Pirate 4x4 banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
122 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've been looking at the Tweco Fabricator 211i. Is there any difference between the Tweco machines and the thermal arc machines besides the color and price? It appears that both are made by tweco. Anyone have any reviews or expirence using one of these machines.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,066 Posts
It is just a marketing ploy .

The Tweco name is familiar to just about anyone who knows much about welding Thinking to sell more welders

Hard to keep up with all the name changes buy outs etc

The new parent company is Victor Technologies machines are still the same but there are always updates and improvements made as things progress and the design works out the bugs
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
I've had a thermal arc fabricator 190 for about 7 years. Run tons of wire through it.
I had the main board go out, it was about $150. Other than that no problems.
The one thing it could do better weld sheet metal. It is hard to get it turned down enough to weld thin sheet metal even with .023 wire.
My last suggestion is to get the one with provisions for a spool gun, you will want that one day.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
172 Posts
I've got both a year and a half old 211i and a 6mo old 252i in my shop. Mig/TIG/spool gun setup on them.
So far I prefer the smaller 211i to the 252i, mainly because of the shitty new 'velocity consumables' on the gun of the 252i and my 211i still has the standard #11 screw on consumables.
I've had major gun arc issues with the gun not insulating correctly(nozzle, goosneck etc arcing), which all seems to be based on the new consumables design. The gun seems to be defective, but they deny it and say that everyone loves the gun and no one has had issues yet they also wont even take the gun in to look at it for warranty. Yet when asked about converting the gun to the older consumables, they say it isnt possible and instantly rattle off the part number for the standard style 'Spraymaster 250' Tweco gun that used to come on the 252i.

Other than the gun issues with the new style consumables though, I do love the machines. The functionality of the machines with all the possibilities of adjustment and running multiple processes is unbeatable in the price range.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
603 Posts
I run a 211i and for a semi portable unit its been great. Lots of power and good duty cycle for the package. i actually prefer the velocity consumables in the fusion 220 gun, though there is nothing wrong with the good old #11's used in the spraymaster line. Just ordered the tig torch for it so the verdict remains for that, but for general mig and stick use it is a kickass little machine. I actually prefer it to the mm252 and 211 miller machines i run at work, although those machines are very well known and do great work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,066 Posts
Yes if the ESAB deal is now final things will more then likely get worse.

Then it could mean no more Esab plasma cutters which is a good thing or the Thermal Arc ones might go away. Who can say!!

It will be interesting for sure.

We have waited months for Esab parts .

It will be interesting to see how this all plays out
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,606 Posts
The guy in the LWS said the deal was completed a month or so ago.

FWIW, I'm considering a small TIG. He suggested the Thermal Arc 186 TIG/stick. He claims that none of them have come back for warranty service yet. Some of the online stuff claims pedal problems with them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,326 Posts
The guy in the LWS said the deal was completed a month or so ago.

FWIW, I'm considering a small TIG. He suggested the Thermal Arc 186 TIG/stick. He claims that none of them have come back for warranty service yet. Some of the online stuff claims pedal problems with them.
I bought this TIG earlier this year, it is a solid machine, Ive only welded a few hours with it, overall I really like it. My only complaint is the loud fan, and on/off switch location.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,606 Posts
I bought this TIG earlier this year, it is a solid machine, Ive only welded a few hours with it, overall I really like it. My only complaint is the loud fan, and on/off switch location.
Cyberweld beats the LWS here on the TA 186 by only about $100. For that, I'll buy locally every time (assuming the LWS isn't full of complete dipshits.)

I'm probably not going to pick up a TIG soon anyway. Missed a nice syncrowave 250 on Friday from CL. Guess I'll pick up a bottle of trimix and just MIG the stainless projects I've got.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,606 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
172 Posts
Duty cycle on the 211i has been no problem for me even under light production welding of 3/16" steel. I've never had it fault from hitting the duty cycle, my Miller 251 on the other hand has hit duty cycle under the same use a couple times.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,468 Posts
I am a blue kind of guy, but I did find out something about mig welding thin metals. It is done better with 110. I have two 220v migs (250 &211?) I couldn't weld up a pan. I called a friend that owns a couple body shops and he said that 110 is the only way to go. So I bought a 210 that runs 110v and 220v. It really welds well. The issue is duty cycle on heavier projects, but then I switch to the bigger units.

110v for thin body panels, etc.

On larger projects, I have been known to remove a body panel and run a box fan up to the welder. Bigger may not be better...But a 135 is too small. Sold in a week. Just a home garage guy...A pro can make anything work, we need cheaters..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,202 Posts
Pretty sure we got a thermal arc at work and that thing just doesn't feel right.

Dunno what it is but it doesn't feel the same as any other welder I've used. Miller, Systematics, hobart, lincoln.

Oh and the gas valve is an actual valve in the torch rather than a solenoid in the machine, so after you popped the breaker you get to wonder why the gas works when the welder doesn't.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top