MIG Miller-135 vs Lincoln 135 weld thickness question.

We average 50 - 75 students per quarter.

4 quarters per year. So between 200 and 300 students per year. All the newbies start in gas welding , and then migrate to the Handlers for their first arc welds.

These are my best guesses after teaching at SSCC for 6 years.

Gun liners last about 18 months. Triggers last about 2-3 years. Gun cable about 4 years. Diodes about 7-8 years. Capacitors about 6-10 years. Main contactor relay 6-8 years Gas Solenoid 7-9 years Nozzles about 6 months. Gas diffusers about 1 year.

So far we have yet to have a wire feed motor go out, and only a few have blown their caps or diodes. We have a high attrition on gun cables because the students tend to abuse them, out of ignorance, not by intent. Coiling them too tight, pulling the machine around by the gun, dropping the gun on the concrete, clogging the nozzle and diffuser with spatter, it all adds up. I would guess we get about 10 times the wear on our 110 volt MIGs as compared to a privately owned one. I am amazed how well they have held up. t this point the gun parts are getting more expensive, they are made by OXO, but those guns are no longer OEM on any current machines.

Miller switched all of their machines and all of the Hobart machines to Tregaskis guns, so those parts are cheaper and easier to get now

Personally I think the OXO guns are much better than the lighter duty Tregaskis guns, which is funny since both companies are owned by Miller's parent company, ITW.

M personal Handler 120 has lasted 10 years. I have replaced: Main contactor once, fan motor once, gas solenoid once, gun liner 3 times, trigger twice. Mine has seen much harder use than most hobbiests will put theirs through.

If you want your diodes to last, never pull the trigger to burn off a wire that stubs into a cooling weld. Just wiggle the gun to break the wire off or clip it with snips. If you do pull the trigger to burn the wire off you dead short the diodes, which is not kind and will kill them quicker than anything else. This tidbit is from both welding repair guys I know.

Reply to
Ernie Leimkuhler
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Correction, this is off SP100 MIG welder. prior numbers were wrong. SP100 it is rated:

115V 15 amp in, 62 amp 20 V out with 20% duty cycle. 115V 20 amp in, 88 amp 18 Vout with 20% duty cycle.
Reply to
R. Duncan

Would be interesting to have hour meter hooked up to the handlers keeping track of weld time hours and repairs.

Maybe binzel gun would work.

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I notice Piecemaker 14A guns and parts listed in Miller's welding Components and Parts Guide now. Should be easy to get parts but have to wait after ordering. Piecemaker 20A guns and parts also listed in that publication.

I see complants at

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now and then about switch from OXO MIG guns.

Reply to
R. Duncan

Not interested. Binzel guns are a bit wierd and hell to get parts for in Seattle.

We used to have a lot of Bernards (also owned by ITW), but once again nobody was stocking parts in Seattle for them.

Yes but fewer repair shops are stocking those parts.

Piecemaker 20A's are great guns, and we still have a few at school on our old Betamig 200's, but I am retiring the one on the Betamig 250 in my shop, and replacing it with a Tregaskis 400 amp Toughgun. I just got one off eBay for $50. I converted all of our BIG MIGs at school to the Tregaskis 400 amp Toughguns a few years back and they are the best guns I have ever used. Rugged, easy to fix if they break and nicely designed, with lots of nozzle, tip, and diffuser options.

I run a lot of dual-shield in my Betamig 250 and the 20A gun, that came with it, can't quite handle the heat.

The Tregaskis Heavy duty tips are nice.

They were great guns, and the crappy 200 amp Tregaskis guns that Miller went to just plain suck. Drop one 3 times on the floor and it blows itself to bits.

The 400 amp guns are at the other end of the spectrum.

Reply to
Ernie Leimkuhler

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Weird in what way? They are quite popular in NY, I have a number of them. If you have the chance, try out an Alpha, really sweet torch. Consumables are cheap and readily available.

I recently installed a Tweco 160 A mini-mig gun on my handler, the old girl is nearly 20 years old and still going strong. The 15 foot tweco is a pretty good torch.


Reply to
Sandra Smythe-Norby

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