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Old 12-01-2009, 06:15 PM   #1
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what type of welder to buy

hi im 18 and i did a little bit of welding in a highschool auto class but i want to take it up its a great skill to have, just wondering what equipment is needed to start and keep price in mind because im 18 in college im pretty broke

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Old 12-02-2009, 08:37 AM   #2
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well ur looking at a pretty expensive buy. but it will pay off one day maybe not right away. but when something breaks and it will u can put it back together on the cheap. i would start with a mig machine their cheaper and easier to run then any of the other machines ad then start getting machines as u go.

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Old 12-02-2009, 08:50 AM   #3
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you can pick up a lincoln stick welder for $200 bucks and fix just about anything you need to. i've built and repaired so much crap with my old lincoln i cant even keep track. my dad bought it for me ~20 years ago used for $100 and i still use it regularly
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Old 12-02-2009, 02:31 PM   #4
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I picked up a Lincoln hd 180 wire feed w gas works great gotta get them on sale and no intrest at the Home Depo to make it a better deal figure a couple grinders in the price and what not what you will need to make your life easier never ends its a whole nother realm of tools to buy.I have made a couple bucks with it but the price for being able to fix some bodys busted crap and send them on their way is nice too I almost said priceless but I can usually put a price on it.
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Old 12-05-2009, 09:13 AM   #5
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My welder here at home is an old Century 110VAC with two settings lo and high ( yea that old) I don't use NOS so I get flux core, mine will physically handle .030,.035, and .045 flux core wire, I use the .030 for body work, .035 for exhaust systems, and .045 for thicker stuff, and so fat in the 16 years I've had this thing it hasn't failed me yet, all it takes is practice and you can weld just about anything.
I'm living proof of that, I work for the city of Va Bach, in the weld shop off Lynnhaven and I have learned to weld Steel, Aluminum , stainless, and cast metals in the 2 years since we moved there. And if I can't do it, my shop supervisor can.
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Old 12-05-2009, 02:48 PM   #6
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Lincoln Electric has some really good weders. If you are wanting price range, Go check out home depot. They sell migs and some stick machines, which are all good. There are some Migs at Home depot that can convert to welding aluminum. THe HD series are really good. Ive had mine for a year and a half, and I havent had any problems with it, and the welds are still holding. like I said, MIG is good for ease depending on size of steel you are welding(read the box).The stick is still good and that can weld up to some pretty thick stuff. Around 200 for the stick at Home depot, and depending on the weld thickness of the MIG could raise that up a couple more. Most of Home depots welders run on 110 so that is convenient.
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Old 12-06-2009, 05:41 PM   #7
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Lincoln 175 HD is a Bad A$$ machine 220 power .Very adjustable .love it Gas or flux core .
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Old 12-06-2009, 06:03 PM   #8
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Those are really nice for home use also, a mig machine that can do both gas and flux is a great one, mine is convertible, a old 110v with hookups for the gas bottle
What I really want is the one I have at work on the back of my truck its a Miller Bobcat 350. It runs on gas, does ac/dc/straight/reverse, mig aluminum, and has 1 220vac plug and 2 110vac plugs on it
I'd love to have THAT baby on my back porch.
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Old 12-19-2009, 10:58 PM   #9
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You can do ALOT with a MIG. Even it's it's not 220V. Light machines like the 110V Miller 140 or similar size Lincoln. It's a Ford Vs. Chevy when it comes to those two brands, both are top notch. I've even laid great beads with Hobarts and the Century crap from Harbor Freight - I'm saying they function, not that they are enjoyable to weld with. Hobarts have ran fine, but I'd shoot for a Lincoln or Miller. Flux Core wire is a great starting point for the person on a budget. And it's still a strong weld. If you need tips or have questions shoot it at me. I highly recommend getting a machine that can accept a 10lb spool. The closer your contact tip is to the metal your welding the hotter the current, the further you pull away the "colder". If you welding light metal and "blowing through" pull back a quarter inch. (use that method to fine tune the puddle) Obviously you'll need to adjust the machine to weld the thickness your working with. Craigslist has great deals on machines, But, expect to drop down $350 or so for a light duty machine. I've built trailers with a 140 machine and used them off-roading with 4-wheeler and loads of camping equipment... It's 5 years old and it hasn't broken a weld yet. Good luck and contact me if you have any questions.
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Old 12-21-2009, 07:43 PM   #10
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arc is about the cheapest you can get one of ebay that goes from 70-200amps ac or dc for 100 bucks
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Old 12-22-2009, 05:26 PM   #11
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My favorite welder so far that I have seen is at my work, its a Miller syncrowave, I wish I could afford one for here at home, but the unit is $4000
It does stick in both A/C D/C straight and reverse polarity tig with or without pulse for both aluminum or steel, it will use any gas bottle for each, however I have found that Argon or Helium is best for what I use it for when I use the tig side, on stick I can weld anything from 1/8" up to 1"
this machine is so delicate I can weld Schedule 20 galvanized tube with a 1/8" 6013 or 6010 and not burn holes in it
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Old 01-01-2010, 08:32 PM   #12
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ok , i have been a career welder for almost 7 years now. im not sayin im the know it all to welding but here is my opinion to help you out because i was in your same spot years ago. if you can get together 400-500 bucks you can go to your local welding supply or home depot and buy a lincoln mig welder which is perfect. dont waste you money on a stick setup, cuz when u need to get in a tight spot its a pain in the ass. YOU CAN WELD ENYTHING ON YOUR JEEP WITH A 110V WELDER. dont let people telll you that your 110v wont penetrate 3/16 steel. if you properly clean your metal and bevel the edges it makes planty penetration.

