Which welder is right for my current needs.
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  1. #1
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    Which welder is right for my current needs.

    I'm practicing pipe welding , and attending some classes at my ua local . But cant make all of them right now due to my stupid work schedule .

    I need something preferably used , maybe interested in generator welders just not sure what is capable and what isnt honestly .

    Needs

    Must run 6010 5p+ 3/32 and 1/8th
    And 3/32 and 1/8th 7018s

    I know it's a long shot , is there a capable 110v machine out there I'm sure not ?


    I can wire a 220v 50 amp circuit for a welder but will cut into my overall budget .

    I would prefer to keep it below 500$

    What should I be looking for on the used market ? And what should I look for if there is anything on the new market ?

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  2. #2
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    Re: Which welder is right for my current needs.

    Most 110v machines probably won't let you run 1/8" 7018, but some might just squeeze by. I had an everlasting Powerarc 200ST for a while that would run 6010 just fine, and the specs said it would go to 120A max on 110V input, but I only ran mine on a 220V circuit. I think it would be right on the edge. There are quite a few affordable inverters out there now that should fit the bill so it's mostly just picking a company.

    As far as used machines go I've had good luck with Miller Thunderbolts...had an AC/DC, an XL (also AC/DC) and an XL 200/300. They would all do anything you're asking about easily. I've had similarly good luck with Miller DialArc 250s. For whatever reason Lincoln IdealArcs tend to go for a bit less, but are very nice machines that will also do anything you mentioned. I've been able to find the Thunderbolts from $200 to $350 and have seen others in that range on CL and Facebook Marketplace. The DialArcs go for a bit more, but you can still find them for around $500 or so. I'm actually selling one of my Dialarc 250s...bought one and then found an even nicer one a week or so later and bought that as well. It'll go for $500 and I'll break even on it....if you've got the space they're very nice machines and there isn't much to go wrong with them.

    Around here nice used engine-drives are expensive and I'm really leery of the ones that seem to be at a reasonable price point. I bought a new Hobart Champion Elite when I was getting ready to build my barn (didn't want to run a 300ft extension cord from the house) and it welds nicely, but it's big, expensive and I don't want to listen to the engine if I don't have to so it doesn't get used much. It's also backup power for my barn/shop.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Which welder is right for my current needs.

    Thanks alot for the response, I'm not a facebook user for own personal reasoning , but I have looked all over for reasonably priced thunderbolts , craigslist and the sale apps with no luck to find any .

    I was thinking I may be able to bu.o my budget up substantially, if I get a generator unit . Because then I could sell it to the misses as a back up for the house if need be since we do need one .

    All in all , thanks for the response. I will keep my eyes peeled for all of this . If I can get rid of my 140 everlast power mig with carr and all it will help my budget .

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  4. #4
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    Re: Which welder is right for my current needs.

    Quote Originally Posted by l0w n slow View Post
    I have looked all over for reasonably priced thunderbolts..

    If that's the welder you want, get the Hobart Stickmate, it's the same welder, just a lower price because of the name.
    Name:  tbolt2.jpg
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  5. #5
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    Re: Which welder is right for my current needs.

    I agree with what was said about the Miller Dialarc 250 or Lincoln Idealarc 250. Both great machines that are very dependable. Keep your eyes open and your can stay in your budget. You can always get your money back if you want to upgrade. Personally I would stay away from the farm store welders even if they are AC/DC


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  6. #6
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    Re: Which welder is right for my current needs.

    Miller thunderbolt AC/DC is a great machine. A Miller Bobcat will work great and is awesome for emergency power.
    I have Miller 302 Trailblazer and it saved me three times when power went out. Ran basically the entire house.


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  7. #7
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    Re: Which welder is right for my current needs.

    Broccoli points out that a 120 volt welder could be designed to do anything you want it to do. I agree, it could be done. I'm not aware that it has been done.

    Welding comes down to watts at the electrode. Manipulation of volts and amps can improve certain qualities. I've made the statement that transformer welders need input wattage of 10,000 to be versatile. I'll take a stab at inverter power needing half that. 10000 / 115 is about 87 amps. I have never seen an 87 amp 115 volt circuit.
    An inverter would need 43 amps.

    Plenty of people will argue that they only want to weld thin steel, they don't need 10000 watts. OK, you need half that, that is still 22 amps for an inverter.

    Usually it is advantageous to use 230 volts for a welder.
    An optimist is usually wrong, and when the unexpected happens is unprepared. A pessimist is usually right, when wrong, is delighted, and well prepared.

