Invertig© 201 TIG/GTAW Steel and Aluminum
Invertig© 201 is a highly versatile,
cost-effective TIG welding machine. The Invertig 201 works well for Jeep 4WD hobbyists, mechanics and the 4WD
shop that specializes in metal fabrication, 4130 chromoly roll cages, engine
swaps, axle upgrades and chassis work!
Worldwide demand for inert gas, tungsten arc welding equipment
continues to grow. GTAW or "TIG" welding meets the requirements for chromoly and alloy steel, aluminum,
magnesium, titanium, Inconel and other high-tech metals. Like most modern welding applications, Jeep
4WD work can benefit from the use of a TIG/GTAW machine.
A metal's chemistry and thickness dictate
the welding amperage demanded. For light sheet metal work, there are simpler D.C. output, 110VAC
machines. For work on larger iron castings, alloy steels like 8620, 4340 and 4130, aluminum,
magnesium, stainless and titanium, there are specific, higher amperage TIG/GTAW processes.
Industrial or fabrication TIG equipment features AC and DC modes to meet the demands of iron, mild
steel and low alloy steel (DC) or the non-ferrous metals like aluminum or magnesium
Today's inverter technology has lighter 220V single-phase
machines performing work that required massive, 3-phase equipment just two decades ago! As a result, the price
of a TIG welder is no longer prohibitive. Whether you are a dedicated Jeep
home mechanic or a Jeep 4WD specialty shop, modern MIG, TIG and stick welding equipment
Since repairs and fabrication welding on a Jeep 4WD chassis raise safety
issues, I prefer the use of TIG/GTAW process in many cases. While production or mild steel plate welding often
encourages the use of a MIG/GMAW wire feed machine, the TIG/GTAW process is superior for
low-alloy metals and "chromoly" tubing, cast iron restoration and precise chassis, frame or
motor mount work. In the 4WD Mechanix Magazine
projects, I discuss metallurgy and reasons why the TIG process is
often preferred—and when TIG is unnecessary or
Inverter technology and the computer era meet here! The
HTP America Invertig 201 is a rugged, well-engineered inverter TIG machine that benefits
from advanced computer and electronics technology. Cooling is ample, especially with the
water-cooled torch option. Water cooling the torch unit both enhances the welding process
and assures longer component life.
In my view, if you have the patience and desire to master TIG
welding, you will want a TIG/GTAW machine. Although I often use the oxygen-acetylene (OAW) welding process,
stick arc (SMAW) and wire feed MIG (GMAW) methods, many of my projects require
TIG. TIG (GTAW) fills niche needs and is, in many situations, the only way to get quality, failsafe welds.
I have TIG-repaired damaged iron gear cases and even
case-hardened gears (after normalizing). For aluminum and many
low alloy steel welding tasks, there is no better process than TIG (GTAW). Want a safer, precision built
chromoly 4130 roll cage? Use TIG. Though considerably slower and requiring immaculately clean, rust-
and oxide-free metal, TIG welding excels. When mastered, TIG provides deep penetration, virtual
elimination of undercutting and absolute control of the weld puddle and filler
Note: Successful TIG welding, like any other process, demands the
right choice of filler metals and respect for metallurgical properties. I discuss these concerns
in each welding project at 4WD Mechanix
Compare your welding chores with the 4WD Mechanix Magazine welding projects. Jeep owners and 4WD shops frequently
find that TIG welding is superior for certain repairs and fabrication work!
Dedicated Jeep 4WD restorers and 4WD shops seeking a
practical and versatile TIG/GTAW machine will appreciate my choice of the HTP America Invertig 201! With
a water-cooled torch option and 200 maximum amps of output, this is a cost-effective package that can
fabricate, restore and repair the full spectrum of metals—including aluminum and magnesium. The rugged
water cooler is U.S.A. made!
Ideal for alloy steels, stainless steel, cast iron, aluminum, magnesium and mild steel, the
Invertig® 201 is a lighter weight, portable machine. Better yet, the
Invertig® 201 operates on single phase 220V-230V current, drawing a mere
30 amps of electricity while producing 200 amps of welding current! All of this with better weld penetration, no undercut and a confined heat affected
The Invertig 201 package will readily meet the
magazine's Jeep 4WD project needs. For off-road upgrades, chassis modifications, engine mounts, a roll cage,
bumpers, a tire carrier, making a winch mount, mechanical repairs, frame restoration, or bringing a
vintage Willys 4WD back to life, the HTP Invertig 201 welder will pay for itself!
mode is also an option with the Invertig® 201 machine. This makes the
package even more versatile and flexible, ideal for general shop use as well as precision
Note: If you want to build a utility trailer or quickly fuse old, oxidized
metal, use the stick/arc mode or your MIG welder. If your shop is clean and you are willing to
thoroughly de-scale, clean and prep metal, then the slower, precise and ultimately superior TIG process is
Freshly out of the boxes, the HTP America Invertig 201 machine is now set up to work! An
affordable, highly versatile welder, the Invertig 201 provides a wide
range of TIG/GTAW welding functions. At 200 amps output capacity, HTP rates DC TIG welding steel to 3/8"
(beveled) or AC TIG welding aluminum to 5/16" (beveled) in a single pass* weld. The same 201
machine will weld steel or aluminum down to 0.030" thickness!
optimal, well-prepped welding conditions!
