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Thread: Welder Advice

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    Default Welder Advice

    First off, not sure im in the right section but if not hopefully the mods will fix that!

    So im in the market for a new welder.

    Heres the deal, im ok with a stick and i can use a mig but I would like to get better with a mig. I plan to use it to build things like bumpers and trailers. I have access to 220 and i dont think I want anything other than that.

    So here is question one, mig or stick? I know mig is pricey but im not to familiar with it. Isnt it better for what im trying to do?

    question 2, what kind? Price IS a factor! However so is durability and quality. Whats the best for the money? Brand, model everything?

    What else will i need? Gas? so on. Again not too familiar, i understand that use can use argon or another gas or use a special wire. whats the pros for each? What would the whole package set me back?

    I know there are some knowledge able guys out there. let me know what you think.

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    http://www.hobartwelders.com/products/wirefeed/

    Check the link out it will give you an idea of the prices. Tractor supply has the best price on welders in my area, i would suggest checking with them and comparing prices. Migs are great, I use one at work alot, but I personally can't justify buying one for my garage.

    For what you are trying to do I would say stick.

    If you have your heart set on mig I would suggest the handler 187 from hobart.

    You will need a tank and gas, or you can run the flux core wire, I would suggest getting the gas. I can check what it costs tomarrow, but you can get a small bottle and it is relatively inexpensive. The initial buy in is what will be the bitch.

    welder hobart 187: 875
    extension 50ft: 140
    .030 wire 1 spool: 20
    Helmet(name brand auto dark): 100

    That's all off the top of my head, you'll also want some other small stuff like a chipping hammer/brush, that goop that you dip the tip in to keep the slag from ****in it up.. the list goes on and on. but I covered the bigger stuff.
    Last edited by 94zj; 11-16-2010 at 23:01.

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    IMHO buy the best you can afford. Im in a certified welder program right now and get to play with all the cool toys. I've become pretty partial to Miller. I like the Millermatic 252, but that bad boy is mucho expensivo. Not sure if youre looking for that much machine or not. A 252 will do up to 1/2in. The one thing I do know is that no one I know ever said "man I wish I had bought a smaller welder" Generally they stop welding because they dropped a decent amount on a welder that wasnt capable for what they were doing. Nothing as frustrating as having a welder and still having to take parts to someone else to weld cause your welder aint gonna cut it.

    Gas:
    Ar/CO2 for ferrous
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    Ar/He aluminum
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    My Dad is pretty stingy when it comes to buying stuff for his shop. It was surprising that his Lincoln mig welder works well. I build a trailer hitch this weekend with it and it did flawlessly for everything I needed. It runs on 110, don't remember which one he has, but loved how well it worked. I can get more info about it tomorrow when I am back at his shop.

    Good luck with the choice. I love mig over stick.
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    I have done lots of welding with my Harbor Freight 220 Mig running off both a dryer and stove outlet. Not top of the line by any means...but I got it re-conditioned for $129. It runs flux core and gas. I've done an SOA with it for a member here, I've also done a lot of frame repair for another member. I'm not welding enough to warrant buying a top of the line professional grade welder, but I've run both Miller's and Lincoln's and they run real nice, but they are a lot of coin. My HF auto-dark helmet works like a champ and didn't break the bank either.

    With my HF welder (Chicago Electric) I can weld 1/4" mild steel with flux core and 3/8" with gas no problem. I'd go buy a nicer one if I could though.
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    get the best "brand" you can afford. i have a few welders, miller 135, miller 210, miller shopmate 300a. i have ran aluminum through all of them without issue as well. i can tig with the shopmate also.

    you'll find when it comes to doing continuous welds say in rockers, tube fenders, skids that the cheaper brand welders dont compare. most that do "hobbyist" welding will do fine with a HF though. i just did a fuel tank for a guy and used my 135 because its more portable and ran through 11lbs of wires without a hickup i ran it till the thermal light came on then took a break to let it cool. i started with a hobart and a HF (chicago electric i think) that were both useless and finicky. you can find used 135-140's for under $500 if you shop around. i found my 135 at a garage sale for $100 and it needed $180 roughly in parts to get it going. still cheaper and better than most.

