So lets talk welders

All topics related to mig welding, tig welding, spot welders, flame cutting, etc.
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jessechop
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So lets talk welders

Post by jessechop » Thu Jan 15, 2015 10:34 am

Currently I have a 135 amp 110V mig, with gas that has gave me 15 years of excellent service. It is getting pretty tired and I really need, well would like a tig for assembly of signs and such since the weld is so much cleaner. Less paint prep, etc.

I have had 3 different tigs in the past. A Miller Econo Tig (AC/DC), a Miller 150 STH and a Thermal Arc 95s. All worked well, my favorite being the two Millers since they had remotes (foot). All of these welders have came and gone for various reasons.

So, I would like to have AC capabilities. Welding of aluminum is not something I would do every day, however it is a process I would like to have for the few times I need to weld aluminum. Lately I have been using a friends Dynasty to weld aluminum when the need arrises. (2 times in the past 3 years)

I am replacing the mig anyway it gets shaken. I want 230v for the added amps so I can do thicker if needed.

I have 2 basic options:

#1: Buy a Miller Multimatic 200 with tig rig and spool gun so I can do aluminum

#2: Buy a Hobart EZ Tig 165i and a Hobart handler 190 (or similar) mig

With current rebates and sales they both come in pretty close to the same money

Thoughts?

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CNCCAJUN
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Re: So lets talk welders

Post by CNCCAJUN » Thu Jan 15, 2015 10:43 am

Buy Miller . .. :D
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acourtjester
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Re: So lets talk welders

Post by acourtjester » Thu Jan 15, 2015 10:56 am

I bought a Miller with a spool gun a few years back. Used the spool gun maybe 4 times for aluminum I sold it about 5 months ago. Unless you get a higher amp machine I would not mess with a spool gun. Just use the torch for tig welding aluminum I think you have more control over the heat and filler at the weld.
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jessechop
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Re: So lets talk welders

Post by jessechop » Thu Jan 15, 2015 11:00 am

acourtjester wrote:I bought a Miller with a spool gun a few years back. Used the spool gun maybe 4 times for aluminum I sold it about 5 months ago. Unless you get a higher amp machine I would not mess with a spool gun. Just use the torch for tig welding aluminum I think you have more control over the heat and filler at the weld.
I agree, however the Miller is DC so it cant do aluminum without a spool gun
CNCCAJUN wrote:Buy Miller . .. :D
Oh I know ALL about it, but the Hobart is Miller....well kinda :lol:

illusivedf
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Re: So lets talk welders

Post by illusivedf » Thu Jan 15, 2015 1:00 pm

I have a Syncrowave250DX TIG with cooler, it is a great machine but, it is also huge and very heavy. Its a transformer so you have AC balance but can not tune the frequency like some inverters. I also just picked up one of the Eastwood tig 200 AC/DC basic inverter machines. I have had it for a couple weeks but have not had any free time to set it up yet. I picked it up to have something portable since my Miller is pretty much stationary after reading some pretty good reviews.
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Corfabrication
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Re: So lets talk welders

Post by Corfabrication » Thu Jan 15, 2015 7:36 pm

Ever weld aluminum with a spool gun?
Personally I will stick with tig for aluminum. You have much more control over your puddle with tig. The little bit of spool gun I tried, I found it to have lack of fusion on the start of the weld, and seemed to crater the finish of the weld,even if I tried to fill it in before stopping.

jessechop
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Re: So lets talk welders

Post by jessechop » Thu Jan 15, 2015 9:20 pm

Corfabrication wrote:Ever weld aluminum with a spool gun?
Personally I will stick with tig for aluminum. You have much more control over your puddle with tig. The little bit of spool gun I tried, I found it to have lack of fusion on the start of the weld, and seemed to crater the finish of the weld,even if I tried to fill it in before stopping.
Yes I have. Pre heat is important on spool gun.

As for welders I am talking myself into keeping my little mig and getting going straight tig

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CNCCAJUN
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Re: So lets talk welders

Post by CNCCAJUN » Thu Jan 15, 2015 9:27 pm

I like Miller
:D
I have a Miller 251 MIG - taken a class & can do acceptable quality welding with it . . .

Have a Miller Syncrowave 200 TIG (have not turned it on yet) need to learn basic TIG . . . and

Miller LMSW-52T Spot Welder I bought to attach hangers to the back of artsy stuff.(will try this weekend)

Now if I can just learn how to use all this stuff . . . . :lol:

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Re: So lets talk welders

Post by TJS » Fri Jan 16, 2015 2:26 pm

Not sure if this will answer the OP questions. I have owned a Miller Syncrowave 180SD, Miller Dynasty 200DX and currently a Miller Dynasty 300DX machine. As you can see from the trend I wanted more power. I did these upgrades with in a year of each other way back when. Now I am looking at the Miller Dynasty 350($$) but that will have to wait. I also have used the Miller econo-tig, and Miller Sync 250 and 350LX, and some Lincoln Squarewave machines however those require (transformer) a lot more from your electrical panel than the inverter type machines do. I use my Miller Dynasty 300DX all the time and do not notice any increase in my electric bill (home shop). If you are going to get a TIG machine get the most powerful one you can afford because there will be that one time where you will require the power/amps but don?t have it.


