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  • would a rig welder be good for a beginner?

    Hi All - I am looking for a good rig-type welder for my son that just graduated from Tech school as a combo welder.

    And now I am wondering if we should even be looking for one.

    My budget is about $4K. I was originally hoping for $3K, but that does not look possible.

    I am willing to go used if necessary to be within my price range.

    Here are some considerations:

    (1) Son does not have a job yet. He has a couple of interviews with big, multi-national companies coming up. (Will he even need a rig if he is building ships?)

    (2) Originally, he thought that he would want to be a pipe welder. He has the skills for it, but he is newly married and does not want to be away from his wife.

    (3) At the time that we promised him the rig, he was sure that he would want to work on pipe. Maybe, we should just offer him the money for the move instead?

    thanks for your thoughts,
    elaine

  • #2
    Elaine,
    If your son goes to work for a company he will not need anything but a hood and safety equipment.
    "rig" welders are either contracted or subcontracted and by definition supply their own welding ''Rigs".
    No cross country pipe, no need for a ''Rig''.
    Now if you are talking graduation present, a Trailblazer 302 (cyberweld) comes in at your budget and could be a good start to rig/mobile welding.
    Will do AC/DC stick and tig and make any beginner go WOW.
    There are a lot of welders that are good for puttering around the house, but when you say tig, it gets more specialized.
    Don't get in a hurry, the thought/love is always there.
    Good Luck,
    Bob
    Last edited by Bob Miller; 01-05-2011, 08:21 PM. Reason: spelling
    Millermatic 252 w/30A
    Big Blue Air Pak
    Ellis 3000 Band Saw
    Trailblazer 302 Air Pak w/ Wireless Remote
    8-RC
    Dynasty 200 DX
    XMT 350 MPa w/S-74 MPa Plus
    Millermatic 211
    Passport Plus
    Spectrum 625 X-TREME
    Lincoln SA-200 Blue Tint Red Face '63
    2-Lincoln SA-200 Red Face '68
    SA-200 Black Face '59
    SA-200 Green Lite '84
    SA-200 Green Lite '80
    SA-200 Red Face '69
    SA-200 Red Face '66
    SA-200 Green Lite '81
    '70 Black Face Round Barrel

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    • #3
      Get a Maxstar 150. Should be a lot of guys first machines.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by glypnirsgirl View Post
        Hi All - I am looking for a good rig-type welder for my son that just graduated from Tech school as a combo welder.

        And now I am wondering if we should even be looking for one.

        My budget is about $4K. I was originally hoping for $3K, but that does not look possible.

        I am willing to go used if necessary to be within my price range.

        Here are some considerations:

        (1) Son does not have a job yet. He has a couple of interviews with big, multi-national companies coming up. (Will he even need a rig if he is building ships?)

        (2) Originally, he thought that he would want to be a pipe welder. He has the skills for it, but he is newly married and does not want to be away from his wife.

        (3) At the time that we promised him the rig, he was sure that he would want to work on pipe. Maybe, we should just offer him the money for the move instead?

        thanks for your thoughts,
        elaine
        No, he won't need a rig to weld on ships as they will supply all he needs except maybe his safety gear.

        Wheelchair

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        • #5
          When you say ships do you mean shipyards??

          Comment


          • #6
            without knowing your son's background (city boy/farm boy), or his mechanical abilities, business management skills, etc and the fact that he is a new welder he might have a difficult time supporting his family as a rig welder. as a employed welder personal items and knowledge and ability are usually all that is required. as a self employed rig welder he is required to do much much more than just weld.
            miller 225 bobcat
            miller aead200le (with miller hf tig trailer mounted)
            mm175, mm211, TA181i
            mm252 w/30a spool gun
            precision tig 225
            hobart stickmate LX ac/dc
            Speedglas 9100X & XX / Miller Digital Elite
            hypertherm 380 & cutmaster 52
            victor journeyman & super range
            ridgid chop saw, kalamazoo band saw
            steel max and evolution carbide saws
            6 4.5" & a 20lb 9" rockwell grinders
            case 580 backhoe (for what i can"t lift)
            if first you don't succeed
            trash the b#####d

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            • #7
              Just give him the money. $4k wont even come close to all that is needed to buy or rig up a truck. A new hand needs to start out somewhere where he can learn and build his skills. Don't waste your money on trying to rig him out! There are many Rig Welders out there who are barely making it right now with this economy.

