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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sweetwater, TX
    Posts
    201

    Default Looking to buy an Arc/Tig welder for my shop

    I have a Millermatic 140 with Auto-Set and absolutely love how easy it is. Look at the door guide for the wire size and thickness and set it and go. Is very nice for when I haven't turned the machine on in months and can't remember the settings.

    Now I will be moving "my hobbies" into a 20ft x 20ft by (maybe 15ft high shop) and want something that I can finally arc weld with. I grew up arc welding since my parents ran a welding company for 27+ years.

    Machines I have used:
    *Big Lincoln floor unit that looks exactly like their IdealArc 250
    *Big miller unit that easily went 300Adc (not sure the model)
    Both these units were used when we moved to that shop in 1994 and they still weld great today. These units really packed a punch and we even used 3/16 jet rod many times when making cutting boxes (5/8" steel) for oil rigs.
    *Also used the Lincoln Diesel truck welders many times and the miller bobcats.

    One issue now is I see the new inverter style welders have features like hot start, and arc force controls (dig).

    Can someone explain how these hot start and arc force controls are any different then just turning up your machine a little bit with a remote and then turning it down after you got the weld started with a remote?

    I have tig welded all of about 30 minutes on a machine in my college machine shop just to try it out.

    I am wanting a machine that I can learn to tig weld mild steel, possibly aluminum but not sacrifice Arc welding functions (my main use).

    I have been looking at the
    -Miller Dynasty 200
    -Miller Maxstar 200
    -Miller CST 280
    -Lincoln Invertec V205T
    -Lincoln Invertec® V275-S

    Looked at these too
    **Lincoln Square Wave™ TIG 175 TIG Welder
    **Lincoln Precision TIG® 225 TIG Welder

    But they have a fixed length (less than 50ft ground lead).
    Also they do not have any arc force type adjustments (if these are in fact a benefit?)

    I want to be able to have the room with the leads to add on to my shop someday and need the leads to reach to top of the shop easily.

    Also plan on putting a fence around the lot, but don't want to be dragging a heavy machine on a cart with a 100ft 230V extension cord if the ground only reaches 10 ft.

    For tig work I will only be working in the shop, but want the ability to reach out and do quality work with the Arc welder with 6010 and 7018 (1/8") rod.

    Would like to be able to practice more on plate tests and 6G (6" sch 40) to keep in practice and don't want to feel like my new machine is lacking compared to what I used in the past. Also would like to be able to work on these same tests with the Tig once I get use to it.

    Anyone have any suggestions as to which welders would have all the stick features and also be easy to setup for tig and produce quality welds like for testing. Not that I will be trying to test with tig, I just want it to be capable of that good of quality without having to spend everyday with the machine to remember every little quark about it.

    Thanks,
    Clint

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sweetwater, TX
    Posts
    201

    Default

    Forgot to mention. Shop has 240V available and a dedicated 200A service panel all to itself.

    Do want to possibly go with an inverter style welder for the energy savings, but don't want the welder to fail in 10 years due to components thermal cycling and wearing out. In the windfarms around here they go through IGBT drives very frequently and the longest they typically last is 4 years pushing 350Amps at 575AC. I know that is a lot more power than any welder, but the manufactures also are not going to go overkill on sizing the IGBTs in the welders either. We typically see much higher failures during the summer months when it is hottest.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    274

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    WY...armpit of U.S.A.
    Posts
    659

    Default

    Can't help with your welder selection evaluation, but any of them can have the leads extended to whatever length would make you happy. Head to your local welding supply and pick up some cable connectors and cable for the leads or buy online. I found the right gauge cable for my leads on eBay a number of years ago at 50 cents a foot...but those days are gone. While it is a bit more expensive, I'd recommend buying extra connectors and running 25 ft. sections at a time so you don't have to haul the whole heavy mess out everytime you use the extra lead.
    Miller 251...sold the spoolgun to DiverBill.
    Miller DialArc 250
    Lincoln PrecisionTig 275
    Hypertherm 900 plasma cutter
    Bridgeport "J" head mill...tooled up
    Jet 14 X 40 lathe...ditto
    South Bend 9" lathe...yeah, got the change gears too
    Logan 7" shaper
    Ellis 3000 band saw
    Hossfeld bender w/shopbuilt hyd.
    Victor Journeyman torch and gauges
    3 Gerstner boxes of mostly Starrett tools
    Lots of dust bunnies
    Too small of a shop at 40 X 59.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sweetwater, TX
    Posts
    201

    Default

    Thanks for the reply WyoRoy.

    So can you daisy chain leads now with these welders, like adding 25ft sections in if you need them to your work and electrode leads?

    If so that would be ideal since in the shop I could use the 15ft Arc welding leads the machines come with and then add in sections to get the length I need when building the fence around the property while keeping the unit close to the outlet.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sweetwater, TX
    Posts
    201

    Default

    WyoRoy,

    Do you see much difference in using the Precision Tig and the Dialarc for Arc welding?

