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  • SelfTaught
    started a topic Seeking help from those who I know can help.

    Seeking help from those who I know can help.

    Hello folks,
    A little about me.......
    My name is Robbie and I am a "self taught" welder. I can stick, mig and scratch start tig.
    I learned how to weld by watching others, practacing and finding my own way.
    I have been working at a textile plant for 21 years. Over the last 7 I have been part of the Technical Maintenance department and learned these things to better myself.
    Recently the plant sent 8 of us to a tech to take the G3 7018 vertical up certification so we can work on the elevators in the plant. Only 4 of us passed. The instructor told me I had one of the best looking welds he had seen from someone who has never had any instruction (probably not saying much lol).
    I have always enjoyed wood working and love to build about anything. This has helped enormously in my metal fabrication. If I can picture it in my mind, have the right material then I can usually make it.
    My department now sends all of the fabrication and small piping jobs to me. This may come off as if I am full of myself but actually I am the opposite. I always question myself and worry over every little mistake in my wood work as well as my metal fab work. Even the ones know one else can see (but I know are there).
    After passing the vertical up test I have been contemplating starting a small portable welding buisness. But I need help and advice.
    First is the problem of scratch start tigging. It's all I have ever done but I woupd really love to get into the finer art of tig welding.
    Is it harder to learn?
    What is the best machine to use for a beginner?
    We have a syncrowave at work BUT we do not use it for what it was intended for. We even scratch start 1/4" aluminium. I have been trying to teach myself but with no foot pedal or anything it's really tough.
    I enjoy welding more than I do wood working and I didn't think anything would take away from that passion.
    There are many more questions but my wife just looked at me and asked "do you really think anyone is going to read all that" so I guess I will give y'all a break.
    Thanks in advance for your opinions and advice,
    SelfTaught

  • EDL
    replied
    Originally posted by SelfTaught View Post
    Thanks for the replied thus far.
    So in starting a small portable welding buisness it would be better to go with the dynasty and gennie instead of the bobcat.
    I think that would be more versatile. I already have a100' of positive and negitive leads, tig torch with hoses and regulators as well as cutting torch set up. All I need is the bottles.
    All I have ever used while tigging is 100% argon. For mig all I have ever used is 75/25.
    I have heard of 50/50 helium mix.........what is this used for?
    HI,
    I spoke to a tech guy at Miller and he said "Do Not Use A Generator For The Dynasty Machines". I do not believe fluctuating power is good for them.
    Best to check with Miller to be 100% sure.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bistineau
    replied
    Now if you can find away to cut that plate in half to use as a welding table top, you can have a table that measures 5'x8'x1/2" thick, that would make a NICE size welding table. Half inch thick top is plenty thick enough for most projects. Maybe a 30" cut bandsaw would do the trick. Don't try it with a torch though, the heat may warp it out of shape.

    Leave a comment:


  • MMW
    replied
    Glad to hear you found a deal that worked out. If it is going to be outside I would get a breathable cover for it.

    Leave a comment:


  • SelfTaught
    replied
    I answered an add for a Bobcat 250 the other day. I was already to go buy a new one when this one jumped out and grabbed my attention. He was asking 2950 for it. It was 3 to 4 years old but only had 40 hrs on it. The gentleman who had it was older and only bought it to build a bridge on his farm.
    I got off work yesterday morning after working 15hrs and called the guy to set up a time to meet. He told me that if I wanted to see it and try it out he would meet me at his farm which would cut my trip in half.
    I went to the bank, got the 2900, went to my friends house and got the 10' double axel trailer he used to have his bobcat set up on (I got this trailer by helping him out a couple of days).
    Met the man at his farm and test ran the machine.....and I was blown away. It burned the rods even better than the one we have at work.
    He loads it onto my trailer and I pay him.
    We talk and I also walk away with......
    A 50lb box of 3/16" 7018A
    10lb box of 1/8 7018
    25 pickets 1/2" by 6' square tubing
    4 -10' sticks of 1" square tubing
    An extra 150' of welding lead
    AND a 2.5'X8'X1" steel plate
    For a whopping $25 extra.
    So now I have about a 800 to 1200 dollar trailer for around $250.
    A bobcat 250 with 40 hrs for $2950 and all the extras I listed above for $25.
    I guess the plate alone is worth around 5 to 6 hundred.
    To say the least I am HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY.
    SelfTaught (Robbie D)

    Leave a comment:


