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Bought an Everlast PowerTIG 250EX

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Holescreek

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#1
I've had a Lincoln Square Wave 175 for many years and it has performed very well on steel but lately I've had the urge and some necessity to weld more aluminum. I'm a self taught welder (if you don't count hundreds of hours of Youtube) and through the magic of video research decided on an Everlast 250EX. I called Everlast direct and ordered the welder and water cooler on April 25th and the welder arrived by itself on May 3rd. I called Everlast's shipping dept and was told that the coolers had just arrived and were shipping out on the 4th.

In the meantime I needed a cart for the new welder and while it would've been nice to be able to use the Everlast I couldn't run it without the cooler and did the task with the Lincoln. The cooler finally arrived on May 9th.

Here's a pic of the partially complete cart:





I had the day off work (May 9th) and spent the first hour playing around with settings and used up the last of my Argon. I found a problem with the HF start working erratically and initially thought that there was a bad switch in the foot pedal. It didn't take long to figure out that I could scratch start the arc so I put a call in to Everlast tech support. Long story short, I played phone tag until I finally made contact about 6pm eastern time. Mark gave me a list of a couple of tests to run and also mentioned that the spark gap inside the welder may have gotten knocked out of position from handling.

This morning I removed the back cover and the screws from each side to open the welder up and check the gap. Mark said the gap between the carbons should be between .029" and .035", Mine was set at .015". When I put a wrench on the locknut to loosen the adjusting screw I found that both it and the screw were loose. (even though they were covered with anti-tamper schmoo). After reassembly the HF start was working fine and I got to play for a couple more hours running beads on aluminum and steel trying to get a feel for the settings. There is a huge difference between operating the old Lincoln transformer machine and the new Everlast inverter machine.



I still need to mount tubes to hold filler metals on the left side of the cart someday soon.
 

coolidge

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#2
Congrats I have the 255ext.
 

markba633csi

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#3
A dream machine- let's hope it keeps running and doesn't become a servicing nightmare LOL
MS
 

woodchucker

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#4
Nice.
why couldn't you run w/o the cooler. The cooler is a nice to have, but it isn't necessary is it?
 

coolidge

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#5
Mine came with both a water cooled and air cooled torch so I could/did run without the cooler for a while, but the air cooled torch is limited on amps to 125. Above that you need the water cooled torch and cooler.
 

Rustrp

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#6
I still need to mount tubes to hold filler metals on the left side of the cart someday soon.
I'm not sure why you want to put filler wire tubes on your cart. Filler wire should be kept in closed containers so they don't become contaminated, especially aluminum which oxidized quickly. Making the tubes to hold the containers the filler wire comes in is a good idea.
 

Rustrp

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#7
Nice.
why couldn't you run w/o the cooler. The cooler is a nice to have, but it isn't necessary is it?
There's a difference in an air cooled torch and a water cooled torch, both size and design. TIG welding aluminum on a water cooled torch gets pretty hot, and an air cooled torch gets hotter. The insulation on the torch lead is different on a water cooled torch and it runs inside the water supply line to the torch, and the torch body is a lot smaller. With that said; A quick start up to check things out wouldn't hurt.
 

coolidge

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#8
What Rustrp said, I keep mine in their original tubes in my stainless tool cabinet which holds all my welding stuff. The BEST and lowest cost stainless tool chest for welding stuff is sold by Costco for only $399. You have to order them now they stopped carrying them in their stores, but everyone else sells this thing for $500 to $700 plus shipping. You can't beat $399.

https://www.costco.com/TRINITY-48"-Stainless-Steel-Rolling-Workbench.product.100161405.html
 

brino

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#9
Congratulations! Welcome to the club.

There is a huge difference between operating the old Lincoln transformer machine and the new Everlast inverter machine.
Could you expand on that? I've never used a transformer based TIG machine. Any suggestions if I ever need to?

let's hope it keeps running and doesn't become a servicing nightmare LOL
Mine has been a dream to own. Personally from what I've heard and read the Everlast support is way better than the blue or red guys machines. Besides, you could probably buy 3 or 4 of the Everlast machines for the price of one of the others!

why couldn't you run w/o the cooler. The cooler is a nice to have, but it isn't necessary is it?
The advantage of the water-cooled torches is that they are often much smaller than the air-cooled and can therefore fit in tighter places. Some of them are so small that they have very little "thermal mass", and they can overheat quickly. That said, I have used my water-cooled torch for tack welding without the cooler running. That Everlast cooler is LOUD! I am thinking of getting a simple air-cooled torch, just so a I can enjoy TIG more without the roar of the cooler.

