Side business
RSS | Subscribe | Contact Us | Advertise | About Us
Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 87

Thread: Side business

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Eastern shore Maryland
    Posts
    56

    Side business

    Hi all a little about me,
    I'm 24 years old working as a local police officer. I have been working in fab shops since I was 12. Luckily I started tig welding aluminum. Well I got out of welding at 21 and now I want to do it as a side business. I still have all my tools I just need a welder(s). I'm thinking about a 6x12 enclosed trailer with a bobcat 250. Also I am thinking about running a Millermatic 211 as a mig gun so i can pull it and weld I the shop as well. Also I am going to get a miller diversion 165 or 180 tig machine. I can get the complete set up brand new for around 6k. Th shop I worked in was a fire truck restoration facility so I have the ability to fab up some pretty neat stuff and take pride in my work.
    Does anyone think I need to change my welder set up? Also I have a 97 f350 powerstroke 4x4 to pull the trailer.
    Any input would be awesome this is my first business experience Tia

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    North of Philly
    Posts
    20,248

    Re: Side business

    Portable work, I'd look hard at the Trailblazer vs the Bobcat myself. The TB is set up to run a 14 pin connector so you could use a pedal if need be, plus a HF unit to do tig right off the machine. Same with running mig, you could either run a VS or RC type feeder from the TB because it has the 14 pin connector.

    The MM211 and the Diversion are a bit on the light side to me as far as commercial work is concerned. They'd certainly do the job, but both will be somewhat limiting in max thickness and especially duty cycle.

    If you are really serious about portable mig work, I'd opt for the Passport Plus vs the MM211. It's a much lighter, more rugged design and has a slight edge on output vs the MM211.

    Honestly I'd look at exactly what market you want to go after. If it's portable alum tig, I'd go for the Dynasty 200 and get a genny big enough to run the machine. You could delete the genny if you thought you could get 230v power most places. That combined with a MM211 or Passport would cover a lot of your needs, except heavy stick/mig.
    .



    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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Sparks, NV
    Posts
    9,474
    I think we need more info on what type of portable work u plan on doing. My vote if lots of Mig work goes for a Voltage Sensing wire feeder like a 300AVS from ESAB or a suitcase feeder from Miller if u want to stay all blue... Dynasty is great for the pro if u plan to do lots of mobile TIG. That is $4K itself though...
    Good deals can be had on a used engine drive welder. Check local equipment auctions
    Tiger Sales: AHP Distributor www.tigersalesco.com
    AHP200x; AHP 160ST; MM350P, Spoolmatic 30A; Everlast PowerTig 185; ESAB 875 plasma;Evo 355. OA

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    815

    Re: Side business

    There are many portable / enclosed trailer set ups for sale at really good prices. Spend some time looking (Craigslist, Equipment Trader, Online Auctions). Many have the air compressor, welder, work bench, racks, torches, welding leads, etc. I have seen some that could be bought just for what the welding machine would go for.
    Lincoln SA200's... at least 15 - 20. They come and go. Growing partial to the "Short Hoods" in my old age. Last count on Short Hoods was 13 in possession.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Lake Of The Ozarks MO
    Posts
    276

    Re: Side business

    My exp. says find your needs first.
    That said, if you tig aluminum, get a Dynasty 200. Get that first period. You can knock down $50,000+ a year with that alone. I've been doing that for years now.
    If you have the 200 amps on the Dynasty there is little need for much more aluminum capability from a genny/welder.
    You can run that machine out of your trunk untill you find out what type of additional equipment you need.
    The enclosed trailer sounds sorta cool, but you still have to get out and weld. The lack of mobility would keep me from wanting one. I'm always driving into tight spots on slick terrain etc.
    Hard to beat a 4wd truck for mobile aluminum. AWD vans work well also.
    I hardly EVER use my Bobcat since my first Dynasty. I made a bunch of adapter cords and saved a TON on fuel costs. You can get about anything within 100 ft. from power. Then a 6500 watt generator would be a good purchase as well. Something like a Coleman or a Honda.
    Just my opinion after doing strictly Marine Aluminum since '97. I HTH
    Miller Dynasty 700
    Miller 350P with Aluma-pro push-pull
    Miller 280 Dynasty with expansion card
    Dynasty 200 DX
    MigMax 215