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              • #8
                I was in this boat too.

                Im reading between the lines heare because this is waht I wanted when I was younger and it sounds the same.

                Your son took some welding classes and now wants a rig of his own to start a company.

                Problem 1) 4K is not enough yea that will get you a welder but you better already have a 1 ton truck, a BUNCH of C clamps, torch setup, big and small grinder, bad saw, saws all, metal skil saw, That will get you started tinkering.

                Problem 2) School really dose not mean a thing I know gus who went to school and cant weld as well as others who have not, He needs to get some real worl experianc.

                Problem 3) There is always someone willing to do the job cheeper than you. (It may be crappy but most people dont know a good weld from a bad weld)

                Go with the big mulit natinal company let him buy his own stuff and save the rig stuff for when he is simi retired and board.
                Just cause I ain't old don't mean I ain't old school.

                "Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity."
                -Gen. George Smith Patton, Jr-

                If you don't like the sparks and flame you can always be a desk jocky pencil pusher.

                You soul better belong to jesus because your @$$ belongs to me.
                -MEGADETH-

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by glypnirsgirl View Post
                  Hi All - I am looking for a good rig-type welder for my son that just graduated from Tech school as a combo welder.

                  And now I am wondering if we should even be looking for one.

                  My budget is about $4K. I was originally hoping for $3K, but that does not look possible.

                  I am willing to go used if necessary to be within my price range.

                  Here are some considerations:

                  (1) Son does not have a job yet. He has a couple of interviews with big, multi-national companies coming up. (Will he even need a rig if he is building ships?)

                  (2) Originally, he thought that he would want to be a pipe welder. He has the skills for it, but he is newly married and does not want to be away from his wife.

                  (3) At the time that we promised him the rig, he was sure that he would want to work on pipe. Maybe, we should just offer him the money for the move instead?

                  thanks for your thoughts,
                  elaine
                  I wouldn''t waste my money!! You kid need real world experience not a truck! If he happens by chance to get a job next to some seasoned hands he will look like a fool! I don't care how good his welds were in school the real world will humble him in a hurry! And that will either ruin his confidence or he will get run off! Always remember your only as good as your last weld. Jef

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by glypnirsgirl View Post
                    Hi All - I am looking for a good rig-type welder for my son that just graduated from Tech school as a combo welder.

                    And now I am wondering if we should even be looking for one.

                    My budget is about $4K. I was originally hoping for $3K, but that does not look possible.

                    I am willing to go used if necessary to be within my price range.

                    Here are some considerations:

                    (1) Son does not have a job yet. He has a couple of interviews with big, multi-national companies coming up. (Will he even need a rig if he is building ships?)

                    (2) Originally, he thought that he would want to be a pipe welder. He has the skills for it, but he is newly married and does not want to be away from his wife.

                    (3) At the time that we promised him the rig, he was sure that he would want to work on pipe. Maybe, we should just offer him the money for the move instead?

                    thanks for your thoughts,
                    elaine
                    DO you understand what a "RIG" is?? Or are you looking for a Tig Stick machine that plugs into the wall?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Something you know, somethings you don't know, sometimes you don't know what you don't know. So, I think I know that a rig is an engine/generator driven welding machine that is (usually) mounted into a truck and used on a pipeline or as a portable shop. Usually, these are multi-process machines. These machines are in the thousands. (And may need a whole lot of equipment to go with them).

                      Is this correct?

                      Then there are the more "hobby" type welders which may do stick and Tig, but not much else. ANd they plug into an outlet, either 110 or 220 and the better ones will do AC/DC. They are about $400 - $600, depending.

                      I started asking questions before I even knew what questions to ask.

                      I have just finished talking to my son about a few things and it became readily apparent to me that he is NOT ready to do anything on his own for welding --- not even small home projects for someone. And that is despite working on and earning his combo certificate. He just does not know enough. And like me, he doesn't know what he doesn't know.

                      So, he has started applying for some good welding jobs for an employer. BNSF is looking for track repairmen. A local company builds oil rig equipment and has an opening. He has applied at a couple of the shipbuilding outfits.

                      So, I am going to get him one of the smaller plug in type of welders so that he can continue to practice his skills. It will run me about $400 - $600 - depending on whether I go new or used. And I will give him the money for the difference for getting on his feet.

