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 |   |   |  Miller Diversion 180 Tig Machine - Proving Grounds - Tech
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Miller Diversion 180 Tig Machine - Proving Grounds - Tech

Fabricating parts for your car just got a whole lot easier.

Jan 1, 2012

Key Features

  • Easy-to-understand operation, sets up in minutes

  • Uses interchangeable 115V or 230V plug power supply

  • Digital readout provides accurate amperage with the turn of a knob

  • Portable and lightweight design allows you to take it anywhere

  • Latest inverter technology produces a cleaner, more efficient welding arc compared to older TIG machines.

  • TIG Welding for Dummies instructional book and Miller DVD provide the basics of TIG welding

TIG welding is often considered difficult and downright intimidating, hence why most enthusiasts turn to professionals for precise weld work. The actual art of TIG welding can take some time to master, but it’s by no means undoable by the average backyard mechanic.

With machines like Miller’s Diversion 180, there’s no more guessing how much amperage you need to weld — simply measure the thickness of your metal, refer to the chart on the front side of the Diversion 180, dial in the amperage, and you’re set. It’s never been easier to weld any kind of metal, including stainless and mild steel, chromoly, and aluminum.

The compact, lightweight design of the Diversion 180 is ideal for any garage or small shop, as it makes for quick and easy movement of the welder. Plus, the long 12.5-foot Weldcraft TIG torch and ground clamp enable you to fit into tight areas, like underneath a car on jackstands, and weld without restriction. Add the ingenious torch-mounted rotating thumbwheel and on/off switch controls, and you’ll be welding in places and positions you never thought possible.

Another common problem for most DIY hobbyists is the power source for a TIG welder. A 230V input power is typical on most TIG machines, but most households are wired for 115V. Miller recognizes that some people don’t want to take the time to install a 230V outlet in their home, so they provide interchangeable plugs that allow the Diversion 180 to run off either 230V or 115V. At 115V, the Diversion 180 will output a maximum 125 amps, which is still more than enough juice for most car-related jobs.

Modp 1201 04+miller diversion 180 tig+helmet Photo 4/8   |   Miller’s Performance Series Auto Darkening welding helmet lets you clearly see your work while shielding your eyes from the harsh welding arc. A set of quality TIG gloves provide a natural feel and heat protection, allowing you to concentrate on your work and not your hands.

Now, more so than ever, there’s no excuse to start building your own rollcages, exhaust systems, radiators and much more. Best of all, the satisfaction that comes with fabricating your own custom parts is priceless.

Having to rely on friends or shops for welding jobs becomes frustrating and time-consuming after awhile. With a growing need and want to build custom parts for our project cars, it was time to invest in a proper TIG welder for the home garage. The Diversion 180 ticked off all the right boxes with its portable size, flexible power input and no-nonsense operation.

Out of the box it comes with all the essential hardware needed to start welding quickly and easily. You will, however, have to purchase (or rent) an argon-gas-filled cylinder, a welding mask, gloves and appropriate filler metals. A welding cart is also highly recommended, as it will keep the entire setup tidy and portable.

After installing the supplied gas regulator and flicking the on switch up on the Diversion 180, we were welding moments later. The material-thickness chart on the front of the Diversion 180 is so easy to understand and follow that a toddler could do it. On the other hand, laying down clean and proper-looking beads is much harder than we thought. It’s going to take some serious practice before our welds are worthy of gracing these pages. Thanks to the instructional DVD that Miller includes — which is actually easy to watch and not very long — we’ve got a fundamental understanding of the TIG-welding process. We also read most of the TIG Welding for Dummies book that’s included and got some great information about every aspect of the welding process.

Modp 1201 05+miller diversion 180 tig+cart Photo 5/8   |   A cylinder of argon gas is a must-have for TIG welding, while a cart keeps the setup mobile and neat and tidy.

We’re used to using the foot pedal to control amperage, but the clever torch-mounted controls were a must-try since they’ll prove invaluable for welding jobs in tight spaces where foot access is limited. Admittedly, the thumb control was a bit unnatural to operate at first, but it’ll be smooth sailing once we familiarize ourselves with it.

The Diversion 180 has opened up a new world of opportunities for us, and we’re already concocting ideas about how to put it to use in upcoming projects — so much so that you can expect a follow-up article on how well this welder works, along with tips and tricks to becoming a semi-pro. Right now, we lack the skills to accurately rate its welding capability. All we can say is that everything we’ve thrown at it — from stainless steel, to aluminum, to thick mild steel slabs — the Diversion 180 has made easy work of.


Miller Electric
Appleton, WI 54912



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