I also have a HTP MIG 240 going on over 10 years. It is a great machine. I use that a lot as well but I mostly TIG most of my stuff now. Both machines have paid for themselves many times over. On that note HTP also makes a great TIG machine as well. I have only used one for a few minutes and from what I gather it is a great machine.

I would stay away from the combo type machines. Keep the TIG and MIG separate machines. This is just my 2 cents. Hope this helps.
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Re: So lets talk welders

Post by Corfabrication » Sat Jan 17, 2015 2:26 pm

^^
facts there. buy a bigger machine than you THINK you will ever use. in time, you will find yourself needing a bigger welder.
Ive got a little miller diversion 165 for toting around the shop, and the old syncrowave 500 as a stationary.

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Re: So lets talk welders

Post by biggator850 » Sat Feb 14, 2015 11:14 pm

I have had several hobarts over the years and there is no comparison to Miller. All the welders I use everyday are Miller. My main mig machine is a Millermatic 252 with spool gun. One of the things I love about it is that the spool gun stays hooked up all the time. Need to weld steel just pull the trigger on the wire feed torch. Need aluminum, just squeeze the trigger on the spool gun and weld. The machine automatically switches back and forth just that easy. Even remembers the last setting for each. The duty cycle is pretty good too. I have run it really hard and never tripped it.

A few years ago I needed to tig some aluminum railings and bought a Sync 200 thinking that it would do since I would not use it much. WRONG! I use it all the time and really wish I had gone with either the Sync 350 with water cooler or the Dynasty. I have welded it until the torch was starting to melt and bump the duty cycle more than I would like. What ever tig you buy make sure it is plenty more powerful than you will ever need and make sure it has a water cooler! Just because the max amp rating of a machine will do what you need, it is still the max so you can't run it there for long.

Just my $.02. Always go BIG or stay home!

BC

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Gamelord
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Re: So lets talk welders

Post by Gamelord » Sun Feb 15, 2015 12:40 pm

Buy Miller! I have a Dynasty 300dx, love it and use it all the time. If you weld a ton, get a cooler, if you only weld a little then a cooler may not be necessary.

I agree, get a machine larger than you think because you will eventually need it. :)
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solomanb
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Re: So lets talk welders

Post by solomanb » Sun Feb 15, 2015 1:25 pm

Hi all
With the slowdown in the patch here in Alberta we should all be thankful for the machines we purchased in the good years (and the Canadian dollar was higher) and have hopefully paid for in full. I believe the sun will be down for a while in the patch, some of us will have to turn on the high frequency on our tigs and zap ourselves into reality and finally face the hard truth that the end of the rainbow has been reached and someone lied about what was at the end. Time to turn our minds on and dont give up .
Change or be Changed.
A little off topic but here is the list of currently owned machines.
Miller blue through and through.
Miller Pipe Pro with a Kubota, 150 feet of cable and a Miller remote with ac plug, has the addition of miller suitcase mig with a Tregaskis toughgun and the added ability to use an AC plug, great in the winter.
Also a Miller 350 Mpa , pulse is awesome, again suitcase feeder with a Tregaskis toughgun.
Also a Miller Blue star 185 perfect for moving with the quad for fixing around the yard or using as a genset.
And a Miller Dynasty 350 package with the cooler only added a 300 amp torch and remote. There are enough settings on this machine to keep you interested in tig welding for a long long time
I have owned other Miller products through the years and only had one bad experience with a smaller mig only machine, its capacitors would short, all under warranty but always waiting. I have always traded up not sideways and remained brand loyal.
After 35 years in the welding trade I would have this as advice, Save your money and purchase good, well built products. Do your research and make some predictions on your future needs, bigger is sometimes better as you have been told before.
Getting by and barely getting by is a personal choice but as the world as whole begins to touch us all either through personal connections, the media , internet, etc. it is still up to us personally, not our governments to keep the economy going forward in our own little way so we can all enjoy our lives and freedoms.
Be thankful for what you have today as tomorrow could be.......
My humble opinion.
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Re: So lets talk welders

Post by Tinner » Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:22 pm

I agree with Miller is best. Just a little FYI you can put a teflon liner in your mig and run aluminum without a spool gun.

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