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Newbie-Purchased welder and need advice on what I need to buy next to get going.

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  • Newbie-Purchased welder and need advice on what I need to buy next to get going.

    Hey all! I have wanted to learn to weld for a very long time, and found a welder on auction at the local Tech College and bought it. I will be doing mainly hobby welding, but also some welding for my construction company and portable toilet business.

    Here is what I bought -
    Miller Shopmaster 300 Ser# KG154862
    S-22 Wire Feeder
    HF251 High freq box and pedal
    2 Coolmate 3 water coolers (would like to sell one)

    The machine did not come with any leads or torches/guns. I just purchased a w-250 water cooled torch and a wp-17 air cooled torch. Would like advice on purchasing tips/collets and other consumables, and clamps, electrode holders, mig guns etc.

    Any other advice for a newbie to learn how to weld at home would be great!

    I am looking forward to this new adventure

    Thanks in advance.


  • #2
    For accessories, I've had excellent luck with weldingcity, if you want to save money. The products are all chinese, but they seem to pick acceptable quality stuff to sell.

    Alas, a coolmate 3 is very overkill for my 200A welder, unless you want to get rid of it really cheap...


    • #3
      Looks like you got some pretty good equipment. Get some stick welding leads and see if the machine works and learn to do some stick welding, which you’ll most likely need since you’ll need to repair construction equipment.

      That s-22 feeder is an excellent machine, did it come with mig gun and lead? Drive rollers? If you don’t already know, you’ll need shielding gas and regulators to mig and tig with, so get a cylinder of C25 and a cylinder of Argon.

      That HF251 is a very robust piece of equipment too. Is it the 115v or the 230v model?

      For your tungsten, I prefer the 2% lanthanated (blue band) or the purple band, I think it’s called E3 or something? At any rate, you can always dress a larger tungsten down to do smaller work, so keep that in mind when you decide what all you’re going to buy. I very rarely change tungsten size, even though I have a drawer full of different collets, collet bodies and cups. Generally, for me, 3/32 is what I roll with.

      I like the gas lense for anything that’s not aluminum. When I tig aluminum I prefer a regular cup.

      You pretty much got a full set up besides a spool gun. That’s a better start than nearly anyone else on the planet.


      • #4
        Hey Ryan,
        It did not come any leads, torches or gun. I am not sure about the feeder voltage. I won’t actually pick up the welder until Monday. I was told that it was a working unit. They just upgraded all of their equipment.


        • #5
          Bushy, I don’t know what the coolmate is worth. Is $400 cheap to you?


          • #6
            It might be worth that to the right person, but it's well outside my definition of really cheap.


            • #7
              I suppose I could keep it and get a water cooled mig gun.
              I can’t imagine I would ever really need one, though.


              • #8
                Does anyone have a recommendation for a mig gun? What brands are reliable?


                • #9
                  I would get a mig gun that my LWS stocks parts for. That’ll probably be miller, tweco or Bernard.