Author Topic: welder upgrade  (Read 2812 times)

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Offline kmehr

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welder upgrade
« on: October 6, 2017, 07:53:25 pm »
Currently running a Lincoln Pro Mig 140.  I've only ever used flux-core.  It's always done good welds for me, but pretty slaggy and not the prettiest.  I've been wanting to step up my welding game.  Not going to pull the trigger anytime soon, just collecting info and advice. 1/4in steel is probably the thickest I'll weld on a regular basis.  Bumpers, tire swing out, rock sliders are all things I'm interested in building in the future.  I'd really love to learn to tig weld too.

I think the next step should be using a gas setup on my current welder, though the way I understand it, it reduces thickness the welder can weld at the expense of a cleaner weld.

Anyways, I've been looking at the Lincoln square wave 200 and the Lincoln 210 MP.  If I went with the square wave, it would be a dedicated TIG and stick setup, and I could keep my current MIG.  If I got the MP, it could replace my MIG since it does all three, so I could sell it and the price would be about the same between the two.

Or would I be better off with the above type projects in mind moving to a bigger MIG like the Lincoln 216?

Anyone have any reviews of these?  Any thoughts or suggestions?
« Last Edit: October 6, 2017, 07:56:07 pm by kmehr »
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    Offline Elwenil

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    Re: welder upgrade
    « Reply #1 on: October 6, 2017, 11:27:33 pm »
    I personally would stay away from Lincoln, I know some people swear by them but in my experience they are a lower quality machine.  The stick welders we learned on at the local college were brand new Lincolns, and we never could stay with the same machine for long because they were always being pulled out for some problem getting fixed.  Miller is the popular choice, and would be mine as well.

    As far as gas and flux, there is no comparison.  Technically you aren't welding MIG now if you are using flux core wire, that is FCAW, or Flux Cored Arc Welding.  MIG stands for Metal Inert Gas, which is more commonly referred to as GMAW, or Gas Metal Arc Welding.  But yeah, shielding gas is the way to go with most types of wire welding.  There are some processes that make FCAW a better deal, but GMAW is perfect most of what you will deal with in the automotive world.  The thickness you can weld is entirely dependent on the machine though some machines do fluctuate due to how the machine is set up.  Commonly you have to reverse the polarity to go from FCAW to GMAW which can have an effect on what you can do.
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    Offline Willie G

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    Re: welder upgrade
    « Reply #2 on: October 7, 2017, 12:51:04 am »
    The only thing I'd add to what Elwenil said above is to suggest that if your funds don't permit a complete jump to MIG/TIG/Stick all at once, then make sure that whatever you buy is compatible with future upgrades.

    While welding 1/4 inch material should be plenty adequate, if you can increase that capacity for minimal investment I'd do it.  Just in case....
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    Offline dodge82273

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    Re: welder upgrade
    « Reply #3 on: October 7, 2017, 03:29:25 am »
    all good advice ,  simply put inner core is just a faster way of stick welding , really not for sheetmetal at all . pro welders use inner core for heavy ( thicker wire than your using) stuff like the old weld on cutting edges of machines .   a Miller mig ( gas shielded ) would be a good choice for auto work . If your running a big shop , then a power supply , and a wire feeder gives you both stick and mig .
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    Offline kmehr

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    Re: welder upgrade
    « Reply #4 on: October 7, 2017, 10:45:27 am »
    all great advice, thanks guys.  My lincoln has definitely been good to me so I wouldn't be afraid to get another.  Plus Millers are generally more pricey...

