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Thread: Lincoln 225 ACDC or Miller Thunderbolt

  1. #26
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    Re: Lincoln 225 ACDC or Miller Thunderbolt

    Quote Originally Posted by Broccoli1 View Post
    But why get a heavy arse welder to lug out in the field?
    Rogue 180 is 18lbs.
    60% @ 116A (230V) | 60% @ 65A (120V)

    Lincoln 114lbs.
    125A DC/25V/20%, 225A AC/25V/20%
    In his first post he said he was leery of inverter welder reliability.

    If you're already lugging a generator out to the field it's probably not too big of an inconvenience to put a welder in the tractor/skid steer's bucket at the same time.
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  2. #27
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    Re: Lincoln 225 ACDC or Miller Thunderbolt

    The inconvenience is getting and moving a generator big enough to run said welder. At that point an engine drive is probably a better option.

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  4. #28
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    Re: Lincoln 225 ACDC or Miller Thunderbolt

    Quote Originally Posted by Broccoli1 View Post
    running it off a generator?

    the OP stated...
    " This will be used in the field, running off a gen set"
    Ooops.

  5. #29
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    Re: Lincoln 225 ACDC or Miller Thunderbolt

    Quote Originally Posted by G-ManBart View Post
    In his first post he said he was leery of inverter welder reliability.

    If you're already lugging a generator out to the field it's probably not too big of an inconvenience to put a welder in the tractor/skid steer's bucket at the same time.
    I'm a die hard transformer fan...and I worry about inverter reliability.

    Having said that, I love the portability of my Thermal Arc 161. Runs great off a 6500 watt generator too.

    For bigger work, I really like my Miller Bobcat 225nt engine drive. Welds good, plenty of power, runs the tools.
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  6. #30
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    Re: Lincoln 225 ACDC or Miller Thunderbolt

    Quote Originally Posted by MinnesotaDave View Post
    I'm a die hard transformer fan...and I worry about inverter reliability.

    Having said that, I love the portability of my Thermal Arc 161. Runs great off a 6500 watt generator too.

    For bigger work, I really like my Miller Bobcat 225nt engine drive. Welds good, plenty of power, runs the tools.
    Can't argue that...I like both technologies for different reasons!
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  8. #31
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    Re: Lincoln 225 ACDC or Miller Thunderbolt

    Iím late to the thread but Iíd opt for ac dc thunderbolt transformer machine. Reason being is the infinite current adjustment. If you use this rig for scratch start Tig, this adjustment will allow you to dial in current to fit the materials. I have the Sears/century type w infinite adjuster and I will burn a little and stop and tweak as needed. Actually thinking of adding a threaded crank handle like the little thunderbolt.

    Slightly related, I fashioned an improvised 3 pr to 4 prong nema circuit to run off my 220 5200 W generator. Of course this is severely limited. This is planned only for emergency usage. I was able to light and burn 3/32 6013 at 75 A in several tests. Rpm sags a tad in the start but it did work.


    Regards.
    Last edited by Continuum; 04-30-2021 at 10:12 AM.

  9. #32
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    Re: Lincoln 225 ACDC or Miller Thunderbolt

    Just sold my AC Thunderbolt on the weekend for $55





    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
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  10. #33
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    Re: Lincoln 225 ACDC or Miller Thunderbolt

    Quote Originally Posted by Lis2323 View Post
    Just sold my AC Thunderbolt on the weekend for $55





    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Hey Lis,

    This doesn’t look like your normally immaculate tooling displays. Frayed chord? Bent lid? Something doesn’t add up.

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    Re: Lincoln 225 ACDC or Miller Thunderbolt

    Oh yeah.............the little toy welder doesn't have AC capability. A big fail. I'm not sure anybody offers a good ac/dc welder anymore except for the old
    Lincoln, and some of the TIG machines

    I guess the portability is the tradeoff on the new toys.

    IMHO of course

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  13. #35
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    Re: Lincoln 225 ACDC or Miller Thunderbolt

    Quote Originally Posted by Continuum View Post
    Hey Lis,

    This doesnít look like your normally immaculate tooling displays. Frayed chord? Bent lid? Something doesnít add up.
    LOL. It was listed for sale less than a couple mlles from my house for $18. I couldn't resist.....


