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Author Topic: mig welder upgrade help  (Read 5697 times)

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Offline 47sawdust

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mig welder upgrade help
« on: December 20, 2019, 09:28:31 AM »
I'm looking to move up from my Hobart 135 to a 220 machine.I am a hobby welder doing repair and light fab work.An older Lincoln Sp-175 plus is available locally light use ,heated garage, with cart,gloves,Hawk helmet,gas and 23' cord.Asking price is $750.A new Hobart 190 can be had for under $700.00,just the welder.
Suggestions please.
Thanks,Mick
Mick
1997 WM Lt30 1999 WM twin blade edger Kubota L3750 Tajfun winchGood Health Work is my hobby.

Offline TKehl

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Re: mig welder upgrade help
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2019, 09:40:16 AM »
A Hobart 210 can run on 110 (power limited) or 220 and can be had used in the price range you are talking.  Selling the 135 would give a significant offset on the purchase price and you would not loose any capability.  My $0.02   ;)

Another question might be are you running just flux core now or also with a bottle?  If you don't have a bottle, getting one in a package can make a difference.
In the long run, you make your own luck good, bad, or indifferent. Loretta Lynn

Offline doc henderson

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Re: mig welder upgrade help
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2019, 10:05:19 AM »
Lincoln and miller are great brands, I consider Hobart to be homeowner stuff.  not necessarily bad.  I am a hobby guy as well so for what it is worth.  I have a miller 250x.  many service centers will take care of some, but not all.  might check to see what service is available in your area.  we used to have many welding supply/retailers, now they are all bought up by the same company.
timberking B 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.  2007 Chevy 3500HD dually, home built log splitter 18 horse 28 gpm with 5 inch cylinder and 32 inch split range with conveyor 12 volt tarp motor

Offline 47sawdust

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Re: mig welder upgrade help
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2019, 10:33:12 AM »
My local AIR Gas dealer gives the older Lincoln a thumbs up.I have a relationship with them and have been swapping out cylinders with them for 20 years.I'm not looking for a big step up.
I am currently use solid wire with gas.
Mick
1997 WM Lt30 1999 WM twin blade edger Kubota L3750 Tajfun winchGood Health Work is my hobby.

Online btulloh

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Re: mig welder upgrade help
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2019, 10:50:09 AM »
Just stepping up to the Lincoln 175 will be a big improvement.  I used a Hobart 175 for quite a while and got a lot done with it, even though like Doc said, it's a homeowner class welder.  Really worked OK.  The Lincoln deal sounds good, especially with the thumbs-up from your AirGas guy.  

I got a chance to step up to a Snapon 250 this year, and it suited my needs better than that 175.  Snapon is not generally considered a good way to go on welders, but they are good and it was a good deal from a friend so I made the switch.  I kinda wish I'd kept the Hobart 175 too, but I really couldn't justify that.

Good luck with your upgrade and enjoy the extra capability.
HM126

Offline Bandmill Bandit

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Re: mig welder upgrade help
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2019, 12:17:43 PM »
I have run Hobart, Lincoln and Miller of various sizes over the years and I prefer the Miller units myself. Currently own a Miller 210. I used a newer Lincoln with the temp and feed controls on the stinger handle for a couple of days and I liked that a lot. 

 From experience I don't think there is a lot of difference in over all performance of any of the welders that I have used over the years.
I bought a Miller because I know the salesman at Praxair and they are the closest dealer to me for supplies. If they sold lincoln thats what I would probably own.

The one thing I will say for advice; 
When you are spending the money for a welder, going up a size is NEVER a bad thing but you will kick you self over and over every time your welder is too small for a task you NEED to do. I have used a couple of the small 110 and light 220 models but I can do that kind of welding with my acetylene torch set and dont need the over lap.    

I have had 2 x 15 ish minute jobs in the last week for neighbors that have welders that were too small for the task at hand so I get tagged to do the deed for them. I dont mind doing it but I know how frustrated it would be for me to have a welder that doesn't meet ALL my needs.
Skilled Master Sawyer. "Skilled labour don't come cheap. Cheap labour dont come skilled!
2018 F150 FX4, Husqvarna 340, 2 Logright 36 inch cant hooks and a bunch of stuff I built myself

Offline Bruno of NH

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Re: mig welder upgrade help
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2019, 12:32:03 PM »
I just see that Fornay has a new unit that migs,tigs and stick welds. 
Lt 40 wide with 38hp gas and command controls , F350 4x4 dump and lot of contracting tools

