Which one to get (yet again)

Well, I've currently have a Lincoln Weld-Pak 100, with the gas setup on
it. It isn't a bad little welder, but it doesn't have much capacity.
I'm trying to get a business going making pattern welded (diffusion
welding) steel knives and other objects. I'm about 80% where I need to be
to get into production, but I've run into a snag. I don't have a power
hammer. And while you can do all the work by hand without a power hammer,
it is a heavy grind and I'm not in good enough shape to do it production
wise.
I could buy a power hammer, but there are ups and downs involved there.
Used takes more work and there are occasional problems (I had to rebuild
my first power hammer). New is spendy, a good model in the range I need
runs $8K-$12K.
I do have plans for the Kinyon style air hammer. It is fairly easy to
build and not that spendy. However, I really don't want to try and weld
up I-beams large enough for this type of hammer with a Weld-Pak 100!
So, what I'm looking for is some guidance on getting a larger welder. I'm
going to be using 3/8" to 1/2" thick I-beams (depending on what I can find
for a reasonable price) to build the hammer. I'll probably be welding the
dies up as well.
I also plan on building other shop tools: hydraulic forging press, and
forging hot rollers.
I can get (at my local Airgas) a Millermatic 210 for about $1400, or a
Millermatic 251 for about $2000. This is of course minus the spool gun.
I don't really plan on doing any work with aluminum anytime in the near
future. My shop will be wired with a 100 amp subpanel and a couple of 50
amp 220V outlets in the next few weeks.
Which one of these would be a better tool for my situation? I'm currently
leaning towards the 251, but if the 210 is really a better tool for me, I
could go for that one instead.
Thanks in advance.
Todd
Reply to
Todd Rich
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Todd..where are you located? Ive a shit load of NOS air cylinders that would be perfect for your trip hammer. And a decent enough welding shop to put it together in. And access to most of the materials....
And its nearly as easy to build 2, as it is one. Gosh..I sure could use one too....hint hint..
Gunner, near Bakersfield California... This Message is guaranteed environmentally friendly Manufactured with 10% post consumer ASCII Meets all EPA regulations for clean air Using only naturally occuring fibers Use the Message with confidance. (Some settling may occure in transit.) (Best if Used before May 13, 2009)
Reply to
Gunner
(snip)
Unfortunately, I'm at the other end of the country from you, eastern PA.
How large are the cylinders? For the size I need, I'm looking for 3-4" diameter ones.
Well, if you want, when I get mine built, I'll mail you the plans with any annotations. It isn't that hard of a build. I-beams for the frame, cylinder, 5-way switch, plumbing, UHMW for the guides. That is the majority of it.
Reply to
Todd Rich
Rats..bummer!
How long a stroke do you want? As I said..I have a shit load of em.....maybe a ton or two actually.....
Post em in the drop box and we can all benefit.
Gunner
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Reply to
Gunner
(snip)
Hey, it is how the cookie crubles. If I was still living in Idaho, I'd make the trip. 3 times the distance is a bit much though.
I'd have to double check the plans, but I think between 10" and 18" would be good. That way I can use a variety of dies and die tooling. My original set got lost, so I have to wait for the new ones to come in.
Sorry, but they are still under copyright. They are available at
formatting link

Todd
Reply to
Todd Rich
Cool. Ill check when you give me some hard data.
Ah! that one. Nice!
Gunner
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Reply to
Gunner
It does not sound as if you are planning on doing a lot of welding. So I would consider buying a stick welder. It won't be quite as fast but a lot cheaper especially if you get one off Craigslist. And you can use the money left over to buy things more directly related to your business.
Dan
Reply to
dcaster
Todd: I second the stick welder approach. They are fast, powerful and you can get a used one cheap. Probably under $300. -Mike
Reply to
mlcorson
(snip)
Actually, I do have a lot of projects, which is one of the reasons I'm looking at a bigger welder, as I'm beating the socks off the weldpack 100 I currently have. I'm spending more time standing around for the duty cycle limits than I am welding. I've got a project going on that involves welding about 1200 or so rings onto barstock.
Also, I do have a buzz box (Lincoln 225), thought it is on loan right now because my stick welding looks like a drunken baboon did it. Being able to work without cleaning off all the flux from stick is a signifigant time savings for me.
Yes I'm sure that more time spent with the buzz box will improve my stick skills, but I actually enjoy MIGing quite a bit, and find stick a chore.
I also have some projects in the next year or two that will probably involve welding copper. And while I know TIG would be better, I belive I can use the bronze MIG wire as well.
Todd
Reply to
Todd Rich
I do have one. I don't do a very good job with it. I've tried welding up quench tanks with it, and they always leak when I use stick. I got my Weldpak 100 a year ago and I went to weld up a quench tank and it took me about 10 minutes. Most of that time waiting on the duty cycle. And when I was done it didn't leak, and it looked nice too. Todd
Reply to
Todd Rich
My $.02: I would bet that if you learned to stick weld properly, your mig welds would improve vastly even though they are good now.
b
Reply to
b
I agree.
I would also add that while MIG has undeniable advantages for welding thin materials and small welds, IMHO, stick has advantages when welding thicker materials and especially materials that are less than perfectly clean. It is also far superior for field welding where weather will cause problems with MIG. Stick is very versatile and quick to alter weld specifics.
I would suggest that the OP consider a TIG power source (AC and DC) which will allow use for both stick and TIG. Combined with the MIG he now has this would give great flexibility and versatility and will provide a great learning opportunity.
Regarding the hassle of chipping flux, I note that properly made stick welds make flux removal much easier, but that the real trick is to use an air powered needle scaler which has the added benefit of peening the weld.
Just my .02, YMMV
Reply to
Private
Buy the 251 if you can afford it. I opted for the 210 plus spool gun. Works great but not for heavy work. Aluminum up to 1/4 in. and steel up to 3/8. Miller rates the spoolgun higher but I don't want to melt it. For heavier or dirty I use my Syncrowave 180's stick mode. JD
Reply to
Surfin'
(snip)
Thanks. Of those that answered my question rather than telling me to get a stick, all but one suggested the 251. I picked it up today and gave it a try. Wow...what a difference from the Lincoln Weld-Pak 100!!! Very different feel. Thanks again! Todd
Reply to
Todd Rich
Still haven't gotten them in, but in checking out other hammers built to this style, 3" dia, 12"-14" stroke, 1/2" fittings, and at least 1/2" shaft, though 3/4" would be nicer.
My e-mail above works.
I'm also thinking about videoing the construction. If I do, I take it send you a copy?
Todd
Reply to
Todd Rich

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