Originally Posted by willowbilly3
Since I don't have 220 capability in my garage I use a Miller 140 wire feed on 75/25 gas for the light stuff and outside I have a Lincoln 200 amp portable for the heavier stuff. It's all personal preference but most of the welding shops that do work on the plants ect. around here won't use a wire feed on critical structural stuff and I tend to agree. If I was welding a truck frame I would definitely lay it in with a stick welder. For one thing you have a lot more choices of rod types, even though I would probably use 7018. The standard wire used in wire feeds is a little brittle from what I've been told. I have zero experience with a Tig so I can't comment on that.
The reason they don't use the wirefeed machines in plants like that is for the portability of Stick over wirefeed machines,try lugging around a wirefeed all around undustrial machinery needing repaired,up and down ladders,into tight areas..etc...with stick you just drag the leads with you wherever you need to go.
More and more structural fab shops are going with wirefeed now a days for the fact of the speed of it and the wires are getting much better now along with better machine technology and all has proved itself to be more than acceptable process for strength...plus..Dual Sheild is about the best going out there as far as speed and strength.
Ive ran miles of it in plants inside vessels for repair or mods,structural repairs and in structural fab shops in the past 10 years or so,before that everything everywhere was basicly stick.
For an example..i ran a nightshift crew in a coal burner power plant for 2 weeks last fall tearing out old 1/2" to 5/8" plate in the coal bins and replacing,talked the owner of the company into investing in an LN-25 and dual shield wire to make the deadline...just me on the wirefeed welded more in one night than 5 guys did with stick on the other side of the bin and there is NO DOUBTING it is just as strong if not stronger than stick.....
Bottom line is..wirefeed especialy fluxcore is just as good if not better than stick anymore,but stick has more portability...