  8. #8
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    Re: Which welder is right for my current needs.

    Have everlast, power arc 200Ti...

    Has separate button for 6010

    Hot start, and arc force

    works great

    Name:  6010.JPG
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    Charl

  9. #9
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    Re: Which welder is right for my current needs.

    imo to get realistic pipe welding practice you should have a machine that's used by the contractors you'll be working for. this lets out the 110v buzzers. the thunderbolt machines are good but i don't think many shops use them for welding pipe. on your budget i'd look on sites like cl to buy a very used but serviceable trailblazer or sa 200.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Which welder is right for my current needs.

    Quote Originally Posted by docwelder View Post
    imo to get realistic pipe welding practice you should have a machine that's used by the contractors you'll be working for. this lets out the 110v buzzers. the thunderbolt machines are good but i don't think many shops use them for welding pipe. on your budget i'd look on sites like cl to buy a very used but serviceable trailblazer or sa 200.
    And..... I will point out that horsepower is 746 watts per. A 21 horsepower trailblazer, or SA200 with efficiency factored is about 10,000 watts.

    I believe weldors with specialized needs can do art, or craft work with a 115 volt 20 amp welder. Those wanting versatility to do heavier metals will want more power than 2300 watts.

    My friend uses a little welder. He makes wall art of multiple layers of varying metals. All are thin, and he only tacks them. He has a Lincoln 256 MIG for bigger stuff.
    An optimist is usually wrong, and when the unexpected happens is unprepared. A pessimist is usually right, when wrong, is delighted, and well prepared.

  11. #11
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    Re: Which welder is right for my current needs.

    The Tbolt and the Stickmate are very good machines. They are not heavy but good. They run on 50A service. Doesn't matter if they bought at a farm store or a dealer. The new Stick mate might be on my short list, now that they are inverters they are 200 machines, will run 5/32 lo hy, the old ones were very durable and work way beyond their rated cycles but are really 1/8 machines.

  12. #12
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    Re: Which welder is right for my current needs.

    Quote Originally Posted by xmmancharl View Post
    Have everlast, power arc 200Ti...

    Has separate button for 6010

    Hot start, and arc force

    works great

    Name:  6010.JPG
Views: 213
Size:  158.0 KB





    Charl
    Yeah now that I'm reading into this machine , I'm wondering if this is the ticket to do what I want.

    It is very reasonably priced , I hate to go in a limb and limit myself . I really want to jump on a red face sa200 I found but it needs rheostat work . And I cannot take on any other projects currently.

    The everlast website rates the duty cycle at 120 Amps on 240 at being 60% which is pretty decent .

    And with the arc force feature , it will be better to practice with because the machines we have at the hall Lincoln's, and miller xmt304s all have it , and that's where all my code cert test will be done at .

    Thanks for the suggestion , I do appreciate it and have taken all comments into consideration with my search.

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  13. #13
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    Re: Which welder is right for my current needs.

    Keep in mind if this is not just a hobby and you think you will keep this machine for many years to come then 2 things come to mind. One you want a machine that is going to last and has the capability of being repaired with common off the shelf parts i.e. transformer based machine. Two you want a machine that will hold its value based on reputation of reliability and quality of build. None of the newer cost effective inverter based machines provide either of these two key points of interest for me.


    Although the Lincoln Idealarc and the Miller Dialarc machines are very heavy they are quite capable of lasting for many years to come and are just as reliable as any new machines on the market today if not more so. They come up for sale from time to time ranging from $50 up to about $500. It comes down to how much time do you have to shop around for a welding machine. If you need one now then you may be stuck in the cheap inverter based budget machine category but if you can wait 6 months to a year to find the right deal then one should pop up within your budget.

    IMO you are better off installing a 50amp circuit for welding. Trust me once you start really getting into this trade be it hobby or professionally you will need at least one 50 amp circuit if not more.
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  14. #14
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    Re: Which welder is right for my current needs.

    Quote Originally Posted by N2 Welding View Post
    Keep in mind if this is not just a hobby and you think you will keep this machine for many years to come then 2 things come to mind. One you want a machine that is going to last and has the capability of being repaired with common off the shelf parts i.e. transformer based machine. Two you want a machine that will hold its value based on reputation of reliability and quality of build. None of the newer cost effective inverter based machines provide either of these two key points of interest for me.


