115 Volt Mig- Pushing the Limits on a AHP 140

Why would I ever chose to use a 115 volt mig welder on something like an engine hoist?


Well, I dont have many other good choices today.

I am in the process of relocating my welding equipment to another shop... and my previous welding shop has been vacated and in fact kind of gutted. 

There is no more 230volt power, no air compressor, and no forklift.
And we need to move some heavy stuff outside....and be able to get it off the truck at the new location.



So I am doing a bare bones weld repair with almost nothing but an angle grinder and a small 115 volt mig welder.

I normally dont ever need to use a small 115 volt mig welder

Because I have several welding machines. I have a Lincoln Powermig 350mp. a Thermal Arc fabricator 252,... along with about 5 other 230volt  mig welders.

But because of having moved all of those out of the shop...and the fact that I dont have any 230 volt power, I am trying to get this quick weld repair done with bare bones stuff.

Now I know I am really spoiled when it comes to welding tools and machines.

Why do I say that?

Because  I have a Stronghand Buildpro precision welding table along with several nice welding machines plus all kinds of clamps and fixturing tools and all that stuff makes fabrication and even modification or equipment repairs way easier than it would be without it....  

but today, I am doing things things like most of the rest of the world gets things done...on my knees, using a 4-1/2" grinder, a square and a small 115 volt mig.


Why I feel confident using this 115 volt mig welder

Because I have done some destructive tests using co2 gas and the same settings.

Thats it... plain and simple.  I ran tests, and tried to break the welds.Also, whenever I use a small mig welder, I weld everything that is vertical uphill using a technique where I trace the puddle...

Have you checked out the forum lately? click the welder guy below




I had the chance to weld some test pieces a few months back and I smashed them in a press to see what settings would penetrate 1/4" thick steel.

there is nothing quite as instructional a welding something and then ...while the puddle is still fresh in your mind ...trying to break the weld to let you know if you are seeing what you think you are seeing in that weld puddle. 

For example, I used some self shielding flux core wire with the same machine and thought it was penetrating but the press told me otherwise.   

But bare wire with co2 gas worked good...and penetrated well enough to hold up to the hydraulic press.


115v mig Settings that worked

I dont really know what exact voltage I was using because the knobs dont display voltage ...only letters and numbers.  

all I know is I had the voltage maxed out and the wire speed set to around 120 inches per minute using .030" (0.8mm) er70s6 wire.

Now 120 ipm  sounds really low for wire speed doesnt it? 

CO2 always uses less wire speed for a given voltage than 75/25 ar/co2.

Or...another way of saying that is CO2 gas always requires more voltage for a given wire speed than 75/25 gas.

Last weeks video talked about heat input and one of the things that increases heat input is increasing voltage.  Increased voltage  combined with using a slower travel speed that comes from using lower wire speed, makes for more heat input ...

and more heat input when you are using a small 115 volt mig welder is a good thing.


A word of caution for welding with a 115 volt mig...

There are big differences from one small mig welder to another. 

Some are cheap and wimpy. Others are impressive as to what you can weld with only 115 volt power.

Be careful what you weld and always test your settings using test welds periodically that you break with a press or with a big hammer.

See more mig welding videos like this one on using a 115 volt mig

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