Register now to get rid of these ads!

Selecting a welder that will do both sheet metal and frame

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by wex65, Apr 30, 2013.

  1. wex65
    Joined: Dec 19, 2012
    Posts: 1,100

    wex65
    Member
    from WV

    I have been using a Lincoln Weldpak3200HD 135 amp MIG (Home Depot special!) which is 'OK' but I suspect a better quality welder will provide, well...better quality welds. So, I am thinking of upgrading and have been looking at the Miller Multimatic 200, both a MIG and TIG machine. Runs about $1900.

    I am looking for something that allows me to do what I need to do on the frame and sheet metal. I would like to dip my toe into the TIG world too, hence possibly getting the Multimatic.

    Has anyone experience in using this model or have an alternative recommendation in this price range?

    The Lincoln has been fine but sometimes I feel it is a little underpowered.

    Many thanks,
     
  2. chopolds
    Joined: Oct 22, 2001
    Posts: 5,868

    chopolds
    Member
    from howell, nj
    1. Kustom Painters

    Why buy new? You can get a used 220 Miller that will do MIG or TIG, aluminum, too, for a grand or less. The older ones are industrially strong, last forever with hobby shop use.
    I use a Synchro 180, good for almost anything, except thick alum.
    I'd let my Synchro 350 go, with brand new plug-ins for aobut 1800...you could weld bridges with it!
     
  3. fsae0607
    Joined: Apr 3, 2012
    Posts: 871

    fsae0607
    Member

    Or you could get an oxy-acetylene rig. One torch for sheet metal, another for frame/chassis work.
     
  4. I have a Lincoln 215 MIG. It works great for just about everything I weld. Has no problem with frame material, 3/8" thick with 0.035" wire is cake. Swap it over to 0.023" wire and turn the heat down and it welds sheet metal like nobodies business. Even put stainless wire in it and changed the gas to do stainless exhaust.

    [​IMG]

    Nothing wrong with the Miller setup, but the $1900 is welder only. You will probably be into it for closer to $3,000 after you buy the bottle, regulator, guns, wire, etc.

    Good Luck
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2013

  5. wibble_1979
    Joined: Sep 25, 2012
    Posts: 107

    wibble_1979
    Member

    I have a Millermatic 211 autoset. It is hand's down the best welder I have ever owned. I cut and shortened the bed on my 56 chevy to make a short bed out f a long bed. I have also used it on body panels to make 1 good fender out of 2 crap one's. If you are wanting to dip into tig I would suggest that instead you do as fsae0607 suggest's and go with an oxy-acetelene set up first beleive it or not it is closer to TIG than you might think, has been around forever, and is proven. I have has experience with the 200 and was quite impressed but for the price you can get the 211 autoset and an oxy-acetalene. my 2 cent's good luck on your new tool hunt.
     
  6. 50flathead
    Joined: Mar 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,104

    50flathead
    Member
    from Iowa, USA

    The Lincoln SP 175 plus that I used to own was an excellent choice for such jobs. Need .25 wire for light jobs and .35 for heavy work. I was a great welder that was stolen from me earlier this month.
     
  7. castirondude
    Joined: Jan 26, 2012
    Posts: 496

    castirondude
    Member

    Have you ever run .023? I have a lincoln 255 mig and I tried running .023. I kept rats nesting on me, even though I swapped out all the consumables to the correct size. 035 was no problem. Maybe it will work if you buy a whole new torch
    Assembly.

    I bought a Lincoln square wave tig 355 to supplement the mig. It's a big heavy machine, about 10k new but you can buy used ones for $2-3k now that everyone wants the inverter based ones. The thing I liked about the lincoln is it is VERY versatile. The current setting goes from 2A to 410A so you can weld anything from coke cans to bridges

    The inverter based ones are good too, take less power, portable.

    Sent from my Verizon 4G LTE smartphone
     
  8. Catdaddyo
    Joined: Mar 9, 2005
    Posts: 136

    Catdaddyo
    Member

    Same one I got, does everything I will need to do... autoset makes it real EZ too.
     
  9. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 28,153

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I just spent the weekend in a metal working class that Gene Winfield put on in Post Falls, Idaho. He uses and advocates using an acetylene torch for sheet metal that you plan to do finish work on.
    I've got my gas welder with a Victor J-28 aircraft style torch an an 0 tip for sheet metal that will get finish work done on it and the lincoln 175 to do the structural welding on sheet metal and do the heavier stuff. I've still got the old standby Forney out in the back shed in case I really want to get serious welding some big stuff as there is very little it won't handle if you can get the amps to it.

