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Thread: How cheap can you go??

  1. #76
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    Re: How cheap can you go??

    Remember not all 120 volt /20 amp circuits are the same.. Meaning some will take more amp draw then others . If you use the consumables I posted, they will be about as good as this machine can do there. I personalty think .250 will be a nice sweet spot for power input/etc.. Hacking a 1/2 bolt here, and there will not cause too many input issues .

    By the way, the consumable life is really good too..That was a 1/2 drag cut.. Jim, has a Herocut 35i ,and he is waiting for the consumables to show up.. If you want to wait till his test drive,,might give more input. He has a Esab Powercut 650 40 amp machine to compare it too.. (real PT torch, and XT consumables) I sold him that one, and he liked it better then his 40 amp Hypertherm of the same era. Also has a Thermal 60i. So far he really likes the Herocut 35i, and his is not yet setup with the best consumables for it
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  2. #77
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    Re: How cheap can you go??

    Found another one to add to the list. The little Ironton 120 volt stick welder I bought peaked my interest in that brand. Although who know who makes what anymore. This is a plasma cutter from them, and retails for $650 at Northern Tool. It's made by Jasic, and is really a late model vipercut 30 without the euro connect torch setup.

    Found it on eBay for $220.00 new in box.. puts out 33 amps on 120 volts, and 240. It will pull a lot of power from a 120 volt line if maxed out on 120.. That said, it handled well on my good 20 amp line. So for most thicker stuff like 1/2, the 240 input would be best. Still went right through 5/8 no problem on 120 volts.. Regular S45 torch, and it works best with the standoff. I see similar machines in the high $400 shipped, and it's a nice powerful 33 amp machine. Just comparing it to the Esab/Thermal dynamics/Hypertherm units I have used or owned . Not saying it's as well built as some of those, just saying when cutting it does not have to take a back seat at all,When you strike the arc you can just tell it has some real guts to the arc. It does have wind tunnel cooling and good coatings on the boards.
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    INE 1500
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  4. #78
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    Re: How cheap can you go??

    Other side..

    Yes I still like the little $92.00 plasma, and It's a great little .250 plus machine. Super cheap to run, with tiny torch/ machine.. It's just that at $220 the Ironton beats all the cheaper 120/240 ebay/Amazon units .(IMO)
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    Last edited by Brand X; 01-29-2021 at 08:40 AM.
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    Thermal Pee-Wee 85s
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    INE 1500
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  6. #79
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    Re: How cheap can you go??

    Its nice you give us good reviews about these affordable plasma cutters but almost all of the models you recommend are out of stock or no longer available.......

  7. #80
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    Re: How cheap can you go??

    Quote Originally Posted by vpd66 View Post
    Its nice you give us good reviews about these affordable plasma cutters but almost all of the models you recommend are out of stock or no longer available.......
    There are machines that are out of the same factory that are available.. Figuring that out is up to you..Not my job..
    Esab/Lorch ET-220i
    Esab 160i caddy
    Thermal LM-200 Lincoln feeders
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    INE 1500
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  9. #81
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    Re: How cheap can you go??

    Morning,
    I really hit the jackpot with this thread. My search for these low cost units is what led me here.
    I need to get back into some fabrication projects, but I'm on a tight budget to start off.
    My first project is upgrading a large amount of Coyote restraining traps. Adding a piece of 3/16" to 1/4" rod to the 1/4"(approximately) jaws. Then cutting a narrow section out of both jaws to create a space between them.
    Exactly like these :
    https://no-bslures.wixsite.com/nobsl...9-x-treme-trap

    After that, I'll have numerous little jobs for my equipment. None of it will be hurried work, so I can use smaller equipment and take my time.
    I've stick welded a fair bit on the family farm, and used a plasma cutter in an evening's welding course. Both were many years ago. I've had good luck picking up skills I've learned in the past, but will definitely need practice and some technical guidance.
    I'm not sure if a small inverter stick welder or mig would be better to start.
    Could I ask you to please list just the basic specs to look for in the china made Stick and MIG welders, and a plasma cutter as well.Just the specs to look for.
    I can do the research as long as I've got the basics.
    I'll probably order from AliExpress, as we seem to pay 1.5 to 4 times as much for most items here in Canada as compared to the prices in the USA.
    I found this stick welder : https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07NWFB2S9/..._continue?th=1 . Not sure if it meets your criteria for a decent machine. I'm hoping to cut down the costs a fair bit ordering from overseas.
    Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to detail my needs.
    Thanks in advance for any help you can offer,
    Ken

  10. #82
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    Re: How cheap can you go??

