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  • How Big? What Kind?

    Anyone have opinions on the following?

    Is there a disadvantage in welding capability in going to a unit like a Millermatic 210 or Lincoln 200 vs. a Miller/Hobart/Lincoln 175 ? I need to be able to work at least with 24 ga. thru 1/4". In what way would a TIG unit fall behind for general use in this range?

    How critical is a variable voltage control (like on Miller 175) vs. a 4 to 7 position tap? Do any larger units have continuously variable controls?

    I have been told that Lincoln has a better MIG gun and the consumables for it are cheaper. Also has a flux shield for the tip when flux core welding and Miller does not? Any big deal?

    Have been told that Miller 175 has a heavier transformer, better wire feed mechanism and better components than a Hobart 175...how true? Why is Miller 175 20 lbs. heavier than comparable Lincoln?

    Where does Century fit into the lineup.?..seems to be found more in wholesale outlets than local suppliers....why? Units seem to have good specs.

    I have been told that solar powered instant darkening shields do not last as long as battery powered ones..true? I have only used flip up shields but the advantage of instant darkening is obvious...how much do you need to spend for a decent one? Anything to stay away from?

    I obviously have more questions than experience...any help would be appreciated.
    crj

  • #2
    HI CHRIS........MAN WHAT A BUNCH OF QUESTIONS......... HOWEVER NOT TO BE CRITICAL HERE CAN I RECOMMEND A SEARCH ON BOTH THIS SIGHT AND THE OLD SIGHT.......THERE IS TONS OF INFORMATION OUT THERE ON COMPAREING CENTURY, LINCOLN, ETC. TO THE ITW MACHINES............. ALSO LOTS OF INFO ON HELMETS..........I CAN TELL YOU WHAT IS WHAT OR YOU CAN SEE WHAT ALL THE OTHER SIGHT USER'S HERE HAVE TO SAY. SINCE THIS IS AN OPEN FORUM WHERE ANYONE CAN CHIME IT AND BELIEVE ME THEY DO..............IT WOULD BE TO YOUR ADVANTAGE TO SEE WHAT ALL THE OTHER'S (EXPERIENCED AND INEXPERIENCED} HAVE TO SAY............. AFTER ALL IT IS YOUR MONEY SHALL WE SEE WHAT THE MAJOARITY BE IT GOOD OR BAD HAVE TO SAY..................YOUR CALL................LET ME KNOW..... ROCK........
    [email protected]

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: How Big? What Kind?

      Originally posted by Chris Johnson
      Anyone have opinions on the following?

      Is there a disadvantage in welding capability in going to a unit like a Millermatic 210 or Lincoln 200 vs. a Miller/Hobart/Lincoln 175 ? I need to be able to work at least with 24 ga. thru 1/4". In what way would a TIG unit fall behind for general use in this range?

      How critical is a variable voltage control (like on Miller 175) vs. a 4 to 7 position tap? Do any larger units have continuously variable controls?

      I have been told that Lincoln has a better MIG gun and the consumables for it are cheaper. Also has a flux shield for the tip when flux core welding and Miller does not? Any big deal?

      Have been told that Miller 175 has a heavier transformer, better wire feed mechanism and better components than a Hobart 175...how true? Why is Miller 175 20 lbs. heavier than comparable Lincoln?

      Where does Century fit into the lineup.?..seems to be found more in wholesale outlets than local suppliers....why? Units seem to have good specs.

      I have been told that solar powered instant darkening shields do not last as long as battery powered ones..true? I have only used flip up shields but the advantage of instant darkening is obvious...how much do you need to spend for a decent one? Anything to stay away from?

      I obviously have more questions than experience...any help would be appreciated.
      Minus a spot welder no matter welding process you choose 20 to 24 ga is a difficult thickness range. Usually the best success in this thickness range is accomplished by using copper or aluminum back up strips. These strips act as a heat sink.

      Now on the 1/2" solid to 14 ga. that you mentioned in your other post I would use my Econotig. Now this doesn t mean that you couldn t weld the joint with a mig machine. I just prefer to TIG weld such joint designs, because I feel that it makes a sounder weld joint.

      A MM 210 is going to out perform a MM 175 or HH 175 in weld performance. All 3 machines go down to 30 amps as there lowest setting so if one states 24 ga as the thinnest material the all 3 should be able to do this. I don t know for certain though because I have never welded material that thin before.

