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  • Trying to decide what generator welder I should purchase.

    Hello. I am trying to decide on an generator welder to purchase for my side business. It would mostly be used for farm repair. I live in canada and I want to keep the price below $5000. My local dealer sells both Lincoln and Miller so that is not an issue. The main 4 I am trying to decide between are the miller bobcat 225($3800) and 250($4700), and the Lincoln ranger 225($3500) and 250gxt. I am still waiting on a price for the 250GXt. I would eventually like to get TIG and MIG accessories for the welder. I would of decided on the ranger 225 if it a had ac/dc option because I want to eventually weld aluminium using TIG. What would you recommend for my needs? and do you have any recommendations about getting around the ac/dc tig issue. ThanksIsaac

  • #2
    Originally posted by idm1996 View Post
    Hello. I am trying to decide on an generator welder to purchase for my side business. It would mostly be used for farm repair. I live in canada and I want to keep the price below $5000. My local dealer sells both Lincoln and Miller so that is not an issue. The main 4 I am trying to decide between are the miller bobcat 225($3800) and 250($4700), and the Lincoln ranger 225($3500) and 250gxt. I am still waiting on a price for the 250GXt. I would eventually like to get TIG and MIG accessories for the welder. I would of decided on the ranger 225 if it a had ac/dc option because I want to eventually weld aluminium using TIG. What would you recommend for my needs? and do you have any recommendations about getting around the ac/dc tig issue. ThanksIsaac
    I would Find a good used Trailblazer 301 or 302.... that will give you AC/DC ... CC/CV
    AND the 14pin control...
    That will allow you to run an HF-251 freq box for AC TIG and suitcse feeders & 30A spoolgun for MIG

    http://www.millerwelds.com/om/o4426ae_mil.pdf

    .
    Last edited by H80N; 08-26-2015, 07:15 PM.
    .

    *******************************************
    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


    • #3
      Originally posted by idm1996 View Post
      Hello. I am trying to decide on an generator welder to purchase for my side business. It would mostly be used for farm repair. I live in canada and I want to keep the price below $5000. My local dealer sells both Lincoln and Miller so that is not an issue. The main 4 I am trying to decide between are the miller bobcat 225($3800) and 250($4700), and the Lincoln ranger 225($3500) and 250gxt. I am still waiting on a price for the 250GXt. I would eventually like to get TIG and MIG accessories for the welder. I would of decided on the ranger 225 if it a had ac/dc option because I want to eventually weld aluminium using TIG. What would you recommend for my needs? and do you have any recommendations about getting around the ac/dc tig issue. ThanksIsaac
      Bobcat is a poor tig machine as is the lincoln because both machines lack the ability to control the amps with a foot pedal. Also the amp adjustments are more of a range then a exact setting. You would be much bettar off buying something which can power a tig welder, or look for a tb302. I would avoid the tb301, as they were probablmatic and odds are it will be an onan engine, (much prefer the kohler, cheaper to fix, parts easier to get, bettar on fuel...etc).
      I do beleive the best bang for the buck now is the ranger 250. Very good welder, has a nice arc, but personally i would buy a 305g. If you must have ac welding on the genset, then the tb302 is the best bet. Just remember to never jump start it, will ruin the main board. Neither lincoln or miller make a gas engine drive with ac and remote control option. Ac current was dropped. When i need to ac weld, i start my 305g, and plug the dynasty 200 in it.
      Kevin
      Lincoln ranger 305g x2
      Ln25
      Miller spectrum 625
      Miller 30a spoolgun
      Wc115a
      Lincoln 210mp
      F550 imt service truck

      Comment


      • #4
        What kind of farm is this? A lot of heavy implement or general? The need to field weld alloy can he highly over rated and well under used.
        If you are welding excavating machines and need large output then you need this but technology has really came a long way and today might consider another approach.
        The Maxstar S has just about retired my portables and wouldn't do it again today. I would buy a simple genset, about 5500 watts and plug a Maxstar in to it. You don't mention other welders but usually a guy can find power for it and in the shop it can run on 240, the 150 is not big but I manage quite well with that class of machine. For around 1500$ or so could be portable stick welding. For another grand could add a 211 with spooly.
        You need to look at all these process as a wish list. I regret not welding a bit of alum with a torch, I think I might try this but I don't want to tote a lot of stuff not needed for field work. Its a warm thought but as one guy at a carney I talked to said,,,, I love the new TB but should have left the feeder in the store as its an expensive passenger.

