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help me make a choice here gentelman

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  • help me make a choice here gentelman

    help me make a choice here gentelman

    I did not get nearly the info I was hopeing for when I posted a question in the other forum, on welders,IM in the market for a new QUALITY SHOP WELDER,it must run on 220v feed current single phase, I run a custom hot rod shop,Ive used , OXY-acetolene and sears,and lincoln buzz box stick welders for years and have used MIG and TIG only on occasion, but I need more info from you gentelmen to make up my mind on which welder to purchase for the shop as Ill be welding alot more aluminum, and good looking welds are mandatory
    I want to do BOTH nice looking welds on ALUMINUM EFI intakes from thick to thin(1/8"-3/8") so a TIG seems like a good choice, and QUALITY not speed is important to me!,since IVE done lots of years with OXY-acetolene I think TIG will be the better choice but IM open for suggestions and IM doing general hot rod work like frames,headers,roll bars , some body work,ETC so a MIG looks ok,and the local dealer suggested a 251 and 30a spool gun, but not having used migs on aluminum much,and most of my friends say get a 200a-300amp tig machine, Im not sure whats my lack of skill with a new welder ive tried briefly and what just not available from that particular model, theres both inverter and transformer based welders and several brands, Ill post a few links, and ID like the experianced welders to point out both the good and bad points on each as IM SURE we can all pick up some info, and PLEASE feel free to add info or other choices , ID prefer buying a MILLER TIG as my buddies say service is better than some other brands but I cant waste money.
    (IM not locked into buying from these guys in particular,but they have a link I need to show what Im looking at)

    Buy discount welding supplies from premium brands like Miller®, Hobart®, Lincoln Electric®, ESAB®, Smith®, Victor®, Harris®, Optrel®, Black Stallion® and John Tillman® from the mouse with over 85 years of welding experience.

    Buy discount welding supplies from premium brands like Miller®, Hobart®, Lincoln Electric®, ESAB®, Smith®, Victor®, Harris®, Optrel®, Black Stallion® and John Tillman® from the mouse with over 85 years of welding experience.

    Buy discount welding supplies from premium brands like Miller®, Hobart®, Lincoln Electric®, ESAB®, Smith®, Victor®, Harris®, Optrel®, Black Stallion® and John Tillman® from the mouse with over 85 years of welding experience.


    quality, repair parts availability and service counts
    so figure that into the choice also!

  • #2
    Quality custom aluminum work rules out the Mig spoolgun idea, especially with light matls. The upper end of your thickness range may rule out the smaller tig's. Some of the tig guys could elaborate on ampacity requirements. Personally if I was doing such a broad range of fab I wouldnt make it on one machine. I might step down a notch on feeders and skip the spool gun, say a MM210 and then what ever tig I could make it on. I know if you are hiring any men then the machine costs are minimal, not having the right machines gets expensive in a hurry.


    • #3
      Welcome aboard, first off if your looking at the dynasty you'll want the DX model not the SD. I'll say mig is easier, but tig looks prettier, both will get it done with practice.

      My personal preferance would be in the land of mig I own a mm210 w/3035 spoolgun and it would do most of your requirements. Aluminum max is 1/4" but the rest is within the numbers so I would definently vote for the mm251 or the new mm350p.



      • #4
        You seem to be going in several directions and it will be hard to do everything with one machine, economicaly.
        I have the MM 210 with the spool gun which is under rated at 3/8". It will handle 1/2" well. The MM 251 is probably overkill, unless you are doing serious 8 hour a day fabrication on 1/4" or thicker material.
        I also reccomend checking with I have used them to buy my MM 210 and Spectrum 625 and got great price and service.


        • #5
          dynasty 200dx ??

          if you got the time and can do it yourself dynasty 200 DX. if you need to have a helper fill in for you then mig is a much easyer lerning curve and has lots more speed. inverter seems to be the ticket for thin sheet metal.
          just my humble thoughts. although there are menny with more under there belts as i too used oxy and am new to the mig and tig.i have oxy , mig , and plasma cutter now and will soon have a dynasty of my own. (gota save a few more pennies) might see if your local dealer dose rentals and rent one of each and see how you feel about the pros and cons it realy is hard to find a do all box. get the best you can for what you do most and get a starter for those seldome jobs, it realy sounds to me you need tig as prity seems more important than speed and that is tig ,as well as you can weld anything with it. all my boxes are blue and never stop suprising me (in good ways only)
          happy welding
          thanks for the help
          hope i helped
          feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. [email protected]
          summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.