      We had this variable voltage VS tapped voltage question 3 times in about the last three days but I ll be a nice guy and answer it again. But this time in a little different way. My experience has been on average that a tapped voltage machine produces a smoother arc then a variable voltage machine. Now this doesn t mean that there aren t variable voltage machine out there that produce a smooth arc. Also, as Ive previously stated the tapped voltage machine is a lot easier for an inexperience operator to tune in to the proper setting.

      Personally, I like the Miller mig guns. Before I bought my MM 210 I looked at the Lincoln Power Mig 200 too, and the gun on it felt like I was holding a club.

      Chris actually the best way for you to answer alot of your questions is to go to your local welding store or stores and actually test these machines out. Every store in my area has a test room with machines set up to try out. This will give you a much better idea of what machine will meet your needs. It is nearly impossible for me to sit here at home an tell you exactly which welding process best meets your needs, because there are way to many unknows.
      Last edited by Dan; 01-04-2003, 01:47 AM.
      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

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks Dan

        Was checking things out at dealership(s) today....2 in town. One of the reasons for so many questions is that they are low on inventory and dont have some of the machines we are talking about. The gun on the Lincoln 200 did feel like a club...especially compared to the guns on the smaller units. Was told that the Miller 175 had metal drive unit while Hobart and Lincoln had plastic...also a heavier transformer even though rated the same. Both Miller and Lincoln 250 units had variable voltage controls while the 200/210 units used taps...he said he was looking for those units to change to variable as it was a better way to go. Did do some welding with a Hobart 175 ...very slick compared to what I am used to. ...I have committed to a fairly complex 50' railing unit and want to get off to a good start with the new equipment. Also thinking of a new helmet...have looked at Speedglass and Jackson....also saw a 2 sensor variable darkness unit made in switzerland that was amazingly inexpensive...dont know if it is worth the risk. Thanks again....always enjoy reading your posts.
        crj
        crj

        Comment


        • #5
          Chris,don't listen to that guy listen to Dan in the above post because he telling it like he knows it,and not trying to sell you a machine.There is one variable voltage machine that has as good or better arc than almost all tapped machines,and also goes down to 25 amps.It.s the Lincoln sp175 plus.I was welding some 16 gauge mild steel tube last night with it.I was just totally amazed on how smooth the welds were.They were as nice of mig welds I have ever done I just used .030 75/25 gas and they were perfect.I could not of done better with my super nice Mk pulse inverter.Those sp 135/175 have got arc refined better than about anything in their welding range.lincoln has been building that machine in one form since about 1988.The is alot of time to get the arc right,and boy does it show.You watch the miller is going to be messing with their little machine for along time to match lincolns arc.I think miller could match them,but at this stage in the game they would need to do it with a inverter.Thats the way I feel about their little welders at this time.I think they might have caught them if they stayed with their copper transformer machines.But they are going to sell more mm135 than 130xp,and its just sad to me.I know which one is the better machine.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks, Scott....dealer is willing to demo a few machines and I think I am just going to go do some welding...bring in everything but the kitchen sink (and maybe that too) and see how it all goes together..
            crj

            Comment


            • #7
              Chris, thats the way to buy a machine smart.Turn the lincoln way down with .023 wire,and 75/25 gas.Then weld on some thin metal it will win that battle over all comers.Then try with .030 wire .Then try the same thing with with the mm 175 .Go though that with the others.I do know the sp 175plus a great short arc that can match or beat any welder you try.The other bigger welders will spray arc so you might want that ablility.Thats why I have my pulse mig inverter for,but I just thrilled with the little lincoln in its arc range.Chris let us know how you welding machine tests go.I'm kind of wondering about the power migs,and the mm210.Also if they have a esab 250 migmaster try it with some spray gas like 90/10.just set the machine on med power and stand back and watch.Also try it with .023 wire down low.that machine is proven over every other one.I just thought you would like more options,it also has a copper transformer.
              Good luck,but I don't think your going to need it.Because you are armed with all sorts of good info.Don't go for the hype, look at how it welds first then move on to features you have to have like the type and how easy you can hook up a spool gun.Remember you always can change the welding gun if you hate it.Even make a trade when new for something like a bernard gun or tweeco.
              Scott