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  15. #36
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    Re: Lincoln 225 ACDC or Miller Thunderbolt

    Quote Originally Posted by Lis2323 View Post
    Just sold my AC Thunderbolt on the weekend for $55





    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    I had one of those, even hooked to a high frequency box and tig welded aluminum with it.
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  17. #37
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    Re: Lincoln 225 ACDC or Miller Thunderbolt

    I would venture a guess that "portability" in the eyes of farmers is a lot different than most people. They usually have plenty of hydraulics and wheels around - skid steers, mini excavators, tractors, loaders, telehandlers, you name it. Picking up a 400lb welder or 1000lb generator (might even have one on a cart running off a PTO?) isn't usually a problem.

    With that having been said, going back to the OP:

    Quote Originally Posted by FloridaAl View Post
    My son and I have a Hobart 140 MIG which we have used in the garage for little jobs. Still trying to get semi-proficient with it. Buying a tank for mixed argon sure seemed to make it easier than the flux core.
    We have some small farm equipment which needs some metal work and I'm looking at two stick welders for outdoor work. I'd prefer a transformer model since I've read they might be a bit more robust than the electronic board models. This will be used in the field, running off a gen set. Welding such stuff as the side panels on a bush hog where rocks or stumps have ripped the skirt. Attaching weigh to a harrow. (Stuff like old brake rotors.)
    The Lincoln, based on how long it's been around, looks like a fairly bullet proof design. The Miller has infinite adjustment but also has a crank on top. Since this will be moved to and from the field, I was concerned about the Miller's crank on top, meaning, is it was likely to get busted? We'll haul it in a pick-up and be slow and careful, but this will go over rough roads.

    Any insights or thoughts would be appreciated on which you think might be the better. Or am I totally overlooking some better unit in this price range. ($400 to $500) Thanks.
    I would still suggest a transformer welder. Even more - I would suggest a Lincoln Idealarc 250 or a Miller Dialarc. You should be able to find DC versions (they did have AC-onlys).

    With a DC welder you can run 6010 rod. The big heavy transformer welders will run 6010 no problem. Smaller inverter machines will have a harder time running those rods. Why you should take note of 6010 is if you are welding on dirty, rusty, oily metal out in the field - this is the rod you want to use. 6011 is up there, also, as a good rod (and will run on AC, 6010 will not) but it doesn't stack up quite to what you get with a 6010. If you start running 6010 on a good heavy transformer welder you'll never know it is a hard rod to run. That will get you better welds off the bat than trying to learn on a harder machine to run the rod with.

    As far as the amperage required to run a welder - that doesn't necessarily mean the peak amperage the welder can draw. You size the rods to the job and the rod type/size determines the amperage range to run the welder at. If you have a 200 amp welder that doesn't mean you'll run 200a. For a 3/32" 6011 rod, for example, you'll be around the 40-80a range. Your welder won't draw the same input amperage at 80a or less as it will at max 200a.

    Another thing you want to understand is the difference between running wattage and peak/starting wattage of a generator. Welding does take a lot of power. That load can cause a lighter power source (even a lighter circuit, or a circuit with other loads running at times on it - say an air conditioner, band saw or some other machine - should be on separate circuits) to sag in voltage. That voltage sag will play with your weld quality. If you are drawing peak power of your welder up in the clouds in that "starting wattage" range of your generator you are likely to find that voltage dropping. That drop in voltage is going to affect your welds and ability to weld (possibly causing the arc to drop - especially on 6010 rods). If you keep that input power draw within the running wattage range you are much more likely to have stable voltage and thus stable arc performance as you weld.

    Generators' wattage is a bit of a screwball game. The math behind the wattage is as follows:
    Watts = volts x amps

    So if you have a 15,000 watt generator, then at 230v that would be (15,000/230) = 65.217 amps

    However, what is the main line circuit breaker on the generator rated to? Are there multiple main line circuit breakers? Say, a 40a 240/120v breaker, a separate 30a 120v breaker, and a separate 20a breaker feeding a bank of 6x 5-15r outlets? If you legitimately need 50 amps for a welder and the MLCB is 40a you aren't going to get there or stay there long.

