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Miller MIG 185 old style "1997" Sheet metal welding question

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  • Miller MIG 185 old style "1997" Sheet metal welding question

    Hi Group,

    I've had a miller 135 MIG 120v machine for a few years and it has served me well. Auto sheet metal repair and smaller steel projects. Home hobbiest type of welding.
    This weekend I purchased a Miller 185 older style machine "1997 yr mfg", for a good deal, $400.00. It came with a AL spool gun, 2 bottles, very low hrs.

    The question is, in testing the 185 MIG on steel 16ga sheet metal I have the volts to the lowest setting "10" and I'm still getting burn through, not consistently but once in a while. I have adjusted the wire speed from a high of 30 to a low of 10 and changed my travel speed to correspond. Still the same results. With the 135 MIG I can do the same 16ga metal without the burn through. With the 185 MIG voltage at the lowest setting can I do anything to compensate for the extra heat? Gas is 25/75 and flow is set at 20 cfh.

    I think I may need to keep the 135 for light things, which I was hoping to sell to keep my slush fund in the black.

    Any and all comments appreciated.

    TX
    Mr fixit for the family
    Chris

  • #2
    What's the wire size for each? Small welders seem to do better on thin metal in my experience.
    21" Royersford Excelsior CamelBack Drillpress Restoration

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    • #3
      Forgot that parameter, both machines have .030 in them at this time. I do run .024 in the smaller machine on thin or rusted sheet metal as you never know what your up against.

      Look forward to any comments or suggestions.

      TX
      Mr fixit for the family
      Chris

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      • #4
        The bigger machine may have a higher "minimum power" setting. To compensate you might try longer stickout. That will cut a little of the power that gets to the work.

        Dan
        At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and extra parts.

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        • #5
          Hi Dan,

          Good advise, something that I had not considered. Will give it a try in a couple of days, got to still work for a living. Yes the settings are just a ratio of the transformer taps, so I figure If I want to do both thin and thick sheet metal I'll have to keep the 2 welders or think outside of the box as I tend to do sometimes, and sell them both and get a multi process TIG, MIG, STICK machine. With the proceeds of the sale of welders I should come out OK with the price dropping on the Multi machines. I also Have a Syncrowave 250 that maybe I need to tool up for the varied processes and see how that goes.

          Any opinions, I'm open to suggestions. The 250 has just been a stick welder at this time, I got it at an auction with no leads and a good price. I know it can do TIG which I've never done, but will it do MIG also? If so I've got my stash $$ in the black for sure even after I tool up for these other welding processes. I'll keep you posted as I figure out what my options are and what it's going to cost me.

          TX
          Mr fixit for the family
          Chris

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          • #6
            It won't do mig without a special wire feeder. Mig is a constant voltage process, whereas tig and stick are constant current processes. If you look at the graphs for a mulitprocess machine, like say a miller 456, you will see that they are very different. There are wire feeders that can account for the changing voltage, but they generally cost well more new than a nice multiprocess machine.

            The older Syncrowaves don't have all the features of a modern machine, but they are kickass and very capable machines. The old transformer machines have a very strong and smooth arc.
            21" Royersford Excelsior CamelBack Drillpress Restoration

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            • #7
              The 185 should have no problem with 16 ga. I would definitely use .023.

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              • #8
                Thanks Guys for the input.

                I will try the .023 and see how the 185 performs, hadn't thought about that since it's listed as a .030 and larger. Will have to see if nozzles can be had first..

                I had not done my homework on the MIG idea and the Syncrowave 250, Thanks for saving me the time. I guess I'll be looking at TIG for that machine and maybe learn it enough to do what sheet metal I need and forgo a MIG at all, or keep the 135 and sell the 185 when I'm ready.

                Choices, choices what's a guy to do!

                Thanks for the comments.

                TX
                Mr fixit for the family
                Chris

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                • #9
                  Once you get to be proficient at TIG you’ll still use the 135 for sheetmetal.

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