Stick or MIG?

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  #1  
Old 03-26-04, 10:15 AM
andrewj
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Stick or MIG?

Hello,

I'm new to the forum and also new to welding. In August I'll be taking a Welding course which will give me my Class C cert. The course is full-time yet I'd still like to practice welding once I get home.

My budget is limited and I was looking at Stick and 'lower end' MIG welding equipment, specifically the Miller Thunderbolt XL AC/DC 225 (Stick) and the Millermatic 135 (MIG). The later being about $175 Canadian more.

Any suggestions to other models or between the above models would be great.

Thanks,
Andrew
 
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  #2  
Old 03-26-04, 07:05 PM
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Andrew:

If you search previous posts in this forum there has been a lot of discussion on this same topic.

My thoughts are that the ac/dc stick welder would be more versatile.
The Millermatic 135 has only a 20% duty cycle at 90 amps which would only be good for welding light sheet metal.
The Thunderbolt would allow you weld much larger projects with a minimum of cooling down time.

I have the Thunderbolt XL 300 amp machine on my next major purchase list.
I am a binge welder, where my projects, although occasional, tend to be bigger ones.
 
  #3  
Old 03-27-04, 07:20 AM
fabman
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do you plan on being a welder for a living? is the welder just for practicing and occasional repair/fab?

or do you plan to work with the welder at home alot?

if its for practice and some general repair, then like someone said the stick is more practical, plus, practicing with a stick is much better. its harder to do, and most weld tests involve stick.
if you can stick weld good, mig welding is a super breeze.

or, if you plan to use welding at home for self employment or a hobby [like race cars or the like] i'd go for the mig [higher amp model] not the 110 v. mig.

just my 2 cents

mike
 
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Old 03-27-04, 09:01 AM
andrewj
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Thank you both for the replies.

My intent is to take a course in Aug of this year which is 7 months full-time to get my Class C. Right afterward the is an optional 3 month course that will give me Class B.

My purpose for buying a welder is mainly for the home use. The entire fence and a few other projects would help me practice as well as get the place in better condition

After doing some more research right now the MIG is too expensive. A Stick with a regular house hold plug is what I'd be looking for. Any suggested models from Miller, Lincoln, etc ?

Thanks,
Andrew
-=-
 
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Old 03-27-04, 11:31 AM
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Andrew:

If you are meaning by "a regular house hold plug" , a 115 volt/15 amp model I would say don't bother.
The duty cycle is so short that you would not be able to get enough cycle time to practice welding.

If you mean the Thunderbolt ac/dc 225 then you will be on your way to learning and would be capable of welding almost anything..
 
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Old 03-27-04, 07:27 PM
andrewj
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Hi Greg,

The only reason I mentioned "a regular plug outlet" is because I have no idea how to install a proper planel and/or plug for a more powerful welder.

The dryer outlet is 30 AMP and 15 feet from the door that leads into the garage. Could the Thunderbolt XL run off that?

I really feel like I'm in for an education, I just want to know how to do things right

Thanks again
 
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Old 03-27-04, 08:31 PM
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Andrew:

The Thunderbolt 225 requires 220 volt, 50 amps.
 
  #8  
Old 03-28-04, 04:27 PM
andrewj
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Greg,

I really appreciate your input. However, if I can not find a way to have a 50 AMP outlet installed I will have to settle for a welder with 115V power.

I have been looking around a bit, what is your opinion on this one:

Lincoln
K2189-1 Weld-Pak 100 HD
115/1/60

• Unit Includes: Magnum® 100L welding gun and 10 ft. cable assembly with .035" contact tip installed, 10 ft. work cable and work clamp, 1 lb. spool .035" Innershield® NR-211-MP flux-cored wire, spare .035" contact tip, welding handshield with #10 filter plate and clear glass cover plate, and instructional video.
• 30-100 amps output.
• Welds up to 1/4 in. steel.
• Welds flux-cored wire. Upgrades to MIG.
• Plugs into 115V, 20 amp outlet.
 
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Old 03-28-04, 07:30 PM
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Andrew:

If you were to purchase a welder of this type then a major brand like Lincoln would be preferable to a less known make and be sure to get the gas hook-up right away as the difference between flux core and gas shielding makes it worth while.

<img src="http://content.lincolnelectric.com/graphics/products/catalog/00002869.jpg">
Image credit: lincolnelectric.com

Again keep in mind that the duty cycle would be very short with this unit.
It is rated at a 20% duty cycle at the highest output, which will be needed for anything thicker than sheet metal.
20% means that you can weld for two minutes and then need 8 minutes to cool off.

Also, this unit is 115 volt but requires a 20 amp circuit so a standard 15 amp plug will not carry the load.

It's obvious that I'm biased against welders like this except if you are going to only be welding chairs or sheet metal.
My first welder was a 125 amp AC Miller stick welder.
Took about an hour of welding to realize I had made a mistake.
The fellow I sold it to still uses it to tack motorcycle frames before sending them to a welding shop for tig welding.
 
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Old 03-29-04, 04:39 AM
fabman
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back to the higher output mig welders; i know they cost more, but you can have 175-200 amp range mig and plug it into that 220 30 amp dryer outlet. these newer mid-range migs do not draw very many amps. i run my 200 amp mig off of my miller generator-welder.

mike
 
  #11  
Old 03-29-04, 11:12 AM
scrapiron
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While I agree with most everything previously said I believe that the 120V wire welders fill a important niche in the welding world. I know of several body shops, garages, pipe shops and factories where the small mig is their main machine. Several farmers I know like the 120v rig with flux core for its versatility. And they do work with any standard 15amp/120v recpt. on a 20 amp circuit. One of the little Lincolns rode on my truck along with its engine driven big brother for several years. Many times it is nice to have the portability and flexability of the little mig. Having said this I should admit that a year ago I gave the (120v) 125 to a young man just getting started and replaced it with a (220v)lincoln 175+. No regrets.
 
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Old 04-21-04, 09:09 AM
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[QUOTE=fabman]back to the higher output mig welders; i know they cost more, but you can have 175-200 amp range mig and plug it into that 220 30 amp dryer outlet. these newer mid-range migs do not draw very many amps. i run my 200 amp mig off of my miller generator-welder.


mike[/QUOT
CAN I RUN A 175 AMP MIG WELDER FROM A DRYER PLUG IN ABOUT 75' FROM WHERE MIG WELDER WILL BE.IF SO WHAT SIZE WIRE SHOUL I USE. THANKS
 
  #13  
Old 04-21-04, 10:25 AM
fabman
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I,d say no. 8 wire. someone else here said no. 10, but im not too sure about that size.
what the heck, try a 75 foot no. 10 extension cord, and see how things go.
 
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Old 04-21-04, 11:07 AM
S
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For a 175 machine number 10 is plenty, in fact a 12 will work at that distance, 10 slightly better and it will also run other machines in the future.
 
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Old 04-28-04, 07:17 PM
andrewj
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I went with the HH 135. One reason, I won't be welding anything above 3/16" and if I need to I'll ask my neighbor if I can borrow his Stick machine

I used it on a 115V 15amp plug which worked ok however had a deticated 20amp installed a week later. Much better performance on 1/8" to 3/16" ...could be my imagination though
 
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