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Old 11-09-2010, 11:11 PM   #1
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Default Another welding thread

I have to have a welder. There's no way around it. There's simply WAY too much that I want to do, on all my projects, that requires fabrication. I go to great lengths to get around things that could have quickly been fabbed up, costing money...and more importantly TIME.

I've done decent with what little welding I've done...but that was all on what I'm sure is very expensive equipment up at school.


MAX budget:

$500

USE:

Hobby fab, maybe twice a month

Duty cycle:

Low. I'll probably take more breaks than the machine needs.

Quality:

I'm not really concerned with pretty welds. I'm good with a grinder, and just need function.

Other:

I'm hesitant about using gas. I know it would open up doors...and I'd LOVE to be able to handle aluminum...but cost, space and skill are prohibitive.


I can check used...but I've been scouring local for months. It seems there's a real strong welder market and people are proud of their machines. Anything even decently priced is gone in a heartbeat, before I can do research.


I really did search. I know we have good threads on this, but varying terms in a google site search didn't bring them up on first page or so.


TIA
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Old 11-09-2010, 11:19 PM   #2
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Just to throw my 2 pence in the bucket... I bought a welder with very very similar goals/intentions in mind. I ended up with a 110v Lincoln flux core. It was $250-ish at Lowes and hasn't given me any problems what so ever. If conditions are perfect, it makes pretty decent welds with minimal spatter, but even in the crappiest conditions (through paint, surface rust etc.) it still sticks the metal together and gets decent penetration. Cheap, effective and dependable. Take it for what it's worth.
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Old 11-09-2010, 11:22 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baron340 View Post
Just to throw my 2 pence in the bucket... I bought a welder with very very similar goals/intentions in mind. I ended up with a 110v Lincoln flux core. It was $250-ish at Lowes and hasn't given me any problems what so ever. If conditions are perfect, it makes pretty decent welds with minimal spatter, but even in the crappiest conditions (through paint, surface rust etc.) it still sticks the metal together and gets decent penetration. Cheap, effective and dependable. Take it for what it's worth.


Thanks.


Something like this?

http://www.amazon.com/Lincoln-Electr.../dp/B000QFMB60
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Old 11-09-2010, 11:28 PM   #4
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For a mig or fluxcore on the hobby level, a hobart is the way to go. I have the older Hobart Handler 175 and it is an awesome machine. I ran it with flux core, worked awesome, and now i run it with gas, also works great.

As far as gas and aluminum go, i would suggest getting C25 gas for the MIG, its so much cleaner than flux core.
Aluminum needs a whole new level of welder, most of which cost above $1000. You don't want a tig as your only machine, it takes way more prep, time, and skill. So i would advise getting a MIG for now, and later saving for a tig if you decide.

Now you have to decide between 120 and 240 volt supply power. The 240 really opens up the capability to weld 1/4 material correctly. The 120 is very portable, but has less power.

I bought my machine "reconditioned" from toolking, and it came brand new.

120 volt machine-439
http://www.toolking.com/hobart-50050...welder-a-stock

240 volt machine-589
http://www.toolking.com/hobart-50052...welder-a-stock

If you're planning on anything 1/4 inch or more, get the bigger machine, but there really isn't much on miatas or other small projects that needs to be that big.

Evan Witty
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Old 11-09-2010, 11:38 PM   #5
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Oh yeah...

My garage is wired to run a friggin' swing lathe. I almost took one home from work this summer...

So 240 is more than feasible even with compressor and all else running, but it looks like I don't really need it. I may end up welding diff mounts, but I believe that's less than 1/4.
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Old 11-10-2010, 12:31 AM   #6
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What about this one for $200 less?

http://cgi.ebay.com/Hobart-500521A-R...item5add1b4657

Little less capability and looks like no provision for gas...but honestly will probably do everything I'd do with the other one.
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Old 11-10-2010, 01:01 AM   #7
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I'd get one that at least has the provision for gas as I assume as your skills improve you will want to make the switch. Eventually you will tire of just globbing things together and having to grind on welds to make them presentable.