    Quote Originally Posted by GummyMonster View Post
    Morning,
    I really hit the jackpot with this thread. My search for these low cost units is what led me here.
    I need to get back into some fabrication projects, but I'm on a tight budget to start off.
    My first project is upgrading a large amount of Coyote restraining traps. Adding a piece of 3/16" to 1/4" rod to the 1/4"(approximately) jaws. Then cutting a narrow section out of both jaws to create a space between them.
    Exactly like these :
    https://no-bslures.wixsite.com/nobsl...9-x-treme-trap

    After that, I'll have numerous little jobs for my equipment. None of it will be hurried work, so I can use smaller equipment and take my time.
    I've stick welded a fair bit on the family farm, and used a plasma cutter in an evening's welding course. Both were many years ago. I've had good luck picking up skills I've learned in the past, but will definitely need practice and some technical guidance.
    I'm not sure if a small inverter stick welder or mig would be better to start.
    Could I ask you to please list just the basic specs to look for in the china made Stick and MIG welders, and a plasma cutter as well.Just the specs to look for.
    I can do the research as long as I've got the basics.
    I'll probably order from AliExpress, as we seem to pay 1.5 to 4 times as much for most items here in Canada as compared to the prices in the USA.
    I found this stick welder : https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07NWFB2S9/..._continue?th=1 . Not sure if it meets your criteria for a decent machine. I'm hoping to cut down the costs a fair bit ordering from overseas.
    Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to detail my needs.
    Thanks in advance for any help you can offer,
    Ken
    I bought that welder on a an impulse buy around black Friday. I have ran 7018, 6011, and 6013 rods with it and I'm very impressed. The whole thing fits in a 5 gallon pail and my main use for this welder will be when I need to do a mobile weld job for someone. I did notice that it runs a lot better on 220 volts then on 110. It is not bad on 110 but it just seems a lot smoother on 220. I think you will be happy with that machine.

  11. #83
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    Re: How cheap can you go??

    Thanks for getting back to me. I'm going to see if I can get the same welder ( same brand name or another with the same internals) straight from China and save some cash.
    I'll go through the discussion again and find a mig and a plasma cutter that has the same specs as the ones you talked about.
    Your detailed information about these will be a great help for me.
    It's very much appreciated.
    Ken

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    Re: How cheap can you go??

    Yes. And the problem with those garden hoses is, due to Galvanic Reaction, the hose fittings get corroded and welded to the brass spigot. You have to cut the hose off and change the brass spigot on the house when you try to disconnect the hose for the winter.

  13. #85
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    Re: How cheap can you go??

    Thought I would update this thread..There is a another how cheap can you get deal..

    By the way, I have posted many deals over the years that people have jumped on here. I do not control the stock or prices, just relay what is a deal..

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00S4JTZG4...v_ov_lig_dp_it
    Esab/Lorch ET-220i
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    Thermal LM-200 Lincoln feeders
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    INE 1500
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  14. #86
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    Re: How cheap can you go??

    Quote Originally Posted by Brand X View Post
    Thought I would update this thread..There is a another how cheap can you get deal..

    By the way, I have posted many deals over the years that people have jumped on here. I do not control the stock or prices, just relay what is a deal..

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00S4JTZG4...v_ov_lig_dp_it
    Amazon says itís made in USA.




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    Re: How cheap can you go??

    Quote Originally Posted by GummyMonster View Post
    Could I ask you to please list just the basic specs to look for in the china made Stick and MIG welders, and a plasma cutter as well.Just the specs to look for.
    Ken, if the machine is a bottom-barrel chinese unit, you cannot trust the specs the vast, vast majority of the time. I know because I've tested both of mine. Just buy the most expensive one you can afford that has decent reviews. And NO, none of the super cheap inverter stick welders will run 6010 properly.
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  16. #88
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    Re: How cheap can you go??