Offline Bandmill Bandit

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Re: mig welder upgrade help
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2019, 12:34:35 PM »
I just see that Fornay has a new unit that migs,tigs and stick welds.
Miller has one like that too called a Multi-Matic. Looks like a pretty nice unit.
Skilled Master Sawyer. "Skilled labour don't come cheap. Cheap labour dont come skilled!
2018 F150 FX4, Husqvarna 340, 2 Logright 36 inch cant hooks and a bunch of stuff I built myself

Offline Bruno of NH

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Re: mig welder upgrade help
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2019, 12:39:40 PM »
I have a Fornay 110 wide feed
It works good for small stuff.
Would like to step up some time.
Would like a multi unit.
Lt 40 wide with 38hp gas and command controls , F350 4x4 dump and lot of contracting tools

Offline Iwawoodwork

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Re: mig welder upgrade help
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2019, 12:29:13 AM »
Keep your small 135 with the 110v power it will come in handy at times as you can run it off of a #12 extension cord at 50' or a #10 cord at 75to 100'.  I have a 140 Hobart handler that I did that with many times. much easier for light or thin jobs, without having to get the job close to the bigger welding machine, I also have the larger migs, Linde 225 and a Lincoln commercial SP200 very good for heaver work but not for sheet metal at least that is my limited experiences.  I also have two, Miller 250 twin,  arc machines for welding on the heavy jobs. My first mig was a CK175 purchased in about 1998 and stolen about 2001. That was a very nice welding machine for the hobby/farm work that I do.

Offline thecfarm

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Re: mig welder upgrade help
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2019, 05:41:59 AM »
I have a Lincoln,no idea the model,bought it 15 years ago,runs off 220. I made a 2 wheeler into a "welding cart" I do 99% of my welding outside,on a gravel driveway. I have my welding tools in the 2 wheeler. I build a box out of 1/8 metal and bolted it to te 2 wheel. Than I read the manual and that told me how much corded wire I could use. Hang onto your wallet when you buy corded wire. :o I have it wrapped up on the cart. I unwrap what I need to get to my welding project.
My FIL stepped down the 220 to 110 on the cart,so I have 110 power on the cart.
I had a small Lincoln that used 110. Than I went to one that used 220. WOW!! What a diffance Like night and day..
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Offline DMcCoy

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Re: mig welder upgrade help
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2019, 06:58:14 AM »
I used a Miller 150 for almost 25 yrs.  It was a big (30 lb.) spool machine, 240v, running 75/25 argon.  It welded good, had 4 heat levels which I found 3 to be the most useful.  1 and 2 were almost worthless to keep a steady arc. #4 (hottest) was difficult as well as it was the upper end and the machine just wouldn't have a steady arc either.  It was under powered and lacked true range.

I finally pulled out my wallet (!) and upgraded to a Miller 252.  I expected to see a difference but I was a little shocked.  It confirmed what I had always suspected, my machine was holding my weld quality down.  It will lay a bead like warm butter on warm bread.

My suggestion is if you can find a buddy with a welder like you want to buy ask him/her if you could come and use it.  Maybe a dealer could assist with this request. I hate to say it but better machines cost more money, they just do.  Saving up for something really nice is worth it, you might have it for decades, which is something to think hard about. 

Something I learned in my transition to the bigger machine was the cost of gas.  I had a 75 cu ft bottle with my 150 that I kept and then I was given a 125 cu ft bottle from my father in law.  The difference between getting those 2 different bottles filled was ~$10.  I couldn't believe my ears, and asked him to repeat what he said.  Now I keep my 75 cu ft bottle as a reserve to use, only if I run out in the middle of a project or if I can't drive in right away and get my bigger one filled.

Offline Magicman

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Re: mig welder upgrade help
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2019, 08:11:00 AM »
I have a Lincoln 'Cracker Box' stick welder at the farm, I think ~225 amp.  Here at home I have a Hobart 180 MIG (gas/solid wire) that has served me well for ~15 years.  Of course there is also an Oxy-Acet torch at each location for heating, cutting, & brazing.
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Offline YellowHammer

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Re: mig welder upgrade help
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2019, 08:41:45 AM »
If Im not mistaken, Miller owns Hobart, and through the years, they have morphed the units where most parts are interchanable.  Our Miller dealer sells the Hobart 250 (equivalent to the Miller 250) with Miller stinger and feed head as their preferred general all purpose workhorse unit.  The Miller and Hobart power units are virtually identical and have the same duty cycle, however, the Hobart sells cheaper because it doesnt have the Miller paint scheme.  Im not sure about Hobart units sold at big box stores, generally they are lesser and cheaper versions.  Kind of like a John Deere or Cub Cadet at Lowes or Home Depot is not the same machine sold at a dealer.  

Ive had a Hobart 175 and also a Miller stick welder.  Ive used Lincoln, Miller and Hobart equipment in professional fabrication at work and home for 30 years, using it for TIG, stick and MIG.  Very good equipment if bought from a dealer.  

