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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 09-07-2011, 11:07 AM
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Miller 180 wirefeed

Lincoln 180 ProMig

Hobart Handler 187(now the 190 models)

All THEE most popular and easiest to learn home welding machines and will do anything from light sheetmetal to 1/4" and a little more in a single pass with a bevel.

I've used all those brands,buddys have Hobarts and Millers and i see no difference in the welds and weldabililty between them all,Just the prices...i have the Lincoln ProMig 180 and it gets used for just about everything under 1/2" around here,then i'll break out the Lincoln Ranger 225 stick

Hobart handlers now have come out with 2 different models..the 187 is being replaced with a 190 and they now have a 210 model,the 210 models even have good deals goin where they include the spool gun with it so you can weld aluminum.
I'd be lookin around for people/stores selling the Hobart 187 at good prices since they will start being phased out with the 190.

I bought my Lincoln over the Miller for the fact Miller was selling the "auto set" factor for a higher price and once you learn to weld you'll never use it,you'll fine tune to your style and likings and needs on different types of jobs.
Plus the Miller had plastic drive rolls and the Lincolns had steel drive rolls..and then the price factor..Millers were going for over 800.00..i got my Lincoln ProMig 180 from an authorised Lincoln dealer online for about 525.00 shipped to my door.
Hobarts are no slackers..they are GREAT machines and right now i think they will be giving the best prices with these new models coming out.especialy on the 187's now..my buddy has had the 187 for quite a few years now and uses it fo building extreme 4x4's and beats the snot out of the machine and still running smooth as silk.

Glad oldred pointed out the fact that MIG is totaly different than fluxcore,i see alot of people saying they have a MIG machine but it only runs Fluxcore

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Old 09-07-2011, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldred
The suggestion that you would be recommend to buy a MIG by a ratio of 20 to 1 might be wrong only in that it likely would be even more than that and for good reason. For auto body work MIG is going to be the most versatile of the processes with stick the very last choice. MIG is much easier on thin sheetmetal, makes a very clean weld and can be used for just about any welding task you might run into in the shop. .
Not trying to start an argument, but are you saying mig is easier on thin sheet metal than tig? I know I condensed your post to the parts in question.
Also, what is meant by more versatile? If you mean that mig can be used in more positions, then I agree, but tig will weld almost anything. Or you may have been comparing to flux core, not sure.
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Old 09-07-2011, 08:01 PM
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I've used TIG on sheetmetal "thinking" it would cause less warpage a long time ago,but found out not to be true,this is especialy important on welding body panels where warpage is a huge concern.

What i found out is with TIG you have to keep the heat on the panel long enough to heat it up and then add the filler and that keeps the heat on it too long...with a MIG you just pull the trigger and do a quick "blast" or tack ,so it doesn't concentrate the heat on the panel for a long time spreading heat through the panel...

I do agree TIG is about the nicest process there is,i LOVE to TIG,i recently sold my Miller Maxstar 200DX to put money towards an AC/DC machine to also weld aluminum with it...

But in just welding up frame repair/mods..sheetmetal panels..etc for auto use..i just break out the MIG and get it done in a short time and it lays some excellent beads.

TIG is also more expensive in about every aspect...
Much more to buy the machine..
Consumables like the tungsten and collet sizes and cups are much more expensive to buy then just a tip and cup on a MIG.
They also use ALOT more gas per inch of weld than a MIG,compare to how long it takes to weld a 6 inch long 1/4" weld with TIG compared to a MIG..ALOT longer..so you used a heck of alot more gas and that adds up quick.

Then you have to consider someone just starting to learn welding,TIG takes ALOT more learning curve than does a 220v MIG,for an example,my wife never welded in her life..just a while back i showed her how to use my Lincoln 180 so she could adhance some of her yard projects and crafts..in ONE day i had her laying more than acceptable beads with it and understood what she was doing...try that with TIG..........

I am FAR from bashing TIG,as i said already,its my FAVORITE process, i'm just being un-bias,..but its more expensive to buy and operate than a MIG or fluxcore and takes alot longer to learn.

All in all,,i would consider all that to be the MIG is more Versatile in automotive work unless you are doing strictly aluminum,TIG aumimum is much nicer than MIG aluminum....,but as far being versatile again,you can get a spool gun for MIG to run aluminum too.

