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Thread: Worth it to upgrade?

  1. #1
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    Worth it to upgrade?

    I've been TIG welding since 2007 when I picked up my Miller Econotig in college. It has payed for itself many times over by saving me money on my projects and earning money on odd jobs here and there. I mostly weld aluminum; intercooler piping, intakes, fuel cells, radiators, etc. I've gotten myself into some light production work recently welding up fuel cells and found the Econotig to be a bit lacking when it comes to adjustability. I'm a bit of a perfectionist and constantly trying to find ways to improve my welding; every bead I run needs to be a little bit better than the last and I feel the welder is starting to hold me back.

    I've been trying to find a used Dynasty 200DX for a decent price with no luck. I'm now considering just buying one new, but $3800 is a decent chunk of change right now with all my other hobbies. How much of an improvement would the welder be over my current one? Am I going to see a significant savings on electric? I really like the idea of being able to take it anywhere and do projects in other peoples garages using just about any power source. I wish I could take one for a test weld, are there any welding shops around Ohio with demo units? I guess I'm just trying to decide if the upgrade will be worth the price...

  2. #2
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    Re: Worth it to upgrade?

    I've attached a pic of the fuel cells I'm welding up in batches of 10-15 right now.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  3. #3
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    Re: Worth it to upgrade?

    Oh my gosh, YES!!!!!!

    Save you time and money right off the bat. You just can't fathom how quickly the puddle will form, and hold it's shape. One thing I did not like about Econotigs were the limited duty cycle and short range in the pedal.

    I would say keep your Econotig as a backup, or use as the machine to hire a part timer to tack your parts for you while you lay down pristine beads with a new Dynasty.
    Weld like a "WELDOR", not a wel-"DERR"
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  4. #4
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    Re: Worth it to upgrade?

    I've not used a Dynasty 200DX, but I really like my HTP Invertig221. Lots of features for the price. I'm very happy with it. ~$3000 will get you a water cooled setup complete.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Worth it to upgrade?

    Well, I did it. After several days (weeks?) of hemming and hawing, I pulled the trigger and bought a new 200DX from Cyberweld with the contractor pack AND welder cover. $4100 shipped... Now I've got to unload my Econotig.

    I sure hope this thing is worth the money!

  6. #6
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    Re: Worth it to upgrade?

    Man I'm jealous Have fun with the new machine!
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  7. #7
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    Re: Worth it to upgrade?

    WOW ! If you did those with a econotig, you will be in Heavan with a DYNASTY ! It's only money ! I would think you would also have a power savings on your electrical bill too.

  8. #8
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    Re: Worth it to upgrade?

    how much do you want for the econotig??
    Miller Multimatic 255

  9. #9
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    Re: Worth it to upgrade?

    I've got it up for sale for $1000 OBO. Average market value on these looks like ~$800-1000.

  10. #10
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    Re: Worth it to upgrade?

    Well it looks like the Econotig is sold for $800 this weekend. Luckly, the 200DX will be here tomorrow!

    Anyone have some setup info for welding 0.120" 5052 sheet in the configurations shown above? I would like to try to leave the laser cut edges unprepped with the exception of an acetone preclean and a quick wire brushing after tacking...

  11. #11
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    Re: Worth it to upgrade?

    Awesome. I'm sure you'll be absolutely thrilled with it. Gotta leave digital features.
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  12. #12
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    Re: Worth it to upgrade?

    Quote Originally Posted by LimitedSlip7 View Post
    Well it looks like the Econotig is sold for $800 this weekend. Luckly, the 200DX will be here tomorrow!

    Anyone have some setup info for welding 0.120" 5052 sheet in the configurations shown above? I would like to try to leave the laser cut edges unprepped with the exception of an acetone preclean and a quick wire brushing after tacking...
    You can just weld AC on the default settings, which is 70 or 75% balance, 120 htz. Me, I turn down my htz to 100, but I just like the sound better.

    You using 5356 for the filler? I am doing some tanks of the same style, 1/8 5356. Watch your craters.
    Weld like a "WELDOR", not a wel-"DERR"
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  13. #13
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    Re: Worth it to upgrade?

    Limitedslip: Badass fuel cells, I am sure the dynasty will serve you well, it's almost like the econotig was holding you back.. Get ready for a very fast growth!
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  14. #14
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    Re: Worth it to upgrade?

    For what it is worth, I jumped on the Dyn200 and ran some seams on a tank. Big difference from plate. I lowered balance and increased freq. Surprisingly the increase in freq kept the cloud to a minimum, and the puddle right in the joint. Had to lower and could lower amps some more even Here is what I liked.

    1/8 5052 sheet
    1/8 5356 filler
    Amps 190
    Balance 70
    Freq 140
    Start (default) at 3/32
    #6 gas lens
    15 cfh argon
    3/32 ceriated tungsten
    Soft squarewave(again default)

    Your results may vary.
    Weld like a "WELDOR", not a wel-"DERR"
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  15. #15
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    Re: Worth it to upgrade?

