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  • MIG 135 Series

    Hi, Need to purchase a 135 Series MIG, need to decide on a Hobart, Lincoln or Miller, the prices range from about $400-500, I'm using it for automobile projects; panels, floor boards, fabrication, roll cage. Are one of the listed manufacurers units more applicable to this type of work, in the future I may need to also do welding on aluminum cylinder heads as a consideration in making a choice. Thanks.
    Last edited by JohnnyJ; 09-25-2002, 05:03 PM.

  • #2
    JohnnyJ, I'm no expert - far from it. But I think you'll be better off in the long haul with a 175 amp machine. All three are good machines. This is just my opinion, but unless you really have to have the 135, I'd hold out for a little bigger machine.

    There are a lot of folks on here much more qualified than I am to gove you a better answer. I thought about the 135 but opted for the MillerMatic 175 and I'm glad I did. Good luck and remember to have fun.......

    Mowjunk

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    • #3
      Mowjunk..Thats a great welder you have but I'm limited to 115 volts at the moment, if that changes your 175 seems like a smart choice, thanks for the suggestion.

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      • #4
        I'm going with Miller after watching this board for a year or so. Sounds like the MM is a little heavier built than the Hobart. Not to dog the Lincoln, JohnnyJ, but you will need to buy the accessory kit to use gas shielding. I guess that adds a hundred bucks to the price.

        Mowjunk, I’m getting ready to buy a MIG and I think the 175 will do what I need. The 135 looks good for the price and also the 115v but the extra power issue is going to win over the portability. How does your machine perform? Have you had any trouble with its power or duty cycle? What type gas and what size bottle do you use? I would really love to have the MM251 or the 210 but the Mrs. would never understand.
        Duke

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        • #5
          Duke, I love it! As far as the size of the bottle goes, it's a big one! I never had to fill it yet! After this hurricane passes over us tonite, I'll take a picture of the bottle. I used it to weld up a welding table that was made of 1/4" angle and it never flinched. I have used .023 to .035" wire in it with no problems. One thing I like is the aluminum drive roll housing. I think that the Lincoln has a plastic one. I'm not sure about the Hobart. I have a friend who bought one after seeing mine and he had no welding experience. He has built two tables and a cart for his welder and they came out very good.

          Did I tell you I love it? I use 75/25 argon co2 mix and that's all I have tried so far. I have some aluminum wire, but I don't have any 100% argon -- yet! Rock said you can get a teflon liner which will help with the aluminum. You can also get a spool gun and a contactor for it that would help a lot with aluminum welding.

          I wanted the Vintage but I couldn't justify it!

          Take care and stay dry. Hope you are not flying tonite!


          Mowjunk

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          • #6
            Not tonight! Thanks for the info on the welder I can't wait to get my hands on mine. I hope to have it in the next week or so.

            Where are you in LA? We have friends up from Mobile area trying to dodge the floods and winds. Our company is based in Lafayette, looks like it's going to miss them. Good luck with the weather.
            Duke

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            • #7
              Duke, I'm about 50 miles upriver from New Orleans. Do you fly for Acadian?

              They dropped shipped mine and it came by Fedex. It was quick....

              Lafayette looks good, but I'm not so sure about Mobile, I just saw the weather and it looks like it's going a little east of New Orleans. As you know, that would put Mobile on the east side of the storm. Not the place to be....

              Have fun with the MM175. I think you'll enjoy it. By the way, I also got the GMAW book from Miller which has a lot of good information in it.

              Mowjunk

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              • #8
                Thanks Mowjunk,
                I'll look into the books. I can use all the help I can get. I'll order it from Cyberweld next week.

                Not Acadian but PHI. Stay Dry!
                Duke

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                • #9
                  Johnny


                  First of all, forget about welding aluminum cylinder head with GMAW (MIG), this is best done with GTAW (TIG). MIG has tendency to have a cold start which amounts to a very shallow penetrating weld bead at the beginning or depending on the material thickness some time a lack of fusion at the start of the wels bead. Besides these facts a 135 amp machine doesn t output enough amperage anyway.

