Is the millermatic challenger 172 a decent MIG welder? - Page 2 - Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 04-29-2000, 05:51 PM
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Re: Is the millermatic challenger 172 a decent MIG welder?

[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif[/img] I did some design work for some guys last summer on a cattle hoof-trimming machine, and they have a plasma cutter at their shop. They are really slick.....really the berries. They will cut a variety of non-ferrous materials whereas a torch will not. I could not justify it for just Jeep work, but they ARE nice. You know, that air arc is suprisingly accurate....you can just put that rod right in the old weld kerf and it looks like it was ground out of there. Messy when you do it....good when you're done. You know, Tim....you be surprised at how good some older A/C transformer type welders will work once you get the cobwebs out. I'm referring to the original "Buzzbox" type of welder....AC only in most instances...AC/DC on the better ones.[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

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post #12 of (permalink) Old 04-30-2000, 02:28 AM
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Re: Is the millermatic challenger 172 a decent MIG welder?

Air Arcing....what fun, I have used 1/16" carbon rods to arc out 5/8" bolts to using 1/2" carbon rods on a 1500 amp Miller to arc out 7" thick cracks in slag pots. This tool goes along with the saying "Sometimes you have to destroy it before you can save it", very useful tool and sometimes better than a torch but not very useful for home. Any cutting done on a jeep or other similar metals of the same thickness is better performed with a grinder, torch or if you are so lucky to have one, a plasma cutter. Plasma cutters also need a good supply of air for the cutting process, just like air arcs, but the cuts are clean, crisp and won't warp the metal because the concentration of heat used in the cutting process is less than that used with a torch or air arcing. For general overall use you can't go wrong with a torch, if you have the money and space then a plasma cutter is a great addition to any shop, right after you buy a good mig machine.

post #13 of (permalink) Old 04-30-2000, 08:39 AM
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Re: Is the millermatic challenger 172 a decent MIG welder?

[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/tongue.gif[/img] Can't you just see somebody using an air arc to remove some welds on the hitch of his CJ in the driveway of a nice suburban home.....with a 600 Lincoln portable grunting away next to the curb.....and his neighbors all gathering up their kids to take them inside...[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/crazy.gif[/img] Like I said...you can be the proud owner of this "slightly used" air arc for peanuts.[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

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post #14 of (permalink) Old 05-01-2000, 09:23 AM
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Re: Is the millermatic challenger 172 a decent MIG welder?

No time on the 172, but the 185 is a Cadillac. I have put 3 spools (the LARGE ones) through it in about 3 years, rebuilding 4 jeep bodies. Now I'm onto the frame mods and body mounts, which are a little larger metal. It's nice to be able to weld larger or smaller at a whim. I also built a couple of revolving cranes that fit into a Class III receiver hitch (using Warn winches), that would not have been possible with a smaller welder. I have thought about this long and hard, my conclusion is to get the best welder you can, even if you have to wait a little. It'll serve you well and you'll thank yourself in the long run. Once you have a welder, you'll want to do all sorts of projects, it'd be a shame to have the welder be the limiting factor. From the sounds of it, I'd have to vote for the 185.

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