Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: Help picking my first welder..

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Posts
    2
    Post Thanks / Like

    Help picking my first welder..

    Hey everyone, new here, new to welding, and excited to learn.

    My intro; young DIY'er weekend warrior, software engineer by trade, enthusiast in learning how stuff works by diving in head first. I like to acquire new toys, preparing for my home shop one day. Personally I don't mind spending a little extra cake for better gear, and can be patient waiting for deals. I've had some welding experience through shop in school, and my dad has a stick welder I've used for various little things.


    So why am I here: Started a diesel jeep project I will offroad with, motor swap, custom 4 link suspension etc., bought all that already. I used the tear down phase to pick up a powermax 900. Aside from welding the motor mounts and tubes for the suspension, it tickles my fancy to build a custom compound turbo setup. Those topics it seems like tig is the way to go, but for everything else I'd be doing mig is the way.

    When I look at tig machines I see 'experts' have at home they're in the $3K+ ballpark - that's a little out of my price range. I'm thinking millermatic 211 but have been seeing some "deals" on craigslist and am curious to hear your feedback. Recently saw a few bobcat 225 ranging $1600-$2000, looks to be well maintained (new paint job whelped) and the generator aspect w/ tig and mig support is very appealing. Is that range practical? Any other machines you'd recommend looking at?

    Thanks, C

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Western New York State, USA
    Posts
    1,991
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help picking my first welder..

    Quote Originally Posted by CBomb View Post
    Hey everyone, new here, new to welding, and excited to learn.

    My intro; young DIY'er weekend warrior, software engineer by trade, enthusiast in learning how stuff works by diving in head first. I like to acquire new toys, preparing for my home shop one day. Personally I don't mind spending a little extra cake for better gear, and can be patient waiting for deals. I've had some welding experience through shop in school, and my dad has a stick welder I've used for various little things.


    So why am I here: Started a diesel jeep project I will offroad with, motor swap, custom 4 link suspension etc., bought all that already. I used the tear down phase to pick up a powermax 900. Aside from welding the motor mounts and tubes for the suspension, it tickles my fancy to build a custom compound turbo setup. Those topics it seems like tig is the way to go, but for everything else I'd be doing mig is the way.

    When I look at tig machines I see 'experts' have at home they're in the $3K+ ballpark - that's a little out of my price range. I'm thinking millermatic 211 but have been seeing some "deals" on craigslist and am curious to hear your feedback. Recently saw a few bobcat 225 ranging $1600-$2000, looks to be well maintained (new paint job whelped) and the generator aspect w/ tig and mig support is very appealing. Is that range practical? Any other machines you'd recommend looking at?

    Thanks, C
    .
    .
    experts can easily get good welds with a $200 welder and $200 for argon tank and flowmeter and hose. i prefer small portable easy to carry one handed welding machines myself
    .
    of course salesman will try to sell you a more expensive machine and convince you all the "experts" only use the best welding machines
    .
    i have welded for decades with WW2 war surplus welders without any problems. if you want to weld aluminum you will need more machine but i have gone by a decade at a time without needing to weld any aluminum. seems spending a extra $1000 cause you might weld aluminum occasionally is expensive

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    kornfield kounty IA
    Posts
    459
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help picking my first welder..

    Welcome to the interweb. What welder should I buy is like me asking what computer should I buy. I assume you would want to know what my present and future needs are as well as my current skill set. I do a lot of the work that you are curious about and admire your DIY attitude but I can't help but be concerned that your asking what welder should I buy and telling me that you are going to custom fab/ modify the steering, brakes and suspension on a vehicle. Do you have the appropriate back ground to be welding on this stuff?

    As to your original question are you wanting shop equipment or an engine drive?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    SoCal, USA
    Posts
    286
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help picking my first welder..

    You have a lot to learn, but the Miller 211 inverter is a great machine for it's size. It would be a very nice first machine and you would not outgrow it anytime soon. Of course, it is a mig machine and a mig is a great all around machine for hobby work and general fabrication.

    Welding aluminum can be very useful. Once you learn to work with it and have the capability, it opens up many options. I weld aluminum often and couldn't go without that capability. You would need a spool gun for the 211, to weld aluminum and it has a learning curve. You would also need pure argon gas for aluminum, CO2 or CO2 and argon blend for steel, and tri mix with helium for stainless. I have all of them for my 211.