    Sounds like a good start would be to hook a bottle up to my current welder.  Think TIG would be overkill for the kind of stuff I'm looking to do?
    1984 W350 CC 6bt NV4500, dana 60/80 SOLD
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    Offline Elwenil

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    Re: welder upgrade
    « Reply #5 on: October 7, 2017, 01:00:10 pm »
    Something around 200 amp with gas and you should be able to do everything you mentioned and more.  Depending on what machined you end up with, the duty cycle may vary as well as the options.  TIG makes very nice looking and strong welds.  The welder controls the heat and the filler rod so you can make your welds about as perfect as possible but due to that, it also requires a bit more skill and technique.  A lot of fabricators use TIG exclusively once they switch to it, but it's far from necessary for general automotive fab.  If you were welding up a chrome moly racing chassis I would say go for TIG and get good at it but for bumpers and the typical tube-work we see on trucks and off road fab in general, you should be fine with a 200A MIG setup.  Just my .02

    What kind of money are you looking to invest?
    L.Clemons

    1988 Ramcharger AW450-318EFI-NP435 4 speed-NP205 Transfer Case-Dana 60s-Braden Wormdrive Front Winch

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    I am the unknown Will,
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    Offline kmehr

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    Re: welder upgrade
    « Reply #6 on: October 7, 2017, 02:10:53 pm »
    Good to know.  I'd be in the $1200- $1500 budget range.  I'm also limited to 120V in my garage and I don't think my landlord would be ok with me wiring in 230V.  Given that, other than duty cycle, will I gain much with a 200 AMP welder over my 140?
    1984 W350 CC 6bt NV4500, dana 60/80 SOLD
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    Offline Elwenil

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    Re: welder upgrade
    « Reply #7 on: October 7, 2017, 03:17:49 pm »
    With the amperage, comes the ability to "burn-in" a lot thicker metal.  This means more penetration and stronger welds in heavier material.  To a certain extent, you can fill in thicker materials with multiple passes, but with higher amperage you will get better penetration with each weld and a stronger joint overall.  Now that doesn't necessarily mean you will need that extra strength with what you are building, but it does give you more options.  I typically recommend once people decide to upgrade from a "starter welder" like most 110v welders, to go to a 200A welder just because you are pretty much able to do anything you will see outside of an industrial fab shop.  Still, with a typical 120V welder you can usually safely weld up to 1/4" or 3/16", which you rarely see much more than that in light automotive applications unless you are building trailers or something.

    If you can't jump up to 220V, and you are happy with your current welder and it can be converted, I'd just convert it over to GMAW and keep using it.  No sense in spending $1k if you don't need to and you won't be gain much more than just a newer machine.
    L.Clemons

    1988 Ramcharger AW450-318EFI-NP435 4 speed-NP205 Transfer Case-Dana 60s-Braden Wormdrive Front Winch

    2018 Ram 2500HD Crew Cab 4WD 5.7L

    I am the unknown Will,
    The Anger that threatens glory and ruin:
    Lord of Storms am I,
    in heaven high and caverns deep.
    I am the Father of the War,
    Odin for you, Wotan for him,
    Wayfarer, Wanderer, beggar, king,
    numen, genius, strength and ring.

    Offline kmehr

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    Re: welder upgrade
    « Reply #8 on: October 7, 2017, 04:31:42 pm »
    Sounds like a good plan. thanks for the advice!
    1984 W350 CC 6bt NV4500, dana 60/80 SOLD
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    2005 Dodge 2500 QCSB NV5600 4x4
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    Offline dodge82273

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    Re: welder upgrade
    « Reply #9 on: October 7, 2017, 05:56:58 pm »
    there isn't a dryer outlet in that garage is there ? electric dryers are 220/30 amp usually .......  ;)
    78 to 93 parts trucks
    91 w250 318 518 44/60 single 9 foot driveway plow locked
    87w150 44/corp727 kandy w/ ghost bats/summer
    86-D/W100 44/corp/318mag/carb/4500/aka shit box/winter
    93w150short/44/corp/360/le/mag "caddie"
    93w250LB51844/60posi 318"New Truck"
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    Re: welder upgrade
    « Reply #10 on: October 7, 2017, 08:18:32 pm »
    there isn't a dryer outlet in that garage is there ? electric dryers are 220/30 amp usually .......  ;)
    ;D Thats almost what I did at a place I rented. I would pull the stove out enough to get to the plug, then run a 30 foot 220 cord out the window, to the street.   {cruise}
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    Offline kmehr

