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Old 09-22-2009, 09:37 AM   #1
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Default Welders chime in please

I just wanted to learn how to weld and I need opinions on what's a good welder to buy. I'm gonna get a used one on craigslist. Justneed to know what to look for, what brand, what amp, etc. Done really know to much but practice will teach me how to weld good enough. I mostly wanted to weld exhausts, aluminum ic pipes, etc nothing to major. Any help will be much apriciated, I will compensate by having hustler blow each and everyone who contributes to this thread
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Old 09-22-2009, 11:01 AM   #2
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Well I'm definitely not a welder, but just like you I'm starting off and learning. My father recommended the Lincoln weld pack 175hd I believe, its a flux cored. Probably the most basic, easiest to learn with. Just my .02
I'll let the real welders in here chime in though

PS: I picked it up near new on cl for about 300
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Old 09-22-2009, 11:46 AM   #3
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lol ^ i have almost no experience but managed to make my exhaust already i have a really cheap campbell hausfeld wire fed welder does the job but not a pretty site..... :(
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Old 09-22-2009, 11:46 AM   #4
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lol ^ i have almost no experience but manage to make my exhaust already i have a really cheap campbell hausfeld wire fed welder does the job but not a pretty site..... :(
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Old 09-22-2009, 12:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18psi View Post
Well I'm definitely not a welder, but just like you I'm starting off and learning. My father recommended the Lincoln weld pack 175hd I believe, its a flux cored. Probably the most basic, easiest to learn with. Just my .02
I'll let the real welders in here chime in though

PS: I picked it up near new on cl for about 300
the only problem with that is that it need a 220 outlet and I don't have one
how about the lincoln 100hd? It runs off 110 and it weld up to 1/4 inch
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Old 09-22-2009, 12:04 PM   #6
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I was a welder, fabricator for 8 years before I started construction. All the welders I've ever used in the shop were either Miller or Lincoln. I never saw an off brand welder in a fab shop. I have a Lincoln 115v mig I use all the time. I've run this welder well over the duty cycle all the time without a hiccup.

My cousin has a Campbell Hausfeld 115v mig and it totally sucks. It seems like it has a hard time penetrating the thinnest sheet metal and it buzzes like a dying transformer every time we strike an arc. I hate it!

I wouldn't by anything but a name brand welder from a reputable manufacturer but that's just me.
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Old 09-22-2009, 12:08 PM   #7
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Go register at homemadeturbo.com.
There is an entire forum dedicated to diy welding and fabrication. Half of the threads are about actual stuff people have made... the other half are discussions about welders, equipment, technique, what to buy, etc...

Try to find somebody in your area who will let you come over and play around with their setup... take your own stock though.
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Old 09-22-2009, 12:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordrigamus View Post
I was a welder, fabricator for 8 years before I started construction. All the welders I've ever used in the shop were either Miller or Lincoln. I never saw an off brand welder in a fab shop. I have a Lincoln 115v mig I use all the time. I've run this welder well over the duty cycle all the time without a hiccup.

My cousin has a Campbell Hausfeld 115v mig and it totally sucks. It seems like it has a hard time penetrating the thinnest sheet metal and it buzzes like a dying transformer every time we strike an arc. I hate it!

I wouldn't by anything but a name brand welder from a reputable manufacturer but that's just me.
My father, who is also a professional welder, swears by those two brands as well. Lincoln, Miller, or bust
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Old 09-22-2009, 12:57 PM   #9
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What do you guys think of this Lincoln Weldpak HP
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Old 09-22-2009, 12:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miataspeed2005 View Post
... exhausts, aluminum ic pipes, etc ...
Wire feed MIG would be the best bet for that usage. Just get one that has a good range of adjustability and spend some time playing with the different settings to get a feel for what thicknesses of material require what wire feed speeds, amperages, etc.

We've got, around the house, a Campbell Hausfield MIG/wire feed (120v), a Lincoln 220v MIG, a Miller stick welder and an ancient Lincoln stick machine, and enough gas welding/cutting/brazing equipment to make up three or four "sets," all of which work fine for their intended tasks. For your usage, I'd say that the cheap 120v MIG would be fine.

I highly, highly, highly, highly recommend an auto-darkening mask, though. Makes life SO much easier, especially if you're just starting out. And don't try to be macho and skip long sleeves and whatnot, and REALLY don't try to be macho and just close your eyes if you're doing a lot of tack welds. It's fine for one or two, but when you get sunburn on your eyelids, you'll regret it.

