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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Saskatoon, Sask, Canada
    Posts
    94

    Default Welder vs Welder not red vs blue

    Ok heres my question to any one and everyone one who has ever burned rods with an engine drive welder of any color. Why do so many people say one welder is so superior at welding pipe over another? I am trying to keep this from being a color war but I need to add some color to explain so do pounce on me please

    I've read more than once about some people saying if you don't run a Lincoln you wouldn't get on that pipe line and similar comments or that a particular welder is more suited for construction. Why is this? I run a mid '90 Hobart 500amp diesel welder and I love it. It works great for my needs. I don't weld pipe and don't plan to but if I wanted to why wouldn't it work just as good as something else?

    It welds plate and channel ans square tube just fine it I can pass weld tests with it so what changes so much going to pipe it's just round steel. I know I over simplified that but I want to make my point why is it when the shape changes to round all of a sudden you need a different machine according to some.

    If you like how your machine welds and you can pass x-ray or what ever then what does it matter what machine you use. I believe its all personal preference am I wrong?

    I can understand if you are comparing something like a 200 amp machine to a 500 amp one. But straight across like a Lincoln 305g to a trailblazer 302. I know quite a few guys running the 305g for pipeline where I live but none running the 302. However lots of guys run both for construction. So if it can weld I beams all day long why not pipe.

    Now I know there are guys running all kinds of welders on all kinds of jobs I just want to know why it seems there are allot of people that feel one welder is more suited for one job versus another.

    In no way do I want to offend anyone or start a fight just something I noticed and was wondering what you all think?
    Hobart Mega Arc 5040DD (with built in air compressor)
    MM Passport Plus with Q-gun
    O/A

    sold MM 251

    There are only 2 tools needed in a tool box. 1) Duct tape to fix any thing that moves that isn't supposed to. 2) WD40 to fix anything that doesn't move but should.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Central CA
    Posts
    781

    Default Go Blue

    I know why I like Miller Welders. Probably not a good reason to choose one welder over another. But it's all I got.
    Good Luck,
    Bob Miller
    Millermatic 252 w/30A
    Big Blue Air Pak
    Ellis 3000 Band Saw
    Trailblazer 302 Air Pak w/ Wireless Remote
    8-RC
    Dynasty 200 DX
    XMT 350 MPa w/S-74 MPa Plus
    Millermatic 211
    Passport Plus
    Spectrum 625 X-TREME
    Lincoln SA-200 Blue Tint Red Face '63
    2-Lincoln SA-200 Red Face '68
    SA-200 Black Face '59
    SA-200 Green Lite '84
    SA-200 Green Lite '80
    SA-200 Red Face '69
    SA-200 Red Face '66
    SA-200 Green Lite '81
    '70 Black Face Round Barrel

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    179

    Default

    I think you answered your questions in your post.

    It really is a personal preference.
    There may be some cases where the welder may have more features or technology to be more efficient and give your welding technique improved results. But I with anything else I've learned, if the person using the tool has the proper skills, technique, training, knowledge and ability to adapt, then they can make any brand work well and more likely better than the average joe.

    Another thing I have seen is that more and more people who have become welders in the last 10-15 years, have been stuck on one machine and brand. They get so used to that machine, that they cannot function on another brand or models without admitting to their limitations and have to do a couple of test coupons before getting the setting right! Too many welders are too proud and don't want to look like they don't know what they are doing! But that is also a situation of productivity that can take time away from getting the work done!

    I've also seen some situation where there may be several of the same welders on the job site and everyone shares use of them but no two are set up the same! If you were to set them all the same, sometimes the people using them cannot work with them! I know that technique, positioning and other factors can be the determining factor! But realistically, if welding on the same materials in the same fashion, with the same machine and fillers, it should work the same!

    I used to be a Lincoln person. Period! I had no problems with them and I always regarded Millers as old fashioned blue boxes with no modern detail to their controls and it was a limited machine since the selectors and controls had definite click stops. The controls were marked in symbols and not specs and it was old school to me.

    But when I took a look at the newer products, (this was over 15 years ago!), they had made major advancements in technology and really availed themselves to helping the pros and amateurs get familiarized and educated with the equipment. I also saw how they listened to what the people and market wanted and made advancements in the popular areas and even lesser areas.

