Welding 3/16" & 1/4" with 120v wire-feed

   / Welding 3/16" & 1/4" with 120v wire-feed #1  

Sodo

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There seems to be considerable debate whether a 120v wire welder is worth having. I don't understand why this debate needs to happen. I suspect it's one of those situations where pros don't want the homeowner doing "their job". But it's NOT their job - it's NOT pro welding, it's just welding in a garage, it's making stuff, which people like to do.

The 120v welders are typically rated for 3/16, but can weld nicely on 1/4" (and more) if the whole part is not large/heavy. Probably the most compelling feature is that they can be plugged into a standard 120v outlet, which makes welding feasible for many more people.

I have used the Lincoln (few times) Hobart 115 handler (years), Miller 135 (years) and now have a new Miller Multimatic 200. The notion that they can't weld thicker than 12ga, 14 ga, is ludicrous and I can't understand why this opinion is so pervasive, perhaps it indicates that the person has never used one. Maybe they tried a Home Depot, Century, or Harbor Freight welder? I have no idea whether those welders work but the M, H, L welders work.

Here's an example of welding a trailer hitch for an ATV. Miller Multimatic 200 running on 120v from a pair of Honda EU2000i generators. Welder was 'preset' for 3/16" thickness. The angle is 3/16", the hitch sq. tube is 3/16", and the doubler below is 1/4".

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   / Welding 3/16" & 1/4" with 120v wire-feed #2  
Looks dang good to me... I considered a MM200 but got a Miller 211 Mig instead and absolutely love it. I decided I didn't really need the portability (light weight) for the extra dollars but the reviews are great. I do love my 211. ShieldArc played with it on 220v and I think he fell in love, but I have run it exclusively on 110v so far in my shop. I need to run some heavier gage circuit as my 220v is off an extension cord from an unused dryer outlet powering my table saw and air compressor.
 
   / Welding 3/16" & 1/4" with 120v wire-feed #3  
WOW! You convinced me;). I seen your pictures earlier, so I ran out to Wal-Mart thank God they are open 24-hours:cool:, and bought myself a 120-volt Mig machine. Headed out to the shop now to play with it, will report back later with the results.:laughing:
 

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   / Welding 3/16" & 1/4" with 120v wire-feed #4  
How is the spray with that 120V SA! :laughing:
 
   / Welding 3/16" & 1/4" with 120v wire-feed
  • Thread Starter
#5  
The notion that they can't weld thicker than 12ga, 14 ga, is ludicrous and I can't understand why this opinion is so pervasive, perhaps it indicates that the person has never used one. Maybe they tried a Home Depot, Century, or Harbor Freight welder? I have no idea whether those welders work but the M, H, L welders work.]

WOW! You convinced me;). I seen your pictures earlier, so I ran out to Wal-Mart thank God they are open 24-hours:cool:, and bought myself a 120-volt Mig machine. Headed out to the shop now to play with it, will report back later with the results.:laughing:

Incidentally, I'll bet a HUGE number of members would like to see what a pro can do with a WalMart 120v welder. I'd like to try one myself (not as a pro!), then I could offer opinion be based on actual experience.

Looks dang good to me... I considered a MM200 but got a Miller 211 Mig instead and absolutely love it. I decided I didn't really need the portability (light weight) for the extra dollars but the reviews are great.

Dragon I actually went to the store with intent to buy the Miller 211, then I opted for portability and stick weld capability (in case its windy), and the TIG is a nice feature that I will explore someday.

Anyway, there is no weld that would do the job better than the pics show. You could show a couple plates stuck together sitting on a vise, but this weld has a purpose and will get the job done.

I suspect Shield Arc is mostly informing (the lesser experienced) members that he doesn't want them to chiming in to say:

these 120v welds on 3/16" & 1/4" material look fine and will do the job.
 
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   / Welding 3/16" & 1/4" with 120v wire-feed #6  
While I do not understand the actual application that you are using this for, why use 3/16"?
Hard to believe that the Harbor Freight receiver hitch is 3/16" tube but to mount a piece of 3/16 angle to the end and then put a doubler that by the picture looks to be only at most 3/4" overlap back along the bottom of the receiver tube (if your fingers are huge then maybe more than 3/4" but not more than 1") seems to be structurally weak at best. Maybe if you are not putting any strain it would work but I have unfortunately seen 3/8" and 1/2" steel get bent where I would have never thought it would bend.

The penetration of the weld would need to be 100% just to give the full 3/16" its full strength. And as I already stated I think the 3/16 is a bit weak IMO. Without beveling using the 3/16 rated welder on the 1/4" plate doubler minimizes the ability to do a multipass weld with the smaller 3/16 " machine. I have seen comments by some folks that I respect on this and other sites (WW) say you can do a job with a small machine but it takes multi pass welds and beveling to get full penetration.
 
   / Welding 3/16" & 1/4" with 120v wire-feed #7  
They do look very good!:thumbsup: But are you willing to bet your life on them? I'll bet my life and every one else's life on the road with my Mig welds.
Here are some Mig welds I did on my gooseneck trailer. As you can see I don't need a vice to weld.;)
 

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   / Welding 3/16" & 1/4" with 120v wire-feed #8  
Looks good and I'm sure it works great. not sure why people are still busting your balls here but it is not necessary. They must have never been on a farm and seen some of the ugliest and nastiest welds ever manage to hold. Sometimes you just have to get it done with what you have.

At least Shield Arc is not insulting your welds like the last time this topic came up so you must be doing something right.
 
   / Welding 3/16" & 1/4" with 120v wire-feed #9  
At least Shield Arc is not insulting your welds like the last time this topic came up so you must be doing something right.
Is it insulting to say a Mig weld is cold lapped?:confused: If so you best not weld for a living. When every weld you make your job is attached to it.;)
 
   / Welding 3/16" & 1/4" with 120v wire-feed
  • Thread Starter
#10  
At least Shield Arc is not insulting your welds like the last time this topic came up so you must be doing something right.

That's because I welded this one "for the photo". Normally I weld it just to get the job done. Understood that people can do both (which I can) but it does take more time and sometimes I have my mind on other things. Screwing around, but still, on other things.

I understand Shield Arc now. He has to judge the outward appearance of welds (miles of welds) and KNOW what's inside them, stake his reputation on them. Whenever I'm more than a few floors above the ground I appreciate that, but it does not apply here. But in any case at least I know where he's coming from and can adjust his weld assessments. I can't really understand the insults part though, it's unnecessary. He clearly has an Alpha-dog gig going, and if that's what TBN has to endure well it takes all kinds doesn't it? Good to see he actually makes stuff too, real projects, not just welding on a vise.

But a lot of people with 120v welders would be learning lot more (how to use their machines) if there wasn't a 'gag order' on them.

If some very experienced pros would actually use the machines the members HAVE, and help them, that to me would be far more helpful than always telling everybody they need a machine they don't have. Which happens to be mostly FALSE too.

For the time being, all these folks have is one off-and-on 120v hobbyist and the shoes are a little to big for me. That's a pretty sparse pool of experience for a hobby/maintenance welding forum! I'd actually like to learn something too once in awhile.
 
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