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Thread: What's decent welder for the enthusiast

  1. #21
    Senior Member fatbillybob's Avatar
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    Tanks are heavy. I have the 5ft bottles for TIG and 3ft bottles for MIG. You guys want the 3ft bottles because you are sharing and moving all that equipment among you. Another thing you can do is have 220 plugs of different types that you can use at the racetrack. Set the miller up for fluxcore when you go to the track then you won't have to bring bottles. I broke my steering rack at CoTA 2 weeks ago in a corvette and could not find a rack available instantly within 100miles in TEXAS! Amazing. So I just fluxcored the steel ears on the rack and it got me through 2 races and is still holding. Flux is good stuff. It is how Steel buildings are welded. It ain't pretty and it isn't clean but it makes perfect track side repairs..
    last year at the Mid-Ohio Runoffs our friend crashed his neon racecar. He got a front end to radiator core support at the junk yard and Lewis's crew chief welded it back on in the paddock. He got to race! A welder trackside is a good thing!
    Last edited by fatbillybob; 04-07-2017 at 04:54 PM.
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    Senior Member albertg's Avatar
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    Eric, I think you are supposed to make your welder cart as your first project, not buy it.
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    The Real Captain Slow Red_5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by albertg View Post
    Eric, I think you are supposed to make your welder cart as your first project, not buy it.
    I have too much else to do first. Maybe I'll try to fabricate a welding table instead.
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    The Real Captain Slow Red_5's Avatar
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    After spending way too much time thinking about it, I finally settled on a 141 cu ft cylinder from my local Praxair. Empty cylinder was $300, fill was $55 add tax and fees it was $396 total. At Praxair the 141 cu ft cylinder was $50 more than the next size down 90 cu ft. 90 cu ft bottles are $40 or $45 to fill so I figured I'd get the bigger bottle and pay less for gas over time. The 141 bottle is the same diameter as the 90 just taller and it seems to fit well in the Miller cart.

    Man, this welding thing is expensive to get started!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red_5 View Post
    After spending way too much time thinking about it, I finally settled on a 141 cu ft cylinder from my local Praxair. Empty cylinder was $300, fill was $55 add tax and fees it was $396 total. At Praxair the 141 cu ft cylinder was $50 more than the next size down 90 cu ft. 90 cu ft bottles are $40 or $45 to fill so I figured I'd get the bigger bottle and pay less for gas over time. The 141 bottle is the same diameter as the 90 just taller and it seems to fit well in the Miller cart.

    Man, this welding thing is expensive to get started!
    141 cu ft new/filled here in Orlando = $211.00! Refills = $20.00 at Matheson Gas! I know Matheson is over there in LA as I used them religiously over the Airgas/Praxairs. Seriously, may want to consider heading down to L.A. and visit friends while getting that tank refilled- even with the So. Cal lux tax, that 20bux you save can go in the gas tank (That's, what, 3-5 gal?).

    Also try these guys;

    Mobile Industrial Supply

    After finding these smaller shops, I couldn't help but think that the guys at the local AirGas location were nickering behind my back after every sale!
    Last edited by 2GRX7; 04-19-2017 at 06:39 AM.
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  6. #26
    The Real Captain Slow Red_5's Avatar
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    ^^Wow, that's really cheap. Cyberweld.com was selling 80 cu ft cylinders full for about $250 so I figured this price wasn't horrible considering they're the only game in town. Plus Praxair doesn't seem to have an 80 cu ft size but I could have missed that. I'll look into having the tank filled elsewhere but I'm not sure it will be worth the trouble. I'd like to get a pure argon tank at some point too for MIG welding aluminum.
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    I'm about to take a TIG class and have been dreaming of a TIG welder. Until the end of March Miller has ~$700 rebate on their Diversion 180 TIG machine. Has anyone used it? It seems to have good reviews.

    https://store.cyberweld.com/mitigwedi180.html
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    I've been thinking about getting a TIG welder as well and have heard good things about the Alpha TIG 200: https://www.amazon.com/AHP-AlphaTIG-.../dp/B00EL8UQH4. Price seems right and the miataturbo guys seem to think highly of them.

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    Senior Member fatbillybob's Avatar
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    Assuming a modern TIG of good quality like millers and lincolns whatever you buy it is not the machine it is the person doing the welding. I would select a machine for the 90th percentile of what you want to weld.

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    For about the same money as the Miller Diversion 180, I can buy the Lincoln TIG Squarewave 200.

    https://www.weldingsuppliesfromioc.c...welder-k5126-1

    From this comparison of features the Lincoln seems like the better bet.

    https://www.weldingsuppliesfromioc.c...compare/index/
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    Eric - Thoughts on the 211 since the purchase?

    I've been "In the market" for a welder for the better part of a year but haven't pulled the trigger. I've been considering the 230v Lincoln 180 (~$650) as it looks like it does everything I'm after and seems similar to the Miller 211 (minus the dual voltage option). Lincoln also offers the 180 dual voltage similarly priced to the Miller 211. Both are about double of the single voltage 230V unit price.

    I’m a novice welder. I’ve borrowed my friends cheapo flux core welder and have used it enough to know I want something better. My needs are fairly simple: mostly thin wall steel with an ambition on doing some aluminum. Simple bracketry, etc.

    Seems like the 180 is a good welder for the price if dual voltage isn’t a requirement. Anything I’m missing?

    Spec on Lincoln 180 here:
    MIG-Pak® 180 Welder

    Kevin

  12. #32
    The Real Captain Slow Red_5's Avatar
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    I've only used my 211 a couple of times so far but have been happy with it. I think Miller currently has new rebates on the 211.

    I just took a TIG class so now I'm dreaming of a TIG machine. Other than the Lincoln Squarewave 200, the Miller Syncrowave 210 looks interesting because it does AC/DC TIG and will do MIG with the included spoolgun. It also currently has a $300 rebate.
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    Señor Member b3d3g1's Avatar
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    My new place of work has a Miller 212 and a Diversion 180. People who picked them know a heck of a lot more than me about welding. Electricity is still being installed for that part of the shop but I should be trying them out soon on some race car parts.
    We also got a Hypertherm Powermax45 XP plasma cutter hooked up to 480V with a cnc table that I'm a little scared.
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    Senior Member fatbillybob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by b3d3g1 View Post
    We also got a Hypertherm Powermax45 XP plasma cutter hooked up to 480V with a cnc table that I'm a little scared.
    I nominate you to be the guy who cuts out all our wings struts. All in favor say "I"...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red_5 View Post
    I have too much else to do first. Maybe I'll try to fabricate a welding table instead.
    Welding table is supposed to be the second project...lol
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  16. #36
    The Real Captain Slow Red_5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by b3d3g1 View Post
    My new place of work has a Miller 212 and a Diversion 180. People who picked them know a heck of a lot more than me about welding. Electricity is still being installed for that part of the shop but I should be trying them out soon on some race car parts.
    We also got a Hypertherm Powermax45 XP plasma cutter hooked up to 480V with a cnc table that I'm a little scared.
    As I mentioned above, the Diversion 180 is on my list. What I think is pretty cool though is the ability to also MIG with the spoon gun on the Sychrowave 210. I (we) already have a MIG machine so maybe that means the Diversion 180 should be the one to get since it costs less to start and has a better rebate currently. I don't think you can stick weld with the Diversion 180, not that I know how to do that now anyway.
    Last edited by Red_5; 04-04-2018 at 08:13 AM.
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