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Projects 215 mig vs ?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Donuts & Peelouts, Aug 17, 2017.

  1. A Miller 215 will set you back $1500 new (without a lot of extras). Maybe you find some meth head selling his for $1000 on CL.

    If you have a lot of money, maybe you bought a lot of stock during the recession, or are a retiree with a shiny '32 Ford and a fat retirement fund, that's fine. Get a Miller, or something "made in USA"

    [​IMG]
    Oh, look at that. Well "assembled" in the USA. Anyway.


    If you are always broke, like me, then it's finding a $200 welder or NO welder. If $1000 means something to ya, then just get a machine you can afford. (I would still go for something that uses 220volt, everyone's house has 220volt) Whether that's a Harbor Freight or some used machine. I found a Solar Mig 175 that came from a body shop for $150 on CL with bottle and extras, the same exact machine as in this video



    Not a bad bead at all. But maybe that guy could make dimes with a car battery and an extension cord, who knows, my welds look like ass, and they did at the Voc Tech welding course on a $10,000 welder too.

    If you want to argue with grumpy repressed closed-minded future mental patients, then go on some of the welding boards and get into some discussions, they'll tell you how: if your welder isn't blue, then you should just hang yourself from the rafters of the attached one car garage in your post-war development. Then the skipper from Gilligan's Island will shut down his tan colored desk top, get into his Honda Ridgeline covered with American Flag and "buy American" magnets (because stickers are too much of a commitment), and drive to Walmart for lunch.

    (Now that's how you drag a thread south. 10-9-8-7-6.........)


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  2. Canus
    Joined: Apr 16, 2011
    Posts: 102

    Canus
    Member

    Donuts
    You never told us what you are wanting to weld. Body sheet metal only or thicker stuff like suspension and frame components? A 110 volt welder with gas and .022 wire will do fine for body panels and light suspension work. A 220 volt unit will also do the body panels as well as heavier suspension and frame work. What power do you have available in your shop? If only 110 that that will determine your choice. If you have 220 or can run a 220 line then you have more options. The spec sheet(s) for the welder you are considering will tell you the amp rating of the unit so that you can ensure your wiring can handle the machine. Best of luck!!
     
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  3. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 25,943

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    That is why Lincoln, Miller or Hobart. Any good welding supply house will have parts for them and they don't laugh at you if you take one in for repair. Big difference in the machines is where they are sold as I believe they all belong to the same parent company. Miller will only be found at welding supply stores, Lincoln will be found at some welding supply houses and some big box stores like Home Depot. Hobart is usually found at Ag supply stores like Tractor Supply and aimed at the AG market.

    I did the same thing for several years. Had a big S O cord that I had a range plug on one end and a plug for the welder on the other. Unplug the range and plug in the welder and piss off the wife. I still use the S O cord out in the garage or in front of it even after my brother wired the garage for 220.
    home
    110 or 220 can depend a lot on what you will be using it for most of the time t. If all you plan on is body work customizing your ride 110 will be fine. It can still be turned up enough to weld bigger metal once in a while but works great at the lower heat ranges for thinner metal. If you are going to do a lot of heavier stuff like frames or building things out of steel then invest in the 220 rig and have a 220 circuit and plug put in the work area. You can start smaller and then decide you out grew it and need to move up. If a Lincoln or Hobart 110 rig with the gas bottle on it will get the job done now while you get started and learn cool.
     
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  4. Donuts & Peelouts
    Joined: Dec 12, 2016
    Posts: 1,187

    Donuts & Peelouts
    Member
    from , CA

    I want to weld motor mounts, crossbars, sheet metal. Maybe stiffen up my suspension

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  5. Donuts & Peelouts
    Joined: Dec 12, 2016
    Posts: 1,187

    Donuts & Peelouts
    Member
    from , CA

    els likes this.
  6. Donuts & Peelouts
    Joined: Dec 12, 2016
    Posts: 1,187

    Donuts & Peelouts
    Member
    from , CA

    els likes this.
  7. I use two welders; a small Century MIG unit for anything up to 1/8" thick, and an inexpensive Miller AC/DC stick welder for everything else. The Century is 115V, which make it a lot more portable compared the 230V Miller and that's come in handy many times. At the time I bought these new, their total cost was less than buying a new, large MIG machine.
     
  8. montero
    Joined: Oct 12, 2013
    Posts: 20

    montero
    Member

    Ditto what an earlier poster said about taking a mig class. No point getting a machine if you don't know 'how' to weld. And, just getting a couple of pieces of metal to stick together doesn't mean they won't break apart under stress. Local tech school is a great, affordable way to learn.
     
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  9. When I went to the vo-tec class or so long ago, the instructor had a deal with a local welding supply that handled Miller machines. Oddly enough, anyone in the class who wanted to purchase a welder could get a good deal through the instructor.
     
