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  • machine choice????

    Andy,
    I am looking at a new machine..found out the old one which still works well is now obsolete and it is better if I just get a new welder..

    I am looking at the Maxstar 150 for my little shop..I do mostly automotive work..restoration and such..I will probably get inot some aluminum and stainless work if the machine has that capability..

    i very seldom see anything over 3/16 in my shop so having lots of amps is not an issue..what is and issue is being able to crank the amps down to weld things like body metal and such without having burn through in the work..

    My choice is between the Maxstar 150 STL or the Maxstar 150 STH..I am hoping to get the right thing in the first place..

    I did look at the wire feeders and Gmaw does not seem to be the way to go if one is working on alloy steel (motorcycle frames..grankids seem to break em) or aluminum and stainless..(Stainless maybe make some things for the fish boat..:>)

    Your thoughts..??

    Thanks
    Grampa
    Grampa has done so much with so little now I do everything with nothing..;>)

  • #2
    Grampa,

    Andy is in Daytona this week and may not hit the forum for a few days. The Maxstar series: 150 and 200 are DC only machines and not intended for aluminum. The Dynasty 200 DX is the AC/DC capable machine and works wonders on all metals including aluminum and magnesium. If you like the DC Maxstar and have and inkling to stick weld, then the 200 is better suited for the 6010 rod. It has the adjustable dig for different rods-nice feature.

    GMAW is nice and easier, but not really sited to precision frame repair. The Maxstar 150 STH has the high freq option and 4 pulse settings. It is more suited for GTAW precision than the 150 STL. If the Maxstar 150 is what you decide, then the 150STH package with the torch and all is a nice package. Just remember it does not use the standard 14 pin connection and is not compatable with other 14 pin machines: 200 Maxstar or Dynasty. If you should decide to upgrade you will have to buy machine and amptrol again. Take a serious look at the 200DX model in the Maxstar or the Dynasty before buying.

    The Maxstar 150 will dial down to 5 amps and the Maxstar/Dynasty 200 series goes down to 1 amp. This will allow for thin stuff. You mention body metal. The MM210 or MM135 will be much better suited for that. GTAW is tedious and will take forever to tig a body panel. GMAW is a better all purpose process. Just my thoughts.

    Comment


    • #3
      Grampa;

      If you contact your local welder supply company they should have some trial and training equipment, if you try gmaw[mig] you will believe. It is easier and much more variable, You can get flux cored stainless wire and a spoolgun for running aluminum. If you need to do cast you need stick for Ni99 rods, but I weld lawnmowers, bikes, gocarts, Al tubing, steel tubing, steel plates, whatever. I have a bigger machine but for auto sheetmetal mig is it, mine is a millermatic 210/ with spoolgun for around $1600. If your local supply wants to sell they will help you see the different machines and make an enlightened decision by trial not by word. We all have an opinion and when it gets down to brass tacks its your bucks, and spend them well and stay in touch.

      Take a look at mm135 for a 120 volt standard plug go any where, or the mm175 for the 230 volt unit which will be better for thin Al than the mm135. Weld well

      Comment


      • #4
        Choices choices

        My local supplier is of course trying to get my money..I do have the ole redbox wire feeder for which I will try and find the regulator to run gas (Gmaw)and then get the 150 sth to use when I am working with the more exotic alloy (grankids motorcycle frames and such) Thsi may prove to be the most economical approach to my needs..of course if I cannot get the parts to upgrade the redbox then it would be replaced with the Millermatic 135..Same as I have only newer..

        I can appreciate the fact that the 150STH has to use its own stuff unlike the 200 dynasty..but I will take a look at that machine..Looks like I will wind up owning 2 welders to cover my needs here tho..:>)Have to take the wife to some nice place and spring this one..!!!

        The existing machine I have is set up for flux core and I have welded a lot of stuff with it..In fact for maintenance work I believe the small 115 volt boxes are hard to beat for price and versitility..tha tis unless one needs to work with thicker metal..>3/16" any way will let you know what I do here..