Last edited by SuthnCustoms; 09-07-2011 at 08:09 PM.
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 09-07-2011, 08:30 PM
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I would get the MIG as a first welder. The learning curve is much shorter than TIG. However it's very easy to make nice beads with NO penetration. Pretty welds that don't hold. Buy the welder, get some scraps and practice. Look for a variable amperage machine instead of a tap machine. Tap machine means the dial clicks into 5 or 6 settings. A variable amperage machine allows you to weld thinner materials easier. Variables are usually less than $100 more than tap machines.
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 09-07-2011, 08:32 PM
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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.
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Old 09-07-2011, 08:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willowbilly3
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.

Personally I think stick gets a bad rap because some people think it's outdated but sometimes the old way really is better. Now having said that don't undersell the MIG either, that truck frame can be welded just fine with MIG if the right wire is used. Even standard ER70s wire can equal 7018 and some of the duel shield wires are light years ahead of any of the 70,000 tensile stick rods, there are a number of MIG wires out there that will produce a weld superior to 7018 and in fact there are wires that will meet or exceed most of the stick alloys. Which process is chosen for a certain job depends on a great many factors but given favorable circumstances in each case MIG and Stick will both yield equal welds with MIG usually being much faster, when talking about MIG wire you simply can not compare the common mild steel solid wires with the alloy duel shield wires.

Last edited by oldred; 09-07-2011 at 09:10 PM.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 09-07-2011, 09:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldred
Originally Posted by oldred
The suggestion that you would be recommend to buy a MIG by a ratio of 20 to 1 might be wrong only in that it likely would be even more than that and for good reason. For auto body work MIG is going to be the most versatile of the processes with stick the very last choice. MIG is much easier on thin sheetmetal, makes a very clean weld and can be used for just about any welding task you might run into in the shop.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevymon
Not trying to start an argument, but are you saying mig is easier on thin sheet metal than tig? I know I condensed your post to the parts in question.
Also, what is meant by more versatile? If you mean that mig can be used in more positions, then I agree, but tig will weld almost anything. Or you may have been comparing to flux core, not sure.

It depends mostly on what you are going to do with them, a body shop would use the MIG far more than a TIG but in, for instance, a custom bike shop the TIG would get most of the usage-neither shop would use a stick very much given a better choice. For an all-around home shop welding outfit a MIG is probably going to be the most versatile for most people, key being "most people" and it depends on a person's needs-for example are you going to work most on, automotive sheetmetal or bike frames?
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 09-07-2011, 09:28 PM
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A MiG would be your best bet.. And much easier to learn then Tig... With the MiG You only have to be good with one hand... Tig.... You have to be good with two hands....Tig is hands down better then MiG,,,,But !!! I weld ALL my frames with MiG..... I Sold my stick Machine a very long time ago.... No need for it....I weld everything with my MiG...

Now... Most important thing..... Don't buy a 110.... Spend the extra money and get a 220 machine....

And buy a machine that sell's a spool gun for Alum... You don't have to buy it now... Just make sure they make one for the Machine you want...I have the Lincoln pro MiG 175... A great Machine...Now they have the 180 Lincoln welders... A few of my friends have them... And I did get the chance to weld with them.... A good machine also.. Plus they have a spool gun for it.... Great to have if you every want to do Alum work.... You can buy the liner to change you gun over,,, But they don't work good because you have to feed the little Alum wire so far.... It will bird nest on you..... The spool gun only has to push the wire a few Inch's.. So keep all this in mind...Good luck.... Buy the right machine only once... Try to save money and buy the cheaper Machine,,, Then you end up buy two.... Do it right the first time around.... I use My machine EVERYDAY....


I wouldn't put a stick welder anywhere's around a car...
Don't get me wrong,, They are much stronger,,, But I don't feel they are needed on a car... No where's...
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 09-07-2011, 09:31 PM
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Quote:
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...
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Old 09-07-2011, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by SuthnCustoms
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.......