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    Re: welder upgrade
    « Reply #11 on: October 8, 2017, 09:45:46 am »
    the dryer is inside the door to the garage.  Guess I could put a 40 ft cable on the welder haha
    1984 W350 CC 6bt NV4500, dana 60/80 SOLD
    2010 Audi Q5 3.2 V6- the Lady's
    2005 Dodge 2500 QCSB NV5600 4x4
    2015 Toyota Corolla- 100 mile a day commuter

    Offline kmehr

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    Re: welder upgrade
    « Reply #12 on: November 22, 2017, 01:15:06 pm »
    Resurrecting this thread.  After looking at my current mig 140, I'm limited to 12gauge steel if I add shielding gas.  I've certainly welded heavier than recommended stuff, but that makes me a little nervous i wouldn't get proper penetration of 3/16 and 1/4in stuff which I forsee welding a lot.

    There is a Lincoln Idealarc DC-250 with an LN-7 wire feeder for auction near me.  I think I could get it for under $500.  I know it's a really old machine (I think 1992), but it would give me 250AMP MIG capability and can do scratch start TIG.

    What are people's thoughts on this machine?
    1984 W350 CC 6bt NV4500, dana 60/80 SOLD
    2010 Audi Q5 3.2 V6- the Lady's
    2005 Dodge 2500 QCSB NV5600 4x4
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    Offline dodge82273

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    Re: welder upgrade
    « Reply #13 on: November 22, 2017, 04:23:42 pm »
    Lincoln is a good brand name , see if you can still buy parts ( wear stuff ) for it and go for it .
    78 to 93 parts trucks
    91 w250 318 518 44/60 single 9 foot driveway plow locked
    87w150 44/corp727 kandy w/ ghost bats/summer
    86-D/W100 44/corp/318mag/carb/4500/aka shit box/winter
    93w150short/44/corp/360/le/mag "caddie"
    93w250LB51844/60posi 318"New Truck"
    93w350 6 tire CC 60 c/a flat bed dump

    Offline Mad Max

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    Re: welder upgrade
    « Reply #14 on: November 22, 2017, 07:17:22 pm »
    the dryer is inside the door to the garage.  Guess I could put a 40 ft cable on the welder haha

    ...FWIW, when I bought my Miller 175 I asked them to make me a 20' extension cable for it, and I've been running it on that cord literally since day 1.  If it's the proper gauge I don't see why you couldn't run a 40' cable if you needed to..?  {noclue}
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    Re: welder upgrade
    « Reply #15 on: November 22, 2017, 07:29:48 pm »
    I have welded many frames, even made truck frames into trailers using my flux cored maxus pro 140(https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001I424M4/?tag=rocktoolsbiz-20) 140 amp mig.

    ...FWIW, when I bought my Miller 175 I asked them to make me a 20' extension cable for it, and I've been running it on that cord literally since day 1.  If it's the proper gauge I don't see why you couldn't run a 40' cable if you needed to..?  {noclue}
    Agreed. When I lived in an apartment, I made up a long cord for my arc welder. Move the stove, and plugged it in, and ran the cord out the second story window, to the street. There is many charts for wire size, amps, and length.
    77 W200, 360/727/NP203/D44HD/D60 (Wifes Toy)
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    Offline Mad Max

