Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: Lightweight dual voltage MIG welding (with gas)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Posts
    3
    Post Thanks / Like

    Lightweight dual voltage MIG welding (with gas)

    I am looking for a welder primarily for hobby work, with some possible auto frame welding. I am OK at MIG and terrible at TIG, and have used Hobart and Miller previously. I have no attachment to those manufacturers.

    I'm going to be on the road a lot with a travel trailer (and a pair of 3400W generators), so I need to be able to run from 120V. I understand this limits max thickness on my welds when I am running on 120V, so I would prefer a dual voltage that I can run from 240V when I have the option.

    I would prefer it to be lightweight (not counting the gas bottle) so I am more likely to use it on projects outside my shop.

    Any suggestions on specific models? I like the Hobart 210 MVP for features, but it is so heavy I will never use it outside the shop. I see a ton of no-brand models that fit my needs, but I'd be willing to pay a few hundred more for something reputable. Something 35 pounds or less seems like I would actually take it with me on the road.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    8,224
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Lightweight dual voltage MIG welding (with gas)

    Millermatic 211- 38lbs
    Multimatic 200 - 29lbs

    $$$$ though.

    I dont think you'll find anything lighter.
    Ed Conley
    http://www.screamingbroccoli.com/
    MM252
    MM211 (Sold)
    Passport Plus & Spool gun
    Lincoln SP135 Plus- (Gone to a good home)
    Klutch 120v Plasma cutter
    SO 2020 bender
    Beer in the fridge

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    SoCal-LA
    Posts
    9,860
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Lightweight dual voltage MIG welding (with gas)

    That Hobart 210 MVP is a bargain as it comes with spoolgun included. Only drawback is it is slightly heavy being a trans mig instead of an inverter mig.

    I would buy it.
    Weld like a "WELDOR", not a wel-"DERR"
    MillerDynasty700DX,Dynasty350DX4ea,Dynasty200DX,Li ncolnSW200-2ea.,MillerMatic350P,MillerMatic200w/spoolgun,MKCobraMig260,Lincoln SP-170T,PlasmaCam/Hypertherm1250,HFProTig2ea,MigMax1ea.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    725
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Lightweight dual voltage MIG welding (with gas)

    Quote Originally Posted by shovelon View Post
    That Hobart 210 MVP is a bargain as it comes with spoolgun included. Only drawback is it is slightly heavy being a trans mig instead of an inverter mig.

    I would buy it.
    this brings up a good point, there are a few different types of portability.

    Do you want to be able to easily carry it up 10 flights of stairs? in that case a Kemppi Minarc Mig Evo 200, Miller Multimatic 200 oe ESAB Caddy Mig 200 are probably your best options, all around the 26-30 Lb mark, I can only attest to the Kemppi reliability as I've used them a fair bit, they just keep going but the arc quality is pretty ****, they get such good power efficiency by having very low inductance which makes short circuit MIG run with alot of spatter (only needs a 4.2KVA generator to run a kemppi 200 amp MIG), but they are reliable with a solid wire feed system for a very compact machine.

    but for moving around you can use a heavier machine with a nice trolly, if you wont be carrying it up stairs then maybe something slightly heavier but still light enough to load into a truck bed with one person might be a good option instead.
    Last edited by ttoks; 04-23-2021 at 06:12 AM.

  5. Likes farmall liked this post
  6. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    1,140
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Lightweight dual voltage MIG welding (with gas)

    Multimatic 200 checks all the boxes and rugged.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Posts
    3
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Lightweight dual voltage MIG welding (with gas)

    I am 155 pounds, so 79 pounds of transformer is, sadly, too much.
    >$2000 is also too much, I weld only for fun (jealous of those who do more).
    I might have to try one of the off brands, like Forney or the 10000 Chinese brands that have tiny machines for cheap. Happy to pay <$1000 for something good, but I can't lift 79 pounds (210m MVP) onto my truck, that is half of me or a bit more. And then the tank after. At least I am OK with a small duty cycle, since this is not pro/247.

    --DVZ

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Laredo, Tx
    Posts
    5,757
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Lightweight dual voltage MIG welding (with gas)

    If you want a machine less than 30lbs you're limited to pretty much the smaller inverter imported MIGs. Just don't drop them as they use a lot of plastic.
    1st on WeldingWeb to have a scrolling sig!

    HTP Invertig 400
    HTP Invertig 221
    HTP ProPulse 300
    HTP ProPulse 200 x2
    HTP ProPulse 220MTS
    HTP Inverarc 200TLP
    HTP Microcut 875SC

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    725
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Lightweight dual voltage MIG welding (with gas)

    Quote Originally Posted by electricdjinn View Post
    I am 155 pounds, so 79 pounds of transformer is, sadly, too much.
    >$2000 is also too much, I weld only for fun (jealous of those who do more).
    I might have to try one of the off brands, like Forney or the 10000 Chinese brands that have tiny machines for cheap. Happy to pay <$1000 for something good, but I can't lift 79 pounds (210m MVP) onto my truck, that is half of me or a bit more. And then the tank after. At least I am OK with a small duty cycle, since this is not pro/247.

