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what size miller mig should I buy to make some heavy duty 3500 lb axle type trailer

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  • what size miller mig should I buy to make some heavy duty 3500 lb axle type trailer

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  • #2
    Are you building a single trailer or many?

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    • #3
      Probably a bunch of them, and thank you for answering right away.

      Rob Milks
      Two Rivers Wi,
      74 years old and still going.

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      • #4
        There are guys here with far more mig production experience than I, and I'm sure they will chime in. My two cents worth: At a minimum, you need a 230 volt input machine; do not try to do this on the cheap with a 120 v input welder and have the regrets later. Next issue is duty cycle. The MM211 will do the job, but at only 40% duty cycle-you can only weld 4 minutes out of every 10. If you aren't in a full production mode, that may be adequate for you. Next step up is the 212, with 60% duty cycle at 160 amps, then the 252, with 60% at 200 amps. Will you have a shop to work in? Mig is not good for outdoors when there is wind to blow your shielding gas away. If you have to work outside, flux core wire will work but is more expensive. If outdoors, have you considered a stick welder? What is your level of experience? Most of us would not recommend that a newbie to welding start out building trailers with mig. The process requires some degree of skill and experience to ensure proper penetration, and thus adequate strength for a trailer. It is possible to make absolutely beautiful welds with mig that will break when the trailer hits the first good bump, because the great looking weld is lying on top of the metal rather than penetrating through it. That issue pretty much goes away with a stick welder-if you are getting good-looking welds, the process is such that they will likely also be strong. And it is relatively easy to pick up a used MillerThunderbolt or Hobart Stickmate for much much less money than a mig machine will cost. Give us some more info on your experience level and working conditions.

        You might also want to consider the New Multimatic 215, which will give you both mig and stick for just a little more than the 211, at comparable duty cycle. You can later add accessories and do DC tig if you want.

        Lots of options and things to consider.

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        • #5
          I welded axles in my dads trailer factory for 8 years with an old model MM200. If I was going to start over today it would be a MM252. Just my thoughts...Bob
          Bob Wright

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          • #6
            ...and growing up in Western PA with a dad who was a welder, I can still remember looking at the nice welds on Tee Nee trailers, Bob. Some were probably yours-unless I'm too old. :-)


            ​​​​
            Last edited by Aeronca41; 09-11-2016, 09:54 AM.

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            • #7
              I made axles for 5 different trailer companies back in the day. And made trailers for 3 of them. 1 company was all aluminum so just the axles...Bob
              Bob Wright

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              • #8
                Go buy a trailer you want, it will be cheaper than building it.

                If you must do it yourself then a Miller 211 would be the minimum machine I would get. It would be light duty for production though but is capable for small utility trailers. A 252 would be best especially if building car/equipment trailers.
                MM250
                Trailblazer 250g
                22a feeder
                Lincoln ac/dc 225
                Victor O/A
                MM200 black face
                Whitney 30 ton hydraulic punch
                Lown 1/8x 36" power roller
                Arco roto-phase model M
                Vectrax 7x12 band saw
                Miller spectrum 875
                30a spoolgun w/wc-24
                Syncrowave 250
                RCCS-14

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                • #9
                  Have you guys seen some of the trailers being built by the "manufacturers" these days? Horrible work! Awful welds! I bought a small enclosed trailer the year we did drag week, drove to Georgia and picked it up when we got our engine parts from Jon Kaase's shop. Ended up having to reweld several members and weld one that wasn't welded at all. I called the company and they told me that if I didn't like the work they do then to bring it back because that's how they weld em. I hope that's not the kind of trailer company you're gonna have Rob.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ryanjones2150 View Post
                    Have you guys seen some of the trailers being built by the "manufacturers" these days? Horrible work! Awful welds! I bought a small enclosed trailer the year we did drag week, drove to Georgia and picked it up when we got our engine parts from Jon Kaase's shop. Ended up having to reweld several members and weld one that wasn't welded at all. I called the company and they told me that if I didn't like the work they do then to bring it back because that's how they weld em. I hope that's not the kind of trailer company you're gonna have Rob.
                    Yup, some of that stuff is horrible. Get a 350P. Done.
                    HTP Invertig221 D.V. Water-cooled
                    HTP Pro Pulse 300 MIG
                    HTP Pro Pulse 200 MIG x2
                    HTP Pro Pulse 220 MTS
                    HTP Inverarc 200 TLP water cooled
                    HTP Microcut 875SC

