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  • Welder capability

    I’m a non welder owning noob, so be gentle. As I’m researching what welder and associated items to purchase to do work, I’ve noticed the material thickness that any particular welder can handle like 1/4, 3/8 or 1/2. Are those numbers the gap filling or material melting ability?

    Thanks, Mike

  • #2
    I'm a welder-owning noob, and I know just enough to know that it's not that easy. You can weld much thicker material with multiple passes than you can weld with a single pass, and then there's weaving and all sorts of details to how much you can do with each pass. What you're welding matters a lot too - if you're shopping for a TIG machine, you can weld much thinner aluminum than you can steel with the same power. I'd take those numbers as a general "plan on using this machine for materials up to about this thickness with normal techniques", not as specifying any actual piece of information.
    Last edited by Bushytails; 03-11-2021, 09:16 PM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by VintageMike View Post
      I’m a non welder owning noob, so be gentle. As I’m researching what welder and associated items to purchase to do work, I’ve noticed the material thickness that any particular welder can handle like 1/4, 3/8 or 1/2. Are those numbers the gap filling or material melting ability?

      Thanks, Mike
      Generally speaking, if they list something like 1/4" it means you could take two 1/4" thick pieces of steel and weld them together and get full penetration where the two meet assuming most common joint shapes. If you had a welder rated for 1/4" thick steel and tried to weld two pieces of 3/8" thick steel you wouldn't get full penetration. Seen in cross-section you would have a nugget of weld deposited where the two pieces are fused, and then a void/crack where they two pieces aren't fused at all. In some cases you can weld from the other side and then you'd have a small unfused section, but it wouldn't still be ideal.

      In practice it may not make any difference, but it depends on what you're welding. I make blacksmithing tools where I weld pieces up to 2" thick, solid round to 1" thick solid square and never go above 250A on a TIG welder....but it's more than enough penetration for that application. I don't even know what sort of amperage you'd need to get full penetration on that sort of setup, but it would be a lot!

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      • #4
        Most of the "thickness" recommendations I've seen are on MIG equipment and I was under the impression that that is for a single pass weld. As referenced above you can weld thicker stuff with multiple passes. There are recommended thickness restrictions for some wire as well but that is another consideration for another discussion. Also as already referenced it will depend on what you hope to achieve with your project. Welcome to the forum and good luck.

        ---Meltedmetal
        ---Meltedmetal

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        • #5
          If I was just getting into it, Mike, I would steer clear of the 115v mig machines. They just don’t have the power to weld most things.

          Something important to look at other than the thickness rating is the duty cycle. Think about what it is you may be repairing and then get something maybe a size or so bigger. A larger machine with a higher duty cycle will just a more robust machine for one thing, but you’ll always end up tackling a job that will not be suited for a small machine and that can be dangerous.

          There is nothing cheap in this field. If it’s cheap, it’s probably junk and you probably won’t be happy with it. That’s throwing good money after bad.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by ryanjones2150 View Post
            If I was just getting into it, Mike, I would steer clear of the 115v mig machines. They just don’t have the power to weld most things.

            Something important to look at other than the thickness rating is the duty cycle. Think about what it is you may be repairing and then get something maybe a size or so bigger. A larger machine with a higher duty cycle will just a more robust machine for one thing, but you’ll always end up tackling a job that will not be suited for a small machine and that can be dangerous.

            There is nothing cheap in this field. If it’s cheap, it’s probably junk and you probably won’t be happy with it. That’s throwing good money after bad.
            Nailed it. And please don't buy Neverlast. Support America
            Dynasty 400 Wireless
            Coolmate 3.5
            Aerowave loaded with Sequencer and pulse
            ​Watermate 1A
            XMT350 CC/CV
            S74DX Feeder
            Optima Pulse Pendant
            WC24
            30A spoolgun
            Neverlast 100 amp plasma with Hyper Duramax torch
            Avortec 280 mig
            GO CNC Poweredge CC/CV pulse and double pulse
            Harris Old school 2 stage Oxy/Ace
            Victor flow meters
            Flametech Duel flowmeter
            Just a hilljack in the woods with fancy welding equipment
            and a pet Raccoon.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by sledsports View Post

              Nailed it. And please don't buy Neverlast. Support America
              Just Everlast? What about HTP, Primeweld, Harbor Freight, AHP, Eastwood, and all the others that have their welders made overseas? Heck, even Lincoln makes their machines in Mexico, so they're out too, right?

              Seems odd that you have an Everlast and Avortec listed but haven't replaced them with something American....

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by G-ManBart View Post

                Just Everlast? What about HTP, Primeweld, Harbor Freight, AHP, Eastwood, and all the others that have their welders made overseas? Heck, even Lincoln makes their machines in Mexico, so they're out too, right?