    Enuff power and hand tools to create one of anything..... but mass produce nothing!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    SW PA
    Posts
    1,165

    Re: Side business

    Hey Mud,
    Setting up a mobile unit, especially an enclosed unit, will require you to do some homework. First, as others have indicated, you need to evaluate your primary goal of doing general welding/repair/fab, or specialize in strictly alum.. That said, you will find a much more lucrative & profitable margin with general repair, doing steel, SS, & alum.. Don't limit yourself to TIG. 90% of my field work is steel & MIG is the money-maker as it's fast, cost-effective, & equipment very reasonable in investment. A 200-250A MIG will cover you nicely, & it would be beneficial to have a smaller MIG, such as a Miller 130 for those easy, light-gauge jobs that you could use the customers' 110V power.

    As far as a power supply, I find a good generator is a better supply as the size will allow you to reduce your physical size of enclosed trailer to enhance your fuel mileage & ability to maneuver in tight areas handily. You would be amazed at some of the areas you may be requested to get into, & 4wd is an absolute necessity. I've kept my overall footprint small with a shortbed truck & the trailer a 5' X 8'. I laid out my necessities for mobile with equipment on my shop floor to see exactly the best arrangement to have all the equip. I may need.

    My unit has:
    1) 250A inverter spoolgun MIG(220v), 130A Miller(110v), 120A flux-core MIG(220v)
    2) 200A inverter DC stick(220v), 35A plasma unit(220v), & 26gal vert. compressor(110v)
    3) 8KW(running)10KW(surge) Generac gen that has superb smooth output for the inverters & handles all my power needs easily.
    4) Grinders, vise attachment, folding table, small o/a setup, (4) 80cf gas bottles, 50' & 100' 12ga extensions, 100' 8/3 for 220v, 10ton porta-power, jackstands, consumable supply, & small tools.

    I don't do field TIG....only shop. The field alum. jobs I have done included many tri-axel repairs, general repairs, & a lot of alum. welding on local firetrucks & my 250A spoolgun MIG has worked superb with great cost-effectiveness. Also, the spoolgun is the most versatile as it can do steel, SS, alum., flux-core, & sil/brz, so you can see the value of having it. If you strictly want to stay with alum., then a generator with a Dynasty, & all your associated equip. will allow you to really reduce your physical trailer size to something near the size I have.

    Ok...there's some mental fodder for you to contemplate. Lastly, I took my mobile unit once a week to the local restaurant & had a breakfast or lunch for an hour or so. You would be amazed at the inquiries I had for work, & be sure to have plenty of cards readily available. The word can spread tremendously to your benefit if you do quality work, have a fair price, & never take any work you don't have the knowledge or experience. Here's a few pics of my setup to give you an idea of options & types of jobs you may encounter. Hope this helps you. Good luck......

    Denny
    Attached Images Attached Images      
    Complete Welding/Machine/Fab. Shop
    Mobile Unit
    Finally retired

    *Moderator*

    "A man's word is his honor...without honor there is nothing."
    "Words are like bullets.... Once they leave your muzzle, you cannot get them back."

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    SW PA
    Posts
    1,165

    Re: Side business

    Here's a couple more....

    Denny
    Attached Images Attached Images   
    Complete Welding/Machine/Fab. Shop
    Mobile Unit
    Finally retired

    *Moderator*

    "A man's word is his honor...without honor there is nothing."
    "Words are like bullets.... Once they leave your muzzle, you cannot get them back."