    --DVZ
    If lifting 80 pounds into a truck bed is to much for you then i'm sorry to say this isn't really the hobby for you either, there's not alot light weight about working with steel, when I finished my apprenticeship I was 125 pounds soaking wet and you can bet your *** I was carrying my 80 pound Lincoln V350 Pro along with the 37pound LN25 wire feeder with a 33 pound spool in it up ten flights of stairs, because if I didn't then I didn't have a job.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Posts
    410
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Lightweight dual voltage MIG welding (with gas)

    Quote Originally Posted by electricdjinn View Post
    I'm going to be on the road a lot with a travel trailer (and a pair of 3400W generators)...
    Are those, by chance, Yamaha or Honda (or others, not sure in that class who all offers them) inverter generators that you can daisy chain? Or are they stand-alone generators you can not combine the power with?

    Reason I ask is 3400w, either running or starting wattage, is going to be very limiting.

    Inverter welders need clean power and if you are driving an inverter generator nuts (which you probably will) when trying to weld that is going to mess with your welders' electronics.

    The conventional rotary generators (for the portable class this is the 3600rpm engine driven units - the "screamers") are a bit different in that the RPM of the engine is what sets the AC frequency of the generator output. Your voltage is set by the windings that are tapped and the power is pretty much "there" all the time, whether you need it or not. As long as your RPM is held up where it needs to be you have the power out you need (a good generator will pop the breaker before a load bogs the engine down, so far of the ones I've run that seems to be rare - they tend to bog down way before getting to the breaker amperage = throws off your AC freq and voltage = really bad for inverter welders).

    Inverter generators provide power in DC to the "inverter" (just like a DC to AC inverter that runs off batteries). As you draw more power from them the RPM of the engine throttles up to provide more input power. If you don't need very much power the engine stays at idle. When you go from no power to lots of power there is a lag to throttle up the engine to catch up. This will be terrible for an inverter welder. Lots of inverter machines have a switch on them where you can let them run at almost full RPM with no load, however (my Honda has "eco mode" that, when enabled, will idle the engine, and when disabled it will run near full - not full - RPM).

    If you can get your generators daisy chained/paralleled and you can disable the idling mode (if they are inverters) then you will have a decent, but still light, ability to weld.

    If they are conventional rotary generators - they can't be tied together so you can pretty much forget welding all but thin sheet with them.

    If nothing else - be very careful with what you are doing with the generators. The last thing you want to do is blow up a new welder when trying to experiment.

    I am tempted to try welding off my little honda - on very low current - just to do it, but before I do it I need to meter the input power to the inverter welder so I know ahead of time what the draw is from it at what welding amperages. The first step is to find where the welding amperage meets the running wattage (not starting wattage) of the generator. In theory, that draw on the generator should be, with eco mode off, sufficient for the generator to keep up with it - the gap between the running wattage and the starting wattage is head room for the generator to jump to when the arc is struck. Note that the engine RPM with eco mode off is not full. I've started and run my well pump at the cabins off it before - it won't touch it with eco mode on, but with eco mode off it starts it easier than my rotary unit - the engine RPM's go from "high" to "screaming" - like I've never heard it run that high before or since. So even with eco mode off there is head room in the power it is able to supply - but it will not go there unless it has to. I suspect that gap in generator power is going to wreak havoc with an inverter welder...

    So again - be careful. You don't want to kill a new welder playing around.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Posts
    410
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Lightweight dual voltage MIG welding (with gas)

    If you want a bit of entertainment, here is a video of a Primeweld Tig225x tig welder run off a 2200w Honda inverter generator. I have no idea what their welding amperage/settings were. The point is - welding off a generator can be done.


  12. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Posts
    3
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Lightweight dual voltage MIG welding (with gas)

    [QUOTE=FlyFishn;8811234]Are those, by chance, Yamaha or Honda (or others, not sure in that class who all offers them) inverter generators that you can daisy chain? Or are they stand-alone generators you can not combine the power with?

    Champion inverters, designed to be chained. :-) They also have a "non-ECO" mode - I know I have to use it for welding or for high burst loads (chopsaw) or the inverters are not happy.

    I will try to look at the power waveform of the welder while on shore power (I have the tools for that I think, if not I can buy a honking 0.01R load measuring resistor)... and I have a 'scope, so I can see the transient behavior. Then maybe see what it looks like on a Champion pair, and figure out if there is a safe max weld with just one.

