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  • Multiple Pass Welding - newbie questions

    I am looking at purchasing my first MIG welder. I intend to do a lot of practice and then get into a fish house project. The eventual project will include lots of 1/8" welding material and a little 3/8". I see the smaller 140 size welder doesn't handle the 3/8" material.

    As I see it, I have a few options. I could simply tack the thicker parts and then take them to someone else. This is probably the lowest cost option, but I'm kinda stubborn and like to do things myself, even if it costs a little more.

    I could buy a Miller 211 and then I would be set up with the power to weld the 3/8". This option costs a little more, like $300 bucks, but would give me more flexibility in the future as well.

    Another option would be multiple pass welds with the smaller machine. Is this a reasonable practice, or should it be avoided. When I worked for the petroleum pipeline, the thicker welds there were made with an arc welder and made in multiple passes. The pipe was rated for 1,000 psi, so multiple pass must work. The welders were very good however, and I don't expect to ever get to that level. Also, the welds were done with a stick welder and not a MIG.

    Any input?

    I am concerned about spending the extra $300 bucks if I don't need to. I also understand the duty cycle is a little better on the 211, but for my needs I don't believe it will be an issue. Also, I have access to 220V, so that's not an issue.

  • #2
    Originally posted by sparetime View Post
    I am looking at purchasing my first MIG welder. I intend to do a lot of practice and then get into a fish house project. The eventual project will include lots of 1/8" welding material and a little 3/8". I see the smaller 140 size welder doesn't handle the 3/8" material.

    As I see it, I have a few options. I could simply tack the thicker parts and then take them to someone else. This is probably the lowest cost option, but I'm kinda stubborn and like to do things myself, even if it costs a little more.

    I could buy a Miller 211 and then I would be set up with the power to weld the 3/8". This option costs a little more, like $300 bucks, but would give me more flexibility in the future as well.

    Another option would be multiple pass welds with the smaller machine. Is this a reasonable practice, or should it be avoided. When I worked for the petroleum pipeline, the thicker welds there were made with an arc welder and made in multiple passes. The pipe was rated for 1,000 psi, so multiple pass must work. The welders were very good however, and I don't expect to ever get to that level. Also, the welds were done with a stick welder and not a MIG.

    Any input?

    I am concerned about spending the extra $300 bucks if I don't need to. I also understand the duty cycle is a little better on the 211, but for my needs I don't believe it will be an issue. Also, I have access to 220V, so that's not an issue.
    140 amp is too light for 3/8 period. Even 1/4" is pushing it.

    The 211 is a much better choice. If you are someone that wants the portability that 115volts gets you, look at the Hobart Trek 180 battery powered mig. I have only heard good things about the Trek180.
    Nothing welded, Nothing gained

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    • #3
      Here's my local suppliers website. Great pricing. I think 211 is best way to go.

      http://www.weldersupply.com/products...es|Mig+Welding

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      • #4
        I would buy at least a MM212 as the duty cycle (60%) is better than the MM211 which is only 30%...Bob
        Bob Wright

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        • #5
          Since money seems to be an issue, I would be looking at the Hobart Handler 190. Tractor Supply has them for $699. You could do a limited amount of 3/8" with this machine.

          If you want the capability of using 110v also then you need to get the Miller 211 or the Hobart Handler 210 for $900 at TSC.

          If you think you will be needing to do more than the occasional 3/8" or thicker then I would get a larger machine.
          Last edited by MMW; 03-04-2012, 11:14 AM.
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          • #6
            Thank you for the input, sounds like a multiple pass isn't a good option?

            I had thought about going with a Miller 180 or Hobart 190, but at that point I can get a Miller 211 for a few bucks more and have the option of using 110 if I need to. Of course I don't know if I would be using it off my location or not. That would probably be outside, and then I need to consider a stick welder anyway.

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            • #7
              One other thing, my 220 circuit is 50 AMP, will that be a factor?

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              • #8
                50 AMP will be fine on all of them . If thinking of stick you might as well go with tig too. Look for a MILLER 180SD or 200 syncro. Now you have stick and tig. Found my 180SD with foot pedal and leads for $800.00. Awesome BASIC machine. Just turn on and weld. No fancy controls required and you can stick weld too. You never have enough machines or toys. It starts out with one and keeps going.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by sparetime View Post
                  Thank you for the input, sounds like a multiple pass isn't a good option?

                  I had thought about going with a Miller 180 or Hobart 190, but at that point I can get a Miller 211 for a few bucks more and have the option of using 110 if I need to. Of course I don't know if I would be using it off my location or not. That would probably be outside, and then I need to consider a stick welder anyway.
                  You can use Fluxcore outside with the MM211

                  Regarding Multipass- it is not that it is NOT an option- but a 240v machine is just such a better buy because you get a more capable machine for only $300.00 more

                  You will not regret it.
                  Ed Conley
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                  • #10
                    Hi again, you might find this interesting reading. From another site.

                    http://weldingweb.com/showthread.php?t=63270

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                    • #11
                      Attempting to multi-pass 3/8" with a compact 140 amp 120V unit is definitely a big no no.

                      For any joint design that requires a full size weld, you should be using multiple passes on 3/8" with a Millermatic 211( 240V input).

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                      • #12
                        It seems to me, your plans are already bigger than the machine you are considering. So save yourself time and money and buy the Miller 211. I bought the Miller 140AS and in a year I sold it to buy my Miller 211AS. And I did not think at the time I would ever outgrow the 110v capacity. I am confident you would soon wish you had spent the extra $ for the 220v.

                        The saying is "You can't use amps you don't buy".
                        Burt
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                        • #13
                          You are on the right track with the 211, Miller had your picture up on the wall for a poster child while inventing this machine.

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