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  • Thrud
    replied
    shorty:
    MIGs are still easier to weld with than stick for the average person, common sense will solve most MIG problems.

    I started working at a company making bridge plates. The morons had problems with the machines because they never touched them in ten years. Liners were worn out, dirt fell out of the cable, the tip had a slot - not a hole in it. They used half as much gas as they needed. The head welder took forever to do jobs (old stick guy, likes smoke) because he could not figure out why it would not work. The day they had me help with a rush job I told them I could not weld with it because it was FUBAR and I had to fix it first. It took me two hours to clean it up and tune it in. I finished two of the 3 pieces we were fabbing the same day. Took me a week to fix all the welders in the shop - production went up for some reason and the shop foreman was then allowed to hand out tips and such as needed.

    Moral: PM - Preventative Maintenance. It is cheap in the long run and well worth the effort. True for your MIG, Lathe, Mill, Heart, Trucks, and machine guns.

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  • shorty
    replied
    I've got a Lincoln "buzz box" 220 volt machine that welds up to 160 amps(plenty for just about anything). If technique is and issue maybe try a 6013 rod. It's an all postion ac drag rod that makes a novice welder get good results. Mig machines tend to srew up in about 101 ways that can make you pull your hair out if you don't know what to look for. There's also sheilding gases, Flow meters, tips, liners, nozzles etc....
    Gas and tig are art forms all on their own and to get good results you've really got to know what your doing.
    Shorty

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  • Thrud
    replied
    One way to cut gas prices is to use Propane/Oxy. Hydrogen/Oxy is my gas heat of choice - although that 500,000 BTU Propane Tiger torch (I try to keep it under 30 lbs. of feed 'cuz I am conservative) has its charms. For light stuff I use a MAPP/Air Turbo torch (can braze steel with it).

    Leave a comment:


  • Ragarsed Raglan
    replied
    Give me Gas any day!

    MIG's OK and TIG's cool(!?!), but as far as I see it Gas (Oxy/Acet) gives you so much more for the HSM.

    Want to free off a seized part? Want to silver solder? Want to braze? Want to Lead load some body panel, Want to weld aluminium, steel, ........ you name it ....Gas can do. OK it's not easy, it may not be cheap..... but it can do.

    Always remember when welding... 'Cleanliness comes before Godliness'; surface prep is the art that leads to a good finish ......(a steady hand and clear vision help as well though!)

    Ragarse

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  • trap
    replied
    Thrud

    Back before Nam we had to torch weld chrome moly engine mounts, aluminum, and stainless steel parts. Was amazed when I saw a "heli-arc".

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  • metal mite
    replied
    Michaelj,
    Lynnl is right.
    My little lincoln wire feed is great.
    Just fired it up after about six months,
    no problem.
    Stick welders are a pain in the a--
    mite

    Leave a comment:


  • Thrud
    replied
    Bill
    You animal you!. It is tough to switch back and forth (to steel) as there are contamination issues. We used a Miller Spoolmatic gun at first - crap. More trouble than they are worth. A machine set up permenately as you suggest works good for light stuff (up to 8AWG). TIG is far superior, and a far superior weld takes years of practice - unless you are a natural "tigger"! I will TIG steel. Stainless, or exotics, but hate Aluminum - the smell drives me nuts.

    I know an airframe welder that gas welds Aluminum - he is my hero.

    Leave a comment:


  • wmgeorge
    replied
    I've got a Miller Challenger 172, 230 volt wire MIG and I love it!

    In spite of what people tell you, I've welded Alum using argon gas of course, without any problems. No spool gun ($500) and no special liner. It takes practice, lots of practice to do Alum using any MIG / TIG welder, and some luck.

    For the do-it-yourselfer who welds once a month or a couple times a year, flux core works fine either .030 or .035. And for someone using the welder as a hobby, a "real" flow meter with the ball will cost you more than you will spend for gas in the first 5 years you own the welder. The regulator works fine for the hobby HSM person.

    If you have a really good service in your house and have true 20 amp circuits with #12 wire a 120 volt welder might work ok for you. Don't expect to weld alum or heavy metal with it.
    If you have a 230 volt circuit, buy a 230 welder, works much better. B.G.

    Leave a comment:


  • Paul Gauthier
    replied
    Hi Thrud.

    Your exactly right and I dearly wish I could do that but as of the time I bought this machine there was no add on for it. I am not sure of the reason why. But I will inquire about it again.

    Paul G.

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  • spkrman15
    replied
    MIG,

    There is only one bad thing about mig welding. It doesn't like rust. I know you aren't supposed to weld rust, but when that piece of 24 guage has some surface rust, or some fender. You just can't get ride of all of the rust. Something to think about. I would still go with the mig or the torches. The mig is the easyest, but it will take some practice. Learning how to set it up and metal prep is 70% of the battle. The other 30% is metal warping. Ah the joys of welding. Take a course. That would help maybe.

    Spkrman

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  • Thrud
    replied
    Paul
    You should be able to add a wire feeder on - talk to Miller (it is easier if it is a TIG).

    Dave

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  • Paul Gauthier
    replied
    I have a Miller tig & Stick. It is a great machine. I use the tig for welding Mauser bolt handles. The stick for any thing else like making trailer to haul my tractor, log splitters, etc. However I wish I had bought a mig instead as they are much easier to use.

    Paul G.

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  • Thrud
    replied
    Tinker:

    The mix is way more expensive here. The flow meter (actual flow regulator) is the way to conserve your gas and makes good economic sense but they do cost from $200-400 compared to the cheap units included with the welders.

    Leave a comment:


  • tinker
    replied
    I agree with thrud on getting the best machine you can afford. If however you are only interested in welding once in a while and only up to 3/16, get a 110 lincoln. Forget the flux core unless there is a problem with your gas being blown away. Flux core is messy! As for gas I was supprised to hear him say that the Argon/CO2 mix was expensive as compared to the straight CO2, as there isn't much difference here. We use a 110 lincoln in our shop for 24 gage and alittle thicker, then we use a miller 200. GMAW (MIG) is the easiest to use, and the welds on mild steel can be cleaned quickly if needed. Most units come with a regulator which can not be adjusted - and usually puts out more gas than you need. You can wait on the flow meter if you need to, but it is a good idea to start with one. GTAW (TIG) is the best and if you had a AC/DC machine (mine is a thunderbolt) you can get an air cooled torch and scratch start your way to very nice joints as well as stick welding the heavy stuff.

    Aluminum is usually GWAW welded with a spool gun as the wire is soft and tends to bind in the liner, even the teflon coated ones. We just purchased a new miller 300 with the spool gun thrown in for free - work out the best deal you can as in everything else in life.

    Get different lenses for your helmit, shade 10, 11, 12 and see which one is the most comfortable.

    Now that everybody has given their opinion, go down to your local welding store, where they are more than happy to assist you in parting with your money, get the welder of your choise, and melt away to your hearts content.

    Leave a comment:


  • JT
    replied
    I have a Hobart 120 mig and it sit all winter and works fine in the spring, get a mig that you can hook up with gas

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