clarke "hot shot" or miller 210 for alum mig.

Hey all,
We have a bunch of novices who need to do some aluminum fab.
Most of the stock will be 1/8" wall sq tube and 1/8-1/4" bar stock used
to construct 20'x10" trusses.
Will we be totally frustrated and wasting our $ if we try the Clarke
185SG dedicated spool gun? ~$600
Has anybody out there actually used this machine?
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Or: Should we just buck up and get a Miller 210 with a 3035 spoolgun? ~$1700
I've searched old messages here and found mentions of the Clarke
welders, but no actual reports of performance.
Are there any other machines we should consider?
Whatever we end up with will only be used occasionally in pretty short
spurts, so duty cycle isn't a really big deal.
We are currently using a Hobart Handler 140, but it doesn't seem worth
it to try to retrofit a spoolgun.
Thanks in advance for any assistance.
K. Groenke
University of Minnesota
College of Architecture
W.L. Hall Workshop
Reply to
CALA Workshop
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A Miller 210 with a 3035 spoolgun is a good investment. I would not ever consider a Clarke welder for a school. They are hobbyist machines.
Miller also has educational pricing so make sure you get a dealer quote for the school. They knock off about 15% - 20%, and dropship direct.
Reply to
Ernie Leimkuhler
What Ernie said about getting a quote with an ed discount. You need to call Oxygen Service on Pierce Butler Route in the Midway area and Toll Welding on Niagra Lane in Plymouth.
We bought a Miller 180 SD Tig machine for about the same price as you are talking about for the Miller 210 on an ed discount last week. Just getting started using it.
Ernie Leimkuhler wrote:
Reply to
The 210, especially if you can get the pulser, is one kick ass machine! We can weld aluminum as thin as 1/16" and up to 3/8 with ease. The 3035 is a pretty compact spoolgun, but if you are going into very tight areas, you might want to look at a push/pull gun.
I hope these "trusses" are decorative only, the idea of novices welding real trusses with Mig makes me very nervous!
Reply to
Stuart Wheaton

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