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Thread: Stick machines - looking to increase fabrication ability and curious about Everlast

  1. #1
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    Stick machines - looking to increase fabrication ability and curious about Everlast

    This is my first post here on Welding Web also.

    I have been welding on my own projects since I was in high school using a flux core machine. There have been some times when I was asking too much of the welder, and others when I just sucked it up and went to someone else's shop that was better equipped.

    In time I would like to get a nice multi-process set up (likely 1 power supply) that will do MIG and TIG, specifically high frequency AC TIG for aluminum. That isn't in the cards.

    For the time being, I think getting a nice stick machine is the best thing I can do. To be honest, I probably should have had a stick machine as a first machine but the flux core machine I have was dads and I inherited it. He didn't want to mess with stick welding and didn't want to deal with gas with a MIG.

    That brings me to my questions.

    The last project I welded was a mix of 3/8" and 1/2" plate to 1/4" wall square tubing, all A36 steel. Electrodes were 6011, 3/32" diameter. The machine was an AC stick machine that I started out at 150a with and went down to 90a. On the hotter settings I was too close to blowing through the 1/4", and even at 90a the penetration was deep - which is what I was after on the particular joints. Each main joint was 3 passes - root and a pass on either side to fillet. Though, I did a cap over some rougher areas (I haven't stick welded much and the last time before this was probably 10 years ago).

    In that example - those are the heaviest welds I've done. I have another project in mind that would have even heavier welds and heavier steel. I don't think penetration is going to be much of a concern, however laying down metal is and that will translate to larger diameter electrodes = more current.

    What I want most of all is a machine that I can rely on that is capable of what I am wanting it to do. I know we ran 3/32" 6011's at 150a AC and that was too hot for the application. That may equate to "just right" for the heavier project I have in mind, but I won't know until I try it. When trying to lay down thicker beads, though, heavier rods are going to need more current to do that.

    Given that the Everlast machines are DC machines - how does the amperage compare to a transformer-based AC machine?
    Do Everlast machines protect themselves if run past their duty cycle - either by thermal shut down or some other sensing ability?

    The PowerArc 210STL is the highest on my list in the price range - namely because it has the ability to run TIG with a foot pedal. I don't need the machine to run on 120v (it would likely only be 240), and I am not crazy about its' spec'd duty cycles with higher amperages unless there is some real protection on the machine to make it shut down before burning up.

    The PowerArc 300 is next on the list - namely because I feel a bit more comfortable with the duty cycles. With it only being offered as a 240v power supply it doesn't come across to me as a "light duty" machine like the 210 does, even though I've read the product info and the manufacturer suggests it isn't "light duty" with a lot of innovation being packed in the box.

    I suppose if I have to sacrifice anything I would say I only want a good stick machine I can rely on at the end of the day. So TIG as being an option at all isn't a factor. Later down the road I can set up for TIG and MIG with gas on a better machine.

    Can anyone offer any advice and perhaps steer me in a good direction?

    Is there any merit to having replacement parts (control board, transistors, anything) on-hand in case of a burn-out? That isn't to suggest a lack of confidence in product, but when it comes down to it I would rather have some parts in a box ready to swap and loose a day getting back up than to loose a couple weeks turn around time shipping things back and forth. If money wasn't an object I'd have a whole spare machine (along with a lot of spares of other equipment) so since I can't go that far - what can I do to protect myself from a machine going down? And do the machines have sensors that will throw the machine off while welding so as to prevent a burn up?

  2. #2
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    Re: Stick machines - looking to increase fabrication ability and curious about Everla

    The 210STL will be more duty cycle than you can handle, particularly with the rods that are typically burned. The 210STL at 35% duty cycle is considered in the heavier class, when you compare an older thunderbolt or tombstone welder, which on DC, was barely 15% at 125 amps on DC.

    The unit has plenty of protection, but you won't use it. If you are welding in a normal 125 to 150 amp range, you will be in the 60 to 100% duty cycle range.
    DC gives you more heat and is much smoother and more stable.

    It is indeed a good machine with all the features you need and could ask for in the way of a stick welder.

    If you ran 3/32 6011's at 150 amps, that must have been like holding a cutting torch, even on AC. Those top out at about 75 to 80 amps maximum.
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    Re: Stick machines - looking to increase fabrication ability and curious about Everla

    Thanks for the comments.

