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I thought buying another welder would be "easier"!..........

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

Re: I thought buying another welder would be "easier"!......

Postby Popeye the old miner » Thu May 04, 2017 5:35 am

Ryan wrote:Hello all. I am trying to make a tough decision on a welder. I just got my shop built and am starting to outfit it with some new equipment. I currently have a lincoln wire matic 250. It's just an okay machine. It has some random stuttering issue that I've given up trying to troubleshoot. I am not a big fan of mig welding. I like it when I have alot of fab bing and tacking. I've been using an ac 225 buzz box for the last two years and I use it when I need a real man's weld. However, I despise the thing. Everytime I use my neighbor's miller bobcat I fall into a dream state. Oh how I long for a sweet arc.

So, my problem. I can't decide what I really want. I could happily replace both welders but I am trying to minimize my purchasing. I will have a cnc plasma table coming soon. I really really want to learn tig and have to learn to weld aluminum. However I have never used a tig machine. I've been researching this process for years and have watched most of Jody's videos on tig welding. It looks tough. Not sure if I want to get into something else with a steep learning curve just yet. But boy I would love to have a machine with a sweet arc for stick welding.

As for price range I'm thinking somewhere around $1600 for the machine. I'm not worried about budgeting the bottle and consumables. I have had my eye on that Everlast 250ex for a while. Seems like it has all I could want. But I started looking at the mts 251 and the mig 275p. I see that guys are doing some sweet aluminum welding with their spool guns with pulse. I didn't know thin aluminum with a spool gun was possible. And it looks faster which I like. The 275 also has the option for a push pull gun which is pretty cool. I've also been looking at the used market. I found an insane deal on a lincoln square wave 275 with cooler for $1500 and a syncrowave 250 with pulse for the same price. I am second in line to look at them. The only issue is power consumption. I will be running a hypertherm powermax 65 or 85 on my cnc table. Of course right out the chute I won't be running the welder wide open while the plasma is going. But all of you know there comes a time. It's just so hard to walk away from these beautiful pigs. Though I surely don't want to buy an indy car to go grocery shopping. I want to get some opinions on used and new equipment. I do lean towards inverter based machines but I love old school reliability. I drive a ford idi diesel lol

And also what should I do about aluminum. Nobody in my county does aluminum or even tig welding. In fact, there is only one welder and he is never working. I'm already doing some fabricating out of a gravel floor "shed". The community seems to have alot of interest in what I have been doing on the side.

Another thing I consider is breakdown. I am a former owner op truck driver so this is important too. If I get an Everlast and it craps under warranty it will be gone for 3 months. This being a business I will either have to lean on my current machines or buy another. Buying another isn't completely out of the question if I love it and it makes me money. If I buy a used red or blue machine, I can choose a few different local places to take it to. But it will cost me money too.

Here is a breakdown of what I'm considering. Please add or subtract as you see fit.
Everlast 250ex: What's to say?
Everlast mts 251si: multi process, pulse feature, spool gun for aluminum, 40% Duty Cycle at 250 tig/200 stick, 120/240v
Everlast 275p: synergistic and pulse features, spool or push-pull gun, 50% Duty Cycle at 275a mig/200a stick
Miller syncrowave 250 needs no introduction
Lincoln square wave 275 probably gone already otherwise out of my price range I think
Miller multimatic 200: I just think these are cool. Not quite a shop machine but I can hook it up to the gen and weld anywhere
Dinosaurs: miller dialarc hf, miller a/bp, hobart tigwave 250, heliarc 306 fully loaded (been watching this one), miller 330st aircrafter, miller syncrowave 300 (too big?), lincoln idealarc 300/300 tig hf, miller dx250 multiprocess (what's this worth with only 20hrs?)
I will only have 200a amp single phase service. I may be stuck with an inverter machine. Don't know
Anybody else's head spinning?


Ryan ...You talked about using your neighbors Bobcat and how much you liked the way it welds.
let me give you another something to think about. Most of my life Ive been using engine drive welders..big ones, little ones and in between ones. I started out on an old Lincoln pipeliner SA200 that was built in the late 50s..the motor eventually blew after 4 years of steady stick welding with 3/32 to 1/4 inch 7018 rods rebuilding everything from dragline buckets to mufflers for heavy equipment. I bought the thing for 50 bucks and rebuilt the motor and ran it 3 more years at home and in the mines. I ran some big Miller and Lincoln diesels as well and a few Bobcats, Trailblazers, and Lincoln Rangers. These days I am using a Trailblazer 350 Pro that the guy I am contracted to owns, or my own Miller 502D, that I am in the process of building a rig for when I get time.