    For an all around mig I'd say a Lincoln 180, similar size Miller or Hobart as you can get parts and service on those anywhere in the US without a hassle.
     
  10. Brad54
    Joined: Apr 15, 2004
    Posts: 6,014

    Brad54
    Member
    from Atl Ga

    This has been my experience too... well, except for the theft part. Sorry to hear that.

    Dead-nuts on for the wire sizes--crank up the heat and the feed for thick stuff (prepping it properly, of course), and low for the thin stuff.

    It's a 220v machine, and I'm very happy with it.

    -Brad
     
  11. Oxy-acetylene welding is almost an art in my opinion. Still need one for cutting. I've never needed anything more than a MIG at home.
     
  12. castirondude
    Joined: Jan 26, 2012
    Posts: 496

    castirondude
    Member

    I have a hypertherm 60A plasma cutter. Cutting 1" thick hardened steel is as easy as cutting butter.

    Sent from my Verizon 4G LTE smartphone
     
  13. Phil1934
    Joined: Jun 24, 2001
    Posts: 2,717

    Phil1934
    Member

    I've got the 135 Lincoln and while it does 1/8" fine, a little more amps for 3/16" would be nice. It does sheetmetal OK with the 0.35" wire although there are the occasional blow throughs and the annoyance of all the tack welds and chasing pin holes. I have put together 3 intakes with my buzz box and AL sticks, so I would like a tig for aluminum. From what I have seen at the shows I would go Miller if I wanted to upgrade.
     
  14. wex65
    Joined: Dec 19, 2012
    Posts: 1,100

    wex65
    Member
    from WV

    OK, MANY thanks for the input from all.
    Doing some digging online I think I will go for the MillerMatic 211 autoset. I see lots of references to things like square wave, autoset... confused.

    Anyway, I will get that and see how she does for me.

    Next, a plsama...lol. Will report back with what I get.
     
  15. nickleone
    Joined: Jun 14, 2007
    Posts: 324

    nickleone
    Member

     
  16. castirondude
    Joined: Jan 26, 2012
    Posts: 496

    castirondude
    Member

     
  17. papastoyss
    Joined: Apr 9, 2009
    Posts: 195

    papastoyss
    Member

    If you buy a mig for sheet metal work look at the Lincoln 180c. It has a reostat for heat control instead of preset clicks which allows more precise heat control for sheet metal. It will also weld 3/16 steel in one pass which is plenty for chassis work.
     
  18. Roger53
    Joined: Aug 8, 2010
    Posts: 383

    Roger53
    Member

    The miller 211 is one of the best small welders on the market .Runs on 110 or220. Roger
     
  19. My 211 just got here, I have not used it yet. I spent a few months shopping for a welder, I feel like the 211 is best for the home shop doing body and chassis work.
     
  20. castirondude
    Joined: Jan 26, 2012
    Posts: 496

    castirondude
    Member

    A car frame is actually not that heavy, you can do that with most any welder. I've welded 3/4" thick matererial (grousers on my track loader) with my lincoln powermig 255 with excellent results.

    Sent from my Verizon 4G LTE smartphone
     
  21. wex65
    Joined: Dec 19, 2012
    Posts: 1,100

    wex65
    Member
    from WV


    castiron, I don't disagree but I am thinkning ahead to welding spring perch mounts to axle housings etc... I doubt the wimpy thing I have would do that without sweating a little.
     
  22. castirondude
    Joined: Jan 26, 2012
    Posts: 496

    castirondude
    Member

    The lincoln powermig 255 is actually rated for 310 amps so if you get something in that range you'll be in good shape. With the 3/4" you bevel the material on both sides and do multiple passes.

    The square wave tig 355 goes up to 410 amps and I have never used it that hot.

    The tig really nicely complements the mig, it's really the precision work where you can have exact control over the amount of heat and material you are adding. At the same time though it is much slower so you will burn through a lot more time and welding gas. I find in practice I use the MIG for heavier stuff and the tig for precision.

    One thing - make sure you get a water cooled tig, not air cooled.

    Sent from my Verizon 4G LTE smartphone
     
  23. wex65
    Joined: Dec 19, 2012
    Posts: 1,100

    wex65
    Member
    from WV

    I have a new MillerMatic 211 autoset en route for delivery late tomorrow afternoon. I will run to the local gas supply company this afternoon to get a cylinder for it. Can anyone with this welder let me know what size cylinder the deluxe cart that comes with it will hold?
     
  24. wex65
    Joined: Dec 19, 2012
    Posts: 1,100

    wex65
    Member
    from WV

    Sorry, taken care of. Grabbing a 80cf C25 tank this AM.
     

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!

Archive

Copyright © 1995-2020 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.