Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Thinking of getting a MIG welder

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16
    I have found, and I could be wrong, that a "Big" Mig welder has trouble
    running sheet metal thickness steel. I know it helps to change to .o23"
    wire and wheels, but I never had luck with bigger welders and turning
    them down to weld sheet metal.
    I have a 200amp Mig that welds 1/4" to 1/2" just fine. It will weld 1/8"
    if you move quick. But sheet metal is not happening for me and my
    200amp welder.
    So I think there is something useful to own a 120v Mig, just for sheet metal.

    --Doozer
    DZER

    Comment


    • #17
      My little hobart 140 would have been a great machine for sheet metal body work. It was pretty much a pain for everything else though. My Lincoln 180c that replaced it has been great for everything else, but we'll see how it does with sheet metal as I get into doing some patch panels in the next few months on an Olds 442 my dad picked up. I'm sure it'l be just fine, and I will be the limiting factor.

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by RB211 View Post
        On a side note, been watching this guy on YouTube, getting a real education on automotive bodywork. Others seem to think of him as the go to guy as well on YouTube.
        https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PL...9DXTo_LDLM99Wj
        Thanks for that link. Watched a few of his videos and I'm really impressed with his intimate knowledge of bodywork.
        This guy really seems to know the subtleties of the craft.
        Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
        Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

        Location: British Columbia

        Comment


        • #19
          I’ve been extremely happy with the 3in1 thermal arc aka thermal dynamics mig/tig/arc machine I bought, 252i, it does thin mig, pulse, etc ive so far used it on car bodywork, right through to dual Shield flux core on 3/8 plate, it’s never tripped on me, seems to exceed its duty cycle considerably, nice when a manufacturer doesn’t lie, it says made in USA though esab owns them (are they American? ) who knows, great machine but was not cheap but all in all worth every penny, ( I was so impressed I bought the matching AC/DC tig, also nice, learnt not to cheap out on tungsten!, thay aren’t always what thay say, I checked the Chinese pure (green band) they were lanth, the thoriated ( red) weren’t radioactive so ceriated, it does make a difference having the right electrode,
          mark

          Comment


          • #20
            You can weld with little distortion using TIG too but you need to move fast. Dwelling as you run the bead (like a beginner, for instance) will introduce way more heat than necessary. Seconded on the pulsed machine recommendation - for both MIG and TIG.

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by Doozer View Post
              I have found, and I could be wrong, that a "Big" Mig welder has trouble
              running sheet metal thickness steel. I know it helps to change to .o23"
              wire and wheels, but I never had luck with bigger welders and turning
              them down to weld sheet metal.
              I have a 200amp Mig that welds 1/4" to 1/2" just fine. It will weld 1/8"
              if you move quick. But sheet metal is not happening for me and my
              200amp welder.
              So I think there is something useful to own a 120v Mig, just for sheet metal.

              --Doozer
              You know with me it has been just the opposite. I had a smaller 180 amp unit previously and although it was great with 1/4" and 5/16" material It was a no-go on light sheet metal, to the point of it being useless. I tried everything I could think of including different gas mixes, techniques, and brands and types of wire.

              About 20 years ago I ended up buying an older style (now) 250 amp Lincoln using their diamond core technology that they claim gives a wider "sweet spot" and a more forgiving weld zone. I'm not one to swallow ad hype but between this and the tachometer feedback for the wire drive I can't believe how smooth and forging that arc is compared to anything else I've used So much nicer on light gauge sheet steel.

              Let's face it, unless one does a lot of heavy gauge steel fabrication most of us usually work with 1/4" or less material. Although it is nice to to have the capability to do the heavy stuff with a mig
              Tig is nice, very nice indeed, but I couldn't see myself doing 2 or 3 feet of it in 1/4"-3/8". So much faster and easier on me to use stick or mig for those jobs.

              Again it all depends on the individuals needs and budget, nice to have it all but at some point you have justify all of this. What an I saying?
              Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
              Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

              Location: British Columbia

              Comment


              • #22
                I’ll do some research on the Pulsed MIG option. I can say with certainty that I wished my TIG had pulse, and AC… It’s a DC only welder that perfectly fit its original purpose of building Live Steam models. However with everything in this hobby, what the original purpose was never ends up being what it really gets used for.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by Doozer View Post
                  I have found, and I could be wrong, that a "Big" Mig welder has trouble
                  running sheet metal thickness steel. I know it helps to change to .o23"
                  wire and wheels, but I never had luck with bigger welders and turning
                  them down to weld sheet metal.
                  I have a 200amp Mig that welds 1/4" to 1/2" just fine. It will weld 1/8"
                  if you move quick. But sheet metal is not happening for me and my
                  200amp welder.
                  So I think there is something useful to own a 120v Mig, just for sheet metal.

                  --Doozer
                  I can second this, "full-size" machines can be difficult on sheetmetal.
                  I typically use ~300-amp stuff at work, but going thinner than 12 ga is a PITA.
                  That is why I promote the 120-volt 140A machines for automotive work,
                  they are in the sweet spot for that kind of thing.