    I see online the PrecisionTig 275 has the hot start and the Arc Force features and the Dialarc does not have any sort of dig features.

    I've never used an arc welder newer than probably an 80s or 90s model so I'm curious if the Arc force and hot start features can really make any difference on 6010 and 7018 rods.

    Thanks,
    Clint

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    WY...armpit of U.S.A.
    Posts
    659

    Default

    As long as you are just talking about extending your leads for the stick welding side of the welder, I don't see a problem. Take that with a grain of salt though as I've never done it with anything other than my old style transformer based stick welders, but again, I still don't see a problem. These days, price is going to be your limiting factor as copper isn't as cheap as it once was.
    Miller 251...sold the spoolgun to DiverBill.
    Miller DialArc 250
    Lincoln PrecisionTig 275
    Hypertherm 900 plasma cutter
    Bridgeport "J" head mill...tooled up
    Jet 14 X 40 lathe...ditto
    South Bend 9" lathe...yeah, got the change gears too
    Logan 7" shaper
    Ellis 3000 band saw
    Hossfeld bender w/shopbuilt hyd.
    Victor Journeyman torch and gauges
    3 Gerstner boxes of mostly Starrett tools
    Lots of dust bunnies
    Too small of a shop at 40 X 59.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    WY...armpit of U.S.A.
    Posts
    659

    Default

    I've never used the PrecisionTig 275 for stick welding. The Dialarc 250 works well for my stick welding needs as an amatuer and the expense of the PrecisionTig 275 has always kept me from utilizing the stick feature for fear that it may eventually cause problems with the Tig side of the welder. Probably just a baseless fear, but since I have the stick covered already I never saw the need to try.

    EDIT: Most of my welding is done with the Mig as it is sufficiently powerful enough to do most work. I'll dig the Dialarc out for a job like attaching a bale spear to a Bobcat adapter plate, but most of the time it just sits forlornly in the corner of the shop underutilized.
    Last edited by WyoRoy; 12-19-2012 at 06:25 PM.
    Miller 251...sold the spoolgun to DiverBill.
    Miller DialArc 250
    Lincoln PrecisionTig 275
    Hypertherm 900 plasma cutter
    Bridgeport "J" head mill...tooled up
    Jet 14 X 40 lathe...ditto
    South Bend 9" lathe...yeah, got the change gears too
    Logan 7" shaper
    Ellis 3000 band saw
    Hossfeld bender w/shopbuilt hyd.
    Victor Journeyman torch and gauges
    3 Gerstner boxes of mostly Starrett tools
    Lots of dust bunnies
    Too small of a shop at 40 X 59.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Simcoe Ontario
    Posts
    91

    Default Looking to buy an Arc/Tig welder for my shop

    The miller CST 280 is a great machine that the only one I have used but it has all the power you need it can plug into 440 3 phase and right down to I think 110 but def 220 the miller video is on you tube for it Good luck

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sweetwater, TX
    Posts
    201

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan128 View Post
    The miller CST 280 is a great machine that the only one I have used but it has all the power you need it can plug into 440 3 phase and right down to I think 110 but def 220 the miller video is on you tube for it Good luck
    Hi Nathan, I'll do some searching on youtube, thanks for the tip.

    So have you used the miller CST 280 for both the stick and DC Tig modes? How is the arc on the welder?

    Do you the "soft" and "stiff" settings make much of a difference on the 7018 and 6010 settings?

    I only have 240 single phase and that worries me on the CST 280. It seems like you can only turn it up to 200A on single phase...

    But what happens if you or someone else helping me turns it up past 200A and I start welding with it on single phase? Does it just not work, or does it limit the output internally without causing any problems...?? So many questions about this one.

    The manual says:
    Miller CST 280
    200 A at 28 V,
    50% Duty Cycle*

    150 A at 26 V,
    100% Duty Cycle*

    *Output ratings on 230 V single-phase are reduced to comply with
    CSA current limitation on input power cable.

    It looks like on the Miller even though it is called the "CST 280", on single phase it is only capable of delivering 200 amps according to the graph in the manual.

    So essentially I would be paying more for a welder that appears to be the same amps out as the Maxstar 200 STR with slightly more duty cycle on single phase..?

    Is there really anything that makes the CST different from the Maxstar other than the duty cycle?

    I



    Lincoln is claiming they can go much higher and I guess some how these CSA current limitations don't apply to them....? I don't know. But seems like you get a lot more output on single phase than any other 240V machine I have found.

    Lincoln Invertec V275-S --- single phase 230V
    275A/31V/35%
    250A/30V/60%
    200A/28V/100%

    I just haven't found many people using the V275-S to talk to... probably not many on a Miller forum and I know the Lincoln dealer here will be biased somewhat.




    Last edited by clint738; 12-20-2012 at 05:34 PM. Reason: spelling

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