    Thanks for the cautions!

    Note that after some internal debate, I realized I could get what I want better by getting a Lincoln 110V 140A superlight (yes, I know it won't weld more than maybe 1/8" on a good day, and crap duty cycle), and when I need something off 240V I can get the Hobart 210MVP for the shop - trying to make it one machine costs more and gets me less. I just have the irritation of switching from Hobart-mode to Lincoln-mode and back in my head.....ugh. No worse than trying to understand 2 languages, though.

    I do want to see the guy who won't use anything lighter than the Hobart weld at the top of a 14" wide ladder inside a steel tower in the middle of the desert, though. I am sure it can be done, but I want to be sitting in a camp chair with a beer watching. Flaky hippie techbro artists don't speak OSHA.

    http://douglasruuska.com/cosmic-praise/

  13. Likes Shootr liked this post
  14. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Detroit, Michigan
    Posts
    931
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Lightweight dual voltage MIG welding (with gas)

    Quote Originally Posted by electricdjinn View Post
    I am 155 pounds, so 79 pounds of transformer is, sadly, too much.
    >$2000 is also too much, I weld only for fun (jealous of those who do more).
    I might have to try one of the off brands, like Forney or the 10000 Chinese brands that have tiny machines for cheap. Happy to pay <$1000 for something good, but I can't lift 79 pounds (210m MVP) onto my truck, that is half of me or a bit more. And then the tank after. At least I am OK with a small duty cycle, since this is not pro/247.

    --DVZ
    Given the weight and budget limits, I'd keep an eye on eBay for a used inverter Millermatic 211....they seem to sell for $1,000 to $1,200 pretty regularly in good condition. Short of that you'll have to look at an imported machine.
    Check out my bench vise website:
    http://mivise.com


    Miller Syncrowave 250DX
    Millermatic 350P with XR AlumaPro
    Miller Regency 200 with 22A feeder and Spoolmatic 3
    Hobart Champion Elite
    Everlast PowerTig 210EXT

  15. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Detroit, Michigan
    Posts
    931
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Lightweight dual voltage MIG welding (with gas)

    Quote Originally Posted by ttoks View Post
    If lifting 80 pounds into a truck bed is to much for you then i'm sorry to say this isn't really the hobby for you either, there's not alot light weight about working with steel, when I finished my apprenticeship I was 125 pounds soaking wet and you can bet your *** I was carrying my 80 pound Lincoln V350 Pro along with the 37pound LN25 wire feeder with a 33 pound spool in it up ten flights of stairs, because if I didn't then I didn't have a job.
    There could be all sorts of good reasons why the OP can't lift 80lbs into a truck bed. When I first went on active duty I only weighed 145lbs but I could throw an 80lb ruck on my back, grab a rifle and walk for miles, but that was a long time ago....I sure wouldn't want to try that now.

    Maybe the OP has some sort of past injury like a bad back or shoulder, or is older than you think, or maybe even a female?
    Check out my bench vise website:
    http://mivise.com


    Miller Syncrowave 250DX
    Millermatic 350P with XR AlumaPro
    Miller Regency 200 with 22A feeder and Spoolmatic 3
    Hobart Champion Elite
    Everlast PowerTig 210EXT

  16. Likes N2 Welding liked this post
  17. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    725
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Lightweight dual voltage MIG welding (with gas)

    Quote Originally Posted by G-ManBart View Post
    There could be all sorts of good reasons why the OP can't lift 80lbs into a truck bed. When I first went on active duty I only weighed 145lbs but I could throw an 80lb ruck on my back, grab a rifle and walk for miles, but that was a long time ago....I sure wouldn't want to try that now.

    Maybe the OP has some sort of past injury like a bad back or shoulder, or is older than you think, or maybe even a female?
    In every instance there I feel that my point still stands, OP is intending on being mobile with they're welding setup, there wouldn't be a weight factor otherwise.

    My point here is not that OP shouldn't go for a lightweight machine, I'm 100% on board with making life as easy as possible and I love that we have small and light welding machines these days, my point is that this isn't exactly scrapbooking as a hobby, making things out of metal generally means lifting and moving heavy things.

  18. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Detroit, Michigan
    Posts
    931
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Lightweight dual voltage MIG welding (with gas)

    Quote Originally Posted by ttoks View Post
    In every instance there I feel that my point still stands, OP is intending on being mobile with they're welding setup, there wouldn't be a weight factor otherwise.

    My point here is not that OP shouldn't go for a lightweight machine, I'm 100% on board with making life as easy as possible and I love that we have small and light welding machines these days, my point is that this isn't exactly scrapbooking as a hobby, making things out of metal generally means lifting and moving heavy things.
    Sorry, but your point is total B.S. The OP said lifting that much weight isn't going to happen, so get past it and stop making negative comments that aren't helpful. Just because what they described doesn't meet your idea of what welding is means nothing. Plenty of folks weld without doing anything heavy...it's just different from what you must be used to.