    Quote Originally Posted by GummyMonster View Post
    Morning,
    I really hit the jackpot with this thread. My search for these low cost units is what led me here.
    I need to get back into some fabrication projects, but I'm on a tight budget to start off.
    My first project is upgrading a large amount of Coyote restraining traps. Adding a piece of 3/16" to 1/4" rod to the 1/4"(approximately) jaws. Then cutting a narrow section out of both jaws to create a space between them.
    Exactly like these :
    https://no-bslures.wixsite.com/nobsl...9-x-treme-trap

    After that, I'll have numerous little jobs for my equipment. None of it will be hurried work, so I can use smaller equipment and take my time.
    I've stick welded a fair bit on the family farm, and used a plasma cutter in an evening's welding course. Both were many years ago. I've had good luck picking up skills I've learned in the past, but will definitely need practice and some technical guidance.
    I'm not sure if a small inverter stick welder or mig would be better to start.
    Could I ask you to please list just the basic specs to look for in the china made Stick and MIG welders, and a plasma cutter as well.Just the specs to look for.
    I can do the research as long as I've got the basics.
    I'll probably order from AliExpress, as we seem to pay 1.5 to 4 times as much for most items here in Canada as compared to the prices in the USA.
    I found this stick welder : https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07NWFB2S9/..._continue?th=1 . Not sure if it meets your criteria for a decent machine. I'm hoping to cut down the costs a fair bit ordering from overseas.
    Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to detail my needs.
    Thanks in advance for any help you can offer,
    Ken
    Ken - I realize your post is a bit old now but I did want to comment. Welcome to the forums.

    Before you go buying an inverter stick machine, maybe you already have... if not - Take a look at your local craigslisit and Facebook Marketplace listings for old transformer welders. The classic "tombstones" are available all day long. Miller Thunderbolts, Lincoln 225's, and Lincoln Idealarc 250's (the older the better, newer ones are square but the real classics are the "round tops"). You can get a working machine for under $200 and you can bet your last dollar they will run 6010 rods. The transformer machines will have higher open circuit voltage than your cheap inverter machines.

    Note - the Lincoln 225's of modern manufacture (not sure how recent) use lighter duty transformers. I believe they are wound with aluminum, but don't quote me on that. The heavier the machine the better.

    I would recommend getting a machine that does both AC and DC. If it doesn't have polarity adjustment with a switch on DC, just "DC" - you swap the leads between electrode and ground on the box and you can get both polarities. However, if it is an AC-only machine then you are limited to AC-specific rods.

    There are modifications you can do to AC-only machines that add a rectifier (diode bank or single high current bridge rectifier) to get them to run DC, but I wouldn't recommend the modification, rather get a machine set up for DC from the start.

    The Idealarc and Thunderbolt tombstone machines have infinitely adjustable current. I find this a blessing on my Idealarc on light stuff because sometimes a small adjustment makes all the difference in the world. For reference this is running 5/64" 7014 rods mostly. If you are not welding on anything small (sheet metal, or much less than 1/8" mild steel) then the finesse with the current won't be as big of a deal-breaker with the set increments on, say, a Lincoln 225.

    At 245v line voltage my Idealarc runs about 75v OCV. It will run 6010's all day long, and at under 120a welding current (I don't for see any welding project of mine needing any more than that, and really 90a is even on the upper end of what I've run) when it will do 300a it's loafing the whole time. Find a cheap inverter welder that can do that...

    On the negative side, the old transformer machines are tanks. Mine weighs around 400lbs I think. However, it is on a cart. I don't need to move it much other than around the garage and driveway. If I take it somewhere else I can wheel it in to the truck with a ramp and a winch - same way I brought it home. It takes some work, but its still pretty easy in the grand scheme of things. If you don't have a cart under the machine it would make moving it much harder.

    Regardless of what others may say, and this is my personal opinion - I think anyone that welds should have a transformer stick machine around. If taken care of it would be pretty hard for any hobby, garage, or small farm welder to burn up an old school transformer machine. When all else fails you'll have that tombstone to fire up and stick metal together with.

    Best of luck!
    Last edited by FlyFishn; 03-29-2021 at 06:19 PM.

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  18. #89
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    Re: How cheap can you go??

    Quote Originally Posted by Brand X View Post
    Remember not all 120 volt /20 amp circuits are the same.. Meaning some will take more amp draw then others . If you use the consumables I posted, they will be about as good as this machine can do there. I personalty think .250 will be a nice sweet spot for power input/etc.. Hacking a 1/2 bolt here, and there will not cause too many input issues .

    By the way, the consumable life is really good too..That was a 1/2 drag cut.. Jim, has a Herocut 35i ,and he is waiting for the consumables to show up.. If you want to wait till his test drive,,might give more input. He has a Esab Powercut 650 40 amp machine to compare it too.. (real PT torch, and XT consumables) I sold him that one, and he liked it better then his 40 amp Hypertherm of the same era. Also has a Thermal 60i. So far he really likes the Herocut 35i, and his is not yet setup with the best consumables for it
    Just bought the Cut50 for doing light short cuts (1/4 to 3/8 steel up to 6" long). I have lots of clean air ( 5 hp 2 stage compressor with filters and moisture traps as well as the filter/regulator on the machine) and I'm running it on 240 ( 50 amp breaker, dedicated welder plug) volt. Any recommendations for consumables etc. to make this one work better? So far I've been fairly impressed. I guess we'll see how long that lasts... more pics and info over here... https://weldingweb.com/vbb/threads/7...-plasma-cutter
    Last edited by whtbaron; 03-29-2021 at 11:05 PM.
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  19. #90
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    Re: How cheap can you go??

