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Old 06-09-2009, 08:26 PM   #1
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what size welder?

I was looking at a welder that claims it can do 1/8th in steel which runs off of regular house current. This is a gasless mig I am looking at making bumpers, tire carrier and some rock sliders maybe eeven skid plates, will this be enough? I am in government housing so I'm not to sure if the would run a 220 line for me, thanks for the input ahead of time.

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Old 06-09-2009, 11:07 PM   #2
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a 130A 110v will do 1/8" but being gasless would not be clean welds and also the duty cycle would likely be 10% meaning welding small bits at a time. your better off getting an arc (stick) welder for doing heavier jobs like frames, bumpers,and such. migs are easy except when welding thick stuff...my opinion.

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Old 06-10-2009, 01:30 AM   #3
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Also if you are going to use a 110 then surface prep is going to be the absolute key.

Do you have a garage with a drier in it?
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Old 06-10-2009, 03:36 AM   #4
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Also if you are going to use a 110 then surface prep is going to be the absolute key.

Do you have a garage with a drier in it?
Well, I don't actually have a house yet, I have to wait for my wife before I will be put in housing, if its like my buddy's his wash and drier are in the basement but hew doesn't have a garage
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Old 06-10-2009, 04:49 PM   #5
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Well, I don't actually have a house yet, I have to wait for my wife before I will be put in housing, if its like my buddy's his wash and drier are in the basement but hew doesn't have a garage
Cool, I hear ya. I was just thinking of things that might already have a 220 outlet for you near enough to get the bigger welder.

I know a lot of guys that do good work with 110 mig's. Most of them however do have gas with them as it just makes everything that much easier.
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Old 06-10-2009, 06:17 PM   #6
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Well I've never even used a welder before so I wanna learn and after enough practice I'd like to make my own stuff instead of paying an arm and a leg and knowing how to weld I think is a good skill to have
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Old 06-10-2009, 06:20 PM   #7
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Also would it be ok to weld in a house basement?
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Old 06-11-2009, 02:14 AM   #8
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Also would it be ok to weld in a house basement?
You'll want to employ at least one box fan in a window, facing out!

Not sure if you know it, but you can easily make a welder that mounts to your jeep engine.

You need to find an old school large frame Ford (100 amps or better) alternator, in a junkyard. It's easier if you get one with an external regulator, then it's ready to weld when you get it.

You make a mount & run it off a spare pulley. If welding on another vehicle, disconnect it's battery, If welding on your vehicle, use the alt positive terminal (batt terminal) as your stinger, & the alt case as the ground wire/clamp.

This is know as DCRP (direct current reverse polarity)
If your stinger is wired negative, you'll fry the battery & a bunch of other stuff.

You may also want to install a hand throttle for this, & unplug the field wire from your vehicles stock alternator, running on battery power while welding.
The field wire goes to the vehicle battery (+) post, with a switch & a 15 amp fuse. Only switch it on just before welding & switch that power off right after breaking the arc.

3/32" rods will work with 100+ amps, & if you can only find an 80 amp alt you'll use 1/16" rods.
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Old 06-12-2009, 06:18 AM   #9
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Well I've never even used a welder before so I wanna learn and after enough practice I'd like to make my own stuff instead of paying an arm and a leg and knowing how to weld I think is a good skill to have
If youve never used one before ive got advise for you, dont get discouraged. Mig welding isnt all that easy and going gasless will leave welds that arent as pretty as the ones you would like to see(should buy one that can be converted later on). start with clean steel, you will need to buy a grinder some steel brushes a picking hammer gloves mask... be ready because it is an investment and money will be spent.
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Old 06-12-2009, 10:23 AM   #10
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Yeah buck I've read your write up but I'm in alaska so I wouldn't want to be welding outside in the winter.

