Miller Electric

Welding Discussion Forums

Home » Resources » Communities » Welding Discussion Forums

  • If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Announcement

Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.

211 and/or a Thunderbolt 225

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • 211 and/or a Thunderbolt 225

    First time poster and newb to welding. Just interested in hobby welding around the shop. I want to make a welding cart and some rolling stands for machinery. No cars.

    I bought a Thunderbolt 225 at an auction a couple of years ago but have not used it yet. I have recently run 220 to my garage. I also recently bought a Millermatic 211.

    Now, I have a small garage and need all the extra room I can get. My question is: will the 211 do everything that the Thunderbolt will do? Can I get rid of the Thunderbolt?

    I have heard "If its thick, use stick" but I don't know if my little Thunderbolt is big enough to make a difference.
    Last edited by Frank R; 10-09-2012, 12:00 PM.

  • #2
    The MM211 will do 99.9% of everything a Hobby welder will need done.

    I've built quite a few things w/o having a Stick welder- before we even purchased the MM252 I used a 120v machine, then a Passport. Don't really need the 252, probably should have just purchased a MM212.

    I'm really a hobby welder that has been able to build stuff for my work/business but welding is not any part of the business.

    For me:
    Wire feeder like the MM211 or equivalent is a workhorse. Fast & Clean, sheet metal to 1/4", some 3/8".

    I would sell the Thunderbolt and buy more hand tools: Port-a-band, Chop saw, Hand grinders, Clamps.

    I put off the Port-a-band for way too long.

    I highly recommend one. Quiet, no mess like with an abrasive chop saw. I can get pretty good 45˚ with one.

    2- grinders; One with a cut off wheel and one for Flap Discs.

    C- Clamps: can't have too many clamps.

    Comment


    • #3
      Save up and get a dinky inverter stick/TIG welder to complement the 211.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks Ed.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by USMCPOP View Post
          Save up and get a dinky inverter stick/TIG welder to complement the 211.
          Any particular ones in mind? I don't know a thing about inverter welders. But I did get the 100 spool gun for my 211. Will I need/want more?

          I thought the 211 and spool gun will keep by busy for a long time.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Frank R View Post
            Any particular ones in mind? I don't know a thing about inverter welders. But I did get the 100 spool gun for my 211. Will I need/want more?

            I thought the 211 and spool gun will keep by busy for a long time.
            Are you a man? Of course you'll want more, need... well that's up to you and the Mrs.


            I'll mention it again.. hand tools, more hand tools.

            You'll need something to cut the steel
            something to grind with
            Clamp with, more clamping

            Comment


            • #7
              here is a current thread on Grinders, save you some time since it is pretty well covered on brand, cost etc etc

              http://www.hobartwelders.com/weldtal...45371-grinders

              Comment


              • #8
                Is the thunderbolt AC/DC ? you could always keep it and get a tig set up for
                it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  what is so wrong with keeping the thunderbolt, you will not get too much for it and really, how much space does it take up, learning to stick weld will be a great asset in your welding ventures, right now you have the perfect set up for just starting out, keep the buzz box, it will come in handy some time

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks for the replies.

                    This one is AC only. It is an older, horizontal unit. Not like the ones shown in the owner's manuals here.

                    I was thinking the same thing Kevin. Is there anything a stick can do that a mig cannot? Like welding cast iron or some other specialty metals? I would hate to get rid of it only to find I could use it later with just some new rods.
                    Last edited by Frank R; 10-10-2012, 05:52 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I am pretty set for hand tools, grinders, and saws. I have had most of those for years.

                      I currently have the Thunderbolt on the bottom shelf of my welding table. It is a four foot version of one of those standard industrial workbenches with the wood top. Someone put a 1/4 inch plate on top of it. I put it on lockable casters and I plan on bolting my big vise to the top. It also carries my chop saw and a phase converter for my three-phase machinery. The problems is, with that load, it is very hard to move around my small shop. So I am trying to lighten the load a bit. I cannot just move the welder somewhere else because there is no room and it is not exactly portable where I can store it on a shelf. So it has to justify its existence, because now it is becoming a burden.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        There is a wheel kit for the thunderbolt, or just as easy to make one, in my shop, i make up small frames, wheels on one end with just 2 post on the other end, then weld on some round or square stock for a handle, the frame is built for equipment like the welder, chop saw, ect, this way you can stash some of your gear with out getting a hernia, and to answer your question about what cant a mig do that stick can, some day you might have a nasty, heavy, rusted, painted oily thing to fix, and there is way too mush prep time for the mig, grab a handful of 6011 rods, which are designed for an ac welder, and the 7018 rods which are run on dc are now being produced to run on ac, you really need both processes of welding to really compliment your shop

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thanks Kevin. There is so much to learn about the types of welding and what can be done with the different types of equipment.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Frank R View Post
                            Thanks Kevin. There is so much to learn about the types of welding and what can be done with the different types of equipment.
                            Indeed Frank. I'm right there with you - I'm a midlife hobbyist learning to weld and what all the different processes and equipment are best suited for. Sure am in the right place to learn that here - everyone seems to be equally knowledgeable and helpful on this forum.

                            I myself just bought a Thunderbolt 225 AC/CD used. Real excited to fire it up after I put in a line to my garage sub-panel. A MM211 IS in myfuture as well. I'd like to learn more about the 'kit' available to use the Thunderbolt with a TIG process...I hope that is the case - in that event I'd have everything I'd ever need for a hobby (or out of work) project!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jfk92 View Post
                              I'd like to learn more about the 'kit' available to use the Thunderbolt with a TIG process!
                              I just read about that yesterday. I googled "arc welding aluminum" and found a lot of information. It requires an AC/DC arc welder but mine is DC only.

                              I'll ask everyone here again: Are there any other processes that an arc welder can do? Do you just get different rods? I'll go do some more research on my own too. I should probably re-state that quesion: Are there any other processes that an arc welder can do that a mig welder cannot?
                              Last edited by Frank R; 10-11-2012, 09:02 AM.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X
                              Special Offers: See the latest Miller deals and promotions.