    The other kicker is a generator may be rated to what ever wattage. In reality, the engine may not have the HP/torque to push that power. For example - I have a small 2400-2600 watt open frame generator that has a 30 amp breaker for the 120/240 outlet. (30a x 230v) = 7200 watts. That breaker is more than twice the wattage the generator is capable of and I have never tripped it. All it is for me is an on/off switch so I can have a circuit hooked in with the engine running and not have power to the circuit. When I do get up in wattage/amperage draw it drags the engine down and will stall it. If the load is too much (well pump for example) it will try to get the load to go but will stall. My Idealarc 250 (transformer welder) draws 6a at idle. When I turn that on running on the small generator it immediately kills the engine - the cooling fan on the welder never moves - there is too much dead current required to get the power through the transformer to get that system running for the generator to even touch, thats not even attempting to weld, thats just to get to turn on in the first place.

    If you are not dead set on having a separate welder and generator then I would join the camp of getting an engine drive unit like a Lincoln SA200. That will alleviate all your power issues. What you will loose is having the AC capability. The SA200's are DC-only. That also means that you can't use them as a generator for power tools or back-up power for your house. Miller has some engine drives that are dual AC/DC, but Lincoln does not offer that. Quite frankly, if I needed heavy field welding then a DC engine drive would be the route I'd go. I already have generators and I'd much rather run a tiny inverter generator for my (quiet!) field power then only run a big engine for when I needed it - the heavy welding, if that were the case. Otherwise, why run a big engine for a job when you really only need it for a couple minutes of the whole day??? Heck, even a good size power inverter off of a vehicle battery might get you all the AC power you need for power tools, though I do find the small inverter generators more convenient.

    Hope this helps and best of luck.
    Last edited by FlyFishn; 05-02-2021 at 09:33 AM.

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    Re: Lincoln 225 ACDC or Miller Thunderbolt

    Quote Originally Posted by FlyFishn View Post
    I would venture a guess that "portability" in the eyes of farmers is a lot different than most people. They usually have plenty of hydraulics and wheels around - skid steers, mini excavators, tractors, loaders, telehandlers, you name it. Picking up a 400lb welder or 1000lb generator (might even have one on a cart running off a PTO?) isn't usually a problem.

    With that having been said, going back to the OP:



    I would still suggest a transformer welder. Even more - I would suggest a Lincoln Idealarc 250 or a Miller Dialarc. You should be able to find DC versions (they did have AC-onlys).

    With a DC welder you can run 6010 rod. The big heavy transformer welders will run 6010 no problem. Smaller inverter machines will have a harder time running those rods. Why you should take note of 6010 is if you are welding on dirty, rusty, oily metal out in the field - this is the rod you want to use. 6011 is up there, also, as a good rod (and will run on AC, 6010 will not) but it doesn't stack up quite to what you get with a 6010. If you start running 6010 on a good heavy transformer welder you'll never know it is a hard rod to run. That will get you better welds off the bat than trying to learn on a harder machine to run the rod with.

    As far as the amperage required to run a welder - that doesn't necessarily mean the peak amperage the welder can draw. You size the rods to the job and the rod type/size determines the amperage range to run the welder at. If you have a 200 amp welder that doesn't mean you'll run 200a. For a 3/32" 6011 rod, for example, you'll be around the 40-80a range. Your welder won't draw the same input amperage at 80a or less as it will at max 200a.

    Another thing you want to understand is the difference between running wattage and peak/starting wattage of a generator. Welding does take a lot of power. That load can cause a lighter power source (even a lighter circuit, or a circuit with other loads running at times on it - say an air conditioner, band saw or some other machine - should be on separate circuits) to sag in voltage. That voltage sag will play with your weld quality. If you are drawing peak power of your welder up in the clouds in that "starting wattage" range of your generator you are likely to find that voltage dropping. That drop in voltage is going to affect your welds and ability to weld (possibly causing the arc to drop - especially on 6010 rods). If you keep that input power draw within the running wattage range you are much more likely to have stable voltage and thus stable arc performance as you weld.

