Welding update

I got to speak with the owners secretary of the company AHP that makes the AlphaTig200 that is an awesome machine with a 3 year warranty. He is out of country on a business trip at the moment and will be back in town next week. She was very nice and said she would talk with him and try to work something out for us. This machine is IMPRESSIVE and it also has a great price point. It has all industry standard parts and components as well so for torch parts and customization it is VERY nice. It also has a flex head on the tig torch as well as finger switch option. It also has an electrode holder for doing stick welding so it is a multiuse machine. It runs on 110 or 220 and has ac / dc out put with variable pulsing frequency rates and square waves. Sooooo for the money this is a great way to step up the hive welding capabilities and be a great value at the same time. I do not know what the exact outcome will be et as far as donation or sponsorship however I want to get the proposal laid out for the time being.

Here is the official proposal:

To acquire an AHP alphaTIG200x ( https://www.amazon.com/AHP-AlphaTIG-Stick-Welder-WARRANTY/dp/B00REX6USW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1489701790&sr=8-1&keywords=ahp+alphatig+200x ) and place a vote for $1,000 or a modified amount if a donation or better price is worked out.

The $1,000 would include money for other equipment needed for the welding bench to be able to safely secure projects, make welding fixtures, get / heatsinks to help draw heat away from thin materials and backing metals.

This would be a good up and running budget to get us going on this tig and if any progress is made on the donation side I will amend before we vote. I would like to set the vote day for 3/28/2017 to give time for discussion if anyone has any questions.

This sounds like a great deal, at least to someone who knows nothing on welding. I have one question. After shipping thats 710.50 (based off the amazon link). Will $289 be enough for a welding bench & heat sinks, searching amazon a welding bench can vary from $150 to close to $1000 alone. (I have no idea what exactly to search to look up heatsinks for this nature of use.

Our bench will work and the backing materials can be picked up from eastwood.com .Heatsinks and insulation can come frome firebrick that’s there or scrap steel or copper to help draw heat away and warpage. A gas cup kit would be nice for that torch and a big kit ru s about 30 bucks.

ok I misread your first email. Thanks for the clarification. I will likely not be at this meeting for work reasons, I vote yes

I’m glad to see this progressing, thanks for working on it Kevin.

I’m curious what the difference between the $1K model we’re now talking about and the $4K model you were talking about earlier. I’ve been paying attention to the threads, but feel so ignorant of welding I have been keeping out of it. If there a substantial difference in capabilities? Maybe you could give a general overview of what materials and projects we can and can NOT do with the $1K model?

What money gets you in the welders is usually the higher price the welder is the cleaner the power output waves (less arc surge) and more tunabiliy. The reason I was originally looking at the syncrowave210 is because it also had hookups to use it as a second mig welder, it is capable of doing very thin metal without the unit surging when coming on and burning a hole in it. The syncrowave was the 4k what I was leaning towards as it being a bad ass welder however the pratical side of me started doubting it for the hive as our welding load is minimal.

The AHP machine I put up will go head to head with any big name welder no double it’s price. This model has been field tested huge by the hobby and motorsports industy with a big thumbs up. So instead of doubling up on mig welders right now, we really don’t need that for the extra price tag. Then looking at how we could outfit the welding room with the saved funds for almost the same function and to invest money into other areas of the hive.

If we had a full blown metal shop or were a maker space formed solely around welding I would say the miller machine or high end Lincoln, ESAB, etc. As those can run longer and more stable on BIG projects. We are not going to be doing 1/2 thick roots and fillets that have to pass non destructive testing for certs. At this time I feel it would be over kill. Now if the hive grows in 10 years to have a bad ass metal shop in a huge building this tig would still fit In as it’s a portable unit that can even run off 110 or 220 volt. Then with that much growth we would be looking at a plasma cutter, stationery tig/ mig. However that time is likely very far far away as we do not have cutting torches, cutting, or fitting equipment and HEAVY DUTY floors to handle the equipment.

I wrote this real quick if you have other questions shoot. Given our projects and work load this would fit in very well. I am going to likely buy one of these myself for doing Powersports and firearm stuff even.

What money gets you in the welders is usually the higher price the welder is the cleaner the power output waves (less arc surge) and more tunabiliy. The reason I was originally looking at the syncrowave210 is because it also had hookups to use it as a second mig welder, it is capable of doing very thin metal without the unit surging when coming on and burning a hole in it.

So what’s the limit on thin the material can be with the AHP? Or do you just need to be careful during startup?

Then with that much growth we would be looking at a plasma cutter, stationery tig/ mig. However that time is likely very far far away as we do not have cutting torches, cutting, or fitting equipment and HEAVY DUTY floors to handle the equipment.

Yeah, the lack of plasma cutter and cutting torches seems like an oversight. OTOH, I’m not sure how much gas you’d typically run through a cutting torch, and what that would mean for our “consumables” budget. I’ve been watching a lot of guys on youtube make knives and swords so it also seems like we need a belt sander capable of working with metal/knife making.

We would need a different building to run cutting torches and heavy duty stuff. Concrete or inert floors are a must lol.

The AHP does 3/8 with 220v, honestly anything over that size is likely. Going to be a finesse job but rather a structural job to where you would use our heavy duty mig, or we would bring in a Lincoln buzz box stick welder that we could pick up used for a great price.

In all honesty with putting this machine up against one of the Lincoln or Miller welders I would be just as comfortable using this to build a custom car, or work on an airplane, or build any type of custom parts that would be feasible to make without sending out to a professional shop if tolerances were absolutely needed or annealing, etc.

Not sure why cutting would be any different from welding, both get pretty hot. Seems like metal flooring would be enough. Also the wooden walls seem like a concern with the welding table right up against them.

I thought we had a plasma cutter?