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    Re: welder upgrade
    « Reply #16 on: November 22, 2017, 07:34:16 pm »
    ...also I forgot to mention - I don't know exactly what the gauge is of my 20' cable but it's thicker than a diesel battery cable - at least 2/0
    2002 Dakota Quad Cab 4x4 - 440/46rh/Atlas4/D60/14b/40s
    2007 Cummins Ram 3500 Megadually 4x4 "Big Mack" - 5.9/G56 6-speed
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    Re: welder upgrade
    « Reply #17 on: November 22, 2017, 07:52:35 pm »
    ...also I forgot to mention - I don't know exactly what the gauge is of my 20' cable but it's thicker than a diesel battery cable - at least 2/0
    :o  For the A/C power line? That would be about the same size as what feeds your house. 
    77 W200, 360/727/NP203/D44HD/D60 (Wifes Toy)
    77 M887- 318/727/NP203 D44HD/D60
    78/86 Ramcharger.  360/727/NP203 D44/9&1/4
    85/89/90 D150/W250 5.9TBI/435/241 D44HD/D60HD
    85 W350 360/727/241 D44HD/D60
    97 B3500 5.9MPFI/518 D60HD
    20 Pacifica Hybrid, 3.6 V6, EVT 1 speed trans.
    projects:
    85 Country Coach RV, 5.9 Cummins/TH475,GV od,US gear Exhaust brake,D70HD (4 wheel disk brakes, 10 lug 19.5 rims.

    Offline Mad Max

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    Re: welder upgrade
    « Reply #18 on: November 22, 2017, 08:09:52 pm »
    not certain what the size is, but it's about as big as my thumb.  I dunno - I just told them how long I needed it to be and that's what they gave me.  It has worked great every time
    2002 Dakota Quad Cab 4x4 - 440/46rh/Atlas4/D60/14b/40s
    2007 Cummins Ram 3500 Megadually 4x4 "Big Mack" - 5.9/G56 6-speed
    2016 Durango Citadel AWD - 5.7 Hemi/8-spd auto
    1952 Willys M-38 "Poncho"

                    .there's always a way...

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    Re: welder upgrade
    « Reply #19 on: November 22, 2017, 08:31:11 pm »
    So its one thick cable, with the 4 wires inside it?  ;)
    77 W200, 360/727/NP203/D44HD/D60 (Wifes Toy)
    77 M887- 318/727/NP203 D44HD/D60
    78/86 Ramcharger.  360/727/NP203 D44/9&1/4
    85/89/90 D150/W250 5.9TBI/435/241 D44HD/D60HD
    85 W350 360/727/241 D44HD/D60
    97 B3500 5.9MPFI/518 D60HD
    20 Pacifica Hybrid, 3.6 V6, EVT 1 speed trans.
    projects:
    85 Country Coach RV, 5.9 Cummins/TH475,GV od,US gear Exhaust brake,D70HD (4 wheel disk brakes, 10 lug 19.5 rims.

    Offline Killerbee

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    Re: welder upgrade
    « Reply #20 on: November 22, 2017, 09:26:17 pm »
    An option is to get an RV extension cord.  They are commonly available to support 50 amps, which is more than the dryer outlet (almost always 30 amps).

    You'll likely have to replace the dryer outlet end of the cord. or get an adapter.

    https://www.amazon.com/NU-CORD-94561E-50-Feet-50-Amp-Extension/dp/B005GXQDHU

    It's also a definite bonus to get a cord that has a good handle on it that keeps your fingers away from the metal bits.  Last thing you want to do is touch those!

    Also, over the years a LOT of different types of plugs have been used for 30A and 50A 220 volt plugs, so be sure to get one that matches your wall plug.  The cheapest solution on the welder end is to just remove the existing cord and replace it with the new 50' cord.

    You might have a three-prong outlet, vs the newer 4-prong outlets.  About (but not quite) the same as a 2-prong outlet on a house pre-80s -vs- a newer house with all 3-prong outlets.  The fourth wire is the ground, which should in an ideal world never have any juice in it....  But if you get a problem, it's connected to the welder's chassis and provides an extra level of 'ground' in addition to the neutral.

    -Ben
    « Last Edit: November 22, 2017, 09:29:24 pm by Killerbee »

    Offline kmehr

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    Re: welder upgrade
    « Reply #21 on: November 22, 2017, 10:03:33 pm »
    My laundry room is right next to the garage so I can definitely rig up a long power cord and swap it for the dryer if need be.

