Let's explore (part I): the Cebora TIG Star 200!

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  • Welcome to part one of a series where I invite bored men on the internet to speculate about metalworking equipment I don't fully understand but bought cheaply at auctions.

    Today's specimen is the Cebora TIG Star 200 (art. no. 239), purchased from the now defunct Cope Engineering of Radcliffe, Lancs. for £50 + VAT + hammer fee. I got the machine only – not torches, bottles or PPE.

    The machine can weld up to 200 A DC or AC and has an AC balance control, which is useful for aluminium.

    Here it is:

    The big issue, as you can see, is the plug/power supply. The plug clearly says 3P on it (and 380-430 V), which worried me. I thought I'd basically bought a very heavy brick. But consulting the manual (page 12) reveals that the machine is, in fact, single phase. So that confused me. The same page of the manual also seems to suggest you can set the machine for a variety of supply voltages by switching some jumpers around inside the box. So we're getting some way to a machine that can take a single-phase household power supply.

    "BUT WHAT ABOUT THE PLUG!" I hear you cry.

    Well that's why I'm here. I'm way out of my comfort zone. I'm reluctant to wire a poxy little plug onto that fat power cable, not least because I doubt I could get a sufficient fuse. The plug that's on there is rated to 32 A and the specifications on the back panel have a list of amperages depending on output current, but that table has baffled me. The key to deciphering it is to look at I1, which gives the "Input Amps absorbed corresponding to different output levels (I2)." Given I'm going to be on 230 V, I'm going to be drawing up to FIFTY AMPS(?!??!??!?!!), meaning my house might collapse? No idea. Am I going to need to buy a generator to run this?

    And any tips on a good beginner torch? I'm doing a TIG course at the moment and I think we're using Parweld with buttons on. Only done one lesson so far but that seems to be a setup I like.

    Stay tuned for part II, by the way, where I invite you to inspect the safety and integrity of an oxy-fuel welding/brazing/cutting kit.

  • Wow this looks like an absolute beast!

  • Oh it is! The blokes at the works thought it was pretty amusing when I turned up to collect it in a 3-door Fiesta. Had to emergency-hire a fucking van (which doubled the price, basically).

  • This is way better than the moaning about admittedly droll forum memes. Pls continue.

  • Well this cumlord of a flyer reckons it's 3-phase

    https://www.cebora.it/manuali/fuori_prod­uzione/240/depl_tig_star.pdf

  • Danger! Electricity! Fire! This is exciting.

    Subbed

  • very cool machine, good luck with getting it running.

    you could try r/welding for some ideas on switching it to single phase? Theres a lot of clued up people there

  • Fucking hell. Standing well back to watch.

  • please don't mess with the electricity if you don't know what you're doing.
    it's not funny, it can kill you.
    a forum is not a good place for advice on this.

  • Plug it in!

  • We have some tools (which we never use) at work with the big plugs, am I imagining things when I say I think we also have, somewhere, a simple 3 pin plug>bit of cable>big daddy plug that would mean we could plug them into normal mains? Is it not that simple?

  • I'm 75% sure it's a single-phase machine. The plate on the back and the manual both say it is. The only red flag is the, er, three phase plug on it.

    As for safety, I'm going to have to ask the guys at my welding course what they think. It would be a good idea to get it serviced/checked by a technician.

  • Now, I believe you can run single-phase appliances off 3-phase power, you'd just wire them to one phase (and apparently you have to worry about balancing the load).

    I suspect the previous owners took advantage of this fact here.

  • Jesus – welding generators are expensive.

    I think if I'm welding at 120 A or lower, I'll be drawing 'just' 29 A, which lower the bar somewhat in terms of the circuitry needed to power this.

  • They might be 110 V stuff designed for building sites? Google image "110V site tools" and you'll get loads of Makita/Dewalt etc. tools with yellow plugs. Is it that?

  • Yup. There was actually an inverter generator thing in Lidl a few months back, to power tools on-site like this. I think it was £100-150, and that was a fraction of Machine-Mart prices.

    Depending how soon you want to get going, keep an eye on Lidl and Aldi.

    My old shoe finisher used two-phase I think, and could be wired into the heavy duty appliance plug in Italy, and the lights would dim. It was only 15A. I sold it to a guy with the caveat to fit a modern Servo.

    Watching your progress with interest.

  • Yes right enough I think the plugs are yellow rather than red.

    Worksite stuff would also make sense as it was stuff that was left by the builders, presumably thinking we’d use them but we never have.

  • Literally that, when you do it wrong.

    One time an ex-colleague got too close to the machine at her shop, cuff caught the belt, and got slammed into it. The black eye was impressive.

    By the way have you been reading these threads?

    https://www.mig-welding.co.uk/forum/thre­ads/just-bought-first-tig-cebora-tiguno-­mistake.82632/

    That one talks about transformers, supply voltages, and about your model not striking. The forum appears like a trove of knowledge.

  • Looks like a good industrial bit of kit.

    You can run a foot pedal off this which will be very useful for thin wall.

    Looks like you can run it off 220v, if you run full power it will be using high amps and likely throw a fuse. Using on thin wall tubing you would be likely at around 70amps. This would be fine. I’ve only tripped a fuse once when tig welding and that was at around 200amps.

    You may want to see about getting a high amp supply to your garage like the ones used for an oven I think? As they have a higher draw. Probably wouldn’t need it though.

    The other thing to consider is a 3 phase converter, they’re a couple hundred ish. Would be useful if you find yourself buying a lathe or mill etc which likely will have 3phase.

    Will save having to dig in to this and rewire it to 220v.

    On the plus side it looks super simple and easy to use, has basic pulse and it will do arc too.

    Looks like it might be scratch start though which might be a bit annoying.

  • I'm on mobile now but I think it's HF start. Check the manual, it says in there!

    Interesting you should mention lathes as well...

  • It does look like you can convert it to single phase, you will have to hardwire it and look into having class B or C mcb’s to stop it tripping the whole house every time you turn it on, or get a three phase generator - it doesn’t need to be a welder generator, you already have the welder part. It looks like it accepts a standard 5 pin foot pedal which is handy

  • To those saying I need to convert it from 3-phase ( @HelicopterHelicopter @Biggles567 ) what makes you think it's not already single phase?

    Thanks everyone for the input so far. I've been at Alton Towers all day so not spent much time digging into this today.

  • Looks like you can run it off 220v, if you run full power it will be using high amps and likely throw a fuse. Using on thin wall tubing you would be likely at around 70amps. This would be fine. I’ve only tripped a fuse once when tig welding and that was at around 200amps.

    This is good to read. Was that on a normal household circuit with a 13 amp plug?

  • The fact it has a three phase plug on it, they would have put a blue, single phase plug on it if it was already single phase

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Let's explore (part I): the Cebora TIG Star 200!

Posted by Avatar for fizzy.bleach @fizzy.bleach

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