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What's decent welder for the enthusiast

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  • #16
    I ended up getting an Eastwood Mig 175 and it works beautifully-when it chooses to work! In all seriousness, the welder is as good as the Miller Mig I trained on, but there was an issue with the gas continuing to flow long after the puddle had cooled. They ended up sending out two new Mig guns. Had the last gun not work, I was going to send the whole unit back on their dime!

    So, moral of the story; 1-Chinese quality-they get it right after the 3rd iteration, and 2-Eastwood customer service-A1 stuff! No hassle at all. In fact, because of the down-time hassle, they offered a substantial discount on the next product I purchase! Hope this helps.

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    • #17
      Brett and I are planning to share the machine so we'll split the cost. At this point we're leaning toward the Miller Multimatic 215. I've seen some decent prices online but let me know if anyone sees a better price or coupon/rebate thing. Not in a huge hurry, I'm still saving up for my end.
      Last edited by Red_5; 01-26-2017, 08:49 AM.
      99 Mazda Miata SuperMiata #515 - AKA Sparky SOLD
      '91 Mariner Blue Miata project AKA Napoleon

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      • #18
        If you get the 215 please report back. I really like my 211 but the ability to do DC tig and stick welding would sure be nice. Maybe it is time to add another welder to the shop.
        AiM Data and Video systems, Suspension Setup, Race car builds, support, and rentals. At your beck and call.

        Mark Nichols
        Iron Canyon Motorsports
        http://www.ironcanyonmotorsports.com

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        • #19
          I'm back leaning toward the Miller 211 then getting a separate TIG machine down the road if I think I need it. Any other thoughts on the matter? I haven't completely given up on the Miller Multimatic 215 idea though.
          99 Mazda Miata SuperMiata #515 - AKA Sparky SOLD
          '91 Mariner Blue Miata project AKA Napoleon

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          • #20
            Brett and I pulled the trigger on a Miller 211 along with some other gear. Now I'm trying to figure out the gas situation as to best bang for the buck for bottle size. I know you guys mentioned to to big on bottles which will ultimately save money down the road but man are those big bottles expensive. I'm not sure I want anything bigger than a ~140 cu ft bottle and trying to decide if I even want that big as far as swapping them out. I can definitely see the benefit though. What size are you guys using and how long do they last? What do you guys do and how much do/did you spend on bottles? Thanks.

            99 Mazda Miata SuperMiata #515 - AKA Sparky SOLD
            '91 Mariner Blue Miata project AKA Napoleon

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            • #21
              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, 05:54 PM.

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              • #22
                Eric, I think you are supposed to make your welder cart as your first project, not buy it.
                1990 S2 SuperMiata

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                • #23
                  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.
                  99 Mazda Miata SuperMiata #515 - AKA Sparky SOLD
                  '91 Mariner Blue Miata project AKA Napoleon

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                  • #24
                    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!
                    99 Mazda Miata SuperMiata #515 - AKA Sparky SOLD
                    '91 Mariner Blue Miata project AKA Napoleon

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                    • #25
                      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, 07:39 AM.

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                      • #26
                        ^^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.
                        99 Mazda Miata SuperMiata #515 - AKA Sparky SOLD
                        '91 Mariner Blue Miata project AKA Napoleon

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                        • #27
                          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
                          99 Mazda Miata SuperMiata #515 - AKA Sparky SOLD
                          '91 Mariner Blue Miata project AKA Napoleon

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                          • #28
                            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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                            • #29
                              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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                              • #30
                                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/
                                99 Mazda Miata SuperMiata #515 - AKA Sparky SOLD
                                '91 Mariner Blue Miata project AKA Napoleon

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