So, You want to buy a welding machine...?

Steel and aluminum boatbuilding. See: "Boatbuilding Methods", in left-hand column of the Home page, for information about alloys.

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Kevin Morin
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Re: So, You want to buy a welding machine...?

Post by Kevin Morin » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:19 pm

Since this thread was bumped up a little, and has had at least some views over the years, I'm going to help those asking and those attempting to post useful answers - a little.

Replies would most often come from those who have welded for a while and perhaps owned a variety of equipment to do variety of different welding. Not only are alloys, steel, aluminum or SS, different welding types important to consider, but entire welded hulls (steel or aluminum) are different from the needs to weld tanks, brackets and hardware for boats made of non-metal materials.

Next, it would help those considering learning to weld, and therefore to acquire a power supply and torch assembly, to rank for themselves the amount of effort this hardware or tooling will be used? Are you planning one each 22' welded aluminum run-a-bout on your bucket list or are you planning to offer Glen-L designed steel tugs as your new business venture? Will you weld a few hours a month or 30 hours a week? Do you plan to evolve into commercial welding service or remain in your garage and weld once in a dozen week ends?

So for anyone reading the thread that is considering buying a welding power supply, I'd like to suggest your realistically evaluate and state your intended use- one or more boats- week end welding or full time welding; and even go so far as to quantify the hours per calendar you're planning. For example "I'm going to take a vacation for two months, and build a 30 steel sail boat and I will work full time (12 hours per day) the thickest metal in the plans is 1/2" keel."

Or someone else may state " I'm planning to build a Chinook in welded aluminum over a period of 2 years, in my garage," Two very informative but different statements - in case anyone had advice they'd be able to see how the overall question applies- which welding power supply is most appropriate?

The effective time of the effort helps understand if your power supply has to be 'bullet proof' and work 12 hour days running 10 hours? Those power supplies are more expensive due to their parts being more reliable and heat tolerant- but represent a higher value investment. On the other hand if you plan to work for 30 days on your boat- and the power supply gives up the ghost on day 3- due to welding 10 hours a day? That implies the higher duty cycle, higher capacity and much more expensive tool was the better choice- in hindsight.

As regards the power supplies' ratings- the total amperage rating (MAX A) is a rating to help you understand how thick a material that power supply will weld in a single pass? Duty cycle is the amount of minutes per hour the power supply can be at max rating and still not shut it self down to cool? Combining the two ratings allows you to buy wisely- if you plan to build a small boat from thin metal over a longer time- smaller range of output and at a lower duty cycle are very acceptable. On the other hand if you plan to build a larger boat with thicker scantlings, and do the work in long hour days- you'll need both the heavier amperage power supply and one with a greater duty cycle.

Last grouping remark is a mention I've already posted several times so just a reminder here- there are countless good deals on older but fully functional power supplies where your 2017 dollar can buy you a high amperage, large duty cycle power supply for MUCH less as compared to the new cost of power supplies with similar ratings. So, shopping used is a very wise choice IF... IFFF you can find someone to help evaluate the buy. In the same sense, you can waste your dollars if you can't correctly evaluate the power supply- so while used can be a wise choice- that course requires a wise buyer to make sure the steps to verify the power supply's value.

Hoped to help readers understand that the a realistic description of your use for a welding power supply will help you to get more informed answers.

Cheers,
Kevin Morin
Kenai, AK
Kevin Morin

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Re: So, You want to buy a welding machine...?

Post by sbeausol » Sun Sep 10, 2017 12:01 pm

I know this is a difficult question to answer, but I'll throw it out there anyway. I'm a hobbyist/DIYer with an interest in building boats. I've read a lot about stitch and glue and aluminum boat building. I keep coming back around that aluminum would be the best material for the type of boats I'm interested in. Specifically, I'm looking to build a 10-12' Drift Pram, and maybe eventually a drift boat/ power drifter around 15'. I'm not in a rush, and I don't intend on making welding a source of income for myself. I understand welding aluminum is considered difficult, and I know I will waste time and money learning, but that's ok with me. I'm comfortable with a $2000 or less investment on equipment. I'm fine trolling craigslist until the right equipment comes up and buying used. I will consider taking a class locally, but in general I will take my time learning the process. I'm curious if there is a recommendation on the type of equipment to start out with that would suit my needs? I've read about the lincoln square wave tig 200 but I realize TIG my not be best for welding plate together to build a hull.