i have a millermatic 210 at home now and also a lincoln 3200hd (110v) that lincoln built my first full chassis build for my friend when i was 19 i used my 110 and we used 2x3 3/16 steel for frame rails. that s-10 had a 383 stroker in it and was beat to death everyday. ALL MY WELDS HELD. hopefully i helped a lil bit.

so what i say is go buy a lincoln 110v mig welder.
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Old 01-02-2010, 08:42 AM   #13
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It depends Creepin, if ya put.030 flux in a old 110vac century flux core welder, hook it to a 100' extension cord and try to weld while the A/C in your house starts up there might be a slight problem.
But I've done anything up to 3/16 with my little wire fed with only minor problems when I get too lazy to properly clean a part for a 1/2 bead. If I clean it properly, I haven't ever had any problems, unless I do the 100' extension cord thing I did find out that a welder has a short cord for a reason.

I always recommend a wire fed, to me it seems easier than stick with the whole movement thing and a $20 roll of wire lasts longer than a $20 bag of sticks. Oh and on a car you don;t need the exotic metal rods either. Nor does anybody NEED a gas bottle, it makes some jobs easier, but its not totally necessary on cars.
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Old 01-02-2010, 10:34 AM   #14
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wolfen you are very right im neglected to mention that, however i have gotten away with a 25' 12ga extension cord (might have ben 10ga) i forget. that way it is thick enough to hold the proper current and i had no problems just had to put a 30a breaker in the garage. i have a 220v welder now but im just tryin to help the kid out cuz money is tight. orrrr use a piece of 220 line and put 110 plug ends on it. it will work
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Old 01-02-2010, 05:49 PM   #15
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I have a chicago 120a 230v mig welder from harbor freight. I have used it for everything from sheet metal using 0.025" wire to frame mounts and a rollcage using 0.035" wire. It can be used with flux or gas but i've always used gas with it. For about $300 you can buy the welder, wire, and a full bottle from you welders supply store. You can also purchase a 2 year unconditional warranty with free replacement for about $20.

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Old 01-02-2010, 06:32 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by CreepinYJ View Post
wolfen you are very right im neglected to mention that, however i have gotten away with a 25' 12ga extension cord (might have ben 10ga) i forget. that way it is thick enough to hold the proper current and i had no problems just had to put a 30a breaker in the garage. i have a 220v welder now but im just tryin to help the kid out cuz money is tight. orrrr use a piece of 220 line and put 110 plug ends on it. it will work

Yea me too, the power cord thing is an easy fix, I now have a 25' 6ga ext cord that I use and a outlet that is run by a 20 amp breaker all to itself, the cord alone solved all my welding problems except the cleaning of the metal
I just did a muffler today in the drive way at 30deg, only problem I had was I was so cold it looks like I have Parkinson when you looked at the beginning of the weld, it was bad enough I dressed it down and ran over it again.

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