A gas bottle is a real upgrade from flux core wire.  

A Hobart/Miller 250 is an all purpose beast and I routinely weld 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2 plate, and up to 3/4 although it will also weld easily down to 1/8.   Upgrading to .035 wire will really help with thick stock, but I think the smaller .030 wire will allow more detailed welding of smaller projects.  

You could weld a bridge to Hawaii with one.  
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Offline TKehl

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Re: mig welder upgrade help
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2019, 11:44:03 AM »
Saving up for something really nice is worth it, you might have it for decades, which is something to think hard about.


The only caveat I will give to this is that the newer machines have a lot more circuitry inside of them which changes the game.  The old AC machines will last forever. with no moving parts.  The newer old machines are still pretty simple with basic repairable internals.  When you get into autoset and other very nice features, you get circuit boards and the associated lifespan of circuit boards.  Kind of like how old TV's last forever and new ones sure don't!  Yes they are better quality than what would be a in a flat panel TV, but still have limited lifespan and question of how long it will be supported.  One of the boards (there were 5 or 6 in there) went out on a commercial duty TIG here at work and it was $1100 for just the board!  

Now if you are a professional welder, the features are well worth it even if there is an expensive repair.  But for the hobby guy wanting a good quality long term machine without a lot of upkeep, my opinion is that simpler is better.  


I also think that Yellowhammer is on point, but could not say that with certainty either.  
In the long run, you make your own luck good, bad, or indifferent. Loretta Lynn

Offline doc henderson

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Re: mig welder upgrade help
« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2019, 01:19:21 PM »
i have replaced the liner of the welding lead once, and my plasma torch required an air valve.  I have a buzz box over 50 years old with no problems, to your point.
timberking B 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.  2007 Chevy 3500HD dually, home built log splitter 18 horse 28 gpm with 5 inch cylinder and 32 inch split range with conveyor 12 volt tarp motor

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Re: mig welder upgrade help
« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2019, 03:10:56 PM »
Illinois Tool Works Inc. (ITW) is the mother company and manufacturers both Miller and Hobart welders.
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Offline caveman

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Re: mig welder upgrade help
« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2019, 05:00:56 PM »
At home I have 220 volt Lincoln 175 (I think) mig.  It does pretty well up to 5/16, maybe 3/8".  At the two schools where I have taught ag we have had Miller, Hobart and Lincoln migs.  The Lincolns with the separate wire feeder at my current school are a source of a lot of consternation.  When they run well they do a good job but wire snarls around the drive roller have been problematic even after replacing parts (LN-7 feeder).  A couple of years ago I ordered a Hobart 220 mig for the school's shop (I had three at my previous school).  That machine is reliable and produces good welds.  If I were buying one for my home shop that would be the one, if buying today.

The old Millermatic 250 is also a beast of a machine.  If money were not factored in or if I were buying a mig welder to make a living, this would be the one or the newer variation of it.
Caveman

Offline Hooterspfld

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Re: mig welder upgrade help
« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2019, 09:30:20 PM »
I've got the Hobart 210 MVP, Nice having the option of both 110 and 220. I believe I paid $700 delivered, and started running 110 flux core until I got a bottle and a generator. Now 220 is all I run, but it's nice to know I can pull it off the cart and take it with me and weld flux in the field with only an extension cord if need be. 

Offline Stuart Caruk

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Re: mig welder upgrade help
« Reply #19 on: December 22, 2019, 02:01:47 AM »
Having owned 3 of the Lincoln SP170,s I can tell you that it's a great welder for hobbiest use. It will compete with some of our shop welders up to 140 amps or so, but the limitation is the duty cycle. If you can live with welding maybe 6 feet before the thermal limit trips out, it's fine. Very few hobby welds run anywhere near that in a continuous length. For welding a couple joints, cooling while you fit up the next, and continuing, it's a great welder.

Don't even consider a 120VAV welder for any kind of serious use.

2 BIG THINGS to consider. That exact same welder sold by various vendors is not the same. Costco used to sell it for way cheap. But it didn't have a gas solenoid, and was designed for hard wire (self shielding wire) only. Even worse they sold it with a single pass wire, and a lot of people weld, chip, weld, chip, etc. All those welds will crack out from the root. You need to have a weld shop order in a specific wire designed for multipass use. By the time you bought the regulator, solenoids, etc. It cost more than a properly equipped one.

A 40 ft3 tank of Argon /Co2 is worth a couple hundred bucks, the hose and regulator maybe another $100. That welder, used with a tank and reg would be worth $550 - $650, tops at an auction with 2 clowns fighting each other might be $750.
Stuart Caruk
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