    I guess I'm more interested in people's opinions on spending $300-500 on that old of a welder vs putting it towards something newer.  If I had $1500 to drop, I think the Lincoln MP210 would be perfect for me with the 210 AMP power with true MIG setup and TIG capabilities later on.  But I don't really have $1500 for a welder....
    1984 W350 CC 6bt NV4500, dana 60/80 SOLD
    2010 Audi Q5 3.2 V6- the Lady's
    2005 Dodge 2500 QCSB NV5600 4x4
    2015 Toyota Corolla- 100 mile a day commuter

    Offline dodge82273

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    Re: welder upgrade
    « Reply #22 on: November 23, 2017, 01:19:51 am »
    take the model number , go to a welding ( call?) supply place ask if the wear parts are available ,( they should BE..... should )  and if they are then , YES its worth it . A bigger machine can be turned down , but a small one can only go so high .  same as shirt sleeves in summer .  a 250 machine should run onna a 30 amp dryer outlet if your use 8 gauge copper wire up to about 25 feet , and don't run it at MAX for hours ( you won't)

     its not proper , or legal ,( think insurance ) but , you can use solid house type wire as an extension cord , provided its put away, and never bent to kink  , its been done by many because its so much cheaper than the right flexible machine cord of the same gauge , its just not as safe ... 
    78 to 93 parts trucks
    91 w250 318 518 44/60 single 9 foot driveway plow locked
    87w150 44/corp727 kandy w/ ghost bats/summer
    86-D/W100 44/corp/318mag/carb/4500/aka shit box/winter
    93w150short/44/corp/360/le/mag "caddie"
    93w250LB51844/60posi 318"New Truck"
    93w350 6 tire CC 60 c/a flat bed dump

    Offline kmehr

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    Re: welder upgrade
    « Reply #23 on: November 25, 2017, 12:30:11 pm »
    Did some more research on this machine, sounds like it's a very good machine, just very old. And also humongous and heavy. Think I'm going to pass and save towards a newer machine.  Miller Multimatic 215 is currently my dream machine.
    1984 W350 CC 6bt NV4500, dana 60/80 SOLD
    2010 Audi Q5 3.2 V6- the Lady's
    2005 Dodge 2500 QCSB NV5600 4x4
    2015 Toyota Corolla- 100 mile a day commuter

    Offline dodge82273

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    Re: welder upgrade
    « Reply #24 on: November 25, 2017, 03:55:00 pm »
    so you actually put that $ inna jar or something ? good ... btw please stop calling 90's stuff very old will ya ? just how do ya think that makes a fella feel ???? LOL    If you run across a miller legend , a "newer" one (89-90's)  with the gas tank below the welder , let me know ..... one on propane is my dream machine ...  ;D
    78 to 93 parts trucks
    91 w250 318 518 44/60 single 9 foot driveway plow locked
    87w150 44/corp727 kandy w/ ghost bats/summer
    86-D/W100 44/corp/318mag/carb/4500/aka shit box/winter
    93w150short/44/corp/360/le/mag "caddie"
    93w250LB51844/60posi 318"New Truck"
    93w350 6 tire CC 60 c/a flat bed dump

    Offline kmehr

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    Re: welder upgrade
    « Reply #25 on: November 26, 2017, 10:50:50 am »
    hahaha fair enough.  I mean it's built in the 90s but designed in the 60's or 70's?

    I always keep my eyes open on the auction sites.  Govdeals usually has a good amount of welding equipment from places like tech school or big warehouses.  It's usually a little "dated" though....

    I bought a Millermatic 250 for $700 off it once, was thinking of keeping it but got offered $1500 for it and could turn that down!
    1984 W350 CC 6bt NV4500, dana 60/80 SOLD
    2010 Audi Q5 3.2 V6- the Lady's
    2005 Dodge 2500 QCSB NV5600 4x4
    2015 Toyota Corolla- 100 mile a day commuter

     

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