Miller Welders?

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Lmo
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Miller Welders?

Postby Lmo » Thu Mar 03, 2016 12:26 pm

Where else to ask this question...?

I need a gas-shielded MIG welder, 120-240V. Max material intent .375"; more often .187" or less.

Locally available, a gently used Miller 185; 220V. Older but low mileage, looks to be in well maintained condition. Comes with T bottle w/ regulators (330cu ft (bigger than I need, or want to wrestle with, but... )), 12' extension cord, new gun, fresh 33lb roll of er70-s2 0.035" wire, and cart.
$1,100 (no tax involved)

Image

Another candidate would be a new Miller 211 120/240 dual voltage machine. (no accessories at all)
MSRP Airco; $1,100 + 8.5% CA sales tax ($63)

Any one have any experience with either? Warranty with one, but not the other. $3-400
Lew Morris
Pismo Beach, California, 93449.
1973 BMW R75/5 (original owner)
1963 Dnural (Frankenepr)
1947 HD FL (long gone, forever regretful)
My dad always told me I could wreck a two hundred pound anvil with a rubber mallet.

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Tin Man
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Re: Miller Welders?

Postby Tin Man » Thu Mar 03, 2016 7:58 pm

Back in the fall of 2013 I bought a new Miller 211 Auto-Set 110v/220v as my very first welder. I did a bunch of research and figured, if I'm gonna do this, I would go with a quality unit that would allow me to "grow into its capabilities" and would last for me for a long time. Even tho I was lusting after one of the self powered machines....... (Bobcat :wub: )....... I do not figure to ever be welding railroad tracks or battleships back together :wink: so I went with this one which (if I am correct) will do everything from .24 gauge sheet metal up to 3/8 inch steel......and is supposed to be fairly easy to learn on. I recently put a gas bottle on it and yes, I am still learning. :cheers:

Welder front.jpg
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Mike
2007 GearUp (Arctic #1)
130/45 jets, KTM rock solid mirrors, Delaware Dave's outstanding trunk lock, Mr. Cob's most excellent skid plate, Cycra Probend smashproof hand guards, Duro strong like bull 307's, RotoPax damn near bulletproof fuel cans, MKIII all but water proof air box and Dimples super duper magnetic drain plugs all around...oh yeah, and a manual fuel petcock.

.........if you see something that needs doing, just do it........

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Re: Miller Welders?

Postby gobium » Thu Mar 03, 2016 8:11 pm

In Ohio I m a Lincoln man.
Annapolis . I m Miller man.
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shop mig
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PineyMountainRacing
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Re: Miller Welders?

Postby PineyMountainRacing » Thu Mar 03, 2016 9:12 pm

I have the Mig 210 that has been trouble free since I bought it new in '03 ($1200 IIRC). I picked up the spool gun a couple years later to do bigger aluminum stuff like horse trailer repair, etc. In the market now for a Tig, and have looked at both Lincoln and Miller, both newer inverter machines and older transformers. I don't have any Tig skill so it's kinda awkward to shop used units since I can't demo it.

The pre-owned 185 looks like it was well taken care of, and it's pretty much turn key with the tank and regs. If it's big enough for your jobs I'd lean that way.
'12 GU

steelsmith
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Re: Miller Welders?

Postby steelsmith » Thu Mar 03, 2016 9:52 pm

When it comes to welders people tend to do one of two things; buy a machine with many bells and whistles to do very basic welding or buy the cheapest machine they can find and then wonder why welding is so tough to learn!
My advise, (if that is what you are looking for), determine realistically what you will be building, the thickness of the material to be welded and if it is mild steel or not. Answer those questions and you might get some better feed-back.

In another life I was a welder/fabricator for 35 years. I always had side-work to help make a living. Over the years I've had many welders from the Lincoln 225 buzz-box to a Lincoln square-wave. Now it has been 3 years since I liquidated my old life (sold my entire metalworking shop). Last month I purchased a Lincoln SP140c. For making motorcycle parts and even automotive/light truck parts this is a more than adequate machine. I bought the 40cuft 75/25 bottle for MIG work when I am in a calm environment (no breeze). Today I built a nice battery tray for an RV. The factory one had completely rusted and was a little light. I made the replacement out of 1-1/2" X 1/8" angle and welded it together with the inner-shield wire (gas-less).
For 'onsite' work where you might have breezy conditions more often than not, this is a good choice in small welders. Mine works on 110v which is available at RV sites (220v isn't). I modified my old 30 amp RV cord into just a 20amp 110v female receptical, it's 30 feet long and I can add a short heavy duty extension cord to reach my welder. Lets see you do that with a bigger machine! Using the MIG side I intend to use .023" wire. The inner-shield wire is .035". If I find I need extra penetration for thicker material I can always use .035" dual-shield instead of MIG wire. This small machine at under 100#'s and requiring a 20amp breaker @110v's is just right for what I do. I am a Certified RV Service Tech.
Easter is the end of the 'Winter-Texan's' RV season, here on the Gulf Coast of Texas. The serious 'Game Fisher's' start in July. If I find any extra time, I'm going to be making some 'bolt-on's' for my Dnepr. Hopefully, I can either use the shop I do collision work for to do the fabrication in as I'd like to use the MIG features of this machine. I've been collecting mandrel-bends for the last year to make into a spare wheel/luggage rack, a sidecar bumper, left cylinder/engine guard and some other stuff. I'm really looking forward to a little fabrication-time!

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Re: Miller Welders?