                  I have a question for you, where are you going to operate this welder at , your garage or a shop? If it is a garage, do you have an electric clothes dryer? This is a 230 volt source that you could run one of the 175 amp machines from. For home hobbiest I recommend the HH 175. My personal opinion on the 135 amp machines is that they are good for sheetmetal, but if your wanting to do structural welding then your better of with a 175 amp machine as a minimum size.
                  MigMaster 250- Smooth arc with a good touch of softness to it. Good weld puddle wetout. Light spatter producer.
                  Ironman 230 - Soft arc with a touch of agressiveness to it. Very good weld puddle wet out. Light spatter producer.


                  PM 180C



                  HH 125 EZ - impressive little fluxcore only unit

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                  • #10
                    HH 135 and happy

                    Johnny,

                    The portability of using 115V won out in my decision process. Our 220 in the laundary area, opposite end of the house from the garage. You might want to price long heavy 220V extention cords before you decide.

                    It claims to do 3/16" in a single pass, but I have yet to do anything that heavy. With my (lack of) skill I think I would take a critical piece to a pro even if I had a bigger machine.

                    I got the HH-135 package (everything but a gas bottle and helmet) for $400 from NothernTool ... it goes on and off beign for sale at that price. Free shipping.

                    Good luck, this is a confusing process.

                    Bob

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                    • #11
                      Bob,
                      Sounds like you got a very good price for the hh135. Enjoy it!
                      It's not an optical illusion...it just looks like one

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                      • #12
                        I know you will like the hh135, I have had mine for about 8 months and love it. If down the road I get a real workshop and have easy access to a 220v outlet, will get a bigger unit.

                        Like everyone here says, get the biggest one you can afford/use. All I know is that I have not needed more than the hh135 can deliver, and not qualified to build anything that would require anything bigger.
                        Thanks
                        Gary Wolboldt

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                        • #13
                          I'm with you guys. I bought a HH135 to use for hobby work. I have a Lincoln AC/DC buzzbox that I'll use on those rare occasions I need to weld over 1/8" steel. 99% of what I do is 1/8 or thinner.
                          The 135 is just downright handy. I bought a 5k Coleman generator to keep my food cpld and lights on in the event of blackouts in California - which never came - and wanted a machine that would run off it. The 135 runs beautifully on it, both with flux cored and solid wires. Saves me having to go rent an engine-driven welder for installing gates and similar tasks.
                          I would love to be able to justify buying more expensive and capable equipment, but I can't. The 135 does all I need it to do, and more. Someday I may decide to do some aluminum projects, and will buy an adequate TIG machine then if I can justify it - but will probably rent one for a month instead.
                          If I were a pro, it would be entirely different. I use my welding equipment more than most hobbiests, but not nearly as much as a pro, and rarely in critical applications. I can afford to take my time and make several passes - because it's my hobby. A 10% duty cycle wouldn't cut it if time was money, but I've never managed to get either machine to cut off.
                          My welders have paid for themselves in $ saved by not having to buy prefabbed items, and have given me the additional satisfaction of creating items for myself and others that will last a lifetime. Some of the things I do would be very expensive to have done, as they are completely custom for my wants and needs, and some evolve during the manufacturing process. My gates at my new home were all built by me on-site. They fit, they're far stronger than can be purchased at Home Depot, and they swing soooooo nice!
                          If it were not for the great advice I got from this site, I wouldn't have purchased a HH135. The knowledge I gleaned here gave me the confidence to make that purchase, and know the limitations and capabilities of the equipment without having to try to decide based on a sales pitch. You guys are the best!
                          Trent
                          Building my wife's fortune - one machine at a time!
                          Bobcat 250, MM210 w/3545 spoolgun, HH135, Miller Dialarc 250 AC/DC w/HF251, Red AC/DC tombstone, Victor SRII

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                          • #14
                            I think Trent summed it up very well. The nice thing about this discussion is that it turns out the same way each time. ***Get the biggest unit you can, based on what you need, and can afford.***
                            Thanks
                            Gary Wolboldt

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                            • #15
                              Dan the work space I'm using is a prefabed building with only the 115 volt ability, do you or anyone else know what is involved in adding a source for the 230 volt welder, also your right about the TIG for aluminum, all I need it for is to fill in pockets in aluminum castings with a non-porous filler so that the area can be further ported, everyone I know doing this uses a TIG but thought I might be able to get by with a MIG process. Hey Bob I found that Northern site after searching for a few hours, I should have posted here first and saved the time, they will even beat a lower price by 10% but I don't think thats going to happen any time soon, by the way does anyone know what 230 volt welder extension cords should cost. Trent this is a great place for info, thanks everybody for your experiences.

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