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Old 04-16-2014, 07:12 PM   #1
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Decent welder for $300?

Well I finally am about to pick up my ford 8.8 and do the whole artec truss set up for it. The only problem is that it'll cost a few hundred to get the truss welded or I have a friend that could teach me to weld. If he welds it up for me I'd give him $300 or more, but I could get a few lessons for a couple six packs. My real question is if I'm looking for a welder to learn and use for other stuff on the jeep what could I get for around $300 either new or on craigslist that will work for what I'm doing and is beginner friendly? I'm willing to spend more and probably will, just $300 sounded like a good price point.

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Old 04-16-2014, 07:17 PM   #2
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From what I've seen mig seems like the way to go, but tig might be useful if it's an emergency on the trail. Like a ripped control arm bracket or track bar.

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Old 04-16-2014, 08:39 PM   #3
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This is one mig welder I've been looking at, but not sure how important brand name is for welders. http://www.toolking.com/longevity-88...shielded-weldi
It's about $360
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Old 04-16-2014, 09:18 PM   #4
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I am not a pro welder, only a hobbyist, but in my experience 110V welders stink for anything thicker than 1/8th. They'll stick thicker stuff together, but the penetration just isn't there. Lots of grinding and beveling helps, but it's no substitute for the power of a 220V machine.

TIG can be awesome, but it's an art form. Lots of practice required. I can run a decent bead off of a MIG, but the one time I tried a TIG it looked like a string of shiny boogers.
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Old 04-16-2014, 10:25 PM   #5
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So a mig 220v probably 120amp and from what I've seen a flux core would be one of the easier ones to use. That way I wouldn't need a tank, but is it as clean as a mig welder with a tank since its burning the argon (or whatever gas) instead of just having it flow through the gun onto the weld?
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Old 04-16-2014, 10:32 PM   #6
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Flux core can be a little messy compared to welding with gas. But you can get a product known as "tip dip" to dip the welder tip in every minute or two.... helps minimize the splatter.

Some of the flux welders will also take gas, just works better with it.
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Old 04-16-2014, 10:51 PM   #7
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So then my next question is does brand name mean as much? Do I need to pay for a miller, Hobart, or Lincoln for a garage welder that will be used maybe 3 times a year?
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Old 04-16-2014, 11:51 PM   #8
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there is nothing like welding with a good name brand shielded gas MIG machine. as far as using a flux core or tig for trail repairs, first of all you have to get power out there. second, I have not seen a MIG that wouldnt also do flux core. third, if you really need to get out of there, you can run a mig without gas. it just wont be pretty and not quite as strong, but it will get you home. you can also weld with CO2, lots of people carrying around powertanks these days.

I run a 110v Hobart Handler 140 and it's a great little mig. new they run about $500. I am sure you could find one on craigslist for $100 less. It does need a 30A breaker at least and my outlet is wired with 8ga wire.

this is all 1/4" plate and about the max of what this unit will do



I will not be using this mig to weld the brackets to this axle. doesnt have the penetration, especially on the cast.
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Old 04-17-2014, 12:06 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2JeepsThatRun View Post
So a mig 220v probably 120amp and from what I've seen a flux core would be one of the easier ones to use. That way I wouldn't need a tank, but is it as clean as a mig welder with a tank since its burning the argon (or whatever gas) instead of just having it flow through the gun onto the weld?
the argon doesnt burn. basically it removes the oxygen from the area around the arc, causing the molten metal to not oxidize which would cause porosity and spatter.

a flux core welder might be a little cleaner with gas, but it defeats the purpose of having gas. you have flux and gas both keeping that metal from oxidizing but in the end you still have to clean off all the slag because it is not a gas and does not dissipate.

the benefits of flux core really is just that they are cheap, and can weld in high wind that would give a mig problems.
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Old 04-17-2014, 12:23 AM   #10
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check out CL, I see one for $325 here in DFW at a pawn shop.

if you want to move up to a 220, the handler 187 is hard to beat. I see them for ~$500 occasionally.

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