No doubt at all given equal specs for the alloys. Depending on alloy some MIG wires will be stronger than some stick welds and then sometimes it's just the other way around, just depends on which wire is compared to which rod. But like you said MIG is as strong or stronger then stick-given like alloys. But again many factors determine the choice, outdoor welding if a person does not have a garage all but eliminates MIG unless the operator opts to use flux core wire which will limit his choices of alloys vs stick. But then in most cases we are talking mild steel for home shop work and in the few cases where high strength steels are encountered on cars/trucks then 7018 or the equivalent wire for a MIG is usually all that is needed. The bottom line is there simply is not going to be one machine that's going to be able to do everything and a type of welding that might be ideal for one shop may just be a PITA for anther one. Stick probably comes close to a "do everything" in versatility, steel, Aluminum, cast iron, stainless, etc can all be welded just fine with stick in most cases but sometimes skill levels for certain jobs might be quite demanding. An example might be doing body work with stick, can it be done? Given the right rod and power source it can but is it practical? Not at all and I would not recommend trying it but still stick does have it's place for a lot of welds.
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Old 09-08-2011, 03:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldred
It depends mostly on what you are going to do with them, a body shop would use the MIG far more than a TIG but in, for instance, a custom bike shop the TIG would get most of the usage-neither shop would use a stick very much given a better choice. For an all-around home shop welding outfit a MIG is probably going to be the most versatile for most people, key being "most people" and it depends on a person's needs-for example are you going to work most on, automotive sheetmetal or bike frames?
Almost all of my welding is with sheet metal, and I use the tig for that. It just leaves a soft weld and I can do a continuous bead, which is much quicker, stronger, and without the mig pinholes and porosity. But the most important difference for me is that I can hammer on dolly and bring the metal right back to its original shape without cracking. All the distortion comes from the weld and almost all of it can be taken out by working the weld area.

As I said before, it costs more, can't be used in some positions, and has a learning curve. I spent two weeks practicing 6 or7 hours everyday, but then I could do acceptable work, but I'm still not happy with the weld bead. I think my eyes are more to blame than anything, but for sheet metal I wouldn't even think about using the mig. I usually pull the mig out to do a spot on a temporary brace, so I can get a weak weld that is easily broken, and its easier to do that with a mig.

But like I say, I do almost all sheetmetal with a 110 tig and it fits in a small case. If I'm not using it, the only thing sitting out is the bottle.
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Old 09-08-2011, 07:01 AM
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cheater lens ?

I have had to buy the "Cheater lens " to put into my welding helmet, they are easier to use than having to use reading glasses under the helmet. they are availabe in various magnification and were about $ 5. easier to get a good weld when I can see better.
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Old 09-08-2011, 08:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevymon
can't be used in some positions
Who ever told you that you can't use tig in all positions. One of the welding tests is a 6g (45 pipe) tig root and 7018 cap.
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Old 09-08-2011, 08:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevymon
Almost all of my welding is with sheet metal, and I use the tig for that. It just leaves a soft weld and I can do a continuous bead, which is much quicker, stronger, and without the mig pinholes and porosity. But the most important difference for me is that I can hammer on dolly and bring the metal right back to its original shape without cracking. All the distortion comes from the weld and almost all of it can be taken out by working the weld area.

As I said before, it costs more, can't be used in some positions, and has a learning curve. I spent two weeks practicing 6 or7 hours everyday, but then I could do acceptable work, but I'm still not happy with the weld bead. I think my eyes are more to blame than anything, but for sheet metal I wouldn't even think about using the mig. I usually pull the mig out to do a spot on a temporary brace, so I can get a weak weld that is easily broken, and its easier to do that with a mig.



But like I say, I do almost all sheetmetal with a 110 tig and it fits in a small case. If I'm not using it, the only thing sitting out is the bottle.


The point is that MIG is used far more than TIG for body work, TIG certainly can be used and I never meant it couldn't. This is a good example of what I was talking about when I said that no welding process is going to be a do-every-thing-for-everyone type of machine but still the fact is that for most people MIG will be preferred by a large margin. Quite often I use Oxy/Acetylene for the same reasons you list for using a TIG but most people consider it more trouble than it's worth and I can understand why even though I prefer it in some cases. I think most people will agree that MIG is more versatile than any other process for body sheetmetal and has the most advantages, low cost, ease of use and least amount of hammer/dolly work required. So am I saying that EVERYONE should just abandon everything else and just MIG body panels? Not at all since there can be a place and reason for other processes as well, different strokes for different folks!

Last edited by oldred; 09-08-2011 at 08:57 AM.
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonahb
Who ever told you that you can't use tig in all positions. One of the welding tests is a 6g (45 pipe) tig root and 7018 cap.
I should have said more difficlt. I have used the tig lying on my side with the foot control on the floor under my knee.

timothale said "I have had to buy the "Cheater lens " to put into my welding helmet"
I'll have to try the cheater lens. Was just afraid they wouldn't work.

Oldred said "The point is that MIG is used far more than TIG for body work"
Thats fine Red, I just think the options should be better explained because some guys want to do metal finishing and don't really know how much better the torch and tig is for that. No question that most just want it welded and mud over it.
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