View Full Version : help with mig selection
03-05-2004, 05:11 PM
I have done very little welding, and no mig welding, but Im looking at buying a small mig welder. I dont have 220V access so it needs to be able to plug into the wall and go. Im planing on using it for random tasks around the garage, building a BBQ with 50 gallon drums, building a jet engin out of a turbo charger, these are just some of the projects I have been thinking of. I have seen some products in the 200 to 300 dollar range, and quite a few much higher. Whats the difference? And what is meant by with or without gas? Perhaps if somone could point me to a good FAQ that would be a good start.
03-05-2004, 05:35 PM
best machine out there (my thoughts) is the miller 135 mig, going to run around $500.00 new check ebay, and the miller website
03-05-2004, 10:13 PM
I think you would be better served with a larger machine. My buddy just bought a Hobart HH 175 From B&R welding
I have a MM210, but I was impressed with the little hobart. I think the 135 is just too light for anything much heavyer that sheet metal.
I'm sure Aaron will pop in here. He has more experience with this than me.
03-05-2004, 10:26 PM
My dad has a flux core setup on an older miller 130 at his house and he loves it for what it's made for. For the projects it sounds like you'd like to have fun with, I'd agree with the 175 suggestion of Fla Jim. Depending on your budget, go with a 200 amp machine or more, you probably would never regret it.
03-05-2004, 11:20 PM
I had somone suggest that I forget Mig welders and get an Arc welder, no shielding gas I guess was the argument... I always thought arc welders were for really big stuff. Also do they make these higher amp output welders that run off of 110V outlets? I looked at the link for the hobart 175 and it says it runs off of 230V. Is this somthing I should put off untill I have a shop I can wire a dedicated 230 V line into for a welder?
03-05-2004, 11:40 PM
If you absolutely have no access to 230V, then you really only have three options, as follows:
1) a 115VAC MIG unit, which will cost between $400-$500 for a new unit worth anything. That said, these units are really borderline for 1/8" stock, and not really capable of anything heavier without serious bevelling and multiple passes.
2) Spen a LOT of $1000+ for an inverter TIG machine, which is many times more efficient. The can run off 115VAC, provide ample power in TIG mode, and many are able to be used as a DC stick welder for heavier projects.
3) Save your money and borrow a friends unit. :D
03-05-2004, 11:52 PM
As far as your SMAW welding questioning, it's a comman misconseption that stick welding is used only for heavy stuff, or that it will weld heavier stuff than another process. With MIG, you can weld as thick of a plate as you can with a close range stick machine, or TIG. About the only limit on that is, it is a lot harder to weld really small stuff with stick for reasons like harder to control heat/blow through, distortion control, etc. I've also heard aluminum welding with stick is hit or miss, although I've never tryed it. Good luck on your hunt!
03-06-2004, 01:09 AM
110v migs are great on sheetmetal and so-so on 1/8. to go heavier you'd have to go to fluxcore and that'll take you up to 3/16 on single pass. Multi pass welds with a 110v are kind of cold.
It can be done though. By far, 220v is the best route. I got my MM 135 only for the portability and small stuff. It is a good machine. Some feel the HH 135 is better due to Miller's infinite voltage.
If you want 110v stick, take a look at miller's maxstar 150. They're around 5-600 I think. It may give you what you want. Custom's right about thin stuff being more difficult with stick. Then again stick is more difficult than mig. Mig is easier to get good results with in a short time. Stick takes much longer to master.
Just a thought.:D
03-06-2004, 01:38 AM
The learning curve kind of varies. Stick has more technique to learn but MIG has more technical aspects to learn, two knobs to turn versus one. Some learn stick fast and cant get MIG settings and others are the other way and still yet others are equally as at home on one as the other. I almost forgot about the Maxstar 150. Those little machines are smoking! They are evolving big time lately, you can buy one that has High Freq. starting and pulse on the tig mode now I believe. That may be the machine to go with. You CAN weld thinner material with stick but you need small electrodes, correct settings, etc, but with the scratch start DC TIG of one of the cheaper 150's, that would handle all the thin stuff with aplomb! Good call DDA52.
03-06-2004, 01:49 AM
One of those maxstar 150's would have been great when I was burning sheetmetal. Had a small unit called a Norweld that was pretty good but freakin heavy!!!!:( Now..... IF they would just make a stick/mig portable all in one box, inverter of course, that would be cool!:cool2:
03-06-2004, 02:00 AM
Check out the Esab Multimaster 160! (http://www.esabonline.com/ESAB/showdetl.cfm?&DID=8&Product_ID=2706&CATID=9) It's what you called for, like 33 pounds, stick, DC tig, and MIG! ScottV at the Chaski boards just baught one and seems to like it. Interesting little machine at any rate.
03-06-2004, 02:05 AM
Completely forgot about those!:o
Maybe what I should have said was one that I could afford/justify.
I need a rich uncle!:D
Pay no attention to the man behind the keyboard. He needs sleep.;)
03-06-2004, 02:17 AM
No kidding! ME TOO!
Check this little 130 amp one out if you still want one that tiny T/A mig welder (http://brwelder.com/indextemplate.cfm?file=shop/results.cfm&SubCategory=16) Or scroll down for the 250 amp machine, only $1300! Never heard much on T/a MIG welders though...
Esab I would want...*drools* (http://www.esabonline.com/ESAB/showdetl.cfm?&DID=8&Product_ID=1679&CATID=9)
03-06-2004, 02:39 AM
Another small ESAB (http://www.weldingsupply.com/cgi-bin/enlarge.pl?main/esab37604.gif:Esab+Migmaster+125+&+150+Compact)
03-06-2004, 09:43 AM
After reading here and elswhere Im looking at these two machines... what are your thoughts?
03-06-2004, 10:30 AM
I'd forget about the reconditioned 100. The Lincoln 135 ad is a little ambitious saying the machine will weld 1/4".
Personally I prefer Miller or Hobart because of the excellent customer support. If you have your heart set on a 110V machine lookat the HH 135 from B&R for ten bucks more plus free shipping.
Remember if you run a 135, you will need a 20 amp circuit with nothing else running on it.
If you want to use solid wire with gas be sure to budget a hundred and change extra for a gas bottle.
If you have a ac dryer, you can run a 220 volt machine off of that with an extension cord. I ran a Sears "Buzz Box" that way for a lot of years.
03-06-2004, 11:11 AM
I always wonder,, why there is no 240V? Is in a detatched building with only one circuit?
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