I just want a welder that will make strong enough weld so that I can make bumpers and such
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Old 06-12-2009, 04:08 PM   #11
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Boostless,

I would STRONGLY recommend that you spend a little more and purchase a good 220 volt welder. I purchased a 110 volt Lincoln 135+. It is great for thin metal but 1/8" is the absolute max IF I am welding on the edge of the material. If I am working on the center of a piece of 1/8" thick metal with good surface prep, penetration is weak to non-existent. I am very disappointed and wish I would have spent the extra scratch for a 220.
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Old 06-12-2009, 09:08 PM   #12
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Yeah buck I've read your write up but I'm in alaska so I wouldn't want to be welding outside in the winter.

I just want a welder that will make strong enough weld so that I can make bumpers and such
That's exactly where an OBW would be most useful in getting a broken rig back to the road, before someone freezes their keyster off!. I do see your point though.

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Boostless,

I would STRONGLY recommend that you spend a little more and purchase a good 220 volt welder. I purchased a 110 volt Lincoln 135+. It is great for thin metal but 1/8" is the absolute max IF I am welding on the edge of the material. If I am working on the center of a piece of 1/8" thick metal with good surface prep, penetration is weak to non-existent. I am very disappointed and wish I would have spent the extra scratch for a 220.
Agreed, those 110V units are for HVAC guys, to tack weld ductwork.

Get the 220V if you want to weld bumpers & roll cage tubes.
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Old 06-14-2009, 09:49 PM   #13
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I stand by my original response in that I STRONGLY recommend you get a 220 volt welder and I am still sorry I did not.

However; I have spent some more time in the garage doing practice welds for a cage. I discovered the C-clamp I was using on the tube to ground with was not conducting as much electricity as I would like. I changed C-clamps and sanded the contact points of my ground clamp and was able to get MUCH better penetration. With proper surface prep and by beveling the edges and pre-fitting joints so they are nice and tight and even, you CAN build a cage with a 110 welder. That is what I am doing because I need to use what I have but life would be much easier with a 220.

Good Luck.
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Old 08-10-2009, 08:57 PM   #14
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I agree go 20V if you have the extra cash... 220V & Gas makes welding a lot of fun...
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:40 AM   #15
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Agreed. 220v all the way.

I originally bought a 110v from home depot, but quickly outgrew it. Went and bought a Millermatic 251 and LOVE it. (yes, it is overkill, but sooo nice )

Would recommend that you first get the house (), find out what kind of plug and amperage your dryer or range use, and get a 220v to match that. Miller or Lincoln are the two brands I'd recommend.
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Old 08-13-2009, 08:42 AM   #16
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i actually like both but i have a bottle for my 110 but if ur doing heavy metal it just pays to have the arc wielder believe me i just got done wielding my frame up no way the 110 could have made it work but as far as roll cage i might try it
but depending on the stuff i think u could get away with a 110 until u decide to bigger or get a house that allows u to go bigger
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Old 08-13-2009, 02:02 PM   #17
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Piece of advice when learning to weld, you may need it, you may not. Don't forget to stop drop and roll, trust me!

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Old 08-13-2009, 07:16 PM   #18
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I use a mastercraft powercraft 220v arc welder. It is older than me, as it was my dads. The same one I learned to weld with as a kid. It is set for use with 6013 and I beleive 3/16" rods. I love it. I also have a 120v panel welder, it uses 1/16" 7018 rods. Pain in the ass but works good on 16-24 gauge metal with good prep work.I also use a Oxy-Acetylene torch for cutting metal and braising too.
I am going to invest in a 220v mig w/gas next. I like a little variety in my garage.

Sorry for marking out on the welding stuff...

A good investment would also be a auto darkening helmet it helps alot. A air compressor with a pneumatic grinder or at least a electric right angle grinder helps make things look neat and preps things faster.(with a wire wheel too)

Good luck on your purchases...
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Old 08-29-2009, 04:01 PM   #19
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Ive been using a 110 to tack and take stuff to the shop to weld but not any more just picked up a Lincoln 180 HD 220v welder w gas just gotta finish wiring up the work shop to handle it ,Home depot 669.oo comes w every thing and can weld up to 1/2".

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