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Need advice for welder purchase

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Eric M., Apr 16, 2003.

  1. Eric M.

    Eric M. 1/2 ton status

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    A while back I asked about learning to weld. The feedback I got was that there are some pretty sophisticated welders out there that make it fairly easy, with some practice I should be good to go. I was hoping I could get some recommendations and maybe pointers of where to look and do research for such a machine. I will be working with mostly heavy gauge sheet metal and stock up to 3/16".

    Thanks,

    Eric M.
     
  2. bee32

    bee32 1/2 ton status

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    Lincoln Mig Welder. Probly need a 220volt. I run a 135A, and I weld 1/4" no prob but nothing over. I just don't have a need too. It might do it. But This has not failed me yet and I like. It actually belongs to a buddy of mine. He likes it too. Obviously! I own a 70A stick and it has a Real hard time going over 1/8". IMO get a mig/wire feed, or a wire feed that is able to go mig. When you are practicing and until you learn gas flows and all you can weld using Flux Core line and it is ALMOST as good. Not as good of bead but close enough. Good luck with it. It is fun to learn and do. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif Get a shield and gloves. I have flash burns on me right now from last weekend.
     
  3. Zeus33rd

    Zeus33rd Smarter than you GMOTM Winner

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    Well, I would say get the most machine that you can afford...What is your budget?
     
  4. Eric M.

    Eric M. 1/2 ton status

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    What do you mean when you say the Most? I don't have a budget in mind ... yet. What would the most or best run me?

    Eric M.
     
  5. BAD4WD

    BAD4WD Registered Member

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    The Lincoln SP-175 mig is nice for transporting from job to job.
    But for the shop, power mig 255 is perfect. My old job thats what we had, welded 1/4 thick steel brackets to 1" thick steel pads. Love that welder.... /forums/images/graemlins/truck.gif /forums/images/graemlins/usaflag.gif
     
  6. Eric M.

    Eric M. 1/2 ton status

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    Did the Power Mig 255 run off 220v, single phase or 3 phase? I can't get anything more than 220v. single phase where I am.

    Thanks,

    Eric M.
     
  7. BAD4WD

    BAD4WD Registered Member

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    255 was a 220v, 1-phase welder.You might need a 60 amp or more 220v brker. Its all you need, for around 1800.00 with bottle.I bought a 175 amp hobart mig welder for a 900 with my own bottle. It does the job, but i wish i went bigger, like with the 255........The main dif. in welders is the duty cycles the more the better for non stop welding. Laters, /forums/images/graemlins/truck.gif /forums/images/graemlins/usaflag.gif
     
  8. Zeus33rd

    Zeus33rd Smarter than you GMOTM Winner

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    The 255 is a bad ass machine, but its really more than you need. Probably more money than you want to spend as well. /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif

    Take a gander at either the Miller 210 or the Lincoln PowerMIG 200..Either one would be a good choice. I run the Miller 210 where I work, and have a Lincoln 200 at home. I got mine for $1400 out the door, with the largest bottle I could get, filled with 75/25 gas, a 44lb spool of .035 wire, couple pairs of gloves, a 25ft extension cable and some extra tips. The Miller is comparable in price. You might want to take a look at Ebay for welders...You can get new stuff for great prices and sometimes free shipping. /forums/images/graemlins/pimp1.gif
     
  9. Eric M.

    Eric M. 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks KidJethro,

    I did look on e-Bay and saw a few of the machines you mentioned. The price sounds good, I just need to check local pricing. So far, my only restriction is 220v., single phase.

    Eric M.
     
  10. Eric M.

    Eric M. 1/2 ton status

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    BAD4WD,

    Do you think the 200 would be a good compromise? Others are saying the 255 is more than I need and you're saying the 175 isn't quite enough. I'd need to get some pricing for the 255 before shooting it down. I like the idea of going bigger just in case you need it in the future. If you go bigger, do you lose the ability to do work on lighter gauge material, is there a compromise in the quality?

    Thanks,

    Eric m.
     