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  10. One other comment I want to make. You need to use gas to do good body work. The common gas for best penetration is 75% carbon dioxide and 25 % argon.
    Don't make the mistake of attempting to use flux core wire. There is just too much splatter to clean up. Flux core wire works well for doing repairs outdoors in the wind, and for welding metal that can't be properly cleaned.
    I like using .023 wire for body work, but I have seen guys that are magicians with the heavier wire.
    You can rent bottles, but demurrage (rent on the bottles) can be a killer. If you can afford it, buy your own bottle. The way my ownership works, is that I just take my bottles in for exchange when they are empty. No other fees.
    Last point, you can weld aluminum and stainless, but you will require the proper wire, and pure Argon. My suggestion, is to get experience doing steel first.
    Again youtube is your friend. There are some excellent videos, and are well worth watching.
    If you have little or no experience, take a course if that option is available. But like playing a musical instrument, the only way to improve is to practice. Get a piece of sheet, clean it up, and practice by filling the thing with passes, each time checking for penetration and pattern.
    Good luck
     
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  11. jackalope
    Joined: Mar 11, 2011
    Posts: 687

    jackalope
    Member

    Then you really need a 220v machine. Suspension components are typically a little thicker material and require more juice for penetration and proper fusion of materials.

    As others have suggested, get some lessons from someone/somewhere that knows how to weld. Better to learn correctly first rather than later after bad habits have been adopted.

    As for welding brands, Hobart is basically a cheaper Miller. Many components in Hobart machines are plastic vs miller that use metal. Other than components, they are basically the same.

    I would also suggest sticking with a transformer machine for longevity and reliability. Inverter machines are awesome until you have a problem. Replacement igbt boards are terribly expensive and about the price of a new machine often times. You said you're on a budget so you will need to focus on the transformer machines.

    All of my welders are Miller and every single one of them has worked flawlessly. I prefer Miller but all mentioned would be fine. Esab units are also quality and have support.




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  12. SilverJimmy
    Joined: Dec 2, 2008
    Posts: 29

    SilverJimmy
    Member

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  13. ceege
    Joined: Jul 4, 2017
    Posts: 204

    ceege
    Member
    from NW MT

    A lot of good info here. Box store Lincolns aren't the same as welding store Lincoln welders. They aren't as robust. That is why they are less money. Good machines just the same. I've used all brands. Linde makes a hell of a machine too. I like the start-up of the Lincoln mig over the tractor supply Hobart which is paramount when working with thin sheetmetal.

    Look for a machine that has continuous adjustments for amp (heat) out-put instead of the click style, much better control of heat that way. You will be fine with a 180 amp welder for your application but a little bigger would be better.

    The ultimate set-up would be two mig welders. One for small wire and one for big wire. Its amazing what difference 7 hundredths( .07 ) can make or even .05 for that matter.

    Maybe this will help put things into perspective for you
    doughnuts&peelouts.


    If you put >.30 wire in a low amp machine (110 volt) you might not have enough control to slow the wire output down enough to get a hot weld. Too much wire equals cold weld. You would have good control with an .023 wire.
    Now the opposite could happen with a big welder meaning a smaller wire will burn back into the torch on the lowest setting or make it harder to find that sweet spot heat setting because the fine adjustment isn't there though some big machines do quite well with smaller wire. Keep in mind you have to change liners and drivers every time you change the wire size.

    Mig welding is easy. Get out there and burn up some wire.
    Now you need to add the A/C tig welder with stick capability and you got all the bases covered.

    Well, there is that plasma thingy but that aint weldin'. By the way, 30% argon when working with sheet-metal makes a huge difference in spatter control and weld quality.
     
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  14. Donuts & Peelouts
    Joined: Dec 12, 2016
    Posts: 1,187

    Donuts & Peelouts
    Member
    from , CA

    Thanks J-Jock, Mr48chev, jackalope, silverJimmy & Ceege.
    I was raised watching my Grandpa doing body work in his Garage he ran and owned in his backyard, and he would Oxy weld with a torch. He's a Retried body man, he used to do body and paint on GM Hurses out of his huge garage he had built. He's old school been doing body work since he was 15. I know I stared this thread asking for mig help but am curious to why not but one has mentioned the oxy weld technique. When is it used and when is it obsolete.
    I'm going to my Grandpas before I go to take a course at least to get me started on technique and background info.