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Eastern shore Maryland
    Posts
    56

    Re: Side business

    Yes all this info is great! I will be doing all other metal work as well not just aluminum. I guess I am just needing to know what machines I need to run. I'm thinking about the bobcat mainly to use as my power source. And getting the mm211 to use as my mig and the diversion as my tig that way I can weld with it in the shop and not have to have it plugged into the bobcat. I will be doing stuff for local farmers and fire company's. Most I would need tig wise would be 1/4 inch max prob not even that. I plan on making surf racks and trailer repair and anything in between.
    This is what I have
    Snap on tool box 5Lx3Wx5h filled with all the tools I ever would need
    6x12 enclosed trailer
    Larger craftsman compressor to run air tools
    I'm looking to spend around 8 grand to get rest of theset up
    MIg 1/2 inch max
    Tig 1/4 inch max
    Stick machine/ generator enough to run the other machines

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Eastern shore Maryland
    Posts
    56

    Re: Side business

    This is the truck I have already to tow it
    Also I have the ability to do body work and paint as well as sheet metal work so my work range is very wide

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    North of Philly
    Posts
    20,248

    Re: Side business

    The Diversions are under powered if you are looking at a machine to do 1/4" tig. Lower your need to 1/8" and you are ok. Duty cycle at the top end is very low.

    1/2" with mig is a bit much for the MM211 as well. 3/8" is doable, but again duty cycle is fairly low at max. I'd rate the MM211 as a solid 1/4" machine for light use, with an occasional small 3/8" project. If you want to start feeding it a diet of steady 1/4" plus, and you really need to either look at a bigger machine or a feeder off the Bobcat.

    Keep in mind both those machines are really aimed at the occasional user or for a fab shop that works towards the lower end of their abilities. If the vast majority of your tig work will be less than 1/8" the Diversion will work fine. If your mig use is predominantly less than 1/4", with small projects up to 3/8" then the MM211 can do the job.


    Like anything this will be a balancing act. Cost vs performance. Stay on the low end with new equipment price wise, and you will limit your performance capabilities.

    Used equipment will get you more bang for your buck however. I picked up a very nice low hour Maxstar 200 used from a member here for a very good price, to give me more portable capabilities. It gives me the ability to run 3/32" 7018 from a normal 110v outlet and1/8" from a decent 230v genny. I can run DC tig up to almost 1/8" off 110v power and push 200 amps DC tig at low duty cycle on 230v power. That plus my old small 110v mig covers a lot of what you want to do with the exception of alum. A MM211 or Passport Plus with spoolgun in place of my small mig would allow me to do 1/8" alum mig to cover that. Or if I went with the more expensive Dynasty 200 instead of my Maxstar I could do AC tig as well.
    .



    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

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Eastern shore Maryland
    Posts
    56

    Re: Side business

    I know there are a ton of options out there I just don't know where to start!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Sparks, NV
    Posts
    9,474

    Re: Side business

    I would encourage you to go for a 250amp class mig but even more I would say get a suitcase feeder for your mig work and run off the welder/generator.
    this is what I have a love it. http://esabna.com/us/en/products_cat...Product_ID=798
    then all you got to do is pull out the welding leads to wherever you are welding, plug in the suitcase and have at it... get a cart for your welding gas or a portable size bottle if you run solid wire...
    here is the miller version http://www.millerwelds.com/products/...se_x-treme_vs/

    you are going to want a plasma cutter too. just get a separate mig for the shop. used is a way to save a ton of cash... Get a 14 inch cold cut chop saw. it will be your best friend. don't waste your cash on an abrasive chop saw.
    Tiger Sales: AHP Distributor www.tigersalesco.com
    AHP200x; AHP 160ST; MM350P, Spoolmatic 30A; Everlast PowerTig 185; ESAB 875 plasma;Evo 355. OA

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    North of Philly
    Posts
    20,248

    Re: Side business

    You start by defining the work you intend to go after and set priorities. It's pointless to buy a tig machine if you won't be actively chasing tig work. Save your money and when a job come along that requires it, buy or rent a machine to do the job. In the mean time you can keep your eyes open for "deals".