    The cheap/newer tig machines and the all in one machines are not for welding aluminum. You need AC current for that (although some people weld aluminum with DC). The older tig machines can be found for reasonable prices and they will usually do AC tig, but they will be big, old, and power hungry. Mine was made in 1965 and weighs around 1,000 pounds and takes a 100 amp breaker for full power, but it is very useful on a 50 amp breaker (just limited on output). The import machines are often small, inexpensive, and will do AC tig. I have not used one and I like Miller equipment. Others hate them and some swear by them. Tig is good for precise work and small work, but it is slow and learning tig is not fast or real easy.

    Welding classes would be a great place to start. Learn about different types of welding and the equipment and then decide on what you want. X2 on not using your vehicle to learn welding. At least get a few months of time behind the hood on less important work, before you get into something critical.
    Miller 330abp
    Miller 211 inverter, M150 spool gun
    Miller 135
    Miller 375 Extreme plasma
    CNC plasma table (build in progress)
    Femi 120abs portable band saw
    Many other tools
    Too little garage space
    Not enough money

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
    484
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help picking my first welder..

    Name:  miller 211.jpg
Views: 495
Size:  28.2 KB
    Name:  miller 211 1.jpg
Views: 500
Size:  28.0 KB
    Name:  miller 211 3.jpg
Views: 497
Size:  29.1 KB
    Name:  miller 211 2.jpg
Views: 497
Size:  36.8 KB

    Buy a Hobart Ironman 230 and thank me later. I own both of them and the Ironman 230 is a lot better machine. The Miller 211 is cheaply made compared to the Ironman 230.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
    484
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help picking my first welder..

    Name:  Miller 211 board.jpg
Views: 515
Size:  80.5 KB
    Name:  Miller 211 bad stem.jpg
Views: 490
Size:  27.8 KB
    Name:  Miller 211 drive motor.jpg
Views: 492
Size:  51.8 KB
    Name:  Miller 211 bad stem3.jpg
Views: 490
Size:  24.3 KB
    Name:  millermatic 200 ww2.jpg
Views: 495
Size:  40.9 KB

    Look how small the drive motor on the Millermatic 211 is. I had to fix the wire support bolt which came loose after tightening the nut with nylon insert. If you live near Detroit I can sell you my Millermatic 200 for $1000. It's hands down the best MIG welder you can buy. The Hobart 230 is a great value for a new welder but not as well made as the old Millermatic 200. The Hobart 230 has 12 heat settings just like my Millermatic 200 but the arc is not quite as smooth.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
    484
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help picking my first welder..

    The gun and ground clamp that comes with the Millermatic 211 suck. I changed the ground clamp and bought a Bernard center fire gun. The Bernard MIG guns are my favorite. The Millermatic 211 is a good welder but not worth the $1000 price. I'm not a fan of Miller inverters. I have 2 Lincoln Invertec stick welders and they are still going strong. I have had 4 Miller inverter welders and plasma cutters go FUBAR. The transformer welders weigh a lot more but they will last forever if you take care of them.

    Name:  miller 211 gun clamp.jpg
Views: 495
Size:  48.3 KB
    Name:  Bernard 2.jpg
Views: 486
Size:  33.5 KB
    Name:  Bernard nozzle.jpg
Views: 483
Size:  55.0 KB
    Name:  Bernard tips.jpg
Views: 486
Size:  59.3 KB

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Sebeka and Bemidji MN
    Posts
    14,640
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help picking my first welder..

    Multi-process machines are pretty nice for what you describe.

    They are all pretty similar to the millermatic 215 mig/tig/stick for example.
    http://store.cyberweld.com/mimu200mu...FUW4wAodg2cEOw

    Thermal arc 211 and Lincoln 210mp are two more examples to google.

    For a first welder, the bobcat 225 engine drive would not make my first choice list unless you actually need an engine drive.
    Nice big generator though.
    Last edited by MinnesotaDave; 12-11-2016 at 10:44 AM.
    Dave J.

    Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance. ~George Bernard Shaw~

    Airco 300 - Syncro 350
    Invertec v250-s
    Thermal Arc 161 and 300
    MM210
    Dialarc
    Tried being normal once, didn't take....I think it was a Tuesday.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Posts
    159
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help picking my first welder..

    If I was going to buy a new welder right now I would look at the miller multimatic 215: https://www.millerwelds.com/equipmen...ultimatic-215- multiprocess-welder-m30090

    You can do mig and stick and offers optional tig welding...
    Lincoln AC 225
    1979 Miller bluestar 2E
    Smith and victor torches
    Campbell hausfeld 110 DC stick welder
    Hobart 135 mig
    Hobart 190 mig
    Hypertherm 30xp

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Posts
    159
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help picking my first welder..