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  15. The big difference is warping the metal because of the amount of heat you have to put into the surrounding metal to get the joint hot enough to weld. The other necessary skill required is hammering each weld as you go along to keep the panel straight.
    You are testing my memory here, but I still have a couple of torches that I use. My favourite for cutting, is the Dillon MkIII, which has a pistol grip and doesn't add the amount of heat that a standard cutting torch will. The sheet metal cuts are quite clean and require a minimum of cleanup.
    My favourite for welding sheet metal, is a Smith or a Gloor aircraft torch. They are much smaller than the standard torch, and the lightness helps with doing a lot of welding. The same technique applies to welding sheet with a torch as applies using a MIG welder. The difference is, that you have to weld 1/2 inch, use the hammer and dolly to straighten out the panel without stretching the metal. Keep moving to a cold area, and keep repeating this process until the weld is complete.
    It is a slow process, but one advantage, if you have done the job right, is that there is a minimum of weld cleanup during the finishing, and the weld is the same hardness as the parent metal.
    I have my own bottles and still frequently use the acetylene torch or the TIG when I want a good finish.
    Here is a video to give you a good idea.

    If you want pictures of my torches to give you an idea, just ask.
    I hope this is helpful.
    Bob
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2017
  16. Donuts & Peelouts
    Joined: Dec 12, 2016
    Posts: 1,187

    Donuts & Peelouts
    Member
    from , CA

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  17. ceege
    Joined: Jul 4, 2017
    Posts: 204

    ceege
    Member
    from NW MT

    It becomes obsolete (in my world) when you are welding steel with specific mechanical properties. The carbon in the gas will change those properties where the mig will not.
     
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  18. Ceege,
    You are absolutely correct. but I was basically confining my statements to welding iron on classic cars. Welding is a very complex subject.
    Bob.
     
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  19. Heck, take the opportunity to share some time with your grandpa! I'm sure all of us would love to do that. That's the kind of opportunity that doesn't hand around forever. You can learn to mig weld any old time.


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  20. Donuts & Peelouts
    Joined: Dec 12, 2016
    Posts: 1,187

    Donuts & Peelouts
    Member
    from , CA

    Clunker I just got off the phone with my Grandpa and he old me theirs plenty to weld of at his house. He told me to go buy a pair of welding glasses and come over

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  21. Right on! Every moment counts, man, once they're gone you can't get those moments back.




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  22. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,415

    patmanta
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Woburn, MA
    1. MASSACHUSETTS HAMB

    GET THE HOBART 140! This is the setup I have and it is the third welder I've purchased. If it was my first, I would only have the one. Spend the $500 and get one, it's money you will spend ONCE, you cannot beat this machine in this price range (new). It will do everything you need and it will plug into a 115 outlet.

    Northern tool will ship one to your door for under $500. They usually have the best price on them. Then you just need to find your local welding supply shop and get a bottle.

    Get yourself a decent welding cart too. Keep in mind that the spool door opens out and up, so get something that it can sit on, open, and clear the lip on the side of the cart (if present).
     
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  23. jackalope
    Joined: Mar 11, 2011
    Posts: 687

    jackalope
    Member

    Regardless of which machine you buy, do NOT buy a cart. MAKE one. Good first project.


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  24. jackalope
    Joined: Mar 11, 2011
    Posts: 687

    jackalope
    Member

    Regardless of which machine you buy, do NOT buy a cart. MAKE one. Good first project.


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  25. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,415

    patmanta
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Woburn, MA
    1. MASSACHUSETTS HAMB

    Good point! I can't argue with that at all.
     
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  26. Donuts & Peelouts
    Joined: Dec 12, 2016
    Posts: 1,187

    Donuts & Peelouts
    Member
    from , CA

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  27. Donuts & Peelouts
    Joined: Dec 12, 2016
    Posts: 1,187

    Donuts & Peelouts
    Member
    from , CA

    Any thoughts on a Lincoln buzz box arc 225 to do moter mounts and patch panels.

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  28. Poh
    Joined: Apr 17, 2007
    Posts: 266

    Poh
    Member
    from Quincy,Ca.

    Since no one else chimed in on duty cycle, I will.. find one you can afford with the largest duty cycle, the smaller machines "usually" only have a 10-20% duty cycle whereas the bigger machines will generally have at least a 60% or higher.. duty cycle is as follows

    Duty cycle is a welding equipment specification which defines the number of minutes, within a 10 minute period, during which a given welder can safely produce a particular welding current. For example, a 150 amp. welder with a 30% duty cycle must be "rested" for at least 7 minutes after 3 minutes of continuous welding.


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  29. mikhett
    Joined: Jan 22, 2005
    Posts: 1,399

    mikhett
    Member
    from jackson nj

    I second the Hobart 140.I have had mine for 10 years.Its never let me down.
     
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  30. Donuts & Peelouts
    Joined: Dec 12, 2016
    Posts: 1,187

    Donuts & Peelouts
    Member
    from , CA

    Thank you Poh! I had no clue. Those with the Hobart 140, are you guys welding on frames, let's say I wanted to make a 16 foot trailer as a side project. Will the 140 penetrate deep and good enough?




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