I have a Lincoln 175 plus 220V MIG and Syncrowave 180 Miller TIG. Both are decent for the money and I can cover everything I need to do because the TIG does stick as well.
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Old 11-10-2010, 01:05 AM   #8
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Flux core will drive you batty. it's messy and ugly. gas is the way to go.

there are lots of 175ish size 220V machines that do gas from all the big brands. shop around for a new one or find a cheap used one.

skip cheap welders without infinite current control ***** (ie high-low type switches).

also the nice thing about the big brands is you can replace everything that breaks. this is a bonus if you find a rough used unit that needs a reconditioning.

miller/hobart/lincoln.
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Old 11-10-2010, 01:19 AM   #9
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I forgot my brother's gf works at Lowe's and gets a discount...

http://www.lowes.com/ProductDisplay?...llow&cId=PDIO1

This is what I'm looking at per the two valued opinions above.


EDIT: Looks like that's still not infinite controls
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Old 11-10-2010, 01:30 AM   #10
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too bad your not local, i'm thinking of selling my lincoln weldpak 100. my experience: nice little welder. 110v but it really does prefer a nice feed. easy to use. i use co2 gas with it, but i've heard c25 produces a little bit cleaner weld. (the co2 gets a little more oomph out of a small welder iirc). i spent 90 bucks or so and got an alminum kit for it but i never liked my aluminum welds much. they were functional, but pretty fugly.

what i'd recommend would be a little bit more horsepower than the 100. go for a 220v hobby mig. the 180 is probably overkill but alot of these units have really good depreciation curves so take a look at that before u decide.

harbor freight has little 20# gas bottles for 60 bucks now. you can buy that, take it to your welding supply store and swap it for a C25 for i would guess in the 20-30 buck range. regulator is 30. totals out to $120ish for gas.
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Old 11-10-2010, 01:34 AM   #11
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I always wanted a 220v and was about to buy the lincoln 180. but since i got divorced decided i should just go with a 110v.

so far i love my lincoln 140, its a great machine i just need to buy a better mask.

if you have 220v go for it, you might regret it later if you end up with a 110v when you could be welding thicker metals etc.
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Old 11-10-2010, 02:01 AM   #12
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http://houston.craigslist.org/tls/2049625856.html

I think I found a good local used deal on a no-compromises machine.

120V
MIG
infinite controls


cheap

comes with cart
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Old 11-10-2010, 03:33 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gospeed81 View Post
http://houston.craigslist.org/tls/2049625856.html

I think I found a good local used deal on a no-compromises machine.

120V
MIG
infinite controls


cheap

comes with cart
looks good to me, millermatics are as good as they come. buy it.
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Old 11-10-2010, 03:34 AM   #14
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infinite control?
can u get gas thrown in?

i'd go for the lowes one if its similar price. employee discount=25%?
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Old 11-10-2010, 03:42 AM   #15
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Lincoln 140HD, its what i have...

/thread

once you get pretty good with flux core it tends to not look so bad. the 140HD also comes with regulators and hose hookups for shielding gas. swapping between the two is simple...
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Old 11-10-2010, 10:18 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wittyworks View Post
looks good to me, millermatics are as good as they come. buy it.
on my way to see this one...skipping my first class...LOL

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonb View Post
infinite control?
can u get gas thrown in?

i'd go for the lowes one if its similar price. employee discount=25%?

Don't know what all is included besides the cart...will see.

Lowe's discount is only 10%, and I'd prefer the infinite control and high capability. At least I have something solid to compare to.
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Old 11-10-2010, 11:23 AM   #17
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I'm in the same path as the OP, but I have no experience in welding at all. I would like to be able to weld aluminum, but not if its going to cost me $1000 just for the welding gear. 230V is standard over here, so 110V is moot. In for high quality welds, I'm very patient and in no rush when things have to be done properly. So time is not a factor, just the quality.

Where do I start reading?

Thanks,
The Welding N00b.
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Old 11-10-2010, 11:29 AM   #18
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I used this for a guide. It has some video too.

http://www.mig-welding.co.uk/tutorial.htm

Frank
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Old 11-10-2010, 12:29 PM   #19
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Get gas as someone previously mentioned.

I would never play with flux core if i had the option for gas.


I have a Miller DVI2. 110/220 input with auto detection.
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Old 11-10-2010, 12:44 PM   #20
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I have a Lincoln 140HD that I use a lot and I love the hell out of it. I do wish it was 220 sometimes but it does the job just fine. I have welding roll cages, locost frame, and all kind of stuff to the bus and it works like a charm.

On the cages, when I had everything tacked together and I would start doing the final welding, it could get a litle hot and shut down for 5 minutes. That was only after some long sessions and I think that can be solved with an aux fan. If you have the menas to do 220, then I would do that, but the 140HD in 120v probably everything you need.
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