                Seems odd that you have an Everlast and Avortec listed but haven't replaced them with something American....
                Made in America means more to me now that it did when those purchases were made. Everlast employees a whole whopping 22 employees vs Miller's 1400 plus. One guy gets rich and he's not even a American. You, I, Anyone can what they are doing. Get hooked up with a place like Alibaba, find a manufacturer that I like, Spec a machine, have it built in the same plant many others are built in painted my color with my logo, in my box I spec'd. I wait on boat, mark it up 500% and tell you how great it is with a 5 year warranty... they can literally replace your machine 5 times and never have a dime in it because you are footing the bill to and from them... after I figured out how all of that goes down. I'll never mess with anything like that again. They are your best buds, they get up close and personal with you... as long as your spending money on their stuff. I don't play that game any longer.
                Dynasty 400 Wireless
                Coolmate 3.5
                Aerowave loaded with Sequencer and pulse
                ​Watermate 1A
                XMT350 CC/CV
                S74DX Feeder
                Optima Pulse Pendant
                WC24
                30A spoolgun
                Neverlast 100 amp plasma with Hyper Duramax torch
                Avortec 280 mig
                GO CNC Poweredge CC/CV pulse and double pulse
                Harris Old school 2 stage Oxy/Ace
                Victor flow meters
                Flametech Duel flowmeter
                Just a hilljack in the woods with fancy welding equipment
                and a pet Raccoon.

                Comment


                • #9
                  As far as the Avortec goes... atleast it's assembled in Michigan by a husband and wife. Sure they are using Chinese parts. Many of them are exactly the same parts everlast manufacturers use. Oh well.
                  Dynasty 400 Wireless
                  Coolmate 3.5
                  Aerowave loaded with Sequencer and pulse
                  ​Watermate 1A
                  XMT350 CC/CV
                  S74DX Feeder
                  Optima Pulse Pendant
                  WC24
                  30A spoolgun
                  Neverlast 100 amp plasma with Hyper Duramax torch
                  Avortec 280 mig
                  GO CNC Poweredge CC/CV pulse and double pulse
                  Harris Old school 2 stage Oxy/Ace
                  Victor flow meters
                  Flametech Duel flowmeter
                  Just a hilljack in the woods with fancy welding equipment
                  and a pet Raccoon.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by sledsports View Post
                    Made in America means more to me now that it did when those purchases were made. Everlast employees a whole whopping 22 employees vs Miller's 1400 plus. One guy gets rich and he's not even a American.
                    Are you sure Oleg isn't an American? He's clearly an immigrant (as is my entire family line), but not many of us are Native Americans or have family that came over on the Mayflower. Legal filings relating to campaign contributions suggest he's either a citizen or has a green card.

                    I certainly support buying American as much as possible, but for folks like the OP who don't own a welder at all, Miller prices can be a bit much to handle. I've had dozens and dozens of Millers, so that's not a knock on them...just reality. Heck, I'm a welder nerd and there is no way I would have been able to justify the new price on my Millermatic 350P or Syncrowave 250DX TIGRunner.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Most of my gear was bought used. Check that, almost all of gear was used. But I like older stuff. I don’t want a welding machine that requires a software update. I know they’re very capable, but it’s not for me. We managed to make it to the moon without a welder that needs a SIM card. Now if they ever come out with a welding machine that will also make me a cup of coffee, I’ll be in for that.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by G-ManBart View Post

                        Just Everlast? What about HTP, Primeweld, Harbor Freight, AHP, Eastwood, and all the others that have their welders made overseas? Heck, even Lincoln makes their machines in Mexico, so they're out too, right?

                        Seems odd that you have an Everlast and Avortec listed but haven't replaced them with something American....
                        HTP has their own manufacturing facility in Italy. They are Italian. I'd be more apt to purchase a HTP than anything other US . AHP (Everlast's version of Miller's Hobart and Lincoln's Century... its true. Look it up. Same office) Click image for larger version  Name:	Screenshot_20210207-191250_Chrome.jpg Views:	1 Size:	408.5 KB ID:	614097 Click image for larger version  Name:	Screenshot_20210207-191322_Chrome.jpg Views:	1 Size:	467.5 KB ID:	614098 Eastwood is a rebranded Longevity along with Primewelds roots at the same manufacturer all of which are Chinese.
                        Last edited by sledsports; 03-15-2021, 05:10 PM.
                        Dynasty 400 Wireless
                        Coolmate 3.5
                        Aerowave loaded with Sequencer and pulse
                        ​Watermate 1A
                        XMT350 CC/CV
                        S74DX Feeder
                        Optima Pulse Pendant
                        WC24
                        30A spoolgun
                        Neverlast 100 amp plasma with Hyper Duramax torch
                        Avortec 280 mig
                        GO CNC Poweredge CC/CV pulse and double pulse
                        Harris Old school 2 stage Oxy/Ace
                        Victor flow meters
                        Flametech Duel flowmeter
                        Just a hilljack in the woods with fancy welding equipment
                        and a pet Raccoon.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          What about Forney. Made in Italy in the old Miller plant
                          Bob Wright

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ryanjones2150 View Post
                            Most of my gear was bought used. Check that, almost all of gear was used. But I like older stuff. I don’t want a welding machine that requires a software update. I know they’re very capable, but it’s not for me. We managed to make it to the moon without a welder that needs a SIM card. Now if they ever come out with a welding machine that will also make me a cup of coffee, I’ll be in for that.
                            If it makes coffee and espresso I'll buy one for the house, and one for my shop

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              [QUOTE=sledsports;n614096]

                              AHP (Everlast's version of Miller's Hobart and Lincoln's Century... its true. /QUOTE]

                              I'm aware. Last I knew the legal filings listed Oleg's ex-wife as the owner of AHP. Same building, different suite number.

                              Comment

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