Green Tractor Talk banner
1 - 20 of 52 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
872 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a novice and picked up welding about 3 years ago.

Started with a HF flux core, 120 volt. I will admit it did work.

Moved up to a Hobart 210 MVP with a spool gun for MIG work. Got the spool gun for it too.

But last week took a big jump and picked up a new Miller 220 multi process with the 150 spool gun. Pretty nice welder.

This Winter I am going to tackle TIG, so far a dark art. Dabbled with it a little but haven't put much effort into it.
Automotive tire Tire Motor vehicle Wheel Tread
Wheel Motor vehicle Automotive tire Tire Vehicle
Tire Fluid Automotive tire Motor vehicle Gas
Luggage and bags Bag Material property Gas Electric blue
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
872 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Made a stand for the wife's heated bird bath. This thing can only be mounted to a deck railing. Well we don't have a deck because I hate wood deck and removed it replacing with 2 blocks high of retaining wall blocks and pavers. So there is no railing. There were holes in the bottom that a coarse threaded bolt will get a good bite on.


BTW, the top on the cheap HF welding table was way to flimsy so I cut a new top out of a large 1/4" plate. The new raw edge is closest to the camera. Pretty nice cut IMHO.
Tire Wheel Vehicle Automotive lighting Automotive tire
Table Furniture Wood Gas Composite material
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
872 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Here is the bird bath put together.

Furniture Rangpur Table Orange Valencia orange
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,842 Posts
Nice looking table! Good luck with the dark art TIG! I agree, learning to weld was one of those "never had enough of a need to invest" till I did and now I look for excuses to play with lightning! It's incredibly satisfying to lay a nice clean bead down with proper penatraition. I've tried TIG with dismal results, but I keep trying, then switch to MIG to get it done. 😅
 
  • Like
Reactions: Firewood Bandit

·
Registered
Joined
·
139 Posts
I love wood decks. I just redid mine with 5/4 ipe and I welded up the railings and stairs. Sent off to be powder coated. Tig can be frustrating. Wait till you try aluminum.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
872 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Nice looking table! Good luck with the dark art TIG! I agree, learning to weld was one of those "never had enough of a need to invest" till I did and now I look for excuses to play with lightning! It's incredibly satisfying to lay a nice clean bead down with proper penatraition. I've tried TIG with dismal results, but I keep trying, then switch to MIG to get it done. 😅

I love telling the wife that I just fixed something with FIRE!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
872 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I love wood decks. I just redid mine with 5/4 ipe and I welded up the railings and stairs. Sent off to be powder coated. Tig can be frustrating. Wait till you try aluminum.

Been doing aluminum, OK results with the Hobart & spool gun. Bought the higher end spool gun for the Miller.

This was a railing project. Man is the materials expensive.

Wood Tool Bumper Automotive exterior Machine tool
Handwriting Material property Font Office supplies Eyewear
Wood Rectangle Plank Gas Hardwood
Tire Wheel Automotive tire Motor vehicle Tread
Wheel Automotive tire Tire Tread Motor vehicle
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
139 Posts
I have a spool gun for my Mig welder but have never tried it. I have always used the Tig welder for aluminum. Your results look good. Maybe I should rethink my approach. I know what you are saying about the price of aluminum. It's almost as expensive as wood nowadays.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,637 Posts
Man I been wanting to pick up TIG skills but keep putting off buying a TIG machine. It's on the spending money wish list lol.

I started off with a Lincoln 120V wire feeder, think it was a Weld-Pak 3200 from HD. Learned to weld flux-core (FCAW) with it, then, I kid you not, I lost my dog, my truck broke down, my wife left, and I lost the house I was renting due to being down to one income. Ha, whatever, life goes on but I sold that welder to help buy another truck so I could get to work in the meantime.

Maybe a year later I bought another Lincoln welder similar to my last one, plus a gas bottle and a nice cart to hold it all. I think that machine was a Lincoln Pro-Mig 140.

Kept that 140 for a few years and it served me well but I eventually sold it and bought a Hobart tombstone stick welder since I wanted to learn stick and wasn't really doing many welding projects at the time anyway.

Gave that Hobart welder to a buddy when I bought a Chicago Electric arc welder (forget the model number) from Harbor Freight but little did I realize when I bought it that it didn't have enough open-circuit voltage (OCV) to strike an arc on 7018. Useless!