    Someone comes here for advice and you said "Sorry, this isn't for you if you can't lift that much weight". And some folks say the posters on this forum are rude....go figure.
    Check out my bench vise website:
    http://mivise.com


    Miller Syncrowave 250DX
    Millermatic 350P with XR AlumaPro
    Miller Regency 200 with 22A feeder and Spoolmatic 3
    Hobart Champion Elite
    Everlast PowerTig 210EXT

  19. Likes N2 Welding, Dave66, Shootr liked this post
  20. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    725
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Lightweight dual voltage MIG welding (with gas)

    Quote Originally Posted by G-ManBart View Post
    Sorry, but your point is total B.S. The OP said lifting that much weight isn't going to happen, so get past it and stop making negative comments that aren't helpful. Just because what they described doesn't meet your idea of what welding is means nothing. Plenty of folks weld without doing anything heavy...it's just different from what you must be used to.

    Someone comes here for advice and you said "Sorry, this isn't for you if you can't lift that much weight". And some folks say the posters on this forum are rude....go figure.
    One of the great things about forums like this is that you get to hear many different opinions and viewpoints and get a few different angles and idea on things, my opinion here is obviously different to yours, lets say that could be a valuable for OP (or anyone else reading) as they get to see different opinions and make a decision for themself, they might read my post and say "nah that dudes wrong, I'll figure out other ways to do it" I'm more than happy to be proven wrong.

  21. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Sebeka and Bemidji MN
    Posts
    14,834
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Lightweight dual voltage MIG welding (with gas)

    Heavy stuff gets more of an issue as I age. 2 wheel dolly/cart is your friend.

    But those inverter migs will solve that problem for you too.
    10lb 100% co2 tank and you're all set.
    An engine hoist will help you with heavy steel too.
    Dave J.

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

    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.

  22. Likes CAVEMANN liked this post
  23. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Posts
    410
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Lightweight dual voltage MIG welding (with gas)

    Quote Originally Posted by MinnesotaDave View Post
    An engine hoist will help you with heavy steel too.
    I use ladders and an ATV winch for moving things I don't want to jerk my back with. It works wonders. The engine hoist/cherry picker is another route, though I've found the winch and ladders more versatile for what all I do. I replaced the steering gearbox in my truck (F350) with the ladder + winch method a couple years ago. I looped the winch line around the gearbox and dropped the old one down to a dolly. I wheeled the new one in and pulled it back in to the engine compartment the opposite way the old one came out. Wireless remote is your friend there also - I was underneath shoving the gearbox around a bit and ready with bolts.

  24. Likes MinnesotaDave, farmall liked this post
  25. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    4,244
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Lightweight dual voltage MIG welding (with gas)

    My back is destroyed and I live in permanent chronic pain but lift and move all sorts of heavy stuff with one hand without breaking a sweat because I studied the basics of safe rigging. I've placed 40' High Cube shipping containers with rollers and a hand winch where power lines kept the Landoll delivering it from getting close enough.

    Harbor Freight etc jib cranes are one option and easy to copy, while capable hand winches for them like boat winches abound. I also put everything appropriate on casters (real ones like scaffolding casters). I use a WIDE variety of gear including a 1913 Simplex pole jack, Wyeth-Scott pullers. a Maasdam rope puller, Ramsey winches and more. Every mechanic should learn this stuff since reading doesn't cost a dime.

    By all means go for light gear when that is the most practical option but if ya learn to move the heavy stuff it pays off.

    Engine hoists tend to have pathetic wheels easily replaced with better casters. I used old FWD car spindles on the rear of mine (running space saver spares which work fine flat and acceptably even when coming apart thanks to the low profile) with heavy casters up front to do stuff like pull big blocks with the transmissions in my sand yard. Wheels are where the cheap makers cut costs. Pic is my bros container machine shop used as a deadman to lift my car trailer for repairs. (I got him into rigging too when we hunted machine tools together.)
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by farmall; 05-05-2021 at 09:52 PM.

  26. #20
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    4,456
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Lightweight dual voltage MIG welding (with gas)

    Hobby work and possible auto frame welding sounds like 2 different machines to me. Up here you can't safety a frame that has been welded on unless you have a "certified welder" (whatever that means) willing to sign off on it. Laws and regulations will be specific to your state/province so check it out before you start.
    F-225 amp Forney AC Stick
    230 amp Sears AC Stick
    Lincoln 180C MIG
    Victor Medalist 350 O/A
    Cut 50 Plasma
    Les

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 1,627,539,943.74342 seconds with 14 queries