My first welding machine was a bright green P&H Heliarc or TIG Welder. P&H was made by The Air Reduction Company (Airco). I bought the machine used from my Uncle Lynn Watson from San Leandro CA. Lynn used it in his specialty electronics fabrication business.
The welding machine came complete with a WP-24 low profile TIG torch, a WP-20 general purpose TIG torch and a WP-18 350 Heavy-duty TIG torch. Included in the deal was a pile of accessory parts, collets, collet bodies, gas lenses, tungsten electrodes you name it! I was working at Weldcraft at the time and I had been learning about all the different TIG torches and replacement parts available, each designed for a specific welding job.
If you look around you can find a good machine and start building something right away. I used my TIG machine for a variety of projects around the shop, and it was my only welding machine. I even built my first race car trailer with it — sure it’s slower that MIG welding but very effective. It worked great to weld my 4130 chrome molly steel Sprint Car chassis’s together, I even used my TIG torch to heat metal up for forming and shaping before I had an Oxy-Fuel gas welding torch setup! I bet you don’t know many others that can say that!
The point is, to get started look for the basics and If you have the budget, there is nothing better than having the best tools, but when you are first getting start why burn a lot of cash getting your shop set up, when you can start burning metal instead!
Do you remember YOUR first machine?