                  Also, auto work very seldom needs to have a bead 4 feet long done all in one shot.
                  25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    When we had the bridge business,
                    my father bought a 400amp Miller Mig.
                    SPRAY-ALL-DAY. What a sun tan machine.
                    No spatter is wonderful.
                    I watched a video about using pulse Mig
                    and argon-helium mix and getting into spray
                    mode way down low, like sheet metal range.
                    That would be cat's azz.

                    -Doozer
                    DZER

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Doozer View Post
                      I have found, and I could be wrong, that a "Big" Mig welder has trouble
                      running sheet metal thickness steel. I know it helps to change to .o23"
                      wire and wheels, but I never had luck with bigger welders and turning
                      them down to weld sheet metal.
                      I have a 200amp Mig that welds 1/4" to 1/2" just fine. It will weld 1/8"
                      if you move quick. But sheet metal is not happening for me and my
                      200amp welder.
                      So I think there is something useful to own a 120v Mig, just for sheet metal.

                      --Doozer
                      Agreed. Dad sold a little 80 amp miller, it would do sheet metal the big boys wouldn't.
                      21" Royersford Excelsior CamelBack Drillpress Restoration
                      1943 Sidney 16x54 Lathe Restoration

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Doozer View Post
                        When we had the bridge business,
                        my father bought a 400amp Miller Mig.
                        SPRAY-ALL-DAY. What a sun tan machine.
                        No spatter is wonderful.
                        I watched a video about using pulse Mig
                        and argon-helium mix and getting into spray
                        mode way down low, like sheet metal range.
                        That would be cat's azz.

                        -Doozer
                        Love the big millers.
                        I used to spray a lot
                        Miller CP-302 with the wire turned up to about 8
                        running on 480-V
                        Would blow right thru 1/2" and dig into the 1" underneath
                        with 045 wire
                        Beautiful beads looked like sub-arc

                        My stuff didn't break. (impact mills rebuilding)
                        Other guys tried
                        25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by RB211 View Post
                          I’ll do some research on the Pulsed MIG option. I can say with certainty that I wished my TIG had pulse, and AC… It’s a DC only welder that perfectly fit its original purpose of building Live Steam models. However with everything in this hobby, what the original purpose was never ends up being what it really gets used for.
                          Yes, AC and pulse is nice. I bought a AHP 201 when one of the stimulus checks came out, $650, after all they wanted me to spend it and stimulate the economy. I don't use it much but it sure is nice when that certain job/repair comes along that the mig is a bit crude for. In fact, I am going out to my shop building now and use it for the first time in months. Got a bunch of aluminum square tubing at a auction a while back, 21ft lengths and am going to use some to weld up wall brackets with that stock to get it up out of the way.

                          I got a super deal on a miller DVI mig a few years back. I had a Lincoln weldpack 100 for years which served me well but always wanted one a bit bigger. A friend with a fab shop had the miller with the 3035 spoolgun he told me I could buy. He said the spoolgun wouldn't run and besides he was a Lincoln man. He sold me it for $300, the spoolgun problem was just a broken wire where it entered the gun. Its 180 amp and heavy duty, I love it ! Done a lot of projects with it, not a single complaint.
                          Last edited by Sparky_NY; 07-19-2021, 02:14 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by chipmaker4130 View Post
                            If that's 140A on a 120V circuit, don't do it. Usability and duty cycle will suck. Whatever you get, make it a 230V 'real' welder. Someone may pipe up here to the contrary, but I've never known anyone with a 120V welder who didn't wish they'd gone bigger.
                            I have one of the first of this new generation of portable MIG welders produced. It's a Lincoln SP100 that I bought back in the late, late 1980's. It works fine on 120V. The only limitation, if you could call it that, is the machine should be on a 20 amp outlet. I've done some repair work inside a house (treadmill) where it was easier to bring the welder to the job. That's where I found that if I run on a 15 amp circuit and short out the wire when getting started there is a chance I might pop a circuit breaker. Jumped over to where the window AC unit was plugged in and all is well. If I ever needed anything more than what this little welder can do I'm going to drag out the big machine and do stick welding with large electrodes on heavy machine repairs. For my type of work and duty cycle requirements a 230V wire feed welder would be something that's to big to be a small machine and too small to be a big machine.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by metalmagpie View Post
                              If you want a modern MIG welder, get one that supports pulsed MIG. Just sayin'.
                              So, going down the rabbit hole... What is out there as budget friendly pulsed MIG?
                              Mike
                              Central Ohio, USA

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by tom_d View Post

                                For my type of work and duty cycle requirements a 230V wire feed welder would be something that's to big to be a small machine and too small to be a big machine.
                                I know Millers got one like that, it can run on either 220 or 120 it don't care. Works just as good either way. But it cost an arm and a leg. We had one at my old job for getting into tight spots. Its small enough to carry around, gun and all.
                                25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X