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Old 07-14-2010, 05:43 PM   #1
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Default Welder suggestions

What with the new project, and being goaded by Brainack's recent exhaust thread, I'm finding myself goaded into buying a new welder for things like exhaust tubes, brackets, panels, whatnot.

My last unit was a cheap Harbor Freight unit that ran fluxcore only, had two voltage settings, and operated off of 120v. It worked, but I was never really happy with it. So I'm looking to spend a tad more money this time and get something a bit nicer.

I've been looking very closely at the Lincoln 180T, which will run me about $600 at Lowes with the 10% post office coupon.

Then, quite by chance, I happened across This Unit at Eastwood. Same basic specs, $100 less, and it includes a spool gun, which is $200 extra for the Lincoln unit.

Can anybody explain to me why I shouldn't buy the Eastwood unit?
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Old 07-14-2010, 05:51 PM   #2
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Can anybody explain to me why I shouldn't buy the Eastwood unit?
Easily... back in about 1987 I bought a Lincoln SP-100, great little welder. My friends who couldn't stomach paying $700 bought varying off-brand units for about $400 being sold by other vendors.

Fast forward 24 years... guess which of us can still get parts (like gun tips and shields). All I have to do is go to any welding supply place that deals in Lincolns (most all of them) and at worst they have to order the tips.

The other thing to consider is that my SP-100 actually makes better welds in thicker material than most of the off-brand units that are "rated" at a fair bit more amperage.
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Old 07-14-2010, 05:56 PM   #3
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I'd buy Lincoln or Miller or Hobart. That is it.

I'd also suggest buying used... let someone else take the hit.
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Old 07-14-2010, 05:59 PM   #4
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Lincoln and Miller are the only machines you should ever consider.
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Old 07-14-2010, 06:06 PM   #5
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got the lincoln your looking at well worth the money
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Old 07-14-2010, 06:07 PM   #6
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Get a HF welder rack and then don't forget supporting things like Gas tank/Gas etc... decent mask ( I actually like my HF auto dimmer)
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Old 07-14-2010, 06:12 PM   #7
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What these guys said.
My dad is a proffessional welder. Miller/Lincoln is all he ever touches.

I'd look around for a used TIG, but they're a whole **** ton more expensive.

My dad just bought a very lightly used Lincoln 180 HP that's in showroom condition for 300 locally.

Used miller/lincoln welder = win
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Old 07-14-2010, 06:43 PM   #8
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Miller, Lincoln, or bust. I myself picked up a Millermatic 180 less than a year ago.
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Old 07-14-2010, 06:48 PM   #9
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Ok, y'all make a compelling argument. No Eastwood welder.

I'd been searching eBay for Miller / Lincoln / Hobart units, wasn't coming up with much. Folks always seem to bit this **** up to or over retail...

Quote:
Originally Posted by 18psi View Post
My dad just bought a very lightly used Lincoln 180 HP that's in showroom condition for 300 locally.
Yeah, I'm the guy who never stumbles across those deals.


Actually, this isn't a bad deal: http://cgi.ebay.com/LINCOLN-Pro-MIG-...item19bdc3ff7c
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Old 07-14-2010, 06:57 PM   #10
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http://store.weldingdepot.com/cgi/we...t/K2788-2.html

brand new 180 with cart and regulator for 549

they also have a 120V 140A for 399... similar deal.

dont discount the 120V welders for light work. As long as you're not welding more than 12 inches every 10 minutes at max power, it shouldn't be a problem. you'll never approach that speed doing exhausts since you can only do about 1/4 of the circumference at a time in one pass.

And if you want to weld thicker materials, just add layers.

the spool gun is nice but really only *needed* if a) you will stab your eyes out the first time you have a birdsnest or b) plan to weld aluminum. pushing aluminum wire sucks a sweaty ********.

which after about 15 seconds makes me realize the spool gun is the way to go...

(reverse the polarity, swap the wire, hook up the argon, and you're mig welding aluminum)
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Old 07-14-2010, 07:01 PM   #11
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Yeah, I saw that one, but I'm tending to shy away from the Century brand for some reason. I know that they're owned by Lincoln now, but for an extra $50, I'll go with the actual Lincoln.
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Old 07-14-2010, 07:08 PM   #12
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oh i didnt look closely.

btw, sadly the lincoln spool gun retails for 800 bucks.
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Old 07-14-2010, 07:44 PM   #13
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+ a bunch

I would go with the Lincoln unless I found a good deal on a Miller. They are pretty comparable in terms of quality. Miller seems to always be a tad higher price wise. I was a welder/fabricator for 8 years before I started working construction and every shop I was ever in used either a Lincoln or Miller.

I have a Lincoln 120v mig and I abuse the Hell out of it. It's rated at a 20% duty cycle and I can't count the times I have ran it at 80-100% DC with out a hiccup. The transformer doesn't even buzz funny when I run it like a madman. I have been nothing but satisfied.
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Old 07-14-2010, 07:44 PM   #14
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Well, the spool gun is a pretty minor concern. If I ever do decide to play with aluminum, they claim you can actually run aluminum wire through the regular Lincoln torch. And the Lincoln Magnum 100 spool gun actually only costs about $200.
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Old 07-14-2010, 07:45 PM   #15
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Yup you can pretty much overclock the **** out of them and they take it like champs.
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Old 07-14-2010, 08:06 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
Well, the spool gun is a pretty minor concern. If I ever do decide to play with aluminum, they claim you can actually run aluminum wire through the regular Lincoln torch. And the Lincoln Magnum 100 spool gun actually only costs about $200.
Mine runs it just fine. You just have to make sure you keep the whip straight and don't get any kinks in it. The bad thing is the aluminum heat soaks so fast that you have to start it "cold" so it's in the right heat range when it warms up or preheat the aluminum a little and then it will be a little more consistent.
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Old 07-14-2010, 10:09 PM   #17
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Lincoln or Miller off of craigslist. You can often find them with bottles and even a helmet for way cheap.
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Old 07-14-2010, 10:16 PM   #18
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There's a Miller 221 Autoset in our garage. Even I can use it, which is saying a fair bit.
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Old 07-14-2010, 10:24 PM   #19
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i would stick with miller. its my fav.
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Old 07-14-2010, 11:00 PM   #20
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Quote:
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There's a Miller 221 Autoset in our garage. Even I can use it, which is saying a fair bit.
welding's a kickass elective at poly.
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