shipping I know Ill have to take a bit of a loss on it but if anyone is interested ???
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 11th, 12, 12:02 AM
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Re: Eastwood TIG 200: Taking one for the team

Man, their recent Tig plus Plasma cutter for $999 has me very interested. Maybe next year for xmas.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 11th, 12, 7:10 AM
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Re: Eastwood TIG 200: Taking one for the team

Buy an auto darkening helmet. It is your friend with any electric welding process and well worth the investment. The prices aren't nearly as high as they were when I bought mine.
My old Syncrowave 250 had a zip tied thumb remote as well. Didn't like it much so I opted for a foot pedal when I got my Dynasty 200 since most of my TIG is done sitting at the bench.
A TIG/plasma is an interesting combo. I saw it in a catalog but didn't look at the specs. Usually the inexpensive plasma cutters have limited power and have trouble with clean cuts on anything over thin sheetmetal. I have a Miller Spectrum 375 and for the little that I use it, it gets the job done. It will cut 3/8" plate with a stand off but for things like that, it is easier to just buy laser cut pieces that have nice clean edges and move on.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 11th, 12, 11:39 AM
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Re: Eastwood TIG 200: Taking one for the team

Good write-up. Thanks for taking the time. As a person who used to weld a lot with gas, I know that the tungsten dipping is a hard habit to break. With some more time, you will get it behind you.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 6th, 12, 8:47 PM
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Re: Eastwood TIG 200: Taking one for the team

I know eastwood has a lot of knock off products but their welders are awesome for the price. My litttle mig had no trouble boxing a frame with 1/8 inch plate. I'd like to know if anyone has tried their plasma cutter
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 24th, 12, 12:20 AM
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Re: Eastwood TIG 200: Taking one for the team

I was wondering how these were. I wouldnt mind getting my hands on a decent tig. However, being a full time student for HVAC. Our school has a welding program and I know I get a discount on name brand welders and before I finish up school this year. Ill be hitting them up to see how much of a discount it is, I belive they get mainly Lincoln supplied welders but ive seen several ESAB and Miller products in thier lab.


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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old Jun 10th, 13, 9:24 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Eastwood TIG 200: Taking one for the team

Originally Posted by 70ssclone

I found a post on a google search of a write up you did on your tig machine im looking at purchasing one in a few days , since that was a few years ago im wondering if you ever dialed it in and how good it welds now and how well you like it,


The machine is now a 1000$ paperweight.

First, due to lack of time, I did not used it for about a year. Then I decided working on my car.

After wasting a bottle of Argon, I found out the pressure regulator was leaking; I bought a new one locally. Then everything seemed find and the pedal gave out. The potentiometer was burnt. Now the machine doesn't work and I'm right in the middle of my job (We're talking about a few hours of welding). So I sent an email to eastwood to see where I could find a replacement part, never got an answer. I tried to find one online and I could only find the original model from chinese websites and could only buy it wholesale. The problem is that it was metric and all of the available standard ones are not, even in Europe. I finally found one that matches with some modifications to the shaft such that the knob could fit on it. Worked great for a while until the machine went overload. Now it is completely useless because it goes overload everytime I turned it on. (See the reviews of some other users) I'm tired of this machine and due to lack of time and energy, I don't want to fight with eastwood trying to get my money after so long and after repairing it myself, hence the 1000$ paperweight.

Since I was in the middle of a job, I now needed another welder. I finally gave in, spill the dough and bought a Syncrowave 200, locally. Although I thought welding with the eastwood was great, I have to say the welding experience is much, much better with the Miller. I can't really explain why, but the way the arc starts, it is smoother and you have much better control.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old Jun 10th, 13, 11:42 PM
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Re: Eastwood TIG 200: Taking one for the team

Originally Posted by Jack Action View Post
The machine is now a 1000$ paperweight.
Gee, I can't imagine this from the almighty Eastwood.

That sucks - but thanks for taking one for the team.


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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old Jun 11th, 13, 9:23 AM
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Re: Eastwood TIG 200: Taking one for the team

Eastwood welder = Chinese garbage.

Eastwood used to send me catalogs. They hit the recycle pile without me opening the covers. Eastwood is known for overpriced "house-brand" crap I can buy elsewhere for less money--or--under-designed/under-built dreck intended to be sold to people who won't use it enough to get an immediate failure..

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