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  • Another new hobby welder

    Hello all. Just joined after buying a used Miller sidekick MIG yesterday. All I can tell about it is it's 110v, 20amp, and has a gas connection on the rear. Haven't used it yet. Bought some 30 ,flux wire today to practice with. It does feed wire when the trigger is pulled. Hope to start next week on some repairs around the home shop.
    Got a few questions.
    Does it have a model number or name besides Sidekick?
    (It shows a serial # of JK710740 and stock #902975.)
    but no model number. Can't find it in the year made list.
    Is it worth the $100 I paid If it works OK?
    Does anyone have any experiences or helpful tips for me.
    I'm retired, 59 yrs old and haven't welded since highschool, with a rod.
    Hoping to add this to my list of current hobbies. (Like I need another one, ha)
    Only going to be repairing things around the house ie, mower deck, patio table and chairs, etc.
    Thanks for any feedback.
    David
    C
    Last edited by Djc; 01-05-2017, 01:40 PM.

  • #2
    I would disassemble and clean up the cable connections. The ground clamp also looks like it could use a good wire brushing or possibly even be replaced. Keep your ground close to the weld and clamp it to a clean surface for best results. Good luck and think safe before you strike and arc with your new to you welding machine.

    Comment


    • #3
      Welcome Aboard...

      this should be your manual

      https://www.millerwelds.com/files/ow...O1306E_MIL.pdf

      .

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


      • #4
        Welcome David! For a hundred bucks I would say you did OK, even if it needs some minor tweaks. As tackit said, that ground clamp looks pretty funky. If it were mine I would get the Harbor Freight knockoff of the Tweco with the big coil spring in the handle and replace it. Not very expensive, and mig likes a good connection to the work.

        You said you got some flux core wire. Be sure the polarity is set for flux core-not sure how that is done on that machine, but H80N's link to the manual should clear that up in short order. You need the electrode (gun) negative (DCEN) for flux core, and positive (DCEP) for solid wire with gas. If the last user had it set up for use with gas, you will need to change it.

        Before you start repairing things,get some scrap metal to practice on. Run some beads and see how you do. Flux core can be challenging on thin metal, so if you intend to fix anything thin practice on some equivalent scrap first, lest you burn a lot of holes in your first projects. Let us know how you're doing.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Aeronca41 View Post
          Welcome David! For a hundred bucks I would say you did OK, even if it needs some minor tweaks. As tackit said, that ground clamp looks pretty funky. If it were mine I would get the Harbor Freight knockoff of the Tweco with the big coil spring in the handle and replace it. Not very expensive, and mig likes a good connection to the work.

          You said you got some flux core wire. Be sure the polarity is set for flux core-not sure how that is done on that machine, but H80N's link to the manual should clear that up in short order. You need the electrode (gun) negative (DCEN) for flux core, and positive (DCEP) for solid wire with gas. If the last user had it set up for use with gas, you will need to change it.

          Before you start repairing things,get some scrap metal to practice on. Run some beads and see how you do. Flux core can be challenging on thin metal, so if you intend to fix anything thin practice on some equivalent scrap first, lest you burn a lot of holes in your first projects. Let us know how you're doing.
          Good Advice....

          Here are a bunch of free MIG resources that should help too..............

          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


          • #6
            I would've paid $100 for it. You definitely need a new ground clamp. <br />
            <br />
            Take the gun off and blow the lead out. Can't see the lead in the picture, make sure you have the right tips and drive rollers.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by H80N View Post
              Welcome Aboard...

              this should be your manual

              https://www.millerwelds.com/files/ow...O1306E_MIL.pdf

              Thank you,! I couldn't find one.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by tackit View Post
                I would disassemble and clean up the cable connections. The ground clamp also looks like it could use a good wire brushing or possibly even be replaced. Keep your ground close to the weld and clamp it to a clean surface for best results. Good luck and think safe before you strike and arc with your new to you welding machine.
                Good advice. I saw rust and corrosion on parts and was wondering if they were cleanable or needed replaced. Looks like it sat up for a long time. Gas connection on rear has dirt dobber mud plugging it. I'll get it cleaned up soon. Thank you.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Aeronca41 View Post
                  Welcome David! For a hundred bucks I would say you did OK, even if it needs some minor tweaks. As tackit said, that ground clamp looks pretty funky. If it were mine I would get the Harbor Freight knockoff of the Tweco with the big coil spring in the handle and replace it. Not very expensive, and mig likes a good connection to the work.

