Hi, I recently purchased one of these monsters on Ebay. Can someone with experience chime in about performance and such? I will be running it in my home garage, with an upgraded breaker of course. Is this machine capable of running GMAW as well as the SMAW and GTAW it was designed for? I would sure like to hear feedback from those of you who have had experience with one of these.
I am going to pay you three (3) Atta' Boys w/ PayPal for this info... and, I'm going to offer you two (2) more Atta' Boy's if you tell me that you have run your ReadyWelder from a Hobart Stickmate or a Miller Thunderbolt w/ great success!
I have been meaning to ask this question and keep forgeting to ask. Sure helps the billfold, eh? Add another Atta' Boy while you're at it! :)
Find me one locally and I will hook it up. As long as you have DC it will work.
The problem isn't so much cost as it is availablilty. A lot of wires never get spooled onto small spools, like 0.035" dual shield. I love the stuff, but nobody could find me 2 lb spools of it, so I spooled my own.
All you need is a 5" long piece of 5/8" all thread, two 5/8" nuts and 2 washers. Grind the threads off of about 1 " of the threaded rod so the OD is down to 1/2". Slide the empty spool onto the rod with a washer and nut on either side Chuck the rod into a low rpm 1/2" drill. You can use an existing MIG machine to mount the big spool. Just remove the MIG gun and feed the wire out the hole. Or you could easily rig up your own large spool mount with some pipe. The important bit is to have some drag on the big spool so it can't unwind on you.
Also you need some drag on the big spool to make sure you get a tight winding on the small spool.
Play with the angle of the drill to the wire to get the wire tracking back and forth as evenly as possible.
It takes a little practice, but is pretty easy to learn.
I just got back from town and ended up buying a Miller ThunderBolt AC/DC instead of the Hobart StickMate. I ended up paying a little more for the Miller... but I also got to support the local vending welding shop fella'. He was quite up front and told me that he couldn't meet the Tractor Supply pricing... but he got close enough to suit me. At least I know that I can now go to this local welding supply shop and get service... and advice! I don't think I could get much technical advice from Tractor Supply pertaining to welders!
Besides that... if something went wrong w/ the Hobart, this fella' does the warranty work on'em anyway. He also gave me some excellent pricing on Tweco connectors and for additional # 2 welding cable! I go back in a day or two after I figure out exactly the amount that I wish to add. Now, after I get this ThunderBolt set up (make my own cart, etc.)... I intend to pursue the Ready Welder for the 2nd phase of my welding upgrade.
And since this Miller T-Bolt has the DC capability... I'm taking your word and the Ready Welder company's word that it will do just fine. I'd still feel better about it if I knew that you had done it though! :)
Many thanks for the Spoolgun wire transfer info, Ernie. I've printed it out and stored it in my Welding Info folder!
Way to go! Looks like we're on parallel tracks here.....I'm fixing to do the exact same thing. Let me know how you added your #2, built your cart, and how the MIG works.
I designed a cart from wood (my trade), but have no desire to make legs from warped 2 x4's. The wood out there is plain junk. I really don't want all metal either. I like plywood sides like drawer sides, and it's way easy to attack hanging hooks, and then move them later. However, I may have to build it out of metal, because I won't trust a bolt-thru piece of ply on edge. I may even laminate 2 pieces of 3/4 hardwood to form the uprights and then trim to size. My design looks like 2 shallow boxes hanging on 4 uprights, with a push bar at one end. 2 swivel and 2 fixed wheels to move it. It figures to weigh in at only 50 lbs or so out of wood. Metal? Maybe 150.
I suspect that your metal design is overkill - steel has more strength per weight than wood does, so for a steel thing and a wood thing with similar strength, the steel one generally weighs less. If the steel one weighs 3x more, then it's overbuilt by at least 3x. This may reflect the stock you have available, or differences in off the cuff engineering between wood that you work with a lot and steel that you have less experience with.
Thanks... and yes, it does seem that we're paddling a similar canoe! :)
I'm not sure if I'm going to go w/ the twist Tweco's or not... but I am leaning that way. Hmmmm! And, I think I'm going to make my power supply longer too. My cart will be a hurried up event... and nothing to exciting to start off with. I just need something up and going.. and then will decide later as to what I want to build. Too many projects at the moment! :)
OK... sounds like you've got a game plan and that seems to be 75% of it. Thanks again for your input, Josh. I'm looking forward to getting around to makin' some sparks... but it may be several days!
1" x 1/8" angle and bar is wonderful stuff for many shop fixtures and is fairly cheap. Design needs to account for its flexibility though. Channel can be used to increase rigidity in key areas.
As far as tubing goes, I use a lot of 16 gauge (~0.060") square (and rectangular) tube. With good design, this thickness is quite strong and adequate for most stuff I build. Tubing gives a more "polished" look to things that I like. 18 gauge is thinner and also useful.
I tend to scrounge and use whatever I can find for cheap/free though...
Lincoln has a few good books on designing weldments that are strong and efficient. Many that are new to welding tend to *way* overbuild and overweld things. Myself included although I am learning. The drawbacks of overbuilding are cost, of course and increased handling difficulty due to weight. The main drawback to overwelding is excessive distortion. To me part of the beauty of steel is that a good design only has as much material as is necessary. Simple, elegant, and strong.
I have made a lot of stuff lately with a 170 amp MIG box running solid wire and C25. For mild steel under 1/4", it rules. I keep meaning to spool some 0.035" dual shield wire from Ernie so I can play with that on 1/4" material.
I am also trying to get as much TIG practice as possible. It is nice finally being able to do stainless and aluminum. TIG works really well for thinner material like the stainless kegs I'm hoping to modify for brewing beer.
When Ernie had that welding rod windfall, I snagged a few cans to practice stick welding. I would use stick in the future for pretty heavy things like a post & base for a 12' gate for example (6x6x1/4).
When I first got into welding, I did a lot of gas welding--including some pretty thin stuff like vintage auto body repair & repairing an old Schwinn bicycle frame. However, gas is fairly expensive--so now I use that rig mainly for cutting and heating.