    Generators' wattage is a bit of a screwball game. The math behind the wattage is as follows:
    Watts = volts x amps

    So if you have a 15,000 watt generator, then at 230v that would be (15,000/230) = 65.217 amps

    However, what is the main line circuit breaker on the generator rated to? Are there multiple main line circuit breakers? Say, a 40a 240/120v breaker, a separate 30a 120v breaker, and a separate 20a breaker feeding a bank of 6x 5-15r outlets? If you legitimately need 50 amps for a welder and the MLCB is 40a you aren't going to get there or stay there long.

    The other kicker is a generator may be rated to what ever wattage. In reality, the engine may not have the HP/torque to push that power. For example - I have a small 2400-2600 watt open frame generator that has a 30 amp breaker for the 120/240 outlet. (30a x 230v) = 7200 watts. That breaker is more than twice the wattage the generator is capable of and I have never tripped it. All it is for me is an on/off switch so I can have a circuit hooked in with the engine running and not have power to the circuit. When I do get up in wattage/amperage draw it drags the engine down and will stall it. If the load is too much (well pump for example) it will try to get the load to go but will stall. My Idealarc 250 (transformer welder) draws 6a at idle. When I turn that on running on the small generator it immediately kills the engine - the cooling fan on the welder never moves - there is too much dead current required to get the power through the transformer to get that system running for the generator to even touch, thats not even attempting to weld, thats just to get to turn on in the first place.

    If you are not dead set on having a separate welder and generator then I would join the camp of getting an engine drive unit like a Lincoln SA200. That will alleviate all your power issues. What you will loose is having the AC capability. The SA200's are DC-only. That also means that you can't use them as a generator for power tools or back-up power for your house. Miller has some engine drives that are dual AC/DC, but Lincoln does not offer that. Quite frankly, if I needed heavy field welding then a DC engine drive would be the route I'd go. I already have generators and I'd much rather run a tiny inverter generator for my (quiet!) field power then only run a big engine for when I needed it - the heavy welding, if that were the case. Otherwise, why run a big engine for a job when you really only need it for a couple minutes of the whole day??? Heck, even a good size power inverter off of a vehicle battery might get you all the AC power you need for power tools, though I do find the small inverter generators more convenient.

    Hope this helps and best of luck.
    A idealarc or dialarc for portable welding off a generator, yeah right. A SA -200 ? You do realize what they cost and having extremely limited 115 power that is only DC is not only limiting but entirely impractical for farm use where running air compressor or any array of tools and pumps is often required.

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    Re: Lincoln 225 ACDC or Miller Thunderbolt

    Quote Originally Posted by M J D View Post
    A idealarc or dialarc for portable welding off a generator, yeah right. A SA -200 ? You do realize what they cost and having extremely limited 115 power that is only DC is not only limiting but entirely impractical for farm use where running air compressor or any array of tools and pumps is often required.

    The only comment I will offer to add to the conversation is there are a plethora of options on the used/surplus market. If you want to buy new and break the bank, have at it. If you watch used listings (facebook marketplace, craigslist, etc) you can find some good deals out there. I think I paid around $125-150 for my 1966 idealarc 250. It had a froze up cooling fan, other than that (easy fix by the way) it welded great and I haven't done any electrical work on it other than swap the power cord/plug.

    My point is - equipment is out there and attainable. If you need something "now" you'll likely pay a premium. If you know what you want, watch the listings, and wait you can find something for a pretty good deal.

    On another twist to the used listings - check dumps and junk yards. There are some guys who have found SA200's at dumps for the taking that have only required minor work to bring back to operational.

    Think outside the box.

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    Re: Lincoln 225 ACDC or Miller Thunderbolt

    Quote Originally Posted by M J D View Post
    A idealarc or dialarc for portable welding off a generator, yeah right.
    Just for fun I ran my Dialarc 250 off my Hobart Champion Elite which is an 11Kw generator....worked perfectly. Many, if not most, farmers have a generator big enough to run that size machine. Those welders are probably overkill for what the OP is talking about, but they certainly would do the job.

