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  1. #1
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    Aug 2007
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    Default Mig or Tig. I need help

    I have a 20ft commercial jon boat that has some broken weldes that needs repair,and needs some other custom fabricating.the boat is 3/8 inch thick.I only have a stick welder now.I need to buy a aluminum welder.should i get a miller mig.or the syncrowave 200.or 250.
    Last edited by Mr.Gadget; 08-26-2007 at 02:29 PM.

  2. #2
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    Camden, SC
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Gadget View Post
    have a 20ft commercial jon boat that has some broken weldes that needs repair,and needs some other custom fabricating.the boat is 3/8 inch thick.I only have a stick welder now.I need to buy a aluminum welder.should i get a miller mig.or the syncrowave 200.or 250.
    This is going to sound stupid, I know, but are you wanting something to repair your boat with? At 3/8" thick, it sounds more like a custom work barge instead of a "jon boat". At 3/8" thick, assuming your boat is something other than 2000-series or 7000-series aluminum, and also coupled with the fact that you appear to have some experience with SMAW (Stick) welding, I'd just go spend $20 on a pack of Hobart418 Stick rods and weld your boat together using that. That's your cheapest alternative and quickest alternative and it's not like you're worried what your welds will look like on a work boat.

    After that, I'd suggest going with a Millermatic 212 with 3035 spoolgun option (or an HTP or an ESAB-----see my other thread about ESAB, HTP, and Miller) to keep your initial costs down.

    If you WANT a TIG-rig, I'd suggest something other than the Synchro series stuff for repairing your work boat...maybe the Dynasty 200, and the 200DX at that if you can afford it. You're going to need something a little more portable for getting your machine down to the boat, repositioning it, and getting it back up the dock/pier again.

    I'm probably going to get clobbered by someone for suggesting something other than a Synchro, but that's my .50 cents for what it's worth.

    Clint Baxley
    Baxley Welding Service
    Rembert, SC 29128

  3. #3
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    Dec 2005
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    wisconsin
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    Quote Originally Posted by BWS29128 View Post
    This is going to sound stupid, I know, but are you wanting something to repair your boat with? At 3/8" thick, it sounds more like a custom work barge instead of a "jon boat". At 3/8" thick, assuming your boat is something other than 2000-series or 7000-series aluminum, and also coupled with the fact that you appear to have some experience with SMAW (Stick) welding, I'd just go spend $20 on a pack of Hobart418 Stick rods and weld your boat together using that. That's your cheapest alternative and quickest alternative and it's not like you're worried what your welds will look like on a work boat.

    After that, I'd suggest going with a Millermatic 212 with 3035 spoolgun option (or an HTP or an ESAB-----see my other thread about ESAB, HTP, and Miller) to keep your initial costs down.

    If you WANT a TIG-rig, I'd suggest something other than the Synchro series stuff for repairing your work boat...maybe the Dynasty 200, and the 200DX at that if you can afford it. You're going to need something a little more portable for getting your machine down to the boat, repositioning it, and getting it back up the dock/pier again.

    I'm probably going to get clobbered by someone for suggesting something other than a Synchro, but that's my .50 cents for what it's worth.

    I aggree!
    Arc welding .375" aluminum shouldnt be that bad at all. My guess would be either 3XXX or 5XXX series Aluminum, either one would be fine. Again if you want to buy another piece of equipment, a Mig/Spoolgun setup might be the best option for that material. I have a 200 dynasty and I would also reccomend that as the TIG source if you must go that route.

    I have to ask though, what are your experienced with as far as process? By experienced I dont mean " seen it done" but actualy proficient at it.

    -Aaron
    "Better Metalworking Through Research"

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Batavia, NY
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    If your looking to just weld up your boat you could see if your LWS has rental equipment that you can rent. Should be tons cheaper than buying. My guess is 5052. That is the aluminum they use to make pontoon boats I believe. 3/8" sounds kind of heavy for an aluminum boat, but you did say commercial craft didn't you?

    To answer your question, I would recommend MIG/push-pull or spoolgun. 5356 wire 3/64" diameter with pure argon gas.
    Last edited by jwsrep; 08-26-2007 at 06:26 PM.
    Rich Ferguson
    Sales Technician
    Jackson Welding Supply Co.
    "Keep America Strong.....Weld It"
    www.jacksonweldingsupply.com

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwsrep View Post
    If your looking to just weld up your boat you could see if your LWS has rental equipment that you can rent. Should be tons cheaper than buying. My guess is 5052. That is the aluminum they use to make pontoon boats I believe. 3/8" sounds kind of heavy for an aluminum boat, but you did say commercial craft didn't you?

