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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    metro Detroit
    Posts
    88

    Default help in choosing an arc welder

    We I have not arc welded in over 20 years. I am looking to buy a dc welder (heard they are nicer to use).
    Now as far as amps I don't know what I'll need. I will need to weld 3/8" kind of often and 1/2" every now and then. Any input would be great

  2. #2

    Default help in choosing an arc welder

    Depends on how much you want to spend. If it was me looking for a new stick I'd probably go with a maxstar 150 or 200.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    3,265

    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by bigtow30t View Post
    We I have not arc welded in over 20 years. I am looking to buy a dc welder (heard they are nicer to use).
    Now as far as amps I don't know what I'll need. I will need to weld 3/8" kind of often and 1/2" every now and then. Any input would be great
    Could you give us more details of your intended use??

    if you are planning 3/8 & 1/2 inch steel with stick?..... Would count on at least a 250 amp machine..

    Home Hobby use?? Limited budget?? .... if so I would hunt for a used "Thunderbolt AC/DC" or equiv in the local pennysaver or Craigslist...

    should be able to find something in the $100-250 range pretty easily...

    Dialarcs show up pretty regularly in that price range Too... Even Better.!!
    Last edited by H80N; 08-26-2013 at 08:02 AM.
    .

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    276

    Default

    There's an exceptionally clean Dialarc 250 on CL in Monroe, MI. It would be a good buy if you could get it for maybe $400. (if you have enough power available to run it).

    http://monroemi.craigslist.org/tls/3957228199.html

    Hobart Stickmate ac/dc $250 in Fenton:

    http://flint.craigslist.org/tls/4026210254.html
    Last edited by USMCPOP; 08-26-2013 at 09:02 AM.
    Miller stuff:
    Dialarc 250 (1974)
    Syncrowave 250 (1992)
    Spot welder (Dayton badged)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    603

    Default

    If your looking for a inverter, go with the Miller CST 280. These are used daily at work and it is a 220 volt machine only. Awesome for 6010 / 7018, that's all we burn. PLUS it is 100 % duty cycle at 150 Amps.
    http://www.millerwelds.com/products/stick/cst-280/

    http://www.millerwelds.com/om/o217655e_mil.pdf manual
    Last edited by BD1; 08-26-2013 at 11:16 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    276

    Default

    BD1,

    A fellow who hasn't stick welded in 20 years and heard DC is "nice" isn't likely to need a $2,000. inverter welder. Get real.
    Miller stuff:
    Dialarc 250 (1974)
    Syncrowave 250 (1992)
    Spot welder (Dayton badged)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    East Tenn
    Posts
    148

    Default help in choosing an arc welder

    ^lol.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    603

    Default

    This is real. He really didn't explain his situation fully except that he wants to weld 3/8 and 1/2 . He has a Miller 211 already so I just stated what I thought was the best machine for what he wanted and would not grow out of. He may have just won the lotto so he has bucks. He never said his budget was $ 100.00 either.
    So, if a guy hasn't driven a car in 20 years doesn't mean he won't go buy a Caddy or Lincoln either.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    215

    Default Used transformer welder

    I did a quick check on a local craigslist. The first thing that I looked at was 250 amps, Montgomery Ward, transformer welder, AC/DC, for $175. 250 amps is plenty of power, I would guess that 200 amps is plenty unless you plan to work with 1/2 inch thick plate. 200 amps will run essentially any 1/8 inch stick rod, and some larger rods. I would look for infinitely variable power rather than taps. I have had a 200 amp welder for years, and have never needed more power.

    As others have noted, you need to make sure that you have the AC power to support whatever you buy. As a starting point, think 220V and 50 amps, but the tag on the back should list the requirements for that particular welder. If you are limited to 30 amps I would consider an inverter welder.

    A used transformer welder will get you started, and you can always sell it for what you paid for it, if you decide to upgrade. My vote is to start simple and cheap, and you may find that it will meet all your needs. A 110V MIG welder is also cheap on the used market, and will be better than a stick welder for sheet metal.

    Richard
    Last edited by raferguson; 08-26-2013 at 07:57 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    metro Detroit
    Posts
    88

    Default

    Thanks for all the input. Some of the thing I need it for is to fix semi trailers. For the mosr part I'll use my mm211, but some of the stuff is either to thick or can't get it as clean as you'd need for mig (rust pits).
    I guess I was more interested in what amperages I would need, more than what machine is better. I plan on getting a used one (for now), just got my mm211 6 months ago, so I have to save up again.
    Anyway I will need to weld 1/2" thick flange on a king pin slug through a hole 1/2" plate. So from what I'm seeing is id need 250 amps or so. Also is dc the way to go?

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