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Old 02-11-2009, 10:29 AM
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HTP Welders

Hi All!

I have been a lurker on this board for some time now but have finally signed up and hope to become an active member.

I know the topic of welders is frequently addressed but I have a specific question concerning models. I have decided that regardless of model the brand will be HTP.

I have started a frame off restoration of a '67 Buick Special and there will be significant welding required. Mostly panel replacement and some structural work. I am trying to decide between the HTP MIG 200 and the MIG 160 and would appreciate any input that you could provide! Specifically I am wondering if I need the extra heat settings found on the 200 to do this sort of work?

Tom

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Old 02-11-2009, 10:38 AM
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Tom

welcome, I will try to pass my small knowledge on this. I bought the mig 140 to rebuild my 68 camaro. I needed one that would run on 110v. It worked flawlessly! I replaced quarters, floorpans and numerous other panels. I never had a problem with it. I am only limited by the duty cycle and heat range for how thick of a metal I can weld. The only thing I didn't like about my welder is when you go and buy wire for it you have to buy the big rolls in order for it to have the big cut out in the center to fit over the stud that holds the roll. ( mine lays down flat on top of the welder). I use a gas mixture called stargon for welding in sheetmetal. It was very easy to learn to use.

Toby
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Old 02-11-2009, 11:08 AM
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Htp 160dv

I have a HTP 160 DV (Dual Voltage). I run it on 220V almost all of the time. I have had it for 4 years and it has worked well for me. I have been doing welding mainly on my frame and heavier metal. A bit of sheet metal from time to time as well.

The only problem I had (a big one) was having the transformer burn out after warranty. I am not sure why but the transformer winding appears to have shorted out and it started to smoke. Jeff Noland at HTP went out of his way to get me up and running as quickly as possible (including free shipping on the 90 lb transformer). According to him this is something that he has seen occurr only once before.

Basically I am satisfied with it since it has some good features and operating modes and does what I want.
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Old 02-11-2009, 11:51 AM
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I'd ask about warranty work on the welder.

Saving 100 bucks isn't much if you have to ship your welder out to get warranty repairs.

I bought my welder locally for this reason alone, in fact the supplier gave me a loaner for a week while they ordered a new sleeve.

As far as 110 v 220 there's good opinions for either welder mostly its about budget, then trade-offs on the planned usage.

For instance..

Do you have 220 available in the shop already? Wire and conduit aren't exactly cheap these days and can add a couple hundred bucks to the setup costs.

110v are smaller, take up less space, cost less - but generally can't do material thicker than 3/16"

Do you need the welder portable? I can throw my Miller 135 in the back of my truck in under 5 minutes, bottle and all and with it being 110v - basically use it anywhere there's enough current to feed it.
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Old 02-11-2009, 11:57 AM
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I don't currently have 220 in the shop but I will after this weekend! I thought about the 110 route but decided to go ahead and bite the bullet and get the 220. In the early stages I considered the miller 180 but ultimately decided on HTP because of their customer service and overall quality.

Tom
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Old 02-11-2009, 04:17 PM
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68ss, Just curious as to your choice of Stargon. Stargon is an oxygen added gas used for spray -arc welding, predominantly on stainless. They also use it quite a bit in pulsed GMAW welding, but sheet metal is the last place you would want to use a spray.
I think you could save a few bucks and go with a plain-vanilla C25 mix and be just fine. You wont even realize the difference with short-arc transfer MIG welding.
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Old 02-11-2009, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitrocorsair
Just curious as to your choice of Stargon- I think you could save a few bucks and go with a plain-vanilla C25 mix and be just fine. You wont even realize the difference with short-arc transfer MIG welding.

I was wondering the same thing, I mean it works BUT sure is extra cash for no gain. C25 is the preferred gas for MIG and sheetmetal.
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Old 02-12-2009, 05:07 AM
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nitro/oldred,
I bought my welder back in 2000 and didn't have a clue as to what gas I needed to use. I went to the local welding suplly house in Jacksonville, FL and that is what the sold me?
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Old 02-12-2009, 05:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 68ss
nitro/oldred,
I bought my welder back in 2000 and didn't have a clue as to what gas I needed to use. I went to the local welding suplly house in Jacksonville, FL and that is what the sold me?

Well you didn't hurt anything but Stargon is not necessary for normal everyday sheetmetal using MIG with solid wire and you should be able to save a few bucks with C25, like Nitro said I doubt you will be able to see the difference. Some proponents (salesmen mostly ) of Stargon will say that it is better than C25 for thin metal at lower heat settings but I have not found this to be true at all and any advantages it does have on carbon steel will be on thicker metals at much higher settings. It's main claim to fame is on stainless steel in a production setting but I guess there are those who find a use for it on carbon steel, I haven't.
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Old 02-12-2009, 08:23 AM
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I have used it on thicker gauge carbon material (7 gauge and up) in spray transfer.
The idea with stargon is to give a better arc-flame front buy combustion of the oxygen to help facilitate puddle wetting on sluggish(stainless) materials but you need to have enough heat like you would in a spray to get that Oxy to burn. Spray doesn't even start until 31 volts and that is wayyy to high for sheet metal work.
C25 is cheaper and uses the same valve as C25 so you wont have to swap nipples on your regulator.
Back to the original question..
Always get bigger than what you think you need. I am not intimately familiar with HTPs, but I have used them. They are fine for the work you are describing, either one will work. The reason I say go bigger is not so much for the amperes but I would stab at it and say the 200 has a larger duty cycle which with mig, is sometimes the more important number rather than max output .
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Old 02-12-2009, 02:04 PM
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I have been using a 110 volt model for years and it worked out quite well as there is always 110 power on a job site and I could just plug in and weld..I have welded some things that were beyond what I was "supposed to do" by using good joint prep and some weaving and preheat. Saved us some time and got the job done..

For the automotive guys we need 220 in the shop anyway for any kind of decent compressor. so getting 220 in the shop is needed and having the 220 welder works fine..For any auto work the 180 size or similar will do all we need to do with a MIG I have found. Occasionally I find someone who has some larger thicker metal to weld and who needs a larger machine. Duty cycle comes in if one is doing production welding making large weldments or continuous short production welds.

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Old 02-12-2009, 02:34 PM
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Ok, I have another question for you. I just came across a gently used Lincoln MIG 255 for about the same money as the HTP MIG 200 (after tax & Shipping). Any opinions between these two machines? I am planning on purchasing one of these two tomorrow.

Thanks!

Tom
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Old 02-12-2009, 02:42 PM
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Duty cycle is often overlooked in terms of stitch welds too. The constant on-off-on of stitching will put low duty-cycle machines into thermal shut down. This wont beat your machine up as that is the design nor will it impede progress if you can stop for ten minutes and grab a cold one! Its just a consideration that garage guys should look at as well as max output. It is also indicative of the size of transformer inside. Miller and Lincoln have been under-rating their machines for years. (i.e. a 250 amp machine has a 300 amp transformer giving it a larger duty cycle)
As far as 110 migs, I have welded 1/4 and 5/16 material with my SP-125 and never had a problem. The question as far as going with a 160 or a 200 amp machine is answered by saying go a few more bucks and get the bigger machine. If you are committed to the 160, the 200 is a better choice.
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Old 02-12-2009, 02:44 PM
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Is the lincoln an SP-225 with the digital face plate and the "smart torch"?
If so, that is a fantastic machine.
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Old 02-12-2009, 02:50 PM
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I have had my small Lincoln for 20 years now and it still works if that is an indication..

Sam
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