    Although the Lincoln Idealarc and the Miller Dialarc machines are very heavy they are quite capable of lasting for many years to come and are just as reliable as any new machines on the market today if not more so. They come up for sale from time to time ranging from $50 up to about $500. It comes down to how much time do you have to shop around for a welding machine. If you need one now then you may be stuck in the cheap inverter based budget machine category but if you can wait 6 months to a year to find the right deal then one should pop up within your budget.

    IMO you are better off installing a 50amp circuit for welding. Trust me once you start really getting into this trade be it hobby or professionally you will need at least one 50 amp circuit if not more.
    I'm getting mixed reviews , some guy on weldingtiosandtricks website bashed me saying my budget is no where close to what I'll need to practice with . And that since most all job sites have big cc/cv generator rigs or 3 phase inverters that he questions wether I got it since I'm considering ac,dc tombstones and what not .


    I'm just looking for a capable welder not to e bashed by anyone . And when I mean capable I mean able to do the job properly . Dont need the most efficient high powered horse in the barn .

    Will the ideal arc, dial arc , miller thunderbolts all work for what I need it for ?

    Just welding some sch40 and 2 inch monster coupons???

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  15. #15
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    Re: Which welder is right for my current needs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie B View Post
    Broccoli points out that a 120 volt welder could be designed to do anything you want it to do. I agree, it could be done. I'm not aware that it has been done.

    Welding comes down to watts at the electrode. Manipulation of volts and amps can improve certain qualities. I've made the statement that transformer welders need input wattage of 10,000 to be versatile. I'll take a stab at inverter power needing half that. 10000 / 115 is about 87 amps. I have never seen an 87 amp 115 volt circuit.
    An inverter would need 43 amps.

    Plenty of people will argue that they only want to weld thin steel, they don't need 10000 watts. OK, you need half that, that is still 22 amps for an inverter.

    Usually it is advantageous to use 230 volts for a welder.

    ???

    I haven't even posted in this thread
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  16. #16
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    Re: Which welder is right for my current needs.

    The Idealarc and Dialarc should be capable of 250 AC amps and about 220 DC amps so pretty capable. Also the arc on theses machines are very smooth and easy to strike an arc and get to learning quite fast.

    Both of those machines will yawn at both 1/8” and 3/32” rods all day long.
    Last edited by N2 Welding; 10-10-2019 at 04:22 PM.
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  17. #17
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    Re: Which welder is right for my current needs.

    Quote Originally Posted by N2 Welding View Post
    The Idealarc and Dialarc should be capable of 250 AC amps and about 220 DC amps so pretty capable. Also the arc on theses machines are very smooth and easy to strike an arc and get to learning quite fast.

    Both of those machines will yawn at both 1/8” and 3/32” rods all day long.
    The Dialarc 250 is actually 265 amps on DC....should be way more than enough. I think the duty cycle is 50% at 200 amps if my memory is correct. I haven't run anything bigger than 5/32" 7018 on mine, but that doesn't come close to taxing it. You're absolutely right about the arc being smooth and easy to strike. I can't see any real difference between the Dialarc and my Hobart Champion Elite other than the noise!
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  18. #18
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    Re: Which welder is right for my current needs.

    Dialarc ratings changed in the production years. I'd be surprised if the actual machine changed all that much. Mine was 1984. It was rated 250 DC, 310 AC with 60% duty cycle.

    One of my extra sons has an earlier one his is rated 310/310 with 60% duty cycle.
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  19. #19
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    Re: Which welder is right for my current needs.

    The whiteface version came out in 1974 I believe. It had a lower output rating. The blackface version came out in the 80’s with the 265 amp DC output


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  20. #20
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    Re: Which welder is right for my current needs.

    Quote Originally Posted by l0w n slow View Post
    I'm getting mixed reviews , some guy on weldingtiosandtricks website bashed me saying my budget is no where close to what I'll need to practice with . And that since most all job sites have big cc/cv generator rigs or 3 phase inverters that he questions wether I got it since I'm considering ac,dc tombstones and what not .


    I'm just looking for a capable welder not to e bashed by anyone .
    LOL, no one's bashing you. $500 is typically very little for a brand new welder that would be a contender for the machines you use for pipeline welding, or even at your practice hall. If you want used, well like N2 welding said: how much free-time do you have to spend scouring the different ad/websites until you find a great deal? That choice is yours.

