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1 vs. 3 phase

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  • #31
    At risk to myself here, ha and lets exclude the pipeliners. A guy on another site was **** bent on running a 200, I said, rent one and get it out of your system, I dont think it will hit you in the face with the difference especially considering his abilities. I do general stick work, did a walk in today and I reach for the buzzer. I used a ton of machines over the years, I never figure the machine was the limiting factor, if they were running right I never notice much difference. My favorite portable in fact is an old Weldan Power AC/DC 210 with a single cyl Briggs on it. I just happen to like the arc, just crisp so to speak, for all practical purposes really one of the best machines I ever run. I wouldn't change the arc if I could. I have "better" machines but dont use them. Eyesight, consistency, coordination are much higher factors. Too much coffee,, ha. I haven't been behind my Maxstar yet to give it much thought, run it enough to tell you it works.

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    • #32
      True but it dont make me any better driver.

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      • #33
        All our welders weld different from one another, sound different, etc. They should. There are no two the same make and model. Even though I adjust them to burn the rod for the application they are just different.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by seattle smitty View Post
          Do 3-phase powered welders have smoother or otherwise superior arc characteristics?
          only if you are welding with the selector on AC, otherwise it's just brand/model preference (IronHead/Sberry Caddy/Yugo references). On DC absolutely NO difference, that'd be like saying my Sears battery is smoother than my TrakAuto imported one.

          Originally posted by seattle smitty View Post
          Why, if there is a welding advantageto 3-phase for stick and wirefeed welding, as Iron Head indicates, is there not a similar advantage for a 3-phase TIG arc?

          again, the advantage is only on AC (which, unless you are running robots, you aren't wire-feeding with AC) SMAW. AC GTAW (non-adjustable freq.) would see the advantage as well, but with adjustable frequency machines this advantage is negated.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by PUMPKINHEAD View Post
            only if you are welding with the selector on AC, otherwise it's just brand/model preference (IronHead/Sberry Caddy/Yugo references). On DC absolutely NO difference, that'd be like saying my Sears battery is smoother than my TrakAuto imported one.

            again, the advantage is only on AC (which, unless you are running robots, you aren't wire-feeding with AC) SMAW. AC GTAW (non-adjustable freq.) would see the advantage as well, but with adjustable frequency machines this advantage is negated.
            PH: Au contraire. There are quite significant differences on DC. The current can be held rock stable (many inverters do this quite well) or have a real soft character (vary a fair bit with arc length). The DC can filtered dead smooth (or the next best thing, which is what you generally get from a true generator, or a three phase source), or can have a fair bit of 120Hz hum remaining (many single phase sources), and this DOES make a difference in the maintainability of the arc and quality of the arc. The open circuit voltage can be higher or lower, and the voltage that the machine will maintain over the arc can be higher or lower, again affecting the stability of the arc. Plenty of other factors, as well, many of which are more tunable on a three phase source or an inverter than on a single phase source.

            As to your comment "only on AC": for practical purposes, AC welding is single phase, no matter what the source is. (common exception: wire feed with multiple wires where the wires are driven out of phase). A three phase source used for AC welding will be: a) an inverter, or b) using a single phase of the transformer only. Three phase power provides no advantage or disadvantage in AC welding, other than in the case of an inverter AC source that need three phase.

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            • #36
              Can they be run off a phase-converter such as you would build in order to run a big industrial lathe in a home shop? Would the superior arc characteristics still be there? Is this worth doing, or are the welding results not enough better to be worth the effort, even for precise work? (Maybe this question is too subjective; I can make many welds with an old Sears buzz-box that are reliable and fully adequate to their purposes.)
              I wasn't speaking for anyone else in this thread, as a practical matter there isn't the difference to warrant the effort for me. Nothing spectacular about the arcs we use on the power plant, when I cam home on Saturday morning and use the buzzer to repair for my Dad I didn't know the difference, at least not enough to make it noticeable.
              I dont know much about electricity but Dc is DC right? Take a Dialarc, a machine we hear some gushing over, whats the main difference? It will burn twice as hot for twice as long is its primary feature? Some of the bigger better have hi-low outputs. As far as I know, which is limited but still the main reason for 3ph for industry is the power supplies and demands. Imagine an 8 pak of 600A single machines and the cord.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by Iron Head
                Excuse me, aren’t you the one who thinks pipe welders / pipeliners are hacks?
                NO! i don't think pipeliners are hacks, i know pipeliners are trained apes.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by enlpck View Post
                  PH: Au contraire. ..... need three phase.
                  i am not getting into a whizzing match with you over this a la Fishstick, DC is DC, pole to pole smooooooooooth as silk, everything you've mentioned in your post has to do with the quality of the machine, not whether it's 3 phase or single.

