I'm looking to buy an electric welder this winter and am debating whether to buy a MIG or a TIG welder and would like some oppinions/experiences with each. Initially I'll be using it to weld various motorcycle/car parts in both aluminum and steel. Part of the point of buying one is so I can spend a lot of hours practicing and develop welding skill. I'd also take a course in whatever type of welder I end up with as well. I know a couple of people with MIG welders that I can go and use, but I can't get alot of practice time and can't really produce a good weld.
Eventually I'd like to do stuff like making custom tubular steel motorcycle frames and aluminum swingarms etc.
For a TIG welder, there are two types available: the older-style full size versions (I forget what they're called) and the newer inverter powered ones. The inverter ones are small and portable (<50 lbs) and the bigger ones are a couple hundred pounds.
What is the difference in welding with the two types of power sources? I was just at KMS Tools and the Miller Dynasty 200 (inverter) runs at $3400 I think, and the Syncrowave 180 SD (older style) was $2000. Is there an advantage besides size to the inverter based welder?
By comparison a Millermatic 175 MIG welder was about $900, but would also require a spool gun for welding aluminum (~$350).
A MIG welder is considerably cheaper, but I plan on using this welder for a long time (potentially 40 years if I'm happy with it) so a $750 dollar difference isn't that much of a difference considering the time frame. It will probably never see really heavy usage but be used regularily for a short period and then sit for a while before I start a new project. Can I assume any of these welders would last more or less forever under light useage?
I've been told the Syncrowave 180 and other similar welders have a very good resale value if I decide to change for something else in the future. Can anyone confirm this? What the resale like for the inverter based TIG welders and the MIG welders?
Thanks for your advice