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  1. #1
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    Default building a mig welder

    so ino this has prob been asked a million times
    but i have burned out about my 6th welder in a couple of years. so i want to build a heavy duty mig set to max out about 160-200amp
    i have bought a old external wire feed thats 42v ac to strip the feed motor out of.
    i have the parts coming to build a 500amp rectifier.
    now comes the transformer. i am looking at building a multi tap transformer.
    but i was thinking why not use a scr input voltage controller or something simple to control the input voltage.
    would make it a lot easyer to build and to repair. any ideas.
    thanks

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    If it wasn't a joke, may I ask you what welders you used?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelP View Post
    If it wasn't a joke, may I ask you what welders you used?
    ditto, plus if I may add, what kind of work are you doing with it, how often, anything special about it? It's just that going through 6 welders in two years sounds pretty extreme.

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    How many microwave ovens have you amassed ?

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    #1 Quit buying the cheapest welders on Amazon
    #2 There are plenty of old transformer based mig welders available, cheaper than you can build one.

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    i had a snapon 130, snapon170, the snapon welders i had where the worst the wirefeeds are trash. wolf140, miller180, lincoln 160,
    just bought a 200 igbt felt like a 120 amp welder and shit it self.
    i have a 240v supply no 3 phase.
    welding 6mm steel most of the time.

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    Look for something that requires a forklift to lift, they made them in 240v single phase (US), not sure about the miller180 or lincoln160, but the rest of those you mentioned are little cracker box welders, great for light duty and portable, but not for serious welding.

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    an alternator for power, starter for feed...
    I say making a welder would be fun for someone obsessed about the theoretical process, not someone who wants 'heavy duty' 200 amp welder cheap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xadmx View Post
    i had a snapon 130, snapon170, the snapon welders i had where the worst the wirefeeds are trash. wolf140, miller180, lincoln 160,
    just bought a 200 igbt felt like a 120 amp welder and shit it self.
    i have a 240v supply no 3 phase.
    welding 6mm steel most of the time.
    6mm = .24 inch thick ?

    What process ?

    What duty cycle ?

    Only 200 amp ?

    What's "Failing" ?

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    If you're killing that many welders in that short a time, you're doing at least more than one thing wrong.

    Yes, first off, they're not industrial-grade machines, second, they're certainly not capable of their 'advertised' output for any great length of time. Ignore all ratings unless they say 100% Duty Cycle.

    Next... the common failures for welders, particularly cheap portable homeowner big-box/tool-truck stuff, is failed diodes, and usually, snubber capacitors for the diodes, if they even have 'em... most don't.

    I realize that your circumstances in the UK aren't like say... Ohio... so you won't find loads of serious industrial 300A MIG supplies around, but yes, if it requires a forklift or six strong men to heft it out of your lorry, then you've got the right thing.

    The lack of 3ph is irrelevant, there's lots of solutions to that problem, many 3ph welders can be converted to run on single with 100% output, and those that cannot can be run off a homemade rotary converter.

    You need serious iron, with serious copper windings.

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    Agree with the others. If you're welding 6mm stuff every day, you need to step up to a 250 series MIG welder.

    You've been frying what you've been running because they're not made to run as much as you need to.

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    With welders such Lincoln and Miller available at discounted prices all of the time, I wouldn't dream of building my own

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    I had a small welding job a few months ago, and only welder available was the cracker box mig. Probably did not help that it was already 100F outside, but I could not get more than 3" of bead down before the tripping the over temp safety, then it was a mandatory 10 minute break. Took almost 3 hours to get the job done, most spent watching the machine cool off.

    Question for the OP: If you cannot fix your old welders, what makes you think you can build one?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dalmatiangirl61 View Post
    I had a small welding job a few months ago, and only welder available was the cracker box mig. Probably did not help that it was already 100F outside, but I could not get more than 3" of bead down before the tripping the over temp safety, then it was a mandatory 10 minute break. Took almost 3 hours to get the job done, most spent watching the machine cool off.

    Question for the OP: If you cannot fix your old welders, what makes you think you can build one?
    I have been using a Miller 35s since 1979, 1000s 0f pounds of wire through it 50 lbs at a time. I put a Bernard gun on it and a few liners, changed the grease in the feed motor and that's it. just run the shit out of it.

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    to the OP
    If you decide to build one, how about some pics.

    I have the remnants of a DC generator stick welder that someone built from plans in Pop..Scin.. magazine from the 60's, Surplus military generator powered by a Wisconsin 10hp motor. Actually used it on a construction site in the middle of the woods.
    But with prices of used equipment these days, building one that I would use evan occasionally doesn't add up

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    Recommend thread lock, the red kind for hobbyist BS.

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    Buy a Miller XMT304 and a S22 wirefeeder. Runs on single phase and makes beautiful welds. I have had mine for 15 years without a problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cole2534 View Post
    Recommend thread lock, the red kind for hobbyist BS.
    2 post Kenny was probably:
    1. "Pub dialing"
    2. "A Fart in a windstorm"

    If anyone is welding that much, they don't have time to monkey around, and that much welding should pay enough to buy a good, reliable welder.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moonlight machine View Post
    I have been using a Miller 35s since 1979, 1000s 0f pounds of wire through it 50 lbs at a time. I put a Bernard gun on it and a few liners, changed the grease in the feed motor and that's it. just run the shit out of it.
    My Lincoln SP-200 will do that too, but it now lives in Nevada, I was in Tx. The point I was making is that the little cracker boxes are only good for light work, not serious welding.

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    Miller states the same thing for Mig as they do for Tig Settings. 1A for every 0.001" material thickness.

    Quote Originally Posted by Millerwelds.com
    1. Material thickness determines amperage. As a guideline, each .001 inch of material thickness requires 1 amp of output: .125 inch = 125 amps.
    MIG Welding: Setting the Correct Parameters | MillerWelds


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