                      Thanks for your help.

                      elaine

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                      • #12
                        Don't go too small on the welder, and it should be capable of stick and scratch-start TIG. Get the scratch-start TIG rig with it so he can hook up an argon cylinder and practice.

                        Other members more familiar than I with the latest inverter welders (since you'll want something portable) can recommend you a unit.

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                        • #13
                          way to go Elaine.... can i be your adopted son? as already said don't half step on what machine you get for him. just in case he does pursue the trade it would be nice to have a machine that he can grow with.....jim
                          miller 225 bobcat
                          miller aead200le (with miller hf tig trailer mounted)
                          mm175, mm211, TA181i
                          mm252 w/30a spool gun
                          precision tig 225
                          hobart stickmate LX ac/dc
                          Speedglas 9100X & XX / Miller Digital Elite
                          hypertherm 380 & cutmaster 52
                          victor journeyman & super range
                          ridgid chop saw, kalamazoo band saw
                          steel max and evolution carbide saws
                          6 4.5" & a 20lb 9" rockwell grinders
                          case 580 backhoe (for what i can"t lift)
                          if first you don't succeed
                          trash the b#####d

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            ^I agree, my first welder was a little 120V Mig welder, and I haven't even touched it in close to a year, too small. That, and if you are hoping for him to improve his skills with practice @ home, I would def. reccommend a stick/tig machine like mentioned. No offense guys, but you can teach a monkey to Mig weld. And all other processes will greatly improve once you get good at stick welding. Plus, you can do a wider variety of different materials than with a wire feeder.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              My ideal home setup would be a 200-250amp range mig machine, and a 200-300amp range AC/DC tig/stick machine. Larger (more amperage) machines are better, but they get expensive and more difficult to power from home circuits.

                              For the mig machine I'd probably get the millermatic 211. It runs from 110v if needed. The top end amperage and duty cycle are a little light in my opinion, but this would be a really good first machine that shouldn't be outgrown soon. It'll cost you about $1000 plus maybe another $500 for bottle, gas, wire, tips, etc, etc.

                              For the tig/stick I'd probably get a dynasty200. However, I wouldn't recommend you get one for a beginner. Yes it's a great machine, but at $2800 for the box alone I can't see spending that amount unless you know your son will be commited to welding for years to come. My second choice would be a syncrowave200 or 250. These can be found used for reasonable amounts. The syncrowaves are heavy, will not run on 110v, and will require rewiring to run. Not that many dynastys sell used and the price is too close to the new price. I don't like the diversion since you don't get the ability to do stick.
                              I have a used econotig that I'm selling for $1000. It has everything you need to do AC/DC tig and stick minus the bottle. This machine is in pristine condition. The econotig is a beginner's machine, the top end amperage and the duty cycle are too low. It works great for it's intended purpose, and will do just about anything he'll want for hobby use, but he will be buying a larger machine if he's serious about welding for a living (yeah, I'm too honest to be a good salesman). I think I saw where you were in Ft.Worth. I'm in Greenville, so maybe an hour and a half away. You can come try the machine if you're interested.

                              On the cheaper end, just get a good stick machine. The maxstar 150s that someone else mentioned would probably be good. These can be bought new for around $750. It runs on 110v if needed. The 100A at 100% duty cycle should be fine for most home use. It doesn't have AC capability, but I don't really consider that a detraction (just welding steel, and it's not magnetized, you'll use DC anyway)

                              One the really cheap end, get a Lincoln AC225. These can be bought new for about $260. They don't have DC capability. Buying used is a good bet since these things are mostly indestructable. I'd expect a used price to be $100. If the switch moves ok and it welds in all switch positions it's probably good. This machine is as basic as it gets. Lots of farm equipment has been repaired with nothing more than an AC225 and some 6011 rod. This machine will not run on 110v. There is an AC/DC version of this machine. I think the price tag gets somewhere above $400. I'd probably go for the maxstar150 instead of the lincoln AC/DC.
                              Last edited by Andy; 01-06-2011, 09:06 PM.

                              Dynasty200DX w/coolmate1
                              MM210
                              MM Vintage
                              Lincoln AC225
                              Victor O/A, Smith AW1A
                              Cutmaster 81
                              IR 2475N7.5FP
                              Evolution Rage3
                              Jancy USA101
                              9" South Bend
                              AEAD-200LE

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