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Thread: Hobby Welder and Machinist from Arizona

  1. #1
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    Hobby Welder and Machinist from Arizona

    Well, this will likely start me on a wallet draining path.
    The first welding I did decades ago was on a cheap Sears AC stick welder.
    I picked up a flux wire welder a few months ago (sub $50 new from Tractor Supply store closeout), and it "gets the job done".
    Recently I wanted something a bit more capable (not hard to find at that price point).
    Upon recommendation from a co-worker, I actually looked at an Amica Power MTS-185 multi-process welder.
    I don't have excessive expectations at it's price point. It is your basic uber-budget MIG/TIG/Stick box.
    It is 110/220V welding unit. It was purchased to support some basic machining work I do in the garage.

    For the cheap Tractor Supply Store Wire/flux welder, I already purchased the usual stuff, magnetic clamps, Hobart autodarkening hood,
    good gloves, etc. So other than getting some gas and a regulator, the Amico will be ready to roll out of the box (I hope).
    A spool gun was also purchased, on the off chance I need to weld some aluminum. Out the door (with 3 year extended warranty and taxes),
    the whole kit set me back about $850 American bucks.

    I looked around the web for video reviews on this unit, but they are largely non-existent, other than one unboxing video, and a second
    video from a novice welder. I will likely form my own opinion on it. Considering the even lower end hobby welding units I started with,
    it is likely not going to be a step down.
    High Desert Dweller

  2. #2
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    Re: Hobby Welder and Machinist from Arizona

    Welcometo group.
    If helps you i found 240 volt works best, i have own 120 volt and later turn around sold for 240 volt.
    I avoid multi-process and just use a Mig welder. If you a mig and a tig if one stops working you use other till repair or buy a replacement.

    If doing field a multi-process weld helps for some types you to just bring welder.
    When I did field I only use gas power arc welder but I did structure welding only.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by addertooth View Post
    Well, this will likely start me on a wallet draining path.
    The first welding I did decades ago was on a cheap Sears AC stick welder.
    I picked up a flux wire welder a few months ago (sub $50 new from Tractor Supply store closeout), and it "gets the job done".
    Recently I wanted something a bit more capable (not hard to find at that price point).
    Upon recommendation from a co-worker, I actually looked at an Amica Power MTS-185 multi-process welder.
    I don't have excessive expectations at it's price point. It is your basic uber-budget MIG/TIG/Stick box.
    It is 110/220V welding unit. It was purchased to support some basic machining work I do in the garage.

    For the cheap Tractor Supply Store Wire/flux welder, I already purchased the usual stuff, magnetic clamps, Hobart autodarkening hood,
    good gloves, etc. So other than getting some gas and a regulator, the Amico will be ready to roll out of the box (I hope).
    A spool gun was also purchased, on the off chance I need to weld some aluminum. Out the door (with 3 year extended warranty and taxes),
    the whole kit set me back about $850 American bucks.

    I looked around the web for video reviews on this unit, but they are largely non-existent, other than one unboxing video, and a second
    video from a novice welder. I will likely form my own opinion on it. Considering the even lower end hobby welding units I started with,
    it is likely not going to be a step down.
    Last edited by smithdoor; 4 Weeks Ago at 10:19 AM.

  3. #3
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    Re: Hobby Welder and Machinist from Arizona

    Quote Originally Posted by smithdoor View Post
    Welcometo group.
    If helps you i found 240 volt works best, i have own 120 volt and later turn around sold for 240 volt.
    I avoid multi-process and just use a Mig welder. If you a mig and a tig if one stops working you use other till repair or buy a replacement.

    Dave
    I agree on all your points. This is the whole reason why I avoided those all-in-one TVs that had DVD/Blue-ray players built into them.
    And yes, you can certainly deliver more current, when connected to 220. I think for most my welding it will be 140 amps or less.

