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One machine or two

General welding questions that dont fit in TIG, MIG, Stick, or Certification etc.

One machine or two

Postby weldbulldog » Sat Oct 22, 2016 2:15 am

I'm looking to start a bit of hobby welding. Most of it will be rusty steel or cast iron. I want to retain most of the rust so any cleaning will be in very small areas. I understand that stick will be the best and FCAW can handle rust but less than stick. There will also be some thinner metal so FCAW or MIG for that.

Stick welders like the Lincoln buzzbox seem to last forever while newer welders (inverters, etc contain electronics) and may not be as robust. Is it better to get a stick welder and MIG / FCAW or go with a multiprocess welder like the Millermatic 215 or Lincoln MIG 210 MP?

Any thoughts, gotchas appreciated.

Thanks
Dave
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Re: One machine or two

Postby Poland308 » Sat Oct 22, 2016 3:56 pm

I have the 210 mp and use it much the same way as you are wanting too. I use it primarily for the mig and flux core capacity. I went the two machine route and got a thermal arc 186. I tig AC and DC with that. I also like to stick weld off of it beter than off of the 210.
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Re: One machine or two

Postby Farmwelding » Sat Oct 22, 2016 9:27 pm

For what you want to do go with a multi process like he 210 mp or multimatic 215. If you want get a tig kit and tig cast iron or get a doer eats tig worded like the 200 squarewave.
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Re: One machine or two

Postby Holden » Sun Oct 23, 2016 10:12 pm

I would say that it is best to get the sturdiest machine you can get. As far as stick welders go, I would try and get good sturdy machine with 80% or more duty cycle at around 120 amps, which is also able to to DC welding for 7018 and Ni-rod, since you are going to be doing cast iron (the buzzbox won't do this). For the wire-feed side of things, make sure the duty cycle is good, and make sure has a gas input, unlike the FCAW only horrible freight wire-feeders, so that you can do mig or even dual shield. Trust me, you want to be able to run dual shield when you get there, it is awesome.

As far as getting two machines or one, I would just go with whatever option is cheaper/available. I would make it a point to stay away from the 210 mp's, though. I have had many hours working with them and the wire-feed mechanism is really fiddly and likes to make rat's nests, especially with softer flux core wire. They also have a really annoying digital display that is meant to make the setup simpler, but I find it annoying. I usually wouldn't say this, but go for the miller if you decide to get the miltiprocess machine.

Also, have you looked at any of the cheap tig welders? I have seen some really cool stuff done with AHP and Everlast machines, which will do both stick and TIG. An AHP and a halfway decent wire-feed machine would give you all three processes for pretty cheap.
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Re: One machine or two

Postby Holden » Sun Oct 23, 2016 10:12 pm

I would say that it is best to get the sturdiest machine you can get. As far as stick welders go, I would try and get good sturdy machine with 80% or more duty cycle at around 120 amps, which is also able to to DC welding for 7018 and Ni-rod, since you are going to be doing cast iron (the buzzbox won't do this). For the wire-feed side of things, make sure the duty cycle is good, and make sure has a gas input, unlike the FCAW only horrible freight wire-feeders, so that you can do mig or even dual shield. Trust me, you want to be able to run dual shield when you get there, it is awesome.

As far as getting two machines or one, I would just go with whatever option is cheaper/available. I would make it a point to stay away from the 210 mp's, though. I have had many hours working with them and the wire-feed mechanism is really fiddly and likes to make rat's nests, especially with softer flux core wire. They also have a really annoying digital display that is meant to make the setup simpler, but I find it annoying. I usually wouldn't say this, but go for the miller if you decide to get the miltiprocess machine.

Also, have you looked at any of the cheap tig welders? I have seen some really cool stuff done with AHP and Everlast machines, which will do both stick and TIG. An AHP and a halfway decent wire-feed machine would give you all three processes for pretty cheap.
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Re: One machine or two

Postby weldbulldog » Sun Oct 23, 2016 10:53 pm

re. Holden

Thanks for confirming the wire feed problem on the 210. I've heard of the assembly wobbling but rat's nest is about 5 steps worse.

I'm up in Canada so our selections are not a wide as in the US. Also the shipping is another hit if a company would even ship up here. I will expand my looking around in local stores based on your comments.

I haven't welded for 44 years (now I'm dating myself) so anything to help with setting things like current, wire speed, etc is not a bad thing. I do solder copper wire up to 6 gauge and copper pipe plus do some brazing so have some familiarity.
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Re: One machine or two

Postby Poland308 » Mon Oct 24, 2016 6:39 am

I have yet to get a birds nest in my 210. But I've only run about 40 lbs of wire through it so far. I saw the early reports of drive wheel wobble but haven't noticed that about mine.
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Re: One machine or two

Postby weldbulldog » Thu Mar 09, 2017 1:49 am

I finally settled on the Miller 215. Over the last few months of 2016 the store first dropped the price by $200. The next month in addition to the $200 they threw in a free cart. Next month add a $200 rebate from Miller still with the store discount and cart and it was time to pull the trigger. Now just starting to get my practising time in.
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Re: One machine or two

Postby cj737 » Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:37 am

You'll like that 215, I have the predecessor 200. Take notice on the front screen when setting Stick. The menu allows you to opt between 60xx series and 70xx series rods. Choose correctly ;)

The MIG functions very well. The TIG is Lift Arc only, but for what you're describing, it should be plenty of capability. The FCAW is a simple spool change too. There's another option, that is to add a Spool Gun to MIG aluminum. You need to run 100% Argon in the MIG gas port, but plug it in, switch the dial, and pull the trigger. Works a treat.
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Re: One machine or two

Postby Artie F. Emm » Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:06 pm

weldbulldog wrote:I'm up in Canada so our selections are not a wide as in the US. Also the shipping is another hit if a company would even ship up here.


I've heard great things about Everlast in Burlington, ON. If that's close maybe you could stop by, or at least shipping would be domestic.
Dave
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