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Thread: ESAB Miniarc (161lts and 180i)

  1. #1
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    ESAB Miniarc (161lts and 180i)

    I recently bought a Miniarc Rogue 180i which I'm really liking. It runs every rod I've thrown at it, which includes:

    1/8" Lincoln 5p+ 6010
    1/8" HYW Brick Red 6010 (Ebay)
    1/8" Lincoln Fleetweld 180 6011
    1/8" Lincoln Fleetweld 7014
    1/8" Lincoln Excalibur MR 7018
    1/8" Hobart 6011
    3/32" Lincoln Excalibur MR 7018
    3/32" Forney 6011
    1/16" Hobart 6011
    1/16" Hobart 7018
    1/16" Washington Alloy 6013

    ESAB currently has a promotion if you buy a Miniarc Rogue where they send you 5 lbs. of rod,
    I submitted to get some Sureweld 1/8" 6010 to try, and would like to try Sureweld 7108, it has
    some graphite ends on it that evidently make it easier to start.

    So far this little 18lb. welder is living up to it's claims.

    I also bought a CK Worldwide 17 Flexhead w/valve torch to use for the lift-arc Tig, and got an
    SSC pedal with an ESAB 8-pin plug on it. Although not a lot of features, I don't normally use very
    many features on my Tig, although sometimes use pulse on my other machine, I find the Miniarc
    does a dandy job at the Tig also.

    I know there are more than a few Miniarc 161lts owners on WeldingWeb, and since these welders
    are so similar I added the 161lts in the subject of this thread. It also seems that whenever stick
    welders are mentioned, a lot of old transformer machines are mentioned, so figure a thread of
    our own for the Miniarc is well suited.

    Here's some 7108 I was padding beads on last night, 1/8" Excalibur at 130 amps, Hot Start at 6,
    Arc Force at 0 (both got -10 to +10), I've also ran Arc Force at -4 but think 0 runs smoother. On
    some scrap 3/16" plate.



    I primarily bought the Miniarc as a Stick machine, but here's some Tig on the side
    of some .093" wall tube. I believe about 88 amps.



    Would be curious to hear what type of stick and/or Tig you're doing with
    your Miniarcs. I'll be doing my first project with mine in a week or two.

  2. #2
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    Re: ESAB Miniarc (161lts and 180i)

    Try some aluminum stick. The 161 run ally rods well.

    I use 3/32 rods mostly. 6010, 6013, 7018. I often weld on 120v. I rarely tig with it.

    The 160 fits well in the Rigid rolling tool box from home depot with space for rods and tools


    I had their esab 150aps. Made in Italy. It was real on 120v. However wound run aluminum rods. I don't think it ran 6010 either. Accepted a foot pedal. But I found unnecessary for steel field work. I still have the pedal. The machine died after 12 yrs.

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    Re: ESAB Miniarc (161lts and 180i)

    Quote Originally Posted by TraditionalToolworks View Post
    I recently bought a Miniarc Rogue 180i which I'm really liking.
    Glad you gave a had good results on the new ESAB inverter. I've been using my 161 LTS for about 5 years now, and love it.

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    Re: ESAB Miniarc (161lts and 180i)

    Quote Originally Posted by tapwelder View Post
    Try some aluminum stick. The 161 run ally rods well.
    I will get some and try it. I know it's pretty messy, but I'll try it.

    Did you run 4043 ???

    I saw a video Jody Collier did where he runs DC Tig using an aluminum electrode as the filler rod, with the flux on it!

    Surprisingly the weld didn't come out too bad, I thought pretty good for welding Aluminum on DC.

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    Re: ESAB Miniarc (161lts and 180i)

    Quote Originally Posted by shortfuse View Post
    Glad you gave a had good results on the new ESAB inverter. I've been using my 161 LTS for about 5 years now, and love it.
    I was trying to figure what the differences are between the 161lts and the 180i, seems that Baker Gas still has the 161lts on sale with the tig package and case.

    I was talking with MJD recently and one thing I was asking about is if the 161 had clicks when you change the amperage, he said no. On the 180i it clicks distinctively for each amp as you change the knob. I really wish my Primeweld would do that, it's pretty sensitive.