    Quote Originally Posted by lugweld View Post
    The 210STL will be more duty cycle than you can handle, particularly with the rods that are typically burned. The 210STL at 35% duty cycle is considered in the heavier class, when you compare an older thunderbolt or tombstone welder, which on DC, was barely 15% at 125 amps on DC.
    What I don't know is how the current translates between AC and DC. I understand RMS voltage on AC and when you rectify and filter that to get smooth DC you have less voltage on DC than you would with AC. In that statement I am using "voltage" also, not "current".

    The 210 shows an open circuit voltage of 70v, whereas under load 20.8 to 28.8v. I assume the lower voltage is at higher amperages?

    As far as heat goes - how do you translate, say, 90 amps AC on a 3/32" 6011? What setting on an inverter-based DC machine would meet that?

    The reason I am concerned with that particular point is my hunch is that it will be a significant percentage higher. So, theoretically, instead of 90 amps it would need to be like 120 amps. I could be wrong. Maybe it is the opposite way and I can get by with less current on DC.

    But if it does end up higher then what I see with a 200 amp max welder is the top end of the current capacity of the machine is where I am anticipating I am going to be running most of the time. And that goes against my grain - I want the welder to have the capacity to do way more so I am not taxing it with where I will normally run. In operating that way, or planning to that, then I won't be nearly as at risk of burning up the machine.

    Quote Originally Posted by lugweld View Post
    The unit has plenty of protection, but you won't use it. If you are welding in a normal 125 to 150 amp range, you will be in the 60 to 100% duty cycle range.
    DC gives you more heat and is much smoother and more stable.
    See above. I want to have some better confidence in the numbers. And to add to it - as I said in my 1st post - I want to run bigger electrodes than 3/32" so as to be able to lay down more metal. That will translate to more current I'm sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by lugweld View Post
    It is indeed a good machine with all the features you need and could ask for in the way of a stick welder.

    If you ran 3/32 6011's at 150 amps, that must have been like holding a cutting torch, even on AC. Those top out at about 75 to 80 amps maximum.
    I did a test bead on 1/4" plate, not real long, just a quick bead and it left a divot nearly 1/8" below the surface when I backed out of the arc. I left it there because I was going in to 3/8" plate and I wanted the penetration. When I actually got on the joint and was in the weld the amount of heat that was there after a couple seconds was a lot more than I bargained for. Thankfully, I didn't blow through the 1/4" but I darn sure got close.

    For what it is worth, both the 3/8" and 1/2" plates tweaked quite a bit on the axis of the longer welds I did - only about 3" long. So the heat at 90a still made it far enough through the plates to move them the way they did. For the weldment the tweaking didn't matter here - the plates were heavy pin joints and the shorter weld edges were the only ones that messed up the fitment. That was easy enough to correct with a bolt to spread the plates as the pin holes (3/4") were already there. Other weldments with more precise fitting would be a totally different story.

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    Re: Stick machines - looking to increase fabrication ability and curious about Everla

    @lugweld - I just noticed your signature and you have listed owning a Powerarc 300. What can you tell me about it? What do you like about it, what don't you like about it?

    I don't recognize all the other Everlast models you listed - but for stick performance - if any of the others run stick - what can you tell me about where the 300 compares with the others, or the other way around?

    I'd be curious to hear if the 300, seemingly designed as solely a stick machine (I know it can do some tig with the right options, but that doesn't seem like what it was designed for off the bat), has something that stands above some of the other units, or the other way around. Sometimes I wonder if the multi-process machines are too much of a compromise. Just speaking of redundancy - the idea of everything in 1 box does leave a lot to go south quick if there isn't a backup ready in case the multi-process unit does take a dump. But the convenience also says it would be really nice to have.

    Price-wise at the moment I think the higher end models are out of my league, so the 210 and 300 is what I'm chewing on, and being stick machines that is what I need.

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    Re: Stick machines - looking to increase fabrication ability and curious about Everla

    How should I put this? I hope I don't hurt your feelings here. That's not my intention, but I will plainly talk here so that it is clear...

    Honestly, I think you are way off on your stick welding knowledge, and probably should read up and even watch a few welding videos on proper welding practices. The amperage you were welding at with a 3/32 6011 is ridiculously high, even on AC. You shouldn't have needed more than 90 amps on AC, and more likely 80 would have been hot at that...unless something was wrong with the welder.