          • #6
            I am too kind of new to the "art" of tig welding. I have done it off and on for the past 3 years,when my job require's it. Being in a food plant it is more often than not. I have used both a spoolamatic and tig for aluminum(depending on the application),and I must agree that tig is the only way to go for great looking welds within close tolerances,as they will be in an intake manifold. With frame work...IF someone is not too particular, you can get good,strong welds with a spoolgun. Granted, the weld will not have that look that a tig will give you. But it will speed up your fabrication time,and save you some money in the long run. In my plant we have numerous welders, from syncrowave 350's all the way to the portable 150STH's. I have used the larger welders on 18 gauge and 20 gauge metals without problems,and the smaller welders for numerous jobs up to 1/4" materials.I would suggest going with both a spoolgun for mig applications and a tig unit that will suit your applications, such as the syncrowave 350's and 351's that we use at the plant. With all that you are expecting I do not think that you can get it out of 1 welder. The only other question you need to ask yourself is this....Do I want a foot control,or at my fingertips?


            • #7
              If you have tig it eliminates most of the need for a spool gun. It doesnt sound ike he needs outright production so I would save my money on that one. The same tig would do sticks should the need arise. Tig is going to be painfully slow on general steel fab so a feeder is in order and on that type of work stick would be too sloppy. Without the spool gun this reduced the cost of one a bunch. I glanced at the 250 in the earlier post, over 3 grand,,, but it has the power. The dynasty is a little over 2G and if I could get by with that I would still spring for a 210 and cover all the bases. The 210 is going to speed up as well as make steel work easier and for auto shop it is plenty of machine. I think you can get one for 12 or 1300 plus a bottle. Even with all the accys and a nice hood, bottles and all you could be out of this for under 4 G easy. Its likely he already has a plasma and on auto fab even a light one in the 30A range would make it. Also welding stuff on under cars with tig would often be "trying" to say the least.


              • #8
                Since Aluminum welding is one of your priorities, and you state the need to weld 3/8" aluminum, and in light of the fact that you want quality rather than speed in your welding, I would recommend the Miller Dynasty 300DX. You have mentioned applications, such as welding on intake manifolds, that are not going to be suited for mig. Although you have mentioned frames and Roll cages, where mig would work great. BUT, if speed is not important, Tig can be used as a substitute for mig, but not vice versa.

                The Dynasty 200DX is a great machine, for sure, but 3/8 aluminum is just asking too much from it, in my opinion. The Inverters will use a whole lot less electricity, and may be more feasable in your shop, depending on your available power. A Syncrowave 250 w/PFC will draw 52 amps at 200 amps output on 230V power. The Dynasty 300 will draw 44 amps at the same input voltage and output amps.If you have 3 phase power the Dynasty will draw only 20.5 amps.

                The Syncrowave 250 is a great machine, but since you stress "quality" so much, I feel that the Dynasty's features will let you get higher quality welds, albiet after a learning curve. But that curve is going to be present with any tig machine.

                Ideally, you could most certainly use two machines to do the work you have mentioned. If most of the mig applications are in steel, the Millermatic 210, or 251 would work fine. If aluminum mig is also something you are going to look at, I would take a serious look at the new Millermatic 350P, and it will also improve your steel welding. I don't think a 30-A spoolgun is suited to the type of work you are doing. An XR-A Edge, or the new XR-A Python would be a lot more compact and usefull in your type of work.

                I definitely am not recommending the cheapest way out here, but you do seem like someone who is insistent on quality work, and any of the machines I mentioned will make the highest quality welds possible for your applications. I have yet to find a "Cheap" way to weld aluminum, satisfactorily anway. Hope this is of some help to you.


                • #9

                  Many of my posts are long and drawn out. This one is short and to the point. For the al manifolds I highly recommend the Miller Dynasty 300DX Tig Runner Package which includes all the goodies, a Coolmate 3 cooler and a #20 water cooled torch. This is an expensive package, but well worth the cash. It will outweld any of Miller's Syncrowave series as well as smoke the competition blind folded. I rely on one daily. If you want to see the quality work this machine is capable of producing, then take look at the PICS links in any of the posts and replies by ENGLOID on this forum.

                  For your less critical applications where a wire feed welder(GMAW)will lend speed and good solid welds the Miller MM251 is the ticket. It has a clean crisp arc with plenty of adjustablity. The MM210 is also a fine machine, but experience shows the MM251 to have the upper hand for day in and out use. It is also easily adaptable to high quality push/pull aluminum MIG welding if needed.

                  I would skip MIG welding of aluminum all together if possible. If not, a push pull module and any of the Edge series guns including the Python can be added to the MM251 as easy as plug and play.

                  These are by no means the least expensive options, but quality costs.

                  Well I just spent $8000 of your hard earned money on the 300DX package and the MM251. The Python and puhs/pull module for the MM251 will push the grand total to roughly $10000.

                  As for internet buying I think it's a good place to compare prices. However, I recommend and practice what I preach, you buy from a hometown dealer and negotiate the price using your internet wealth of knowledge. If you have warranty issues or need assistance or even consumables this is a very valuable relationship to develop! The internet is great, but try to get good and fast warranty work or a loaner machine to keep you running through the "net". It "aint" going to happen! Welding machines cost as does good service. You get what you pay for.

