Turning a Stick welder into a Tig Welder - A Rectifier turns this Lincoln Tombstone Welder into a scratch start  Tig Welder

I horse traded for this homemade tig welder DC rectifier years ago.

Ill bet this thing is close to 40 years old.

It turns an AC buzz box into a tig welder.

When I got it, it actually had a Lincoln high frequency generator box attached and it would weld aluminum too.

I had an old JC Penney AC buzz box that I hooked up and I actually could tig weld aluminum or steel fairly well with it.

But not good enough.

That just made me want a better tig unit so I bought a Miller Syncrowave 250 and I sold the high frequency box to offset the cost. Then later, I sold the Syncrowave 250 and bought a Dynasty 200dx.

So today, close to 20 years later, I drug this homemade tig welder contraption out of a friends basement along with an old Lincoln Tombstone AC buzz box welder to see if I could fire it up.

Both of them had been completely underwater about a year ago.

I plugged the Tombstone welder up and it fired up like nothing had ever happened...And it had been completely underwater for like a whole day a year ago....Wow.

That's a pretty good testimonial for a welding machine.

After about 5 minutes of scratching my head on hooking the rectifier up, I was scratch start tig welding with the Linclon buzz box.

Scratch start tig welding is used all the time by pipe welders and boilermakers. Its so simple, and portable.

All you need is a DC power source, a ground clamp, an air cooled tig torch, a flowmeter, and argon.

You can weld hundreds of feet from the welding machine (if you have enough lead) and you can hook it up and break it back down in about 5 minutes.

What about amperage control, what about postflow shielding gas, what about tungsten inclusions?

These are things you just learn to work around in the field.

• You figure out pretty quickly what amperage is needed for a root pass, hot pass, and cover pass and you adjust your travel speed to compensate for not having amperage control.

• You figure out ways to snap out of the puddle to minimize defects.

• and you develop ways of starting the arc that dont leave tungsten inclusions...or at least not big enough inclusions to fail inspection criteria

But for Shop welding....You are going to want a foot pedal...period.

I wrote this page and shot the video to show an option for people who already owned a DC stick welder ...how to dabble in tig welding with a homemade tig welder without spending a lot.

If you dont already have a DC stick machine, its really better to just buy one of the new inverter tig welders.


Because you can get one with a foot pedal amperage control, flowmeter, tig torch, ground clamp, and stick electrode holder , all for about 650 bones.

All that stuff adds up if you buy it separately.

I doubt any inverter is going to fire up a year after being completely underwater, but its a really good way to break into tig welding.

good luck welder. exit homemade tig welder page and go to Tig Finger

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