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  1. #11
    Silver Member Bday's Avatar
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    Lucerne, IN
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    53' Allis WD, 54' Allis WD 45, 52' allis CA, Farmall 560, 656 , 47' Deere model A , 38' Deere model A

    Default Re: Another looking for a welder guidance thread

    Spend the extra money and look at the Lincoln 216. Go Mig, it's so much more versatile than Tig. Mig works great where poor fit up could be an issue. Tig is awesome, but more specialized to certain situations usually not farm related. Mig is great for around the farm issues! Of course you need a spool gun to shoot aluminium, but still mig is more versatile even if you spend more for a spool gun. just my 2 cents!!

  2. #12
    Veteran Member
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    Default Re: Another looking for a welder guidance thread

    Quote Originally Posted by lostcause View Post
    your location says midcoast maine, which is also where i fall. problem is, midcoast covers some decent area. i'm about half way between rockland and augusta, so i'm on the border of central and midcoast, but i have the same problem with a good distance to a welding shop. advantage gases / valley and maineoxy have the most loctions, but there is also lynox (outskirts of bangor) and there are some independent shops too - regulator service (augusta).

    in looking for instruction, mcst in rockland usually has classes for stick, mig, and tig welding in the evenings. they aren't cheap - probably $200-$300 for a 10~ish week class. if they aren't close then there may be another school that offers them too.

    i agree that tig is a great process, though it's the one i use the least, and ultimately the one that i am the least proficient in, since i get so little practice with it. my favorite thing about it is that i have much more control over how much filler metal i add, particularly compared to using wire feed. though i must say that it is my belief that limiting that to your primary / only welding choice for exhaust or body work is not the right choice. unless you are doing restorations on $100k vehicles, i think that using tig for body work and exhaust work is like putting lipstick on a pig. sure, it will work fine, and you will get good results, but it's a lot more tedious process for something that will be hidden under the vehicle, or sanded and covered with filler and paint.

    as others have said, the $1k mark is going to be a hard one to hit - even worse where you live. there aren't a lot of pieces of machinery sold used in this state, and many of the ones that are listed are pretty old and used up. my guess is that you will have more luck going to a new import to meet your wants before finding a used domestic unit in your price range. i paid either $800 or $900 (can't remember anymore) used for my miller econotig setup which will do stick and tig on all metals, though it is a very rudimentary machine with virtually no fine tuning control, but the thing that many forget when debating machines is that even a low end machine in your shop is better than not having one at all.
    Lostcause and all,
    I want to thank everybody for their input so far, much appreciated, lots to think about. I even had a PM from a brave/foolish guy offering to loan me his TIG machine to try out. For what it is worth, Rockland is 2 towns NE of me. In my experience, Advantage Gases / Valley in Rockland has been a joke to deal with. I work in Hudson MA 3 days a week, spend the rest of the week in Maine. Because of this, I have found the MCST class schedules don't work for me, otherwise I would go there.
    From what what I have found so far, to add alum capabilities to TIG in a US based machine adds at about $1000 to the price, to add it to an off-shore brand adds about $300 to the price. You are correct in most cases, using TIG on an exhaust is like putting lipstick on a pig... but I do have a Miura I am restoring... which I think is a nice pig and worthy of a TIG welded exhaust. The key reason for TIG is wife wants to experiment with some metal artwork. She designs, I weld, and we want the welds to look the best we can. I also tend to be a perfectionist, if it means a better looking weld, that takes longer, that is okay as this is for hobby use, not for making any money. Based on every bodies input, I am seriously rethinking the requirement to do alum. I am starting to think that for the expense of adding alum capabilities, and the time to learn alum TIG... I should just hire that out as I don't think it will be all that much alum work. With all the input I have received so far, I am leaning more to TIG than MIG as quality is more important than speed.
    Jim

    - '01 Husqvarna W4814- 48" walk behind lawn mower.
    - '04 John Deere Z-Trac 727A- 54" ZTR
    - '13 Kioti DK40 HST - KL401 loader, DK40 72" QA bucket, LK3054 60" QA bucket, toothbar for 60" bucket, dual rear remotes, 7ft 6 way rear blade, 78" ETA Box Blade, Woods BH-90x backhoe, loaded rear tires, Kioti Canopy.

  3. #13
    Elite Member Shield Arc's Avatar
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    Figuring the picking points of jelly donuts.
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    Default Re: Another looking for a welder guidance thread

    If you think you can live without the aluminum option, you can poor boy Tig welding with any CC machine. You won't have a foot pedal, but xray welds are made everyday with scratch start Tig rigs. Here is a Tig weld I made with my Tig rig, and my Everlast PowerArc 200 stick welder.
    Remember now I'm not much of a Tig weldor.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -tig-fillet-jpg   -tig-rig-200-amp-jpg   -tig-power-block-jpg  


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

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

  4. #14
    Platinum Member
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    Maine

