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Help in the most serious of ways (new to the forum)

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  • Help in the most serious of ways (new to the forum)

    Gentlemen and Ladies; Brand new to the forum This is my first post so bear with me.
    I need a GOOD welder. A lot of people swear by the older technology, transformer type. Inverter technology has come a long way in the last 20 years. ONE more most important piece of information and go ahead and laugh if you want to. I DO NOT KNOW HOW TO WELD.
    I've been around heavy equipment most of my life. Matter of fact i hauled it and operated it some for 30 years. I have always hired my welding done, BUT NO MORE!
    Most. say mig is the easiest to learn on. Quite a few say learn to stick weld first. A welder that will do both sounds logical to me. I have 200 amp panel in the shop and very soon will have a 30 hp RPC up and running. I have the panel and the motor already all I need to do is wire it up. Add a 3 phase panel and go to work.
    What am I welding.. Changing loaders on my bigger tractor. Building Roll over protection on my bulldozer and just about anything that comes along that I need welded. Maybe some light work but not to much. A lot of the older mig 200 to 250 amp 3 phase migs sound kind of attractive. You know miller, lincoln, hobart, linde. I do much prefer american, REAL AMERICAN. Not assembled in america, however some of the (across the pond stuff) seems somewhat attractive. Can't rule it out totally. One example is the Eastwood 250 amp multiprocessor. They are about 1000,00 dollars. The inverter welders use less electricity compared to the transformer type.
    I'm 71 years old or young and really need to learn this skill. Please don't be afraid to literally say anything to me. My skin is thick, my mind is dull, my hearing is failing, and my eyes see pretty good, but I've got ONE **** OF A BACK and am determined. I'm all ears and within reason by the end of the month I WILL have bought a welder new or old it doesn't matter, So thank you for reading, any and all advice is greatly appreciated. Clyde

  • #2
    I used a Hobart TRU 230/130 (stick only) my FIL and I bought back in 1982. We bought it to learn how to weld and fix things around the house/garage. I used it over the years, but not often. My welds were never professional looking, but was they were passable and things stuck together.

    On to the future. I no longer have the old Hobart and wanted to learn mig and still have the capability to use stick. I have no interest in learning TIG so I couldn't justify spending money on a multi process where the 1/3 of the machines capability would never be used.

    After much research I ended up getting a Hobart Handler 210 MVP and use straight CO2 with it. For stick I bought a Hobart Stickmate 210i. I have less than $1300 invested and been very pleased with both machines so far.

    My welding consists of home repairs for myself, family and friends....nothing structural.....some small fabrication projects. These two machines have met my needs perfectly.
    Last edited by Rangerhgm; 08-12-2019, 08:31 AM.
    Handler 210MVP
    Stickmate 210i


    • #3

      MY first suggestion if you are going to do things like ROPS for bulldozer is take a welding class... Stick is probable better for that sort of thing considering the impact on your life it it fails during unexpected event... Anything to do with personal safety require top end skills and procedures...

      For lesser things top end MIG will probable do most chores you mention... Any good 240 V machine with good range selection will probably do what you require, a 3 phase welder is probable a higher level and more expensive than you need.....

      Beginner at welding?... Look at site below about different processes ...

      Associate of mine has a Lincolns 175 MIG that just died, and he called local weld store and asked what they had... He opted for one below, and after looikng it over it is a quite impressive and simple machine MIG only bit what the heck........


      I know, it's one of "those brands", but still specs are quite impressive... Will handle up to .060 wire, FCAW and GMAW...


      Last edited by Dale M.; 08-12-2019, 10:51 AM.
      "Fear The Government That Wants To Take Your Guns" - Thomas Jefferson..


      • #4
        I would not hesitate to Go Mig. I work in a steel fabrication shop. All our welders are Mig. They are name brand and Hi-End welders and will be more than adequate for what You intend to weld. Mig welding is much easier to learn and should you ever go to stick that will come much easier. All of our welders will accommodate any size wire including 1/8. We are located in an agriculture area of Colorado and we repair lots of heavy farm equipment and construction equipment also. Whether you go mig or stick, "STAY IN THE PUDDLE". Puddle control is 99% of learning. The rest is "PRACTICE".


        • #5
          I do appreciate the responses that I have received so far. I've had my eye on the Hobart iron man, that welder has got my attention. Strictly Mig I believe.. I certainly do not want to buy 2 welders. I happen to have an old Lincoln generator welder. 3 phase 250 amp dc stick welder. It looks like a red R2D2 Once i learned how to mig pretty good I could incorporate the stick into my projects as well . Some new brushes and a nice pair of leads on the Lincoln, have it checked out and Puit my weak mind to work LOL. What is everybody's opinion on the iron man, I believe 230. Thanks Hunter, what you said makes sense.


          • #6
            I have an Ironman 230 and its been a reliable machine. It has never hiccuped once and has been used extensively. Its quite capable of burning .045 wire and is spoolgun ready. You won't regret it.


            • #7
              Everything I've heard about the 230 has been positive.
              Handler 210MVP
              Stickmate 210i


              • #8
                The Ironman 230 is a very solid machine. I have been told that it was based on the older Miller Vintage or 200. I don't know about that as Hobart had Iron man's (or similar) in the early 1990's. The drive setup has improved since then.The only thing I might change would be to a Weldskill (Tweco) gun. Far more flexible.
                fence and gate shop worker
                At home...
                Lincoln Power MIG 180....
                Winco 6000 watt generator (13 hp Honda) "Big Jake"


                • #9
                  Whats wrong with 2 machines? First,,, the Lincoln you have is very good, one of the best but I really like the idea of the new Hobart 200 too. Could turn it on and let it run forever and never see it on the power bill, can move it, works from cords, runs on standard 50A single service and,,, will run 5/32 lo hy which is ideal for heavy equipment repair. Don't have to fuss with rpc and the noise and switching the R2D2 is going to be although a 230 could handle most of the fit and fab setup. The IM230 would be on my short list here too.
                  While this type of equipment is heavy there are 1000's of welds can be made with wire, lots of light material on machines and a good share of it is not extreme duty or heavy. I make a hundred light welds for every big one and really like wire on heavier work if I can help it, the metallurgy is good, no clean up for multi pass and grooves. Most stick I do is portable or fast stuff outdoor.


                  • #10
                    I'd love to get a lightly used ESAB Multimaster 260 or a Migmaster 250 Plus, especially with the inductance control. The older USA-made ones. I missed getting an LTEC Migmaster 250 for about $800 with a tank of gas awhile back. (ESAB bought LTEC, which used to be Linde.)

                    There's a nice Multimaster 260 on offered for $1,100. in Raleigh, NC.
                    --- RJL ----------------------------------------------

                    Ordinarily I'm insane, but I have lucid moments when I'm merely stupid.