    Right now, my project is a steel table for my Desktop Milling Machine. It is 1/8th wall two inch square tubing. There will be some
    brackets and jigs made for the Machining tools too. Thankfully I don't have to do heavier stuff, like welding farming equipment.
    High Desert Dweller

  4. #4
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    Re: Hobby Welder and Machinist from Arizona

    Quote Originally Posted by addertooth View Post
    I agree on all your points. This is the whole reason why I avoided those all-in-one TVs that had DVD/Blue-ray players built into them.
    And yes, you can certainly deliver more current, when connected to 220. I think for most my welding it will be 140 amps or less.

    Right now, my project is a steel table for my Desktop Milling Machine. It is 1/8th wall two inch square tubing. There will be some
    brackets and jigs made for the Machining tools too. Thankfully I don't have to do heavier stuff, like welding farming equipment.
    Welcome from Ajo Arizona! Where are you located?
    IMPEACH BIDEN!
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    UNITWELD 175 AMP 3 IN1 DC
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    We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream".
    RONALD REAGAN

  5. #5
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    Re: Hobby Welder and Machinist from Arizona

    The best part of Arizona it the steel is per heated. Wear live it only gets up to 114°F we are just behind you.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by addertooth View Post
    Well, this will likely start me on a wallet draining path.
    The first welding I did decades ago was on a cheap Sears AC stick welder.
    I picked up a flux wire welder a few months ago (sub $50 new from Tractor Supply store closeout), and it "gets the job done".
    Recently I wanted something a bit more capable (not hard to find at that price point).
    Upon recommendation from a co-worker, I actually looked at an Amica Power MTS-185 multi-process welder.
    I don't have excessive expectations at it's price point. It is your basic uber-budget MIG/TIG/Stick box.
    It is 110/220V welding unit. It was purchased to support some basic machining work I do in the garage.

    For the cheap Tractor Supply Store Wire/flux welder, I already purchased the usual stuff, magnetic clamps, Hobart autodarkening hood,
    good gloves, etc. So other than getting some gas and a regulator, the Amico will be ready to roll out of the box (I hope).
    A spool gun was also purchased, on the off chance I need to weld some aluminum. Out the door (with 3 year extended warranty and taxes),
    the whole kit set me back about $850 American bucks.

    I looked around the web for video reviews on this unit, but they are largely non-existent, other than one unboxing video, and a second
    video from a novice welder. I will likely form my own opinion on it. Considering the even lower end hobby welding units I started with,
    it is likely not going to be a step down.

  6. #6
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    Re: Hobby Welder and Machinist from Arizona

    That machine has a respectable duty cycle for what it is, I also have a small Chinese inverter machine about the size of yours, and can say that if yours welds like mine you'll be pleased, mine will run 6010 with no problems. There's no spoolgun available for mine though.
    IMPEACH BIDEN!
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    UNITWELD 175 AMP 3 IN1 DC
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    GOD HELP AMERICA!
    “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.
    We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream".
    RONALD REAGAN

  7. #7
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    Re: Hobby Welder and Machinist from Arizona

    Quote Originally Posted by CAVEMANN View Post
    Welcome from Ajo Arizona! Where are you located?

    I am about 14 miles North of the Mexican border, in the bottom right part of the state.

    The Welder came in yesterday, and I did a basic inspection of it, and assembly. Everything seemed to fit together properly.
    It powered up, and showed all the good signs of being in a workable state.
    The manual is the typical "badly translated from Chinese to English affair".
    I chuckled at much of what it said. If I had never welded before, there is no way the Manual (by itself) would have been sufficient to set up to weld.
    Friday I am picking up a 120 Liter cylinder of Argon, as well as the classical 75/25 Argon and CO2 mix.
    This particular model has a real shortage of videos produced for it. Making a video would be in order.
    The spool gun surprised me, as it came with no consumables. The main unit did have a modest amount of consumables.

