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  1. #1
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    Default Trip report: Thermal Arc Fabricator 181i

    Well, I bought me one of these yesterday, and I'm happy. Got it set up and ran some beads with 3/32 6013 and .035 FC. So far so good. I can't get too involved because my garage is filled with sawdust, varnish fillings and partially completed wood projects, so I have to get the fire hazard reduced.

    Seem to run a steady bead, and I'm looking forward to some lo-hy.

  2. #2
    Elite Member Shield Arc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trip report: Thermal Arc Fabricator 181i

    I've never heard / read a bad word about Thermal Arc. Personally I've never run one, not being familiar with the 181i I had to look it up. I think you'll love that inductance control! I think it should be law all Mig machines come with it!


    Miller Dynasty 300.
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    Lincoln LN-25.
    1937 IdealArc-300
    Everlast PowerArc 200.
    5 Lincoln SA-200s.
    1800 Ellis saw
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    PROFAX Welding Positioner.
    JD2 model 3

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Trip report: Thermal Arc Fabricator 181i

    The one think that frustrates me is that both the machine, the manual and the DVD refer to both "gas" and "Gas less" MIG. Without the nuanced chemistry that yes, some FC uses a cellulose core which does in fact consumes the oxygen and produces a metallurgically inert gas, MIG is synonymous with GMAW.

    I also got a sun-burn on my arm welding FC hot into some scrap SS I had laying around. That hasn't happened in a long-time. Forgot about the UV from SS, and how hot FC could be. Never had that problem with SMAW or MIG, I always assumed that the flux puddle and the gas ionization of GMAW absorbed a lot of the UV.

  4. #4
    Elite Member Shield Arc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trip report: Thermal Arc Fabricator 181i

    For about 3 years in the 1970's I worked in a tank shop in Bremerton. Always seemed to work out where me and another guy got stuck welding inside the stainless steel tanks together! Talk about blinding each other!


    Miller Dynasty 300.
    Lincoln V350-Pro w/pulse
    LF-72
    Lincoln SG Spool gun

    Lincoln LN-25.
    1937 IdealArc-300
    Everlast PowerArc 200.
    5 Lincoln SA-200s.
    1800 Ellis saw
    Hypertherm Powermax 1250, CNC table.
    PROFAX Welding Positioner.
    JD2 model 3

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Trip report: Thermal Arc Fabricator 181i

    The Boilermakers always had a lot of instances of arc burns to their eyes when we did tube repairs in the superheater setions of a boiler. Many many tubes to be welded, so you may have three or four teams welding. Someone was always getting a stray blast of UV to the eyes.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Trip report: Thermal Arc Fabricator 181i

    Quote Originally Posted by Shield Arc View Post
    For about 3 years in the 1970's I worked in a tank shop in Bremerton
    Was that the BM's? Or open shop? Or just not care that they had a pilebuck burning away?

  7. #7
    Elite Member Shield Arc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trip report: Thermal Arc Fabricator 181i

    It was for Lents Mechanical, I worked out of the Sheet Metal Workers union at the time. Our main contract was building Nuclear waste tanks for Chem-Nuclear out of Kenmore.

    Chem-Nuclear Systems


    Miller Dynasty 300.
    Lincoln V350-Pro w/pulse
    LF-72
    Lincoln SG Spool gun

    Lincoln LN-25.
    1937 IdealArc-300
    Everlast PowerArc 200.
    5 Lincoln SA-200s.
    1800 Ellis saw
    Hypertherm Powermax 1250, CNC table.
    PROFAX Welding Positioner.
    JD2 model 3

  8. #8
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Shield Arc View Post
    For about 3 years in the 1970's I worked in a tank shop in Bremerton. Always seemed to work out where me and another guy got stuck welding inside the stainless steel tanks together! Talk about blinding each other!
    I always tell people when they ask if welding is bad for your eyes. You wont go blind as a welder, youll go blind working with other welders! LOL

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Trip report: Thermal Arc Fabricator 181i

    I bought one awhile back and for the price I'm impressed.....Mike

  10. #10
    Elite Member Shield Arc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trip report: Thermal Arc Fabricator 181i

    Quote Originally Posted by weldermike View Post
    I always tell people when they ask if welding is bad for your eyes. You wont go blind as a welder, youll go blind working with other welders! LOL
    Mike I remember in that same shop we got in a fairly small contract. The contract was called "Blast Doors". If I knew what they were for I forgot, most likely didn't even know, because they were for the local Trident submarine base. The material was really heavy angle iron and C-channel, the pieces were so heavy it was about all we could do to pick them up and set them on the welding table. Then we used the overhead cranes to roll the units. All welds were 3/4-inch fillets, we were running 3/32-inch dual shield. Soon as my partner and I got going the light from him welding was coming in my hood from behind. I found a half sheet of plywood and placed it between us. Thought everything was hunky dorrie! Until about 2:30 the next morning, I couldn't take it anymore, had the wife run me to the emergency room. About the middle of the next week my wife could pull layers of skin off the side of my face and neck.


    Miller Dynasty 300.
    Lincoln V350-Pro w/pulse
    LF-72
    Lincoln SG Spool gun

    Lincoln LN-25.
    1937 IdealArc-300
    Everlast PowerArc 200.
    5 Lincoln SA-200s.
    1800 Ellis saw
    Hypertherm Powermax 1250, CNC table.
    PROFAX Welding Positioner.
    JD2 model 3

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