  • SelfTaught
    replied
    Originally posted by Willie B View Post
    Welding is only a portion of my income, getting the job done requires versatility. At income tax time I have to add it up. I'm always startled at the money spent on tools! It isn't safe to think of the cost of buying a welder. You must estimate the cost of the support equipment needed to make it work. A 3000 Dollar welder costs 4500 dollars to use, before you buy fuel, electrodes, gas (shielding or fuel) Then there is electricity. Are you going to drive to the customer? Vehicle costs must be factored. Will you have a facility? Rent, insurance, license, utilities, depreciation must be considered. I get frustrated with customers who want to compensate me for rod. Huh? What about other expenses? Oh! you hoped I wouldn't know about them. Why wouldn't I know about them, they are real bills, I have to pay them!
    Good advice there.
    I have the ability and skill what I need now is buisness knowledge.

    Leave a comment:


  • WillieB
    replied
    Originally posted by MMW View Post
    Don't forget that new engine drives do not come with leads. Cables, clamp & stinger can be quite a sticker shock if you are a newbie. Figure about 125 -150 feet of cable total to start at $2 to $3 a foot plus ends & quick connects.
    Welding is only a portion of my income, getting the job done requires versatility. At income tax time I have to add it up. I'm always startled at the money spent on tools! It isn't safe to think of the cost of buying a welder. You must estimate the cost of the support equipment needed to make it work. A 3000 Dollar welder costs 4500 dollars to use, before you buy fuel, electrodes, gas (shielding or fuel) Then there is electricity. Are you going to drive to the customer? Vehicle costs must be factored. Will you have a facility? Rent, insurance, license, utilities, depreciation must be considered. I get frustrated with customers who want to compensate me for rod. Huh? What about other expenses? Oh! you hoped I wouldn't know about them. Why wouldn't I know about them, they are real bills, I have to pay them!

    Leave a comment:


  • WillieB
    replied
    A 3/4 and one ton Chevy van are identical except the springs, yet the cost difference is staggering. They don't build different vehicles because it is cheaper to build 100000 of one than 50000 each of different models.
    I have to think similar thinking is applied to Bobcat welders, they have many parts in common wherein lies the difference? It seems unlikely they will build two different generators so similar.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bistineau
    replied
    From what I can tell from current info on these two machines, they are running the same engines. Either Kohler or Subaru, 23HP 3600 RPM, 9500 running watts of power for both, 11,000 peak output. The BC 250 with EFI has an additional 1,000 watts of power over the other two.
    I believe maybe for selftaught's purposes, a Trail Blazer 325 would be a good consideration to look at, if he can handle the extra price of it. This would allow extra flexibility in the future when adding other processes to his bag of welding options, without needing to add as much in converter boxes and such. He won't be needing to upgrade from a BC later to be able to expand on welding capabilities either. Although 14 pin connectors can be added to BCs. It just takes a little bit of technical savy to do it, just ask DuanneB55 on here, he has done it on his BC 225. So it can be done, might need to send him a PM if wanting to possibly add a 14 pin connector to a BC.

    Leave a comment:


  • WillieB
    replied
    Originally posted by Bistineau View Post
    No, I don't feel limited at all with my rig. I have successfully welded everything I have used it on, from 11 gage up to 1/2" material. No failed or broken welds on anything. I don't use mine to put food on the table or pay the bills either though. I have it to make the things I want/need the way I want them done.
    There is a newer model at work I have used and didn't really notice any difference in how it welds VS. mine. But since you mentioned it, I believe the auxiliary output on it is 9500 watts, and it is a 225 NT. Remember, you will need the contactor box to use a spool gun with the BC, where you would NOT need it with a Trail Blazer.
    When I use it to power my MM140 I connect it to the 240 outlet to get the power I need to use it. It doesn't run right when connected to the 120 20A outlets for some reason. I made a double duplex outlet box with the male end to plug into the 240 V outlet, it uses one leg of the 240V to get the 120V for the MM140.
    Did you check out the link I included in post #44? You can find LOTS of useful info there. Good site. Some of the members on here are over there too. WAY more activity on that site as well.
    Years ago I bought a used Honda generator, checked output voltage, it was good. I plugged it into the house, and let it run a while. Suddenly the dining table light got too bright! I ran like **** to unplug. A loose connection on the neutral at the NEMA L14-30 receptacle meant imbalanced split of the 240. I lost some bulbs and a microwave, it could have been worse!

    I answered an ad for a Bobcat 225, when I went to get it it proved to be a 250. Looking at specifications they are close, does it appear to you that they share the same engines? It isn't clear to me why they build two machines so similar.

