Welding: Welding  -- General Tractor Discussion Forum and Review Welding: Welding -- General Tractor Discussion Forum

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

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 01-05-2003, 10:30 Post: 46978
hardwood

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 Welding

I'm stil using an old Lincoln 180 amp that I bought new in the early 60's. Folks tell me I'd like a wire welder better. Why are they better? I don't need anything more heavy duty than I now have, so what would I need to spend to get a welder of the size. On our heavy equipment I have a pro do the welding rather than me mess it up, so I only do the simpler lighter duty things. Any ideas, thanks.






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 01-05-2003, 10:35 Post: 46980
DavesTractor



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 Welding

I bought a wire welder last year. Since then my Lincoln 225 has been collecting dust. It is easy to get a beautiful weld in any position with a mig. It is easy to weld thin metal to thick. I even use it for exhaust work instead of gas welding. No problem welding up exhaust tubing. You can also weld aluminum with the right attachment. We bought a decent sized 220V Miller, but many people are happy with the smaller units if the short duty cycle and thickness limitations don't bother you.






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 01-05-2003, 10:48 Post: 46982
BudG



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 Welding

hardwood,
I bought a 180 amp Lincoln welder in 1956 to weld pipe for well casing. The welder goes from 20 amps to 180 amps, and stops any place in between. Not 5 amp increments like some of the newer welders. The pointer goes from the left side of the welder, all the way across the back to the right side. It's made with copper wire, not aluminum. I bought a 220 volt---170 amp mig welder,and can't get used to it. Made quite a few things since I got the mig, but always go back to the stick welder. Never made a thing with it. I guess that's something to set in the way.
Bud






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 01-05-2003, 15:02 Post: 46989
DavesTractor



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 Welding

Bud, my dad did the same thing. He had a real good quality older stick welder then went to a mig. The mig he had gave him fits as the wire feed did not always work right. He also likes to weld outside and if there is any wind the shielding gas would blow away and he would get a bad weld. he finally sold it and went back to stick...only to later by a nice Miller mig that he now uses with flux core wire. Works well for him.

We bought a Miller 210 and use it with CO2/Argon and we just love it. You do have to prep the metal better as it doesn't lile to weld through rust and dirt, but it is worth it in my opinion. Chipping slag is a thing of the past. The 210 has a good duty cycle, so I am not waiting for it to cool, even building a bigger project such as a trailer.

I do think it is best to learn with a stick, and to get good at it. Going right for a MIG is skipping a step.






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 01-05-2003, 20:59 Post: 47002
BillMullens

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 Welding

Hardwood,
From my research:
Good things about wire-feed welders including MIGs:
1. Fast - no stopping to change rods
2. Clean - no or minimal slag
3. Easy to use, especially with sheet metal.

Bad:
1. Insufficient penetration for thicker metals (3/16" and up) unless you have a heavy duty ($) MIG.
2. If you intend to weld aluminum, can be problems with the aluminum wire feeding through the cable liner unless you have a spool gun ($).
3. A good brand name MIG welder of about 175 amp capacity would run you around $600 or more.

Bill






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 01-05-2003, 21:47 Post: 47005
marklugo



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 Welding

Nothing can take the place of either when you have the right job. A MIG will make you a lazy stick welder. Most MIG only users have a hard time learning stick. You cannot use MIG for poor fit up and is hard to use for repair situations. For fabrication and speed and prettiness and indoors a MIG is great. I have seen a few good, experienced stick welders out weld MIG in appearance and come close in speed using a fast lay down rod like a 7014. Wire is hard to change when you need to change hardess or type of filler metal required for the job. A stick is simple: release and shove another in.






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 01-06-2003, 00:24 Post: 47012
DavesTractor



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Bill and Mark make very good and accurate points. We have a spool gun for aluminum, and an extra tank as it takes pure argon. Our unit welds 3/8" very nicely, but the whole package with spool gun, tanks, extra wire and tips etc, was nearly $2K.

I guess the real inexpensive 110 units are super for sheet metal and light stuff, but most implement fabricating goes beyond it's capabilities.

It's nice to have both a stick and a MIG, but that gets expensive.

We picked up a Plasma Cutter this year. If you don't have one, you need one!






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 01-06-2003, 03:48 Post: 47013
hardwood

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Thanks guys for all the info on wire welders. I think I'll keep the old Lincoln and stay on the lookout for a good brand 175 amp mig. There is a tool truck that comes by the shop a couple times a year and he sometimes has trade ins that would likely be more than adequate for my needs. I've watched the guy who does our heavy welding use a plasma cutter, that's a neat tool. It's been our experience in the furniture plant that the higher end equipment (Powermatic, Delta, Millwalke, etc.) are the cheapest in the long run, with regular matinence they seem to run forever, plus they will hold accurate settings no matter how many repeat cuts you make. Thanks again for your input.






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 01-06-2003, 07:33 Post: 47024
marklugo



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If you settle on a MIG, get one that operates around 28 volts. This is enough to Spray arc. It is like turbo charging your welding ability. It makes excellent welds and is very smooth and hot for fusing together the thick stuff.






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 01-10-2003, 22:41 Post: 47325
turbo870
2003-01-10 00:00:00
Post: 47325
 Welding

Mig is the only way to go once you know how and make sure you get a big enough one. If It can't penetrate the metal then there is no purpose. I had an important weld break on some 1/4" steel because the little 90amp Mig didn't penetrate enough so I had to go back to the Ol' sticker and redo it with a little more power 230amps. A 175AMP Mig should do 1/4 no problem. The MILLERMATIC 175 is a $upreme unit. Remember, you get what you pay for.






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