Anyone LIKE to TIG with Snap_on MM140SL?
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  1. #1
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    Nov 2010
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    Georgia
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    Anyone LIKE to TIG with Snap_on MM140SL?

    Newbie welder here. I really like your forum and I hope I can draw from what looks to be a lot of experience to help me with some undocumented questions for my welder. I have a MuscleMig MM140SL and it appears to be a solid built 140 Amp MIG, but my question is about its abilities to TIG. Snap-On sells their FLEXTIG attachment for it, and 4 of the 12 settings on the "clicker" type amp range selector dial are designated for TIG. My biggest concern is how are you going to TIG on what's basically a Constant Voltage power supply. I know that some of the upper end name brand power supplies are selectable to use as either constant current or constant voltage, but I've been able to find no documentation to say this maching really does that. I've searched threads here and only real comment I found was "it doesn't feel like your usual TIG." Best I can figure is that if the power supply is only constant voltage, that you're going to have to hold the torch to work distance REALLY steady in order to keep the heat constant. The other issue is the FLEXTIG kit comes with no foot pedal, only a locking on/off switch built into the torch handle. Seems like you're pulling the trigger and getting full power right away. Not a great way to start and stop a bead. Since Snap-On markets primarily to automotive markets, you'd think if they were giving you TIG abilities, it would be for car body panel type work. This doesn't sound like enough finesse for doing light gauge sheet metal welds.

    There is definitely no HF, the manual says it's scratch start, and in bold letters says THIS MACHINE WILL NOT WELD ALUMINUM. I'd pondered on adding an HF box like maybe a Miller HF-251D-1 and I think that might be possible to rig up, but there doesn't seem to be a way to work in the foot pedal since the amp selector is a click type selector, not a rheostat type. (and I looked inside and there are 12 individual wires all going into the main transformer), so I'm not sure it'd be worth it.

    So I'd like to hear other people's thoughts, especially from those who've used one. Is it something that I'm gonna be forever cussing? Can it go low enough on the power to do car body panel work. And the million dollar question, does anyone have one and LIKE it. I definitely wouldn't have bought it just for TIG. I was shopping for a Snap-On tool box and the guy MADE me buy it with his box, ok he didn't twist my arm, but he made the deal so sweet I couldn't turn it down. He was about to lose his whole storage unit full of tools if he didn't raise some cash to pay off his back rent and I wanted to help him.

    My thoughts are not to venture down this Snap-On FLEXTIG road. I have another couple of options. I've read enough to realize that I probably wouldn't be happy long term with a Miller Econotig, but I'm basically a small-time automotive repair shop and I want to have some welding capabilities to set me apart from other shops, and I'm just starting out, so I'm on a budget. I plan on using it in the shop, so being mobile isn't an issue. I've got a local Econotig available that the guy has offered to me for $500 with everything but the bottle. Other option - I found an older Dialarc (not HF, bare box, no leads) on auction that I might can get for $150. I also found a Miller HF-251D that the guy is selling with torch and foot pedal for $350 that I could pair up with the Dialarc. Both those options are going to be around $500. I have an old Chemetron 225 straight AC machine for sticking that I can use the leads from on the Dialarc, then let the Chemtron go and get a few dollars back (lol not much). I know the Dialarc weighs a ton, but it would give me more power if I wanted later. I understand a 50A breaker for it would probably work fine for as much as I'd push it. Which of these options would be better on lighter gauge body work? I could get into some exhaust or header work later.
    Thanks for your help! Bill

  2. #2
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    Nov 2010
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    Re: Anyone LIKE to TIG with Snap_on MM140SL?

    The DialArc I mentioned in the tail of the message is a DialArc 250 btw. I understand that both of my last option's control over the HF is just start/continuous and % Intensity. Is that right?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Georgia
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    Re: Anyone LIKE to TIG with Snap_on MM140SL?

    Well scratch the Dial Arc 250 option. I missed the bid. Slow connection got me and someone else took it for $159. In the mean time I went by and looked at the Econotig. Its in pretty good shape and the guy might work me a bottle in the deal after all. I also looked at a Syncrowave 200 and Maxstar 200 stored in the trailer with the Econotig. The day he told me $500 for the Econotig, he said $2200 for the Syncrowave. I kinda called him out of the blue so he gave me prices off the top of his head, but it sounded like he's going to call his LWS and maybe sharpen up his prices. He had an aluminum spool gun that he said works with the Syncrowave. He hasn't given me a price for the Maxstar yet. With the Maxstar I wouldn't be able to weld AL? Should he be closer nhis prices between Syncrowave and Econotig?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    North of Philly
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    16,057

    Re: Anyone LIKE to TIG with Snap_on MM140SL?

