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  • Miller thunderbolt/ thunderstruck series

    How are the older Miller thunderbolt/thunderstick ac/dc welders( looking at a couple different ones in the 225 amperage range) single phase 230v input...
    thanks Matt

  • #2
    Sorry thunderbolt series( my phone likes to add things as I type)

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    • #3
      The older transformer based machines are built like tanks. Very little inside to go wrong.

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      • #4
        So looking at the front of the Wilder I'm looking at now it appears to be 150 ampmax DC or 230 amp Max AC, and I believe it shows Max 5/16 inch thick weldable thicknesses.
        My my MIG welder has the same weldable thickness on its chart inside of the welder so what are the benefits of this welder over my Mig?

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        • #5
          How old are the thunderbolt series ac/dc welders also?

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          • #6
            I see some are strictly AC and some are dual AC DC welders, what are the differences in their ability? I'm also looking at Hobart stick welders so any info on a good one is appreciated...

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Hunt4weld View Post
              So looking at the front of the Wilder I'm looking at now it appears to be 150 ampmax DC or 230 amp Max AC, and I believe it shows Max 5/16 inch thick weldable thicknesses.
              My my MIG welder has the same weldable thickness on its chart inside of the welder so what are the benefits of this welder over my Mig?
              Either can do any thickness with proper joint preparation and technique.

              Not knowing what MIG you have makes that an impossible question.

              You can google Stick welding to learn all about what it can do. Its flux-bearing process makes it the easiest to use on contaminated material. But one of its greatest advantages used to be that it was far cheaper to get into. MIG machines have dropped in price, but the old Stick machines can never be beat for their reliability. You can also change sticks immediately without respooling a wire through a hose.

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              • #8
                I have a Hobart handler 190. What is the difference between a strictly AC stick welder and a combination AC DC stick welder?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Hunt4weld View Post
                  I have a Hobart handler 190. What is the difference between a strictly AC stick welder and a combination AC DC stick welder?
                  The main difference is that once you experience DC welding, and learn to use 6010, you will seldom go back to AC. Also, in the future, you may use the AC for dirty magnetized material. or even rough scratch-start TIG. You can use the full range of rods (AC+DC) rather than being limited with AC.

                  Unless your budget is really limited . buy an AC/DC machine, like the Miller I bought 30 years ago, mfg. in 1972. ( $150 C., 50' work and stinger).

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                  • #10
                    Ok, I know this is a Hobart site but any preference between a Hobart ac/DC stick welder and a Miller or other brand?( I can pick up a Miller now for about 100 cheaper of equivalent size and duty)
                    thanks Matt

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                    • #11
                      Hobarts and Millers are made in the same factory for the past few decades or so. Usually the Hobarts will have a few less "features" and be a bit cheaper, and often sold at stores more tailored toward homeowners, ranchers, and farmers. Millers will be marketed more to the welding trades.

                      If you get a Stick machine, spring for the DC option. You'll rarely use AC if you do.

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                      • #12
                        Ok thanks
                        I'm looking at a Miller thunderbolt 230 ac/DC single phase 220 v welder that looks to be in good condition and says it has been tested and works properly...
                        The reason I keep going back to the weldable thickness is I keep looking at website searches for the best stick welders and it seems like welders of the same size seem to have different weldable thicknesses...
                        There are Lincoln's that are a 225 tombstone style that show up to quarter inch steel and then there are Miller's of the 225 range that say 5/16 inch?(at least I think that's what it is showing on the front of the welder diagram chart)
                        The maximum DC output on the one I'm looking at shows 150 amps at 20% and also says 230 amps on the AC side at 20%...
                        And the reason I ask all these questions is because I have a hobby farm with three tractors and a lot of the parts are old(not easily purchased)thicker than 5/16 that eventually break over time so I'm not sure if the Miller I'm looking at shows 5/16 max if it will weld 3/8 at all?
                        Just trying to make the right decision on which one to buy for the Long haul...
                        Thanks Matt

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Hunt4weld View Post
                          Ok thanks
                          I'm looking at a Miller thunderbolt 230 ac/DC single phase 220 v welder that looks to be in good condition and says it has been tested and works properly...
                          The reason I keep going back to the weldable thickness is I keep looking at website searches for the best stick welders and it seems like welders of the same size seem to have different weldable thicknesses...
                          There are Lincoln's that are a 225 tombstone style that show up to quarter inch steel and then there are Miller's of the 225 range that say 5/16 inch?(at least I think that's what it is showing on the front of the welder diagram chart)
                          The maximum DC output on the one I'm looking at shows 150 amps at 20% and also says 230 amps on the AC side at 20%...
                          And the reason I ask all these questions is because I have a hobby farm with three tractors and a lot of the parts are old(not easily purchased)thicker than 5/16 that eventually break over time so I'm not sure if the Miller I'm looking at shows 5/16 max if it will weld 3/8 at all?
                          Just trying to make the right decision on which one to buy for the Long haul...
                          Thanks Matt
                          With a 180 amp stick welder and 1/8 rods, I have often welded material 1" thick, and occasionally thicker. Using multiple stringer passes will make sound welds, and you can use as many as you need to. A higher amperage machine that would do more with one pass is faster, and would be nice, but is not NEEDED, as MAC702 said previously. What a welder will do in one pass is more relevant in commercial production than it is to a hobby or farmer weldor, and even for professionals, multi-pass skill is more important.

                          Here is a brief article from "The Fabricator" explaining this:

                          https://www.thefabricator.com/thewel...-does-it-take-
                          Last edited by Northweldor; 07-04-2020, 09:28 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Ok, max DC weld voltage is showing as 150 on this Miller thunderbolt 230 so I'm not sure why it's shown as a 230?

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                            • #15
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