I think the theory is the cutting slag can imbed in wood, then smolder. Then hrs after the work ignite. Steel covered wood floor? Not so much. Still… one mistake, and you then have a fire under the plate, and no easy way to put it out from beneath. In Virginia, if you welded on a campus building… you had to man a fire watch hrs and hrs and hrs after until any chance of a smolder was over. Even on steel roofs… rubber sealants… It was a common contractor complaint “What!!! I did not bid on hours of additional fire watch!!!” I think we did have one flare up in recent memory when I was working ehss.

A plasma cutter is a lot more effective if we were to set up cutting and be very careful with thickness. It has been suggested by high above me having cutting torches in the hive and the required propane/ acetylene / combus tile gas is not something that would not be good as if someone cracked the gas yet forgot and let a quick off on the torch possibly leak in the hive through a few reasons.

Depending on the gas torch and what’s going on I have seem also backfire and not make the crack sound. Since you have pressurized oxygen and fuel already in the torch tubes it will burn ultra hot in the torch tubes and then you have logo metal blow oit in an unwanted direction. I might even still have one I watched back in the shop a guy had do it lol.

If we had a bigger area and always had extra people at the hive the fire watch thing is a standard for a lot of places. We don’t go use it all the time as we are doing our welding on the fab table with a basin. However if you are free welding in the hive… it would be best to have that second person. If we had a better way of being able to lock things up outside the back door we could cut on the concrete out there… but having tanks, on a roller, and taking them in and out would be hard to where with a good plasma cutter smaller stuff can be raised above the welding table work surface slightly anf done a lot safer.

I do think that is one thing that when the hive grows buildings… would be something to consider with adding.

Awesome info. There is a basement area that Player 2 (Name?) use to have (or does he still have that area?) As we grow, would it be reasonable to look into that location for a new welding/metal shop? At very Minimal this should be added to our list of things needed in a new location when we decided to move. At our current rate of growth, I think that may be sooner than later

Dave B pronounced it kaput a few months back. I think it was donated, and never worked well. Dave did win a new one at an auction and then decided it was too large to bring down. We have not had one since.

Thanks for the info Mike/Kevin, very informative. I must admit I was wondering how quickly we would go through gas in a cutting torch. The leaving things one seems like it might be fixable with some sort of auto cutoff, but who knows.

as far as floor - the steel we put down back in 2013 was because of the potential for a hot metal piece from the mig welder to get in the floor and smolder. we used to have a kickplate around the bottom, where the wall meets the floor, but I feel like someone got rid of that? Tig welder hardly has any hot smoldering piecs but a plasma cutter has a lot.

The current plasma cutter, from my recollection, doesn’t maintain a constant arc so it is really hard to get good cuts. I believe it still ‘works’ per say, but not really useful. The plasma cutter Dave won was about double the size of the current mig welder, and he felt like since few people use a plasma cutter at the hive, it would mostly sit around and take up space. And since space was at a premium in the metal room, it didn’t make sense.

Finally, I have heard good things about AHP. I just prefer the Lincolns. So I would argue for a Lincoln Squarewave (it has a good warrenty, replacement parts can be gotten if needed, etc. vs AHP which is a chinese made one correct? and i have heard people say if it goes kaput, you need to buy a new one because the warrenty is worthless). I personally agree that there is no reason to get a Tig that can act as a backup mig. I think buying a standalone machine that acts only as a Tig is the way to go.


I have coy checking with Lincoln on a tig 200 machine as he has a very good contact. I have an mri tomorrow night so i will likely not make it to the meeting. I was able to talk with ahp and asked them about their warranty and it’s a 3 year. The Lincoln should come in at the same on the warranty. The main reason I am leaning towards the ahp is the amount of settings vs Lincoln at the moment as the Lincoln only has one output wave, pos:negative ratio, and pulse delay.

I pushed the vote way out a little to for the numbers to be figured out better and if either company can donate as the ahp comes in at a way way better price. Is there a certain model you are looking at? Lincoln has changed out quite a bit of its line over the last few years so some of the models. After I talk to ahp this week and find out numbers from Lincoln as well we can figure out what we are looking at better.

any update Kevin or Coy?

I have not gotten an update from ahp if they can do the welder for free or what yet. I have touched base with them and the owner is out of the country again at foreign trade shows. He will not be back until the 12th and is the only one who can do writeoffs.

I have not heard back from coy either yet and will shoot him a text today. We can and should push the vote back a week as communication with big companies and us being a small group is a little hard.

With pushing the vote back I can add the Lincoln tig 200 to the vote at the 1300 to 1500 msrp just for the unit however the flow gauge it comes with is horrid and we still need supporting supplies. I would put the vote on that one at 1900 to cover welder and needed fixtures and jigs.

It does not make a difference to me either way as both are great machines. The one thing I like on the ahp over the Lincoln is the non digital screen that only has one lcd bar. You have to cycle through to verify all of the settings when a quick glance at the knob on the ahp will tell you quick. The Lincoln would be an easier machine to get factory parts for however at base price it is twice the cost of the ahp and hive use is very very light duty welding.

I lean towards the ahp for cost reasons and I feel we are going to possibly outgrow or move spaces in the future. With that said if we get good floor and a bit of room in the welding area we would be looking at a large inverter pack with plasma cutting, welding, etc. However both are good machines.

In the intro to tig course at uc you did Tiff were they running the 105’s , tig 200s, or a Lincoln machine in general. I am very fond of Lincoln tigs in the mid 2010 time but to meet price points they dropped things off to feature and durability wise to come up with the tig200.

Of course if this vote passes I would love to add a clause if any of the local welding suppliers have trade in units in great shape and they will warranty a little it could be a very smart move. However what they have comes and goes so it would be impossible for a vote for that paticular machine. I will get the best machine for a given price possible.