-brino
 

coolidge

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#10
Brino exactly, that's the value proposition you can buy 2.5 of the Everlast machines for what a comparable Miller will cost you. So if your Everlast dies you could buy a 2nd one while the 1st is being repaired and still be in it for less money than a single Miller.

IF your welder is mission critical to your business, IF you cannot afford to have your welder down, then bite the bullet and buy Miller. I have at least 10 Miller service centers within driving distance of my house for parts and repairs. That's part of what you get for the higher cost Miller and Miller will 2nd day air parts out. But since I'm just a hobbyist Everlast made sense in my case.
 

coolidge

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#11
I did buy the Miller Coolmate 3 torch cooler due to Everlast lying to me and jacking me around on when their Powercool W300 would ship, got fed up with their BS.
 

Holescreek

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#12
The current carrying cable from the machine to the torch is a smaller diameter in water cooled torches because it has the coolant to keep it from overheating and frying. Therefore it is limited in the amps it can withstand when run dry. Without knowing what it could withstand it would be foolish to risk it. The day before the cooler arrived I had an air cooled torch picked out (but not ordered) in case it was going to take awhile. I've read that some people had waited a couple months for coolers to ship.

The first thing I noticed is the Lincoln transformer machine was much more forgiving from a grounding and material prep standpoint. I could be pretty lazy and still get a satisfactory result. It could be just that I had spent more time with it and knew what I could get away with. I ran an earth ground to both the Everlast and my welding bench and sandpapered the bench top and the machine ran fine. Probably just the difference in electronics.

I don't have the luxury of space for a dedicated toolbox to hold filler metal and the factory tubes aren't all that sealed either. I think some capped PVC tubes standing on the cart will solve both my space and exposure issues.
 

Rustrp

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#13
I don't have the luxury of space for a dedicated toolbox to hold filler metal and the factory tubes aren't all that sealed either. I think some capped PVC tubes standing on the cart will solve both my space and exposure issues.
The PVC tubes will work well.

Why did you need to buy a welder for aluminum when you already had one? The Lincoln had the capabilities for aluminum. Was something not working and you could no longer get repalcement parts?
 

Holescreek

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#14
The PVC tubes will work well.

Why did you need to buy a welder for aluminum when you already had one? The Lincoln had the capabilities for aluminum. Was something not working and you could no longer get repalcement parts?
That's a terrific question! Transformer machines can weld aluminum but only at 60 hz because they are limited to what the power company supplies. The square wave tig transformer machine is balanced at 50% + and 50%- to provide cleaning action. The result is a pretty large hot puddle (relatively speaking of course). The inverter machines are tuneable so they can provide frequencies between .5 to 500 Hz, and the wave form (time on + and - AC) can be adjusted for optimal cleaning action and penetration. The higher the frequency the finer (narrower) the weld.

My most recent experience welding aluminum with the Lincoln was a positive one in that it did the job but demonstrated to me that I needed the ability to adjust the welder to achieve better results. Luckily it was a job where I was going to machine the weld back down to shape so it didn't have to look pretty.

A buddy asked me the other day what big welding project I had in mind that required a new welder. My response was that I buy tools that give me the capability to do anything I want before the need arises, not after.
 

Rustrp

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#15
A buddy asked me the other day what big welding project I had in mind that required a new welder. My response was that I buy tools that give me the capability to do anything I want before the need arises, not after.
Spoken like a true addict. :applause 2:

Both machines use 60 Hz because that's what the power company supplies. You can TIG weld aluminum with A.C. or D.C. but A.C. current is where the cleaning action comes in. High frequency is available on the transformer or inverter machine but it really sounds as if the Lincoln didn't have the controls or circuitry, and the bigger question is, do you need it.

Are you a better driver behind the wheel of a Prius or Tesla?

PS. I wasn't comparing Neverlast to Tesla. :)
 
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Holescreek

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#16
PS. I wasn't comparing Neverlast to Tesla. :)
and the bigger question is, do you need it.
Based on your comments I get the feeling that you're biased in some way, just not sure which way. I don't have to need it to want it, I thought we had that all sorted out? :confused:
 

Rustrp

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#17
Based on your comments I get the feeling that you're biased in some way, just not sure which way. I don't have to need it to want it, I thought we had that all sorted out? :confused:
I am biased to Made in America and I can't afford a machine that's going to leave me stranded. It doesn't make sense to buy two or three machines just in case one breaks down or the next container ship hasn't arrived in port, or won't for another month.

My "need" comment was regarding the weld, not the machine. You can produce the same high quality weld from the transformer machine. As I stated, the Lincoln probably didn't have the circuitry. Most of the problems encountered in welding have nothing to do with the machine, it's simple welding basics, and if we miss these we miss a lot. Welding machines are sold based on whistles and bells, with electrical theory that's above the training of most welders. No, I'm not slighting anyone. i.e. I tell my welding salesperson; Show me how the crater fill feature works on my machine. I'm still waiting. If you don't stop and fill the crater at the end of the weld bead, a switch on the control panel isn't going to do it for you.
 