    180i has Hot Start and Arc Force settings in the menu, those are handy.

    And the 180i has ability to use a pedal. I will say this, the Tig is an expensive option, especially if you get a pedal as it's about $275 for a torch and pedal.

    EDIT: Also 20 extra amps of course, 20-180 for Stick, and 10-180 on Tig with 240v and 20-110 for Stick and 10-140 for Tig on 120v. PFC seems possibly improved, it will run on a 328' extension on either 240v or 120v. I have not used mine on 120v yet, but my first project will use it.

    I bought my 180i from Welding Supplies IOC, so that gave me 599 reward points which I applied to a torch purchase, so got the CK 17 flexhead w/valve for $88. However, the pedal was about $170, I got the SSC from HTP America. The ESAB pedal is about $50 more, I think it's $229.
    Last edited by TraditionalToolworks; 10-09-2020 at 09:57 PM.

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    Re: ESAB Miniarc (161lts and 180i)

    Quote Originally Posted by tapwelder View Post
    Try some aluminum stick. The 161 run ally rods well.
    I just tried it, and it does in fact work. Gives a new meaning to snap crackle pop for stick welding, I'll say that.

    Pretty messy stuff, and it sure burns the rod fast...took me a couple tries to start understanding it. I used a 1/8" 4043 Harris rod with 125 amps. I had to shove it in quickly and move fast along the weld. The material is 1/8" 6061.



    What I really wanted to try, which I had no success with was Tig welding on DC using a 4043 stick electrode with the flux left on.

    I was having no luck at all, but I was not using any shielding gas at all, my thinking was in a pinch if I only had my Miniarc I might use it that way, then all I would need to take with me is the torch, but if I had to take the bottle, torch and pedal, it would probably discourage me. At that point I could just take my AC/DC Tig welder and do it right on AC.

    This proved well as a test if I needed it and only had my Miniarc, the 4043 stick would work in a pinch and get aluminum glued together.

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    Re: ESAB Miniarc (161lts and 180i)

    If you Tig weld without shielding gas/argon, you will melt the tungsten, contaminate the tungsten, contaminate the weld and burn up your Tig torch. Then you want to use a coated stick aluminum electrode for the filler metal to provide the shielding? This has to be one of the most absurd things I've ever read. Did you have a few too many wobbly pops when you wrote this?

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    Re: ESAB Miniarc (161lts and 180i)

    Quote Originally Posted by Welder Dave View Post
    Did you have a few too many wobbly pops when you wrote this?
    Not that I know of.


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    Re: ESAB Miniarc (161lts and 180i)

    I didn't hear him mention no shielding gas. I think would have to do some bend tests or other destructive tests and compare it to Tig welding, stick welding and aluminum brazing with rods designed for it.

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    Re: ESAB Miniarc (161lts and 180i)

    Quote Originally Posted by Welder Dave View Post
    I didn't hear him mention no shielding gas. I think would have to do some bend tests or other destructive tests and compare it to Tig welding, stick welding and aluminum brazing with rods designed for it.
    Sure, go ahead and do that.

    For me it's moot as if I need to drag around an argon bottle, torch and pedal, there is no value for me as I have another AC/DC Tig welder that I could do the same with and it only weighs 48 lbs. rather than the 18 lbs. of the Miniarc 180i. I can't see any point in that for your 400 lb. Idealarc. But then this thread is on the Miniarc 161/180i.

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    Re: ESAB Miniarc (161lts and 180i)

    How could you Tig weld without shielding gas like you were suggesting? What does an Idealarc have to do with anything?

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    Re: ESAB Miniarc (161lts and 180i)

    Go troll somewhere else.

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    Re: ESAB Miniarc (161lts and 180i)

    I guess it's easier to call me a troll than explain how you Tig weld without shielding gas.

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    Re: ESAB Miniarc (161lts and 180i)

    Quote Originally Posted by Welder Dave View Post
    I guess it's easier to call me a troll than explain how you Tig weld without shielding gas.
    You had no intention of adding value to this thread when you came in commenting. Go polish your helmet and do something useful.