    Leave a comment:


  • WillieB
    replied
    Originally posted by Bistineau View Post
    No, I don't feel limited at all with my rig. I have successfully welded everything I have used it on, from 11 gage up to 1/2" material. No failed or broken welds on anything. I don't use mine to put food on the table or pay the bills either though. I have it to make the things I want/need the way I want them done.
    There is a newer model at work I have used and didn't really notice any difference in how it welds VS. mine. But since you mentioned it, I believe the auxiliary output on it is 9500 watts, and it is a 225 NT. Remember, you will need the contactor box to use a spool gun with the BC, where you would NOT need it with a Trail Blazer.
    When I use it to power my MM140 I connect it to the 240 outlet to get the power I need to use it. It doesn't run right when connected to the 120 20A outlets for some reason. I made a double duplex outlet box with the male end to plug into the 240 V outlet, it uses one leg of the 240V to get the 120V for the MM140.
    Did you check out the link I included in post #44? You can find LOTS of useful info there. Good site. Some of the members on here are over there too. WAY more activity on that site as well.
    Years ago I bought a used Honda generator, checked output voltage, it was good. I plugged it into the house, and let it run a while. Suddenly the dining table light got too bright! I ran like **** to unplug. A loose connection on the neutral at the NEMA L14-30 receptacle meant imbalanced split of the 240. I lost some bulbs and a microwave, it could have been worse!

    Leave a comment:


  • Bistineau
    replied
    Originally posted by SelfTaught View Post
    Bistineau,
    They are 2/0. I see you have the BC 225. Do you feel "limited" in what you can do with it?
    Have you tried out the newer models? As I stated before, I believe now there is only a 500 watt difference in the gennie output of it and the BC250. There used to be a 2000watt difference. I can get the the 225 for about 3400 or the 250 for around 3800. The 400 dollar difference could help me get a spool gun for aluminium.
    Thanks
    No, I don't feel limited at all with my rig. I have successfully welded everything I have used it on, from 11 gage up to 1/2" material. No failed or broken welds on anything. I don't use mine to put food on the table or pay the bills either though. I have it to make the things I want/need the way I want them done.
    There is a newer model at work I have used and didn't really notice any difference in how it welds VS. mine. But since you mentioned it, I believe the auxiliary output on it is 9500 watts, and it is a 225 NT. Remember, you will need the contactor box to use a spool gun with the BC, where you would NOT need it with a Trail Blazer.
    When I use it to power my MM140 I connect it to the 240 outlet to get the power I need to use it. It doesn't run right when connected to the 120 20A outlets for some reason. I made a double duplex outlet box with the male end to plug into the 240 V outlet, it uses one leg of the 240V to get the 120V for the MM140.
    Did you check out the link I included in post #44? You can find LOTS of useful info there. Good site. Some of the members on here are over there too. WAY more activity on that site as well.
    Last edited by Bistineau; 03-02-2014, 01:10 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • SelfTaught
    replied
    Originally posted by Bistineau View Post
    What wire size is it? On my BC 225 I have 2/0 leads, because it is rated for 200 amps, almost the full rated output of my machine. You don't want leads being the limiting factor on what you can weld. So make sure they are sized accordingly.
    Bistineau,
    They are 2/0. I see you have the BC 225. Do you feel "limited" in what you can do with it?
    Have you tried out the newer models? As I stated before, I believe now there is only a 500 watt difference in the gennie output of it and the BC250. There used to be a 2000watt difference. I can get the the 225 for about 3400 or the 250 for around 3800. The 400 dollar difference could help me get a spool gun for aluminium.
    Thanks

    Leave a comment:


  • Bistineau
    replied
    Originally posted by SelfTaught View Post
    Thanks MMW,
    I have 100' of for pos. and 100' for ground already. Clamps as well.
    What wire size is it? On my BC 225 I have 2/0 leads, because it is rated for 200 amps, almost the full rated output of my machine. You don't want leads being the limiting factor on what you can weld. So make sure they are sized accordingly.

    Leave a comment:


  • SelfTaught
    replied
    Originally posted by MMW View Post
    Don't forget that new engine drives do not come with leads. Cables, clamp & stinger can be quite a sticker shock if you are a newbie. Figure about 125 -150 feet of cable total to start at $2 to $3 a foot plus ends & quick connects.
    Thanks MMW,
    I have 100' of for pos. and 100' for ground already. Clamps as well.

    Leave a comment:

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