        Comment


        • #5
          If you actually have a lot of alum then it might be what you need but if you are buying cause "some day I might want it" them skip it. Over the years I have learned some of that is as good crossed if and when you get there.

          Comment


          • #6
            A trail blazer 302 is a great option, I have been a portable welder for 27 years and its very rare that I need to do tig aluminum out on a job site.

            Buy a Trail blazer, get the 14 pin cable with a RC feeder so you can mig weld out on the job site, you will use this set up 99 times more often than if you get the tig set up.

            Unless you live out on the ocean where they use alot of aluminum that might be different.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Portable Welder View Post
              A trail blazer 302 is a great option, I have been a portable welder for 27 years and its very rare that I need to do tig aluminum out on a job site.

              Buy a Trail blazer, get the 14 pin cable with a RC feeder so you can mig weld out on the job site, you will use this set up 99 times more often than if you get the tig set up.

              Unless you live out on the ocean where they use alot of aluminum that might be different.
              With A TB-301 or TB-302 You can also run Aluminum MIG with a 30A Spoolgun & WC-24 controller...

              BTW I had a couple of TB-301's w/Subaru Robins for several years and had zero problems with them....
              Last edited by H80N; 08-27-2015, 03:53 PM.
              .

              *******************************************
              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


              • #8
                I went a long way around to say what Portable said about tig. It isn't that is not being dune but the real need for it can be far and few between. There are other things on occasion but being a portable welder is really about having good stick skills. This is the dealmaker, the rest will come.
                If I was a dedicated pro calling myself All Around Welding Everything and had more than I could do, was looking to raise my rates or specialize in my expertise then there might be a difference concensus but if going in to a sideline a guy should be a minimalist till he finds his path.
                I am sure it happens and other guys are in this but I will agree as it seems I had about 1 call in 30 yrs too for some pain in the azz job for someone that I didn't want to deal with anyway.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sberry
                  . . . being a portable welder is really about having good stick skills. This is the dealmaker . . .
                  Very interesting to see you say that. I seem to end up doing almost all stick welding (repairs upon and some fabrication for heavy equipment and their associated trucks and trailers, as a semi-retirement income), out of long habit and sheer personal inertia. But I keep reading that all the smarter guys than me have long-since mostly abandoned stick-welding and gone to wire-feed welding (all three types, depending on the situation), which makes me feel like the last buggy-whip maker. Yet now here you assert that stick skills are primary for mobilewelding . . .

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Trying to decide what generator welder I should purchase.

                    What really matters is what type of mobile welding service he is providing.

                    Take my little niche side work for example...repair of commercial kitchen equipment, in the kitchen either before or after service. Majority of that is stainless. For me, my maxstar 150 sth works perfect and I always have 115v service and can usually find 230v if I need it. My work is kept to a tight area, out of the way of the kitchen staff, quick in and out. Done. Happy customer.

                    My only point is to find what purpose he is building this plan for. There is no such thing as a one size fits all rig. Sure there are multiprocess this and that, but I'd rather have a TIG machine that wants to a TIG machine and a plasma cutter that wants to be a plasma cutter.

                    I would love to have a big engine drive and branch out my mobile skills, but that just ain't happenin' at the moment. An engine drive is in the works and I've been looking at them quite closely for a very near purchase. But none of them do everything I want them to do, which really irritates the living daylights out of me. If I'm gonna pay that much cabbage for a piece of equipment, I'd darn sure wish it did everything. Maybe the $15k+ ones will, but that's not even on my radar.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by old jupiter View Post
                      Very interesting to see you say that. I seem to end up doing almost all stick welding (repairs upon and some fabrication for heavy equipment and their associated trucks and trailers, as a semi-retirement income), out of long habit and sheer personal inertia. But I keep reading that all the smarter guys than me have long-since mostly abandoned stick-welding and gone to wire-feed welding (all three types, depending on the situation), which makes me feel like the last buggy-whip maker. Yet now here you assert that stick skills are primary for mobilewelding . . .
                      Lots of stick only guys beating each other to death at cut rate prices.... and starving to death... just look at how many hobby welders here buy a beat up engine drive and expect to get rich by undercutting the competition.. I have seen hundreds of threads over the years

                      Having the equipment AND Skills to cover at least MIG if not both MIG & TIG.. will translate into more work and food on the table.. Especially in a rural setting

                      Just my 2cents worth...
                      Last edited by H80N; 08-28-2015, 12:27 PM.
                      .

