Everyone is looking for ways to save a little money these days by working on their bikes themselves from oil changes to small repairs. The one thing that seems to also be on the rise is more guys are doing their own fab work. However, this can get expensive if you have to find a shop to do all your welding for you. So if you are looking for a home TIG welding setup but don't want to take out a second mortgage on the house to do it, then we have found what you are looking for. HTP America Inc. has a full line of welder and plasma cutters just right for the homebuilder as well as the full-service shop.
After talking with the HTP team and letting them know what were wanted from a home welder they pointed us to the Invertig 160DC ($1,299, check your local dealer), a full featured DC TIG welder for welding steel. With a DC TIG machine, you can weld steel, stainless steel, 4130 tubing, basically all weldable metals except aluminum and magnesium. If you want to weld aluminum and magnesium, you will need an AC/DC TIG welder. The 160DC has high frequency arc starting, so you don't have to touch the tungsten to the work to get the arc going. It also has remote amperage control by either foot pedal or torch mounted finger tip control, which allows you to vary the amperage while you are welding, giving you complete control over the weld puddle. And it also has a pulse feature to minimize heat input in thin material.
This compact unit weighs 32 pounds, and measures just 16 inches long x 12 1/2 inches high x 8 inches wide. It can plug in anywhere since it operates on 110 or 220 volts. The Invertig 160DC also has the capability for you to use it as a stick welder if you chose with the addition of the optional electrode holder (accessory required).
Also if you are doing your own fab work, you may find yourself looking at a way to cut the sheetmetal before you weld. And so we were also looking at the MicroCut 301 plasma cutter. The MicroCut 301 cuts 5/16 inch steel at 12 inches/min, and can sever 3/8 inch steel. It requires a 16-amp 220-volt circuit and a cutting amperage setting from 5 to 25 amps to be energy efficient. The MicroCut 301 unit tips the scales at 14 lbs, so it is lightweight and can be moved anywhere you need it. The MicroCut 301 comes with a 90-day money back guarantee and a full one-year warranty and retails for $799.