    I forgot to add it is dual voltage so if you dont have access to 220 volt power you can plug it into a standard 110 volt outlet.
    Lincoln AC 225
    1979 Miller bluestar 2E
    Smith and victor torches
    Campbell hausfeld 110 DC stick welder
    Hobart 135 mig
    Hobart 190 mig
    Hypertherm 30xp

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Posts
    2
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help picking my first welder..

    Thanks for all the input, I hadn't looked at the multimatic or the mp!

    please bear with my ignorance, is there a kelly blue book equivalent for equipment? I found searching in old posts regarding the mentioned welders that their prices have increased, or maybe cause I'm in the New England area they're inflated? e.g. MM 250 posted for $1200, having the 1/2" capability sounds great (we have a few plows) but it's not the $500 some fella on here got a few years back... w/ tanks...

    the mp machines are prob my best bet for now, they can handle what i need to do short term and I can practice tig. I'll live not being able to tig aluminum just yet.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    11,095
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help picking my first welder..

    At the sorta semi bi annual, centennial, yearly Slagpit Bash a couple years back..........I got to try one of these http://www.bakersgas.com/THEW1004201.html Or at least I think it was. I actually liked it, and would recommend it for occasional use. I don't trust inverters for long term, dusty environment, possible high impact transport, use.

    Yeah Scott!!!!!!!!!! I actually recommended an inverter (although not for my own use ) I'm strictly a transformer kinda guy.
    "Any day above ground is a good day"

    http://www.farmersamm.com/

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    11,095
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help picking my first welder..

    "Yabutt Sam.........you like your Cutmaster, and it's an inverter" (Scott)

    "Talk to me 14yrs from now on that score" (me)
    "Any day above ground is a good day"

    http://www.farmersamm.com/

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    7,193
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help picking my first welder..

    Quote Originally Posted by farmersamm View Post
    At the sorta semi bi annual, centennial, yearly Slagpit Bash a couple years back..........I got to try one of these http://www.bakersgas.com/THEW1004201.html Or at least I think it was. I actually liked it, and would recommend it for occasional use. I don't trust inverters for long term, dusty environment, possible high impact transport, use.

    Yeah Scott!!!!!!!!!! I actually recommended an inverter (although not for my own use ) I'm strictly a transformer kinda guy.
    The same welder is listed over $120.00 cheaper here for $870.00

    https://www.weldingsuppliesfromioc.c...FRGewAodczIPsw
    Lincoln, ESAB, Thermal Dynamics, Victor, Miller, Dewalt, Makita, Kalamzoo. Hand tools, power tools, welding and cutting tools.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    11,095
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help picking my first welder..

    Good price.

    Real deal I guess...........I suppose you could just about buy 2 of those (when they crap out), for what I got in dedicated transformer machines. I mean...about 600 in the little crackerbox, and another 740ish in the (soon to be exchanged) HH190. I still feel that dedicated heavy transformer machines will go the long haul. But the average home guy will probably get good use out of the newer stuff with the magic insides.

    If I cared to fight with long heavy leads, I'd probably do an Idealarc for stick, but it's out of the question for what I do. I prefer something in the 100lb range that I can wheel around to where I need it.
    "Any day above ground is a good day"

    http://www.farmersamm.com/

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    11,095
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help picking my first welder..

    But I'm getting old, and somewhat out of touch with stuff out there today. So, maybe I could be giving the inverter stuff a bad rap. Like I say.....talk to me in a decade, when you (not YOU in particular...a generic "you") have some time on your new style machine.
    "Any day above ground is a good day"

    http://www.farmersamm.com/

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
    484
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help picking my first welder..

    The Hobart 210 MVP is a solid transformer base welder by a quality manufacturer. It is dual voltage ant it comes with a regulator sample of flux wire. $850 brand new from Amazon shipped to your door. Or $929 with aluminum spool gun.

    https://www.amazon.com/Hobart-500553...210+welder+mvp

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    65
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help picking my first welder..

    It all just depends on what you are going to do and how much of it are you going to do.


    I have a transformer Miller 211 MIG and like it. A MIG will do a lot.

    But, I'm thinking of buying a transformer stick welder in addition for the simplicity. You put a rod in the clamp, set the amps and go for it. No contact tips, rolls of wire, wire liners, C25 bottles, birdsnests in the machine, etc. Anything 1/8th+ I will probably bust out the stick and save the MIG and gas for smaller stuff.


    For MIG I would probably go Hobart 210.