    Only the OP can tell if that sort of combo would be practical or not for his situation...how far he'd be moving the welder and generator, if he has a trailer to put them on, etc. For some folks it would be a great setup, and others might find it totally impractical.
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  22. #41
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    Re: Lincoln 225 ACDC or Miller Thunderbolt

    Quote Originally Posted by FlyFishn View Post
    If you watch used listings (facebook marketplace, craigslist, etc) you can find some good deals out there. I think I paid around $125-150 for my 1966 idealarc 250. It had a froze up cooling fan, other than that (easy fix by the way) it welded great and I haven't done any electrical work on it other than swap the power cord/plug.
    And sometimes the bigger machines like Dialarcs and Idealarcs go for less than the Tombstone and Thunderbolt machines because they are simply too big and heavy for many people to deal with. Most folks can throw a Tombstone in the trunk and get it home...not the case with the bigger machines.
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  24. #42
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    Re: Lincoln 225 ACDC or Miller Thunderbolt

    Quote Originally Posted by G-ManBart View Post
    Just for fun I ran my Dialarc 250 off my Hobart Champion Elite which is an 11Kw generator....worked perfectly. Many, if not most, farmers have a generator big enough to run that size machine. Those welders are probably overkill for what the OP is talking about, but they certainly would do the job.

    Only the OP can tell if that sort of combo would be practical or not for his situation...how far he'd be moving the welder and generator, if he has a trailer to put them on, etc. For some folks it would be a great setup, and others might find it totally impractical.
    You made my point. Farmers who have a generator large enough to run a power hungry beast generally have the said large enough generator in the form of an engine drive welder. Other than testing something running a large stick welder off of an engine drive welder is pointless.

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    Re: Lincoln 225 ACDC or Miller Thunderbolt

    Quote Originally Posted by M J D View Post
    A idealarc or dialarc for portable welding off a generator, yeah right. A SA -200 ? You do realize what they cost and having extremely limited 115 power that is only DC is not only limiting but entirely impractical for farm use where running air compressor or any array of tools and pumps is often required.
    Personally, I like inverter machines on generators, transformer machines - not so much...

    I really like the little Bobcat 225nt engine drive. It's so much lighter than the SA200 I had, welds good, and also runs power tools really well.

    I've even run my house twice with it.
    Last edited by MinnesotaDave; 05-02-2021 at 12:26 PM.
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    Re: Lincoln 225 ACDC or Miller Thunderbolt

    Quote Originally Posted by MinnesotaDave View Post
    Personally, I like inverter machines on generators, transformer machines - not so much...

    I really like the little Bobcat 225nt engine drive. It's so much lighter than the SA200 I had, welds good, and also runs power tools really well.

    I've even run my house twice with it.
    For sure. The SA 200 is, was a great machine for it's time but it's a real crappy generator. I personally like the fact that my stick machine weighs less than the can of rods. It's really nice using 100 pounds of equipment vs equipment pushing 1000 lbs or more. Another factor is how little fuel a 6000 watt or so generator uses compared to an engine drive.

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    Re: Lincoln 225 ACDC or Miller Thunderbolt

    Quote Originally Posted by M J D View Post
    You made my point. Farmers who have a generator large enough to run a power hungry beast generally have the said large enough generator in the form of an engine drive welder. Other than testing something running a large stick welder off of an engine drive welder is pointless.
    No, I really didn't make your point at all. If the OP had an engine drive welder he wouldn't be looking to buy a stick welder to run off a generator and he hasn't shared what size generator he's using. He very well might have something more than capable of running a transformer stick welder on the work he's planning. It doesn't really take a huge generator until you're doing pretty heavy work and lots of farmers have big generators that aren't welders.

    Even a common 7Kw generator from Harbor Freight would power a Dialarc 250 running 1/8" rods....and that's not a big generator.

    I only mentioned running the Dialarc off the Hobart to point out that an 11Kw generator would easily power that size machine.
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    Re: Lincoln 225 ACDC or Miller Thunderbolt

    Quote Originally Posted by G-ManBart View Post
    No, I really didn't make your point at all. If the OP had an engine drive welder he wouldn't be looking to buy a stick welder to run off a generator and he hasn't shared what size generator he's using. He very well might have something more than capable of running a transformer stick welder on the work he's planning. It doesn't really take a huge generator until you're doing pretty heavy work and lots of farmers have big generators that aren't welders.