Oh, and don't weld galvanized anything. If you absolutely must, do it outside with a massive fan blowing the fumes away while holding your breath. I welded galvanized steel once inside and had a headache for three days.
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Old 09-22-2009, 01:01 PM   #11
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Clarke best warranty and size for the money.
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Old 09-22-2009, 02:14 PM   #12
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justput in a 220 plug newbs it takes no time at all.
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Old 09-22-2009, 02:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magnamx-5 View Post
justput in a 220 plug newbs it takes no time at all.
Newb your *** ------. How the **** am I gonna put a 220 outlet with an 100 amp panel and no room to put in a 30 amp breaker. Go suck on your moms **** and stop posting if your clueless
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Old 09-22-2009, 02:34 PM   #14
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My dad and I have a 30 year old Lincoln stick welder (sucks for thin metal) which I first learned on, and last year we got a 110v Lincoln flux-core welder (welds up to 1/4", much easier to use). My school has big industrial Miller units that do MIG, flux-core, and stick AC or DC along with adjustable arc control, those welders were great to use. My first ever MIG weld was near perfect.

Auto-darkening helmet is a million times better than the shitty hand-held shield that comes with welders. +1 on gauntlet gloves and long sleeves too. Don't forget a wire brush or something to knock off the slag for flux-core or stick welds.
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Old 09-22-2009, 03:05 PM   #15
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You can use your home dryer 220v plug with an extension cable if you use an inverter machine (draws way less amps than transformer machines).

If you're doing any aluminum, I'd recommend a TIG setup. It's possible to MIG aluminum but it's ugly, hard, and expensive. You need a spool gun specifically for aluminum and it's just a big hassle. With TIG all you need for different metals (ss, mild, alum, titanium) is the right filler wire which can be bought in lb or 1/2lb increments. With MIG you need an entire spool of wire and then theres the hassle of switching spools when you weld different metals.

The best small fabricator welder out there now, imo, is the Miller dynasty dx200. It can plug into 110v, 220v, or 440v, and has all the bells and whistles of a modern machine. It's also about $4k.

For mild exhaust/intercooler piping only, that flux core machine would be fine as long as you don't care about looks. If looks are important flux<mig<tig
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Old 09-22-2009, 04:38 PM   #16
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I have a rather old Miller 110v Mig. Very nice welder for around the house, it has a built in solenoid so you don't waste gas. This little welder has thousands of hours on it, and has never given us a problem.

For big projects I have a Lincoln 220v buzz box. I should really practice on it, my arc welding skills I am sure have diminished :(
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Old 09-22-2009, 10:12 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18psi View Post
My father, who is also a professional welder, swears by those two brands as well. Lincoln, Miller, or bust
Agreed.

Lincoln 175 HP plus MIG and Miller Syncrwave 180 TIG for me. I'm just a dabbler, but I like nice ****.

I will add that if you are set on getting a 110V, go for the little Lincoln like the one you posted earlier. No offbrand stuffs.
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Old 09-22-2009, 10:43 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miataspeed2005 View Post
What do you guys think of this Lincoln Weldpak HP
That's the same one I have. Mine just looks slightly different. I beat the crap out of mine and it keeps on ticking. I love it!


They actually have an aluminum kit for it with a smooth drive roller and plastic liner for the gun. You have to run different gas though, Argon or Argon-Helium mix. I used it to weld my bov flange to my ic pipe and it came out pretty decent.

If I could afford one, the 200dx is the ****! All the bells and whistles of a full size on any voltage.
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Old 09-23-2009, 08:49 AM   #19
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I paid around $150 after coupons for a Mig welder from HF (says 151T on it but they don't list them like that on the site any longer so I can't determine which one it is). I bought the cheapest 220V possible and made a cord for it to plug in behind my dryer (later put in a 220V plug by the breaker panel in the garage). I also bought a $39 auto darkening helmet, a pair of gloves, and $150 for a bottle of gas. I would consider myself an extremely novice welder (only do it maybe 3-4 times a year) but I have used that cheap welder to build my Miata trailer as well as a few exhaust projects. The point to take from my post is that a $3000 Lincoln is nice but a cheap unit will do the job as well. Would my welds stand up on a submarine? No, but they will work fine for an exhaust. I used part of the money I saved on the Mig to buy a cheap plasma cutter ($300 vs $2000). If something needs cut or put back together I can do it now by myself. Cheap tools are the ****!
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Old 09-23-2009, 09:35 AM   #20
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Yea I think I'm gonna go with a 110 lincoln and even if the welds are ugly I could always grind them of and sand the smoth for a sleek finish
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