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Seven Gables
03-08-2007, 10:50 AM
I got to try out a ESAB MigMaster 253. WOW, MIG welding is definitely cool :cool2: (or should I say hot!). I am completely hooked. I have been reading the web, books and purchased two instructional videos from Wall Mountain but never expected it to be as smooth as it was to start out. After some instruction and demonstration of the machine and proper technique I was laying down some OK looking welds. Unfortunately the penetration was also just OK. I definitely need lots of practice and instruction. Only burned back the electrode once. Got a few good passes on ¼” stock and got to play with the voltage taps and wire speed. I am beginning to understand the adjustments I had only read about till now.

The ESAB has similar specs to the Lincoln Power Mig 215 that I was considering:

ESAB MigMaster 253
40-250 amps
12 Tapped Voltage
20% Duty - 250 amps
30% Duty - 200 amps
60% Duty - 140 amps

Power Mig 215:
30 - 250 amps
7 Tapped Voltage
20% Duty - ?
30% Duty - 215 amps
40% Duty - 190 amps
60% Duty - 170 amps


After my play day I have a few more questions. I would appreciate if you guys could let me know your thoughts.

I noticed the difference in the weld when changing just one position of the 12 tap ESAB. Is the 7 tapped voltage of the Power Mig 215 a concern since it has fewer positions?

The ESAB seemed to be very smooth. Is this characteristic of all MIG welders in this power range or more so of ESAB?

Does anyone have experience with the ESAB 253? How does the ESAB stack up?

Again thanks for all of the great advice.

…Derek

Brand X
03-08-2007, 02:16 PM
I used the about every Esab but the 253 machine. I do know it welds like the 173 /253 machines.

The Esab is quite a bit more powerful then the 215 lincoln, and will load test out
way beyond the Lincoln.

I am a big Esab fan but I am still as bit leery of those machines. I can't go into
great detail right now but I will post a bit more later. I will say look at the wet-out with the esab and see if it's good. I noticed some machines are better
in that area then others. The arc is real nice on those machine though.

They are imported Esabs and I believe from Hungary? I have also heard they are
from Czechoslovakia from one Esab rep. so I am not real sure on that.

Doolittle
03-08-2007, 03:30 PM
Id get either this one:
http://products.esabna.com/index.html/screen/arc_eq_category_page/lang/EN/display_id/id43628b95b17926.87197711/category_id/112

or this one:
http://products.esabna.com/index.html/screen/arc_eq_category_page/lang/EN/display_id/id43628b95b45da1.65410871/category_id/122

Brand X
03-08-2007, 06:08 PM
Id get either this one:
http://products.esabna.com/index.html/screen/arc_eq_category_page/lang/EN/display_id/id43628b95b17926.87197711/category_id/112

or this one:
http://products.esabna.com/index.html/screen/arc_eq_category_page/lang/EN/display_id/id43628b95b45da1.65410871/category_id/122


I agree with that. Made in USA too.:cool2:

Seven Gables
03-08-2007, 11:45 PM
…I am a big Esab fan but I am still as bit leery of those machines. I can't go into
great detail right now but I will post a bit more later. I will say look at the wet-out with the esab and see if it's good. I noticed some machines are better
in that area then others. The arc is real nice on those machine though.
...

I am a welding newbee. This is the first and only machine I have run so I have to ask what is the “wet-out”? What should I look at?

I would like to hear your additional thoughts on this machine. I did look at the links that Doolittle posted and the Multimaster 260 is way out of my budget. I am a hobbiest and this is only for personal use & satisfaction.

I started my search several months ago assuming a Lincoln Power Mig 180C would be the way to go and found out that it would be too small for my needs. So, I had budgeted $800 in December and now I am at $1589 (from the LWS with local support for a newbee) for the 253 am significantly over my initial range but still doable. The Migmaster 250 is a lot higher than I would like to spend ($1826 on the net and most likely $100 to $200 more locally). So what to do…?

If I could swing the budget for the Migmaster 250 I am concerned about the current draw on the electrical system. I have an all electric house and am close to capacity in the dead of winter and heat of summer (voltage drops below 115 and will get down to 110 at times). The data sheet shows a 62 amp draw for the 230V set-up. I would need to run new wiring to the garage. I have a 50 amp sub panel in the garage for the pool and had intended to tap off of it to run a welder turning off the 30 amp heat pump when welding. How much of a circuit is requited for the 250. This will not be a problem 5 years down the road when I finally build a pole building garage/shop. It will have it's own 200 amp service independent from the house. What to do???

I am interested in your comments…Derek

Sandy
03-09-2007, 12:49 AM
So, I had budgeted $800 in December and now I am at $1589 (from the LWS with local support for a newbee) for the 253 am significantly over my initial range but still doable. The Migmaster 250 is a lot higher than I would like to spend ($1826 on the net and most likely $100 to $200 more locally). So what to do…?