    My youngest step son has an interest in learning to weld, so he will also be learning on this machine.
    It has long been my belief, that if your technique is good, you can get a lot of learning on a basic machine.
    Certainly a higher level machine makes the learning curve much easier.
    High Desert Dweller

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  9. #8
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    Re: Hobby Welder and Machinist from Arizona

    Sound like Great place to live.

    My background is both welding and machinist.
    I start both welding and machinist in 1960's all from books no class time I was to young.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by addertooth View Post
    I am about 14 miles North of the Mexican border, in the bottom right part of the state.

    The Welder came in yesterday, and I did a basic inspection of it, and assembly. Everything seemed to fit together properly.
    It powered up, and showed all the good signs of being in a workable state.
    The manual is the typical "badly translated from Chinese to English affair".
    I chuckled at much of what it said. If I had never welded before, there is no way the Manual (by itself) would have been sufficient to set up to weld.
    Friday I am picking up a 120 Liter cylinder of Argon, as well as the classical 75/25 Argon and CO2 mix.
    This particular model has a real shortage of videos produced for it. Making a video would be in order.
    The spool gun surprised me, as it came with no consumables. The main unit did have a modest amount of consumables.

    My youngest step son has an interest in learning to weld, so he will also be learning on this machine.
    It has long been my belief, that if your technique is good, you can get a lot of learning on a basic machine.
    Certainly a higher level machine makes the learning curve much easier.

  10. #9
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    Re: Hobby Welder and Machinist from Arizona

    A bottle of 75/25 and a bottle of 100% Argon have been picked up. Harbor Freight had their 350 pound welder cart on sale, so it was purchased and assembled last night.
    Today, the first sparks will be made by it, it will be MIG welding the steel table for the Milling Machine; the table had hit a "stall" point because it was pushing the limits of
    the flux welder I was using. The flux welder did a good job on where the welds were flat-to-flat, but where the corner radius on the square tube were involved on joints, I felt like those portions
    of the welds lacked the penetration I wanted. That, and cleaning off the slag after every pass was tiresome. I still need to fabricate some brackets which will hold the adjustable feet for the table.
    Machine shop equipment (lathes, Mills), are sensitive to how level the machine is. So, a precise level is important.

    Smithdoor,

    My background is similar. I started working for a fab shop which leaned heavily towards machining early on. I switched to a shop which had a more equitable balance between machining and welding
    after about a year. But, they tended to segment the work. You were either a machinist, or you were a welder. Many years later I joined the military as a 44E (Machinist), but learned the Army does
    not really understand how to utilize machinists. They were far more likely to order a new part, rather than machine and re-manufacture a broken part. Most of the time (99.9%) I was doing repair and "A" services
    on military vehicles, than actually turning parts out. I eventually switched MOS to Combat Engineer and Communications. Everyone likes to feel like they are contributing.

    On the civilian side, I switched careers to electronics and engineering, as the pay was better and most of the work was in a much more comfortable environment than a steel fab building cooled by fans in the peak of summer.
    High Desert Dweller

  11. #10
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    Re: Hobby Welder and Machinist from Arizona

    I came close to carer electronics but switched to manufacturering and engineering aircraft hangar doors from 1973 till 2004 and sold lock stock and barrel.

    I work in both shop and office which gave great insight on manufacturing and design. But here it only gets up to 114°F .
    I had 2 sawp cooler the crew used for outside uses, All fabrication and welding was outside

    Dave


    Quote Originally Posted by addertooth View Post
    A bottle of 75/25 and a bottle of 100% Argon have been picked up. Harbor Freight had their 350 pound welder cart on sale, so it was purchased and assembled last night.
    Today, the first sparks will be made by it, it will be MIG welding the steel table for the Milling Machine; the table had hit a "stall" point because it was pushing the limits of
    the flux welder I was using. The flux welder did a good job on where the welds were flat-to-flat, but where the corner radius on the square tube were involved on joints, I felt like those portions
    of the welds lacked the penetration I wanted. That, and cleaning off the slag after every pass was tiresome. I still need to fabricate some brackets which will hold the adjustable feet for the table.
    Machine shop equipment (lathes, Mills), are sensitive to how level the machine is. So, a precise level is important.

