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Old 08-31-2011, 11:46 AM   #1
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A question for the welders

I am wanting to get an entry level welder to learn on, but do not want to upgrade too quickly. Tractor supply has the Hobart 125 on sale this weekend and was wondering what you welders thought about this machine. Is it ok, or should I save up for the Hobart 148? Thanks for your time.

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Old 08-31-2011, 12:59 PM   #2
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What do you plan to do with it? What are you wanting to weld? That will help with the recommendations....

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Old 08-31-2011, 01:01 PM   #3
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Rule 1, skip the 110 volt welders, you'll never regret it. And secondly, if you gonna be doing alot of welding, look for higher duty cycles, the higher the cycle, the longer it will weld without a break, but obviously, more duty cycle = more $$$ just my 2 cent
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Old 08-31-2011, 07:45 PM   #4
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A mig is prob the best to start on so thats my two cents lol
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OklaTJ
A mig is prob the best to start on so thats my two cents lol
Definetly agree, but in my experiences, skip the flux core
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:24 PM   #6
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Dont get the 110v. Get a mig that will run Gas. Use Kobelko 71m wire with either 75/25 or straight CO2. Can weld anything (Steel) with that. You can also swap out for welding stainless too but thats a different story. There are some aluminum setups for low end machines but i dont think you wanna go there.
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:00 PM   #7
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I have a linclon pro 100 and want to upgrade. Although I have build 3 sets of rock sliders, rear bumper and a tire carrier with out a problem. I want to go gas cause the flux core wire is messy. I've welded up to 1/4 in. but do multipul passes. I use 3/16 wall on the heavy stuff.I wanna go to a 185 or bigger.
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Old 09-01-2011, 09:03 PM   #8
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Flux core is OK, its real nice if you put some gas on it. All you need is CO2. The 71M is designed for that. Lays down real nice.
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Old 09-01-2011, 09:07 PM   #9
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I have a miller 140. It is 110v and works great for what I use. I have about a grand in the welder, bottle and stand. I would go gas regardless. I welded my jeep back together with it but the majority of what I do is around sheetmetal thickness. Like others have said metal around 3/16" or bigger may require multiple passes.
I know that 220 welders are better but most people don't have that in their garage. I have ran many lb's of wire through a hobart welder and they work just fine. The Miller is just a little higher quality. I don't plan on buying another welder for many, many years.
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Old 09-01-2011, 09:21 PM   #10
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i gotta 220 amp arc welder in my garage i learned to weld on one in shop class bakc in high school
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Old 09-02-2011, 01:37 PM   #11
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Ive got the Millermatic 175. I agree with most to skip the 110v units. Get a 220, and have your garage wired, or do it yourself. I put a plug in mine for about 50 bucks in parts. Go with an a argon/CO2 mixture on gas and never look back. With a 220 unit, you have a larger range of uses....
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Old 09-08-2011, 03:16 PM   #12
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Everyone hates on the 110v but I am fine with mine. I don't have a garage, though I could run a line from my 220v dryer to run it(I'm using my 30A 110v washer plug right now) also bought the thing before I moved into a house. Do I want a more powerful one, of course, I'm a man. Though my 110v welder gets the job done. Also I use flux core. I have a spool gun and the little thing is gas capable but I can do what I need for less money and that is exactly what it does for me. Welded up trusses(3/8" and 1/4"), control arm mounts to frames(1/4"), and my control arms(1/4" 1/8"). I do multiple passes on everything above 3/16" with it.

Everyone also talks about getting high duty cycles. But really think about how you weld. Are you seriously going to weld 10 straight minutes? Don't you only have to do a 1" weld here then reposition to the other side and do another 1" weld then go to straighten your welding cable or move your grounding clamp, or use your wire brush to clean off your work, all in between your welding? I have never hit a welding duty cycle on mine. 40% at 60A, 85A max. I have welded on max power for over 5 hours before though alot of small breaks.

Also I use Lincoln NR211 flux-core wire(mainly .035), it leaves very little slag though splatter is still high. Though in my spool gun it gets tangled much more easily than the harbor freight wire which has much more slag.