    I comment on the Maxstar because there's not much with the exception of alum that I can't do with it. If it's steel and thin, then I can tig it. If it's too thick to tig, I can use stick. My small mig allows me to do thin sheet easier than with tig, but if push came to shove, I could make do without it. Granted not as fast or efficiently, but I could still do the work. It's good for shop or portable work.The newer 3 in one machines have a lot going for them in this regards. The ability to do mig, DC tig and stick, plus a spoolgun for alum would make a nice all round package.

    However it's the wrong rig if you are shooting to do structural work if you get my drift. Then a Bobcat with a stick lead and VS feeder would be a better choice, and you could always add the air cooled scratch start tig torch and spoolgun plus controller later, to get you the capabilities you are lacking.


    I deal with this all the time in my contracting business. I have to balance what tools I have, what tools I can borrow or rent and put that up against the work that I'm either actively chasing, or work I'm offered. Some jobs I turn down because I'm not equipped to take them on. Some I need to rent, borrow or purchase equipment to get the job done. I have to weigh those costs and decide if I take the job on or pass. If I choose to take the job on, I have to weigh if it's better to buy or rent and figure that cost into the job. Some jobs I'm already equipped for, but a new tool would allow me to make better time, hence offset the cost of the new tool. I try and keep a slush fund on hand for "deals" that come along or to help defray the costs of tools I might need to invest in for certain jobs. I've had to pass on several jobs this year because I wasn't geared up to do them. I grit my teeth and hate to loose work in this economy, but I'm better passing then floundering thru the job making no money and loosing paying work that might come along while I'm tied up making no money.


    If I was you I'd sit down and make a few lists. List what gear, tools and equipment you already have. List what types of jobs you'd like to chase. List what types of jobs you are already equipped for. List what services are already offered in your area and where there's a lack of services. ( It would be pointless in my area to try and do heavy equipment service for example. The contracting work is down and there are a ton of guys already geared up to do this stuff, that or the companies have moved to doing the work in house) Also make a list of what other expenses you will need ( insurance, licenses and so on. A lot of towns are cracking down on guys doing "side" work since the towns are loosing tax revenue as legit companies fold. If you get caught without all the right permits or insurance, You'll wish you tossed all your money in the paper shredder instead.)

    Now you can look at what equipment you might need and prioritize what you need to get in what order. What things are "nice" and what are "needed". Don't forget all the "other tools", saws, clamps, OA torch, cylinders, extension cords, grinders etc. The vast majority of my equipment money is all tied up in small tools. You can also look at what sort of work this set up will allow you to expand into possibly. I'd keep a decent chunk of change in reserve. Blow your whole wad up front, then find out your neighbors brother is building a house and could use someone who can do the welds on the structural steel, and all you bought was a small mig and a tig machine to run off a genny, and you are screwed if you don't at least have the cash to rent a gas driven stick machine.
    Last edited by DSW; 12-07-2012 at 06:01 PM.
    .



    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

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Eastern shore Maryland
    Posts
    56

    Re: Side business

    I found a 2009 bobcat 250 with 990 hours for 1500 is that a good price?
    Also found a synchro wave 250dx a 2003 for 1800 ? The synchro is loadd with low hours from a hobby shop. It's loaded with water cooled torch as well.
    Could I run the synchro off the bobcat? Iris wired for 220

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    North of Philly
    Posts
    20,248

    Re: Side business

    Bobcat is probably in the good range as far as price, but I don't really look to much at gas machines myself. The Syncro 250 is an excellent price with a cooler and cylinder.

    Can you run that Syncrowave from the Bobcat... Maybe, but you really need more juice. My Syncrowave 200 wants 50 amps to run full power. I believe the 250 will want closer to 70-100 amps. The Bobcat maxes out at 42 amps IIRC for that year, but I'd have to look up the manual to be sure. The Syncro 250 is also a very large heavy machine. It is an excellent shop tig and stick machine, but it's not what I think of as "portable" and I'm not sure how much bouncing it will take over time. The machine might run at lower output levels off the Bobcat, but I wouldn't want to count on it and I'm not sure how well it would hold up to repeated abuse on a bouncy trailer. If you could transport it to the site and run off site power, you would be better off.