    The welding Stop stuff is good quality as far as cheap consumables go,

    Really Cutting over 40 amps the larger XT stuff ,and 6 hole swirl rings might be best overall . Try a bit of each before a large order.. I just know the swirl ring get overlooked in these cheap units, and there is gains with a decent one in the torch.. Keep your air pressure up in the 70 psi flowing with any of them.. Even if you stick with the standard extended, might just get the swirl ring, and electrode from them, and hunt around for a bit larger orifice size in that style tip.. amazon /ebay etc.. Any effort will be rewarded in less amp draw, and better cuts overall. (When matched up to your 50 amps.. The smaller Orifice size in the first link will do everything the machine needs on 120 volts. Just might be a bit small on full output 50 amps cutting, depending on the real output of your machine running on 240 volts..

    https://www.weldingstop.com/PT-31-Extented-c1448.html

    https://www.weldingstop.com/18785-PT...es-p18324.html

    https://www.weldingstop.com/PT-31XT-c1449.html
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  21. #91
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    Re: How cheap can you go??

    Thanks... for what it's worth, the readout says 51 amps at full bore. My concern was that consumables for this machine might disappear from the shelves rather quickly, so I was thinking of stocking up in case it did outlive it's warranty. From your comments, I guess I should really do some testing before I start buying bulk.
    Last edited by whtbaron; 03-30-2021 at 01:18 PM.
    250 amp Miller DialArc AC/DC Stick
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  22. #92
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    Re: How cheap can you go??

    Just be careful with some of the very cheap Chinese bulk orders. I bought a packet on e bay and discovered they were
    much smaller size than the original ones that came with the machine So now I look for a seller that gives the exact
    measurements Usually mm for the tips. Mine is the PT31 torch and I can replace both the pin and nozzle for about a
    dollar with the cheap Chinese stuff. I am very impressed with the cheap plasma 'Reboot' I bought free shipping in
    Canada with a one year warranty cost me $386 Canadian And cuts 1/2' steel fast and cleanly. I'm sure it would cut
    thicker but I never tried it

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  24. #93
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    Re: How cheap can you go??

    Quote Originally Posted by whtbaron View Post
    Thanks... for what it's worth, the readout says 51 amps at full bore. My concern was that consumables for this machine might disappear from the shelves rather quickly, so I was thinking of stocking up in case it did outlive it's warranty. From your comments, I guess I should really do some testing before I start buying bulk.


    That is why I try to buy without a amp readout on the Cheaper stuff. One more thing to fail. My 120 volt machine does output very close to the rated 30 amps. Quality amp gauge is used. I think a bit of testing goes a long ways with these machines, and WS makes good stuff for cheap..If it really pushes out 51 amps, then it might overload the first nozzles i posted. Still backing down the power just a bit, with good consumables, just might make everything last a bit better, and cut cleaner on most stuff.. Even real Esab machines like the Powercut 650/ 500i had 40/35 amps, and the other Italian units with the Real PT-31XT type torches had 35/30 amps output Had most of the Esab ones using the real consumables to know what the original machines are like.. That is why I am impressed with my 35i, and Jim with my Powercut 650 is too. He has the 35i unit.. Still the consumable matching is really where the rubber hits the road with these machines..
    Esab/Lorch ET-220i
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    Thermal LM-200 Lincoln feeders
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  26. #94
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    Re: How cheap can you go??

    The pages you are posting still have multiple choices and I have 0 experience with plasmas... if I run it cut down to say 45 amps on the thicker pieces (say 3/8 to 7/16 ) , would you think the 20861 tip with .046 nozzle would be a place to start? I assume I'm looking for 50 amp ESAB parts? My first thought was a kit like this... but maybe that's premature... https://www.weldingstop.com/Plasma-C...60-p18643.html
    250 amp Miller DialArc AC/DC Stick
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    Re: How cheap can you go??