    Even a common 7Kw generator from Harbor Freight would power a Dialarc 250 running 1/8" rods....and that's not a big generator.

    I only mentioned running the Dialarc off the Hobart to point out that an 11Kw generator would easily power that size machine.
    Well you certainly can have an opinion , flawed or not. The area I live in is heavy agricultural and here you see a lot of 3 phase miller bobcats so they can run an irrigation pump if necessary. I fully get that the op doesn't have an engine drive welder as MOST people don't have large generators as well and if they do they are generally hooked up as a stand alone whole house type setup. Point is an inverter stick machine and a relatively lightweight and fairly inexpensive 6000 watt or so generator will do the job as well or better than many other options. You can buy an inverter capable of 99 percent of typical work that needs to be done for 2 -700$ . I knew an older guy back in the 80s that hauled around a round top idealarc in the trunk lidless AMC Ambassador and it worked but was far from ideal even 30+ years ago.

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    Re: Lincoln 225 ACDC or Miller Thunderbolt

    Quote Originally Posted by M J D View Post
    Well you certainly can have an opinion , flawed or not.
    I'm offering advice based upon experience with some of the machines he had questions about, that's not an opinion, much less a flawed one.

    Quote Originally Posted by M J D View Post
    Point is an inverter stick machine and a relatively lightweight and fairly inexpensive 6000 watt or so generator will do the job as well or better than many other options.
    Your point is irrelevant. The OP said he wants a transformer and asked about specific models. He didn't ask for yet another argument about transformer versus inverter.

    The fact is, he can absolutely buy a transformer welder and run it off a generator, contrary to your "yeah right" comment. BTW, he did post that his generator is a 15Kw unit...more than enough power.
    Last edited by G-ManBart; 05-02-2021 at 06:25 PM.
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    Millermatic 350P with XR AlumaPro
    Miller Regency 200 with 22A feeder and Spoolmatic 3
    Hobart Champion Elite
    Everlast PowerTig 210EXT

  32. Likes FlyFishn liked this post
  33. #48
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    Re: Lincoln 225 ACDC or Miller Thunderbolt

    Quote Originally Posted by G-ManBart View Post
    I'm offering advice based upon experience with some of the machines he had questions about, that's not an opinion, much less a flawed one.



    Your point is irrelevant. The OP said he wants a transformer and asked about specific models. He didn't ask for yet another argument about transformer versus inverter.

    The fact is, he can absolutely buy a transformer welder and run it off a generator, contrary to your "yeah right" comment. BTW, he did post that his generator is a 15Kw unit...more than enough power.
    Actually he mentioned a 15000 watt generator for the house that was a bear to move . He also mentioned the Esab that myself and others mentioned. . Enlighten me with your vast experience doing mobile work or other kinds of field work🤣.

  34. #49
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    Re: Lincoln 225 ACDC or Miller Thunderbolt

    I agree with the stated assessment of the SA200, I have a great 1966 red face model so I know something about them. They were a purpose built machine for welding and they still do that very weld. Pure DC arc is a beauty to behold thatís why they still have a cult following. They have very limited DC auxiliary power, I feel safe running a 4 1/2Ē Dewalt AC/DC grinder but thatís it. If you ever get a chance to weld with one youíll see what I mean.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Steve

    Miller Dialarc 250 (1990)
    Miller Maxstar 140 STR (2003)
    Lincoln SA200 Redface Pipeliner (1966)
    Lincoln MP210 (2015)
    Victor and MECO torches

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  36. #50
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    Re: Lincoln 225 ACDC or Miller Thunderbolt

    Quote Originally Posted by M J D View Post
    Actually he mentioned a 15000 watt generator for the house that was a bear to move .
    How will that change with a different welder?

    Quote Originally Posted by M J D View Post
    He also mentioned the Esab that myself and others mentioned. . Enlighten me with your vast experience doing mobile work or other kinds of field work��.
    I'm not a professional welder, and have said that many times...just an enthusiast who likes welding, welders and making things. I'm pretty certain nothing will enlighten you.
    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

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