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Old 07-27-2010, 05:47 AM
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Why wouldn't it Work?

I am looking to make an attachment for my TIG welder that has a MIG attachment just using the TIG as a power unit and a gas flow regulator. I sent an email to Miller asking what hardware I would need to do this and they said it wouldn't work. I don't understand why it wouldn't work. Isn't DC negative the same in both machines? Has anyone here done this? The machine I am looking to make this with is a Miller Syncrowave 200. Also using a dead Century Wire welder as a parts base for the MIG. The feed motor and whip are good but the welder its self are toast.

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Old 07-27-2010, 01:06 PM
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Miller has a similar set up for there Dynasty series for tig machines, it is for aluminum.
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Old 07-27-2010, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EVBuilder
I am looking to make an attachment for my TIG welder that has a MIG attachment just using the TIG as a power unit and a gas flow regulator. I sent an email to Miller asking what hardware I would need to do this and they said it wouldn't work. I don't understand why it wouldn't work. Isn't DC negative the same in both machines? Has anyone here done this? The machine I am looking to make this with is a Miller Syncrowave 200. Also using a dead Century Wire welder as a parts base for the MIG. The feed motor and whip are good but the welder its self are toast.

If you're handy it will work. Probably the reason why Miller said that it wouldn't work is for liability. You can take a regular AC/DC stick welder and run a mig gun with it. You need to figure out what volts runs the wire feed part of the old unit. I had an old Millermatic 200 and it had external leads that pluged into the front of the machine. These leads ran back into the machine and to the whip and gun. I used to unplug these leads and plug in a standard stick welding whip and do stick welding with it. The miller rep told me that it wouldn't work. It did and saved me the money of buying a stick welder.
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Old 07-27-2010, 08:05 PM
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It won't work because MIG is run in Constant Voltage mode. TIG and Stick are run in constant current mode. You're syncrowave is a Constant Current only machine. The difference between the two is that in MIG your voltage remains constant and the current changes, in Stick/Tig its the opposite. They do make feeders designed to run in CC mode but I have never seen one run with a sync, mostly for engine driven units, and they don't run all that great. Miller is correct on this, it won't work. You need a machine with CC/CV capability.
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Old 07-27-2010, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldschoolrods
It won't work because MIG is run in Constant Voltage mode. TIG and Stick are run in constant current mode. You're syncrowave is a Constant Current only machine. The difference between the two is that in MIG your voltage remains constant and the current changes, in Stick/Tig its the opposite. They do make feeders designed to run in CC mode but I have never seen one run with a sync, mostly for engine driven units, and they don't run all that great. Miller is correct on this, it won't work. You need a machine with CC/CV capability.

This is starting to get to deep. I still think that if he applied an external voltage supply to run the motor for the spool and then used the hot lead off of the welder and ran it to hot on the gun and then used the ground lead from the welder to ground his work, it could be done. I don't like to get to involved in the engineering of electricity it makes my head hurt and I just know what will work.

I always had a problem with A/C current used in house and shop wiring until a buddy of mine said "Quit! Quit trying to figure out alternating current! I have seen you wire tons of twelve volt systems on cars and trucks, just remember this is the same thing. The black is hot and the white is ground, just like in a car." Ever sense he told me that I haven't needed his help for any more A/C wiring. I was also shown by the same fellow how to run a three phase motor on single phase current. But that's another story.

If I were the OP I'd give it a try. I have seen a lot of weird things done with electricity that an engineer would say couldn't be done. The next time you have to use an electric powered tool that is farther away then the cord you have try this. Take a metal rod and drive it in the ground, strip out the wires from you extension chord. Wire them together, now you have a single wire that is long enough. Run one wire from the hot at the outlet and the other to the drill or skill saw. Then run the ground from the tool to the rod you have driven in the ground. Press the switch and viola it works! Tell me why? I don't know and I really don't care, I just know it works.

Electricity is weird you can engineer it all day long but you don't know for sure until you turn on the switch. Now you will probably argue with this too but I have stick welded with two six volt truck batteries wired in series.

Chris
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Old 07-27-2010, 09:13 PM
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Yes it will work, I know a guy who built a similar set-up using a TIG welder for the welding power and a home built feeder using a small DC motor powered by a home built variable power supply using Radio Shack parts. The guy is a real tinkerer and I often machine small parts for him, in this case the feed wheels and wire guide for the wire feeder. Machining these parts is how I learned of this set-up and I have to admit I was skeptical but the darn thing runs quite well, I have tried it myself.
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Old 07-28-2010, 09:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Kemp
If I were the OP I'd give it a try. I have seen a lot of weird things done with electricity that an engineer would say couldn't be done. The next time you have to use an electric powered tool that is farther away then the cord you have try this. Take a metal rod and drive it in the ground, strip out the wires from you extension chord. Wire them together, now you have a single wire that is long enough. Run one wire from the hot at the outlet and the other to the drill or skill saw. Then run the ground from the tool to the rod you have driven in the ground. Press the switch and viola it works! Tell me why? I don't know and I really don't care, I just know it works.