                  Decisions. Decisions. I wish you well. Let us know what you buy.


                  • #10
                    I overlooked the MM251 with the Push-Pull module. Definitely less costly than the MM350P. If your aluminum mig welding will be on heavier material, 1/16 and up, the advantage to the pulser probably won't be utilized. If, however, you have thoughts of fabricating aluminum Hot Rod bodies, from lighter gauge aluminum, the Pulsing option may be worth the extra money.

                    You said you were not "locked in" to buying from Cyberweld. That is a good thing in my eyes. Although internet buying has it's place, and I do buy a lot of things over the 'net, welding equipment, especially as technical of equipment as you are looking at, is, in my eyes, best bought from a reputable local dealer. It will go a long way towards establishing a good relationship with a dealer that very may well be invaluable to you down the road.

                    Not every dealer will have an "Inside" guy who is familiar with the equipment we are talking about. If they don't, ask them to have one of their more technically oriented "outside" salesmen to call on you at your shop. He will most likely be able to help you more, and it will make sure he knows where you are, if and when you need some help.

                    When worst comes to worst, if your local dealer is stumped, he has the ability to bring the Miller district manager to your shop to help you out. Like HAWK said, you will not get that kind of service from the on-line dealers.

                    Good Luck, I will look forward to hearing what you decide.


                    • #11
                      Ive received several private EMAIL suggestions and together with the info on this forum Im starting to form an opinion,first ILL be buying a TIG welder not a MIG, but one thing still has me questioning the tenitive choice,of a (Miller Syncrowave 250 DX TIGRunner with Torch) some INVERTER type welders like the (MILLER CST 250 DC STICK/TIG WELDER)
                      seem to weight considerably less and appear to give you more power and range than the heavier transformer base design tig welders, COMMENTS ?? thoughts?


                      • #12

                        If you plan on using this unit in any amount, an inverter will pay for itself eventually in the power savings alone. The CST you mentioned will not do aluminum. You would want to opt for the Dynasty 300 Tigrunner. Easily can plug into almost any MIG welder plug and run making it very portable. The Syncrowave will have to be wired to a 100Amp breaker, usually hard wired, making it less portable and hard to drag around the shop with a 300lb electric cord.

                        The Tig is the way to go because of the precision you need. MIG welding Aluminum is more for production type work like building trailers or dump boxes.

                        Good luck!!



                        • #13

                          Experience is a teacher. I promise you the Dynasty 300 will outweld any of the Syncrowaves due to its advanced squarewave arc and almost infinite adjustability. Like Andy said it will pay for itself in the long run: maybe as little as 6 months if you weld a lot.


                          • #14
                            I bought a 200dx based on what I read on this board and a couple of demo rides. Everything on this post about the Dynasty series is dead on. The only thing that came to mind is that most of what you mentioned is not welded in a very fast manner: lots of repositioning, climbing on,under etc. If the majority of aluminum work is not 3/8 maybe a 200 would work. Believe me you can't beat a 300 but If the 200 air cooled fit the arc-on time constraints it could be an option. Let us know how your choice works after you get settled in. Just make sure not to under estimate. Good Luck, JEFF
                            P.S. ...going to see the miller bike in St. Louis at Cee Kay tommorrow(good sale too!)
                            200DX 350P 625 Plasma & other stuff I forgot


                            • #15

                              Besides the Dynasty 300DX benefits already mentioned, you also get:

                              Auto-Link - Let's you hook up to 230 or 460 Volt, single or three phase power, without removing the case and manually changing links.

                              Built-in Pulser - that provides pulse frequencies from .1 to 500 pulses per second. The optional ($184.00) pulser on the Syncrowave offers .25 to 10 pulses per second

                              It has options such as a Spot Timer, Initial Amperage, Final Slope Time, Final Amperage, built in, that would require a Sequence Module ($304.00) on the Syncrowave. Many of these features offer more adjustability on the Dynasty also.

                              That and the nature of the solid stae controled inverter allows much more fine-tuning of your arc.

                              You would also want to add Power Factor Correction to a Syncrowave ($365.00) to cut your power consumption by about 25%, but still not coming close to the savings a Dynasty will give you.

                              With the Dynasty you would also get an AC frequency control from 20 - 250 Hz, providing yet more arc control, and bead appearance control on Aluminum welding.

                              Procedure Memory. On the Dynasty 300Dx you can store up to 4 weld procedures for instant recall.

                              And there is more. But anyway, I am just trying to show you that there is MUCH value to the Dynasty 300DX over the Syncrowave. Whether that value is important to you is a decision you need to make. I would highly recommend this though, if aluminum is what you are buying a machine to weld, forget about CST250's and Maxstars, they are DC only. If it is a Miller Tig machine you want, your choices are Dynasty and Syncrowave.