Returned that Chicago Electric and bought my current stick welder, an Amico 160 amp (DC only) inverter arc welder, dual input capable (120V/240V) and man that thing is sweet! Got it on Amazon for about $170, when it arrived the first thing I did was take it apart to see inside lol. It's actually put together pretty nicely and it welds great! I most recently used it to weld a receiver on my FEL bucket lol. I was so happy that I'd finally be able to move trailers easily, that I forgot to block and brace the bucket before welding. Oops... warped the top of the bucket a bit. Oh well, still works fine.

I also got a Chicago Electric 90 amp, 120V input wire feeder from Harbor Freight for tacking and general use like sheetmetal and making those special tools one often finds themselves in need of. It does alright but being AC output it makes a bit of a mess and I don't really use it for anything structural where failure is not an option since FCAW wire is NOT meant to be run on AC lol. It's exactly what it said on the box and nothing more, think I gave $90 for it on sale.

Those multiprocess welders sound good, when it comes time to buy a TIG I'll definitely be considering them. I've heard great things about the Vulcan line of welders at Harbor Freight and the Everlast welders on Amazon and of course there's the big brands like Lincoln, Miller, ESAB to consider also. Man I wish I had a money tree...

Oh yeah, a plasma cutter is also on my wish list! :D

Yeah welding is addictive alright...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,779 Posts
You're way ahead of me, but if you're poor or cheap (or both ) for aluminum I've actually had good results with those aluminum rods you can order ebay or Amazon you heat with propane torch. You want what you're doing to be really clean.
I know it's not even close in quality but so far what I've repaired with them works.
Just wanted mention folks poor or cheap like me.

Sent from my SM-S205DL using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
132 Posts
Man I been wanting to pick up TIG skills but keep putting off buying a TIG machine. It's on the spending money wish list lol.

I started off with a Lincoln 120V wire feeder, think it was a Weld-Pak 3200 from HD. Learned to weld flux-core (FCAW) with it, then, I kid you not, I lost my dog, my truck broke down, my wife left, and I lost the house I was renting due to being down to one income. Ha, whatever, life goes on but I sold that welder to help buy another truck so I could get to work in the meantime.

Maybe a year later I bought another Lincoln welder similar to my last one, plus a gas bottle and a nice cart to hold it all. I think that machine was a Lincoln Pro-Mig 140.

Kept that 140 for a few years and it served me well but I eventually sold it and bought a Hobart tombstone stick welder since I wanted to learn stick and wasn't really doing many welding projects at the time anyway.

Gave that Hobart welder to a buddy when I bought a Chicago Electric arc welder (forget the model number) from Harbor Freight but little did I realize when I bought it that it didn't have enough open-circuit voltage (OCV) to strike an arc on 7018. Useless!

Returned that Chicago Electric and bought my current stick welder, an Amico 160 amp (DC only) inverter arc welder, dual input capable (120V/240V) and man that thing is sweet! Got it on Amazon for about $170, when it arrived the first thing I did was take it apart to see inside lol. It's actually put together pretty nicely and it welds great! I most recently used it to weld a receiver on my FEL bucket lol. I was so happy that I'd finally be able to move trailers easily, that I forgot to block and brace the bucket before welding. Oops... warped the top of the bucket a bit. Oh well, still works fine.

I also got a Chicago Electric 90 amp, 120V input wire feeder from Harbor Freight for tacking and general use like sheetmetal and making those special tools one often finds themselves in need of. It does alright but being AC output it makes a bit of a mess and I don't really use it for anything structural where failure is not an option since FCAW wire is NOT meant to be run on AC lol. It's exactly what it said on the box and nothing more, think I gave $90 for it on sale.

Those multiprocess welders sound good, when it comes time to buy a TIG I'll definitely be considering them. I've heard great things about the Vulcan line of welders at Harbor Freight and the Everlast welders on Amazon and of course there's the big brands like Lincoln, Miller, ESAB to consider also. Man I wish I had a money tree...

Oh yeah, a plasma cutter is also on my wish list! :D

Yeah welding is addictive alright...
Give Everlast serious look when you are ready to buy. Compared to the major brands (IE: red/blue, etc) their quality is good (VERY good) for hobbyists and the prices are...well, comparatively reasonable.No matter what you buy, a TIG box is never going to be cheap. If it is, stop and have a serious look at what it is you're buying. If you're getting a TIG box in the hundreds of dollars, there's been some serious corners cut, either in quality, design, power or safety.

Avoid the multiprocess units.

I bought their Everlast 250 EX:



Does stick and TIG so it's considered a "multiprocess unit".

The thing is: TIG is essentially stick, so getting a TIG to stick is nothing more than a change of clamps and settings. The ones to avoid are the ones that advertise things like MIG/TIG/STICK/Plasma cutter. Too much in one box and something has to suffer for that "multipurposeness". Its like a gerber multitool: sort of works for everything, but does nothing well.