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    Re: ESAB Miniarc (161lts and 180i)

    Asking how you Tig weld without shielding gas is a reasonable question.

  17. Likes DavidR8, Munkul, MinnesotaDave liked this post
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    Re: ESAB Miniarc (161lts and 180i)

    TTW, lighten up you miserable sod, and take the hit, you said something stupid, now get over yourself

    It was a pretty funny comment to be fair.


    Back on topic, it's a sweet looking machine. Available in the UK as well. I especially like the digital amps display, too many little stick inverters just have a dial and a guess. I wouldn't buy a machine without a digital display nowadays.
    Last edited by Munkul; 4 Weeks Ago at 07:26 AM.

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  20. #17
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    Re: ESAB Miniarc (161lts and 180i)

    Quote Originally Posted by Munkul View Post
    TTW, lighten up you miserable sod, and take the hit, you said something stupid, now get over yourself
    I did actually in the other thread this was dragged to.

    But there's no worry, nobody will need to worry about what I say, I can walk away from BS on my own. Add me to the list of people that don't frequent WeldingWeb anymore, like in the thread where people wonder about members that don't come around anymore. It should be clear why those people don't hang around here. Many people in that thread most likely have better things to do than hang out and split hairs over small issues that really don't matter. Like Paul Brinegar is probably too busy manufacturing and selling product to people that want it, rather than hanging around with people repurposing a toilet paper rack into a welding cart. I see guys like him on InstaGram every day.

    Quote Originally Posted by Munkul View Post
    It was a pretty funny comment to be fair.
    Indeed, and I've explained why using gas is not attractive to me, so yeah, it was silly for me to think it would have worked. But I didn't let that stop me from trying, and making a fool out of myself in the end. No worries...I'd rather make a fool out of myself than sit around with my thumbs up my arse using WeldingWeb without even welding...there's a fair amount of armchair welders on this forum.

    Quote Originally Posted by Munkul View Post
    Back on topic, it's a sweet looking machine.
    Nah, actually it's a cheap inverter, most people should look for a transformer machine. Those boxes will still be running when these little inverters are dead and in the scrap yard. I honestly thing it's a fluke that it runs all the stick I throw at it. I don't know much about stick welding, the way I got it to work was connect my ground clamp in the positive and my stinger in the negative, and then the only way I could get it to work was to connect my electrode in the ground clamp and connect my stinger to the plate I was welding to...kind of strange using the ground clamp as a stinger, but it worked.


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    Re: ESAB Miniarc (161lts and 180i)

    Quote Originally Posted by TraditionalToolworks View Post
    the way I got it to work was connect my ground clamp in the positive and my stinger in the negative, and then the only way I could get it to work was to connect my electrode in the ground clamp and connect my stinger to the plate I was welding to...kind of strange using the ground clamp as a stinger, but it worked.

    Are you attempting to bait others to argue with you with this statement?
    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.

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  23. #19
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    Re: ESAB Miniarc (161lts and 180i)

    Well it IS an ESAB so in my opinion all bets are off.
    Thermal Arc 320SP ( Lorch )
    Cobra Pythons
    Thermal Arc 300 AC/DC ( Sanrex )
    ESAB 301i AC/DC ( Lorch )
    Thermal Arc 161STL ( WTL )
    Thermal Arc 190S ( Sanrex )
    Cut Master 82, 42. Cut45 ( WTL )
    Victor Gas Apps.
    Boxes and boxes of welding crap.

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    Re: ESAB Miniarc (161lts and 180i)

    Quote Originally Posted by TraditionalToolworks View Post
    But there's no worry, nobody will need to worry about what I say, I can walk away from BS on my own. Add me to the list of people that don't frequent WeldingWeb anymore, like in the thread where people wonder about members that don't come around
    Don't worry too much on WW behalf - you're on the never-to-be-missed list, with that sort of butthurt attitude

    You said in your OP that you really liked the machine, but now you're saying its a cheap inverter and not to buy one? Can you make up your mind?
    Last edited by Munkul; 4 Weeks Ago at 05:29 AM.

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  26. #21
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    Re: ESAB Miniarc (161lts and 180i)

    Do any of you guys know where I can find that emoji that shows a fella eating popcorn?

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