MIG welding is by far the most common type of welding used by hobbyists—it’s easy, the equipment is relatively affordable, and it can be applied to everything from thin sheetmetal repair to heavy frame fabrication. For general-purpose use, a good MIG, such as Miller Electric Mfg.’s Millermatic 211 Auto-Set with multi-voltage plug (MVP) is the perfect machine for hot rodders.
Miller has made MIG welding even easier now with its Auto-Set and MVP features. With Auto-Set, you do just that: set the machine to the desired material thickness and the wire size being used and it automatically sets the wire speed and amperage for you (it can also be used on manual mode as well, allowing the user to fine-tune the settings for specific applications). The MVP gives you the option of using either a 120V or 230V power supply, simply with the change of the plug—the machine senses power input and automatically adjusts accordingly. Obviously, this makes for the ideal beginner’s MIG welder, but don’t let that rule out use for those of you who are intermediate and more advanced welders.
The Millermatic 211 has a power output rating of 90 amps (20 percent duty cycle) using 120 V—but at 230 V, it has the highest output of its class at 150 amps (30 percent duty cycle), with the ability to weld 24-gauge to 3/8-inch mild steel. Along with smooth, virtually spatter-free arcs, the MIG gun features a built-in short-circuit detection that automatically shuts the machine down temporarily whenever the tip is shorted to the working material and is reset simply by releasing the trigger. There’s loads more to the 211 Auto-Set that we’ll get into once we put ’er to the test—for now, we have to get everything set up and ready to go.