What welder??? with a new twist: Welding  -- General Tractor Discussion Forum and Review What welder??? with a new twist: Welding -- General Tractor Discussion Forum

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 12-01-2004, 21:51 Post: 101408
bnrhuffman



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 What welder??? with a new twist

Im in the market for a welder for general use and occational repairs of mild steel up to 1/4", maybe some fabrication. Ive only got 120V in the garage but Ive got a 5000W generator (6250W surge) with 240V capability.
Ive not decided on a stick or wire feed welder yet but if I go with a stick, I'd like to get a 225A, if I go with wire feed at least a 175A.
Heres my question. Can my generator handle these welders? My calculations say that it wont at full power. The generator will only be putting out a tad over 20A at 240V and I think these welders draw about 25A. I hate to drop back to a 135A welder but if I have to, how well can I expect it to do?






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 12-01-2004, 22:03 Post: 101409
denwood



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 What welder??? with a new twist

I have both types, 230 AC/DC stick and a 120 MIG. Had the 230 for years, 120 for a year. I rarely use the 230 now. the MIG is sooooooo nice to use. Only use the 230 for dirty rusty metal that I don't feel like cleaning or for burning really deep with 6011 rod. The mig could do it with some grinding and a couple passes. If I could have only one, it would be MIG.






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 12-01-2004, 22:36 Post: 101411
bnrhuffman



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 What welder??? with a new twist

How is your MIG for heavy (3/16"-1/4"Wink yeah right mild steel? Some of the MIGS in the 120 to 135 range advertise they can do up to 1/4", one pass. That seems like a stretch even with flux core.
My generator has 120V 15A outlets and 240V 20A. Any trouble with your 120 kicking breakers?

Any experience with Schumacher welders?






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 12-02-2004, 07:03 Post: 101417
BillMullens

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 What welder??? with a new twist

My experience with the little (~120 amp) MIGs is stereotypical. I got a Lincoln 135 MIG/flux core setup for welding aluminum. Had to try out the flux core when I first got it; built a trailer receiver hitch for my old Farmall. Using 3/16" and 1/4" mild steel, the welds looked good, but lacked penetration. I'm not an expert, so perhaps with practice I could make it work, but my initial go-round was a failure. Had to go back over it with my 220 volt stick welder. This is opposite of my experience with the 220 stick; even crappy looking, hurried welds turn out to be very strong and useable (I'm talking farm use here).

The MIG works great on aluminum, though.

Built a utility trailer using a 100 amp, 120 volt stick welder. It would handle 3/16" one pass if I took my time; 1/4" if I went very slow. The MIG won't penetrate even with flux core as well as that little stick welder. On one or two occasions, the 120 volt stick welder blew 15 amp fuses.

One last comment. When I was building my CadPlans backhoe, I noticed the plans specifically recommended staying away from the small MIGs. This was for metal 3/16" to 5/16" thick mostly; one assembly uses 1/2" thick plates. Anyway, the CadPlans engineer said that you would have to have a professional duty MIG of about 200 amps to get sufficient welds. I used my 225 AC welder and have had no problems.

Good luck,
Bill






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 12-02-2004, 07:34 Post: 101418
beagle

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 What welder??? with a new twist

For 1/4" mild steel, you need at least a 175A Mig/Flux wire welder, and 225-250A stick, without pre-heating most welds. I built a log splitter with a 125A Mig/Flux wire welder and had to pre-heat about everything I welded to get proper penetration. I now use a 175A Miller for the home shop, worth every penny of the investment.

Weld Procedure Specifications can be written and qualified for varied set-ups for different thicknesses and types of base metal. Remember it is always the thickest part that governs. The pre-heat requirements are based on the base metal thickness and type, wire or consumable diameter, feed speed, energy input, etc. In many states, if you are building a trailer that will need to be certified, you will need to make sure that your welds are either AWS pre-qualified, or can be qualified through the AWS testing process. Single pass maximums are part of the specification. Most welds are pre-qualified, based on following the proper WPS.

For 1/4" mild steel, it would be best to stay with 175A Mig/Flux (MIN). The Weld Procedure Specifications will be pre-qualified and in the operators manual for several different welds. Using a smaller machine would require special testing and procedure development due to the low energy input.






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 12-02-2004, 08:09 Post: 101421
shortmagnum

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 What welder??? with a new twist

For occasional use I would suggest an AC/DC stick welder of 225A+. With wire feeds, maintenance is an issue in that it has so many moving parts. I've had a Century 110A 120V mig for years that I bought for autobody use and I really wouldn't use it for any thickness over 1/8". It just doesn't create enough heat for good penetration.

You already know that your generator is a bit underpowered for the maximum current needed so you might not be able to weld the thickest steel no matter what welder you buy. If your shop is near the main power source, why not bury a 240V line to the shop? You would use the same size wire as an electric clothes dryer which is relatively inexpensive (I can't remember if it's 8 or 10 guage) but the cost might be less than a bigger generator.
Dave






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 12-02-2004, 08:11 Post: 101422
Murf

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 What welder??? with a new twist

How far is it from the garage to the panel or dryer outlet?

A length of heavy wire isn't that much money, if you want to get really fancy run conduit and make it look really nice, put a plug and flex line at the source and a permanent outlet at the garage end, then when you need to weld just swap plugs temporarily.

I don't believe that a wire feeder welder should be used by anyone without considerable skill & experience, it is just too easy to make a very good-looking but structurally useless weld with one. It's nearly impossible to do that with a stick welder.

Best of luck.






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 12-02-2004, 08:12 Post: 101423
Chief



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 What welder??? with a new twist

I would suggest the Hobart 210 or 250 Iron Man or their Miller equivalent, the Miller 210 or 251. If the budget will support it, the Hobart 250 Iron Man or Miller 251 would be ideal. If you weld 1/4 inch occasionally and mostly are well under that as well as price being a driving factor; the Hobart 180 Handler would be a good choice.

I am not too keen on running a welder on such a small generator. I agree with Murf and would try to find a means to tap into 220 volt power. You could use a 6 or 8 gauge extension power cord to give you some flexibility if the outlet is not in a good location although I would recommend not using an extension cord. Having an electrician hook up a 220 plug in a good location for you would be the best bet.






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 12-02-2004, 09:20 Post: 101428
BountyHunter



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 What welder??? with a new twist

I also agree about the 220v welder. I currently have a lincoln 255 mig and a 185 tig and can weld just about anything that I can see, from sheet metal to 1/4" and then some






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 12-02-2004, 19:52 Post: 101462
earthwrks

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 What welder??? with a new twist

An electrical engineer told me it was impossible to run a 225 AMP Lincoln "tombstone" arc welder off my 6500 watt generator at full amperage. I proved him wrong---half the amperage was more than sufficient. It worked great, but in the summer the gen's breaker would pop when I used it too much. Now I have a Lincoln welder/generator combo. For "Y2K" (remember that?) Tractor Supply Co. Hq. sent a bunch of these to their stores and the managers didn't know what to do with them and they weren't offically "on their books" as inventory so I'm told--whatever that means. I bought three of them for $800 each and they retailed at $2400 each. The managers were more than happy to get rid of them.






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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Welding Forum

Thread 101408 Filter by Poster:
beagle 2 | BillMullens 1 | bnrhuffman 3 | BountyHunter 1 | Chief 1 | denwood 1 | earthwrks 1 | Murf 1 | shortmagnum 1 |




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