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Educate me on welders please


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Thanks everyone for the answers this far, I appreciate it 

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19 hours ago, mike_newman said:

........Miller  !!!...made in USA...  The Best ...end of story

Mike

I have to disagree ............................................ I wouldnt have blue junk in my shop

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I would recommend getting a 220v/250+ amp wire feed. You can get different size wire for diferrent jobs as sandhiller mentioned. Go with gas and skip the fluxcore. Save up a little longer and go with a big machine.

You can turn down a big machine to do small stuff. You can't turn up a small machine enough to do big stuff. 

I have a Lincoln 255 and love it. No problems in nearly 20 years of use.

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4 hours ago, Killer Red Mater said:

I have to disagree ............................................ I wouldnt have blue junk in my shop

...well, KRM...that is your prerogative entirely to disagree...no worries at all....Same for old "TP".....

......I merely base my opinion  on  having run the odd weld in the last 59 years.......Trained as a welder with Caterpillar   NZ...back in 1961 I think....finished my last "commercial " job in  2007......built that edifice   pictured   for an American expat in NZ......a bloke with a large wallet...and a stickler for detail....had to count /keep the 8 and 6 gauge welding stubs....all 7018  and count the distance , the welds ran......got 14 inches  per run......and had over 3000 meters of weld......(meter equals 39.4  inches )....this hard on the heels of three years in the West Indies...guess what?!!  welding  steel work on the then  $180 million US  project.."Amanyara " tourist resort.....

..Just a bit of welding  at home these  days.......operating  excavator far more relaxing........and I am very happy to own ....your words....."blue Junk ".....in my shop

The big 580   Amp   Miller , running off a  John  Deere  six cylinder / generator combo...this in the  West Indies.....would "weld " half inch threaded bar..quite impressive...

.....my two   dollars worth !!

Mike

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In my opinion a 200 plus amp mig is the most versatile machine you can get, the most common thing I weld is exhaust pipe, by spec doing that most 110 volt mig would do that job but having a bigger machine is much better, I have a Chinese made 250 amp mig, it will nuke 1/2 steel, one of my welding supply guys was selling a comparable machine a couple years back for 1600 Canadian dollars, I bet still you can get a similar one for less than 1500 USD, I find that a lesser machine even though spec’d for 1/4 of 5/16 doesn’t have the necessary jam to nuke the top side of an exhaust pipe in a single pass, a more powerful mig is also better at overcoming dirt at a higher amperage than usual when welding dirty steel

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I will probably get nuked for this, but I just bought a Harbor Freight Titanium 200 Unlimited to suppliment my  Airco Bumblebee 250 (rebadged Miller Dialarc).  It is an inverter based stick/mig/DC tig that will run anything but 6010.  It weighs just over 25 pounds and will run defeated on 110 or full power on 240.  I got it because it is portable yet capable and it only cost $639 on sale.  No, it is not commercial duty but it has had great reviews and was cheap enough for me to afford.  It included everything but the tank for stick, mig and Tig.

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12 hours ago, Killer Red Mater said:

I have to disagree ............................................ I wouldnt have blue junk in my shop

Some days I think the Miller kool aid has a stronger addiction than Deere's.  I had 3 Millers, one was a complete disaster, other 2 worked but nothing to rave about.  I would switch from Yellow to Red, long before I would ever consider going back to blue.  

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10 minutes ago, TP from Central PA said:

Some days I think the Miller kool aid has a stronger addiction than Deere's.  I had 3 Millers, one was a complete disaster, other 2 worked but nothing to rave about.  I would switch from Yellow to Red, long before I would ever consider going back to blue.  

I've ran blue welders that ran perfect, right next to the identical one that ran like 💩  same with red, only ran one yellow and was impressed...

I think it's all in the life the welder had. Was it abused or treated well. 

My experience with mig is more wire quality one shop I worked on ran Chinese wire out of a 55 gallon drum and it sucked. The wire while you waited for the forklift to change out your wire was Lincoln and it ran perfect.

For homeowner or other light use I venture a harbor frieght will do the trick.

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4 minutes ago, TP from Central PA said:

Some days I think the Miller kool aid has a stronger addiction than Deere's.  I had 3 Millers, one was a complete disaster, other 2 worked but nothing to rave about.  I would switch from Yellow to Red, long before I would ever consider going back to blue.  

I am not going to argue but 4 of the 6 welders I own is blue. The other 2 are red.

The warranty and service from blue is far above the others. In 2003 I bought 11 302 Trailblazer's for a job in Jamestown KY. All 11 went down after about 10 hrs. (bad board) Miller overnighted 11 welders to use until their reps could come down and replace the boards. In 2016 I bought a 350 Pipe Pro in Tulsa to go on son #1's truck. he drove straight to Penn to test for a job. It would not strike a arc. Called my rep, he want to know where he was. He gave me a address and phone no. for a place in Philly and said call 15 min before he arrived. When he drove in he was directed to back under a overhead hoist and the machine was removed and a new on installed.

Yes they made some junk as all companies have but to me it is how they react to problems.

