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advice/suggestions for my next welder

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  • advice/suggestions for my next welder

    I've come to the point where I need to upgrade. I've been welding at home doing mostly ornamental work with a simple, low quality Chicago electric 90 amp wire fed. It's served it purpose and helped me along to get comfortable welding and creating a decent bead and clean welds on low gauge metal. Let me also say that I'm OBSESSED with building/creating/fabricating/welding and have been spending 6-10 hours a day doing so for about a 1.5 years. This is not an exaggeration and I've switched careers in order to pursue my passion in this field) I've had a considerable amount of success in my hobby, and those that have seen my work have been buying some of my pieces and it has led me to the point where I've been hired to work and expand on about 140 feet of balcony and stairway railing. I'm adding scroll and other ornamental iron to fill gaps where the previous welder had left off While on that job, I've found that my "little puppy greenhorn" welder doesn't have the amperage or sufficient duty cycle for me and I need suggestions for the next level welder on a semi-limited budget.
    I LOVE TIG welding and have worked for a manufacturing company and they had the ultimate Miller TIG set up (I don't know which model) and I seemed to do well with it, but I'm not sure I can afford a decent tig welder that will provide what I need. I've never actually worked with MIG, and I understand it can be fairly temperamental depending on the work environment and shielding gas, but very open to buying one due to most of my work will be indoors in the shop. I liked the wire fed flux core welder, but the amount of "flake" that was kicked up creates a lot of wasted time cleaning off.
    I'm open to all and wish their was an "all in one" including a plasma torch that was available to me but I don't think there is such a thing that exists lol.

    Basically, I ask for all of your suggestions for MIG, TIG, and wire fed machines and what route you would take if you were me. I know about the different costs associated with each type (shielding gas, tanks, etc) and ultimately it's going to come to what i can afford (maybe up to $800 total cost). Sorry for the long rant but figures this may be the best place to get some of the best advice.
    Thanks guys

  • #2
    My work on the current project thus far:
    Attached Files

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    • #3
      Sounds like the next logical step might be a larger MIG

      The MM190 comes near your budget figure

      http://www.millerwelds.com/products/...p?model=M00487

      you will probably graduate to a MM350P in time but the MM190 is an affordable step up.. in the interim Would expect you will eventually get a TIG.... they are the most fun in my book..

      If you do not already have the link... King Metals has a lot of goodies you might like

      http://www.kingmetalscatalog.com/main.cfm

      http://www.kingmetals.com/
      Last edited by H80N; 03-16-2015, 05:57 PM.
      .

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