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    I just purchase one of this with free shipping.(The welder by itself is $625.00 Lincoln 180)
    The whole set for $499.00.

    http://store.weldingdepot.com/cgi/we...t/K2788-2.html
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    Quote Originally Posted by warrior View Post
    I just purchase one of this with free shipping.(The welder by itself is $625.00 Lincoln 180)
    The whole set for $499.00.

    http://store.weldingdepot.com/cgi/we...t/K2788-2.html
    Very tempting package.... I think I'll bite....

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    Nice setup that should keep your stuff stuck to your Jeep.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 91YEEPER View Post
    get the best "brand" you can afford. i have a few welders, miller 135, miller 210, miller shopmate 300a. i have ran aluminum through all of them without issue as well. i can tig with the shopmate also.

    you'll find when it comes to doing continuous welds say in rockers, tube fenders, skids that the cheaper brand welders dont compare. most that do "hobbyist" welding will do fine with a HF though. i just did a fuel tank for a guy and used my 135 because its more portable and ran through 11lbs of wires without a hickup i ran it till the thermal light came on then took a break to let it cool. i started with a hobart and a HF (chicago electric i think) that were both useless and finicky. you can find used 135-140's for under $500 if you shop around. i found my 135 at a garage sale for $100 and it needed $180 roughly in parts to get it going. still cheaper and better than most.
    Good advice and allow me to toss in:

    I have been thru a few of various sizes. Lincoln is damn good, Hobart a bit better. Bang for buck HF/Northern Tool is fine. That said how much service (time) and what do you intend to weld?

    Just kickin around the garage, weld up a broke buddys rig stuff like that any of the above will do, some better, some better and longer.

    Want to go the distance with a welder, want to be able to sell it and not for junk prices in a garage sale, want to PUSH the limits of use, time and thickness, run an ad in the newpapers and have folks show up cash in had to buy it that day...then its MILLER time all the way.

    Did not say the others are bad or not worth salt, but Miller is the box.

    NOTE: Miller does NOT make a hobby box, the rest do. All Millers are to professional specs. Drive a Miller and you will know why.

    Got 220v, but maybe not at the next duty station, then here is the box for you: Millermatic 211 Auto-Set http://www.millerwelds.com/products/...p?model=M00245

    Miller MIG camparo: http://www.millerwelds.com/products/mig/onephase.php

    This is the unit I use, its the same as a 212, but less duty cycle. AND it will run on 110v, also smaller unit.
    20092009217.jpg
    I bought mine for $812 bucks out the door. Check Indiana Oxygen on ebay, I have bought units from them also.

    While we are on this note, here are some other recommendations:

    Wire: Lincoln wire is the best, the rest are coat hangars far as I am concerned, ok, not that bad, I try to use Lincoln but generally have to order it. Washington is fine and so are any of the MAJOR names. DO NOT BUY HF or other low cost wires, just say no!

    Gas or flux-core wire. GAS. If you buy a low end welder then flux core is fine. Most units are not set up for gas till you get to 220v or near. Yes Flux is easier to use, but just not the same results.

    Helmet: Optrel, made in Sweden, std issue at the Ferrari plant, Lambo, MB and most other high end factories across Europe. Others are Jackson, Speedglass.
    08022008155.jpg
    Having said that...I would go with a good but small unit and GROW into more. I suggest the Miller 140 or 180 (220v only) and see if this is something you really like as a hobby. If so, then make the jump. Begining with a Miller will let you recoup most of your cost when you go to sell it...as I have learned.

    When I first started a professional welder who I befriended for advice said: "Don, buy a Miller and if you don't like welding I will give you what you paid for the Miller, anything els not interested"



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