  11. Zeus33rd

    Zeus33rd Smarter than you GMOTM Winner

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    No worries on the single phase stuff. I'm running mine off single phase with a 50amp breaker. No problems.

    [ QUOTE ]
    If you go bigger, do you lose the ability to do work on lighter gauge material, is there a compromise in the quality?


    [/ QUOTE ]

    No and No. /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif lol...No compormises- basically what you are getting with the 250 amp machines is the ability to work with the really, really thick stuff, and run the larger size wire. If you were going to use your machine to run .045 or larger dual shield wire in an "industrial" application, then the 250 amp machine is for you..Otherwise, it is more than you need. I just made a diff cover out of 1/2" plate for my 14b using my Lincoln 200 set at the middle setting heat wise...And it was almost to the point of being too hot...Had to be carefull not to burn holes. And I still had 4 heat settings above that one. I run the .035 wire with 75/25 gas.

    More food for thought for ya. /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
     
  12. chevyracing

    chevyracing 1/2 ton status

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    Eric, there is a guy that has a post about a guy in Ca. he bought a welder from on ebay. The guy won't ship it and he is looking for another buyer. I will try to search and find it.

    John
     
  13. chevyracing

    chevyracing 1/2 ton status

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  14. BAD4WD

    BAD4WD Registered Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    BAD4WD,

    Do you think the 200 would be a good compromise? Others are saying the 255 is more than I need and you're saying the 175 isn't quite enough. I'd need to get some pricing for the 255 before shooting it down. I like the idea of going bigger just in case you need it in the future. If you go bigger, do you lose the ability to do work on lighter gauge material, is there a compromise in the quality?

    Thanks,

    Eric m.



    [/ QUOTE ] The 200 sounds like a nice welder for 1400 with bottle, It would be perfect for you in the shop.But for me it's, go BIG or go home,(255) Laters... /forums/images/graemlins/truck.gif /forums/images/graemlins/usaflag.gif
     
  15. Eric M.

    Eric M. 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks Chevyracing, I appreciate it.

    Eric

    Just checked it out. I think I'm going to stick with the MIG, that's what everyone is telling me is best for what I'm doing.

    Thanks
     
  16. Boss

    Boss 1/2 ton status Author

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    A couple things you need to keep in mind are, with welding thin sheet metal (16 gauge), using wire larger than .030 or even .024 for the thinner sheets (18 guage and under) will be a bear. You'll start burning holes and get frustrated, since the thicker wire requires more heat to burn effectively. If 3/16" is the absolute thickest you are ever going to weld (which I kinda doubt), then you can save some serious coin and go with something like the Millermatic 135 (3/16" max) or the Millermatic 175. Out of those two, I would go with the 175. But if you have the money and don't mind spending on something that will never (probably shouldn't use the word "never") hold you back, I would look at the 210.
    Boss
     
  17. Eric M.

    Eric M. 1/2 ton status

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    Boss,

    Thanks for the advise, I was wondering about that. With the larger machines, like the 210, can you run the thinner wire so you can weld light guage sheetmetal? Or is that the draw back of the larger machines - you can work with thicker material but you lose the ability to do light gauge work?

    Thanks,

    Eric M.
     
  18. Boss

    Boss 1/2 ton status Author

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    You can still do the thin stuff with the 210. That unit comes with a reversible drive roller for .030 and .035. /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
     
  19. fauxshox

    fauxshox Registered Member

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    Both the Lincoln 200 and the Miller 210 are excellent machines and will do 99.9% of the work that you are likely to encounter. Stick with a 220 volt machine if you can, in the long run you will be much happier.

    Richard
     
  20. Boss

    Boss 1/2 ton status Author

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    I meant to say this in my last reply, but got hung up on things here at work,

    You can still weld thin stuff with thicker wire, but that's like cutting an apple with a sword. (bad analogy I know), but you'll still get the job done but it won't be as nice as if you were using the appropriate size wire, or knife for that matter /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
    But like I said, if you want to save some coin, go with a 175 unit (it's plenty for what you mentioned above), if $$ is no big deal, then I would spring for the 210 which will handle all your needs and then some.
     

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