    You really can't run a spoolgun from a Syncrowave. Granted they do make voltage sensing adapters to run spoolguns, but you will not be happy with the result using a CC power source like the Syncrowave. They are designed to be run on CV capable machines like engine drives like Bobcats.

    $2200 is just slightly more than what you can probably get a new Syncrowave 200 for if you shop around and don't get the wheel kit with it. If you don't get the "tig runner" which basically just the wheel kit, you can usually save about $200 off the cost bringing it in at just above $2100 last time I looked. Used Syncro 200's usually bring between $1100-1500, though a few here have picked them up occasionally for a bit less than $1000. If you go to Millers site and download the manual for the Syncrowave 200, it will tell you the sequence to push to bring up the hour meter and arc starts if he can power it up to test. Hour meter will tell you how long they had the machine on for. Note that if they left it on all day, the hours will be high even though they may not have welded with it all the time. Arc starts tells you how many times they struck an arc with the machine. If they did a lot of stop and start work the number may be high even though the hours are low.

    You won't be able to easily do alum tig with that Maxstar. You really need an AC capable tig like the Syncrowave. The Maxstar 200 is a very nice DC tig and stick machine however. It's got as much if not more power than the Syncrowave in DC and it's a lot smaller and uses less electric. It will also do thin steel and stainless tig on 110v power, and is about the most powerful stick machine on the market using 110v power as well. If I wanted a strictly DC tig this would be my choice.

    If you can not test the machine, I'd either go with the lowest average price at a minimum or want to knock off a significant amount below that, since you may be buying a nonworking machine. Some will just walk away if they can't test it, and that's a good policy if you aren't willing to gamble.

    The price on the Eccontig is fair. Note that that machine is underpowered for alum and lacks any advanced functions. I can't remember off the top of my head if it has the option for the pedal or not. I would not get a machine with out a pedal if I wanted to do alum.
    .



    No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!

    Ronald Reagan

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Westmont, IL
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    387

    Re: Anyone LIKE to TIG with Snap_on MM140SL?

    Quote Originally Posted by DSW
    If you go to Millers site and download the
    manual for the Syncrowave 200, it will tell you the sequence to push to
    bring up the hour meter and arc starts if he can power it up to test.
    Hour meter will tell you how long they had the machine on for. Note
    that if they left it on all day, the hours will be high even though
    they may not have welded with it all the time. Arc starts tells you how
    many times they struck an arc with the machine. If they did a lot of
    stop and start work the number may be high even though the hours are
    low.
    Press and hold the Process and Pulse buttons while turning on the power, to display the hour/cycle meters on a Sync 200. Hours shown for 5 seconds, followed by cycles. I think the timer shows arc time, not simply time that the unit was powered-on. Either that's how my Syncrowave works, or it's totally broken.

    Yes, an Econotig can use a pedal.
    __
    David Hillman

  6. #6
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    Nov 2010
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    Georgia
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    Re: Anyone LIKE to TIG with Snap_on MM140SL?

    Thanks DSW. I had a feeling when he told me about the spoolgun with the Syncrowave he was "winging" it. The spoolgun was stacked on top of the straight 220V MIG machine he had there, didn't get its model since I'm already fixed up for MIG. The first day when he told me the $2250 for the Syncrowave and I balked, he said it was almost $4200 new. I felt like that was high, but I'm not that up on new prices, so I didn't challenge him. It's been over a year since he got out of welding and I think his memory is getting a little vague on what he payed. Could've been he bought the MIG and syncrowave at the same time and it was combined price he remembered.

    Thanks DWS and David for the tip on accessing the hourmeter from the menu. I'll do that. He was apologizing for not have gotten the stuff out of the trailer and into his shop so we could run it. He asked me to come back tomorrow cause he didn't want to sell me something that didn't run. I'd met the guy back in January when I was looking for a bottle for my MIG. At that time he'd been advertising all the machines and had sold most of them since then, but had hung onto these 4. He hasn't been actively advertising them for sale, I just found his number and called him cold on it.