Input is greatly appreciated!

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Re: So, You want to buy a welding machine...?

Post by Kevin Morin » Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:18 pm

sbeausol,
I have not personally explored in any detail the Oriental Import power supplies of Longevity, Everlast and some other names? I do know however, there is a real price point difference from Miller and Lincoln. Further, these power supplies can't be completely and uniformly failing (some complaints online about durability and reliability) right out of the box- or they couldn't continue to sell?

So regardless of MIG or TIG welding processes- if you're not planning to invest heavily? it may be worth while to find a dealer in your area for these imported power supplies and see what they can offer in long term support- repair? replacement for stock? mean time between failure? cost comparisons? and guarantee period? Other forums, focused more exclusively on welding as whole -n o t boat building like Glen-L's site and Forum- have mixed reviews but admittedly a strong following of import welding power supply users.

Cheers,
Kevin Morin
Kenai, AK
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Re: So, You want to buy a welding machine...?

Post by Yofish » Mon Jul 30, 2018 10:00 pm

I can't help but reply to Kevin's last post on this ancient thread. I build boats (really, just skiff's these days) and have been doing it for awhile. I've used lots of different machines over that time and am at the end of my career. A couple of years ago it became apparent that I needed something other than my 1985 Hobart Porta-Flex (I've had two, they were one of the first inverters in Hobart's attempt to butt into Powcon's efforts) which was getting owly and NO parts are available. There is no way I can amortize or justify a 6-8-10k machine given my situation - wannabe retired. Previously, I had bought two Everlast machines; a 200A tig/stick (the first) and I liked it enough, though I'm NOT a tig guy (I just use it to dance over MIG welded starts and stops on fuel tanks) and then (the second) a little gem - iMig200 - that I hooked a Miller 30A spoolgun up to for remote work. I was blown away by how well that little thing works! At the high end, its duty cycle is limited but I welded a masthead for a seiner out of 3/4" and 1/2" plate - with pauses - for example. I can throw it in the skiff along with a 40cuft argon and a 50' 10ga power cable and away I go. Best six hundred bucks I've ever spent and made it back on the first remote job. It will run on 120V, but why even think about that?

Fast forward to two years ago when I sprung for an Everlast 275P. Single pulse, I've NEVER been able to make it gag and I was able to easily hook my two Miller XRA feeders to it; one with .035 and the other .047. The synergic function does not work, of course, but I wouldn't use that anyway. It can be supplied with a push-pull gun (Parker) as it internally holds a 12" spool. But, again, as I said, I'm at the end of MY duty cycle and did not spring for it. The power supply cost (then) was $1,900 and it welds as good as anything I've ever used. As a matter of fact, I really like it. Digital controls do save time. Wanking a pot back and forth to get it right is tiresome. As one can easily see, I've been too long in the stone age!

FWIW

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Re: So, You want to buy a welding machine...?

Post by Kevin Morin » Tue Jul 31, 2018 12:00 am

Yofish, thanks for the post. (the readers don't know enough of what you do; because you haven't done a build thread here!)

If I can generalize? ( and I usually do in reply to your posts) you can recommend Everlast power supplies for building welded aluminum boats, AND.... from personal experience (after building many boats, over a long time) you are willing to vouch for the work that can be done with these power supplies?

Not everyone will be able to mix and match to drive a given 1lb./Pistol grip style torch but your experience using the Everlast, a very experienced builder, is: these power supplies are worth investigating.

Thanks for the update- and we'd like to see a build thread, Please.

Cheers,
Kevin Morin
Kenai, AK

(Yofish is in Homer, AK, we're neighbors- of a sort)
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Re: So, You want to buy a welding machine...?