Rustrp

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#18
That's a terrific question! Transformer machines can weld aluminum but only at 60 hz because they are limited to what the power company supplies. The square wave tig transformer machine is balanced at 50% + and 50%- to provide cleaning action. The result is a pretty large hot puddle (relatively speaking of course). The inverter machines are tuneable so they can provide frequencies between .5 to 500 Hz, and the wave form (time on + and - AC) can be adjusted for optimal cleaning action and penetration. The higher the frequency the finer (narrower) the weld.
If high frequency plays such a big part in welding aluminum, how are quality MIG welded aluminum weldments produced? This isn't a provacation question, it's a thought provoking question. Mig aluminum is a D.C. process with no high frequency.
 

Holescreek

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#19
Another good question! But I have neither the training to know nor the desire to search for the answer. I've never run aluminum through my Lincoln Mig.
 

coolidge

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#20
One of the top welders on youtube Jody at weldingtipsandtricks has put the Everlast up against the best Miller has in a head to head challenge and the Everlast matched or beat it. As for Made in USA the guts of the $8,000 Miller, which is 95% of an inverter welder, yeah made in Asia just like the Everlast. I know because I called up Miller and asked them. There are a lot of former made in USA products out there that are now made in Asia, but they are still charging the made in USA high price and not forthcoming about the fact that manufacturing was moved to Asia.
 
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Holescreek

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#21
I'm good with cranky people, I am one most of the time. I still have a few more years till retirement so I remember the good old days too. I work for an OEM supplier to the automotive industry (my night job) and I know that our "made in USA" products are an accumulation of parts from all over the world and that when we receive finished product from our Japanese parent company and repackage it to go to US customers a "made in USA" label is stuck on the box. Conversely when we ship our US made products to Japan they do the same thing after changing the packaging. You tell the customers what they want to hear.

I can say that it was seeing the 250EX in a lot of Jody's videos that convinced me to go that way. It was especially apparent to me because he uses it on a lot of his videos where the brand isn't mentioned and the welder isn't the subject of the video. The other deciding factor was the lack of negative comments on the internet. There's no shortage of negative comments on everything else on the net but I couldn't find anyone complaining about anything but shipping times and most of those were during the dock workers strike in CA a year or two ago.
 

Rustrp

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#22
One of the top welders on youtube Jody at weldingtipsandtricks has put the Everlast up against the best Miller has in a head to head challenge and the Everlast matched or beat it. As for Made in USA the guts of the $8,000 Miller, which is 95% of an inverter welder, yeah made in Asia just like the Everlast. I know because I called up Miller and asked them. There are a lot of former made in USA products out there that are now made in Asia, but they are still charging the made in USA high price and not forthcoming about the fact that manufacturing was moved to Asia.
I was providing factual information not opinion. The Lincoln 175 can produce a quality aluminum TIG weld and I was asking why he purchased a new welder. Can you provide supporting information to support your comments? Mr Tig supports the Everlast also because he provides an upgrade package for the standard junk that comes with the welder, and it's junk too. As he said; "One out of so many foot pedals don't work correctly."
 
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Rustrp

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#23
I'm good with cranky people, I am one most of the time. I still have a few more years till retirement so I remember the good old days too. I work for an OEM supplier to the automotive industry (my night job) and I know that our "made in USA" products are an accumulation of parts from all over the world and that when we receive finished product from our Japanese parent company and repackage it to go to US customers a "made in USA" label is stuck on the box. Conversely when we ship our US made products to Japan they do the same thing after changing the packaging. You tell the customers what they want to hear.

I can say that it was seeing the 250EX in a lot of Jody's videos that convinced me to go that way. It was especially apparent to me because he uses it on a lot of his videos where the brand isn't mentioned and the welder isn't the subject of the video. The other deciding factor was the lack of negative comments on the internet. There's no shortage of negative comments on everything else on the net but I couldn't find anyone complaining about anything but shipping times and most of those were during the dock workers strike in CA a year or two ago.
I wasn't knocking your choice, I was addressing the *why you purchased a new welder* and you stated the reason and that's good enough. I was pointing out some technical areas. I have four welders and I never bought a new welder based on something better than what I had, the purchase was based on the welding process(es) that needed to be done. My overall point was, your Lincoln will produce a weld comparable to the Everlast.
 

Reeltor

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#24
The timing of this thread is spot on. Earlier today I asked a friend who is a certified welder about the differences between an inverter and a transformer machine. He didn't know but it sounds like the ability to change the frequency when welding aluminum and the weight difference are pluses.