    Default Re: Another looking for a welder guidance thread

    Quote Originally Posted by IXLR8 View Post
    Lostcause and all,
    I want to thank everybody for their input so far, much appreciated, lots to think about. I even had a PM from a brave/foolish guy offering to loan me his TIG machine to try out. For what it is worth, Rockland is 2 towns NE of me. In my experience, Advantage Gases / Valley in Rockland has been a joke to deal with. I work in Hudson MA 3 days a week, spend the rest of the week in Maine. Because of this, I have found the MCST class schedules don't work for me, otherwise I would go there.
    From what what I have found so far, to add alum capabilities to TIG in a US based machine adds at about $1000 to the price, to add it to an off-shore brand adds about $300 to the price. You are correct in most cases, using TIG on an exhaust is like putting lipstick on a pig... but I do have a Miura I am restoring... which I think is a nice pig and worthy of a TIG welded exhaust. The key reason for TIG is wife wants to experiment with some metal artwork. She designs, I weld, and we want the welds to look the best we can. I also tend to be a perfectionist, if it means a better looking weld, that takes longer, that is okay as this is for hobby use, not for making any money. Based on every bodies input, I am seriously rethinking the requirement to do alum. I am starting to think that for the expense of adding alum capabilities, and the time to learn alum TIG... I should just hire that out as I don't think it will be all that much alum work. With all the input I have received so far, I am leaning more to TIG than MIG as quality is more important than speed.
    i'll wish you good luck in your search. i also haven't had the best of luck with advantage in rockland. my mig came from there and at a great price, but it took a weird set of circumstances to get that price from them. i recently talked with them about a hypertherm plasma, explaining my intent to purchase, and willingness to buy local if the price was even close - it wasn't. everything there seemed a little lackluster. a couple weeks later i was in bangor, and the advantage store there had a great guy behind the counter, so i explained how i was going to purchase one soon, and if i could get a good price... and so on. he came at me with a price nearly $200 better than the rockland store, and was just more personable in general. i ended up buying there.

    as far as the miura goes... if that is what i think it is, then the exhaust may well be worth more than any of my entire vehicles i DO expect to see you at the owls head foreign auto festival now. ironically, when i go there i drive a 2 seater european car designed by an italian, but it's not quite in the same class as yours. mine's also not made in italy, but sweden instead.

    i can't give you any firsthand knowledge of import tig machines, but if i were unable to find anything used and the big name brands were outside my price range, i think i'd opt for the import. the one thing i would do is to make sure to get the ac and dc capability though. it's a lot of money to spend, but it's even more to have to purchase another later. if you're getting it for hobby / artistic use i would almost guarantee that you will find something aluminum that you would want to weld if you had the capability.

  5. #15
    Platinum Member
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    cx70,5510,4630,5005

    Default Re: Another looking for a welder guidance thread

    60 amp service limits you to about 200 amp with transformer machines.acdc inverters cost more than your budget. my neighbor ,years ago,had a miller econo twin ac/dc with high frequency that worked good for him.i have seen them advertised less than $500.that would leave plenty for a bottle and supplies.miller also makes a econo tig acdc.never been around one but one can be bought less than $1000.for a little more money you can sometimes run across a syncrowave 200.that is what i would recommend.i would not buy a bigger one that you do not have the power to run.try to buy one equipped not stripped.the first two should max out at 3/16 aluminum the last one 1/4 according to miller.

  6. #16
    Advertiser Mark @ Everlast's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another looking for a welder guidance thread

    60 amps will buy you about 300 amps or a little more with an inverter...for stick anyway. TIG will buy a little more. MIG would be between stick and tig demands.
    Mark Lugo
    Everlast Welders
    http://www.everlastgenerators.com/

    Need a welder? Give me a call at (877) 755-9353 ext 204!

  7. #17
    Veteran Member deereman75's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another looking for a welder guidance thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark @ Everlast View Post
    60 amps will buy you about 300 amps or a little more with an inverter...for stick anyway. TIG will buy a little more. MIG would be between stick and tig demands.
    You sound dead on, if not a little conservative, I have got 180 amps out of mine on a 30 amp circuit without tripping. It is incredible how efficient the modern inverters are. I would trip the circuit with 125 amps account on a tombstone after 1 rod. If your low on power,(ie less then 40 amps) an inverter is the only real option if your doing serious work. And my 180 amps was with a fairly high ocv stick machine. One of these days I am going to hook an ammeter up to see what it really is drawing, and see if it's output display is spot on.
    Never carry gasoline in your car trunk. If you do, atleast use some sort of container.
    -red green

  8. #18
    Platinum Member
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    north shore MA.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by deereman75
    . One of these days I am going to hook an ammeter up to see what it really is drawing, and see if it's output display is spot on.
    I did that with an everlast and a longevity inverter stick welders.
    Both were within 5% of the display.
    Haven't got a chance to measure the AC input yet.
    Dan H.

  9. #19
    Gold Member
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    Default

    If you'd be willing to go to PA there is usually a lot of good machines on eBay in PA for good prices in the 300amp range from the big names. Most are 60-70s models.

  10. #20
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    Default Re: Another looking for a welder guidance thread

    After a bit of research, and really examining my needs vs possible maybe wants, I have decided to eliminate TIG welding alum from my requirements. I am going to stay with TIG for quality of the weld appearance. Most of my welding will be thin wall, mild steel and chrome-moly tubing, .025-.050", with an occasional repair of 1/4" thick tractor attachments. Will something like a Miller Maxstar 160 handle that range of material or would you recommend stepping up to a more powerful unit? I am also leaning towards something new so I have a warranty, just in case. Also, I have no arc welding experience so I am not sure how effective I would be checking out a used machine. I would rather spend a little more and get everything I need at once, not scrounging up pieces here and there, even if it means taking a little longer to save up for it.
    Jim

    - '01 Husqvarna W4814- 48" walk behind lawn mower.
    - '04 John Deere Z-Trac 727A- 54" ZTR
    - '13 Kioti DK40 HST - KL401 loader, DK40 72" QA bucket, LK3054 60" QA bucket, toothbar for 60" bucket, dual rear remotes, 7ft 6 way rear blade, 78" ETA Box Blade, Woods BH-90x backhoe, loaded rear tires, Kioti Canopy.

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