Post by Eenarl » Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:58 am

Let me start with a preface: I am a millwright, I have a machine shop / metal fabrication shop and weld mostly heavier industrial things and some lighter sheet metal. I have an old TIG / Stick welder that is probably 30-40 years old that I bought used 20 years ago and currently a lincoln 250 amp Mig welder, and in the past several Miller MIG welders. OK with that said, here is my suggestions:
a. It takes more knowledge and skill to stick weld, but if you learn to stick weld you will have a foundation where learning to MIG will be a piece of cake. Stick welding has some benifits, you can weld steel, stainless, hard face, cast iron, and sort of aluminum. You don't have to have everything super clean to get a decent weld, (but it alway helps). You can weld outside in the wind, (hard to with MIG or TIG). you don't have to have a bottle of gas, regulator. You can get deeper penatration, and stronger welds with a stick, but it is not as fast to lay down a lot of metal as it is with MIG. You can find cheap used stick welder fairly easy, some of them industrial duty for what you can buy a MIG at Home Depot or Lowes.
b. Because MIG is seemingly so easy to do some people pick up a gun and just pull the trigger, that they never really learn how to weld. You can get very good quality welds with MIG, TIG and stick, but you have to learn. Because it is harder to get the feel of striking an arc stick as opposed to just pulling the trigger on a MIG gun some folks think that they are getting decent welds with Mig when all they are doing is piling some metal on top of what they want to weld with out really welding. However if you know how to weld and watch your puddle you can get good welds with both MIG, TIG and stick.
c. I agree with the gentleman earlier: find your local welding dealers. They service that industry only and they know their stuff, Home Depot is a lumber yard not a welding supply house. Yes HD can have some good buys, (I can get cut off wheels for my chop saw cheaper one at a time there then what I pay for a box at the welding supply), but they only carry the smallest welders and the smallest selection of supplies.
d. Don't buy a wire feed welder that is not set up to use gas shielding. No flux core!!! Yes it is cheap, but you will regret it and fight with it and it just isn't user friendly. Don't buy a welder that runs off of 110 volt power, it is too small and when you get into welding you will regret not having a "real" welder. Also 110 VAC welders have a low duty cycle, weld for a couple minutes then stop and let it cool down.
e. OK now I will go off on my personal rant!!! In todays economy there are great deals in used equipment. This is usually industrial equipment used by business that have gone out of business long before their welders were used up. Because I buy equipment at industrial auctions I daily get emails on upcoming auctions. There is also Craig's list, there are a lot of guys that bought tools or toys and need the money now. In my opinion the two biggest names in welders is Miller and Lincoln https://mechanicguides.com/best-cheap-welders-money/ they are the big names because they earned that reputation over many decades, this is not to say that there aren't others, buttttttttttt. I personally like Miller, but the last wire feed I bought was a Lincoln because they had a promotion at the time. the way I see it you can either buy a new bottom of the series small welder or a used more than you will ever need industrial machine for about the same price.
f. one other plug: you will need a helmet: I buy the el cheap o auto darkening helmets at harbor freight for $39.99 on sale. I know usually harbor freight stuff is crap, but the helmets are a good deal and work well. I also buy their welding gloves. sometimes you can get away with cheap gloves and a decent helmet, but not your welder, get something worthwhile.
g. Find good local suppliers: a good welding supply house, a good steel warehouse or service center and look on their bulletin boards for used equipment and ask them if they know of anyone wanting to sell used machines. Welding supply houses may know a customer who wants a bigger, or different machine but hasn't bought it because they have a good used machine now.
h. Like any skill, read and learn all you can then spend time doing it. Get some scrap steel and weld, weld weld. watch your puddle and play with it, pull it, push it, watch it.

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Re: So, You want to buy a welding machine...?

Post by Kevin Morin » Sun Aug 05, 2018 2:06 pm

Eenarl,
welcome to the Glen-L Forum and the metal category of threads.

Here's my take on your post about learning stick welding as the building block or foundation of welding skills.

