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Thread: How many amps

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Noth Dakota
    Posts
    505

    Cool

    No attack was intended. I rarely attack. I will definitely not attack. It is counter productive. This reply is not an attack. This is a good thread. There is a place, need and purpose for every welder built. I do not discount any welder for its size or underrate anyone the welder they use whether it be their job, hobby, art, farm or for whatever reason drives a person to pick up a hot lead and join metal. I wish the best for all of us here that have come to join metals together. Since no parameters other than keep up with stick was alluded to, I set forth some parameters of my own to quantify a mig machine selection. I agree my method of comparison was a bit obtuse. However if I weld continuously with 1/8 rod consuming 50 lbs of rod using average 5 sec to change to new rod and get back in the puddle, what Mig welder do I need to match that performance? Meaning you pull the trigger on the Mig machine and don't let go till 50lbs of wire is consumed. Assume 60lb spool. It is fun stuff here trying to figure it out with practically nothing to go on. But anyway, Forgive my ramblings. Its lonely being a welder. No one will talk to you if your hood is down. They will stand behind you till you stop and raise your hood as they don't think you can talk and weld at the same time. I can talk and weld but if I fart the ball game is over. That's funny stuff there..

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Fraser Valley, BC
    Posts
    593

    Default How much is enough?

    It depends on several factors.
    1. Wire size and type
    2. Gas type
    3. Material being welded.

    The thicker the material you are welding, the more amperage you will need, obviously. That being said, wire size and type will make a big difference. A small machine may not even be able to properly run a larger wire, but using a smaller diameter wire you may be able to put in a pass with decent penetration, albeit smaller overall. If you are using shielding gas, a higher CO2 concentration will give you better penetration, but you will sacrifice weld apperance. Furthermore, some self shielded wire will definately give you better penetration, but will require a little more clean up afterwards. As you can see, the question is not nearly as simple as it initially appears.

    My personal experience? No luck with the 120's, there is just not enough power. My teacher brought in his small 220, a lincoln mig pack somethin, rated for around 170-180 amps and loaded with .030 self shielded wire. Boy was I suprised, it put out a lot more heat than I was expecting:rolleyes, more than enough for 3/16 or less.

    Now how much power do you need to compete with a decent stick welder running 1/8 7018? I would say over 200 amps, once again depending on set up. Don't forget, with wire feeds ability to run nonstop your duty cyle will be higher, so you will want a bit more in reserve. Ultimately, more is better, it is always easier to turn down a big machine than to pull your hair in fustration. (Notice a trend here? )

    Final note, if you have a decent stick welder, use the small mig to tack and weld the thin stuff, and stick the rest. The above really only aplies if you are looking to buy a Mig to do everything.

    Sorry if that was a bit long winded. Just my 2 c-notes.
    Dynasty 200DX, first generation
    Makita 5" grinder
    Makita 14" abrasive saw
    IR SS5L compressor
    Whole bunch of hand/air tools.
    and a wish list a mile long

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    So. Cal
    Posts
    335

    Default No, No and NO..

    Never settle for "just what you can afford". Save and wait, wait and save to get what you need. Even for weekend fun-seekers. Chances are more than likely you will run into a situation that requires more huevos (amps) to make a proper weld. Some one always come to you with a broken thing-a-ma-jig that requires the above mentioned huevos. Having a machine with small huevos leaves you to do one of two things. 1. do the job the machine was not intended to do or 2. you shrug your shoulders and say "sorry can't do it". There is nothing wrong with a smaller welder I have 2 140's in my shop that we use for light grab rail work but they are parked next to our MM252 and MM350P just in case they are in jeopardy!

    TacMig
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    afters

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Noth Dakota
    Posts
    505

    Cool

    On another note bigger is not always better. Connecting our Spool-o-matic 1 with .030 Al wire to the big MP 65E isn't a good thing. Can't turn it down far enough. So we use the gun on a different machine where the low range is more adjustable and user friendly for the gun. Face it welding 10ga steel guards with the 65E and .045 wire isn't very pretty and in this case a smaller machine would work quite well for appearance and in cost.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Noth Dakota
    Posts
    505

    Cool

    Tacmig, Here is a good example of what you said. For 6 years I had to repair Al fuel tanks with the spool-o-matic 1 with the 65E. It was a pain in the but. Since my previous job was welding Al with Lincoln 300 Square wave Everyone wondered why I was complaining. Finally the Boss jumped at the Lincoln Square wave 175 for me to use. At 3 bucks per gallon for used tanks I recouped the cost plus in about 3 weeks. Now it takes longer to prep the tanks for welding than the actual welding. Sad news? You bet. They brought me a 1/2 thick Al truck frame part wanting me to tig it with the "new" welder.(135 amp max AC @ 20% duty cycle). Sometimes you can't win. I used Martha and 1/8 Al sticks.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Abilene, Texas
    Posts
    639

    Default

    I just donít want to run out of knob to the right.....because what ever that is I will get out my credit card if that is what it is going to take
    Based on virtually no information as per needs, get out the credit card.

    http://www.millerwelds.com/products/mig/invision_456p/
    Jim

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Fraser Valley, BC
    Posts
    593

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    On another note bigger is not always better. Connecting our Spool-o-matic 1 with .030 Al wire to the big MP 65E isn't a good thing. Can't turn it down far enough. So we use the gun on a different machine where the low range is more adjustable and user friendly for the gun. Face it welding 10ga steel guards with the 65E and .045 wire isn't very pretty and in this case a smaller machine would work quite well for appearance and in cost.
    Keep in mind, MP-65E is a LOT more than a bit bigger, it is about as big as it gets for manual welding. When we say a "bigger machine" something like a Millermatic 212, 252 or even 350 is more along the lines of this particular discussion.

    Is it safe to assume the MP 65E is a bigger version of the MP 30 E? We've got a couple of these at work and they are amazing when you can get them running right. (Broken gauges, crappy feeders, knob loose, and so on. Fan died in one, now it sounds like a constapated wookie and just isn't the same anymore. )
    Dynasty 200DX, first generation
    Makita 5" grinder
    Makita 14" abrasive saw
    IR SS5L compressor
    Whole bunch of hand/air tools.
    and a wish list a mile long

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Cave Creek Az
    Posts
    961

    Default

    200 amps will put you in the ballpark of what a stick welder can do. I have a MM185 and it does okay, but I still fire up the trailblazer for thicker than 1/4" when you really need good penetration. So with that information, I would say 185 amps is just shy of good burning power. I would like to upgrade a wee bit and would like to have the MM251 but I am sure the 210 is a fine machine as well.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, Washington
    Posts
    51

    Default

    Hey Steve do you ever worry about the flammability factor of a fart while welding, especially while wearing coveralls? I know I do. Havenít blown up yet but it is a real worry, at least I think it is. Any way you make a very valid point about the need for MIG at all. Used to be the exception to use MIG now it seems to be the rule. I like the isolation of having the hood down. Tried wearing it around the house, my wife didnít think it was a good idea. Sorry a bit off topic.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Olive Branch Ms
    Posts
    129

    Default

    The Flamability factor of a fart???,,,, Elevendyfour?? You guys are cracken me up!
    Webb's Welding and Repair LLC
    MM210 w/a 3035 spoolgun
    Syncrowave 250
    Spectrum 625
    Trialbazer 302 w/HF
    http://webbsweldingandrepair.com/home

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