                  You said you got some flux core wire. Be sure the polarity is set for flux core-not sure how that is done on that machine, but H80N's link to the manual should clear that up in short order. You need the electrode (gun) negative (DCEN) for flux core, and positive (DCEP) for solid wire with gas. If the last user had it set up for use with gas, you will need to change it.

                  Before you start repairing things,get some scrap metal to practice on. Run some beads and see how you do. Flux core can be challenging on thin metal, so if you intend to fix anything thin practice on some equivalent scrap first, lest you burn a lot of holes in your first projects. Let us know how you're doing.
                  Thanks. So much positive feedback from you guys. Can't wait to start. Gonna print the manual, do some reading and as soon as we get out of these 20° nights in North Louisiana I'll start the clean up. Don't think gas was used on it because the gas connection is plugged by dirt dobbers. I'll confirm with manual information how it is set up.
                  Last edited by Djc; 01-07-2017, 06:43 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Sorry about not responding to the replies sooner. Dealing with some weather issues here and couldn't get back here the last 2 days. I do appreciate the helpful tips.
                    Last edited by Djc; 01-07-2017, 06:44 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      20 degrees sounds pretty frosty for northern La. Is that common? You need to get that welder going to keep you warm!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Nothing to warm up the room like some good ole' welding.

                        welcome to the forum.
                        if there's a welder, there's a way

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Again, my apologies for not responding to your comments lately. Getting mom settled in nursing home, doing tornado recovery work and dealing with a evil tooth (root canal yesterday) I just haven't had much time or inclination to get started with the welder.

                          I did find out that the little practice roll of flux wire I bought wouldn't fit my machine. The spool had a tiny hole and the shaft it mounts on was about 2" in diameter. Just bought a new, larger roll today and it fits the shaft and fed wire all the way to the tip but stopped. Guess I'll remove the gun and clean it out as advised by ryanjones. The manual I downloaded doesn't match this old machine exactly but it has good info in it.

                          I see that some welders have charts inside the doors that tell you what settings to use for wire type and size, metal thickness, etc. But this one doesn't. Doesn't even have notes about switching over from gas, flux of reg wire. Guess its trial and error. Don't need any big errors, :-}

                          So, I'll try to check in more often to respond to your much appreciated advice. David

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Aeronca41 View Post
                            20 degrees sounds pretty frosty for northern La. Is that common? You need to get that welder going to keep you warm!
                            Yes it is frosty, but not uncommon. February is usually the coldest for us. Had 4 snows a couple years ago. That was unusual. Been a mild winter so far but back in the low 30's last few nights with the cold front just north of us.
                            Last edited by Djc; 03-14-2017, 02:43 PM. Reason: corrections

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Djc View Post
                              Again, my apologies for not responding to your comments lately. Getting mom settled in nursing home, doing tornado recovery work and dealing with a evil tooth (root canal yesterday) I just haven't had much time or inclination to get started with the welder.

                              I did find out that the little practice roll of flux wire I bought wouldn't fit my machine. The spool had a tiny hole and the shaft it mounts on was about 2" in diameter. Just bought a new, larger roll today and it fits the shaft and fed wire all the way to the tip but stopped. Guess I'll remove the gun and clean it out as advised by ryanjones. The manual I downloaded doesn't match this old machine exactly but it has good info in it.

                              I see that some welders have charts inside the doors that tell you what settings to use for wire type and size, metal thickness, etc. But this one doesn't. Doesn't even have notes about switching over from gas, flux of reg wire. Guess its trial and error. Don't need any big errors, :-**

                              So, I'll try to check in more often to respond to your much appreciated advice. David
                              Glad to hear from you again. Sounds like you're due for a little relaxing welding; you've had some hard stuff on your plate. To borrow a comparison, the worst day welding is better than the best root canal! And storm recovery, coupled with Mom to a nursing home -- that's heavy stuff.

                              When you get back to the welder, Check your wire spool hub. Sometimes there is a removable sleeve that slips on for the big rolls and off for the little ones. Not saying your machine has it, but take a look.

                              The chart that's missing from the door is in the manual H80N linked to; also shows the polarity change board.

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