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Thread: First Machine

  1. #1
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    First Machine

    I'm taking classes at my local vocation school and am planning on attending a private welding school next year to get some pipe training. I am looking for a welder to do side jobs (pipe fence, trailer repair, etc.) for the next year or so. I am also trying to plan for when I get out of school and want to break into pipe welding. I have a $3500 budget. There few sa200s and some 250s around (within 4 hrs). Would a 250 be too much machine and be a hassle to start in the winter? I like the AC aux power. My other options are a new bobcat/ranger. I'm worried I will outgrow a machine like that to fast.

  2. #2
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    Re: First Machine

    If you are dead serious about making a living as a welder? I would look into the Lincoln Vantage 400, and also buy an LN-25. Then all your bases are covered.
    http://www.lincolnelectric.com/en-us...olnElectric%29
    Donít pay any attention to me
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    Carl

    Dynasty 300
    V350-Pro w/pulse
    SG Spool gun
    1937 IdealArc-300
    PowerArc 200ST
    3 SA-200s
    Vantage 400





  3. #3
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    Re: First Machine

    A Vantage 400 puts him over his $3500 budget. A 200 or 250 would be perfect for pipe and keep to his budget. Wouldn't worry too much about starting in winter with a 250. I like a gas engine myself. Most jobs involving pipe call for either stick or tig. And you can cover those with a SA 200.

  4. #4
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    Re: First Machine

    The SA 200 has 115DC 15A aux power. No AC aux.

  5. #5
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    Re: First Machine

    The SA 200 has 115DC 15A aux power. No AC aux.

  6. #6
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    Re: First Machine

    Quote Originally Posted by lincweld View Post
    A Vantage 400 puts him over his $3500 budget.
    If you’re going to make money in this business, you have to spend money. In 1982 I paid $9,378.00 for this set up. I worked for wages, and rented the welder for $650.00 a month. First job I can with in 3-months of paying for the welder. Sold it in 1998 for $4,500.00
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    Donít pay any attention to me
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    Carl

    Dynasty 300
    V350-Pro w/pulse
    SG Spool gun
    1937 IdealArc-300
    PowerArc 200ST
    3 SA-200s
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  7. #7
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    Re: First Machine

    The SA 200 is a great machine but it does have it's drawbacks. They weigh about 1300lbs, too much for a 1/2 and nearly too much for a 3/4 ton. They have no aux AC output and very limited DC aux power. If all your going to do is pipe or be working near an outlet that's fine but for more general field work your going to need AC output to run tools lights etc. I had a redface SA-200 and it welded spectacular but I had the opportunity to sell it to buy a bobcat 250 and a 12vs wire feeder, which suited what I do much better, if all I did was pipe the SA is nearly a no brainier but they are not a good fit for all kinds of work

  8. #8
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    Re: First Machine

    The newer Trailblazers would be a good budget fit for the time being. That would give the OP time to scare up an SA200 for the real pipe welding down the road. For a few bucks difference... I wouldn't even bother with a Bobcat.

  9. #9
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    Re: First Machine

    Quote Originally Posted by Firemanmike69 View Post
    The SA 200 is a great machine but it does have it's drawbacks. They weigh about 1300lbs, too much for a 1/2 and nearly too much for a 3/4 ton. They have no aux AC output and very limited DC aux power. If all your going to do is pipe or be working near an outlet that's fine but for more general field work your going to need AC output to run tools lights etc. I had a redface SA-200 and it welded spectacular but I had the opportunity to sell it to buy a bobcat 250 and a 12vs wire feeder, which suited what I do much better, if all I did was pipe the SA is nearly a no brainier but they are not a good fit for all kinds of work
    I had a bobcat 250 years ago that I had to sell because I needed the money. It was a great machine and I wish I had it back. I have not had any issues using my 200 "for all kinds of work." I've chased rigs (repair work) and pipe welded with it and no issues. You can still find chop saws and grinders that can run off DC. Don't forget about inverters if you still need AC. I have, in a pinch, loaded the 200 in my half-ton GMC. I used it like this for 2 months, commute was 70 miles one way. This is not my main rig and I would not rig a half-ton this way permanently. This is to show when there's a will, there is a way and you can do a lot with a little. Picture was taken when I was on structural detail, making guards around pig launchers for a pipeline company.

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    Last edited by lincweld; 12-06-2015 at 04:29 PM.

  10. #10
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    Re: First Machine

    Quote Originally Posted by 12V71 View Post
    The newer Trailblazers would be a good budget fit for the time being. That would give the OP time to scare up an SA200 for the real pipe welding down the road. For a few bucks difference... I wouldn't even bother with a Bobcat.
    If I had bought new I wouldn't have even considered a bobcat the trailblazer offers ALOT more features for not a lot more money.

  11. #11
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    Re: First Machine

    If you are. a 798 pipe welder Lincoln sa 200/250 or a pipe pro only .For general work with a SA 200 buy a generator and a plug in air compressor.Any thing will work in the repair busness. A big generator could run a inverter and be cheaper.

  12. #12
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    Re: First Machine

    There is a member here JTMcC. John belongs to Local Union 798. Iím pretty sure he has a Lincoln Vantage 400.
    http://www.firstratefabricators.com/
    Donít pay any attention to me
    Iím just a hobbyist!

    Carl

    Dynasty 300
    V350-Pro w/pulse
    SG Spool gun
    1937 IdealArc-300
    PowerArc 200ST
    3 SA-200s
    Vantage 400





  13. #13
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    Re: First Machine

    Guess a have to get a Vantage then! I have a 1 ton dually so weight isn't the issue. I do like the bed space that is saved with a smaller machine. If I can stand to wait and save a little more I was looking at a 305g. I know some are running them on at least small diameter pipe.

  14. #14
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    Re: First Machine

    Buddy of mine has a 305G. Very impressive arc! But how long will it last if you get on a pre fab structural job running 70 / 80 pounds of wire a day.
    Donít pay any attention to me
    Iím just a hobbyist!

    Carl

    Dynasty 300
    V350-Pro w/pulse
    SG Spool gun
    1937 IdealArc-300
    PowerArc 200ST
    3 SA-200s
    Vantage 400





  15. #15
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    Re: First Machine

    Long enough to buy a vantage?? 😊

  16. #16
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    Re: First Machine

    Hopefully! I have no faith in those little air cooled engines when it comes to pouring the coals to a wire feeder.
    Donít pay any attention to me
    Iím just a hobbyist!

    Carl

    Dynasty 300
    V350-Pro w/pulse
    SG Spool gun
    1937 IdealArc-300
    PowerArc 200ST
    3 SA-200s
    Vantage 400





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