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                  • #39
                    No I don't have 3 here. I am out in the sticks, probably 4 miles from the nearest. I would dearly love them to come marching down the line with new poles and wires but it ain't likely to happen. Use of big electric motors is out of the question here. What a pain in the azz engine pumping units are. Maint is high.
                    I probably would have collected more big machine tools had I had access to 3 ph all these years but anymore my stuff is dirt simple.

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                    • #40
                      Just got back here, and I see I'm gonna have to look for my old basic electrical and power-supply books. But for now, PH, doesn't a welder that runs 3-phase input AC through a rectifier flop all three half-waves within each cycle? In other words (since I obviously don't remember proper electrical terms), since the KVA is set, and frequency is fixed at 60Hz, wouldn't the smoothness of the output be comparable to, say, a three-cylinder engine putting out the same horsepower at the same rpm as a one-cylinder engine? You're not saying the output of a rectifier welder is a flat line like welding from a bank of batteries, are you?

                      Not trying to be argumentative here, just trying to wrap my elderly brain around this. For that matter, since I am a semi-perfectionist about my own welds even on non-critical work, I am often annoyed by the results I produce with my own old-tech, low-buck, single-phase welders, and would probably be really hacked off if I didn't make super welds with a super machine!!!

                      OTOH, sometimes better equipment helps the mediocre operator. Decades ago, when riding dirt-bikes, it was commonly observed that new riders always had cheap, crappy bikes that only an expert could ride well, whereas the veterans had expensive new bikes that handled like a dream and would make the new guys ride a lot better, if they only knew. I have seen at least one example of this principle in welding. Remember seeing those little 120V single or dual amperage (like 40A and 70A) stick welders that Sears and Wards used to sell? The rod holder and ground clamp were the flimsiest little brass stampings, connected to the welder by lamp-cord. The unknowing non-welder would see this in the store and think, "Now THERE's a friendly unintimidating little welder! Just my size, just the thing I need to stick a few things together around the house." And of course when he got it home, along with an equally crappy helmet, he could do nothing but stick the rod over and over, despite intense study of the instruction sheet. I was called twice by guys like this, and I went to see them and try their machines. And I could weld with them, after a fashion (and wearing my own helmet), but I told the guys, "This thing is HARD to use; it only LOOKS simple!!" And then they came to my shop and I got them to running beads with my equipment, and they'd exclaim, "Hey, this is FUN!!!" It was the same as with the dirt bikes.

                      So, how about it, Iron Head . . . if I get one of those old 200D's will it make me a happy welder?!!
                      Last edited by seattle smitty; 10-03-2008, 02:20 PM. Reason: typo

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                      • #41
                        Iron Head,
                        'pipeliner' and 'highly skilled craft' are a contradiction of terms.
                        being a pipeliner in and of itself is not a skill, welding is a skill, a pipeliner is little more than a weldor that couldn't find a job welding that didn't involve rolling in the mud.

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Iron Head
                          seattle smitty
                          If you ever get 3-phase you should be all over this like a guinea hen on a junebug!
                          One of the best welding machine ever made!

                          http://cgi.ebay.com/Lincoln-Constant...d=p3286.c0.m14

                          Hey... I've got one of those things! I've had it for years now I bought it for
                          carbon arc gouging & already had it home before I realized it was 3 phase.
                          A previous owner painted it yellow. Man it is an ugly beast. I've got no use
                          for it, I just can't bear seeing it scraped, so I keep it around.
                          If anybody's got any use for it, make an offer. I just can't sell it for the
                          copper, it's too cool.
                          Professional Auto Mechanic since 1974
                          My own shop since 1981
                          Cya Frank

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                          • #43
                            Still remains all our welders weld with their own characteristics. Complete as individuals. They all have different signatures and personalties as well. I have welded with all our welders. 4 gas driven, 2 diesels, 4 440 3 ph, one 440 single, one 230 single. They are all different. If you don't notice the difference between welders then you don't weld enough to know the difference.


                            Oh by the way where can I get a chart to tell me where to set these guys so I can weld? Hmmmmm

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                            • #44
                              I just saw this on toolmonger and I thought of this 1 vs 3 phase thread.

                              http://toolmonger.com/2008/10/06/pow...ts-absolutely/
                              Millermatic 185 + Shopping cart .. cart
                              Metabo 4 1/2" grinders.
                              Milwaukee v18 cordless drills and jobsite radio!

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                              • #45
                                Great link. I checked out the manufacturer's website, too, www.automationdirect.com and was impressed. This stuff has really come down in the last several years. I may have to take my Miller CP-200 3-phase welding machine out of storage again.

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