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finally biting the bullet- gonna get a welder

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Pookster, Jun 9, 2006.

  1. Pookster

    Pookster 1/2 ton status

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    im really digging the miller passport. I know its a lot (1300) but, for my general needs (sheet metal repair, stuff around the house, etc) it seems like an excellent option for portability and flexibility.

    The sad part is, for the same price, I could also get the econo tig. But I think its not really useful for me to get.

    The budget is around the same (1200-1500)- its payment for a job Im doing.
     
  2. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    don't bother with an "Econo" anything. The TIG wouldn't be useful for anything more than tiny crap I'd say.

    I never found moving the littler units around to be apain in the butt. Dad and I both built carts for our welders. His is a Lincoln 135, mine was a Lincoln 175. Both on carts they were easy to move around and with a mid sized bottle, not hard to lift when necessary. Unless you REALLY plan to move your welder around a lot, don't bother with that. What are you going to do? Get weld spatter all over your living room?

    I'd save the 700 bucks and get a Millermatic 175 or the Millermatic 135. The Passport only has the same output as a 135 on 115V anyway.
     
  3. Pookster

    Pookster 1/2 ton status

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    I have the 230 in my garage already wired. It was just the portability, which I have found myself needing from time to time. ( not to mention helping out some friends in need)
     
  4. beastofablaze

    beastofablaze 1/2 ton status

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    Dude, All you need is a Baby 220 lincoln or maybe even a 110 if your use to flux core. The miller passport will lay em down nice and perty but so will a smaller 220. Sheet metal, repair, and stuff around the house is not gonna over 5/8" right? Being a welder for a living (we have 2 miller passports in the shop) I've seen my fair share of welders and what they can do. A little 110 lincoln for 600 will do anything up to 1/4 with hardwire 3/8 with flux core. a little 220 lincoln will do 3/8 with hardwire 5/8 with flux. the passport will do 5/8 with hardwire(mig).

    Take the rest of your budget and get yourself a good adjustable autodim hood. I got my speedglas for 300. Your welds will look alot better and you'll get alot more done. they hav cutting torch settings, different shades (9-13), arc/mig settings, sensitivity and delay... basically invaluable.

    As far as portability goes you might want to look into a little lunchbox arc/tig welder. buy an inverter and you can run it off your rig's cigarrette lighter. With enough practice you can get em to look like mig welds.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2006
  5. beastofablaze

    beastofablaze 1/2 ton status

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    What is your definition of econo? Hobart builds a nice wire feed for 300 at harbor freight.

    Just because harbor freight sells it doesn't mean it's crap. Don't get me wrong they sell ALOT of crap but there are a few decent products in that place.

    The little millermatic will lay down nice welds but they are a pain in the ass if you plan on doing alot of welding... we have 2 110 millermatics on our work trucks and they both are being repaired about every other 2 weeks. Alot of problems with the gear the feeds the wire.
     
  6. uberbeans

    uberbeans 1/2 ton status

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    I've got an 85 amp craftsman mig that does everything that I need. It will weld 3/16th's steel with one pass. I am the first to admit that I wouldn't use the welder if I welded for a living but for my purposes it's great. I welded my sleders on with is with 1 inch bar stock to the frame. Just welded the perimeter of the stock. $320 without the bottle 4 years ago. I really recommend the autodim hood. The hood that comes with is good to watch other people weld only.
     
  7. big83chevy4x4

    big83chevy4x4 3/4 ton status

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    for that kinda money, i would get the lincoln 210 (RATED at 210 amps, 250 amps max) not to mention that it has both 110 and 220 plugs on it. its a little bit bigger than the passport though.

    the passport i can only see being used by someone who does mobile welding repair.
     
  8. uberbeans

    uberbeans 1/2 ton status

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    Can't argue with that. I was pretty green when I got it and my sear's card was calling my name. I can't say that I'm disappointed though. And it came with some accessories.
     
  9. Pookster

    Pookster 1/2 ton status

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    thanks for the advice! I have very little welding experience other than stick welding. I love the passport for its design- the little CO2 tank I can get real cheap, and several stores all carry them around here for paintball. (the welding stores here are a pain in the butt).

    I have to pick something around the 1200-1500 range- its my payment for work Im doing. I figured the passport is great for repairs around my own house, but also several properties I have to take care of. Welding would have come in real handy several times.

    If I get any other welder, yes its cheaper- but no flexibility, which means I'd use it less. (but it could be better when I *am* using it). It also means that I could get some nice accessories.

    Since you've used the passport- whats your honest opinion about it?
    If I dont get the passport- what else would you get, (including the price of accessories). I've been getting my pricing from cyberweld.com

    thanks for all your help!!!
     
  10. goldwing2000

    goldwing2000 Guest

    I say stick with a Miller 175 or a 210 or even a DVI. I can't see paying two or three times as much for a Passport. You'll be pretty piššed off when you start going through those little CO2 cylinders like a fat kid eating M&Ms and you keep bouncing off the thermal limiter with the little 20% duty cycle.