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Scott V
                Chris, thats the way to buy a machine smart.Turn the lincoln way down with .023 wire,and 75/25 gas.Then weld on some thin metal it will win that battle over all comers.Then try with .030 wire .Then try the same thing with with the mm 175 .Go though that with the others.I do know the sp 175plus a great short arc that can match or beat any welder you try.The other bigger welders will spray arc so you might want that ablility.Thats why I have my pulse mig inverter for,but I just thrilled with the little lincoln in its arc range.Chris let us know how you welding machine tests go.I'm kind of wondering about the power migs,and the mm210.Also if they have a esab 250 migmaster try it with some spray gas like 90/10.just set the machine on med power and stand back and watch.Also try it with .023 wire down low.that machine is proven over every other one.I just thought you would like more options,it also has a copper transformer.
                Good luck,but I don't think your going to need it.Because you are armed with all sorts of good info.Don't go for the hype, look at how it welds first then move on to features you have to have like the type and how easy you can hook up a spool gun.Remember you always can change the welding gun if you hate it.Even make a trade when new for something like a bernard gun or tweeco.
                Scott
                Guys I have been holding off on chiming in here till I had a little more time with my MM 175. Granted I am a new hobby welder and my not have all the experience that you have. I owned the Lincoln 135 (was actually called the 3500 HD). I built the welder cart you can see in other posts here and also a welding table.

                Here are my observations.

                Lincoln,
                I hated the feel of the gun. The MM feels much better.
                Disliked the cheaper wire/roller guide assembly. It was mostly plastic and did was not tight, you could wiggle it with your hand.
                The MM is mostly metal and is solid (no wiggling with your hand)
                To change the roller you had to make sure you had the set screw aligned where you could get to it. On the MM you just push in and rotate the roller to remove it and and turn it around and push it back on.
                I did like the tip cover for using flux core. MM doesn't have this.
                Lincoln had some misleading material thickness capabilites on the outside of the box and the PDF and information on the inside cover did not match either. This was very confusing. I emaild Lincoln for and explanation and NEVER recieved a response.

                As far as arch quality. As I said I am new to mig welding. I have done alot of stick welding with my ole lincoln 225. I only used flux core with the Lincoln and am using solid wire with the MM. In my opinion the MM flows much easier and I am making much nicer welds with this machine. I find it easier to start and maintain a constant quality arch with the MM.

                Just my humble opinion

                Bob
                Short Term Memory GONE!!
                Hobby Weldor/Machinist
                Photobucket Shop Pics

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks, Bob. Sounds like I am on the same path...just behind. The MM 175 is really the machine that keeps coming to my mind the most throughout all this info. gathering. If portability is needed on 120V, then a second machine would probably be necessary. Also wondering if an initial entry to 210 would be wise for the shop...seem to be getting the message that everyone likes bigger. Also all this talk of spray arc....what is the deal....hotter? More penetration? Welding store guy seemed to put the idea down.?? Have observed the same things you have regarding the roller drive mech...also see that the wire going into a Miller goes thru a plastic collar and on a Lincoln, thru a metal tube...was told the metal tube sometimes shaves the wire and shavings get carried into the liner towards the gun and gunk everything up??? Will let you know what the wheel looks like when I get it reinvented.
                  crj

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Call this number.

                    Chris,I going to leave you a number to call.It would be worth talking to him.His name is Joel.(503)777-3967 It would be in your best interest to spend the long distance phone call.Tell him scott told you to you to call him.Its a welding dealer.Ask which welders are the best in arc quality.Also ask about warranty work and what breaks on the welders.He has welded with all most all of them.He did tell me he has not welded with the mm210 yet,but that was a while ago.He has nothing to gain because he is not selling to you.Ask him about the mm 175 vs the sp 175 plus first than some of the others on your list.That way you can atleast see if I am just making this stuff up and not just to bad mouth miller products.He has sold 1000s of both.His tries his best to point out the + and - in each machine.He sells miller,lincoln,esab,thermalarc.He can give you the name of the tech that fixs every type machine out there,he is super smart.If you call post,what they say about those machines then I will shut up.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Chris

                      Bob just reminded me of my experience with Lincolns customer service. I e mailed Lincoln too with some questions on there machines and received some very evasive answers to my questions. Oh well I guess I did better then Bob at least they made an effort to reply back. Also, at the same time I had e mailed Miller/Hobart some questions that I had about a few of there machines too. Well, I never did receive an E mail response back from Miller/Hobart, because I received a telephone call instead. I wish I could remember the guys name who called me, but any way , he answered any question I had, suprisingly even if they were negative toward the Miller/hobart product too. Since this ocassion I have E mailed Miller/Hobart other times and have always received a reply back with a straight forward reply. Once again even if it was a negative toward there product.


