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Replacing Maxstar 150 S and stocking supplies for Haiti

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  • Replacing Maxstar 150 S and stocking supplies for Haiti

    Hi, I am brand new to this forum but have really enjoyed reading some of the topics discussed here and would now like some advice.
    I am a missionary in the country of Haiti and although I have no professional welding experience I enjoy welding and have ended up doing a fair bit of it in my line of work. So far it has been mostly truss construction and vehicle repair work but I have been getting requests to do some fabrication and equipment modifications as well.
    I had a Miller Maxstar 150 S (it died on me and repair costs are more than I paid for it) and have access to a Lincoln 120-Volt Handy MIG that I have used up to now. I want to get a welder that has a little more power and capabilities to replace the Maxstar and not have to borrow the Lincoln. I think either the Multimatic 200 or 215 would suit me very well but wanted to get some input on the differences between the two or if you think there is another model I should consider. The sales rep I spoke to with our local Miller distributor in Tennessee said the internal components of the 200 and 215 are the same and the only difference is the housing. Is that accurate and are the electrical components in the 215 as durable as the 200?

    Also, do you have any recommendations on what supplies I should stock up on. I only get back to the States about every nine months to a year, everything has to go in my suitcases so I have to be careful on what I can take with me but don't want to be stuck due to lack of supplies. I know it will depend on the machine I buy and mostly the amount of work I do. I weld mostly carbon steel but have done some aluminum work and have had to turn down some stainless work because I didn't have the necessary supplies. I would say my amount of welding work is somewhere between an avid DIY welder and a small welding shop.

    I would be grateful for any advice you may have to share!

  • #2
    What's wrong with getting another maxstar if you had success with that machine? Maybe move into a 150sth or 150stl. That solves your stainless problem. But you'll need to know you're power supply capabilities and welding has availability and such down there in Haiti. <br />
    <br />
    I was there in the early 90s and don't have much good to say about it, but good for you to go there and help people. <br />
    <br />
    You must have a massive suit case if you're taking a welding machine with you.


    • #3
      I really should stop borrowing my friends MIG every time I have to work with thin sheet metal or he might not be a friend for much longer. I have a 5000 watt generator that I use to power my welder, shouldn't be a problem there. Also the 150 amps of the Maxstar has been inadequate for some of the heavy frame repairs I have done.

      Haiti is still a mess, there are many habits here that keep them poor and that is their fault. However, for many of the people in the mountains where we work they do a good job of taking care of themselves on their own if it weren't for so many natural disasters. (We are all trying to recover from Hurricane Matthew here in the south of Haiti)

      The Multimatic 200 and 215 both weigh in at 38 lbs. easy enough with 50 lb luggage limits.


      • #4
        As far as the supplies I should take with me, I am thinking consumable parts for the welder (impossible to get here) and general use supplies (usually three times the cost in Haiti vs USA). I can get welding gas, Welding rods for SMAW, and if I am willing to pay the price MIG wire. Anything else is extremely rare and if you find it you have to pay an arm and a leg to get it.


        • #5
          Sounds like you should just stick with welding rods. Your limitation will be your genset and the postman. You start trying to MIG weld out in the middle of the boonies and start running into problems then your goose is cooked. Seems to me that having logistical issues does not lend itself well for getting the stuff you need. Might be better to not over complicate things.


          • #6
            Yeah, MIG and TIG require parts to the torches where stick is just a stinger.

            You might just want to stick with a more heavy duty stick welder. I know for a fact that TIg welding in the field can be Very. VERY parts consuming as you tend to drop the torch and break the cups or the handle strips out. Bla. Bla. Bla.

            Stick is just a ground, a stinger and a power source, and then electrodes. Pretty straight forward. If you want to MIG stainless or aluminum, I believe you have to have or mix gas. If you want to TIG anything, you have to have Argon. If those things are not supplied easily and affordably, you won't be running for long out there.
            if there's a welder, there's a way