    Hopefully by tomorrow he'll have sharpened up his prices, I'm just worried he'll go up on the Econotig. The guy seems to be honest with me. I told him I'd read the reviews about buying the Econotig and wanting another as soon as you got decent enough to realize the deficiencies. He said as long as I was doing small stuff for the AL, I'd be fine, and added that preheating with AL helped him out. He added he really liked it for smaller stainless work. He admitted that the Syncrowave was a step up, but if I wanted budget pricing the Econotig was my machine. At one point he even told me I could take it and try it for a week to see which I liked better.

    He told me the Syncrowave only had about 6 months use, and it did look nice and clean. He's a 30+ yrs welder who'd had new lenses done after cataract surgery, with one eye set for close focus, one for far (he was a deer hunter too), then six months later the retina in his close eye completely detached. That was all she wrote for the welding business.

    Am I correct that with all things equal, the Maxstar 200 and Syncrowave 200 should be priced fairly close? For me portability isn't as much an issue since I have a 110V MIG which is small enough to be portable if I have to do something outside my shop. If I'm TIG'ing it'll be in my shop, so I think being better optimized for AL pushes me from Maxstar to Syncrowave ..... as long as he gets the price in the right range.

  7. #7
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    Feb 2008
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    Re: Anyone LIKE to TIG with Snap_on MM140SL?

    Sort of. The Maxstar 200SD is close in price to the Syncrowave 200 new, depending on what comes with it. If anything, fully equipped with leads and pedal, the Maxstar is a few hundred higher. The Maxstar 200DX fully equiped with the air cooled torch and pedal, can run up to $2900, so that would put it a good bit higher. I usually look at a place like Cyberweld rather than looking at Millers list price. List on the Syncro 200 is about $3200, but like I said, you can find it much lower if you look. Almost no one pays list for a machine. Used the Maxstar 200's look like they start about $1400 and go up closer to $2000+ loaded. A lot of people pay for that 110v portability.

    http://store.cyberweld.com/midctigwemas.html

    The Syncro 200 is a nice machine. It's what I bought when I wanted to learn alum tig. Understand it will take a good deal of bench time before you are even ready to start learning alum. You want to get tig on steel down 1st so you learn heat control on an easier material, then move on to alum.
    .



    No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!

    Ronald Reagan

  8. #8
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    Sep 2011
    Location
    Tujunga, Ca.
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    2

    Re: Anyone LIKE to TIG with Snap_on MM140SL?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill431Nite View Post
    Newbie welder here. I really like your forum and I hope I can draw from what looks to be a lot of experience to help me with some undocumented questions for my welder. I have a MuscleMig MM140SL and it appears to be a solid built 140 Amp MIG, but my question is about its abilities to TIG. Snap-On sells their FLEXTIG attachment for it, and 4 of the 12 settings on the "clicker" type amp range selector dial are designated for TIG. My biggest concern is how are you going to TIG on what's basically a Constant Voltage power supply. I know that some of the upper end name brand power supplies are selectable to use as either constant current or constant voltage, but I've been able to find no documentation to say this maching really does that. I've searched threads here and only real comment I found was "it doesn't feel like your usual TIG." Best I can figure is that if the power supply is only constant voltage, that you're going to have to hold the torch to work distance REALLY steady in order to keep the heat constant. The other issue is the FLEXTIG kit comes with no foot pedal, only a locking on/off switch built into the torch handle. Seems like you're pulling the trigger and getting full power right away. Not a great way to start and stop a bead. Since Snap-On markets primarily to automotive markets, you'd think if they were giving you TIG abilities, it would be for car body panel type work. This doesn't sound like enough finesse for doing light gauge sheet metal welds.

    There is definitely no HF, the manual says it's scratch start, and in bold letters says THIS MACHINE WILL NOT WELD ALUMINUM. I'd pondered on adding an HF box like maybe a Miller HF-251D-1 and I think that might be possible to rig up, but there doesn't seem to be a way to work in the foot pedal since the amp selector is a click type selector, not a rheostat type. (and I looked inside and there are 12 individual wires all going into the main transformer), so I'm not sure it'd be worth it.