Now Ive also used some of these new inverter type things on construction, and I can honestly say I wasn't very impressed with any of them...just didn't seem very smooth as compared to an engine drive type machine, and ive stick welded and ran flux core with them...and wasn't thrilled with them at all.

If you watch the paper, and find some equipment sale flyers and such you can pick up a decent engine drive for about 1500 bucks, that's for maybe a trailblazer or ranger, the bigger ones might be 2 or 3 grand for an older machine, 5 or 6 for a newer one depending how big you wanna go and your desire for power...build a trailer and you got portability and you can do tig, stick, flux core and anything else you want to do, if it don't have CV capability you can still run most flux core wires on CC, and some wires seem to run better on CC, don't know why but Ive done it a lot.

If you've got some mechanical ability they aren't that hard to work on if the need arises.

Just thought I would give you another idea.
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Re: I thought buying another welder would be "easier"!......

Postby kiwi2wheels » Thu May 04, 2017 8:17 am

Ryan wrote:Anyone know anything about a l-tec heliarc 306 hf? Comes complete with cooler, torch, stick leads and cart. Looks nice but are these reliable?



Have a read through the links here.

http://www.google.com/search?q=L-tec+He ... GGHP_en-GB

http://weldingweb.com/showthread.php?33030-Linde-Weldrs Info on parts, etc for L-tec welders.
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Re: I thought buying another welder would be "easier"!......

Postby Ryan » Thu May 04, 2017 9:32 am

Popeye the old miner wrote:
Ryan ...You talked about using your neighbors Bobcat and how much you liked the way it welds.
let me give you another something to think about. Most of my life Ive been using engine drive welders..big ones, little ones and in between ones. I started out on an old Lincoln pipeliner SA200 that was built in the late 50s..the motor eventually blew after 4 years of steady stick welding with 3/32 to 1/4 inch 7018 rods rebuilding everything from dragline buckets to mufflers for heavy equipment. I bought the thing for 50 bucks and rebuilt the motor and ran it 3 more years at home and in the mines. I ran some big Miller and Lincoln diesels as well and a few Bobcats, Trailblazers, and Lincoln Rangers. These days I am using a Trailblazer 350 Pro that the guy I am contracted to owns, or my own Miller 502D, that I am in the process of building a rig for when I get time.

Now Ive also used some of these new inverter type things on construction, and I can honestly say I wasn't very impressed with any of them...just didn't seem very smooth as compared to an engine drive type machine, and ive stick welded and ran flux core with them...and wasn't thrilled with them at all.

If you watch the paper, and find some equipment sale flyers and such you can pick up a decent engine drive for about 1500 bucks, that's for maybe a trailblazer or ranger, the bigger ones might be 2 or 3 grand for an older machine, 5 or 6 for a newer one depending how big you wanna go and your desire for power...build a trailer and you got portability and you can do tig, stick, flux core and anything else you want to do, if it don't have CV capability you can still run most flux core wires on CC, and some wires seem to run better on CC, don't know why but Ive done it a lot.

If you've got some mechanical ability they aren't that hard to work on if the need arises.

Just thought I would give you another idea.


Popeye: Thanks for your insight. I've come close to picking up an engine drive a time or two. I really like them. I do see myself having one in the future if I do well with my business. However, an engine drive wouldn't be as practical for my shop. I don't think I can afford to run it all the time for shop fabrication purposes. Also, mobile welding is a tough business around here. You work really hard to make a little money. If the coal industry comes back, that may change for me. For now, I will only be working out of my shop. But you have me wanting an engine drive more now :twisted: I appreciate your testimony. On that note, I did find a guy with an old diesel miller that has been sitting. Don't know the model but it is a 250 and the diesel looks like an air cooled unit. I love odd ball diesels.


As for these multi process machines. The esab seems to be pretty nice. However, the Everlast 251si has pulse in mig and tig and hf start in tig. Also comes with the tig package including foot pedal. The esab is lift start with no pedal and is 1800 something for the tig setup. The Everlast has a close enough duty cycle but tops out at 250 amps. Both of these are super neat to me. I read a rumor that everlast is coming out with an ac/dc multi process. Now I cant find where.

I may have ruled out a transformer machine for now. I could surely make it work, but I forgot to mention I will also be building a powder coat oven. Adding that in may seal the fate of the power hungry dinos.

Does anyone know anything about using a spool gun with pulse for thin aluminum? I read through a thread on another forum an aluminum boat builder has an Everlast powermig 275p and spool gun. He is very happy with it.

Still haven't written off the power tig 250ex.

