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  1. #1
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    Default Convert Miller 130 to gas, and classes?

    I got a Miller 130 from a friend. He always used flux wire. How hard is it to convert to gas, and where to get the parts to do that?

    I have never welded till now. Looked locally; have not found any classes except at JC an hour away. Where's a good place to look for training? My friend I got the welder from moved from area. (I'm east of Sacramento, Ca).
    RobertN in Shingle Springs Calif

  2. #2
    Super Member Shield Arc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Convert Miller 130 to gas, and classes?

    Can't help you with the welder. I would call Miller to see if it is even possible.
    Far as instruction, nothing beats one on one instruction! Run an ad in your local Craig's list or newspaper. To see if some welder would be willing to give you some welding instruction.


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  3. #3
    Elite Member Sodo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Convert Miller 130 to gas, and classes?

    I have a Miller 135, it's worked flawlessly since I bought it new 12 years ago. I never used it with flux-core, I have very little experience with flux-core (gas only). It was my understanding that the previous version (130) was gas compatible. Look at the rear panel, and if there is a brass gas fitting, then it's compatible. You will then need a gas regulator, tank of 75/25 AR-CO2 and hose, and some .023 solid wire. There are hose+regulator kits too. Look at the drive spools, be sure the groove is for .023 wire - you may have to flip them around to feed .023 wire. Possibly a welder that old will need a new "liner" or other wear parts if it's been used a lot or not stored properly.

    MIG Argon hose Weldcote ARG14X10 Hose, - Argon - 10 ' W/ Inert Gas Fitting - - Amazon.com
    Regulator Lotos Argon CO2 Flow Meter AR03 Welding Regulator Gauge Gas Welder Regulation for Lotos MIG140, MIG175, TIG200, TIG200DC Welders - - Amazon.com
    wire INEFIL ER70S-6 .023-Inch on 10-Pound Spool Carbon Steel Mig Solid Welding Wire - Arc Welding Accessories - Amazon.com

    You have to get the tank at your local welding supplier. It will be a couple hundred$$, but not much to fill it.

    See "welding tips and tricks MIG" on Youtube. MIG welding is about the easiest welding to learn. Having an experienced MIG welder looking over your shoulder is the best bet. Beware of stick-welders who tell you your machine is no good, that simply means they don't MIG. Which is a shame because they up their game in a few minutes by borrowing your machine with a more positive point of view. You have a FINE machine (for up to 3/16" thickness material) that will weld all day for 10 years. Maybe not at a production shop but certainly for the hobby welder you will never need a new welder unless your projects start to get thicker than 1/4" or so. You can weld thicker with that machine as you gain experience and technique.
    Be careful what you wish for, you might get it.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Convert Miller 130 to gas, and classes?

    I had a 130 machine once. It would run with or without gas, so its possible that your machine is already setup to run gas and all you need is the regulator and bottle. My personal opinion with that size machine, I would just stay with the flux core. With mine, I was always running out of gas, and usually right in the middle of a welding project. They are good machines. I used mine to build a flatbed for a ton truck, but the low duty cycle made that much welding a pain in the arsh. Good machine to learn on, but as your projects get bigger, you might find yourself wanting a bigger machine.

  5. #5
    Elite Member Sodo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Convert Miller 130 to gas, and classes?

    Quote Originally Posted by muddstopper View Post
    but as your projects get bigger, you might find yourself wanting a bigger machine.
    By the time OP's projects get bigger than a 1Ton flatbed he will know a bit about shop eqpt. What works, what doesn't, what the internet likes to warn you about that will never happen. Mudd are you sure it wasn't the 15A breaker in the basement that popped? That I think,,,,,, is usually the case with 115v MIGs, the guy was a newbie and he wants to think he ran up against duty cycle like the big boys talk about (but it was just the 15A breaker). Just kidding mudd, but this happens!

    But seriously, if you set that Miller130 on the top setting you need to find a 20A 115v circuit to plug into. I believe a washing machine circuit is 20A. Garage circuits might be 20A.(?). Look at your breaker panel for 20A breakers and use that circuit. If using an ext cord it needs to be as thick as your pinky finger. I've used 15A cords on 120v MIGs at full power on 20A circuit and a 15A cord works because you don't hold the trigger for more than what?.... 10 seconds at a time? No newbie welds for 2 minutes without letting up on the trigger. Very few experienced welders use a 115v MIG like that. They don't HAVE 115v MIGs anyway so they don't 'know' these things other than speculation found on the internet. Then they bought a bigger welder thinking duty cycle is a concern and ain't lookin' back. You WILL pop a 15A circuitbreaker with the welder at full power settings. However, on a 15A circuit, plenty of welding can be done on the machine's 3/4ths power setting.