    My vote for a good inverter-based practice machine will of course go to the one I have, the HTP Inverarc 200TLP. Adjustable Hot Start 0-40%, Arc Force 0-500% in Cellulose Mode (0-200% regular mode), Stick Pulse 0.4Hz-5Hz, remote amperage control capability. Decent duty cycle for it's size (100% @ 115A, 20% @ 200A). Burns 6010s like if lightning struck them. I made the leads twice as long as they came (now about 23ft each), with a slider amptrol on the stinger itself (but removable) for on-the-fly amperage control if needed. And it all still fits inside the original carry tote.
    Last edited by Oscar; 10-10-2019 at 07:25 PM.
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  21. #21
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    Re: Which welder is right for my current needs.

    The Tbolt and the Stickmate are very good machines. They are not heavy but good. They run on 50A service. Doesn't matter if they bought at a farm store or a dealer. The new Stick mate might be on my short list, now that they are inverters they are 200 machines, will run 5/32 lo hy, the old ones were very durable and work way beyond their rated cycles but are really 1/8 machines.

  22. #22
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    Re: Which welder is right for my current needs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
    LOL, no one's bashing you. $500 is typically very little for a brand new welder that would be a contender for the machines you use for pipeline welding, or even at your practice hall. If you want used, well like N2 welding said: how much free-time do you have to spend scouring the different ad/websites until you find a great deal? That choice is yours.

    My vote for a good inverter-based practice machine will of course go to the one I have, the HTP Inverarc 200TLP. Adjustable Hot Start 0-40%, Arc Force 0-500% in Cellulose Mode (0-200% regular mode), Stick Pulse 0.4Hz-5Hz, remote amperage control capability. Decent duty cycle for it's size (100% @ 115A, 20% @ 200A). Burns 6010s like if lightning struck them. I made the leads twice as long as they came (now about 23ft each), with a slider amptrol on the stinger itself (but removable) for on-the-fly amperage control if needed. And it all still fits inside the original carry tote.
    I think their may be some confusion here . I am not looking to practice downhill pipeline welding . I'm looking to practice ua uphill pipe welding , which does not require as much of a machine I'm sure considering those guys are running massive cellulosic rods at high amps on down hill stuff .

    Regaurdless I'm going to keep an eye out for a dialarc or a idealarc , and the htp seems like exactly what I need if I can sell a couple things I maybe able to swing it .

    Thanks for the responses

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  23. #23
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    Re: Which welder is right for my current needs.

    It's a cute little bugger, I think the power cord weighs more than the machine, lol.

    All of it stuffed into the carry tote, with 23ft lead/ground, some rods, power cable. Won't fit gloves inside now, though.




    This is the slider remote amperage control for on-the-fly adjustments. It's just velcro'd on, with about 3ft of slack, so I can remove it and use the slider separately with my other hand.




    About the same size as a typical 200A MIG gun



    Mine is hacked, re-programmed, & modified internally so I can get up to 500A out of it for a minute or so




    Just kidding, that is the Arc Force setting at max
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  24. #24
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    Re: Which welder is right for my current needs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie B View Post
    Dialarc ratings changed in the production years. I'd be surprised if the actual machine changed all that much. Mine was 1984. It was rated 250 DC, 310 AC with 60% duty cycle.

    One of my extra sons has an earlier one his is rated 310/310 with 60% duty cycle.
    Miller doesn't seem to have a 1984 Dialarc 250 manual listed for some reason....they go from 1983 to 1988. The 1983 manual shows 265 DC and 300 AC as a max with 50% duty cycle at 200 amps DC and 30% duty cycle at 250 amps AC. The numbers are the same for the 1988 manual.

    The older models starting in 1974 then 1976, 1978, 1979, and early 1981 had a max of 250 amps DC and 275 amps AC, but the same duty cycle rating as the 1983 and 1988 numbers above.

    From late 1981 models up through the end in 2016 the max amperage numbers were 265A DC and 300A AC, but the duty cycle changed (lower) at some point.

    My older Dialarc 250 is a 1988 model and my newer Dialarc 250 is a 1999 model. Both have the same 265A max on DC and 300A on AC. God only knows why the numbers varied like that....weird.
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  25. #25
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    Re: Which welder is right for my current needs.

    If downhill pipelining is out, then basically all you need is a half decent machine For your needs, just get a thunderbolt or dialarc or hobart equivelent, and be done with it. Learn all the uphill skills on that, and then if you test out on better machines, then it'll be even easier with a smoother arc.

    TBH I'd prefer an inverter such as what Oscar is saying, but $500 doesn't buy you one of those, it's triple your budget, so no idea why he's trying the hard sell. Getting a bit sick of him trying to push HTP down everyone's throats at every single opportunity.

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