    About the time I was looking for a new MIG welder, I was using a large Lincoln SP series and burnt it out. The cost to repair was almost as high as a newer machine and for a little bit more, I could add a spool gun. I borrowed a friends Lincoln at that time and it was adequate for most work. I had no complaints and even started to look at the pricing in anticipation of purchasing one.

    When I went to the LWS, to buy, I had the pleasant experience of the Miller people doing a jobber show and I gave their products a try. When they asked me what I was considering purchasing, I flat out told them I was looking to buy a Lincoln and why. Instead of bad mouthing Lincoln and then showing me the features of the Miller machines, they asked me more questions of the type of welding I do, and the intended usage as well as the long term goals. When I was done, they told me that the Lincoln sounded like a good choice for me and also informed me not to cheap out and purchase one from the home improvement centers and why. They also suggested I do a test on a demo unit of each brand side by side and then don't act on impulse but give myself a couple of days before making a decision to buy.

    So I followed their advice and went out to every welding supply near me and when I was out in the field to different areas. I tried all the brands I could in several areas and found that they all were close but the same brand and models in different locations performed and acted differently! In the end, I decided on a Miller because the consistency of performance in the same models was far closer than what I saw in the comparable Lincoln.

    Since that time, my TIG, my SMAW have been replaced in Blue and I have not had any complaints.

    Now I realize this may not apply directly to your questions, but my experience shows how the people in blue are respectful to the competition and really care about giving the customer the right product for their needs.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Houston, Tx.
    Posts
    378

    Default

    I think the other posters said it well. I have some brand preferences, but I respect any company that makes a good product. I own Millers in my own welder stable. I have used just about every other brand you can imagine though. I have much respect for Lincoln SA200's, 250D's and some of the Dialarc series. You are correct that you have to compare apples to apples. A SA200 cannot be compared fairly to a Bobcat 225. Both are good machines and have their applications, but are in a totally different class. About the only machines I have no use for are the cheap imports.
    Sometimes there's no second chances.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Saskatoon, Sask, Canada
    Posts
    1,270

    Default

    Kamikaze and davinci2010 summed things up pretty well.
    Since I live in your area Mega Arc 5040DD I know EXACTLY what your talking about. It often seems like if you don't have a 305G, 300D or Vantage 300/ 400 in the back of your truck, some people look at you like a second class citizen.
    I have a 302G Trailblazer in my truck, I've seen/ know of about 5 or 6 other local guys with the same machine. One of them is a guy that used to work over in Kazakhstan, he was the guy that tested all of the locals that worked on a pipeline project (that used all 305G's by the way). When he came back home to work here full time again he bought a 302G TB, I asked him why he didn't buy a diesel or a 305G? He said the diesels are expensive and for that kind of money you need to have them for a long time, which means once the warranty is up you repair it on your dime. The small machines are inexpensive, easily handle almost all jobs and you can replace them every 3 years so your always covered with warranty. You can keep the old one for a spare (in case your new one goes down) or sell it to a farmer for half what you paid for it. So it takes 9+ years before you start getting close to the price of the diesel. Sure your fuel consumption is higher but your always covered under warranty.

    So why didn't he get a 305G you ask? Well I asked him that too and he said they both worked the same, had the same engines just a little different electronics. He was a very experienced guy, one that could probably take almost any machine and still lay down a nice looking pipe weld.

    I'm noticing more guys with Pro 300's and Pipe Pro 304's, in fact one crew of guys I know that work up at Fort Mac (4 guys) all run Pipe Pros, they joke that on their site they call the Vantage the dis-advantage. I guess a few guys bought them when they first came out and they weren't able to adapt to the differences from their 300 D's, that and they had some moisture/ electronic problems (Lincoln has since remedied the issue).