                      Spray transfer is a high voltage and amperage GMAW mode of metal transfer, which produces a deep penetrating weld bead. The most common mode of GMAW metal transfer used by most hobbiest and produced by a MM 175 is short circuit transfer, which produces a shallow penetrating weld bead. Now if you have looked through this site, you would have seen that I resently did some experiments with my MM 210 to see if I could produce spray transfer with it on 1/4" material. And no matter what a salesman tries to tell you, I was able to get the machine to produce a high level spray on 1/4" material with an .035 E70S-6 wire. The shielding gas that I used was a 98% argon/ 2% oxygen to produce a good spray from the MM 210 this is the best choice of shielding gas. If you want to give it a try have the machine set up with the above wire and gas then have them set the machine to voltage tap #7 and the wire speed at about 62. Now by no means would I consider a MM 210 a production machine when using spray transfer. There won t be the duty cycle needed for high volume fast paced welding. However, I ran about 15 2" long beads in about a 30 minute time frame, and never had any problem with the machine shutting down.

                      I agree with Bob on the guns. I like the M 10 on the MM 175 a lot better then the gun on the Lincoln SP 175 which I think they call the Magnum 100. I also though that the small feeder assembly on the lincoln looked pretty cheap for the price of the machine.

                      In my opinion at the current time based on price and quality of machine the MM 210 is one of the better machines available. The MM 210 has the same feed assembly and gun as the MM 251. The M 25 gun on the MM 210 is a smaller gun then the gun on the Power Mig 200. One thing that I dont like on the Power Mig 200 is its low clearance bottle support platform. The lincoln squarewave 175 that I use at work has this supposed convience feature. I cannot tell you how many times I ve moved the machine and got the power supply cord stuck underneath the platform and then had to pick the machine up a little to get the cord out from underneath it. Just some more info to maybe help you in your decision.
                      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

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I agree with Dan on the mm210.Its got a nice drive setup.The little lincolns drive setup looks cheap,but if you look close at the mm175 or 135 its got aluminum feed setup alright.But the backing plate it plastic.I think the lincolns stuff on the sp not the T model or the home depot model is made out of the same stuff as fishing downriggers.its stong enough.If you listen to the motor on the drive it sure does sounds alot like my $2000.00 LN9 GMA wirefeeder.That makes me feel a whole lot better about the cheap looking drive parts.My friend at the welding store has sold 1000s of little lincolns over the years and about the only thing ever wrong is if somebody drags the feeder around by the gun.Sometimes thats enough to break that $20.00 or so part.Now if you need a portable unit that could sway your way back to the smaller migs.IT did me.Dan why don't you try some .023- 75/25 gas on some real thin metal.If that works then it sounds like Miller has the winner in that class of welders.Just a test for for the autobody guys.I do know for a fact that the mm185 did not weld anywhere as nice with .023 as it did with .030.It was kind of weird.The mm 130xp was did the same thing but it wouldn't weld as nice with .030.Thats easier to take with the xp, this was was using 75/25 gas.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thanks, guys. Keep talking.
                          Dan....if you take Scott up on trying thin stuff with 75/25 with the 210, let me know how it comes out. It would be helpful.
                          crj

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Chris Johnson
                            Thanks, guys. Keep talking.
                            Dan....if you take Scott up on trying thin stuff with 75/25 with the 210, let me know how it comes out. It would be helpful.
                            Sorry Chris I don t have a roll of .023. I only use .030 and .035 wire. And actually I don t general mig weld material thinner than 16 ga. Generally, on 16-20 ga. I actually use TIG. Here is a sample picture of a TIG weld that I ran on some 20 ga. 304 stainless steel. The joint design is an outside corner joint. I used a piece of 1 1/2 x 1 1/2 x 1/4" aluminum angle iron for a back up and heat sink. Sorry about the quality of the picture. This was one of several welds that I had to run to repair some cracks on some product buckets on one of our packaging machines at work. I took 10 pictures and none of them turned out. This actually isn t one of my best welds it is the only one that didn t turn out a total blur or a total glare from the camera flash off the stainless.
                            Last edited by Dan; 05-01-2009, 08:18 AM.
                            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

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thanks, Dan....A nice looking weld. Would like to know more about TIG...know the general theory but no experience. Rocky D thinks it is out of the question for my general all-round applications. Is the heat-affected zone smaller than MIG? I know it is slower. What is the max. thickness practical to weld?
                              crj

                              Comment

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