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  • Home hobby welding

    My dad and I would like to weld some decorative gates for my garden. He has experience welding, I do not. I have a 'gate kit', i.e., several components to an iron gate that need to be welded together.

    I would like to buy the best/easiest/most fun type of home/hobby welding machine possible. It is not that money isn't an object, but I have plenty of money to spend for something fun to do with my dad (I am 55 and he is 83!).

    Please advise. The gates will be basic iron that you find in the back yard, garden gates like the black iron driveway gates, only smaller.

    Many thanks!

  • #2
    I use a Millermatic 200 and they are very good machines. They do not make them new but they still work well. They have a good duty cycle and the 2 that I use have never gave me any issues.

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    • #3
      Go with a miller 211 its portable and plugs into 120v or 230v
      .
      Miller Bobcat 225NT onan
      Millermatic 211
      Spoolmate 100
      (Retapped to fit regular mig tips)
      Work better & less parts to stock.
      Miller 130xp
      T/A Dragster 85 (portability 11 pounds)
      Oxygen/Acetylene torch set 50'
      2. 4-1/2" grinders
      1. 9" grinder
      14" Makita chop saw
      1/2" Aircat impact gun 900#

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Type View Post
        I use a Millermatic 200 and they are very good machines. They do not make them new but they still work well. They have a good duty cycle and the 2 that I use have never gave me any issues.
        The MM200 is a great old MIG machine.. coveted by those that know about them...
        it is a heavy duty industrial grade welder.. available on the used market in the $600 range
        ....little known fact is that they have the same duty cycle as the MM252..
        Last edited by H80N; 11-03-2014, 04:32 PM.
        .

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

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        • #5
          I think I have used a Millermatic 252 at another shop. It seemed like a good machine but hard to compare overall because of the year difference.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Type View Post
            I think I have used a Millermatic 252 at another shop. It seemed like a good machine but hard to compare overall because of the year difference.
            If you compare the output and duty cycle specs of the MM200 to the MM252
            you will find them nearly identical..
            They are both 250 amp machines @ 40% Duty Cycle..

            MM200

            http://www.millerwelds.com/om/o1303p_mil.pdf

            MM252

            http://www.millerwelds.com/om/o230693l_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


            • #7
              You don't say what welding process your dad is familiar with. To give you a real suggestion we need to know. If he used to weld long ago, I would suspect he knows how to stick weld.

              Comment


              • #8
                The Miller Multimatic 200 could be a fun machine, depending on what you want to do and how much.

                For a gate, a used Hobart or Miller MIG might be a good option
                Glen
                Miller Dynasty 200DX - Millermatic 350P - Hypertherm Powermax 45 - Hobart Handler 150

                Comment


                • #9
                  A small mig machine with around 180-211 amp output, 220V input would do that plus more in the future. Depending upon the thickness of the materials involved with your gate project maybe even a mig machine in the 140 amp range. However, those 140A machines will limit what you can do for future projects thickness wise, if that matters to you. If duty cycle is an issue go for something bigger like a MM212 or MM252 or a comparable Lincoln or other brand. Bigger and more duty cycle generally means less portability with bigger power draw requirements. A 250 amps machine will probably do anything you need to do at home unless your different from most people. That much of a machine is a lower amp industrial machine but you'll need a 50A 220V circuit (at home) to get the most out of it.

                  Big name brands - Miller, Lincoln, ESAB. Not so big name brands - Hobart, Thermal Arc (now Tweco), Longevity, Everlast, Harbor Freight just to name a few.

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                  • #10
                    welcome to the forum.
                    Lincoln A/C 225
                    Everlast PA200

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Take a look at ZORO.com you can get a new Miller for 30% off today only till 2:00 CT with code SAVEBIG....

                      For me in CA, that would be $967 for a MM211MVP .... about $100 less than any other online price and includes tax and shipping!
                      Glen
                      Miller Dynasty 200DX - Millermatic 350P - Hypertherm Powermax 45 - Hobart Handler 150

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I also suggest you buy a Miller 211.

                        It is as easy and fun as any welder you will buy and it will handle anything you find in the future, short of skyscrapers and bridges.

                        The 110v and 220v option is very convenient for hobby welders. Plus with the Autoset function you can get good quality welds pretty quick.
                        Burt
                        _______________________
                        Miller 211AS
                        Miller 375
                        Miller Syncrowave 250
                        Miller Thunderbolt XL
                        http://www.10FtDrillBit.com

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                        • #13
                          As a hobby welder, I absolutely love my Multimatic 200. You can stick/MIG/TIG (with optional TIG kit - which I have) and use a spoolgun for MIG aluminum welding (which I also bought). I have built several implements for my tractor and done lots of repairs and small fab jobs around the house. I have yet to hit the duty cycle using any process. But, I'm pretty slow when fabricating anything It runs 110/220. I took it to my Dad's place up in GA last summer and did some repairs on his utility trailer running stick at 110V. I could not tell any difference from how I normally run it off 220V -- with what I was welding at the time. When I was doing stick and then MIG in a welding class I took, I practiced at home a couple times using the same 3/8" plate to do T and open groove butt joints and really could not tell any difference in the appearance of the welds compared to the XMT 304 we used at school (disregarding of course the superior output and duty cycle of the XMT that seems like it can just run all day long). I routinely use 3/8 and 1/2 bar stock when building my implements and have no problems (running multiple beads) and haven't 'broken' anything I have welded yet!!

                          As far as pricing goes, I checked all the Internet sites and found the lowest available price, including shipping. Then I went to the local LWS and they were $60 higher. I decided to order from them since servicing might be easier if necessary in the future. It arrived 2 days later and they GAVE me - 1 bottle of 75/25, 1 bottle of Argon (not sure what tank size but about 4' tall and 8" across), a 10 lb. spool of MIG wire, a 2 lb roll of aluminum MIG wire, a package of TIG filler metal, and a 5 lb box of 7018. He said - you're gonna need these items to get started. They also offered to come to the house and show me how to set it up and use it. I was very glad I paid the 'extra' $60......

                          For what I do I could not ask for a better machine.....
                          Last edited by mbramble; 11-06-2014, 10:19 AM.

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                          • #14
                            If you do want mig go for the MILLER 211 as stated . It is kind of portable and is 11 /200 volt. If more amps is required and a higher duty cycle go to the 252 Miller . Skip the 212 and spend $500 more for the 252, a lot more machine.

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