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                    • #11
                      That would certainly work. But if all he's gonna be welding is steel trailers, a millermatic in the 250 size would be perfect. Even an old MM250 like mine...but it's not for sale, it's mine, you can't have it...but the 350P is very well spoken of on this forum.

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                      • #12
                        Because I am a crappy welder and can't advise you from my personal experience, I am just going to repeat what I was told (I will find the link if I can) when I raised a similar question on another welding forum, I was criticized for even considering the mig process for such critical welds -- even though I have one of the more powerful MillerMatic mig machines, the MillerMatic 350P. I was advised that it is too easy to produce "cold welds" with the mig process.

                        Rather, I was advised to use stick with a 6010 root pass followed by 7018. So, I went out and bought a used Miller Thunderbolt XL for ~$175-$200 and have started to learn how to stick.

                        I now like stick a lot. Because you can do it outside and I can't fit a trailer in my little "shop." But stick is hard to learn and I am still learning. And 6010 is harder to learn than 7018.

                        Stick is different than mig. With mig you pull the trigger and weld. With a smaller welder, penetration is problem, because as Aeronca41 says, the weld lays on top. (I have even seen the absolute prettiest of TIG welds with poor penetration - which I wouldn't have suspected if I couldn't had looked at the backside of the butt joint.)

                        With a MillerMatic 350P, burn through can be a problem -- and that's a good thing, that means to me that you will have good penetration once you dial it back for your material.

                        With stick, starting and maintaining the arc without getting the stick stuck on the metal and having to unclamp the electrode or bend it off quick is a big problem. Burn through is almost always a problem -- and that's a good thing, that means that you will have good penetration once you dial back in for your material.

                        So, for your intended application, I like stick. Simple. No gas. Penetration. Can be done outdoors. And you won't later be criticized for the process you used on such a critical project such as a trailer.

                        Since I am just repeating what I was told rather than speaking from experience, I would like to hear what others have to say.
                        Last edited by E350; 09-11-2016, 10:19 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ryanjones2150 View Post
                          That would certainly work. But if all he's gonna be welding is steel trailers, a millermatic in the 250 size would be perfect. Even an old MM250 like mine...but it's not for sale, it's mine, you can't have it...but the 350P is very well spoken of on this forum.
                          The Millermatic 350P will certainly handle ANYTHING that you might run in to in building trailers..

                          https://www.millerwelds.com/equipmen...-welder-m00151

                          FWIW.... I love mine...........

                          But I agree... with Ryan..... A MM252 or any of the machines in the 250 amp class should easily handle it.....

                          including the old workhorse MM200 ( 270 amps @ 40% Duty cycle )......... lotsa choices

                          .

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


                          • #14
                            It's interesting that you say you've seen the prettiest of tig welds with no penetration. That confuses me a little. With wire feed welding, that machine doesn't give two hoots about what you're doing, the filler metal is going down one way or the other. Tig on the other does not work like that and filler metal will be added to the weld puddle to make it pretty. If filler metal is just melted in top of the base metal, it's gonna look like bird poop, no way around it. Of course you can have lack of fusion with tig, particularly at the root, but I've never seen cold lap with tig. <br />
                            <br />
                            The OP asked specifically about a MIG machine for building trailers. I can't immediately assume he lacks the ability, merely answering his question. And clearly, with half effort, he can make a trailer hold together. Just look at the "professionally" made ones out there.

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                            • #15
                              Just about anybody can produce decent sound welds with MIG ..........

                              PROVIDED they have decent equipment and follow the basics in cleanliness and prep....

                              Fortunately there are free resources to give them a good start..............

                              https://www.millerwelds.com/resource...ding-resources

                              .

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

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