    Too many guys use their machine as a crutch, if they don't have a certain dig feature or if the machine doesn't have a certain characteristic then it's automatically no good in their eyes. A skilled guy behind the helmet can make nice welds on anything with any machine, sure it might be easier or faster from one machine to the other but it can be done.
    at home:
    2012 325 Trailblazer EFI with Excel power
    2007 302 Trailblazer with the Robin FOR SALE
    2008 Suitcase 12RC
    Spoolmatic 30A
    WC-24
    2009 Dynasty 200DX
    2000 XMT 304
    2008 Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 52
    Sold:MM130XP
    Sold:MM 251
    Sold:CST 280

    at work:
    Invision 350MP
    Dynasty 350
    Millermatic 350P
    Retired:Shopmaster 300 with a HF-251

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Saskatoon, Sask, Canada
    Posts
    94

    Default

    Thanks for joining in C Wagner I always like hereing from someone local on a websight open to the entire world

    Everyone so far has had a very logical answer and very proffesional ansewers. I have a very simple take on the matter. I believe that you can realy use any machine for any job as long as the machine has enough amps for the rod size needed for the job.

    In a way it's not comparing coparing apples to apple to compare a sa-200 and a TB 302 but in a way it is. They both are DC machines with a relatively similar amperage range. And please correct me if I'm wrong since it's been a long time since I have read the specs on either but I do believe thay have a similar duty cycle as well. So really in a way it is still apples to apples.

    I would still like to here from some of the die hards that are out there that believe if it's not big and grey is has no place on a pipeline. Or anyone that that is a true believer in one machine is for one type of work and another machine for another type. I know they are out there I have read there post before but know that I am asking for them all I am getting is very open minded people replying "shrug" It always seems when you aren't looking for something its everywhere and when you are looking for it it can't be found.

    Thanks for all the post so far.
    Hobart Mega Arc 5040DD (with built in air compressor)
    MM Passport Plus with Q-gun
    O/A

    sold MM 251

    There are only 2 tools needed in a tool box. 1) Duct tape to fix any thing that moves that isn't supposed to. 2) WD40 to fix anything that doesn't move but should.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Posts
    7,742

    Default

    if they don't have a certain dig feature or if the machine doesn't have a certain characteristic then it's automatically no good in their eyes.


    You guys understand that NO dig feature actually works when you down size to a lighter stinger cable. Makes it impossible for the machine to sense the arc resistance.

    Very popular and problematic question that I'm getting tired of answering...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    16919 Pole Rd. Brethren, MI 49619
    Posts
    4,383

    Default

    We can let the real pipe liners embellish on this, just some generalization but some of the machines like the 200's and 300's are DC generators where the others are alternator rectified. Some of the ones like the 305 have features to allow for changes in arc suited for specific tasks. The arc is specifically suited especially for fill passes, speeds things up some (maybe greatly?) Can make for softer arc. The DC machines can be adjusted this way also. In running the common DC stick settings they all run about similar doing general work. I personally like a smaller lighter machine if it suits the need. I have an old Weldanpower AC/DC unit that is about my favorite unit to run if I have to use one, I just like the crisp arc. I rarely pull out my 200 unless its a second or 3rd machine, want to do light gouging etc. Otherwise I go for the most convenient.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Houston, Tx.
    Posts
    378

    Default

    I know what you are talking about. I've met the guys that swear if you are not using a D.C. excited D.C. machine, you can't weld pipe. No one is likely to change their tune with any argument. I've also met guys that did a fine job on pipe with an Idealarc 250 or a Bobcat, basically whatever was made available to them at the jobsite. If your good, you can make it happen with whatever your given. If you have your own brand/model loyalties, then thats fine. I don't agree with disrespecting another person's talet just because they don't share those brand/model loyalties.
    Sometimes there's no second chances.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Saskatoon, Sask, Canada
    Posts
    1,270

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cruizer View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by c wagner View Post
    if they don't have a certain dig feature or if the machine doesn't have a certain characteristic then it's automatically no good in their eyes.
    You guys understand that NO dig feature actually works when you down size to a lighter stinger cable. Makes it impossible for the machine to sense the arc resistance.

    Very popular and problematic question that I'm getting tired of answering...
    Yes I remember you mentioning that once before... it's kinda just stuck with me since then.
    at home:
    2012 325 Trailblazer EFI with Excel power
    2007 302 Trailblazer with the Robin FOR SALE
    2008 Suitcase 12RC
    Spoolmatic 30A
    WC-24
    2009 Dynasty 200DX
    2000 XMT 304
    2008 Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 52
    Sold:MM130XP
    Sold:MM 251
    Sold:CST 280

    at work:
    Invision 350MP
    Dynasty 350
    Millermatic 350P
    Retired:Shopmaster 300 with a HF-251

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