Electricity is weird you can engineer it all day long but you don't know for sure until you turn on the switch. Now you will probably argue with this too but I have stick welded with two six volt truck batteries wired in series.

Chris
The reason what you say works is because that is exactly what happens when you plug your drill into the outlet. Look next to your electrical meter, you will see a grounding rod. Just because something works doesn't mean it is safe. An engineer would tell you not to do that because it is unsafe. You have taken an extension cord that has been designed to protect the user and stripped out the wire and cobbled them together. Now you have a single strand of wire, with only one small layer of protection covering the copper, a covering not designed to be exposed to the elements, and just this layer keeping the current from you. If you really wanted to keep cutting corners, next time forget the ground stake and just wet your hand and hold the end of the wire, you also make a pretty good ground stake and the drill will work just fine. (I am kidding, don't try this)

Same idea with the batteries, yes it is possible to weld with a 12v car battery, i know several people who have done this. Is it a good idea? Not really, you pull to much current for to long of a time and the battery can explode sending acid everywhere. You need to know what you are doing. Ignorance is no excuse when messing with electricity. Please take some time to understand what is going on, while 110V AC is similar to wiring 12V DC, 220V is nothing like it and has a lot more potential to seriously hurt someone. 110V has the potential also.

I know you can make a TIG welder run a mig gun if you really want to, what Miller really should say is that it is not recommended and then quickly explain why. I am not saying that it will be unsafe, I really don't know, but I would not use your reasoning to just try it.

If you didn't already figure it out, yes, I am an engineer, but not electrical.

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Old 07-28-2010, 02:49 PM
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Part of my job is welder repair. I base my answer on service calls I have gotten to fix someones welder and the problem was, they were trying to stick in CV mode or MIG in CC mode. Also look at it this way, if you could make a wire feed work with a Syncrowave Miller would be all over that as a way to sell more wire feeders.
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Old 07-28-2010, 04:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Kemp
If you're handy it will work. Probably the reason why Miller said that it wouldn't work is for liability. You can take a regular AC/DC stick welder and run a mig gun with it. You need to figure out what volts runs the wire feed part of the old unit. I had an old Millermatic 200 and it had external leads that pluged into the front of the machine. These leads ran back into the machine and to the whip and gun. I used to unplug these leads and plug in a standard stick welding whip and do stick welding with it. The miller rep told me that it wouldn't work. It did and saved me the money of buying a stick welder.
We run one of these machines everyday at work. The Millermatic 200 was a dc arc welder with a wire feeder built in. The machine says that right on the front of it. What are you trying/wanting to mig weld anyways. Miller sells their 140 amp wire welders for around 800 bucks and you can get the hobart 140 amp (built by miller, mine has a miller gun on it) for around 500.

We also have what we call suitcase welders that attach to our engine driven welder and our miller 304 welders (this is a bad *** machine). Does miller offer a suitcase for the syncrowave, if they don't I would say it won't work, because as earlier said if it could be done they would do it.
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Old 07-28-2010, 05:42 PM
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The CC vs CV is correct, the only way to get around it is if you vary the wire feed with the voltage output and it would make it a bear to control/get a decent bead because the speed would be changing all the time.

The machines that do both are newer inverter machines that use computer controls to change the current and voltage output to suit what you're doing at the time
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Old 07-28-2010, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crussell85
Hobart 140 (built by miller, mine has a miller gun on it) for around 500.


Broken record time folks!


For the umpteenth time Hobart is NOT built/made or owned by Miller! Hobart and Miller are owned by the same parent company and the smaller machines do share some common parts because of this but that does not mean Miller owns Hobart any more than Hobart does not own Miller. Both companies are owned by ITW as parent company but they are still competitors even though ITW owns both but aims them at slightly different markets, just because ITW bought Hobart and Miller does not one-up Miller over Hobart. The reason this matters is that all too often the myth says that Hobart is just a stripped down Miller and someone shopping for a welder could make an ill informed decision based on this BS "urban legend".


Seems kind of odd that Hobart/Miller electric handles both Hobart and Miller warranty work (it is Hobart/Miller not Miller/Hobart) if Miller did indeed "own" Hobart

Last edited by oldred; 07-28-2010 at 06:32 PM.
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Old 07-28-2010, 06:58 PM
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sorry, i didn't know this.

All in favor that he saves his money and buys a new machine say I

I
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Old 08-02-2010, 09:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NvrGrwUp
Miller has a similar set up for there Dynasty series for tig machines, it is for aluminum.
Thanks you for the post.


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Old 08-03-2010, 06:28 PM
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The wire feeders that will run off of a CC power supply are most commonly used outside, running flux cored wire, for stuff like welding grouser bars on dozer tracks or running hardfacing wire on cutting edges. Most anyone doing this type work needs a stick welder for the majority of their field work, and only use the wire for things that require hours of constant welding.

Last time I heard a price mentioned, an add on feeder for a CC engine driven 350 amp welder was around the $3000 to $3500 range. IOW, about twice what a pretty nice mig machine would cost.
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