    Barring that, anything in 220v will probably be fine. I've never met a 110v welder that I didn't hate.
     
  11. Pookster

    Pookster 1/2 ton status

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    Im not sure what to do about the duty cycle- maybe you can explain to me in real world scinaros which that would be an issue- Like, are you telling me a 20% duty cycle will not allow me to finish a door panel in one pass? They brochure says that the passport will run 25 min or 25ft of line. I figure thats a little generous, so even 15 min- I think thats adequte, plus it can use a regular external tank.
     
  12. big83chevy4x4

    big83chevy4x4 3/4 ton status

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    duty cycle is the percentage of time in a 10 minute period it can actually weld.
    so a 20% duty cycle will allow you to weld for 2 minutes in a 10 minute period.

    thats how long the little co2 tank will last.
     
  13. mouse

    mouse 1/2 ton status

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    I like my Lincoln 175.
     
  14. beastofablaze

    beastofablaze 1/2 ton status

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    Well, its up to you... personally I would go with a dvi and a small stick welder for welding out of the shop or house. Simply because the dvi will lay down nicer welds, weld thicker material, and well they are just hard to beat for quality of welds. But if your looking for the flexability of a buzzbox like the passport then go with a buzzbox. I love my dvi... that thing will do anything I can manage to get on the table and do it clean and perty but it can't go in the back of my truck unless I take steriods or borrow a cherry picker.

    Passports are GOOD machines too... I just can't see spending that kind of money on a small welder. Your looking at 3/8" max with mig and that kind of sucks when you want to build some beefy stuff. Flux core is wire that has has flux right in the wire meaning you don't need gas(actually you can use gas with flux core wire but they call it dual shield which is the strongest kind of weld)... we use it in the field because if we were to use gas/hardwire it would simply blow away and we'd end up grinding out the perosity (sp?) of just about every weld.

    Flux will penetrate deeper and I've actually worn out some sawzall blades on a 110 millerematic flux core weld. Do it right and you'll have a hell of a time with trying to break a flux core weld. But they aren't as nice a mig weld...

    Other than a good hood you'll need just the basic tools, needle nose, crescent wrench, allen wrenches etc. You'll save yourself alot of money if you start to fix your own welder. Pretty simple stuff really, migs have a lot of problems. NOthing major but you'll find yourself tightening tips, and insulators alot and the occasional defusor. birds nest and things like that.

    As you probably know mig welding is not something you learn overnight just take it day by day and don't get frustrated. Its a lot to take in but nothing more than any other trade.

    If you want any tips or need some help just give me a shout.

    :wink1:
     
  15. Pookster

    Pookster 1/2 ton status

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    I have to take some pics- the guys who built my garage- they really really boogered some welds with stick welding- it was too bad I had to be at work that day, otherwise, I would have welded it myself- so Im thinking of grinding it down and just laying down a new bead. There is at least 30ish jobs (not car related) that needs welding repair. 4 fences, 3 security gates, 10 windows, and some AC unit braces. Last time I called up, they wanted 50/each window to fix small welds, since they had to "come out" to where I was.

    The DVI doesnt seem to be better than the passport, at least according to spec- they do have double the duty cycle, which could become important in other applications. I just dont see myself doing too much 3/8th stuff, unless you can tell me otherwise. :haha: (Since, you guys feed my addiction).

    I'll have to pro/con this a little further. I just cant see myself getting a DVI- its so heavy that there is no reason I would take it anywhere. And I have 230 in the shop...

    http://www.millerwelds.com/products/mig/industrial_products.html

    According to their page anyways, the acutal max output of the passport is better than the DVI- and both can do 3/8th. At which point, I might as well get the miller 210. :confused:
     
  16. RootBreaker

    RootBreaker 3/4 ton status Premium Member

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    I like my stick... 240 ac/dc lincoln... :wink1:
     
  17. Pookster

    Pookster 1/2 ton status

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    Aint that a tig?
     
  18. 8_YOUR_H2

    8_YOUR_H2 1/2 ton status

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    I bought a Lincoln 175HD. It will be the last welder I buy until I breaks and I buy another one exactly like it.
     
  19. RootBreaker

    RootBreaker 3/4 ton status Premium Member

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  20. beastofablaze

    beastofablaze 1/2 ton status

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    Well, I was in mjb today for gloves and had a look at the passport... Turns out it does run more amps then the dvi. I'm not to excited about the co2 bottle tho... I asked him if it'll run argon and he basically said you need to spend another couple hundred to run argon. Bottle, fittings, and gas. I was confusing the passport with another welder. It is a damn good welder and hard to beat for what it can do. With 220v hookup it'll lay em down better than the dvi but I'm guessing your stuck with flux core... unless of course you buy an argon bottle and fittings. All that being said if you have the money and can use it BUY IT. Hardwire is gonna look alot better than flux tho but that's not a problem if you got another couple hundred.
     

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