Unless a reader is planning to build a steel boat- there is almost no gain to learning to stick weld since the new welders' reflexes will be taught to be "slow". Stick welding is the slower of the major welding processes - and is really only applicable to steel boats. Steel isn't very effective for boats under 25' (without serious building skills) since those craft would end up pretty heavy for their size.

Aluminum is the metal of choice but is harder to weld, and as you mention, not very effectively welded with coated electrodes. So MIG and AC TIG are the only two processes really effective for welding aluminum boats- and these processes, especially MIG, travel at much higher rates than would be typical of stick welding steel.

While I understand the idea of stick being a good welding foundation; in my experience of trying to teach dozens of welders to MIG aluminum- I find their reflexes are 'slow motion' compared to what is needed in MIG aluminum. In fact, I'd say a newbie welder will learn MIG aluminum faster to attain proficiency without any previous stick welding experience. I have had the dickens of time getting stick welders to speed up enough to weld alum. MIG.

AC TIG, used on aluminum, is another weld method I find easy to teach from scratch- they're not unlearning muscle movements/memory in order to get the movements correct. There is some gain in understanding the need to hold arc length- but since the flux obscures the puddle's back edge so much with stick- I've found that teaching AC TIG to newer welders was easier if they didn't rely on previous stick welding time.

After training on MIG, going back to acquire stick skills is almost automatically learned- but I haven't seen stick as a reliable first skill in trying to train welders to build welded aluminum boats.

I do agree that older models of transformer power supplies do come on the market (still) and are a real value in terms of cost to get welding versus the new cost of that older model power supply or a newer inverter. There are several companies selling new inverters for very low costs (imports) but there have been issues with reliability and repair due to their sales networks being centralized not in local neighborhoods.

As a welder who's built boats for a while my take on welding helmets is about quality. I use the Optrel (Swiss? import?) and prefer that hood to others and would buy a Harbor Frt hood at the same time I gave my Lincoln and Miller power supplies to buy a Harbor Frt. welder!

I like the glove that has a replacement heat shield that snaps on the left hand glove. (https://steinerindustries.com/stick-wel ... at-shields) I can buy the shields and replace them as they burn up (the back of left hand is nearest the arc and gas cup in both TIG and MIG as my 'prop' hand) cheaper than buying gloves regularly. I'd say I was using the same left hand glove I've had for 8-10 years - just replacing the heat shields when they get crispy. It thought mine were black stallion but couldn't find them online.

I agree that practicing welding (which ever type or mode you use) is critical to developing the skill. In many cases- aluminum off cuts from the boat building process can be purchased below new metal prices from shops that regularly cut and produce boats or aluminum equipment. Since it has a relatively high scrap value- a new welder should plan to buy those scraps for their practice welding time, not just haul them off!

Cheers,
Kevin Morin
Kenai, AK
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Re: So, You want to buy a welding machine...?

Post by Kevin Morin » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:05 pm

Discussing buying a welding power supply and torch (of some kind) I received and email from a very thoughtful new welder who mentioned aspects of this thread, and others; which I have not really considered!

I've been interested in and participated in welding since the 1970's and more or less assumed the point of view that welding was going to be part of my skill set since I was a teen. What I had not considered, but I think is a valid point to make on this thread (?) is: once you get a welding system and can join metals in the most durable and permanent form.... your point of view of the "building world" shifts.

Some times, as a result of all the posts I make on the many welding and metal boat building forums, I get private emails from those who don't want to make a public statement, or those who want to ask a question without sharing that question with larger groups. I always respect the emailer's request to remain private, discrete or anonymous but some times the ideas expressed are worth publicly posting.

A recent email expressed that the author had become involved in welding (TIG and MIG) and that skill set, coupled with his new equipment had completely changed how he considered, imagined, and planned A L L his future projects. Just being able to use his TIG torch to weld an SAE nut to an angle, to make a fixture for his wood working project- shifted his entire point of view about how he'd go about future work.....