We have bought quite a few welders from rental companies that put new machines on major jobs such as refineries and sell them when the job is over. Sunbelt is one of the rental companies we have bought from.

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Say what you want about Miller.  I worked at a fab shop doing maintenance years ago.  We had about the same amount of Lincolns as Millers.  The Millers were models 250-255 if I remember right, I forgot the Lincoln models, none were made to weld for 8-10hrs a day.  The Millers had less break downs, easier to work on and parts were easier to obtain on the Millers.  So because of this what welder do me and dad have in our shop today?  A Miller!

Scott

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Well in 1996 I was at a place in Fontana Ca called Lugos.   He built and sold carhauling trailers and equipment  also did repairs on equipment.  I was their to have repairs on mine.   When we went out to the shop I made the comment to him "why didnt he have Miller welders in this shop?"  (he had 20 welders running from 7am to midnight)  My question was brought on because I saw a turquoise collered machine Ive never seen before.  He stated simply ......... the Millers wont last in that shop longer than a yr, they burn up.   I use ESAB because of duty cycle and durabilty.   He was running 20 yellow machines and still had 1 turquoise (very old ESAB)   I bought my own ESAB shortly after that and it still welds AWESOME.   I have a buddy who is a welding instructor and he owns Miller BUT only because at an early age he bought the hype "nothing better than blue paint"  Says now he is selling all blue welders ........................................... 

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I was all about Blue until I was in college..........it was amazing, Heli-arc courses everyone at the start went for Millers, me included, others went to the Lincolns.......the rest were forced on the ESAB's.  As the instructors insisted on everyone trying all the machines, it seemed like 80% would fight over the yellow paint and the blue fashion was forgotten about, for me since that point has been blue and yellow, but have gradually gotten rid of blue paint and currently do not have any.  Have 260 and 352 ESAB's and a T-D 102 plasma.  

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Work for a manufacturing company and between our 5 shops we are running right around 100 welders. They are all Miller. We tried Esab and Lincoln but wouldn’t hold up against the Millers. I have a Miller 210 that I bought new 15 years ago and has been a damn good welder. Only problem I’ve ever had with it was had a circuit board burn out that cost me $300 to have fixed. I wouldn’t be afraid of a Hobart either, they are just Miller’s homeowner version. A buddy has a Hobart from Fleet Farm that is the same size has my Miller and has had no problems with it.

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On 11/28/2019 at 7:11 AM, Rawleigh99 said:

I will probably get nuked for this, but I just bought a Harbor Freight Titanium 200 Unlimited to suppliment my  Airco Bumblebee 250 (rebadged Miller Dialarc).  It is an inverter based stick/mig/DC tig that will run anything but 6010.  It weighs just over 25 pounds and will run defeated on 110 or full power on 240.  I got it because it is portable yet capable and it only cost $639 on sale.  No, it is not commercial duty but it has had great reviews and was cheap enough for me to afford.  It included everything but the tank for stick, mig and Tig.

I purchased a wire feed welder from harbor freight this spring because I wanted one to weld lighter metal and I was on a budget and don't use it very often .I went for the 240volt one so I would have a little more capacity if I needed it. This one uses flux core wire but can be set up to use shielding gas as well.  I am.amazed at what this. Welder can do, I haven't plugged in my stick welder since I got it. 

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My observation, has little to do with brand preference. About three or four years ago I popped for a new 3in1 machine. It's a Tweeco, think it's the same as an ESAB,maybe maybe not. The thing I don't like is changing over. I'm currently set up on tig, though mig would do 95% of my welding not wanting to wrestle with the bottles and such I just tig everything and will until a big job comes in. Have never used the stinger for the stick side. When I bought this thing I got (I think) .023, .030, .035, and .040" wire, have never run anything but .035. Again, don't like changing over. Probably just me, if you don't mind changing over a multi-purpose unit might be great. If 'I' had it to do over, I'd buy a darn good wire machine and a good tig.

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1 hour ago, DT Fan said:

My observation, has little to do with brand preference. About three or four years ago I popped for a new 3in1 machine. It's a Tweeco, think it's the same as an ESAB,maybe maybe not. The thing I don't like is changing over. I'm currently set up on tig, though mig would do 95% of my welding not wanting to wrestle with the bottles and such I just tig everything and will until a big job comes in. Have never used the stinger for the stick side. When I bought this thing I got (I think) .023, .030, .035, and .040" wire, have never run anything but .035. Again, don't like changing over. Probably just me, if you don't mind changing over a multi-purpose unit might be great. If 'I' had it to do over, I'd buy a darn good wire machine and a good tig.

Yep,  people can get all the modes in one machine. I rarely change mine, and even bought other machines so I wouldn’t have to.  But to each his own

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I don't know if they are any good anymore, but I bought a Century 230 wire feed welder when I started doing auto body in the 80's. Been a very good welder. The only thing I've replaced multiple times is the liner in the gun, argon and tips.

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if you plan on welding indoors and cleaning up everything before you weld it then mig/tig are fine if you want to weld klunky old rusty painted metal and get back in the field or weld in the field or outdoors in the wind and such go for the stick welder. 

 

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