    Try to stick with the extended tips. if possible .. Might even might have to buy elsewhere to get a larger orifice for a true 50 amp nozzle. The swirl ring from them is solid, and makes a improvement over most of the china stuff.. It's not cut, and dried, and I have not made the leap to a newer IGBT 240 volt machine to test.. Like I said, Esab really only used the XT style on their machines, and maxed out at 40 amps.. The only short tips was with the 120 volt machines like the 11 amp, and 18 amp units.. Which I had too..

    The ones I linked first are is exactly where i would start. Just drop it down to 40 amps to test.. Turn up, and see how it goes.. The China tips are all over the board in size, and there is one that will work best.. Just trying to get the rest correct first.

    https://www.weldingstop.com/PT-31-Extented-c1448.html
    Esab/Lorch ET-220i
    Esab 160i caddy
    Thermal LM-200 Lincoln feeders
    Thermal Pee-Wee 85s
    Thermal 60i- 3phase /RPC powered (Beast)
    Thermal Drag-gun 35C
    INE 1500
    Klutch 140i

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  29. #96
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    Re: How cheap can you go??

    Quote Originally Posted by Brand X View Post
    Thought I would update this thread..There is a another how cheap can you get deal..

    By the way, I have posted many deals over the years that people have jumped on here. I do not control the stock or prices, just relay what is a deal..

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00S4JTZG4...v_ov_lig_dp_it
    I saw this one not to long ago, and wondered why its no longer offered. Was rumored to run 6010 too. Must be a conspiracy, probably bought them all back and squashed them in a crusher.

    https://www.rapidwelding.com/files/109313.pdf
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    Re: How cheap can you go??

    Quote Originally Posted by albrightree View Post
    I saw this one not to long ago, and wondered why its no longer offered. Was rumored to run 6010 too. Must be a conspiracy, probably bought them all back and squashed them in a crusher.

    https://www.rapidwelding.com/files/109313.pdf
    It's hit and miss. I think someone gets a boat load cheap and dumps them to make a buck. The one I bought disappeared and was replaced by another model shortly after.
    250 amp Miller DialArc AC/DC Stick
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    Re: How cheap can you go??

    Quote Originally Posted by Brand X View Post
    Try to stick with the extended tips. if possible .. Might even might have to buy elsewhere to get a larger orifice for a true 50 amp nozzle. The swirl ring from them is solid, and makes a improvement over most of the china stuff.. It's not cut, and dried, and I have not made the leap to a newer IGBT 240 volt machine to test.. Like I said, Esab really only used the XT style on their machines, and maxed out at 40 amps.. The only short tips was with the 120 volt machines like the 11 amp, and 18 amp units.. Which I had too..

    The ones I linked first are is exactly where i would start. Just drop it down to 40 amps to test.. Turn up, and see how it goes.. The China tips are all over the board in size, and there is one that will work best.. Just trying to get the rest correct first.

    https://www.weldingstop.com/PT-31-Extented-c1448.html
    40 amps might be where I have to run it. Somebody on the other page said they eat consumables pretty fast at 50. If I'm tossing consumables on a regular basis, should I be looking at the nickel plated stuff, or just go cheap and toss it more often? What exactly are you looking at when deciding... crud in and around the orifice? I said I had 0 experience, but I realized after that's not quite true. We fired up a used machine my son bought with no manuals or instruction and managed to fry it in 20 mins. I'd like to avoid a repeat performance of that...
    250 amp Miller DialArc AC/DC Stick
    F-225 amp Forney AC Stick
    230 amp Sears AC Stick
    Lincoln 180C MIG
    Victor Medalist 350 O/A
    Cut 50 Plasma
    Les

  32. #99
    Join Date
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    Re: How cheap can you go??

    LOL.... so I sent an email to the people at Welding Stop to see if they shipped into Canada, and this is the reply I got...
    "DEAR, YOU CAN ADD EVERY THING YOU NEED INTO SHOPPING CART, THEN CHECK OUT TOTHER." ... nothing like domestic support.
    250 amp Miller DialArc AC/DC Stick
    F-225 amp Forney AC Stick
    230 amp Sears AC Stick
    Lincoln 180C MIG
    Victor Medalist 350 O/A
    Cut 50 Plasma
    Les

  33. #100
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    B.C. Canada
    Posts
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    Re: How cheap can you go??

    Quote Originally Posted by whtbaron View Post
    LOL.... so I sent an email to the people at Welding Stop to see if they shipped into Canada, and this is the reply I got...
    "DEAR, YOU CAN ADD EVERY THING YOU NEED INTO SHOPPING CART, THEN CHECK OUT TOTHER." ... nothing like domestic support.
    Then you best git yer sh*t tother, dear.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    :

  34. Likes whtbaron liked this post

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