    I "hear" Aluminum welding is where a "regular guy" needs to pay attn to duty-cycle. I've never used a Miller 130, only a 135 (the next newer model). I have never had any MIG shutdown on me since starting MIG welding in 1980 (which includes 8 years using a Miller 135 on 115v and before that a 115v Hobart for ~7 years.).

    Now it's time to cue up Shield Arc to reminisce welding on 2" thick pilings with a MIG running 1/8" wire between hits from the pile driver at 60 below in Fairbanks back in the '70s.

    Other than that, enjoy your Miller. It's good stuff; a far sight better than the $179 entry-level machines out there. On the 135 the only thing I've ever had to do on it is change the liner once (and the tips of course) and every part is available.
    Last edited by Sodo; 06-18-2016 at 12:23 PM.
    Be careful what you wish for, you might get it.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Convert Miller 130 to gas, and classes?

    I have 20A circuits in the garage And 10G extension cords. And generator.
    RobertN in Shingle Springs Calif

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Convert Miller 130 to gas, and classes?

    The local wrought iron company that does security bars uses flux core...

    Hey Robert... I was up your way picking up a kubota RTV900... also looked at some property.

    How is the Real Estate Market?

    The reason I asked is the folks I met have a very nice place but are putting it up for sale because their kids all moved out of California and have no desire to return...

    I've been hearing more of this... their daughters living in Utah and Montana

    Seems a shame to have a retirement all planned and nice homestead only to find out no one in the family has any interest.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Convert Miller 130 to gas, and classes?

    sodo, I think I have mentioned this before, my garage doesnt have breakers, it is old wireing with fuse boxes. My fuses are 30amp each for 115v and combined for 60amp 220v. Not a very good setup and something I have planned to change when I get the chance. Hitting the duty cycle on a 115v mig isnt all that hard to do when welding sheets of 1/8 in sheet metal. The machine also tends to give you a little warning its about to stop welding too. First, everything will be welding just fine, then you will start to notice some spitting and sputtering, and then it will just stops welding. Machine doesnt shut off as the fans will keep running, but there is a internal thermal breaker inside that breaks and stops the welding until it cools off. Most welding jobs, at least for me, are just a matter of welding a couple of inches at a time, but doing sheet metal, its hard to resist the temptation to try to to run the full lenght of the sheet. For my normal welding, I seldom hit the duty cycle, but if I am fabricating a large item, the tack welding will never hit the duty cycle, its when everything is tacked up and I am trying to finish a solid weld, that hitting the duty cycle can become common. I have been know to hit the duty cycle with my 220v machine, so I dont think its at all uncommon for someone trying to make as much weldment as fast as they can, to encounter the duty cycle of a small machine, or every on bigger machines commonly found in a hobby shop environment.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Convert Miller 130 to gas, and classes?

    Two 30 amp fuses for a 220v circuit would still be a 30 amp.

    If the fuses are not blowing it would seem you are up against the duty cycle.

  10. #10
    Elite Member Sodo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Convert Miller 130 to gas, and classes?

    Quote Originally Posted by muddstopper View Post
    Hitting the duty cycle on a 115v mig isnt all that hard to do when welding sheets of 1/8 in sheet metal.
    To hit duty cycle you need a project like a truck-bed, where you have the machine on full-power, and the project has welds 10 feet long. And you also need a tight schedule, forced to weld as fast as possible. The boss crackin' a whip. This does not sound like an entry-level project. You can count on your balls the number of welders on this forum who have ever had a project like that. Neither uses 115v machines for any project but goofing around, and one of them is exaggerating. Any welder building a truckbed, has long ago purchased a 220v machine.

    Mudd the project you describe does not exist in the beginners world. He has YEARS to weld to his hearts content, a few inches at a time, getting all kinds of projects DONE with that Miller, at great satisfaction. I keep seeing this advice (to pay attention to duty-cycle) offered to members who buy 115v MIGs, and it's not pertinent to a quality unit like a Miller (or Lincoln, or Hobart, or Everlast, and several others). I think that's old advice, maybe 30 years behind the times.

    OK so you have more than 20Amps, maybe the machine was a $90 MIG? If thats the class of machine you are referring to I can't comment (I have zero experience with those). There are certainly a lot of new welders who want to see if a welder will help their projects, and they dip a toe in the water, buying a $90 (or $190) machine. Then find it doesn't take them very far. Agreed there. But there is NO PROBLEM with the Miller/Hobart/Lincoln/Everlast units, they've been good for something like 20 years.
    Last edited by Sodo; 06-21-2016 at 09:02 PM.
    Be careful what you wish for, you might get it.

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