So just a note to share the fact that once you acquire a welding capability in your own shop/garage/projects... you too can shift your thinking so that you can take advantage of the fusion of metals (at their full strength) and make use of those advantages in all aspects of your work.

Just a note about something I've more or less taken for granted since I was a teen and began to weld.... but for those who still don't: it may be worth considering the benefits of metal to metal joinery?

Cheers,
Kevin Morin
Kenai, AK
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Re: So, You want to buy a welding machine...?

Post by Kevin Morin » Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:22 pm

I regularly use expensive "professional grade" welding systems for both MIG and TIG. So I don't see much of the lower amperage systems' products unless I discuss them with others who own or have access to those types of systems.

This post is about some "facts of life" having to do with a small "spool gun" from Miller. The gun is not large and will not take 300-400 amps of power or, as near as I've learned so far, run 0.045-0.047" filler wire. I believe the gun (don't know the model?) is limited to 0.035" wire.

I think the gun would work OK for smaller steel wire but my remarks are to caution Forum readers about the idea of "saving money" buying a limited capacity spool gun.

First- this gun is similar in layout to the Prince T handled torch that held the wire in a clear plastic covered appendage that lays on the welders' wrist or glove cuff area. Next the gun's drive rolls are very sharp and serrate aluminum wire (as I viewed) too deeply in the factory setting for tension, and that began a series of problems for this gun's reliability.

By serrated the wire deeply (aluminum wire deformity of a few 0.001" of an inch can RADICALLY impact wire feed reliability) the wire suffers tip arcing.

Let's review the MIG process, and then focus on tip arcing. The power supply applies welding current to the power cord of the torch, which is bonded to the contact tip. As the wire passes through the contact tip, it CONTACTs the wire!! and at that point the wire has welding voltage potential compared to the parent metal which is connected to the power supply by the "work" lead. (very often called the "ground" but it's not a ground connection)

Constant Voltage (MIG) power supplies monitor the difference between the work lead and the power lead- but the power supply has no "idea" where the resistance in this circuit is coming from.... The Voltage is maintained by increasing or decreasing the Current in response to the Resistance sensed/measured/"seen" by the arc control circuit.

If you have a bad 'work' clamp- and have high resistance you will have erratic arc power..... R can happen anywhere in the circuit. If you have an extra-long distance from the contact tip to the work.... (long arcing) you will have increased the R and the power will be cranked up -automatically and you will burn the wire back to the tip.....

On and on the MIG control circuit goes, responding to the circuit conditions.

What would happen if the area of contact of the wire to the inside of the contact tip were very narrow and tall 'hairs' or 'ridges on the wire'? Well, if the wire is too deeply serrated, and has ridges instead of a smooth wide area to conduct the welding current to the wire...... those small bumps/ridges/notches will 'arc' inside the contact tip.

This is called micro arcing and is fully recognized by the welding industry's designers of MIG power supplies and MIG guns. What to do about it? What is done in the higher end power supplies and gun systems is to provide separate drive rolls for different A) wire alloys... & B) different wire sizes within each general alloy group.

This means aluminum alloy wire will not offer good torch/gun/feeder performance of 0.035" 4043 alloy wire when being driven by tips and drive roll settings planned for 70 series steel wire in 0.047" flux core!

The contact tips' bore, drive rolls, tensions in drive feed rolls and several other adjustments need to be made to "tune" a MIG torch to these different welding conditions.

This post is a caution about buying a MIG system that isn't really designed to weld aluminum. I examined a Miller Spool Gun system today what had wire feed reliability problems all related to the various aspects of 'gun tuning' I've mentioned above.

This is not rocket science, unless you're unfamiliar with these many variables. If you're planning to get involved in MIG welding aluminum... it would be best practice to look at what we've tried to argue in the previous posts. Consider what the real work will be... if you're trying to do any serious work in aluminum please insure you have equipment that was designed to do the job.

This small Miller product ( I was exposed to today) is not a reliable aluminum welding system and I'm encouraging the Forum readers to beware of a salesman's assertions. Ask to see the system weld 5000 series aluminum with a minimum of 5356 alloy wire- or don't buy the system with any plans to build a boat, marine alloy tanks, or any work that will require high quality aluminum fabrication, unless you see a welder make decent quality welds and then:

see the bend break tests to confirm root fusion and weld strength.