    First, anything over 1/4" for best welding practice, you should bevel and make multiple passes. This is the industry accepted standard. The very "tweaking" and the "divot" (which is called undercut if it is on the side of the weld, or a crater at the end of it) you did while previously welding confirms I am correct about you needing to make multiple passes. This makes for a much weaker weld. You don't just lay one "gobby bead" on thick metal.

    What you are saying, I doubt you'll ever run much over 1/8" 7018 rod which tops out at 160 amps, but mostly is used at 125 amps or so. With a 6010, or 6011, you'll only be running a 1/8" rod at about 100 amps or so. Even with 5/32 which is the largest rod you'll get at a farm store or most welding shops, you'll still have plenty of power.

    It seems you might be a little all over the place with this. You are worrying about things that don't matter at this point. Inverters excel at DC output. For inverters to output AC, if they are equipped to do so, turn it into DC first then convert it back to AC, a very smooth AC. But AC is pretty useless in the commercial world. It's only use is in the rare exception for cases where DC arc blow occur, which can be managed in DC if it occurs by repositioning work clamp and other techniques.

    If you will seriously listen to me, I can help you. There's very little you mentioned that cannot easily be managed with a 200 amp welder with 35% duty cycle at maximum output. If you are welding at 200 amps all the time on what you said, you are doing it wrong. Unless you are running a 1/4" Jet Rod at 300 amps, you do not need a 300 amp welder. And if you do, it is hard on the pocket book. Stick with 1/8" and 5/32" (or even the occasional 3/16 for really large weldments and 1" plate) and that is all you will ever need unless you are welding foot thick plate.

    MIG TIG Stick multi-process machines are stable and don't usually have any more issues than anything else due to the fact it is all controlled by computer. Not many extra parts etc.

    Arc length controls voltage. Amperage doesn't control voltage. AC doesn't have anything directly to do with arc voltage either. Arc length is what controls the voltage and is pretty much universal on stick welding. As your shorten your arc the voltage falls and can fall as low as 12 or 14 volts before the rod sticks fast. Inverters (particularly ours) have adjustable arc force control which offsets the drop in voltage (when it falls below approx 20V) with an increase in amperage to keep total welding wattage (what you really are concerned about, not just volts or just amps) more or less stable and the arc going. A transformer welder doesn't typically do this.

    DC stick and DC TIG are essentially the same process, though DC TIG runs a bit lower on voltage for several reasons, including shorter arc length.

    The units have a 5 year warranty. Most everything inside on these stick welders is plug and play so it takes 15 minutes to get it back up and going if you choose not to send it in for repair and we send you a board. It has a single board design, which means it is easy to fix.

    As far as duty cycle goes, it is nearly humanly impossible to even exceed the 60% duty cycle because you use the off time to clean the weld, replace the rod, regrind for the restart etc before you lay in again. At 160 amps, which is still nice and warm for a 5/32 most rods, this is 60% duty cycle level.
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    Re: Stick machines - looking to increase fabrication ability and curious about Everla

    Quote Originally Posted by lugweld View Post
    How should I put this? I hope I don't hurt your feelings here. That's not my intention, but I will plainly talk here so that it is clear...

    Honestly, I think you are way off on your stick welding knowledge,
    Thanks for the detail and the thought. That's partly why I came to the forums - I know enough to be dangerous and get going. When it comes to finding a machine to do what I want it to do its kind of hard to nail that down when I am not accurate in where my thoughts/ideas are vs what products actually do. You just more bluntly pointed out where I am is not on the right track.


    Quote Originally Posted by lugweld View Post
    Arc length controls voltage. Amperage doesn't control voltage. AC doesn't have anything directly to do with arc voltage either. Arc length is what controls the voltage and is pretty much universal on stick welding. As your shorten your arc the voltage falls and can fall as low as 12 or 14 volts before the rod sticks fast. Inverters (particularly ours) have adjustable arc force control which offsets the drop in voltage (when it falls below approx 20V) with an increase in amperage to keep total welding wattage (what you really are concerned about, not just volts or just amps) more or less stable and the arc going. A transformer welder doesn't typically do this.
    I'm not sure I have ever run an inverter welder. When I was in college the school had all Lincoln equipment. I can't tell you what models. I don't recall any suitcase style machines there - they were all larger rack mounted units or bigger floor boxes. The flux core machine and the stick machines (buzz boxes if you will) have all been transformer-based. That said - my reference for AC was the raw output from a transformer, not inverter technology turning that back in to AC. Though, the bold comment I think nails the points both of us were trying to speak to - the "heat" appears to be the wattage, which as you noted was essentially volts (controlled by arc length also, not just machine output) x amps. In that case, the voltage side of that equation (post-transformer AC, not inverter, per se) gets in to the point about RMS voltage - it affects the wattage equation (wattage is power = weld power) and that changes how much heat there is. But that is getting way deeper at the moment than appears to be necessary.

