Thermadyne Welders

Discussion in 'Tools and Fabrication' started by HawkDriver, Jan 9, 2006.

  1. HawkDriver

    HawkDriver

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    Yep you guessed it, yet another welder thread to add to the pile. My welder has become too small and I'm thinking of breaking free of the standard choices of red blue or orange. At my welding supplier they're having a pretty sweet deal on these Thermalarc models by Thermadyne.

    It's a 251 amp which is basically equivalent of the Millermatic 251 but at about $500 less. As everyone's probably familiar, the Miller 251s go for about $1900 and the 210s I've seen at about $1200. So, being that $1900 is just outside of my budget at this time, the store is selling this Thermadyne 251 for $1390 and it sounds like a pretty sweet deal compared to the MM210 I was going to go with. The big price difference is because the MM is digital while this one still uses the old dials and stuff, but that's fine by me. I demo'd it in their shop and was pretty impressed with it, it'll handle 1/2" in a single pass no probs. They seem pretty standard as far as quality and as you can see on the site, the consumables are widely available. I think that they are used pretty extensively in the industry. I can't see a reason not to go with it. Oh and it's purple, and though blue is the color of choice, anything beats red. ;)


    Check it out:
    Thermalarc Fabricator 251
    Thermadyne home

    [​IMG]

    The obvious questions:

    Anyone ever dealt with one of these machines?
    See any reason not to go with it?
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2006
  2. MrMoMo

    MrMoMo That's not rust, it's Canadian patina...

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    We had a Thermadyne when I was in school, it was pretty sweet. I was going to buy one but I got converted to a miller Trailblazer 280NT (was going to run a generator.

    I have a Thermadyne Plasma cuter - can't really complain about it - although I hardly use it (I know I know, guys would kill to have a plasma cutter - mine just sits there!!!) Plasma cutters need VERY dry air, and untill recently I couldn't supply it, now I can!

    Uh... Guess that was kinda off topic, but, yeah, I've used 'em. Not any problems.
     
  3. HawkDriver

    HawkDriver

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    Thanks man, I think it's a pretty sweet deal. Pretty sure that I'm going with it. The guy did mention that they make one of the predominant plasma cutters on the market.

    :beer:
     
  4. honk

    honk

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    It'll work. It draws 55 amps at max output and an 80 amp fuse is recommended on a 40 amp circuit so you might dim the lights or have to reset all the clocks each time you use it :), but it'll work.

    All hometown prices can be beaten online but a good welding supply house local is a nice asset to have in your favor so sometimes it pays to pay a higher price for a machine to get goodwill in the hometown store.

    Purple is very gey. Tell the guy that that's why you chose that welder :D
     
  5. Steve C

    Steve C

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    Looks good. I also have one of their plasma cutters that I only use every once in a while.

    Thermal arc, while not as popular as miller, is definately not a no name machine.

    Since the dealer has it all set up, I would try to test it out on each of the different materials and weld joints you plan to weld.
     
  6. honk

    honk

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    I'll admit to having gotten pissed with thermodyne about my first plasma cutter, the Thermodyne 38. The promo claimed a sever cut ability to 5/8" in steel and 3/8" in aluminum when in fact the machine was hard pressed and slow cutting 3/8". The name itself is misleading - the model called "38" has a max output of 30 amps. It was good to 1/4" gauge steel but nearly useless for any but the thinnest aluminum. I had bought it planning to cut 1/4" aluminum plate at least, and wanted to try it on as big as 1/2". It couldn't burn halfway through the 1/4".

    False advertized $1200. piece of sh*t as far as I was concerned, but none of that has anything to do with your new purple welder. :)
     
  7. HawkDriver

    HawkDriver

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    Well, the ghey purple color is cool with me, I was thinking about making a rainbow colored cover for it anyways. :flipoff2:

    Cool, thanks for the opinions. It has a 3 year warranty and if I hava too much troubles with it by then I'll prolly go blue at that point. When they let me demo it I was able to run some beads on what I plan on using it for. Had plenty of punch with more to spare.

    So far so good...
     
  8. Junk

    Junk

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    FWIW, I have their T/A 185 Tig machine and it's frickin awesome. I also had their plasma cutter 38 for awhile and liked it better than the machine I previously owned a Hypertherm 380.

    Have never used the specific machine you are asking about, but I would definitely take it for a test ride.
     
  9. MrMoMo

    MrMoMo That's not rust, it's Canadian patina...

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    How dry was your air? When I first started using mine it was the same, I had an air dryer on my compressor, and it looked dry, felt dry but it was not dry enough for the plasma. They are VERY picky about having dry air. Pretty much need a desicant (sp?) dryer mounted right on the back of the plasma cutter - huge difference.

    Oh, and I was wrong, mine is not a Thermadyne, it's a Hypotherm - shows you how often I use it!!

    Bruce.
     
  10. Gus

    Gus SILVER Star

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    I've used that exact model machine a few times, worked well for me, the price is good; I'd go for it.
     
  11. HawkDriver

    HawkDriver

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    Right on, I'm still planning on it. I'll post up some pics when I get her home. :D
     
  12. HawkDriver

    HawkDriver

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    Getting closer to bringing this thing home. Been thinking about how I'm gonna wire it. Looked around here and on the net about wiring but I havn't narrowed down just how to do it. I've got a water heater in the garage with a 240V outlet, and my breaker panel is inside the garage just opposite of the power box outside. I just need the basics on how to set it up. I talked to the father in law who says I could prolly just tap into the box outside, and make a new outlet just inside the wall from it. I forget the details.

    What kind of amps come to a house normally, what breaker should I use? It might be easier if someone can direct me to a good site for it. I mean seems pretty straightforward, just trying to visualize it. I'll continue the search. Thanks.

    Oh, one last question: Will I be able to run a plasma cutter off this same plug?
     
  13. HawkDriver

    HawkDriver

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    Yeah, I figured it out myself. Thanks for all the help. :flipoff2: jk

    I got it all wired in tonite, they're delivering it tomorrow while I'm at work. Pretty stoked.

    The wiring was super easy. My inside panel had all but one post used so I just added a double post 40 amp breaker (80 combined) on the main panel outside. Then just ran 6 gage wire from it through the conduit going to the inside panel, then just added the flush mount receptacle beneath the breaker panel. Took about 15 minutes to do.

    Receptacle: $10
    4 ft of 6 gage: $5
    40 amp breaker: $7

    So $22 and 15 minutes later I'm ready for it. The guy at the welding shop recommended an electrician and acted surprised that I wanted to do it myself. :rolleyes: Prolly saved at least $50 for the house call. I'll post up when I get it here tomorrow. :D :bounce:
     
  14. Junk

    Junk

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    I hard wired a 20' whip from the box so I can plug in the welders, phase converters for mill/lathe etc all from the same circuit.

    Make sure you use a good dryer and consider getting the motorguard filter for it. I still have my MG filter and plenty of new elements if you're interested - but they make a huge difference in capacity and in cleanliness of cut.
     
  15. HawkDriver

    HawkDriver

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    Oh, thanks Junk, don't have a plasma cutter yet. Thanks though. ;) And I'll keep that in mind when I get there.

    Well got her parked in the garage tonite. Fits in nicely around here. Didn't have a lot of time to play with it but I snapped a couple pics to post up. Completely dwarfs the 135 :D (which is now for sale by the way, $350 + shipping). I cranked it up and ran a little bead. I think it will do more than I will need for quite a while.

    Thanks for all the replies. :cheers:
    IMG_0014.JPG IMG_0018.JPG
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2006
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