        Thanks
        Grampa
        Grampa has done so much with so little now I do everything with nothing..;>)

        Comment


        • #5
          Grampa
          in the TIG vs MIG for restoration discussion.. well I guess that I am just a little bit old fashioned... for restoration work.. I personally prefer TIG... yep it takes a little more time but the quality and appearance of a good TIG weld on automotive sheetmetal is just a thing of beauty.. during a restoration the ability to work and weld a panel til it is perfect is much more easily done with a TIG welder.. yes it takes longer to learn.. and the process is more time consuming.. BUT the degree of control that you have over your weld is unsurpassed... the personal pride of being able to metalfinish the panel ... prime and paint.. without lead or bondo.. makes it (at least for me) worth the extra effort .... a good quality AC/DC Tig machine w/hf and amptrol is one of the most versatile tools that you can own....
          Now I can climb off of my soapbox.... and for what it is worth I do own MIG machines and use them regularly ...my old MM200 is a real workhorse and will do as pretty a MIG weld as any of the modern ones..
          This thread struck a real personal chord with me.. I see patch panels and sheetmetal work in the magazines (these days)done on hotrods and restorations... where they stitch with a wiregun.. grind it flat and then bondo over it... this is "now" accepted practice... (not so 20 years ago) but I always wonder why for the same ammount of effort they couldnt have tigged a well fitted butt joint and had the metal as pretty under the paint as it is when finished... TRUE.. that after the paint is applied.. both will look the same.. but for me.. a restoration is much more than skin deep..
          this is just the opinion of one cranky old critter
          Thanks
          Heiti
          .

          *******************************************
          The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

          “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

          Buy the best tools you can afford.. Learn to use them to the best of your ability.. and take care of them...

          My Blue Stuff:
          Dynasty 350DX Tigrunner
          Dynasty 200DX
          Millermatic 350P w/25ft Alumapro & 30A
          Millermatic 200

          TONS of Non-Blue Equip, plus CNC Mill, Lathes & a Plasmacam w/ PowerMax-1000

          Comment


          • #6
            Good info...:&gt

            This has been very helpful to me..Since what I do is the hobby shop deal I am going to check out the Maxstar 150STH..I got the price quote in the Dynasty 200 and it is more than I want to spend..And I bleieve that the Maxstar will do all I need to do..Just a matter of matching up the right tool to fit the needs..


            if any of you need some help on bending tubing and fabricating I have done quite a bit of that..and have figured out some ways to do things without bending the budget too bad..

            On the TIG deal I will need to get some scrap and practice before I weld anything critical..In fact I have found it best since I have not done it everyday for a while to run a bead on some scrap before I do anything critical to recover my hand..Just my take for the hobby guys..

            For my purposes I thin this will be the right choice for me as the guy down the street has the larger machine should I require to do something that is out of the capacity of wha tI have in my shop..Should not happen too often tho..

            Take care and have a good one guys

            Grampa
            Grampa has done so much with so little now I do everything with nothing..;>)

            Comment


            • #7
              grandpa

              imo i would look into a mm135 and a syncrowave 180 tig welder. personally i do not like using spoolguns for aluminum and i would go mad if i had to tig up a body pannel.

              this is where resarch will pay off. this is a great board and everyone is here to help.

              depending on how much you have to spend and how much space you have at your shop.

              i have had really good luck with the mm135 and the syncrowave machines. but i feel that a mig/tig set up is the way to go

              how bad is your current machine? they really dont get out dated, its probly built better then their new machines, try out a syncrowave....

              good luck and keep us posted,

              brian

              Comment


              • #8
                Granpa
                what about your current red machine? (lincoln?) arcdawg is right parts are available for most... can you give us a model number and explain your problem? ... bet one of us can probably help you to get it back in working order...that way you could have a working MIG and a tig machine...
                my guess is that arcdawg would not go mad tigging a body panel... but might if he had to learn the old method of hammerwelding with oxy-acet ... that WAS hard to learn and very time consuming..
                please let us know about your old RED one...
                hope this helps
                Heiti
                .

                *******************************************
                The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

                “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

                Buy the best tools you can afford.. Learn to use them to the best of your ability.. and take care of them...

                My Blue Stuff:
                Dynasty 350DX Tigrunner
                Dynasty 200DX
                Millermatic 350P w/25ft Alumapro & 30A
                Millermatic 200

                TONS of Non-Blue Equip, plus CNC Mill, Lathes & a Plasmacam w/ PowerMax-1000

                Comment


                • #9
                  Red box

                  It is the SP100 (lincoln) one of the first small 110 wire feeders to come out..has provision for gas..in those days they did not make the kit..the regulator and hoses were a separate item.

                  I set it up with 0.35 flux wire since at the time I was doing a lot of maintenace work..all mild steel..handrails..broken brackets etc. I am sure some of the guys know that drill..flux core works great for that and the little guy running on 110 is great for portablity. I have welded thin body metal as well as made some carport supporting posts with it..4x4 1/4 wall square tube..I know pushes the lil box hard but did get the job done..

