Mig welder project


Active member
Good Post Points
Winchester Ky
Hobart Lincoln
I don't mean to ramble here, but bear with me for a bit. I have a friend, local farmer, for whom I do a lot of work on equipment. I use his shop (and sometimes other buildings) for my projects, things I can't do at home. He acquired a really nice Miller DC stick welder. Not sure of the model, but it's by no means an "also ran" machine. A 250 amp unit for sure, as the power cord is as big as my arm. Been sitting in his shop for well over a year now, probably two. Never been used. By him at least. Some fellow he knew years back GAVE it to him, after having done very little with it but some experimental stuff and decided he had no further use or space for it. We've never tried it out because the cord has no plug on it. How's that for a lame excuse? Anyway, I never pushed him to do anything with it and he has little if any interest in it. He has a Lincoln tombstone AC machine that he uses for most everything, as well as a Lincoln 180 suitcase type mig machine.

Recently I got to thinking we might look for a wire feeder to put on top of this big Miller, make some use of it and give us a machine that can do jobs neither of his machines are capable of. I know I've done a few projects out there that would have turned out better with a bigger welder. I can't get the hang of working with AC, so that's not an option for me. I've looked at various wire feeders, both new and used, and haven't seen anything yet in a price range I would even approach him with for the use we have for it. I just remembered there is also an older MIller 110 mig welder in a corner, hasn't been used since he got the Lincoln mig. Has flux core wire in it, no gas, so it just gathers dust and gets moved from one corner to another.

Again, not sure right now of the model, but it's a clean unit, seems to be in working order, and it's doing nothing. Maybe that's an answer? Unless my thinking is all fouled up here, it seems to me that all we really need is a wire feeder. This machine has that. I can't imagine that it isn't gas capable, even though it currently has none. Granted, it's not the size and duty rating of bigger (more expensive) feeder units, but what's missing? If it will push .035 (or .045) wire, take a gas bottle, and can be hooked up, why won't it work? I should be able to disconnect the transformer portion, leave it out of the package, and put leads from the big welder to the feeder portion. I don't see how it can cost that much to give it a try. I may need to get a bit creative on wiring since it works on 110v, but that shouldn't be all that difficult.

Why wouldn't that work?