I did a little more looking and there are a few welders that look really nice that have good reviews on Craigslist right now:


Mac (Miller) 240V 250A MIG, workhorse of a welder, $650


Mac (miller) 110V 130A MIG, medium-decent reviews, $300


BADASS Miller TIG, $3000


Medium Lincoln TIG, $1900


High-end Miller MIG setup for aluminum $2700

Unless we’re going to buy new, this is probably going to have to be the kind of thing where someone gets authorized to spend XXX amount of $. We’re not going to have time to find, vote by membership and still have good stuff be around without selling.

Food for thought.

Another thing to bear in mind is that those prices are likely negotiable, particularly if whoever does the purchase will use cash. I don’t have much to contribute, but I’m certainly willing to help with setup/pickup if the Hive decides to buy one or more of the above.

That is an awesome MIG in the last link. I think it is a bit pricey. Will discuss the budget at tomorrow’s meeting and then whoever wants in on deciding what welder to get in the next week can pipe up and we can get this done!


That’s more like a perfect MIG for the hive if you ask me. 3/16 is what is rated to do but dudes on Amazon are claiming to weld half inch (!) with it by tweaking settings.



I'm traveling and won't be at tonight's meeting.

The welder should be a point of new business. I'd like to get Craig
to weigh in, but I think we have the budget and interest to acquire a
HIVE owned welding setup. It would be an investment like the laser,
and would be a popular addition.

I'm in favor of a motion to agree on function/size and authorize Jon
and DaveB to spend up to $X ($3,500?) in the next month to shop for
the best deal and get a good one. I presume Craig would cut a check
once we have an agreed deal. Count me as a "YES" vote on this.

Side notes, will we have proper electric service, what support
supplies do we need besides the welder (safety equipment, gas, wire,
etc.) and what related metal working capabilities, plasma cutter,
sheet metal forming, go with welding. Do we charge ourselves a
nominal rate for welding like we do for the laser?


I won’t be at the meeting tonight either, but I was learning to weld before it broke. My vote on buying an awesome welder is YES.

I have some concerns about paying to use it though. This welder will be paid for by the savings from membership dues/money already acquired, correct? Unlike the laser which needed “fundraising” from members to purchase. Since the money is coming straight from dues (or other donations already given to the hive), I think that members at the very least should get free welding time. I think it is a bad turn if we start charging for every piece of equipment that has some consumable part. I feel like that doesn’t fit with what/who we are, and I for one would get a bit frustrated if more and more things become “pay to use” even though I pay for membership. I understand the necessity of the laser pay system, but in this case I think it is different. With more and more members supporting the space, I think we are in a position now to buy larger items; AND allow them free to use.

Regardless I am super excited that we will have a “new” welder at the hive again! :slight_smile:


Yea , that last one be pretty nice one I would think for the Hive , I do know Cincinnati from the past though is very picky about conditions / environment around the welder. May get away with something like the 140 in Hive much easier. I know the biggest issue is the wood floors , and of course the fumes and gases with a workout studio below. The argon etc will sink down there and build up.
Just some FYI things to be aware of. I think anything bigger and lot that would need to be addressed or if someones doing prolonged welding.

I know its not really my place to say but the cost of welder consumables is silly cheap (exception wire ) , Mig tips last a long time as long as your welding well there like buck and would last Hive years I would think and the Gas , I highly recommend Weld Plus they dont charge for Tank rental its like a 75-150 buck deposit you get refunded when you return the tank or can exchange cylinders for cost the gas I would think a tank last you guys year probably last you guys years as well less someone leaves it on and leaks out. Theres lot rules and regs on tanks and someone giving you tanks with the welder will probably be pretty much useless to you for refilling. Most other gas shops charge like a 10 cent day rental fee , thus Weld Plus = Win for tanks for someone planing to have the tank for years to come.

There is a small exception but its lot work and pain and the arse to get set up but if the tanks are from F&M , and you have the sales bill purchase of them and get them added to a account with F&M and the nozzles are current model of check valves etc, There not a bad place either , but any old tanks that need to be tested and the check valves upgraded your talking several hundreds 600+ a tank. Why I’d recommend Weld Plus.

We already have a small argon tank that came with another welder. I can’t remember the exact size but 40 cubic feet sounds about right. Not huge, but it gets the job done for us. There is a place right down the road a mile or two that quite a few people who have come to the space have recommended.

As for charging to use the welder: I think we should go more with an honor system on this one. Although since there are consumables I would say only members should be allowed to use it (people who aren’t members occasionally use some tools. Rare, but it happens) and if you are going to be doing a large amount of welding then chip in a little bit to use it. To fill up our gas cylinder costs around $40 I think and a 1lb spool of wire is maybe $10, but you can do a looottt of welding with that much. Still, if you’ve got a big project then kick in 5 or 10 to pay for it.

This is also one of those things where we need to start being strict about people using it. I really don’t think it is a good idea for someone to come down to the space because they want to weld, mess with it for 30 mins, and then leave. We currently have lots of wood in the area where welding takes place (even though we said we would stop welding some people continued to weld) and it is a pretty dangerous situation right now. I plan on bringing this up to figure out a solution tonight.

If we are going to get 220s wired in, would it be better to actually have the welders in the dirty room rather than near all the wood? Plus there is the ventilation there - if its working.

I found a Millermatic 211 kit (welder, brand new for $1068. There is a 5% rebate on this which will bring the net cost to me pretty close to $1000. I’m thinking I’m going to eat the difference between the $1000 approved and the cost of the machine. It’s a 120 / 240 convertible MIG. Does up to 210amps on 240. Can use a standard mig torch or a spool gun, comes with standard torch. Rated to do up to 3/8 thick steel in a single pass.

Unless there are objections, I’m probably going to pull the trigger on this tomorrow.


Any thoughts Ryan 2.0? I’ll try to call you tomorrow.


Might try http://www.weldingsuppliesfromioc.com/miller-millermatic-211-with-auto-set-and-mvp-907422 its a dollar more but its in Indianapolis vs Maryland. And more apt to work with you if it has a issue than a All sales final policy.
Miller also running rebate.

That’s pretty good one for Hive I’d say even has newbie setting =D

What steered me away from the place in Indy is that they charge Ohio sales tax @ 6.5%

Buying new it has a 3 year warranty from miller and 5 year on the electronics.


Wow really when other states start charging sales tax ? Usually companies only do that if they have a distribution warehouse in the state I thought.

They probably do have a distribution warehouse in Ohio. They’re in Indianapolis. :slight_smile:

Umm, Could someone just drive to Indianapolis and buy it, and bring it back, thusly avoiding the sales tax? or is that balanced out by the gas you’d burn going there and back? (plus whatever local sales tax they charge at the store)


Currently, the way to avoid sales tax is to purchase from a company that does not have any substantial operations in your state and have goods shipped across state lines. If you drive to another state and go shopping in person, you will pay local sales tax on your purchases.

I know what I’m doing here. Really.


I know I’m a little late to the discussion, but I do have one recommendation. Whichever welding unit you guys decide on, I really recommend making sure it has a pedal-style attachment, or at least the capability to add one at a later date. In general they’re much easier to work with than the trigger-based ones.

MIGs don’t have foot pedals in general. TIGs do.

Yea, auto feed welders might be a bit annoying. You would want something you can control the feed of. That's why those test strips have so many big globs on them, you slow down, the feed wont