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So many choices: MIG, TIG, MUTI-Process?

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  • So many choices: MIG, TIG, MUTI-Process?

    A little info to go by before you here my problem:

    I worked building street/strip cars for a East Coast Company about 4 years ago before enlisting into the Marines. In that I got 5 years of welding under my belt in MIG and TIG. I was welding everything from Stainless up to aluminum and mag once and awhile for slight repairs. I never had to worry about what i needed cause the shop had 4 mig millermatics and 3 syncrowaves that where probably a good 7+ years from the looks of them. They were awesome and worked great and now i feel it is time to buy something that can do almost what i was doing then. I plan on taking on some hot rod projects which will ocassionly get me welding at the most 1/4" steel for short period of time maybe 10 minutes at once before taking breaks. aluminum probably not more that 3/16" and that would be a rare case. so the average will be .125 walled tubing that will need both cosmetic tig welds and quick strong welds MIG style for frame mods. i want the ability to have both mig and tig at my fingertips but the projects are not going to be all that industrial (everyday). Its more for hobbies until i get a chance to do side jobs for some money. I want the ability to weld aluminum, chromemoly, and stainless. I am wondering if the Shopmate wpould be able to handle the weekend hobbyist that will get on a mission when it comes to race cars and street rods. My space is limited and are those multi-process machine worth it? I appreciate the help and I am trying to decide what I am going to get with my re-enlistment bonus after I get back from the sandbox. im looking to spend at most 5,000. Semper Fi

  • #2
    If it were my money, in a shop setting (non-portable) i would get an MM212 for MIG, and a DYN 200 for TIG. You get all the alluminum bells and whistles with the dyn + you can get a spool gun for the 212. If you want to keep it all compact and portable get the passport plus. You give up duty cycle and top end but i believe you can still do 1/4" steel. If your looking to save some bucks and can get by with an "old fashioned" Tig get the sync 200 and save over a grand.

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    • #3
      Multiprocess has its place, but even with limited space, I'd be trying every option to have two separate machines. You can even put a really nice TIG/Stick machine on the top of a MM252 for your budget.

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      • #4
        Having had a multi-process machine for many years I vote for process specific machines. The multi-process did an OK job no most everything I used it for but not as good a job as the machines that are specifically designed for each process. I now have an MM251 and a Dynasty 300 and have the best of both worlds. As far as room I don't think the two machines take up any more shop space than my multi-process with the large power source. Mike.

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        • #5
          I have many machines and most multi process machines will suffer on the top end on aluminum if they offer AC at all. I agree with the others a solid millermatic 212 and a dynasty 200DX will set you up nicely. However it will be limited on the materials up to 1/4" or so. I have done that kind of work with mine and it well and when pushed really hard with preheat and running helium I did significantly heavier, but I do not recommend that as a steady diet or the machine will have serious issues.

          Peace,
          Paul

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          • #6
            Lincoln MP350, one stop shop.

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            • #7
              I have several multi process and aeveral limited process setups.

              One unit is a Thermal Arc 400gtsm? any way it's a mig tig stick with no AC and no hi freq. I use it remote where power is available, for stick and FCAW (LN 25)


              For shop use I often find my self using both my Passport and my Dynasty on the same job. doing quick tacking with the Passport and final welding with the Dynasty.

              Or when I get two guys cutting and fitting for me I can have one doing steel and one working aluminum and I am not constantly resetting the ONE machine.

              Having a machine all setup ready to go just flip the switch and twist the cylinder and weld (MM210) is great for the quick in and out job.

              Never fails the multi is always set up for the wrong process.

              My $.02

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              • #8
                Originally posted by cruizer View Post
                Lincoln MP350, one stop shop.
                No AC output?

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                • #9
                  All of the AC/DC machines I have used just suck on AC. Get a D200DX and a 212 and caller done.
                  Paul

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MAC702 View Post
                    No AC output?
                    True, but who cares as you have full pulse capabilities to run a spoolgun (I install the Millers as the Prince is junk) down in the power modes to the lightest gage Aluminum or stainless you can think of.

                    Really don't need to tig, but you can run Stainless tig if you desire.

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                    • #11
                      My dream setup would be a MM350P sitting side by side with a Dynasty 350.

                      Little out of my budget right now, but we can all dream can't we?

                      For the time being guess I'll have to make do with the MM251 w/30A and my Sync 250 DX.

                      Multiprocess machines sound great, but as mentioned, they always seem to be set up for the process you just did, not the one you need to do next. Plus, if one machine goes down, you're SOL.

                      Just my opinion.
                      Last edited by SundownIII; 09-23-2008, 06:36 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Never had a 350mp just up and crash, go to an easily cleared error code once in a while.

                        Realistically, if you happen to find a power mig 300 for a good price. All it is is downloadable software to convert it into a 350. Not alot of guys know that little piece of information. Now ya can't run diagnostics, or upgrade the operating system and software, with most of the Millers I know of. Once it's broke, thats it.

                        Usually only a control board glitch on the powermig 300/350, 350pro and the like. Hook up the ole laptop, find the glitch and download a new whatever to fix it.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by cruizer View Post
                          Never had a 350mp just up and crash, go to an easily cleared error code once in a while.

                          Realistically, if you happen to find a power mig 300 for a good price. All it is is downloadable software to convert it into a 350. Not alot of guys know that little piece of information. Now ya can't run diagnostics, or upgrade the operating system and software, with most of the Millers I know of. Once it's broke, thats it.

                          Usually only a control board glitch on the powermig 300/350, 350pro and the like. Hook up the ole laptop, find the glitch and download a new whatever to fix it.
                          That's pretty cool. I don't know anything about those machines, but I can really appreciate that kind of design (fore)thought being put into any kind of product.


                          I've only owned one Lincoln... it was my first welder- a little 110V Home Depot jobber. It was great for what it was. Never missed a beat and made be lots of money.

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