Not to mention, there are serious issues with a plasma cutter in the same box as...well, anything. Its the high freq interference that plasma creates that wreaks havoc on the other circuits stuffed in the same box.

I went with the 250 amp unit because when burning aluminum you need pretty high power to get it started. You really can't go too low in amperage for aluminum. Not that you can hit any thickness aluminum with...say...250 amps, but get much over 1/8" and you need to hit it with serious power to get it flowing. Things get pretty serious when you need more than 125 amps on aluminum; you need water cooled torches, water supply system, etc. Aluminum just spreads the heat so fast you have to hit it hard to get it to flow and start moving the torch right away, hence the need for high amperage. I'd also recommend NOT getting a 120v tig. Mine is a 240 v unit. You need the higher voltage to give the high amperage/punch to get aluminum flowing. In fact, all my MIG/TIG/Plasma units are 220v. Just works better. Less portable, but works some much nicer when you need that extra "punch" as you materials get thicker.

You kinda have to get a "feel" for aluminum more than most metals. Not enough heat and it doesn't flow, too much heat and the base material just flows away and becomes a shiny puddle on the floor (hopefully not your boot!). You can even get the heat right and still get a big silver ball on the floor if you don't move the torch at the right speed or are not able to notice the change in the base material before it just "sloughs" away on you.

I've had my 250ex for a couple years now and it hasn't missed a beat. I just use it in my own home shop, but when I do run it I run it hard. No complaints.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
872 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You're going to love TIG. You can get by with a spool gun (I did for years) but when it comes to aluminum, TIG is king.

Well I have the spool gun to fall back onto in a pinch.

I have two buddies who are certified welders, one is a retired boiler maker and the other is a sheet metal man who can weld pressure vessels to school me on the TIG. I was going to go with a Miller 235 Multi process as it is more industrial rated in capacity and duty cycle even though I have never hit the duty cycle on any machine. But if you are going to really do aluminum correctly on TIG you should have an AC/DC machine and that adds a grand to the cost.

I have been a believer in buy once cry once on purchasing tools.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,637 Posts
Give Everlast serious look when you are ready to buy. Compared to the major brands (IE: red/blue, etc) their quality is good (VERY good) for hobbyists and the prices are...well, comparatively reasonable.No matter what you buy, a TIG box is never going to be cheap. If it is, stop and have a serious look at what it is you're buying. If you're getting a TIG box in the hundreds of dollars, there's been some serious corners cut, either in quality, design, power or safety.

Avoid the multiprocess units.

I bought their Everlast 250 EX:



Does stick and TIG so it's considered a "multiprocess unit".

The thing is: TIG is essentially stick, so getting a TIG to stick is nothing more than a change of clamps and settings. The ones to avoid are the ones that advertise things like MIG/TIG/STICK/Plasma cutter. Too much in one box and something has to suffer for that "multipurposeness". Its like a gerber multitool: sort of works for everything, but does nothing well.

Not to mention, there are serious issues with a plasma cutter in the same box as...well, anything. Its the high freq interference that plasma creates that wreaks havoc on the other circuits stuffed in the same box.

I went with the 250 amp unit because when burning aluminum you need pretty high power to get it started. You really can't go too low in amperage for aluminum. Not that you can hit any thickness aluminum with...say...250 amps, but get much over 1/8" and you need to hit it with serious power to get it flowing. Things get pretty serious when you need more than 125 amps on aluminum; you need water cooled torches, water supply system, etc. Aluminum just spreads the heat so fast you have to hit it hard to get it to flow and start moving the torch right away, hence the need for high amperage. I'd also recommend NOT getting a 120v tig. Mine is a 240 v unit. You need the higher voltage to give the high amperage/punch to get aluminum flowing. In fact, all my MIG/TIG/Plasma units are 220v. Just works better. Less portable, but works some much nicer when you need that extra "punch" as you materials get thicker.

You kinda have to get a "feel" for aluminum more than most metals. Not enough heat and it doesn't flow, too much heat and the base material just flows away and becomes a shiny puddle on the floor (hopefully not your boot!). You can even get the heat right and still get a big silver ball on the floor if you don't move the torch at the right speed or are not able to notice the change in the base material before it just "sloughs" away on you.

I've had my 250ex for a couple years now and it hasn't missed a beat. I just use it in my own home shop, but when I do run it I run it hard. No complaints.
Yes sir, I intend to give Everlast and Vulcan both a good hard look when the time comes. Good info on the aluminum, thank you for that! I will be buying a 240V unit for sure, no sense buying a 120V unit and paying 80% of the price but getting 45% of the performance when compared to the 240V units.

