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Thread: Choosing right welder for beginner?

  1. #21
    LHBA Member DanS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by allen84 View Post
    From the Miller website about the millermatic 211...
    "It features Advanced Auto-Set, which eliminates the guesswork of setting voltage and wire feed speed for your MIG welding application."

    My question is, How do it know? ("how do it know?" is the punchline of a good joke. But really, How?)
    The same way that a good welder adjusts things: by sound and by feeling how smooth the wire feeds.

    Seriously, you can measure the rate at which amperage increases when you start the weld to get an idea if you've got it set right, and I'm guessing the sound is correlated with a similar metric that the machine can measure itself.

    FWIW--I wouldn't hesitate to start with a MiG unit. I've got a Miller 210 (roughly the same size as a 211, but without the auto-set features). LOVE IT. We put a lot of wire through it, and we run wire with gas. Never tried flux core with it, because we use it for sheet metal, in addition to big stuff like bumpers and stuff.

    The biggest problem with a MiG unit to learn with is that you can make pretty looking welds, that aren't real strong. You need to do some destructive testing of your welds to know if you are doing it right, especially if you're doing important welds.

    I've taught people to weld in about a half day with our MiG setup, and doing good, safe welds. They need to practice a lot more after that, but they at least know what they should be doing, and how to refine their technique to something useable.

    I'm a Miller guy, for sure. I've never found the Lincoln machines to have nearly as much elegance and ease, but that's just an opinion. But there are a TON of Lincoln buzz boxes out there, and they are probably the best/cheapest route to get into stick welding.

    Dan

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanS View Post
    The biggest problem with a MiG unit to learn with is that you can make pretty looking welds, that aren't real strong. You need to do some destructive testing of your welds to know if you are doing it right, especially if you're doing important welds. Dan
    This is very true. Using flux core is somewhat similar to stick welding because you end up with some slag to knock off the welds but strength is the final test. I guess it all really comes down to how much time and money you want to spend learning. I firmly believe stick/tig welding is the best place to start. Just like a manual transmission in a car, if you don't start that way you probably won't ever learn it. I taught my 15 year old sister to stick weld in about 2 hours to build a science project. She got a C because the teacher didn't believe she built it herself. If not for my mother, I would have had a meeting with that teacher. Sis accepted her passing grade and moved on. I bet she could still stick weld if she needed to.
    Last edited by allen84; 03-01-2017 at 05:47 PM.

  3. #23
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    My first car was an automatic. I have some dear friends that tried to teach me how to drive their standard shifts before and after I got my license. I can drive any standard shift now. I can also burn up the clutch and tires no problem!

  4. #24
    LHBA Member Nick's Avatar
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    Finally pulled the trigger this week and invested in a new welder + "welder stuff". Decided on the Millermatic 211 MIG welder after listening to everyone and exhausting google with searches. Got lucky with both my b-day and the March rebate sale from Miller both being in same month. Probably won't be buying any more new toys for a while though. Picked up the machine on Tuesday and spent the rest of the week watching you-tube videos and running into town to pick something else up I didn't know I would need. Started my first project (welding table) on Thursday and finished up today. Might still paint it blue though It's a real hack job but it's mine and I made it! Thanks for all the help and encouragement. Never would have had the guts to start something I knew nothing about without hearing all of your stories. Here's a couple pics - remember I'm new to this so be gentle LHN....



  5. #25
    LHBA Member CrossingtheRubicon's Avatar
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    Looks like a nice setup and nice table.

  6. #26
    LHBA Member rreidnauer's Avatar
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    Practice, practice, practice. And when you think you got it. Practice more!
    All my bad forum habits I learned from LHN

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  7. #27
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    Nice table. That's a good size. Mine is larger than 4x8ft (way bigger than I need) and I think I could make it into three usable tables.

  8. #28
    LHBA Member loghousenut's Avatar
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    Only time I was ever that organized was when I was laying on the operating table sound asleep.



    Fine looking setup... Glad you can't see mine.
    Every time I have strayed from the teachings of Skip Ellsworth it has cost me money.

  9. #29
    LHBA Member DanS's Avatar
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    Very nice!

    Whatever you do: make sure you paint that table. It'll hold up a lot better with a good coat of paint on it.

    I can't help but notice how ubiquitous the 211 is. I think you'll be happy with it--we LOVE our 210.

    Dan

  10. #30
    LHBA Member Nick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loghousenut View Post
    Only time I was ever that organized was when I was laying on the operating table sound asleep.



    Fine looking setup... Glad you can't see mine.
    Really glad I can't see yours either...😀


    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk

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