What welder do you recommend?

Discussion in 'Metal Boat Building' started by steel.t, Apr 27, 2016.

  1. steel.t
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    steel.t Junior Member

  2. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    That's a pretty nice welder, a 30-300 DC machine with built in timers, digital meters, non-dedent controls, etc. For the price, it darn well better be a good one, though Miller has a good rep., you should also look into ESAB products.
     
  3. Chase_B
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    Chase_B Junior Member

    Get a Hobart, they built the competition, you can pick up a new 220 volt wire feed for around $700
     
  4. Barry
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    Barry Senior Member

    We had about 18 - 20 Miller machines in our shop, tig, mig, one stick. Tried some of the others but we seemed to get the best factory support from them.

    Any of the big three have good products

    While you can use pure CO2 for a shielding gas, I would suggest a mix of maybe 75% argon/25% CO2

    Maybe a bit more expensive than just CO2 but lays a pretty good bead. Talk to a few suppliers of machines and gas in your area to get their take on it and try to work with a factory direct welding supplier. There is always a chance that some of them are factory service centers and if there is a problem, you would not have to send the machine away
    for any problems that might come up.
     
  5. Chase_B
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    Chase_B Junior Member

    When I welded up the substructure for one of the Oil extraction pancake filters we used a tri mix , 72% argon,11% helium, 17% co2, this was mild steel .375 x12" bar skined with 303 stainless, its design was intended for oil spills back in ... 88? There abouts
     
  6. Barry
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    Barry Senior Member

  7. JakubT
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    JakubT Junior Member

    As European, you should consider european producer, not only from obvious reasons, but also compare prices of parts and their availabilty, postwarranty service, representatives near you etc... If there is no competetive Italian producer of welding machines, just behind the Alps there is www.fronius.com
     
  8. baeckmo
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    baeckmo Hydrodynamics

    Although my main welding is/has been alu, my recommendation is to buy a good, used professional machine without too much electronic paraphernalia (just causing trouble...). And buy it from a local welding equipment supplier, who have the burner spare parts in stock. Both Miller and Lincoln are well represented in Europe, in addition to ESAB, Oerlikon, Fronius and a few others.

    As an example, I have one Miller 250 A push feed MIG, one Oerlikon 350 A push-pull MIG and an old heavy-weight Miller 400 A TIG. Lots of iron; arc smooth and stable like a dream! All bought used and still, after forty years of service, working perfectly.

    If you settle for a push-feed MIG, you are restricted in the package length (max ~4 m), but the burner is more "handy" than the pull version (there are always some tricky spots in a hull.....). It is a bonus if the spool and feed mechanism can be suspended separately from the transformer/rectifier unit (you don't have to drag the whole machine around in order to reach that last spot).

    One more thing; get yourself a decent plasma cutter (working on air) as well, it will save you a lot of trouble and money! (Also available used pro machines).

    Good luck!
     
  9. Chase_B
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    Chase_B Junior Member

    I concur on the plasma , you can cut just about anything with a plasma, nice n clean literally no warpage on thin stock
     

  10. waikikin
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    waikikin Senior Member

    Some great advise here,
    I use a CIG 250amp machine, biggest I can use on 240v 15amp plug at home, have built to 48' with it, has a separate wire feed unit with an 8meter interconnect, very handy for inside, usually hang it up in vicinity of work.
    Was about 2500AUS 15 years ago, plenty cheaper options now in suitcase style machines.
    Jeff.
     
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