                  Actually since I take care of my things the lil red box looks almost new..

                  I have no problem with this machine but then I broke in on stick and the school I went to made us learn vertical up..vertical down..horizontal..overhead..out of position..multiple pass techniques....all of which one must do well or you did not graduate..we were tested just about everyday on weld quality and the ole guys doing the teaching at the time were all very experienced field welders and felt that their students should know enough to pass about any certification test they might encounter..

                  This GMAW and GTAW is new to me as 35 years ago shielded arc was the province of some very high tech shops and we in those days did everything either stick or gas....Hope that helps you understand where I am coming from..I believe it is a matter of getting my hands on one of these new fashioned machines and a pile of scrap and burn some rod as we used to say..

                  Thanks
                  Grampa
                  Grampa has done so much with so little now I do everything with nothing..;>)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Grampa: They still make a very close model to the one you have and I had one of these machines and still use it at my raceteams shop. There is not alot that I would have trouble with until heavier guage than you described. I bought the gas kit for it for I think $55 at home depot. The gas takes the place of flux and leaves a cleaner finish with out chipping or wire brushing. If there is something wrong with it, it should be repairable inexpensively unless the transformer has for some reason been over heated. Don't get me wrong I love my millermatic 210, but I had the red box for 6-7 years and until the last year I never overheated it till Building shelves at the race garage with lots of help where all I did was weld for hours and it got hot- very hot. We still have it in the trailer for racing repairs. weld well

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Grampa
                      here is a link to an inexpensive regulator.. seems to have adaptor for co2 as well so you could run straight co2 or c25 mix..
                      $30 bucks... hf
                      hope this helps
                      Heiti

                      http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=47259
                      .

                      *******************************************
                      The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

                      “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

                      Buy the best tools you can afford.. Learn to use them to the best of your ability.. and take care of them...

                      My Blue Stuff:
                      Dynasty 350DX Tigrunner
                      Dynasty 200DX
                      Millermatic 350P w/25ft Alumapro & 30A
                      Millermatic 200

                      TONS of Non-Blue Equip, plus CNC Mill, Lathes & a Plasmacam w/ PowerMax-1000

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        regulator

                        Thanks..those guys have a store near here..have to check them out..Happy welding..

                        Grampa...
                        Grampa has done so much with so little now I do everything with nothing..;>)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          regulator

                          Thanks..those guys have a store near here..have to check them out..Happy welding..

                          Grampa...
                          Grampa has done so much with so little now I do everything with nothing..;>)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Grampa
                            seems like you ar set on the MaxStar 150... when you get quotes make sure that you get the package with the remote amptrol ...

                            Maxstar® 150 STL Stick/TIG Package #907 135-01-2 Includes #907 135-01-1 above plus Accessory Pack 2 (#195 184 remote
                            with Case and Remote Fingertip Control fingertip control for Maxstar 150 STL and STH models)

                            but you might also consider the Synchrowave 180SD which is not an inverter but does have A/C for welding aluminum.. just a little higher in price but a more capable machine...

                            BTW the Hobart equivalents are sometimes discounted a bit more steeply...

                            on shopping price.. check out places like B&R or Cyberweld... Miller will drop ship from the factory so there are no shipping charges..(nor sales tax)
                            have had dealings with Bob at B&R and have been very satisfied..

                            just some food for thought
                            Heiti
                            .

                            *******************************************
                            The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

                            “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

                            Buy the best tools you can afford.. Learn to use them to the best of your ability.. and take care of them...

                            My Blue Stuff:
                            Dynasty 350DX Tigrunner
                            Dynasty 200DX
                            Millermatic 350P w/25ft Alumapro & 30A
                            Millermatic 200

                            TONS of Non-Blue Equip, plus CNC Mill, Lathes & a Plasmacam w/ PowerMax-1000

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thanks Heiti

                              I have set a budget in the 1000 to 1500 range for a machine..maybe scrap up a bit more if it is the right deal..the maxstar 150 fits tha tbudget but it would be nice to find one with a bit more power...

                              The fancy stuff wiil just have to go by the board I think..tho it woudl be nice to have a computer controlled stinger as I understand ome machines have that now..

                              What is the world coming to? Guess these young guys do not have to learn much anymore..

                              Grampa
                              Grampa has done so much with so little now I do everything with nothing..;>)

                              Comment

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