    Smithdoor,

    My background is similar. I started working for a fab shop which leaned heavily towards machining early on. I switched to a shop which had a more equitable balance between machining and welding
    after about a year. But, they tended to segment the work. You were either a machinist, or you were a welder. Many years later I joined the military as a 44E (Machinist), but learned the Army does
    not really understand how to utilize machinists. They were far more likely to order a new part, rather than machine and re-manufacture a broken part. Most of the time (99.9%) I was doing repair and "A" services
    on military vehicles, than actually turning parts out. I eventually switched MOS to Combat Engineer and Communications. Everyone likes to feel like they are contributing.

    On the civilian side, I switched careers to electronics and engineering, as the pay was better and most of the work was in a much more comfortable environment than a steel fab building cooled by fans in the peak of summer.

  12. #11
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    Re: Hobby Welder and Machinist from Arizona

    Quote Originally Posted by addertooth View Post
    I am about 14 miles North of the Mexican border, in the bottom right part of the state.

    The Welder came in yesterday, and I did a basic inspection of it, and assembly. Everything seemed to fit together properly.
    It powered up, and showed all the good signs of being in a workable state.
    The manual is the typical "badly translated from Chinese to English affair".
    I chuckled at much of what it said. If I had never welded before, there is no way the Manual (by itself) would have been sufficient to set up to weld.
    Friday I am picking up a 120 Liter cylinder of Argon, as well as the classical 75/25 Argon and CO2 mix.
    This particular model has a real shortage of videos produced for it. Making a video would be in order.
    The spool gun surprised me, as it came with no consumables. The main unit did have a modest amount of consumables.

    My youngest step son has an interest in learning to weld, so he will also be learning on this machine.
    It has long been my belief, that if your technique is good, you can get a lot of learning on a basic machine.
    Certainly a higher level machine makes the learning curve much easier.
    I have a little familiarity with the area, I cut some wood in the Chiricahuas years ago(87ish), I worked in the now gone Hidalgo Smelter as a Machinist, & had a good friend on a ranch south of Animas, N.M. and several friends/co-workers from around Rodeo, also had a few that drove in from Douglas, a lot of Hidalgo employees were from Ajo, Bisbee, Douglas and Tyrone. Do you get many illegals coming around?
    Last edited by CAVEMANN; 2 Weeks Ago at 04:04 PM.
    IMPEACH BIDEN!
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    We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream".
    RONALD REAGAN

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    Re: Hobby Welder and Machinist from Arizona

    Well, I made some sparks.. ARG! The machine is working, but it is clear that having MORE adjustments sometimes does not make for a good weld until you really know what each knob does. My old flux welder was simple, wire speed and High or Low power setting.. that was it. Very few knobs to turn, and if low power didn't work, you switched to high power and adjusted your feed.

    This new unit is a LOT more powerful than my old one, and was shocked when I blew through 1/8th material with the a relatively low setting (using 110v AC power, and not 220v). This was with 0.030 wire no less. I over-compensated and ended up cranking the voltage too low, and produce some amazingly tall ropes on the metal. Finally had to get the voltage up to around 19.2 volts on mild steel to start making a bead that didn't look like a 5-year old had made it. After a while, I turned off the gas, and stepped away for a breather. When I came back, it was time for rookie mistake number 2... horrible porosity and awful beads and oxidation.. yep.. forgot to turn the shielding gas back on It was just another learning curve moment going from a flux-wire welder, to a better tool. I would say I won't make that mistake twice, but I am sure I will.

    I am sure the sweet spot will be found, but I must say, it humbled me for a bit there. Perhaps that is a very good thing.
    High Desert Dweller

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