Postby guzzidude » Thu Mar 03, 2016 10:22 pm

We had nice older digital Millers in school. They always welded nicely and pretty thick if needed. Like steelsmith said, if your outside in a breeze, they have the potential to be worthless unless you have cover. I have an old Hobart Betamig 200 and it welds nicely, especially for the $500 I paid for it 2 years ago. I could use a new gun, but it does the job. Look around and see what they are going for and if it's a good deal get it. I will be looking for a plasma cutter soon, so I will be snooping CL and searchtempest. Good luck with your choice. Miller, Lincoln, Hobart. They are all nice.
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Re: Miller Welders?

Postby cpres » Thu Mar 03, 2016 10:43 pm

If it works good it is haRd to go wrong, my dad has a old very rough looking Lincoln buzz box, runs great. I have a Chinese 220 volt wire feed and run shielded wire as I work outside some.

Check out the certification and ownership on the bottle along with what extras the used unit comes with. Little things can sure add up.
2007 Ural Retro burning up the road at Ural speed.
Some of my family have asked if Urals come with social lives, I am thinking they do, we have met the nicest people with our Ural.

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Lee Pape
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Re: Miller Welders?

Postby Lee Pape » Fri Mar 04, 2016 11:00 am

I used to want to have a welder. But now with the pacemaker welding is out of the question.
We may not have it all together,
But, together we have it all.


2007 Tourist "The un-named-one"
Riding and working on Urals since 2000.

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Lmo
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Re: Miller Welders?

Postby Lmo » Fri Mar 04, 2016 2:38 pm

Thanks for all the input gents.

Here's what I'm up to. Back in the late 70-early 80's I worked as a designer at the Vetter Fairing Company. At 30 years of age my fabrication and MIG skills were pretty good ( I built the Terraplane II prototype chassis and body ) but it's been a while since I touched one.

Fast forward to 2015; I bought a '63 Dnepr fitted with 2006 Ural drive train under it. Now I'm looking to fit it out with windshields, bumpers, luggage rack, etc. But beginning a cheap SOB I don't really want to pay prices for what I see on the market. I know I can build what I want, including 1-3/4" mandrel-bent stuff (my shop neighbors have a nice JD Squared bender). They have a welder too, but they're operating a business, and I won't bug them to step in and use their equipment. Die sets for the JD are usually around $150.

I have a 1,100sq ft shop to work in, with 120/240 200A service. Cold-roll steel; maximum material thickness I'd be contemplating is 3/8". More frequently .06-.13" wall tube and 3/16"-1/4" plate.

The seller emailed me last night and thinks the machine is about fifteen years old. He bought it three years ago as his "starter" machine, and is now upgrading. He sent me a screen shot of a bead this machine laid. No way I could reproduce this right now but was thinking I'd ask him to do a demo as "proof" the machine was functioning correctly.

Pretty obvious he's progressed past the "Novice" stage...

Weld bead.jpg
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Lew Morris
Pismo Beach, California, 93449.
1973 BMW R75/5 (original owner)
1963 Dnural (Frankenepr)
1947 HD FL (long gone, forever regretful)
My dad always told me I could wreck a two hundred pound anvil with a rubber mallet.

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Lmo
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Re: Miller Welders?

Postby Lmo » Sun Mar 06, 2016 9:16 pm

Looks better sitting on my shop floor. Woohooo o burns like a champ! Here we go!

Miller.JPG
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Lew Morris
Pismo Beach, California, 93449.
1973 BMW R75/5 (original owner)
1963 Dnural (Frankenepr)
1947 HD FL (long gone, forever regretful)
My dad always told me I could wreck a two hundred pound anvil with a rubber mallet.

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Tin Man
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Re: Miller Welders?

Postby Tin Man » Sun Mar 06, 2016 9:38 pm

Outstanding!
Mike
2007 GearUp (Arctic #1)
130/45 jets, KTM rock solid mirrors, Delaware Dave's outstanding trunk lock, Mr. Cob's most excellent skid plate, Cycra Probend smashproof hand guards, Duro strong like bull 307's, RotoPax damn near bulletproof fuel cans, MKIII all but water proof air box and Dimples super duper magnetic drain plugs all around...oh yeah, and a manual fuel petcock.

.........if you see something that needs doing, just do it........

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Re: Miller Welders?

Postby cpres » Mon Mar 07, 2016 6:11 pm

Enjoy
2007 Ural Retro burning up the road at Ural speed.
Some of my family have asked if Urals come with social lives, I am thinking they do, we have met the nicest people with our Ural.

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Re: Miller Welders?

Postby steelsmith » Mon Mar 14, 2016 10:28 am

Nice welder! Just do yourself a favor and remove the sides and blow it out with air once in a while! Miller machines are prone to needing this done more often than Lincoln but, they all need this done at least annually! The cooling fan pulls in dust and the electronics attract it to the components, so clean often if using it in a dusty environment.
Since this is an older unit, you might do this soon so you know it's clean in there. DO NOT do this with the unit plugged in/turned on! If there is any moisture in your air system you could electrocute yourself!

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Lmo
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Re: Miller Welders?

Postby Lmo » Mon Mar 14, 2016 8:19 pm

Funny you mentioned that. That's what I was up to Sunday afternoon. A couple of minor maintenance issues were uncovered, but overall I'm pretty happy with this thing. Now I gotta order a 1/2" square tube die set for my neighbors JD Squared bender. Kinda wish the tank was smaller, but the upside is I won't be draggin' off to Airco to often.
Lew Morris
Pismo Beach, California, 93449.
1973 BMW R75/5 (original owner)
1963 Dnural (Frankenepr)
1947 HD FL (long gone, forever regretful)
My dad always told me I could wreck a two hundred pound anvil with a rubber mallet.


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