The thought of getting rid of that old Lincoln wire matic 250 with a multi seems nice.
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Re: I thought buying another welder would be "easier"!......

Postby Otto Nobedder » Thu May 04, 2017 7:49 pm

Ryan, the ac/dc multi-process unit from Everlast isn't a rumor. I've spoken to Oleg, president of Everlast USA, on Instagram about this machine. It has not met it's projected release date, but I've seen pictures of the production prototype, and it's not much bigger than the 250EXT. Just enough extra room for a 10" spool of MIG wire.

I need to bug him about it again, to see when the release is expected to be, as of now.

Steve
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Re: I thought buying another welder would be "easier"!......

Postby Ryan » Thu May 04, 2017 8:57 pm

Otto Nobedder wrote:Ryan, the ac/dc multi-process unit from Everlast isn't a rumor. I've spoken to Oleg, president of Everlast USA, on Instagram about this machine. It has not met it's projected release date, but I've seen pictures of the production prototype, and it's not much bigger than the 250EXT. Just enough extra room for a 10" spool of MIG wire.

I need to bug him about it again, to see when the release is expected to be, as of now.

Steve


Oh I see. Well I wish I could find out when they will be out. Sounds like just the ticket. Especially considering I'm really looking at a multi process now. I can see both the Everlast mts251si and the esab fabricator 252whatever.

Isn't esab, tweco, and thermal arc the same unit?
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Re: I thought buying another welder would be "easier"!......

Postby Poland308 » Thu May 04, 2017 9:50 pm

I believe so and I think they own victor as well.
I have more questions than answers

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Re: I thought buying another welder would be "easier"!......

Postby Ryan » Sun May 07, 2017 2:01 pm

Just an update. I have ruled out Everlast. Though I would love to play with one, I need something more than a toy that could be a boat anchor for six months if it breaks down. However, I still want a 250ex for my shop. Maybe next year.

I am really looking at thermal arc/tweco/esab 3 in 1 units. Just not sure which will work. The fabricator 252i may be the likely choice. However the rebel 235 has my interest. Not sure if the smaller 211 and 215 would have enough punch for me with heavy equipment repairs.
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Re: I thought buying another welder would be "easier"!......

Postby ryanjames170 » Sun May 07, 2017 9:33 pm

i can second the watch the papers and talk to older welders, never know you might find a deal like i did.. i got a running Miller Bluestar 2E for about $250 (225A machine not the new portable gen style unit) as i was saying talk to some welders who have them as you might run into a thing were u can buy it off them if they are looking to upgrade IE give them cash in hand to help pay for the upgrade.

one thing i can say though what ever you do buy make sure it is runable and you can get parts for it dont buy something you cant find parts for no matter how cheap.. becuase when you get it you want to do a tune up to it.. evan if they said it was just done..
RM Fab & Products

Miller 2E DC Welder Generator
AHP 160ST
Hobart "Auto Arc" 130
Klutch Plasma 275i Plasma Cutter
HFT 80 amp DC inveter stick
Hobard Oxy Torch using propane.
Metal Man FC125
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Re: I thought buying another welder would be "easier"!......

Postby jmedic25 » Mon May 08, 2017 4:48 pm

Hey guys,

Just my two cents...I have been running an Everlast I-mig 230 for the past two months. It is a new welder and so am I. I have done a mountain of research on these welders and have found various opinions and reviews. All I can offer is that my welder has performed beautify for me so far. Many of the online opinions I have seen we not true in my case so far. An example is that when you pull the cover off you find glue everywhere and wires exposed. This was not the case with my purchase. I cant speak to the longevity of this unit so only time will tell. I can say that I got an all inclusive mig welder that will do stick as well. Good flowmeter, decent gun, decent stinger. 25.5V capacity when wired in 220. It comes with a 5 year warranty for under 1200$. As previously stated, I am not an expert..I am new..But im not new to tools. I know when I see quality. All I can say is I am happy thus far with my Everlast welder and Plasma cutter.
Good Luck and Reguards,
Justin
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Re: I thought buying another welder would be "easier"!......

Postby Ryan » Mon May 08, 2017 9:05 pm

Jmedic25,

Thanks for your review on the Everlast 230i. I nearly bought one right when they came out I don't doubt the quality, capability, or craftsmanship of Everlast welders. My concern is when/if it does go down my business will be without a tool that I rely on to make a living. Sure it may be covered under warranty but 3 to 6 months wait is just flat out not going to work for me. I would end up buying another welder. So I decided to give everlast a pass this time around. They just simply cannot compete with local warranty service.
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