PS: I have tried doing sheet metal but on the lowest heat and the smallest flux I can get my hands on locally ".030" and was still punching holes if I wasn't super careful and do as many short welds as possible. Gas and .023 is a must for sheet metal repair.

All this and it still boils down to what you want to do. Plan on welding together frames and axles get a 220v, must faster and much easier. If you want to hobby in welding and build little things out of angle iron and sheet metal patch jobs, with minimal thick welding. Save yourself from buying a $1000 dust collector and get a 110v. Also if you want to move up, you will have more experience on what you really need to get your job done.
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Old 09-08-2011, 03:23 PM   #13
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I learned on a 110 machine and I would rather take it in my backside is own one of those again. 220 or nothing! I use a Miller 251 at home and I can weld sheetmetal up to 1/2" in a single pass with 035 wire. You can find a nice used 220 machine on CL usually for less than a grand.
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:01 AM   #14
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re hashing this thread so not to start another "which welder" thread. Just wanted some updated opinions on entry level welders

A bit of back ground on me and projects I might use it for.

I spent some time working out of my usual field (concrete construction) when the economy turned back in 09 on a salvage rig on the Mississippi river. Being the FNG there I did a lot of grunt work and put in my time and they began showing me how to weld, use torches etc. All of our welders were diesel powered big boy welders, and it was all stick welding. Eventually, as I learned and got better, I was welding everyday. From 3/32, 6011 little stuff to welding on cavils (barge tie downs) with 1/4" 7018 drag rods with the welders cranking at 300A and multiple passes. I am no expert and just exhausted my welding knowledge in that last sentence! they let me learn the hard way...welding too long of a pass and warping the metal in the project until it was toasted and all warped, then back to the track torch to start over!

Given i have some working knowledge of stick welding, I'd like a project welder for the house. Right off the bat i foresee it being used to tack a nut on a broken bolt stud here and there. I have a nice, all metal utility trailer that I have been wanting to put a new floor on and freshen up the side rails. A bracket here and there. Also my son is starting HS and has shown a interest in metal work and would like to get his creative thoughts going.

And am I stupid for looking at the Lincoln 140 or 180's. budget wise they are taking a big bite out of the secret stash for Jeep parts, but if I can add a tool to the garage I am usually ok with it (buying a prom dress for my step-daughter that will be worn for 3 hours then hung in a closet for the rest of eternity chaps my ass...but i'll get off that "waste of money" soap-box or I'll never get off it!)

I understand professional trades, and i ask the daily welders to keep in mind it might fire up once weekend in a month, or it may sit for 6 months until something comes up. Just like I pour concrete on a massive basis everyday, and have the expensive tools to make my life easier, I wouldn't suggest you go out and buy a 140.00 Crick level and 65.00 5x20 blue steel trowel to pour some stepping stones for your garden!

Or is this an addiction that once you get started the projects always get bigger?

I appreciate your input.
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Old 04-01-2012, 06:52 PM   #15
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I just bought a hobart 140ez and im using that to learn on with a gas setup right now
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Old 04-01-2012, 07:19 PM   #16
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I own a Lincoln 180 hd and use a Lincoln 125 at work both are 220v and work great for all I have needed to weld from sheet to thick stuff on trailers or the jeep.I bought a 110 used it 2 times and sold it at a yard sale was useless for real welding.
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Old 04-01-2012, 08:17 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerryj
I bought a 110 used it 2 times and sold it at a yard sale was useless for real welding.
That's what I want to stay away from. I don't need the best, but sure don't have money to loose.
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Old 04-02-2012, 08:00 PM   #18
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I have an older Hobart135. It is a 110v. I use it at work to weld sheet metal16-18ga both gas and flux core. It works great for that. It also does well with angle iron under 1/4". Anything 1/4 and bigger requires multiple passes
I just welded new floorboards and a rust patch in my YJ and it worked great, but I do weld a lot of sheet metal.

220 machines will always be stronger but if you are not building massive bumpers or doing heavy frame work a 110 may work for the $

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