    Good stuff!

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    Re: Stick machines - looking to increase fabrication ability and curious about Everla

    Here are some pictures of part of the last project. Most of the plate was 3/8" - thats what these are. The same joint was made with a 1/2" plate also on another part.

    As to beveling the edges of the plate - not possible as the welds are in the middle of the plate. To get more surface area, or deeper in to a "root", if you will, I would have had to cut a groove in the plate. Whereas, with the square tubing being welded to the face of the plate the rounded corners of the tubing allowed for that increase of surface area.

    The weld on the back plate that you see face on, horizontal parallel to the axis of the square tubing, was 4 passes. 1 root, 1 pass between each part and the root, and a cap.


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    Here is an end view from the above assembly with the right side up in the air. The weld I pointed out above is in the top left corner of the square tube you are looking down through.

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    And another picture zoomed in to show the deflection in the plates. At 1 there is more deflection than 2 - enough that it is noticeable. Again, for the specific weldment that doesn't matter here for me - its a basic, rugged, raw steel assembly. Good to practice on.

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    Again, rods were 6011's run with AC.

    As to the point of the thread - settings aside (I'll get more proficient in time) - this is the heaviest weldment I've done, but have a project that will be heavier base metal with heavier welds yet - mostly the same kind of plate-to-square-tubing joints, just bigger/heavier tubing, along with heavy plate-to-plate with the same heavy plate as extra gusset bracing. There will be welding inside confined spaces (limited access with the rod around what has already been welded up) so I doubt I'll be doing the more complex welding any time soon. I'm sure I'll find another project to practice on before then.

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    Re: Stick machines - looking to increase fabrication ability and curious about Everla

    You can see highly visible very bad undercutting along the sides of the weld. That is a point of failure for any weld, and cracking. For it to be on something like a hitch, this would be a recall for most companies that did this. The top picture it is most visible.
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    Re: Stick machines - looking to increase fabrication ability and curious about Everla

    Quote Originally Posted by lugweld View Post
    You can see highly visible very bad undercutting along the sides of the weld. That is a point of failure for any weld, and cracking. For it to be on something like a hitch, this would be a recall for most companies that did this. The top picture it is most visible.

    Thanks for the comments. I'm sure my welds will get better - once I get a machine and get more practice.

    The joints where the pins go - the non-welded parts of the joints - were sucked in from the welding, perhaps up to 3/16" at the edges furthest from the welds. I used a 5/8" bolt through the pin holes to spread the plates. I wish I had pictures to show how much the metal moved - both from the welding and how far I spread it back out with the bolt trick. It was impressive seeing the plates bent back out with the bolt. I had to make several attempts at it because when I backed the bolt pressure off the spring tension left in the plates was still too tight for the next square tube. I had to spread the plates a lot further apart under bolt pressure so when the pressure came off the tension settled the plates in the right spot.

    Moral of the story - if no welds broke with the amount of stress I had the plates under then they will hold up fine. If I see signs of problems later I can address it at that point in time, no big deal. These parts won't likely even get painted - never left out and surface rust won't matter. The part this assembly is an upgrade/replacement to was bouncing around in the back of my truck for the past 12 years and was never painted.

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    Re: Stick machines - looking to increase fabrication ability and curious about Everla

    Quote Originally Posted by FlyFishn View Post


    Moral of the story - if no welds broke with the amount of stress I had the plates under then they will hold up fine. .

    Ahahahahahaha! Famous last words right before you receive a vehicular homicide/assault conviction for your negligence ! Now youre a weld engineer? We know all about distortion , no need to show us ur pictures. STOP worrying about a bunch of nonsense. You have no idea what you're doing. Please get some instruction or read read read before you pick up the stinger again. Stop before you murder someone. And yeah, not painting the parts is gonna be the end all solution. Fabricating towing equipment IS a massive deal. People who don't have a damn clue have no business anywhere near it!
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    Re: Stick machines - looking to increase fabrication ability and curious about Everla

    Quote Originally Posted by NathanDoty View Post
    Ahahahahahaha! Famous last words right before you receive a vehicular homicide/assault conviction for your negligence ! ...Fabricating towing equipment IS a massive deal. People who don't have a damn clue have no business anywhere near it!
    Ah the internet.

