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  • #16
    I would recomend the MM 135. I had and older one and now I have the new one and they both work fantastic. I never abusted them or any of my equipment But I us them hard. The little migs worked wonderful.
    You need to look at the internal componits of any peice of equipment before you buy it. You get what you pay for. Are the rollers made for plastic or metal? How long will it last? Anything you buy should work out of the box, but in 1-10 years will it still work? Some times saving a couple $ now will cost you more in the long run.

    Good luck
    Doc

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    • #17
      Welder selection

      I spent months lurking here and in other welding FAQ's/Blogs before buying my first welder. My decision point boiled down to what was the thickness of the metal I was most likely going to weld - not the maximum I would encounter. As a hobbyist does it matter if I can weld 1" plate in a single pass, or if it takes multiple passes - no it doesn't. Should I buy a welder that makes me hire an electrician to add capacity to my hose wiring?

      As a hobbyist - most of my welding has been on 22 and 26 gage sheet, and 1/8th in steel. The bigger is better argument works when you are a business saving dollars on per mimute welding costs. I run a MM135 and a Dynasty 200DX - usually at the low end of capacity.

      Steve

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      • #18
        Your first welder...

        If you can afford it, and have access to 220V, get a higher amp machine vs a 110V model. I had a Century 110V machine and found it only worked at the very highest settings. But then again, that Century was a P.O.S.! If you go with a Miller 110V, it is not really as simple as just using a 20Amp breaker--You will need to make sure the wiring from the breaker to the outlet is at least 12 guage and preferably 10ga. And as close to the electrical service as possible. Any welder requires a clean, unrestricted source of electricity that meets its amperage requirements. It is not quite as simple as just replacing a breaker or outlet. Inadequate wiring will burn down the house or garage!

        A 220V machine will have more power (and amps) available and may be simpler to wire but may not be as portable. If convenient, you could always plug into your electric range outlet, but that gets old, especially for the wife!

        If you plan on welding aluminum, you'll need a spoolgun, period. Other methods such as push-pull and special liners in the MIG gun are more specialized and not cost-effective for the "ordinary" welder. Once upon a time, I lost a lucrative yacht refurb/welding job because I didn't want to "invest" in a more powerful welder and spoolgun. Back then, the welder was a Millermatic185 with Spoolmate185 and the cost was around $1500 for the package. Now that setup is known as the Millermatic 210 and Spoolmate 3035, which I now own and heartily recommend if you can afford or finance it. Going rate is around $1900 including shipping. If I had bought the welder back then, it would have paid for itself two-fold by the time I was done with the job. One problem was that the yacht owner didn't want to advance me the money for the job (at least a third is customary). Sometimes the richest people can take the longest time to pay--but I digress!

        Keep in mind that you'll also need at least one bottle of Argon/CO2 to start welding steel and another of straight Argon if you want to weld aluminum. I own my own tanks and a smaller size from your local supply house will run you around $125 each. Avoid buying "used" tanks unless the seller can produce a receipt. Older, anonymous tanks may not or will not be able to be filled by your local welding supply company.

        Good luck and don't forget to get a good fire extinguisher, wear the proper safety gear and to be aware of fire dangers!
        TA Arcmaster 185 w/TIG/Stick Kit
        MM210 w/3535 Frankengun
        MM140 w/o AS w/SM100 & CO2
        Hobart (Miller) 625 Plasma
        Hobart 250ci Plasma
        Victor O/A (always ready, but bored)
        Lincoln Patriot Autodark (freebie)
        .45ACP Black Talons for those difficult jobs

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