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Need recommendation on MIG welder

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  • Need recommendation on MIG welder

    We need to weld together some equipment frames mostly made out of 2" square mild steel tubing with a combination of 0.090" and 0.125" wall thicknesses, mostly tee joints.

    We have a TIG and used that for the prototypes but need to speed up the process so we need to get a MIG welder. We're a small operation and need to keep the purchase price down.

    Whats the smallest Hobart or Miller MIG welder that would work well for this?


    Paul T.

  • #2
    Hobart Handler 180 or Millermatic 210


    • #3
      Actually, for .090 or .125, the MM135/HH140 will owrk well. Still, I'd go with a 180 class machine, and if you can squeeze it into the budget, the MM210 will give you greater capability for future undertakings.

      ...from the Gadget Garage
      Millermatic 210 w/3035, BWE
      Handler 210 w/DP3035
      Victor O/A "J" series, SuperRange


      • #4
        Well, depends on what your welding, and how often. If your welding mostly mild steel, you could easily get away with a 135 amp unit of good quality, a 180, or 210 amp machine will give you alot more flexibility. The mm210 will have much better duty cycle.

        After reading up some on the mig welding options,
        Personally I would prefer to have some type of slope and inductance control, which I don't have in my 135 tapped voltage control unit.

        Since I have to do a bunch of stainless work, in the NEAR future, I read up on welding process for stainless for example. Miller states stainless does not transfer heat well, and modifying ARC-On time helps alot. You can do this by changing slope, etc. This helps to wet out the puddle much better, keep the weld bead flatter, with wider penetration, instead of a raised high narrow bead, which leaves you wondering if you penetrated at all.

        I don't know if those controls are available in the MM210, but worth a look see, seems to be the best bang-for-buck unit if you have 220 v hookup.
        Seems to buy you alot of flexibility if you need to have pretty as well as functional welds. If you plan to do spray-arc in the future, you'll want atleast the mm210, Imho

        Buying the $25.00 student packet from miller was the best $25 spent so far!!!! Just reading the Mig book Answered alot of questions I didn't even know I had yet!


        • #5
          Originally posted by hankj
          Actually, for .090 or .125, the MM135/HH140 will owrk well. Still, I'd go with a 180 class machine, and if you can squeeze it into the budget, the MM210 will give you greater capability for future undertakings.


          The 135/140 amp units just really don't perform anywhere near the same level as the 175/180 amp units do on material in the 1/8" thickness range. There is a major differnce in the weld quality produced.The 175/180 amp units produce a much hot weld bead that burns in better, and ties in better at the toes of the weld too.The basic reason behind this that to output the necessary amperage for this material thickness the 120 volt units end up falling short on the voltage output side of the equation, where as the less power challenged 175/180 amp units can output the proper voltage to amperage ratio needed.


          • #6
            Doh 1/8 = .125 sorry didn't realize you were going that thick. Short circuit in my brain. Based on my experience with my 135 amp unit, you will want something with higher current to do 1/8th

            You can do 1/8th with a 135 amp unit, but your going to have to do alot more beveling, or other machining tricks to get the desired weld. This is going to be a huge waste of time, I agree with Dan that a more powerful unit would be best.

            If your going to drop down on a 180 though, I'd go with the mm210 ALOT more capability, for a little bit more $$$.


            • #7
              speeding thing's up

              it would seem you are trying to expand , and doing that with a 135/140 isent going to help much. although i love my MM135 and have been realy impressed by what it can do.i could do 1/8" but in a production setting i think it would fall short on duty cycle. you wont save time by waiting for the welder to cool.

              the MM/HH210 would be the best bet all around and it will alow your buisnes to grow without needing to upgrade.
              but if cash is realy that tight then go MM 175 or HH180 as they will handle the 1/8" all day

              check out the prices on the net you might find that you can aford more than you think

              the hobarts run about $100 cheaper (i think its werth the $100 but some would argue )

              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.


              • #8
                The Passport 180 is another option. It has an inductance switch (either high or low) that is a nice feature when welding this thickness range of tubing. It is inverter based and costs more for what you get. The MM210 offers more bang for the buck as it is a transformer based machine. For the money and a light-medium production enviromment in this application the MM210 is it.