I have a square wave 175 and it works very well for what I use it for and at best I'm a hack welder. The electronics may be dated, I think I bought my welder back in the 90's. Lincoln is also selling inverter units, I don't know where they are made.
 

Holescreek

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#25
I was providing factual information not opinion. The Lincoln 175 can produce a quality aluminum TIG weld and I was asking why he purchased a new welder. Can you provide supporting information to support your comments? Mr Tig supports the Everlast also because he provides an upgrade package for the standard junk that comes with the welder, and it's junk too. As he said; "One out of so many foot pedals don't work correctly."
I saw that video too. I don't remember what all was on his list of stuff he was replacing aside from attaching a $14 plug on the end of the power cord but I do remember his mentioning the foot pedal. I did note that Everlast sells "better" foot pedals on their site and provides the pinout in the manual for those that want to adapt the machine to something else. I wonder what the mark-up cost is for "Mr. TIG" to upgrade the otherwise stock welder (and slap his brand on it)? All he has to do is tell you what you want to hear (it's junk, but not the welder of course, just the stuff he's replacing) to convince you that he's doing you a favor by upping the cost. In fact, I wonder if he's having Everlast make the changes to his specs and drop shipping them?
 

Holescreek

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#26
My overall point was, your Lincoln will produce a weld comparable to the Everlast.
It must just be psychological then, in the last couple days of experimenting with the settings and I've produced dozens of welds that look better than I was able to produce with the Lincoln. It could just be that given all my new choices I never once turned the frequency down to 60 hz and set the balance to 50%. :D
 

coolidge

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#27
I'm good with cranky people, I am one most of the time. I still have a few more years till retirement so I remember the good old days too. I work for an OEM supplier to the automotive industry (my night job) and I know that our "made in USA" products are an accumulation of parts from all over the world and that when we receive finished product from our Japanese parent company and repackage it to go to US customers a "made in USA" label is stuck on the box. Conversely when we ship our US made products to Japan they do the same thing after changing the packaging. You tell the customers what they want to hear.

I can say that it was seeing the 250EX in a lot of Jody's videos that convinced me to go that way. It was especially apparent to me because he uses it on a lot of his videos where the brand isn't mentioned and the welder isn't the subject of the video. The other deciding factor was the lack of negative comments on the internet. There's no shortage of negative comments on everything else on the net but I couldn't find anyone complaining about anything but shipping times and most of those were during the dock workers strike in CA a year or two ago.
There were some quality problems with Everlast but it was back in 2014 and prior years. On the other hand purchasing Miller or Lincoln is no guarantee you won't have issues, they have better support, quicker repair times but they are not immune to break downs either. Jody is the man, what little I have learned about TIG has mostly been from his videos.
 

coolidge

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#28
It must just be psychological then, in the last couple days of experimenting with the settings and I've produced dozens of welds that look better than I was able to produce with the Lincoln. It could just be that given all my new choices I never once turned the frequency down to 60 hz and set the balance to 50%. :D
I started with a Lincoln 210MP, hated it. I was running nice beads with the Everlast 255ext in a fraction of the practice time. And we haven't even talked about the pulse features yet, here's a first time outside corner fusion join using a 1 second pulse, 50/50 power at a 1 second interval, the machine did all the hard work. My tack welds left, middle, right, but look at the pulsed beads in-between, that's with no practice, the pulse feature freezing the puddle behind me, fusion weld no filler rod.

 

Rustrp

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#29
The timing of this thread is spot on. Earlier today I asked a friend who is a certified welder about the differences between an inverter and a transformer machine. He didn't know but it sounds like the ability to change the frequency when welding aluminum and the weight difference are pluses.

I have a square wave 175 and it works very well for what I use it for and at best I'm a hack welder. The electronics may be dated, I think I bought my welder back in the 90's. Lincoln is also selling inverter units, I don't know where they are made.
The frequency adjustment do-hickey does the same thing as the arc balance knob. Primarily the cleaning action of A.C. current when welding aluminum is accomplished by electrons bombarding the metal and the arc balance or frequency adjustment stabilizes the arc, and a stable arc in any welding process results in a better weld. The frequency adjustment (arc balance) also takes advantage of the penetrating properties when the current cycles into what would be electrode negative in a DCEN setting. A lot of improvement can be made in welding performance if we take the time to understand the polarity settings and electron flow. I work at presenting useful information and I realize many imparting information are YouTube trained and haven't moved beyond dipping their tungsten long enough to actually weld a bead. Keep your 175 and keep practicing, you'll do okay.
 

Rustrp

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#30
I saw that video too
If he was promoting the welder he was doing a pathetic job. I think every manufacturer has upgrades, but upgrades to make the equipment function is sad.
 
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