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  1. #1
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    Default Use of a welder/generator as only welder

    I am new to welding (took my first stick lesson yesterday) but want to get more into it. Since I don't have proper power where I can weld, I would be forced to using a welder/generator exclusively to stick weld or to power my Miller 211 Mig. My question is do any of you guys rely on generator power exclusively? Is the noise and hassle of using a generator going to make welding projects (such as fabrication of a cultipacker or small trailer) unpleasant? The Miller Bobcat 225 is what I plan to buy, but before forking over $3500, just want to make sure this is realistic.

    I would weld in a large warehouse (is huge with tall ceilings, clear open spaces, and plenty of ventilation). What leads would you buy? 25' , 50' ?? Any other tips or thoughts? There is just no way that I can build a shop where I live, and my farm/barn has no power source, so this warehouse is where I store my band saw, drill press, gooseneck trailer, pick up, etc. I even spray paint occasionally in there. So its a perfect place, but no 220 outlets that I can find. And since I don't own it, can't add it nor would the owner like me using his power. he did say he had no problem with me welding in there.

  2. #2
    Veteran Member Wacky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Use of a welder/generator as only welder

    Do you need a welder that size, what type of things are you going to weld? You can get a welder that runs off 110, and will do a multitude of metals, as well as aluminum.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Use of a welder/generator as only welder

    I have a 225 bobcat on my crane truck for my business. its awesome for doing the infield welding that its designed for. I couldnt imagine using it for indoor use, it would be unbearable.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member rjmack's Avatar
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    Default Re: Use of a welder/generator as only welder

    i ran a welding rig for quite a few years... you get used to it. you should be using earplugs fabricating anyway.

    diesel fumes pile up quicker than gas, but you really don't want to be running it inside.

    i know cables are very expensive, but i would definitely recommend 150' of each, plus your remote cable, and you'll be hard pressed to have too many extension cords. leave the machine outside, preferably under some sort of cover, and work inside.

    also, those small welding machines have historically been notorious gas pigs. they run at double the rpm of the larger machines.

    you might be money ahead to buy a used diesel machine. :2cents
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  5. #5
    Veteran Member gerard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Use of a welder/generator as only welder

    What the last poster said. What you want to do is very doable but you'll want the welder outside around the side of the building and run the leads inside. That way the wall will insulate you pretty well from the sound. You won't regret longer leads. Makes maneuvering a lot easier. You also get the benefit of having at least a 10,000 watt generator to power your house in the event of an outage. (Don't think they make welder/generators much less than that). I'd also look at the diesel units. Depending on your buliding configuation and where you were going to put the mig generators, you could build a small shed out next to the building and run the leads, mig wire, etc through the wall. Then all you'd have to do is start the thing up and walk back inside. Kind of a semi permanent set up.
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Use of a welder/generator as only welder

    Quote Originally Posted by Wacky View Post
    Do you need a welder that size, what type of things are you going to weld? You can get a welder that runs off 110, and will do a multitude of metals, as well as aluminum.
    I want to be able to weld 1/2", and my Miller 211 Mig will in a pinch, and I can use it at my home, but to run my Miller elsewhere, the Bobcat is the minimal size recommended by Miller. My plan to use it inside as a power source may not be practical. (this wearhouse is huge, probably 60,000 sq ft. with trucks, buses, coming in and out and fumes are not noticeable)

    I guess with long enough leads, the sound may be bearable. I cant put it outside in any kind of shed because of security.

  7. #7
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Use of a welder/generator as only welder

    at work on our service truck we havwe the hobart 10kw genny / stick welder.. it was something like 2500$ works great.. not too loud either..


    soundguy

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Use of a welder/generator as only welder

    Quote Originally Posted by Soundguy View Post
    at work on our service truck we havwe the hobart 10kw genny / stick welder.. it was something like 2500$ works great.. not too loud either..


    soundguy
    THe Miller Bobcat 225 and the Hobart Champion 10kw are just about identical except for a few features. How bad do you think the noise would be inside a very large warehouse? Are you welding pretty close to it when you work? Problem is I have never heard one run and don't see how I can. It's rated around 75 decibells, I think.

  9. #9
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Use of a welder/generator as only welder

    75db ain't much. the op platform on my NH7610s is rated at 89db.

    We added longer cables to ours.. but would wager we are still within 20-30' of it.

    it's sound is semi directional with the exhaust. I wouldn't want to stand by ANY genny muffler while working.. etc.

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Use of a welder/generator as only welder

    I would talk to the owner of the warehouse again. Most of the time, industrial buildings like that are wired somewhere in the building for 240 or 480 3-phase electricity. It may not have an outlet, though. You might need to have an electrician install one.

    The key thing is the potential for 3 phase power. You can often find 3 phase equipment, be it welders, drill presses, etc for almost dirt cheap because 95% of homeowners only have access to single phase power. Three phase is usually only run in industrial or commercial areas. I'd bet if you found a 3 phase welder, the building's owner would be willing to let you pay an electrician to make an improvement to the owner's property by installing an outlet.

    You could probably pick up a 3 phase welder cheap at an auction where a warehouse or factory is closing down or moving.

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