Welder Questions

Discussion in 'Campfire' started by gichad128, Dec 24, 2012.

  1. gichad128

    gichad128 Well-Known Member

    I am thinking about parting with some Christmas money to buy a welder. I will use it for hobby purposes. 1/2 inch rebar will be the thickest stuff I will be welding. I'm looking at a Lincoln 180 Dual wire welder and a Millermatic 211. Does anyone have any experience or comments on either one of these welders? I have narrowed it down to these two because they can do 110 and 220.

  2. shotgun wg

    shotgun wg Well-Known Member

    Either will do the job but also I would opt for 220 over 110 on hook up. Both companies make good welders. I personally like to set my welder myself which is an option on both. I would personally choose the Lincoln because it has a higher output range at 180amp. U may never need it that hot but if u do u got it. I run gas on mine over flux core. Seems to do a better job.

  3. dkhern

    dkhern Well-Known Member

    i got a hobart wire welder sorta taught myself built the frame for a 30 x 40 shop hauled framing parts 150 mi and constructed on site. really changed my outlook. before used wood and nails or screws. cut something wrong and scrap and do over w/metal and welder not so. best tool buy i ever made. now w/pace maker cant weld because on magnetic field near welder. for a novice/untrained i believe wire is easier than stick jmo
  4. gichad128

    gichad128 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your input and advice!

  5. bird dog

    bird dog Moderator-Outdoor Recreation Lifetime Supporter

    I have the small version Hobart wire feed.
    I like it for the small projects that I do.
    Especially the auto dimming helmet.
    I keep thinking I will switch it over to gas but I don’t weld enough to rent a bottle. I am sure the Lincoln and Miller are as good if not better.
  6. camron

    camron Super Member<br>2010 Deer Hunting Contest Winner

    The 180 is a great welder! Virtually no difference between the 110 and 220 while welding. It'll weld up to 1/4" with no problem using the .035 and CO2 gas. We've used ours at work for over a year with no problems at all.
  7. miketyson26

    miketyson26 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

    I like and have used Miller products for years. The Lincoln is a fine product too. The Hobart welders are made by Miller as well. I prefer the 220V or 460V machines myself. You get a nice smooth bead from the higher voltage machines. The 120v machines plug in anywhere and are very versitile but they have a much shorter duty cycle. I also prefer using the 75/25, Argon/Co2 mix gas. You get a cleaner weld with less splatter. But you have to understand that every guy who has ever run a bead has a different opinion.

    Miketyson26 :flag:
  8. I have a Miller 210 which is the model prior to the 211 and love the thing. I have the dual tank setup with a spool gun as well. Honestly I don't really use the spool gun that much and keep it set up for aluminum.
    With welders I recommend buying the biggest you can afford because you never know what you will end up welding.
    But the Miller 180 wouldn't be a bad choice....I too am partial to Miller but Lincoln make a good product too. I just have picked up that Miller is still built with a higher quality.
  9. Cjdavis618

    Cjdavis618 Well-Known Member

    I'll throw in my .02 here also.

    Regarding Mig (GMAW), beads can look really good but not penetrate well. If you are doing something that life depends on or needs to hold, make sure you practice a lot and then cut some test welds open and do some break tests on them. When something just has to hold, I will use Flux Core wire (Fcaw) or straight Arc Welding (Smaw) with rods. All of these work fine with steel. When I mig weld, I do use the 75/25 mix on Argon/CO2. But if using aluminum for material, you have to move to 100% argon. And you will need a spoolgun, because the aluminum wire is so soft it will not push through the tube at long distances and it will bind up in the feed tube and roller guides.

    If you getting into stainless or aluminum, there is nothing better than a Tig (Gtaw) welder for the precise control of the bead and filler material. Another thing about Tigs is that some are Multi Process. This Thermal ARC 181I is a multi process that can do Arc, Mig and Tig (when you buy the extra torch) and doesn't break the bank too bad. Several weldors have said it is a decent buy for that size model. This would be able to handle any job you can come up with in a hobby task.

    Think about any possible things that you may want to weld. Then make the decision.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2012
  10. Bowhuntr

    Bowhuntr Well-Known Member

    I had a small 120 volt lincoln. It will serve the purpose of 80% of folks. I now have a Thermal Arc 250. It's a great welder. Here is my take on it. If you know for sure you wont ever need anything bigger then get the 120 volt. If you can afford it and your not sure get a bigger one. That Miller 211 is a great machine and would likely serve you a lifetime unless you do a TON of welding. 220 over 120/110 in my opinion.
  11. That's why I have a Miller Thunderbolt AC/DC as well....
  12. Cjdavis618

    Cjdavis618 Well-Known Member

    Good old Buzzboxes are hard to beat.. :thumb:
  13. Have a wire welder on gas. Makes very good welds and good looking welds. Also have a Lincoln 220v stick welder. Use it mainly for heavier welding on equip, etc

    You'll use a wire welder much more than a stick welder. Ditto on ease of learning to use a wire welder. Trickier to get the touch for rod welding. If you like to make stuff you'll use a welder far
    More than you can imagine.

    Check out putting gas on it.
  14. jdawg

    jdawg Super Member<br>2013-14 Bow Hunting Contest Winner

    I've used a millermatic 251. Its awesome, but cost you about $1500. Lol
  15. gichad128

    gichad128 Well-Known Member

    Thanks again for all of the info. I guess my first step is getting an electrician over here to see what I can already plug in and what would need to be done to do the 220 stuff.

  16. camron

    camron Super Member<br>2010 Deer Hunting Contest Winner

    I plug mine into my dryer plug. If you get the 180 make sure you use a 12/3 extension cord with a ground.
  17. gichad128

    gichad128 Well-Known Member

    Did you have to do anything with your breakers or just plug it in the dryer plug and weld?

  18. shotgun wg

    shotgun wg Well-Known Member

    How far is it to ur breaker box. If u can get to it u can put a new double breaker in and run Romex to where u want ur welder. I can't remember the exact size breaker I used but it was a big one with a double switch. It's pretty easy to do. Put u a plug in box where u want. If u need ur welder to get out the shop make an extension cord out of Romex also.
  19. I just ran some 8/3 and put the plug in the garage. Not cheap ....the wire that is. But if your not comfortable don't mess with it. It can kill you....
  20. Cjdavis618

    Cjdavis618 Well-Known Member

    Soarkrebel is right. This stuff ain't no joke and if you don't give the welder enough power, you can starve the welder and get both bad welds and a burnt up coil.

    I'm running a 50Amp dual pole breaker (220V) at my breaker box. I have a 50 foot extension cord run of 6/3 stranded copper that feeds it straight from the breaker to my cart. My Hobart Handler 187 needs 30 amps 220v. My Campbell Hausfeld 225amp buzzbox and my Hypertherm powermax 1000 needs 50 amps 220v. I run only one at a time and swap plugs out in the receptacle as needed. They all have the 50amp 220v plug wired to them.

    This may help also. http://www.csgnetwork.com/wiresizecalc.html

    I would always recommend sizing the cable one size more than what is shown. Inrush current from Arc strikes can be brutal on electrical circuits in the building.. Some welders will pull a bit more than they are rated for also.