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  • #16
    While it does cost more to MIG using standard C25 gas, it should be the "go-to" process for a hobby welder that can effectively shield the area from drafts/wind gusts. Even then, a decent 200A-class machine is still a necessity to go up to 1/4" or the occasional 5/16-3/8" material. Stick is **** useful, so long as you don't have to bother with repair, or even new fabrications, with less than idea gap. Trying to fill in gaps with SMAW is a lot more difficult, especially if you've never purposely welded up gaps to observe/learn the necessary techniques. It can be done, just much more difficult.
    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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    • #17
      Soo... your saying if your set up to do either, basically what is gonna lay down the most pounds of weld metal / dollar? Without actually doing a cost analysis I'm gonna say its probably mig. But really your question is not that simple. Are we talking solid wire, dual shield, metal core? You simply can not match the deposition rate of metal core or even spraying a large diameter solid wire
      www.silvercreekwelding.com

      Miller Trailblazer 325 efi
      Miller extreme 12vs
      Thermal arc 186 ac/dc
      Lincoln power wave 455m/stt with 10m dual feeder

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Aeronca41 View Post
        I'd say you pretty much answered the question in the analysis you did in post #7. While the cost you used for stick rods may be a little light, it's certainly not anywhere far enough off to change the conclusion--stick is cheaper. When you leave out the labor cost, as you suggested, I think you have a very valid conclusion that it costs more to mig.
        Sorry, I forgot to include my sources for filler metal prices:

        GMAW wire: https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/pr...l?cm_vc=-10005

        6011:
        https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/pr...b?cm_vc=-10005

        7018:
        https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/pr...b?cm_vc=-10005.

        I know that everyone has their own preference for brand, but these are commonly available filler metals that are at least decent

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Willvis View Post
          Soo... your saying if your set up to do either, basically what is gonna lay down the most pounds of weld metal / dollar? Without actually doing a cost analysis I'm gonna say its probably mig. But really your question is not that simple. Are we talking solid wire, dual shield, metal core? You simply can not match the deposition rate of metal core or even spraying a large diameter solid wire
          I wasn't thinking of those processes, not because they are irrelevant but because I like to start off keeping things simple. Just cost of regular solid wire GMAW vs SMAW

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          • #20
            Ok well pricing for those is probably not what a welding shop is going to pay. But using those as an example that 10lbs of 7018 is the same price as the 10lbs of wire. Now with the 7018 there's a bit of weight in the flux itself and the waste from your rod stubs. Also when you stick a rod and all the flux breaks off trying to pull it off . So your only going to get about 6-7 lbs weld deposit for the 10lbs or rod at best. The 10 lbs of mig wire is gonna give you more or less 10lbs of weld deposit. The price of the gas then makes up for the waste with stick rods. Probably comes out pretty even then or somewhat favourably for mig. Buying 44lb spool is gonna be cheaper so my vote is that mig is cheaper on a per pound of deposited metal.

            Again its all somewhat irrelevant as we've implied before it depends alot on what your doing. I would not want to weld thick metal using gmaw in short circuit. Spray transfer or dual shield is good but your gonna need a decent size machine. so many variables you might as well just say what it is you actually want to do.
            www.silvercreekwelding.com

            Miller Trailblazer 325 efi
            Miller extreme 12vs
            Thermal arc 186 ac/dc
            Lincoln power wave 455m/stt with 10m dual feeder

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Willvis View Post
              Again its all somewhat irrelevant as we've implied before it depends alot on what your doing. I would not want to weld thick metal using gmaw in short circuit. Spray transfer or dual shield is good but your gonna need a decent size machine.
              All you need is a 200A MIG to do either spray or dual-shield. At what duty cycle is another story, LOL.
              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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              • #22
                This is like asking the question, which is better, a pound of potato or a pound of lettuce?
                "I mostly build things for myself, so it would be nice to have some estimate of the cost of the two processes themselves."
                I'm sure there are bean counters out there who's only goal is to crunch numbers, collect data, compile stuff to prove, improve efficiencies, obtain cost and manage them to a bottom line or cents on a dollar.
                I read the book and that chapter was boring. But I get it... It does cost money to play the game.