    So I'd like to hear other people's thoughts, especially from those who've used one. Is it something that I'm gonna be forever cussing? Can it go low enough on the power to do car body panel work. And the million dollar question, does anyone have one and LIKE it. I definitely wouldn't have bought it just for TIG. I was shopping for a Snap-On tool box and the guy MADE me buy it with his box, ok he didn't twist my arm, but he made the deal so sweet I couldn't turn it down. He was about to lose his whole storage unit full of tools if he didn't raise some cash to pay off his back rent and I wanted to help him.

    My thoughts are not to venture down this Snap-On FLEXTIG road. I have another couple of options. I've read enough to realize that I probably wouldn't be happy long term with a Miller Econotig, but I'm basically a small-time automotive repair shop and I want to have some welding capabilities to set me apart from other shops, and I'm just starting out, so I'm on a budget. I plan on using it in the shop, so being mobile isn't an issue. I've got a local Econotig available that the guy has offered to me for $500 with everything but the bottle. Other option - I found an older Dialarc (not HF, bare box, no leads) on auction that I might can get for $150. I also found a Miller HF-251D that the guy is selling with torch and foot pedal for $350 that I could pair up with the Dialarc. Both those options are going to be around $500. I have an old Chemetron 225 straight AC machine for sticking that I can use the leads from on the Dialarc, then let the Chemtron go and get a few dollars back (lol not much). I know the Dialarc weighs a ton, but it would give me more power if I wanted later. I understand a 50A breaker for it would probably work fine for as much as I'd push it. Which of these options would be better on lighter gauge body work? I could get into some exhaust or header work later.
    Thanks for your help! Bill
    I have a mm140sl and it is a solid mig welder. As for the tig setup it works well but its scratch start and there is no foot pedal. In tig mode there are 12 power settings. 1-4 are labeled tig and are lower that the 1-8 settings labeled mig. You can use the 1-8 mig settings in tig mode for larger guage material. I bought mine used and it did not come with the tig setup. I was not going to pay $700 for the snap on flextig setup but I did buy a cheap harbor freight tig torch and strapped momentary on button the handle and spliced the two wires into the mig control cable connecting them to the same two wires that go to the trigger on the mig gun. Any tig torch will work this way with this welder. Lastly this welder has 100% duty cycle at 140 amps and is the only 110volt welder i have ever heard of that does. Usually the better 140 amp 110volt migs are around 60% at full power. I have never found myself wishing I had more welding power with this welder and rarely even use the higher mig settings. I like mine very much and would recommend it to anyone as long as they dont buy it new and pay that ridiculous $3000 price tag. I spent 600 on mine and its been worth every penny. By the way I am certified in both mig and tig and learned on Miller welders.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    28

    Re: Anyone LIKE to TIG with Snap_on MM140SL?

    Thanks Bnflette. Good to finally hear from someone who's actually TIG'd on the Snap-on. When I bought the unit the guy was digging it out of his storage unit (literally, that space was packed) and he swore he had the TIG for it somewhere and would call me when he found it. I found his number and called him back Wednesday and he's promised me on Saturday he'll go back and look for it some more.
    Century Wire Feed 140 MIG, Snap-on MM140SL MIG, Syncrowave 250, Airco 225 MSM Stinger, Victor O/A rig
    Grizzly 4" x 6" Bandsaw, Milwaukee Portaband and Dewalt 14" Chopsaw
    Atlas 12"x36" Lathe
    Central Hydraulics 20T Shop Press
    Too Many Hand Tools

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Ceres, California
    Posts
    2,532

    Re: Anyone LIKE to TIG with Snap_on MM140SL?

    For information on the snap on welder from the people who make it for snap on.
    Go to http://www.800abcweld.com/ This is systematic's web site.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    28

    Re: Anyone LIKE to TIG with Snap_on MM140SL?

    Thanks ccawgc, I found the page with my machine and bookmarked it.
    Century Wire Feed 140 MIG, Snap-on MM140SL MIG, Syncrowave 250, Airco 225 MSM Stinger, Victor O/A rig
    Grizzly 4" x 6" Bandsaw, Milwaukee Portaband and Dewalt 14" Chopsaw
    Atlas 12"x36" Lathe
    Central Hydraulics 20T Shop Press
    Too Many Hand Tools

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