I agree with you 100% on those multiprocess units, if a common component fails such as a logic board you are then out two or three different welders! Never heard of a plasma cutter/welder combo but if I saw one I'd run the other direction even if it was red or blue, lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
132 Posts
Yes sir, I intend to give Everlast and Vulcan both a good hard look when the time comes. Good info on the aluminum, thank you for that! I will be buying a 240V unit for sure, no sense buying a 120V unit and paying 80% of the price but getting 45% of the performance when compared to the 240V units.

I agree with you 100% on those multiprocess units, if a common component fails such as a logic board you are then out two or three different welders! Never heard of a plasma cutter/welder combo but if I saw one I'd run the other direction even if it was red or blue, lol.

Oh,they're around:


I just don't like machines that incorporate multiple processes in one box. It's the "Gerber multi-tool" argument. "jack of all trades, master of none"....

I've got a Lincoln 220 mig, an Everlast 250ex tig and a Cut50 plasma cutter. The Lincoln and Everlast are on one cart, the plasma cutter is on it's own cart so it's no where near my "new" computerized welders when operating.

The Cut50 is an import no-name brand, but it cuts up to 1/2" and so far has served me well for the couple hundred I paid for it. But I also don't expect a lot from it and I've used it enough now that the couple hundred I paid for it has been covered. There's also multiple versions of it out there, so you need to really pay attention when reading the specs on one you might buy.

Being a "China direct" import though, you have to do your own QA when it arrives. I ditched the power cord and plug on mine as it was waaaay undersized and didn't have a ground. It was waaay too short also. Not to mention, there were some things in the box that just made no sense (IE: wire routing, component placement, undersized connections, missing cooling paste, etc). Seller claimed the Cut50 was internally grounded, but when I opened it up it was definitely not. And with a steel case, you NEED that ground wire or one day you may grab your rig and ........ZAP!

Then you wake up in the ambulance on the way to the hospital......well, if you're lucky that day you wake up in the ambulance...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,842 Posts
Oh,they're around:


I just don't like machines that incorporate multiple processes in one box. It's the "gerber" argument.....
I've got a Eastwood MP200i. - It's a great 200amp MIG welder, does TIG much better than I can (Arc is stable and consistent) and currently is $699 - Also does stick (which is basically TIG) but I've never used that.

For my needs - it's great - I wanted a 200amp MIG welder and to learn TIG before really "investing" in TIG. For a home shop limited on space - I think discounting and bad mouthing the MultiProcess devices is short sided. Is it a 3k water cooled TIG machine, nope, does it come with a 3 year warranty with a store that close to me - who have been great to work with, yup. I'll likely add a dedicated TIG machine when finances and "need" arises but for now my MP is killing two birds with one stone, at a price I was happy with.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
132 Posts
I've got a Eastwood MP200i. - It's a great 200amp MIG welder, does TIG much better than I can (Arc is stable and consistent) and currently is $699 - Also does stick (which is basically TIG) but I've never used that.

For my needs - it's great - I wanted a 200amp MIG welder and to learn TIG before really "investing" in TIG. For a home shop limited on space - I think discounting and bad mouthing the MultiProcess devices is short sided. Is it a 3k water cooled TIG machine, nope, does it come with a 3 year warranty with a store that close to me - who have been great to work with, yup. I'll likely add a dedicated TIG machine when finances and "need" arises but for now my MP is killing two birds with one stone, at a price I was happy with.
Hey man, we all buy what we can afford at the time. Personally, I prefer to avoid multi-process machines, even if it means I have to wait and save. YMMV.....no offense intended.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,637 Posts
Oh,they're around:

Lol, yeah no thanks.

The Cut50 is an import no-name brand, but it cuts up to 1/2" and so far has served me well for the couple hundred I paid for it. But I also don't expect a lot from it and I've used it enough now that the couple hundred I paid for it has been covered. There's also multiple versions of it out there, so you need to really pay attention when reading the specs on one you might buy.
Yeah I was looking at those CUT50's a while back, that and the Lotos plasma cutters. I ordered a Lotos on an Amazon Lightning Deal. I think 5000P was the model and it worked great.... for 5 seconds. After that I could pull the trigger and hear the HF circuitry trying to establish a pilot arc but that's all it did. Boxed it up, sent it back and was informed that there were no more in stock and I would not be able to get a replacement for the same price since the deal was over. Okay fine, gimme a refund and I'll buy another someday. So yeah, still no plasma cutter here lol.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MattL
1 - 20 of 52 Posts
Top