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Recomendation for a wire feeder?

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  • Recomendation for a wire feeder?

    I purchased a TB 302 last fall. I have always been a stick man, although I decided I need a wire feeder. Ten years ago I had a Snap-On mig; I believe 135 amps, plugged in to a 220 receptacle.
    Miller makes the 8VS and the 12VS. Anybody have any suggestions which one I need? Mostly small fabrication work and on occasion, maintenance repair on dozer blades and excavator buckets. I don’t care to get to get to far off the ground, so the weight of the case should not be a concern.
    Do I need an argon tank on my rig, or is flux cored wire the way to go. I am still building my trailer, so I need to determine if I need a place for the third tank. At some point aluminum could be something I want to weld. Do I need a separate gun to run aluminum wire?

    Thanks in advance, I enjoy all your thoughts, there seems to be a lot of talent that reads this board.

    Copperdog's dad
    Benton, Pa.

  • #2
    I am currently running a 12RC and a Super S32P feeder on my TB. I have a 8VS, but am not using it currently...but that may change quickly. Here is what I have found.

    The 12RC is the absolute best. The arc is exactly like a shop machine. It has great control from the feeder and works great with any wire, FC or solid. The drawback is the control cable. It is expensive. Get arouund that issue and it is the way to go.

    My S32P feeder is the predecessor to the 12VS. It works extremely well with the TB, although it runs a little better with FC wire. I use it primarily for FC and long distances. I can run as far from the machine as I have leads. The RC feeder is limited to the 75' of RC cable I have. With the VS feeder, you have to set it at the machine and feed speed at the feeder. That would be fine if you didn't need to be switching all the time. The little VS cable can be a pain, but you get used to it. From what little solid wire I have run through on CV with a VS feeder and the TB, it is very good. Way better than it was with my Bobcat. It would handle spray transfer extremely well, but would not short circuit at all.

    As to 8" or 12", I am going with nothing but 12" from now on. I had lots of trouble finding special wires ( hardfacing/buildup, dual shield, and T-8 flux core) in 8" spool, and lots are not available at all. 12" spools are pretty much standard for all wires. It is heavy and bulky, but when I lost a big job due to the fact I couldn't get the wire I needed in 8" spools, I saw the error of my ways and went with the 12" models. Lugging a heavy feeder and complaining is way better than sitting at home twiddling my thumbs.

    I would plan ahead for the third tank. If you are going to do alu, it will be necessary. I am building a new pallet for my TB and it will have a third slot. I did some dual shield on a job and it was necessary then, too. Also, if you need to do any solid wire, you are set as well. It is always better to plan ahead rather than limiting yourself. (FWIW, a 30a spoolgun would be a better choice by far for alu and the TB.) For now, I am running mostly FC wire. But, I never know what will be coming down the line. A customer of mine may call tomorrow with a ton of dual shield to run in his shop. It has happened before, so I am going to be prepared.

    '06 Trailblazer 302
    '06 12RC feeder
    Super S-32P feeder

    HH210 & DP3035 spool gun
    Esab Multimaster 260
    Esab Heliarc 252 AC/DC


    • #3
      Use your Resources

      HEY, Just any IDEA go to this website under "where to buy" put in your city and state WOW! you get a location of the Airgas products store and go ask them for advice check out what's shaking in the welder products? Geter done! Happy welding, WelderCraig


      • #4
        i have a trail blazer and i love my suitcase 12rc wirefeeder. just set my trailblazer to the wire setting and it runs just like a shop mig.
        trail blazer 302
        hypertherm plasma
        millermatic 251
        high feq. arc starter
        suit case (extreme 12vs)
        o/a torches
        way to many other tools to list


        • #5
          I certainly do not profess to be an expert; I have tried a couple of local welding stores and was not impressed. The local store lost my TB 302 purchase, because the guy argued with me when I told him the new units were 23 HP instead of 20 HP. He had no knowledge of his product he was trying to sell me.
          I have a job that requires frequent travel in a radius of 500 miles of central PA; I easily would stop in one of those stores to give them my business if the salesman actually knew what color a Miller welder was, instead of just wanting my MONEY!
          If anybody knows of a good store to purchase this equipment in the northeast, please let me know.


          • #6
            wire feeders

            I run a 305G matched with a LN25 and love it I used to use a super32p but I feel like the LN25 is a better feeder but thats just my take.


            • #7
              If i was building a trailer I would denfently set it up for that third bottle weather it was for argon or 75/25 you can switch it out as needed. As soon as I sale my old welding truck Iam going to build a trailer. Ill be sure to post some pics. '' KEEP IT IN THE BEVEL''


              • #8
                I stay away from Airgas all I can. The one near me is not interested in anyone without a 5 grand a week account. Plus, the warehouse staff is not very good either. They will help on occasion, but not often. I prefer to go where they actually want to help a guy out.

                In MD, there is B&R Welder. They are good people. I have dealt with them in person and on the web. I also dealt with Robert's Oxygen a lot up there. Maybe they can help you out, maybe not.


                '06 Trailblazer 302
                '06 12RC feeder
                Super S-32P feeder

                HH210 & DP3035 spool gun
                Esab Multimaster 260
                Esab Heliarc 252 AC/DC


                • #9
                  I run a 22A feeder off of my TB 250 & like it. I bought it because that is all I have used in the past & the price was a lot less than a 12RC. I made a handle for it to carry it around but it is cumbersome. I don't like the fact that it is heavier than a 12RC & the spool is exposed to the elements. If your doing outdoor mobile work the 12RC would be the choice. The 14 pin cord is expensive but you can make your own as it only requires 3 wires to activate the feeder.
                  Trailblazer 250g
                  22a feeder
                  Lincoln ac/dc 225
                  Victor O/A
                  MM200 black face
                  Whitney 30 ton hydraulic punch
                  Lown 1/8x 36" power roller
                  Arco roto-phase model M
                  Vectrax 7x12 band saw
                  Miller spectrum 875
                  30a spoolgun w/wc-24
                  Syncrowave 250


                  • #10

                    the miller 12 vs is a voltage sensing unit, meaning it will work off any of the bobcats, or rangers, trailblazers etc, off the positive lead, and all adjustments are made at the feeder, thats not through a 6 pin, or 14 pin connection some of the better machines have, but its also a lil pricier than the 8rc, and 12 rc, that have to use the pin connection. any of these should be ok, for the use you describe, any miller dist. will drop ship you one, the trialblazer is a good machine you can go either way, just pop in a dist. to get some more info, or call miller direct, ask for a tech, he will help you with what you need....