Welder Advice

Talk about welders and metal working equipment.
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love2flymn
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Welder Advice

Post by love2flymn » March 3rd, 2016, 2:30 pm

I'm looking to pick up a new welder, just don't know how big of one I need. Looking to be building lots of smokers, and potentially start up a small welding shop in the long run. What would be a recommended machine for this? I will mostly be welding 1/4", solid core, and would like to not have to deal with stopping every few minutes to let it cool down.
Budget is under $2000. Is this feasible? My grandpa owns an Esab that he swears by ( I might actually buy this from him). I'm open to any of the other top brands as well.
TIA



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Re: Welder Advice

Post by Puff » March 3rd, 2016, 3:36 pm

I had this question about a year ago and I decided, with some advice from the website here, that I would go with a Miller 211 mig with auto set. It has performed remarkably well for me and has easily welded parts 1/2 inch thick. And while there are bigger and stronger welders you may need for a shop, I would not look too much further ....may be a bigger Miller. The 225 I had here was nearly 30 years old so Miller was a proven name in this garage.


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Re: Welder Advice

Post by BitBucket » March 3rd, 2016, 4:21 pm

I have the Miller 211 with auto set as well. I have had it pause for the 'thermal protection'/duty cycle feature a few times on longer beads of 1/4". More often though I'm making a few beads then grinding and fitting and soforth in between, I can work all day like that. Since you mentioned work stoppage though, It seems like I was getting a thermal protection stoppage after about 55"-70" of nonstop 1/4" welding like a bunch of firebox edges or a the length of a baffle plate.

Those things aside, I really like the 211, it makes me look way better than I am.


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Re: Welder Advice

Post by love2flymn » March 3rd, 2016, 4:37 pm

Great advice! Thanks guys.

One more question...How does it handle thin material? The specs say down to 24 ga steel. Have either of you welded that thin?

I'm actually not taken aback by the price on this one new either. Cheaper than I thought a welder like this would be.



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Re: Welder Advice

Post by BitBucket » March 3rd, 2016, 6:09 pm

I honestly haven't done much thin material work with it yet. I do have some 16 ga. steel on order to make a mini Gravity Feed or two but it may be a few weeks before I get to start playing with it.


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Re: Welder Advice

Post by mp4 » March 3rd, 2016, 7:01 pm

My 2 cents on welders...buy the best one you can afford. If your grandpa is using Esabs and he is a resource for you...definitely go Esab. They have a terrific reputation (especially lately) and if you ever need a part when the store is closed you can hit up grandpa. Nothing is worse than frying your last good tip on a Friday night and having to wait until Monday to get one.

The 211 I s a great machine - the 252 is the next size up and would give you more capacity and duty cycle and might still be in your price range.



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Re: Welder Advice

Post by Weldun » March 3rd, 2016, 9:07 pm

I myself am partial to Miller,but as MP4 stated Go with what you're familiar with and which brand offers the best support in your area. One other thing I can tell you is I have ran most every brand of ER70s hardwire and in my opinion hands down the Lincoln L-56 is a superior wire.


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Re: Welder Advice

Post by Puff » March 3rd, 2016, 11:04 pm

Regarding the thin stuff....I've started ( before the surgery) welding thin material like 24 gauge. I turn it way down and move along well. Has not burn thru and looks very commercially clean. As for thermal shut down, I've never had it do that and I don't stop once I'm going. TQ wrote once that if he didn't see blue sparks flyin' he'd start yellin' [-x ....haha


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Re: Welder Advice

Post by love2flymn » March 4th, 2016, 9:19 am

I'm not totally set on the Esab. I guess I really should think about consumable availability. I'd just have to keep up on my stock of them.
My grandpa is 2+ hours away so I wouldn't be able to make the Friday night run to get parts.

We'll see what he says for a price or if he is even going to sell it to me.

From what I've gathered, hit my max budget and 210-220+ amps should be suffice. Sticking with name brands, too.

Thanks!



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Re: Welder Advice

Post by Rodcrafter » March 4th, 2016, 9:00 pm

I know they don't make machines as tough as they used to, but I have been using this Miller Matic 200 for 22 years and it was not new when I came to work here. The only thing I have done is change the contactor 1 time and the liner twice.


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Re: Welder Advice

Post by Big T » March 4th, 2016, 11:54 pm

:yth: I use a 15 year old Millermatic 250 and it's rock solid.


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Re: Welder Advice

Post by mp4 » March 5th, 2016, 6:38 am

I used a Hobart 250 Betamig until about a year ago when a acquired a Miller 250. I really liked the Hobart...I love the Miller. They stopped making parts for the Hobart quite a while ago, even getting tips was getting tough so the Miller came along just in time. There was a learning curve with the Miller and I still don't have it down quite yet. It seems to be fussy about the settings but once you find the sweet spot man is it sweet. The Hobart was much more forgiving when it came to settings.



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Re: Welder Advice

Post by love2flymn » March 9th, 2016, 5:34 pm

Anyone ever used a Lincoln Power Mig 210? I see it has digital controls. Looks kinda neat. Thinking it might not be as bulletproof as a miller though. More electronic parts to break down.
I didn't notice if the Miller also has digital displays?



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Re: Welder Advice

Post by mp4 » March 10th, 2016, 6:14 am

Miller vs Lincoln is akin to Ford vs Chevy. I'm Chevy guy myself because Ford sucks....you get my drift. The Lincoln should be every bit as reliable as a Miller...if your a Ford guy maybe even better. :-)



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Re: Welder Advice

Post by clutch_kick » March 10th, 2016, 6:50 am

Guys, since I am not in the US, I cannot really find much of the brands that are mentioned here. I recently bought the plans for the mini GF smoker, to replace my UDS, and I need to buy myself a welding set. Would something of this sort be sufficient?

http://www.wjadistributors.com/shop/pro ... ts_id=2696



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Re: Welder Advice

Post by mp4 » March 10th, 2016, 1:10 pm

I'm not welder spec literate - so my opinion may not be of too much value. This one seems to be a bit on the light duty side for the type of welding you'll want to do...and the price seems suspiciously low to be a quality built machine.



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Re: Welder Advice

Post by Rodcrafter » March 11th, 2016, 7:04 am

Myself, I have not used flux core wire on anything thin. But considering I like the way a gas shielded weld works, I would opt for one that at least gives me the option of flux or not flux.

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Re: Welder Advice

Post by Squiggle » March 11th, 2016, 4:25 pm

:yth: Have to agree that I like gassed operation much better, but if budget is the issue then having the option is probably better. :kewl:


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Re: Welder Advice

Post by clutch_kick » March 13th, 2016, 6:58 am

Cheers guys. I found a 150A one that can run either Gas or No Gas for €400 that's around $450.

Won't really be doing too much stuff on it, as I can get my friend to do the heavy welds for me.



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Re: Welder Advice

Post by love2flymn » March 14th, 2016, 11:04 am

I see Lincoln has a $200 rebate on their 210 MP.

http://www.lincolnelectric.com/en-us/Eq ... nElectric)

In "Processes" it's listed that you can set up DC TIG...Do I just need a new gun and power inverter for that?

The $200 rebate is looking rather appealing. It'll be easier to convince my wife that I need it now if it's under $1000.



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Re: Welder Advice

Post by love2flymn » April 21st, 2016, 12:23 pm

I've done some more research. I'm settling on the Hobart Ironman 230. It has much better duty cycle, but the downside is it's only 220v. That shouldn't be a problem for me though.



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