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Old 01-11-2013, 04:36 PM   #3250
Studly Adventurer
Joined: Jul 2011
Location: central coast of California
Oddometer: 550
I’m getting ready to buy a welder and wanted to ask for opinions on some of the different machines out there. But before I do I thought I would explain what I will be welding. I am a sculptor and while I have done a lot of bronze casting in the past and still do a bit most of what I have been doing lately is steel fabrication using 1/8” plate welded to look like large constructions with 2” plate, As you can imagine this requires a lot of lineal inches of welding very close to the edge and tons of grinding. I teach part time and have been using the school facilities but I’m getting to the point where I need to do more welding and at times other then when I am at school. I know most of what I need to weld could be done with a mig but I prefer a TIG for the control and versatility.

The Miller dynasty 180 is an attractive looking set up and I can get one for 1952 +tax and the cost of a tank. I know miller makes some less expensive welders but from what I can tell this dynasty is the lowest costing AC/DC TIG and I do not want a scratch start DC unit. I also have a line on a pristine looking Miller 33A/BP with a water cooler, torch, foot control, regulator, ground and stinger for $1,200. I know that sounds like a lot for such an old welder but this particular unit is super clean inside and out.

For those not familiar with the Miller 33A/BP it is a supper versatile machine and can be wired for 208/230/440 input and has an output of 465 amps, that’s not a typo, it will put out 465 amps. This is a brick shit house of a transformer welder with over 300LBS of its 850 lbs being copper. The scrap value of these things is close to 1K. I once used one of these welders to do some fabrication with ” aluminum plate and never came up against the duty cycle limitations. It was also first made in the early 1950’s and remained virtually unchanged up to the early 80”s when it was discontinued. Inside they are simple like a rock.

I have a very small shop and the size of the new inverter welders is apeaing but I do not need the portability and I can find the room for the big old beast. More important is the cost and reliability.

I would like to hear some opinions on some of the other newer welders and how they compare in reliability to the old Miller 33. I’m not hooked on miller.
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