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.

Stick welder recommendations ?

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

  • Stick welder recommendations ?

    Could you please recommend some model numbers and reasonable prices for a used basic DC stick welder that will weld 3/8 - 1/2 steel in one pass (I presume 200 to 250 amps) ? And also any new model numbers that will fit once you read my application.

    I have a small farm and will be fabbing small farm implements for my 23HP tractor and doing mods on tractor, etc. I've taken a stick welding course and was cutting and drilling large holes in 1/2 in plate and welding aluminum with an arc welder. That made me think I should get more proficient at stick welding and get a larger solid used basic stick welder (NOT a crackerbox), and maybe thereafter I would get a mig for lighter work, better cosmetic beads, or convenience if I needed it and as I gained experience.

    I realize you can do multiple passes with a mig welder for thicker stock. And maybe I wouldn't be welding as much 3/8 - 1/2 steel as I think and maybe somebody could convince me a smaller mig is the way to go. But I've seen the kind of stuff on a tractor forum (tractorbynet.com) these guys are doing and have been warned about getting too small a welder. And I was amazed at what I could do after only one course in stick welding.

    Just seems for right now a bigger capacity plain ol' stick welder is what I need that does DC in the range I was needing to cut plate, drill holes, and weld thicker plates (3/8 - 1/2), e.g. 200 amps was about my setting on the Dialarcs the school had. I was planning on spending $800 or less for the welder alone. So things like the Econotig might not be doable, and some of the mig units I see (and the Econotig for that matter I believe) that also do stick have a stick capacity but only around 150 amps tops which I worry is not enough.

    Advice ? Thanks for any. And remember, I am watching Ebay and auctions now, so specific model numbers would be very helpful. It seems there are a zillion used model numbers, but I am looking for some basic workhorse rugged unit that maybe has been working 10 years and will work another 20. Portability is not an issue as I do all the work outside my shed.

    Thanks,
    Bob

  • #2
    Several recommendations I've been receiving elsewhere say just go with a Hobart Stickmate 235 AC/DC or Lincoln Tombstone and be done with it.

    But the DC maximum amps I'm seeing is maybe around 160-175 amps.

    Is this enough when welding with DC for 3/8 - 1/2 inch plate ? Or would I have to use AC ?

    I seem to recall mostly using a setting of about 200 when I was in welding class and for sure I needed a little more than that (210 amps I recall) when blowing holes through thick plate with an arc (which I really liked since it seemed to beat the heck out of drilling).

    What are the limitations of having 175 max amps DC versus a 200 or 250 amp machine ?

    I also got a response on one of the welding forums that you don't necessarily want to weld 3/8 or 1/2 inch in a single pass anyway due to "HAZ" (large 'heat affected zone') and an excessively large, overheated weld.

    So maybe when welding the thick stuff 160-175 amps DC is enough.

    Any opinions ?


    Bob

    Comment


    • #3
      DC machines

      If welding 1/2" plate 7018 1/8 rod is going to around 125 to 135 amps 5/32 rod in the range of 160 to 175 so any of the meduim duty cycle machined well work good, Ive got a dial arc 250 ac/dc and weld stuff up to 1 1/2 wear plates on equipment with it. you might want to look into a thunder bolt 225 ac/dc should due what your looking for as long as you don't have to stretch out a bunch of lead. hope this helps..

      Comment


      • #4
        I think a Thunderbolt or other color equivellent would be just fine. I had one many yaers ago and it handled 5/32" 7018 no problem. For welding 3/8 or 1/2" plate, you will probably get the best results laying down three stringer beads as opposed to onbe big fat weld, as mentioned before. Last time I checked, about ten years ago, the Thunderbolt 250 ac/dc was around $500 Cdn, not including leads.

        Jonny

        Comment


        • #5
          thuder bolt

          I agree with johnny tig stringers would be better, list on the thunder bolt is $600 according to millers sight. also check e-bay have seen several on thier.

          Comment


          • #6
            The list on the site is more than what a local dealer sell for.. definately Ebay is the way to get a deal for a used machine. I sold my Thunderbolt with leads and an oxy-fuel torch setup minus bottles for $300. Look around for a while, good deals are to be found.

            Comment


            • #7
              Good deals....

              Keep watching. I bought a Miller CST 250 Inverter box late last year for just over $500 including shipping. It runs on 230 - 575 volts single or three phase, has simple controls and will do all the things you mentioned and more like tig and power a feeder, etc. Good luck!

              Comment


              • #8
                There was a Tombstone used on eBay for something like $79.00. I found them at Home Depot for $269.00, new in the box.

                I like that welder, I have others that do a lot of good work, but I like the AC 225 very much. It' s great to for small to medium projects.

                Instead of one large set of dimes that may not look so well, two or three passes look much better and I think is stronger.


                Jerry

                Comment


                • #9
                  My local "craigslist has several toumbstone welders for $125.00 to $250.00

                  Comment

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