    For TIG I would probably Miller Diversion 180.

    For Multiprocess I would probably go ESAB Rebel because I don't think you can hook a foot control to the Miller Multi (could be wrong).


    Nothing against Lincoln, I just never owned one and don't know much about them. I would buy one of teir tombstone stick welders but they don't have infinite adjustment, which is pretty silly in 2016.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    1,398
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help picking my first welder..

    Well,

    If you’re a complete welding newbie, a Miller 211 will undoubtedly do MIG well, not much else.

    So, as you mention TIG, turbo stuff, or exhaust manifolds, a MIG alone won’t take care of everything, ideally speaking. The Miller 215 multi will get you further down that road, at a higher cost, and without high frequency TIG arc starts, which are very helpful.

    A MIG-Multi will do Mig, DC-Tig , and Stick, which would be ideal, and certainly a better choice that an engine driven unit. I mean, I can see utilizing all three of those processes for an off-road Jeep project.

    So, my relevant solicited feedback for you, even at the risk of being errroneously called a shill for Everlast or China by a few here, is to recommend an Everlast 211Si, which is on sale at Amazon for $1000 right now, with free shipping and no sales-tax outside Alta California: https://www.amazon.com/Everlast-Powe...s=Everlast+211

    Name:  81vyGe54wgL._SL1500_.jpg
Views: 337
Size:  35.5 KB

    The beauty of the unit, I think, even though I haven't used it, besides the specs, features, price, and good consumer feedback is that it’s the only MIG-Multi unit that has high frequency TIG starts, that I know of, with the TIG gas solenoid as well. And all of the usual TIG accessories are included in the price too, including a foot pedal.

    Of course, I use and own an Everlast product. And I initially bought it via Amazon, but have utilized the Everlast 100% satisfaction guarantee policy, which includes free return shipping, during the 30-day period. Beyond that, the Everlast warrantee is 100% parts and labor for 5 years, but the shipping must be paid by the customer. And I think the savings on Everlast units more than covers any potential added shipping costs later (probably 3-10 times over), but which undoubtedly never happens for most people anyway. So, you can spend more, but I don’t thank you can get more in this class or category. I suppose you could spend a little less on the well-liked Tweco 211 MIG unit, but you’d have to then pay more if you want all the TIG accessories and TIG functionality, I believe.

    Otherwise, as many here will undoubtedly want to mention, the Miller and Lincoln products will most often be able to be handed-off to a local welding supply company, for some free transporting by a Lincoln or Miller rep, and then proceed to a repair facility if need be, which is undoubtedly a nice convenience to many.


    Quote Originally Posted by CBomb View Post
    "...So why am I here: Started a diesel jeep project I will offroad with... Those topics it seems like tig is the way to go, but for everything else I'd be doing mig is the way...

    "When I look at tig machines I see 'experts' have at home they're in the $3K+ ballpark - that's a little out of my price range. I'm thinking millermatic 211 but have been seeing some "deals" on craigslist and am curious to hear your feedback. Recently saw a few bobcat 225 ranging $1600-$2000, looks to be well maintained (new paint job whelped) and the generator aspect w/ tig and mig support is very appealing. Is that range practical? Any other machines you'd recommend looking at?"

    Thanks, C
    Last edited by C. Livingstone; 12-14-2016 at 11:49 AM.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
    484
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help picking my first welder..

    Quote Originally Posted by Rockinar View Post
    It all just depends on what you are going to do and how much of it are you going to do.


    I have a transformer Miller 211 MIG and like it. A MIG will do a lot.

    But, I'm thinking of buying a transformer stick welder in addition for the simplicity. You put a rod in the clamp, set the amps and go for it. No contact tips, rolls of wire, wire liners, C25 bottles, birdsnests in the machine, etc. Anything 1/8th+ I will probably bust out the stick and save the MIG and gas for smaller stuff.


    For MIG I would probably go Hobart 210.

    For TIG I would probably Miller Diversion 180.

    For Multiprocess I would probably go ESAB Rebel because I don't think you can hook a foot control to the Miller Multi (could be wrong).


    Nothing against Lincoln, I just never owned one and don't know much about them. I would buy one of teir tombstone stick welders but they don't have infinite adjustment, which is pretty silly in 2016.
    Look for one of the old Lincoln round top 250 stick welders AC/DC. I have seen them on Craigslist for $200. They will last forever and produce nice welds. Even the old Sears brand AC/DC transformer welders are very nice and plentiful.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Page generated in 1,606,748,240.06434 seconds with 12 queries