Trust but Verify.

Cheers,
Kevin Morin
Kenai, AK
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Re: So, You want to buy a welding machine...?

Post by Kevin Morin » Sat Apr 20, 2019 10:36 am

Another aspect of aluminum welding that should be 'bumped' up here is welding 5000 or 6000 series aluminum with 4043 or even 4943 alloy filler.

the welds will 'stick' but when they are bent backwards/break bend tested.... 4043 shows itself to be very very weak overall.

However, many welders prefer this alloy because it so much easier to run, the very high silicone (alloy %) content makes the molten alloy flow very easily and it is also the source of the extreme weakness/brittleness/lack of malleability of the finish weld.

Further problems with weld strength come from the testing information used in wire filler manufacturers' reports and test strength published figures. To obtain the factory published strength numbers... a VERY high percentage of the weld alloy needs to mix thoroughly with the parent metals - otherwise a very low percentage of the published figures are valid.

In fact, the problems are so great in regard filler dilution into the final weld puddle: all the figures published on this (IMO junk) wire or filler rod- contains a foot note explaining the super high dilution/mix/combining while molten % that is required for the chart to have any real world validity! (ie.. " these figures are based on 90% dilution of filler alloy into the weld")

So my conclusion is if you can get ideal, proven, factory condition filler to parent metal dilution ratios (how would you confirm that?) THEN you can use their chart to learn that 4043 is (still) a fraction of the final strength of the 5356!

My short version conclusion is just don't waste time with 4043 or other 4000 series filler alloys when welding in 6000 and 5000 series marine alloys- spend the time to learn to weld the more difficult 5356 alloy.

Finally, if you don't weld coupons of different weld sections and bend them to failure- you're not able to make a clear and factual statement of your welds' quality and fitness for the job in your welded aluminum boat or other project.

Just more ranting about making the mistake of welding with incorrect alloys.

Cheers,
Kevin Morin
Kenai, AK
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Re: So, You want to buy a welding machine...?

Post by Kevin Morin » Sat May 18, 2019 4:34 pm

Miller MIG Power supplies.
I want to take a post to mention recent experience with a Miller MIG power supply and to make remarks about the difference (fundamentally) between the Miller and Lincoln 350 MP systems.

I've remarked before, not in too much detail, about some differences but now, having used a Miller on and off for a number of months I can clearly see a difference between these two manufacturers' design ideas.

Miller wants to simplify.
Lincoln want to educate and provide exacting control features.

Miller's 350MP has simpler controls
Lincoln's 350 MP has more complicated controls

Miller is more; plug and play
Lincoln is more; study, experiment, practice and record the results!

Miller has less overall control once you reach high proficiency
Lincoln has so much control you may never reach high proficiency!
but if you work out the arc configuration details of the Lincoln Power MIG 350?
There is no MIG weld (free hand) you can not accomplish.

Is the Lincoln superior to the Miller? NO
Is the Miller superior to the Lincoln? NO

To buy intelligently you need to ask if you're an exacting, configuration patient welder who teaches themselves? OR, do you need to get to work, doing run of the mill and 'normal' welding tasks as soon as your MIG power supply can deliver work?

If you're the prior welder? then you'll do fine with the Lincoln and in the latter case you'll do better with the Miller due to the types of conditions and applications you'll use each of these power supplies to do.

IF anyone has questions, I'd be happy to attempt an answer, hope these remarks help a little with a comparison of these two great power supplies?

Cheers,
Kevin Morin
Kenai, AK
Kevin Morin

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Re: So, You want to buy a welding machine...?

Post by North » Mon May 20, 2019 10:36 am

Question for Kevin or Yofish - I see above that Yofish (easliy_connected his) XR feeder/ push -pull cabinets to an Everlast DC MIG model.