    The assembly has nothing to do with towing down the road. Thanks for the hype and "scare" though.

    It is for an anchor to use for a small winch on so I can move some things myself without jamming the winch line. Its built on a 2" receiver platform because that is universal. Of course, the Internet Gods won't care and blast it saying its a death trap. If it breaks I'll patch it or re-do it. No big deal and I, for the one who made it and am using it, don't really care.

    On other assemblies - things might look different.

    If you wish to hound me further about it - at least send me a PM. The thread has already deviated away from the original topic so I guess its already down the tube from the original question looking for a welder. However, I think I am set on finding a machine. There are a few other details to iron out but I think the purpose of the thread has since accomplished its purpose.

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    Re: Stick machines - looking to increase fabrication ability and curious about Everla

    I figured I would post an update to this. I did end up with a 210STL.

    July 25 last year I picked up a 1966 Lincoln Idealarc 250 AC/DC unit instead of pulling the trigger on the 210STL. You can see the restoration thread here:
    https://weldingweb.com/vbb/threads/7...p-Idealarc-250

    The reason I went with the Idealarc is I wanted a robust machine that would always be there to stick metal together. Since getting it and restoring it I am happy with the decision at the time - and I would recommend any welder have a transformer tombstone around for the same reason - when all else fails it will be there if something just has to get stuck together.

    However, I need a portable welder also. I can't toss a 400lb welder in the truck. For that reason I did pick up the Everlast 210STL this season. The dynamics of the decision were a bit different than before. Previously I was coming out of a light flux core machine and wanted the heavier welding capabilities and versatility stick offered. The 210STL opened the doors a bit to TIG also (DC-only). So I was wanting to experiment with it. However, since I had the Idealarc and was happy with the versatility of stick welding I was content with replacing the flux core process with stick - I can do a lot more with stick than I ever could with my light flux core machine. So that meant I needed a portable machine again - that did stick, not Tig.

    Down the road, when it comes to Tig, what I need to do is aluminum also - and that requires AC. Getting a capable AC tig welder is a much larger investment. So for that reason Tig wasn't a factor and the 200STi machine fit the bill - a bit lower entry fee than the 210STL, but still a capable stick welder that would run 6010. Mark brought up the Tig capabilities again with the 210STL so I did a bit of re-thinking. Looking at AC tig the two Everlast units that fit that, as far as a capable machine in my book, are the 210EXT and the 255EXT. The Tig accessories between the 210STL and the 210EXT/255EXT are compatible, the 200STi is not - there is no gas hook up on the 200STi. Since the Tig accessories cross between the 210STL and the more capable Tig machines that's the direction I went. The 210STL has a few more features for stick as well (VRD, ant-stick) - for not much more $ than the 200STi.

    Another tidbit I found is the Dinse 35 connectors are fairly universal with a lot of brands - as is the Nova foot pedal. The torch and work clamp will fit other machines. The foot pedal will, however some may require different pinning in the connector or a different connector (for someone that wires things a lot thats a non-issue - either to swap connectors or make an adapter, probably the latter would be best if it came to that).

    So for anyone reading through considering their options - I hope this helps. You do get more welder and more versatility with the 210STL. For what I envisioned for a "portable, compact welder" - the 210STL fits that. It is a little bigger than what would be "ideal", in my view. However, when you consider how much welder there is in the box - it works out great. Where I will run it most I have 240v, but that isn't going to be the case everywhere so 120v was a requirement as well. I don't have any need for AC stick welding so that is a non-issue.

    At this point in time I don't have much rod burning time with the 210STL yet, just a few 6010 rods. I will say I really like the front panel. I did glance over the manual a bit, but I did not study it. I found the controls very intuitive. I need to work with the settings and get it dialed in better for 6010 as I find it doesn't keep the arc going very easy, but I think most of that is the user not the machine. I am looking forward to getting used to it this season.

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    Re: Stick machines - looking to increase fabrication ability and curious about Everla

    Increase arc force, and hot start on 6010. Keep a short arc. Step the rod. Don't "flog" it.
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