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View Full Version : Ironman 230 usable range?



RobbieKnobbie
06-17-2013, 07:16 PM
Hi everyone, I'm looking at upgrading my old harbor freight dual mig machine for either a Millermatic 252 or a Hobart 230.

My need is to be able to switch between welding (up to) 1/2" plate one hour, the weld 16 or 18 gage right after that. If at all possible, I'd like to NOT have to keep switching between spools - and I'm definitely not interested in changing out bottles. I use c25.

The setup chart on the Hobart indicates that it can do this full range on .030 wire but the guys at my LWS say there's no way it can do this.

Has anyone welded this range on an IM230, and what wire were you able to use?

Thanks!

cope
06-17-2013, 08:24 PM
Dan will be along shortly. IIRC, he field tested the IM230, and I will defer to his wisdom on the machine.

kctgb
06-17-2013, 08:29 PM
My vote is for the Ironman, it's an outstanding welder for the money.

Broccoli1
06-17-2013, 11:15 PM
Lemme guess, the LWS doesn't sell the IM230
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RobbieKnobbie
06-17-2013, 11:37 PM
No he doesn't, but he can get it for me in two days, and he's giving me a price that is competitive with the other (slightly less) local LWS that does stock it - both of which are competitive with internet/northern tool/ etc.

The guys has been completely straight with me, so I'm inclined to buy from him no matter what. The 'It can't do that' statement actually came from his Miller/Hobart distributor, who he called - on speakerphone - to help answer some of my questions.

I would otherwise believe what the distributor said and move on with life... but BOTH the Miller and the Hobart setup guides indicate that the machines can go from 22ga to 1/2 inch with one wire size... 030 on the Hobart Chart, and 035 on the miller.


One other question for you all... OK, so maybe I can't do 1/2 inch plate joints in a single pass with 023 (for arguments sake) wire... Couldn't I still make the joint in multiple passes instead? I'm talking mostly fillet or T joints

cope
06-18-2013, 06:37 AM
No he doesn't, but he can get it for me in two days, and he's giving me a price that is competitive with the other (slightly less) local LWS that does stock it - both of which are competitive with internet/northern tool/ etc.

The guys has been completely straight with me, so I'm inclined to buy from him no matter what. The 'It can't do that' statement actually came from his Miller/Hobart distributor, who he called - on speakerphone - to help answer some of my questions.

I would otherwise believe what the distributor said and move on with life... but BOTH the Miller and the Hobart setup guides indicate that the machines can go from 22ga to 1/2 inch with one wire size... 030 on the Hobart Chart, and 035 on the miller.


One other question for you all... OK, so maybe I can't do 1/2 inch plate joints in a single pass with 023 (for arguments sake) wire... Couldn't I still make the joint in multiple passes instead? I'm talking mostly fillet or T joints

After investing in a nice machine, the cost of a second spool of wire is negligible. I would sue .030 or .035 for the 1/2", but I think you could get by with .030 for both. I suspect the machine comes set up for .030/.035.

Broccoli1
06-18-2013, 11:02 AM
Why not just keep .023 in the Dual Mig for the 16-18g?

Brand X
06-18-2013, 11:29 AM
The Lincoln machine will weld anything those other two machines will. Chart or no chart.
None of then will be ideal or close to it with one wire size in those ranges of steel.

KGIOR
06-18-2013, 08:40 PM
Using 1 wire size to weld from 18g to 1/2" won't work very well. I like .035 for 1/4" but beyond that I prefer a larger wire. You can also weld 16g with .035 but in my opinion it doesn't leave a very nice weld profile, that's why most people use more then one wire or stick size. I could also drive my peterbilt to the store every day for a gallon of milk but I sure wouldn't want to.

Load up the larger welder (which ever one you choose) for the heavy stuff and keep the small one with .023 as broccoli1 suggested.

My 2 cents.

131re
06-18-2013, 09:29 PM
Why not call the Hobart Techline and ask to speak to Bill if he doesn't by chance answer. He IS the man who did all the testing to develop the chart on the machine. If anyone can answer your question Honestly- it is Bill, he'll tell you the truth and no BS and probably teach you a few things as well.

RobbieKnobbie
06-19-2013, 12:59 AM
Thanks for the responses everyone.

I went ahead and ordered the IM230 today, based partially on what some of you had to say. I feel pretty confident that I should be able to do the aesthetic welds with small wire in sheet metal, perhaps at the cost of having to do multiple passes when I'm doing 'structural' work.

I'll let you know how it works out.

Dan
06-19-2013, 10:24 AM
Your best general purpose option is to go with an .030 wire. If you need a full size weld on 1/2" you're going to need to run multiple passes with an .030 or .035 wire. Trying to weld anything over 1/8" with an .023 isn't a wise approach to take. Amperage wise an .023 tops out at a significantly lower level then an .030 or .035 wire

RobbieKnobbie
06-26-2013, 11:47 PM
Well folks, the IM230 was delivered today... I had pretty high expectations for this machine and it has with out a doubt exceeded them.

Running C25, 030 wire and using values straight off the chart, it can indeed produce respectable welds from 18ga to 1/2". I really like the arc this machine produces, and I have really good puddle control.

I can now say without hesitation that any deficiencies in my welds going forward are my fault and I can no longer blame the machine..

After an hour or so playing with the Hobart I went back and fired up the DualMig for comparison...

Any body want to buy a harbor freight welder?

Pavinsteelman
07-07-2013, 04:39 PM
I would run. 045 Outershield 71 Elite straight CO-2 . Weld anything with it. Nothing but flux core.