                While the burden one bares in cost choosing one process over another does come at a price, that price is arguably, a small price. It's a balance. The scale tips in both directions.
                Why make it more complicated? What's to be gained?

                Does a welding shop charge less because they use Co2 instead of a mixed gas? Large wires instead of small ones? Large gas cylinder instead of a small one? How about three phase over single phase power?
                Running 30cfh instead of 20cfh cost more doesn't it? Three passes instead of one large one? How does economics really fit in?

                Buddy has two pieces of angle to be joined to make one. A gap to be filled. Put into perspective, thickness, strength, amount of weld to achieve it.

                Me...I bemoan the cost of a roll of wire, price of shielding gas, but I don't think about it until I have to buy a new roll or fill a cylinder. I would also complain about the price of a box of rods, but again, not till I ran out.
                Should you be looking at costs or over all saving?

                Do the math, figure and calculate it to the cows come home and at the end of the day remember it was probably cheaper to just buy a longer piece of angle then join two together? But that as well is dependent on other considerations. Cost versus savings.

                Process changes and improvements cost money...You won't get cheaper welding then an AC transformer and SMAW. Pound for pound, inch for inch. Just on that basis alone, your saving money. But if you can't maintain an arc, constantly sticking and breaking electrode coatings, grinding slag inclusions...GMAW could save you money and end up being a cheaper process?

                You mention... "
                there are good reasons to consider each piece separately". Hmm? I assume you meant welding process? Is there? It's not always about cost, it's also about savings. Not what it can do for you as much as you can do with it?

                Or were you referring to what's being welded? No matter, I just don't think it comes down to cost for most of us? What will do best maybe?
                Results...I'd bet most think results with limited thought to costs. They think easy over hard. Simple over complicated. Fast over slow. Lower heat over higher heat input? That's what...savings.

                I doubt many think about the cost to stick weld something vs. GMAW it? I know some do?
                Or the savings for that matter. Convenience. We pay for that. But that's my opinion. Logic dictates the more complicated the process, the more it's going to cost?

                SMAW- Power source, cables, electrode holder and rods.
                GMAW- Power source, gun cable, liner, contact tip, nozzle,shielding gas, flow meter and wire.

                For that reason I choose potato's. Cheap, filling, versatile, and lasts longer then lettuce. It seems the effort to calculate the cost of both is just as complicated? Or is it as simple as deciding which fills the belly more with the least amount of effort and for the least amount of money?

                https://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/faq16374

                On a serious note. If you want to actually know the cost and compare the two, you have to dig deeper. Read Chapter 12.

                https://www.qcpage.com/wp-content/up...%201%20(2).pdf

                Good luck with that.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Lewis Hein View Post
                  I decided to take a stab at calculating it myself. Please argue with me if you disagree, I love to learn!

                  Executive summary:

                  GMAW: $10.80/lb
                  SMAW: $5.83/lb

                  Long nerdy justification:

                  This article https://www.thefabricator.com/articl...-save-a-dollar estimates that about 4 CF of argon are used per pound of mig wire deposited.
                  If someone is using Argon with Dual Shield wire they aren't too smart. CO2 for 99% of dual shield....Bob
                  Bob Wright

                  Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.
                  http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...php?albumid=48

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                  • #24
                    Thanks everyone for the input. I know that this topic is both complicated and easy to over-analyze, but I also don't like the idea of blindly barging ahead with no idea of what the options cost either. Given that I know nothing whatever about welding, I appreciate your expert contributions.

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                    • #25
                      There is no single process that is indicated for every job. For example, if you're flame cutting heavy iron out of the middle of a dump truck frame so you can install a mount that holds very little weight, it doesn't make sense to get it TIG weld clean. Being that it's on a dump truck, it's probably filthy and hard to get to so you can't get it cleaned well at all. While a mig weld would suffice, it'll be nearly impossible to grind the dross off well enough to make a proper mig weld without fighting for your life against porosity giving you a fit. In this example, stick welding would be the process of choice for both speed of repair/modification and to make a sound weld without doing cheetah flips to get it prepped properly.

                      It's not complicated, just do what makes sense.

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