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  1. #11

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    I am pretty set for hand tools, grinders, and saws. I have had most of those for years.

    I currently have the Thunderbolt on the bottom shelf of my welding table. It is a four foot version of one of those standard industrial workbenches with the wood top. Someone put a 1/4 inch plate on top of it. I put it on lockable casters and I plan on bolting my big vise to the top. It also carries my chop saw and a phase converter for my three-phase machinery. The problems is, with that load, it is very hard to move around my small shop. So I am trying to lighten the load a bit. I cannot just move the welder somewhere else because there is no room and it is not exactly portable where I can store it on a shelf. So it has to justify its existence, because now it is becoming a burden.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    greenfield new hampshire
    Posts
    878

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    There is a wheel kit for the thunderbolt, or just as easy to make one, in my shop, i make up small frames, wheels on one end with just 2 post on the other end, then weld on some round or square stock for a handle, the frame is built for equipment like the welder, chop saw, ect, this way you can stash some of your gear with out getting a hernia, and to answer your question about what cant a mig do that stick can, some day you might have a nasty, heavy, rusted, painted oily thing to fix, and there is way too mush prep time for the mig, grab a handful of 6011 rods, which are designed for an ac welder, and the 7018 rods which are run on dc are now being produced to run on ac, you really need both processes of welding to really compliment your shop

  3. #13

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    Thanks Kevin. There is so much to learn about the types of welding and what can be done with the different types of equipment.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    110

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank R View Post
    Thanks Kevin. There is so much to learn about the types of welding and what can be done with the different types of equipment.
    Indeed Frank. I'm right there with you - I'm a midlife hobbyist learning to weld and what all the different processes and equipment are best suited for. Sure am in the right place to learn that here - everyone seems to be equally knowledgeable and helpful on this forum.

    I myself just bought a Thunderbolt 225 AC/CD used. Real excited to fire it up after I put in a line to my garage sub-panel. A MM211 IS in myfuture as well. I'd like to learn more about the 'kit' available to use the Thunderbolt with a TIG process...I hope that is the case - in that event I'd have everything I'd ever need for a hobby (or out of work) project!

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by jfk92 View Post
    I'd like to learn more about the 'kit' available to use the Thunderbolt with a TIG process!
    I just read about that yesterday. I googled "arc welding aluminum" and found a lot of information. It requires an AC/DC arc welder but mine is DC only.

    I'll ask everyone here again: Are there any other processes that an arc welder can do? Do you just get different rods? I'll go do some more research on my own too. I should probably re-state that quesion: Are there any other processes that an arc welder can do that a mig welder cannot?
    Last edited by Frank R; 10-11-2012 at 10:02 AM.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Posts
    7,842

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    There is thunder bolts with AC only, but no thunderbolts that I can think of with DC only, they are all AC/DC

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by cruizer View Post
    There is thunder bolts with AC only, but no thunderbolts that I can think of with DC only, they are all AC/DC
    You are right, my mistake. Mine is AC only.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Dalton, GA
    Posts
    126

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    Frank,
    I have a MM211 and a Thunderbolt AC/DC. I agree with keeping both if possible, but I understand about limited space. If your Thunderbolt was AC/DC you could do scratch start TIG on steel using DC, but you still would not be able to TIG aluminum.

    I nearly always use my MM211, but it is fun to TIG eventhough I'm not very good yet. And yes, stick welding is better outdoors when it is windy (although you could use flux-core wire) and it is better on painted, rusty, or real heavy steel.

    So I think you could sell the Thunderbolt, but not for much $, and use your MM211 for nearly anything you will want/need to weld.
    Burt
    _______________________
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  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    greenfield new hampshire
    Posts
    878

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    You asked what a stick rig can do where the mig can not, here is one for you, you can carbon arc gouge with a stick welder, i have an air arc gouger, that i have used on my thunderbolt, it does work with the smaller gouging rods, i have removed piles of steering knuckles off of four wheel drive solid front axles with my thunderbolt using the carbon arc technique

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Posts
    7,842

    Default

    Quite unlikely that your going to carbon arc with an AC welder. Be a b..itch to start and keep going.

    That said, your AC buzz box really isn't worth much. Best to just hang on to it for those outside jobs using 7018AC rods.

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