                      *******************************************
                      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
                        Originally posted by old jupiter View Post
                        Very interesting to see you say that. I seem to end up doing almost all stick welding (repairs upon and some fabrication for heavy equipment and their associated trucks and trailers, as a semi-retirement income), out of long habit and sheer personal inertia. But I keep reading that all the smarter guys than me have long-since mostly abandoned stick-welding and gone to wire-feed welding (all three types, depending on the situation), which makes me feel like the last buggy-whip maker. Yet now here you assert that stick skills are primary for mobilewelding . . .

                        I would consider stick welding skills the backbone in any mobile welding business, but if i did not own a feeder i would have gone broke. First many repairs lead to fabrication jobs, if you quote a fab job with stick as your process it will be to expensive.
                        I use stick when its a quick job, or so windy the feeder is useless, rest of the time its dual shield and the feeder. Yes i could stick weld the whole job, but lets take an example. To weld new shanks on a jd 310 bucket is about an hour with .045 dual shield, with stick its 2.5 hrs. That extra time saved means more build up time on other areas of the bucket. The bucket job comes out bettar, and when compared to my competion my bucket is superior. Now i get the next job...
                        As for tig welding its an area where i have little to no need for it. Jobs dont require it, but im a heavy equipment mechanic.
                        Lincoln ranger 305g x2
                        Ln25
                        Miller spectrum 625
                        Miller 30a spoolgun
                        Wc115a
                        Lincoln 210mp
                        F550 imt service truck

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Trying to decide what generator welder I should purchase.

                          I would say that's the true purpose of mig welding then, to save time with fabrication or maintenance. I like it...guys that have it together like that.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ryanjones2150 View Post
                            What really matters is what type of mobile welding service he is providing.

                            Take my little niche side work for example...repair of commercial kitchen equipment, in the kitchen either before or after service. Majority of that is stainless. For me, my maxstar 150 sth works perfect and I always have 115v service and can usually find 230v if I need it. My work is kept to a tight area, out of the way of the kitchen staff, quick in and out. Done. Happy customer.

                            My only point is to find what purpose he is building this plan for. There is no such thing as a one size fits all rig. Sure there are multiprocess this and that, but I'd rather have a TIG machine that wants to a TIG machine and a plasma cutter that wants to be a plasma cutter.

                            I would love to have a big engine drive and branch out my mobile skills, but that just ain't happenin' at the moment. An engine drive is in the works and I've been looking at them quite closely for a very near purchase. But none of them do everything I want them to do, which really irritates the living daylights out of me. If I'm gonna pay that much cabbage for a piece of equipment, I'd darn sure wish it did everything. Maybe the $15k+ ones will, but that's not even on my radar.

                            Excellent example of an underserved niche...

                            If you had AC TIG... you could do their pizza paddles too... any place that does pizza always has a few cracked ones laying around..
                            Point is... there is a lot of repairable aluminum stuff in those kitchens too that might sweeten your visit...
                            Last edited by H80N; 08-28-2015, 05:17 PM.
                            .

                            *******************************************
                            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
                              Originally posted by Tryagn5
                              I use stick when its a quick job, or so windy the feeder is useless, rest of the time its dual shield and the feeder.
                              Why not put in a spool of no-gas innershield wire and continue to use the feeder? Or have a second feeder set up that way, since even though innershield is harder to clean up than dual-shield, it's still supposed to be a lot faster than stick (meaning you could quickly pay for the extra gear). Understand, I'm not arguing at all, and am just interested in hearing what you say about this.

                              As far as the best equipment to have, I suppose I started with the worst, forty-some years ago, during my first quarter in welding school. A Sears Craftsman 295A buzz-box, built for Sears by Emerson Electric, and bought by me at a big discount from the Sears surplus store, where I also bought a Craftsman (by Harris) 2-stage O/A outfit, and a Craftsman (by Singer)(yep, sewing machines) 7-9" side-grinder. Pretty marginal operation (60' 230V drop-cord, with some homemade adapters), but with that hobby-level stuff in my shop or loaded into my '66 Econoline Supervan, I made thousands and thousands of dollars. And never had any come-backs or complaints about the work.

                              And I still have all of that old stuff, which still works. Makes you feel sorry for the guys today who have to buy entry-level equipment, which all now comes from China, and certainly won't be running after forty years!! Oh, I have it all except the old snub-nose Econoline, which is the one thing I now wish I had kept, dang!!
                              Last edited by old jupiter; 08-28-2015, 10:04 PM.

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