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Building up my exhaust finally and need your input on something. My plan is to tack everything together with my little MIG and then take it to someone to have them to a good clean job on all the welds, since these will be chromed at some point. I would do it myself, but for some reason the lower settings on my shitty little MIG just don't ever seem to do I what I need them to. Anyway, so the welds will need to be carefully smoothed out before chroming.

In my mind, TIG would be ideal, but I have a guy that's always done my welding where there is no room for error, the strange thing is he uses MIG for pretty much everything and runs some bitchen beads on even the smallest stuff, but of course they're larger. He's only going to charge me $25 to run all the finished beads on the pipes.

So I guess the reason I'm asking is, for those of you who are experienced at building custom pipes are the MIG welds going to be a bitch to smooth out by comparison to the TIG welds? The tubing is 16 gage mild steel.
 

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If that guy welds all the time with a MIG, sure, no problem. And, you're right, the MIG will require more work to smooth out, but if the guy's good, why not?

Structurally, it's all about penetration and fusion - both MIG and TIG are good in the hands of somebody who knows the welder/welding process he uses regardless what it is.

This rear cylinder pipe from the Knuckle I just posted a couple days ago was done by me in MIG, and it had four sections of tubing. One of the seams is about in the middle of the oiltank. The recess for the starter motor in the fender was also done with MIG, and just metal finished. I think it looks pretty good.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Irish Rich said:
If that guy welds all the time with a MIG, sure, no problem. And, you're right, the MIG will require more work to smooth out, but if the guy's good, why not?

Structurally, it's all about penetration and fusion - both MIG and TIG are good in the hands of somebody who knows the welder/welding process he uses regardless what it is.
Exactly the person I had in mind to answer this question! Glad you replied! I knew you did most, if not all your work with MIG. I appreciate your response!

This guy I use does anything delicate I have where I don't trust myself and does an awesome job. I don't mind taking a little extra time to smooth it out. It's not so bad as long as the right abrasives are used to do the job.

BTW Rich, you recommended Magnum Force to me ages ago for U-bends and I used them for this build. Very happy with the products, service, and prices. Thanks for the recommendation!
 

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I just finished some pipes. i used my TIG. I love TIG welding. I wrapped my pipes and my welds were smooth enough, i didn't even need to grind them. i'll be posting a pic soon. my $.02. Ken
 

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I hate wrapped pipes. Tack them with the mig, then tig em. I've done about 30 sets of pipes and tig is the way to go. It's a softer bead to grind. It'll come out better. When I first started all i did was mig, but I learned to hate ginding so much I bought a tig. Got spoiled using one at work.
 

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TIG welds on a vibration-prone system like exhaust should be stress relieved IMHO. The grinding process may accomplish that, and some heat-cool cycles may, too, but may also produce cracks.
 
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