The HTP America welding cart option is a definite
consideration! A sturdy, mobile means for keeping all of your TIG welding equipment together, the cart
carries the gas cylinder, 201 welder and optional water cooler. Compact, the package parks neatly in a
Hook-up is straightforward. The TIG welding video from
HTP America explains the entire operating process. I encourage buyers to review the DVD before assembling the
package. Many customers benefit from reviewing the DVD prior to purchasing the Invertig 201
The ground (left) is used with the TIG and stick/arc
processes. The remote control foot pedal (right) is essentially a rheostat switch that signals how much
amperage to flow. Controls and functions are thoroughly described in HTP's TIG DVD and operator's manual. In
addition to remote amperage control, there is an automatic "pulse" alternative—plus an
optional trigger type torch with on/off switch. Automatic "slope down" is widely adjustable on
the HTP Invertig 201.
This is the A.C. or D.C. stick/arc (SMAW) accessory kit.
The ground clamp and cable come standard with the Invertig 201 package. An electrode holder with cable
for stick welding is optional. The stick process can operate to 200 amps, just like the TIG
The HTP Invertig 201 is an AC/DC inverter machine. It
performs DC TIG welding and AC or DC stick/arc. In its AC TIG mode, the machine has a balance control
for aluminum welding, adjusting the electrode negative to electrode positive
percentages. Arc frequency tuning is another function...This machine provides
the features found in much more elaborate welders, including automatic pulsing plus a
useful TIG spot welding function!
For demonstrating TIG welding, there is nothing better
than a Pyrex cup! The HTP system includes a special collet, collet base and gas lens. Improved gas flow
with the lens helps prevent gas turbulence and atmospheric contamination of the weld. The clear
cup provides the best view of the electrode. A 3/32" collet (shown) will receive a 3/32" tungsten
electrode. There are also 0.040", 1/16" and 1/8" collets, gas lenses and collet
bases available, for each of these common size electrodes.
This is the HTP America water cooler (optional). The
cooler uses HTP's special coolant/anti-freeze, which is a must to protect parts and prevent freezing in cold
weather. The high quality of this cooler unit is apparent.
Front view of the water cooler shows air intake grille.
There is a pump and fan inside the unit, circulating and cooling liquid. Fluid pumps up and through the torch
head and returns to the reservoir tank. A cooled torch is easier to handle. Temperatures at the torch
head remain manageable for long periods of welding. Note the sheath encasing and protecting the
hoses. HTP America provides high quality products.
most common welding gas for TIG is pure argon. This new cylinder of 100% argon rates 155 cu.ft.
volume. Actual fill is 141 cu.ft., which will last a considerable period. I buy new cylinders
outright from my welding supply house. They can be refilled or exchanged for filled bottles. Leasing is
an option. I find it cost-effective to own my cylinders. The HTP Invertig 201 has a finely adjustable
post-weld gas flow provision that can save shield gas.
Flowmeter from HTP America works with 100%
argon gas. New, quality parts are practical. Time lost fussing with leaking regulators or fittings is
wasteful. Seeping gas can be dangerous; transporting cylinders is costly. New components are
cost-effective in the long run. When the time comes, I will likely have my new cylinder refilled rather
than exchange it for a "good" filled one. An older exchange tank can have a questionable
This is a torch-mounted, finger control amperage switch
from HTP America. Velcro secures the rotary track switch to the torch. The remote control works like a
remote foot pedal but is much handier in tight quarters. Imagine constructing a roll cage atop the
tub of a Jeep CJ or Wrangler—or inside an XJ Cherokee! Lugging around the remote foot control
pedal would be a hazard.
HTP America has a full line of TIG welding "consumables".
Stainless steel brushes are a must for aluminum. Deerskin gloves offer sensitivity for
pumping filler rod. Tungsten electrodes are available in all popular types and sizes...I stopped using
2% thoriated when I taught adult education welding. Ceriated and lanthanated electrodes make great
alternatives! The inverter technology works so well that pure tungsten and "balled" ends are no longer
advised for aluminum welding. The Invertig 201 uses a tapered, ground point for all
Consumable gas lens and collet pieces come boxed and
labeled from HTP America. Finding boxed parts is easier during a project! The HTP electrodes come in
0.040", 1/16", 3/32" and 1/8" diameter. These are 1.5% lanthanated. (Customarily I use 2% ceriated; I'm
trying 1.5% lanthanated this time.) For the HTP Invertig 201, this electrode type will work with all
steels and aluminum. Grind to a point; blunt very slightly.
Thoriated electrodes are low-level radioactive. Many old-school welders prefer using
thoriated electrodes. I made the switch to ceriated electrodes years ago and have been happy with the
results. If you grind electrodes at home, especially with children around, I recommend
using non-radioactive electrodes. (Use ceriated or lanthanated instead.) If you have never
welded with thoriated electrodes, don't bother. It's easy to learn with these alternative,
HTP electrode holders have a strong magnet base. This
holder provides a place to mount the water-cooled Series 20 torch. When you have expensive, breakable
equipment, a protective device like this can prevent damage. While you are beneath a dark
welding hood, the torch can slip off the work bench and land on the floor. Pyrex and ceramic cups can
break on impact.
The HTP Invertig 201 is now ready for
action. Through how-to technical articles and instructional videos, I will
demonstrate the Invertig 201's valuable functions and fine control features. There will always be
Jeep 4WD and off-road equipment projects underway at the 4WD
Mechanix Magazine website. When TIG is the call, the HTP Invertig 201 will get the job