    To answer your question, I would recommend MIG/push-pull or spoolgun. 5356 wire 3/64" diameter with pure argon gas.
    Rich, I agree with you on everything except maybe the 3/64"...he mentioned ribs/spars didn't he? I wouldn't think he'd need something as big as 3/64" unless he was repairing holes in the hull would he? I don't know...maybe I'm confused...I thought 3/64" wire was mondo-monster wire for giant projects....no? Doesn't 3/64" require all sorts of special liners and tips and adapters? Oh WAIT A MINUTE..........you want him to buy from YOU, don't you?!?!?!?! ROFL!!

    Also, if he's got the money and that's ALL he's planning on doing (aluminum), then the push/pull is probably the way to go....larger spools of wire, less time switching over, etc etc. Unless he's planning on anodizing, if he uses a P/P or SG, 4043 would be fine, right? And a little less expensive? Oops...there you go again!!! Really, those 4043 beads'll come out looking really shiny and nice.....

    Clint Baxley
    Baxley Welding Service
    Rembert, SC 29128

  6. #6
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    Batavia, NY
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    Quote Originally Posted by BWS29128 View Post
    Oh WAIT A MINUTE..........you want him to buy from YOU, don't you?!?!?!?! ROFL!!:


    Clint,
    3/64" wire is not big at all. Its .047" diameter. He did mention that he was working on 3/8" thick aluminum. I must have missed where he said he was working on ribs/spars. I have customers that use 3/64" wire on 5/16" aluminum and up.
    The reason I recommend 5356 is because it has better as-welded strength than 4043 does on 5052 base material.
    Rich Ferguson
    Sales Technician
    Jackson Welding Supply Co.
    "Keep America Strong.....Weld It"
    www.jacksonweldingsupply.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    near rochester NY
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    9,881

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    welcome,
    i think jwsrep made a great point about renting. if its just to fix it up this time and be done with it, it would be cheaper and give you a chance to try it before you buy it. the TIG is going to be very slow but look nicer but as they said if its not going to be seen or its a work boat MIG would get the job done faster and not look bad at all after some practice.
    thanks for the help
    ......or..........
    hope i helped

    feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. james@newyorkmetalart.com
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    I live in Cheraw, South Carolina
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    This is just something to think about. I donít have the knowledge or experience that most of these fellows do as far as welding is concerned, so take this advice as given by a non expert. You didnít mention anything about using the welder for anything beyond repairing the boat and you did say you had experience stick welding. For that reason, the stick welding repair Clint mentioned sounds like the most viable option for you as far as economics is concerned. That is, if your stick welder had DC capability. I just burned some aluminum sticks a couple of weeks ago and I think on the box they just recommended electrode positive Ė reverse polarity. I found if you used them hot enough, and kept the end of the electrode very close to the weld puddle, you can make a fairly decent looking weld Ė and it looks strong.

    Now the ribs, if they are thin, sound more like a job for a Mig rig. And I say Mig because a low end Mig rig is a lot cheaper than a low end Tig rig. Plus something like the Miller 180 or Hobart 187 you have seen mentioned, or maybe something smaller would be easier to handle. I have the Synocrowave 200 and I think it weighs over two hundred pounds without the bottle. In my prime I donít think I could have lifted it into the back of the truck by myself. Ok, maybe in my prime I could have, but it would have taken both hands.

    Now, if you have a big DC welder the cheapest way to go would be with the sticks, a Tig gun, bottle of argon, and flow regulator. When I worked in a paper mill this is what the welders used to weld stainless, aluminum, titanium, hastelloy, alloy 20 and some other exotics I canít remember. Now they didnít have the luxury of a foot pedal, but they did a good job of it just the same.
    6010
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    356

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    stick or rent a mig machine ( spool gun/push pull pref, more mobility )
    mm210
    maxstar 150

  10. #10
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    Jun 2007
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    Camden, SC
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    Red face Forget What I Said: Rich Is Right On All Counts!!

    Quote Originally Posted by jwsrep View Post


    Clint,
    3/64" wire is not big at all. Its .047" diameter. He did mention that he was working on 3/8" thick aluminum. I must have missed where he said he was working on ribs/spars. I have customers that use 3/64" wire on 5/16" aluminum and up.
    The reason I recommend 5356 is because it has better as-welded strength than 4043 does on 5052 base material.
    Rich, You're right on all counts: I was thinking 3/64" was REALLY big...not sure why; lack of experience with that size I suppose (oh, and the fact that I absolutely suck when it comes to converting decimals and fractions might have something to do with it as well...). Again: absolutely correct on as-welded strengths too...a very important thing to look at when dealing with a work boat. Even if his boat ends up being 3003, 3004, or 5056 (or heck, even 8086!) then the 5356 will be a better option.

    Hope I didn't confuse you unnecessarily, Mr. Gadget...forget what I said and go with Rich on this one.

    Clint Baxley
    Baxley Welding Service
    Rembert, SC 29128

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