Eegads guy, you are working up and up higher with each thread :laugh: ..

You're really researching it hard tho. :) That's good.

So------if you even think you might break the $1800 line then you should at least give the MM 251 a look see out of one eye. Variable/infinite voltage, plenty of power, 50ish input amps. Yeh, I know, feeding the fire. :waving:

Doolittle
03-09-2007, 01:09 AM
Sandy is right. And here's a couple others that you might not have thought of:

http://www.htpweld.com/products/mig_welders/mig_2400.html

And another tapped machine:

http://www.thermadyne.com/evolution/brandProductSpecific.asp?mernbr=1&div=tai&catnbr=100&pdtnbr=558

Brand X
03-09-2007, 05:53 AM
Get a Miller 210 or the Lincoln 215. I am sure the HTP is fine too. You will have only 7 taps with the Lincoln or Miller machines. I know Miller is coming out with anew 210 type machine and it will be released on the West Coast first. It might
solve all your problems. The Esab will not draw anything like that in the real world. It might if you push it like this? :) The Volt curve was dropping pretty good but it still is a 300 amp 29 volt machine.

Wet-out is just something that is hard to control if it does not do it correctly. Not enough is just a bitch. Too much is kind of bad too. Wire can make a big difference in that area, so if it does not smooth out, then change it first. Tall beads and not biting into the edges of the weld bead is a good sign of not enough.

Clay Walters
03-09-2007, 10:32 AM
I used the about every Esab but the 253 machine. I do know it welds like the 173 /253 machines.

The Esab is quite a bit more powerful then the 215 lincoln, and will load test out
way beyond the Lincoln.

I am a big Esab fan but I am still as bit leery of those machines. I can't go into
great detail right now but I will post a bit more later. I will say look at the wet-out with the esab and see if it's good. I noticed some machines are better
in that area then others. The arc is real nice on those machine though.

They are imported Esabs and I believe from Hungary? I have also heard they are
from Czechoslovakia from one Esab rep. so I am not real sure on that.
Might be worth calling their Florence, SC USA location and asking them. Just tell them "It matters to you" and you want to know which products they manufacturer there.

Regards,

Clay

Dan
03-09-2007, 01:05 PM
I run my Migmaster 250 off a 40 amp circuit, and so far over the last year I 've had no issues with this, even with the voltage set to the high coarse range and the the fine set to tap 4 or 5.

In the past, I did some amp draw tests for a friend on my MM 210. Maxed out on tap #7 ( 24 -25 load volts @ 200 - 210 amps) the unit was drawing around 31 amps.

I like my MM 210, however, if I was forced to choose between it and my Migmaster 250, I'd choose the 250. To make thing more interesting,:D If I had to choose between my MM 210 and a MM 251, I'd take the 210.

Seven Gables
03-09-2007, 10:33 PM
Well, I bit the bullet today. I was out this morning and decided to stop in Praxair since they carry Lincoln and ESAB to get an opinion on the merits of each. They could get the ESAB but…he did not sound too enthusiastic about the ESAB Migmaster 253. Now the ESAB 250 on the other hand every one seems to like ALOT. The previous LWS I had stopped in and most of the opinions on this and some of the other forums I have searched were also wishy-washy about the 253 and the 250 is well out of my range. Well, they had a Lincoln Power Mig 215 on the floor priced at $1365.00 :D . I took some time looking at it since no one around here has had one. I was a lot more impressed with its drive mechanism than the ESAB 253, it is definitely stout. The Lincoln also has a 115 volt receptacle and storage area built in with a tray and compartments for tips, etc.

While I was looking and talking to the sales guy he dropped the price to $1275.00:cool: . This is significantly lower than the local welding shops that were all around $1525 and even the web sites are well over $1300. I asked him why and he responded that he needed to move it. I almost fell over, but, I did the responsible thing, I left and went on my way. Well on my way back I detoured to go past Praxair and, well, I bought it. So much for waiting till April. Need to make a trip to pick up supplies to wire an outlet. Metal will be melting soon!!

Thanks to all for the recommendations and opinions. I will be hanging around this site trying to gleen some of the expertise here and get some ideas on projects.

Doolittle
03-09-2007, 11:03 PM
:cool2:

Sandy
03-10-2007, 12:22 AM
I will be hanging around this site trying to gleen some of the expertise here and get some ideas on projects.

Well we've got to know how this new machine of yours works out. Glad you made it through the painfull part.. :)

Seven Gables
03-10-2007, 12:43 AM
Well we've got to know how this new machine of yours works out. Glad you made it through the painfull part.. :)

Yes it has been a difficult decission process. The welding should be easier and defintely a lot more fun.