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  • Welding new stuff

    I've been welding mild steel with my old Miller 250 MIG for quite a few years now, and have gotten pretty good with it, but new projects keep coming up that call for working with aluminum and stainless.

    I have been hauling my stuff to a buddy's house to use his TIG on the aluminum, and now have stainless to deal with. I need to get my own setup to handle these materials.

    I do not have a spool gun or controller in my MIG at this point, and was wondering what the best answer for equipment(balancing cost and performance) to handle those metals is?

    Thanks in advance

    Ed
    www.rocktaxi.com

  • #2
    A good AC/DC inverter tig machine will solve all of your concerns and give you the added benefit of SMAW to boot.
    Respectfully,
    Mike Sherman
    Shermans Welding

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    • #3
      welcome Ed, quite a few from Pirate on here ...

      - jack

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      • #4
        When building a Boatell (Boat motel) once, the job required 2 " galvanize pipe for the boat slots. We used a commercial fan to keep the gases away, even outdoors. Sounded like ole wives tales to me, but milk was on the diet during that time. This was 30 years ago. Humm, maybe that's were my memory went!
        'Welding the crack of dawn'

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        • #5
          this was stick welding I assume ?

          - jack

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          • #6
            Thanks for the input. I have been looking into some used TIG machines, and am having a little challenge swallowing the up front cost.

            Are spool guns a poor alternative to welding aluminum? What is required to hook one to my MM250? I have been told (probably incorrectly) that an older Spool Mate 250 will plug right in without adapters, but that goes contrary to my Murphy's Law type luck.

            Any other suggestions that do not have a 3k entry price and will work acceptably for a small / part-time fabricator? The wife has upped the ante a bit by requesting I make all the stainless fixtures for our remodeled kitchen, so a decent getting a good machine may be a tad easier when we compare the cost to make everything versus farming it out.

            Hey Morpheus! I kind of figured I would spot some of y'all in here.

            Ed

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            • #7
              If you plan on doing kitchen fixtures GTAW is the best for that. A spool gun is a viable alternative for aluminum. Any DC machine can be set up inexpensively for tig to do the stainless, and a spool gun that plugs into your mm250 for the aluminum, will get you going for the least amount of money.
              Respectfully,
              Mike Sherman
              Shermans Welding

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              • #8
                Thanks again!

                What brand and model of tig equipment have you seen work well run off of a DC Mig?

                Ed

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                • #9
                  As I remember early MM250s required modual to use spool gun.Later MM250s, and MM250X includes spoolgun controller.

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                  • #10
                    How do I tell the vintage of the MM250? The SN on mine is kf944006.

                    Ed

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                    • #11
                      The tig for stainless steel will have to run off of a DC constant current machine. Your mig is constant voltage. Do a search for tig set ups on this format, I know that we have discussed this at great lengths before.
                      Respectfully,
                      Mike Sherman
                      Shermans Welding

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                      • #12
                        ROCK TAXI............WELCOME ABOARD..... COOL NAME.......... WELL YOUR MACHINE WAS BUILT IN 1995........TO ATTACH A SPOOL GUN USE THIS MODULE 043084 .............THIS WILL ALLOW THE SPOOL MATIC 15A OR THE 30A SPOOL GUN'S TO BE ATTACHED........ HEY GLAD YOU FOUND THE SITE..............ENJOY......................ROCK
                        [email protected]

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                        • #13
                          Hey Rock Taxi,

                          Welcome to all the POR members. I vote for getting a TIG/stick welder too. Look around for a good used rig. I know serveral people (including myself) who have picked them up for under $400, you just have to look around a lot. You can't have enough welders.

                          As my neighbor who was a pipeline and heavy equipment welder says, "If you can't weld it you can't fix it. "

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                          • #14
                            Ok, sold on the used TIG/Stick idea. Have wanted another stick welder too, so, I'll jump on the bandwagon.

                            Still watching the wallet though, what about the Synchrowave 180 sd? Good setup for medium duty applications? I will still have the MIG for the heavy suspension fab stuff. Do I need (for building kitchen stainless fixtures) a water cooled torch?

                            Now, this is probably going to get me shot, but what about an old Lincoln Idealarc 300 amp TIG? Are they decent machines? I have a line on a local one for pretty cheap.

                            Thanks for all the input. I am feeling like I am making a better decision already.

                            Ed

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                            • #15
                              The Synchrowave 180 would be a good choice and the IdealArc would too as long is it comes set up with the HF unit and the external control and foot pedal. The IdealArc is a BIG unit though.

                              You can run air cooled up to 180A and you can run higher than that for short periods of time. Of course, water cooled torches aren't much more, but you will need a cooler unit.

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