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Question about Machine and optional mig guns

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  • Question about Machine and optional mig guns

    Hello, I am gearing up to build a 23' open skiff,I am confused about the type of machine I need.
    Can anybody who ever has built a boat please give some advice?
    I've looked at the xmt w/suitcase
    I've looked at the millermatic251 ( which I like )
    I just wonder if I do not use a spoolmatic gun and just use the machinery on the 251 will I have a problem with the wire hanging up?
    I am not sure which way to go and thought I would run it passed a lot of professionals.
    After all the yrs I have been welding I still keep on learning,
    Welding has really made some major improvements since I started.
    And I can always use exp solid advice. tnx, capt jack

  • #2
    You can try a Teflon liner. I did it for years where i worked with 1/16" wire and it worked fine. I did a test a while back comparing my spoolgun to my mig gun with alum wire in it. Did the alum wire first and it was working so good i almost stopped to put the spoolgun on ebay then all heck broke loose and the big bird's nest. The weld quality was exactly like the spoolgun would do but most migs aren't designed to push small dia soft wire. Plus the spoolgun has a longer reach 20 to 30 feet and thats great even with steel wire loaded in it...Bob

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    • #3
      i run a suitcase hooked to a big 40 or a trailblazer depending on whats near me with 1/16 flux core. the .035 used to birdcage all the time as fast as i ran it with my heat so i dont fool w/it any more. 045 will bunch up occasionally but im using a pow-con suitcase which only has 1 drive wheel. my buddy has an 8vs that runs really nice but i dont like 11 pound rolls. have to swap every hour when im rolling.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by aametalmaster View Post
        ...Plus the spoolgun has a longer reach 20 to 30 feet and thats great even with steel wire loaded in it...Bob
        I agree. This would be a no-brainer for me if I was building a big boat. MM251 with the 30A Spoolmatic.

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        • #5
          The 350P would also be great if you have alot of thin aluminum as well as thick aluminum to weld [pulsed mig]. The 251+spool gun is quit a bit less expensive than the 350P. If you dont have any real thin stuff to weld, the 251 is what I would get. I have the the model before the 350P which was called the Millermatic Pulser. The thing I like about the pulser, or the 350P is both the spool gun and reg steel gun are both hooked up at the same time. Just use which ever you want. Nothing to hook up.

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          • #6
            boat building

            Having built a noumber of boats ranging from 24' to 47' out of aluminum I am a fan of the 305 inverter with a CV unit and an extended reach gun with a push pull system. One of it's biggest advantages is the adjustable goose neck that allows you to get into all the tight spots. All that gear adds up though$$$. If this is to be a one off project for yourself go with the spool gun a lot less hassle, But I would suggest you get one with a flexible head as the hard nozzel will not allow you to get into the tight spots like a flex head will. This would of course depend on the style of boat you are planning to build. If it is just a basic skiff you may not have any proplems. A pulsed system helps alot with distortion controll as well but I have used both with good success. Which ever way you go remember to use lots of tacks on hull plates I would say atleast every 1/2' or more depending on the curve of your hull. Then weld the inside first and then you can clean out the tacks from the out side before you weld that seam. Watch for pin holes and back step all your welds. Have fun hope that helps.

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            • #7
              Aluminum skiffs. Care to share any plans? Always wanted to try a 16' to 20' skiff to dive off, go crabbing or just cruising in the bay. I have a MM251 with the 30A Spoolmatic, and NO knowledge on how to make the boat

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