    I've been using 3/32" 4043 on my previous tanks, but I'm wondering if I shouldnt switch over to 5356. I weld the tanks up so that there are only two stop points on the seams and taper off to prevent any craters.

    Are you using the entire 190 amps when welding? You must be hauling ***! I haven't welded up any tanks yet with the new welder, I'll probably be starting on them tonight.

    I did hook everything up on Sat and laid a few quick beads on a 6061 coupon with 4043 filler. Welds looked good but came out a little grainy. Coupon was sanded and the filler was wiped down with acetone. Gonna play around with it tonight and try some brand new filler rod instead of the stuff that has been sitting around for a few years.

  16. #16
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    Re: Worth it to upgrade?

    I'm sure he's not using the whole 190amps probably 120-140 to start the puddle then pedaling from from there.

  17. #17
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    Re: Worth it to upgrade?

    Quote Originally Posted by LimitedSlip7 View Post
    I've been using 3/32" 4043 on my previous tanks, but I'm wondering if I shouldnt switch over to 5356. I weld the tanks up so that there are only two stop points on the seams and taper off to prevent any craters.

    Are you using the entire 190 amps when welding? You must be hauling ***! I haven't welded up any tanks yet with the new welder, I'll probably be starting on them tonight.

    I did hook everything up on Sat and laid a few quick beads on a 6061 coupon with 4043 filler. Welds looked good but came out a little grainy. Coupon was sanded and the filler was wiped down with acetone. Gonna play around with it tonight and try some brand new filler rod instead of the stuff that has been sitting around for a few years.
    Yes, you should definitely switch over to 5356. 4043 is way too dependent on base metal dilution for any strength. You certainly don't want to have the seam split later on. 5356 is a high strength filler, is more ductile than 4043, and exhibits some exothermic property to the puddle due to the magnesium when welding. But it holds it's shape quite well when you run hot and fast. It also will not speckle from silicon surfacing either.

    The ones we weld are 1/8th 5052 using 1/8th 5356 filler. I will PM photos to you.
    Weld like a "WELDOR", not a wel-"DERR"
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  18. #18
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    Re: Worth it to upgrade?

    Well my Dynasty 200DX was stolen two days ago along with ~$3k worth of other tools. It really ****ing sucks. Everything was in a good friends garage and I don't think that their homeowners insurance is going to cover it. I'm not sure if I want them to even make a claim as it jack up their premiums.

    I'm in the middle of a welding project that I've got a lot of money tied up into, so I don't have much of a choice except to go buy another welder. Doesn't look like there are many used welders on the market, so I'm probably going to buy new again. Any recommendations? Any deals that you know of? I noticed Miller changed their Dynasty and Syncrowave lineup a bit, what improvements have they made?

    Thanks

  19. #19
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    Re: Worth it to upgrade?

    ARE YOU SERIOUS? wtf ,bunch of rats!!!!

  20. #20
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    Re: Worth it to upgrade?

    I am really sorry to hear about your misfortune. If you are staying within the dynasty 210 dx budget I would recommend that you look at ESAB Heliarc 281I. I believe one can be had for under $3500. And goes up to 280 A which will be very helpful for your aluminum welding. It also has a 40% duty cycle at 250 A. ESAB currently has 100 day money back guarantee. If you don't like the machine for whatever reason you can send it back and get your money.

  21. #21
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    Re: Worth it to upgrade?

    Quote Originally Posted by Weld_ View Post
    I am really sorry to hear about your misfortune. If you are staying within the dynasty 210 dx budget I would recommend that you look at ESAB Heliarc 281I. I believe one can be had for under $3500. And goes up to 280 A which will be very helpful for your aluminum welding. It also has a 40% duty cycle at 250 A. ESAB currently has 100 day money back guarantee. If you don't like the machine for whatever reason you can send it back and get your money.
    If you have the power available and a place to keep it permanently why dont you just buy a syncrowave off craigslist for 500-1000?

    After reading this I am going to up my security, i am so sorry about your tools.

  22. #22
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    Re: Worth it to upgrade?

    The Dynasty 210dx seems like the ticket right now, based on features. BUT, the HTP 221 goes on sale starting November.
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  23. #23
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    Re: Worth it to upgrade?

    That stinks!

    I love the 280DX. I've not done fuel cells. Terry is the expert, but I've heard no mention of 4943 filler. It is stronger than 4043, melts at a lower temperature, so less distortion, and much easier wetting action. If I were you I'd ask Shovelon about 4943.
    An optimist is usually wrong, and when the unexpected happens is unprepared. A pessimist is usually right, when wrong, is delighted, and well prepared.

  24. #24
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    Re: Worth it to upgrade?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
    The Dynasty 210dx seems like the ticket right now, based on features. BUT, the HTP 221 goes on sale starting November.
    Apparently it's on sale already. $200 off the regular price but not for the dual voltage model.

  25. #25
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    Re: Worth it to upgrade?

    Quote Originally Posted by sparky24 View Post
    If you have the power available and a place to keep it permanently why dont you just buy a syncrowave off craigslist for 500-1000?

    After reading this I am going to up my security, i am so sorry about your tools.
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