I am currently running a Miller XMT304 CC/CV power source and run 2 Miller XR feeders and push pull guns (only needed one,. but the 2nd one was a great deal..so I run .035 ion one and .047 in the other) no complaint - works great.. but, i can't, of course, do TIG (AC/DC) for aluminum. I do use the XMT304 for TIG on mild and SS.


I really want the ability to do TIG AC/DC as I will want to be more precise on shorter, more intricate welds around pipes, etc in the future.

I was going to sell one of my XR feeder and guns and use the proceeds towards a med sized Everast AC/DC tig inverter.. and may still. But, I see that Everlast makes the POWER MTS 252 STI WITH TIG PACKAGE - which is a "True DC CC/CV Multi-Process design eliminates needing or carrying multiple units for one job." according to the specs...

So, if it was easy to connect this unit to one of my XR feeders, I would consider selling my XMT304 and one XR feeder and gun and then buying the above model... Knowing the current Miller 14 pin connectors on the XR feeders, how possible or easy is it to connect the XR feeder to this model and are there any implications/ drawbacks to this potential plan?

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Re: So, You want to buy a welding machine...?

Post by Kevin Morin » Tue May 21, 2019 10:19 am

North, I'm not familiar with any "green machines" so I can't answer.

I do have a dedicated MIG power supply (Red) and a dedicated TIG power supply (Blue) and haven't any experience except these two brands (and Hobart, years ago, now owned as part of Blue/Miller).

However, any MIG system can be combined to any power supply, it may take some gun drive DC power adaption or addition of another small power supply to run that given guns' motor and controls? but they can all be adapted.

I don't notice any mention of AC TIG? I know you're aware of the need for AC to TIG aluminum?

Hopefully, Yofish will reply on this set of questions? He does get 'gone' for the summer months and isn't as often near his PC at home during the summer.

Cheers,
Kevin Morin
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Re: So, You want to buy a welding machine...?

Post by Yofish » Tue May 21, 2019 8:30 pm

North, that particular machine IS all-in-one: "The first product line in the industry to feature MIG/AC/DC TIG and stick function in a compact format with an enclosed, self-contained wire feeder comes ready to do whatever you need it do." So no need for separate AC unit. Kevin is correct; one can pretty much hook any feeder to any power source. I have the Everlast 275P, and it was fairly easy to hook the XR feeder to it by buying the special (not Amphenol) circular connector. In that the feeder supplies the power for the gun all (ha ha!) one needs to do is get the schematic to understand what inputs through the connector are used to close the contactor (I was told that's not the correct term anymore) in the power supply. Also, though it might be possible to grab 120VAC somewhere in the power supply in order to power the feeder (which would be ducks), I just plug it into the wall with its own cord. All the 'synergic' stuff is out the door though, which to me is like completely inconsequential because I wouldn't use it anyway. I know what I want weld wise and have no desire to change to something that someone decided was what is best. That particular machine was not around when I bought my 275 but I might have gone with it if it was. I absolutely love my 275P. I've used many Miller XMT's from when they first came out until current and the 275 compares. They supply a Parker gun that is plug-and-play with synergic shtick that we be cool to try in that the XR goes away and everything is sourced from the unit. That is VERY attractive except I have four XR guns and two XR feeders....

Ha Kevin, I do get gone! But I've been busy with a boat project that I would have NEVER taken on but for it being for a friend who was once an enemy. A strange fishing craft we call a 'bow-well jitney' here in Alaska. I'm going to post about it here when I get clear. It is a 24' outboard powered boat with the motor 6' aft of the bow....

North
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Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:29 pm
Location: Nova Scotia

Re: So, You want to buy a welding machine...?

Post by North » Thu May 23, 2019 3:24 pm

Thank you both for the input on these machines. Lots of options if i can free up some cash by selling one of my feeder cabinets and guns.. and possibly the XMT304...but, i do need to do a fair amount of Mig in the next 6 months, and don't want to leave myself with no power supply until i can get a new one.. I know there are some supply issues with various Everlasts- as in they can't keep some models in stock... a good problem to have I guess.

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