    The two machines together would cover a lot of your options. The Bobcat is a good stick machine and will do basic DC scratch start tig, though you will not have remote capability to adjust the amps. It's possible to do AC tig with an HF box, but without a pedal it will be a real challenge for most. A Trailblazer with the 14 pin remote connector would be a better choice for an engine drive to do AC tig. Add a VS feeder to the Bobcat at some point and it will do all your mig needs as well. The Syncrowave 250 is an excellent shop stick/tig. The tech school has 8 or 10 of these that they use to teach stick and ac/DC tig with. It's got plenty of power to cover your 1/4" tig functions you wanted earlier. With this at the shop, you wouldn't need to run the Bobcat to do many things except mig. I'd take a Syncro 250 over a Diversion any day. It's way more machine with a lot more control and at that price just a few hundred more over the Diversion..
    .



    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

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Eastern shore Maryland
    Posts
    56

    Re: Side business

    The synco s a 2003 but looks brand new!
    Also I found a Lincoln power 255c power mig brand new for 1500 so I think that would cover everything I would do

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Eastern shore Maryland
    Posts
    56

    Re: Side business

    Just picked the 2010 6x12 trailer for 1500

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Stevens Point, WI
    Posts
    4,411

    Re: Side business

    Subscribe.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Eastern shore Maryland
    Posts
    56

    Re: Side business

    I'm headed to get the syncrowave 250 and the powermig today that's another 3k I sure do hope I can start making money soon! This is a little stressful

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Sparks, NV
    Posts
    9,474
    Be on the lookout for a spoolgun for that powermig.. you should think about making a powered transporter for your machines is u r doing mobile work. See my example http://weldingweb.com/showthread.php?t=194301.
    I just got three more chairs to convert to transporters. If you cannot find a deal locally and want to do this let me know and we can prob sell and ship you one of the chairs I have now...
    Last edited by soutthpaw; 12-11-2012 at 12:06 PM.
    Tiger Sales: AHP Distributor www.tigersalesco.com
    AHP200x; AHP 160ST; MM350P, Spoolmatic 30A; Everlast PowerTig 185; ESAB 875 plasma;Evo 355. OA

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Eastern shore Maryland
    Posts
    56

    Re: Side business

    Well picked up the powermig for 1250 and the syncrowave for 1800. 400 miles round trip 12 bucks in tolls and 100 bucks in fuel not a bad day! Both machines are like new one still had tags on the gun and the tig was very clean original owner said it was less than 30 hours

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Eastern shore Maryland
    Posts
    56

    Re: Side business

    That power chair idea is awesome!

  23. #23
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Sparks, NV
    Posts
    9,474
    Quote Originally Posted by Mudstomper99 View Post
    That power chair idea is awesome!
    Thank you for the kind words. It would load in that enclosed trailer no problem.. one for the syncrowave and 1 for the bobcat/trailblazer.. the secret it getting your hands on a dealer programmer or finding a dealer that will program it to your requirements. If u get one, let me know and I will tell u what settings and % work best for each parameter. Got 3 Jazzy power chairs now that I have reprogrammed....
    Tiger Sales: AHP Distributor www.tigersalesco.com
    AHP200x; AHP 160ST; MM350P, Spoolmatic 30A; Everlast PowerTig 185; ESAB 875 plasma;Evo 355. OA

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Eastern shore Maryland
    Posts
    56

    Re: Side business


    The tig is not water cooled but I think they are both fine machines!

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Stevens Point, WI
    Posts
    4,411

    Re: Side business

    Very nice! Adding water is easy if you need it.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
RSS | Home | Penton Media | Contact Us | Subscribe | For Advertisers | Terms of Use | Privacy Statement