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"I just saw the 'Hands On' photo gallery, and I am awed at the work Kevin has done! It's one thing to see the finished product but being able to see how it was built is amazing."
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Torture Test: The AHP AlphaMIG 250 MIG Welder

Kevin has gotten several requests for a torture test of the AHP AlphaMIG 250 MIG welder to see what it can do when it's pushed to its duty cycle. Here it is!

Kevin has a nasty old piece of 1/2" steel plate from the scrap bin clamped to his workbench.

The welder is set at 29 volts and about 600 inches of wirefeed, which is just about maxed out. The machine wants .035 wire to go to 30 volts, and Kevin has some .030 wire in it, so he's going to keep it at 29 volts.

He has a timer set up, so Kevin will trip the timer, fire the gun, and weld until the machine quits.

The welder keeps going but the sound of the weld gets flatter and ruder as it does. After about 6 minutes, Kevin notices that the torch is starting to sputter. "I think the gun is overheating," he says. "I know my finger is overheating."

He keeps welding as the timer hits 7 minutes, then 8. At 8:15 the welder was still trying to weld, but Kevin could feel a hum, like the gun was getting hot - you can see the gun smoking a little. It almost felt like the wire was starting to bind up, but the machine was still going. The overtemp light wasn't lit, either, even if metal is still glowing.

For everyone who wondered if this welder can cut the mustard: yes. And it can cook the hot dogs at the same time!

Kevin is going to let the machine cool off, and once it cools down, he'll try a torture test on the machine's stick welder (arc welder).

Before you take off, stick around for a moment to see what Kevin's infrared thermometer reveals about just how hot that piece of 1/2" steel got .....

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