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Old 10-07-2007, 08:55 PM   #1
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welder or front bumper

i can get an arc welder with mask and everything complete for under $100 (new too). honestly though...i probably wouldnt be making jeep parts (i never see squre tube to make stuff like bumpers ). it would be mainly to learn the trade and possibly get a job (at a custom shop) during the rest of my high school year and/or summer after high school. (i gotta admit that it would be pretty cool to make my own bumper if i could find the right material.)

or i could get a front bumper...if so which one?

currie shorty front - $160 shipped

stubby square tube style (like warn and LOD) front bumper from local
fabricator...does great work and i can pick it up locally for $125

looked at the LOD front bumper but with shipping it would be over $180...can't quite afford that

help me decide...bumper or welder?

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Old 10-07-2007, 09:40 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by mrbigjeep View Post
i can get an arc welder with mask and everything complete for under $100 (new too). honestly though...i probably wouldnt be making jeep parts (i never see squre tube to make stuff like bumpers ). it would be mainly to learn the trade and possibly get a job (at a custom shop) during the rest of my high school year and/or summer after high school. (i gotta admit that it would be pretty cool to make my own bumper if i could find the right material.)

or i could get a front bumper...if so which one?

currie shorty front - $160 shipped

stubby square tube style (like warn and LOD) front bumper from local
fabricator...does great work and i can pick it up locally for $125

looked at the LOD front bumper but with shipping it would be over $180...can't quite afford that

help me decide...bumper or welder?
Are you serious?! BUY THE WELDER!!!!! If you have the skills and ability, having the welder just gives you the excuse to "obtain" the materials, then you can make any bumper you want! Look for RIPBIKER13's stuff, he has fabbed up some cool stuff at home...

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Old 10-07-2007, 09:42 PM   #3
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welder for sure. I wish I had learned more from my dad about welding, now I just don't have the time. But it is a great skill to have, and you can make some really cool stuff.
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Old 10-07-2007, 10:21 PM   #4
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haha...speaking of ripbiker, i already sent him a PM.

i have NO experience with welding...but thats why i wanna buy one...so i can learn...

it would be cool if my Dad was still around...he could weld very good...

i'm leaning towards the welder too...and if i can find the material to make a bumper then that will solve the bumper problem too
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Old 10-07-2007, 11:35 PM   #5
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*2 for the welder. Wish I would have picked it up back in HS. Had to find a class some 16 years later before I could start making stuff. Get the welder, make some custom parts, sell 'em online, make a billion $$ in the process, and retire by the age of 20

Now THAT has my vote!

Seriously tho. $160 for a bumper or $100 for the welder + $30 in metal = having a bumper AND a welder!

Here's mine...cost was only $30 in material...
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Old 10-07-2007, 11:42 PM   #6
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hahaha...nice idea!

that looks pretty sweet.

i have been lookin at arc welders...but if i get one it will have to be 110v because i don't have 220v outlets...will that be strong enough to weld the steel that bumpers are made of??

actually...if i could make a bumper and sell it...that would be awesome haha...i've got the time

don't arc welders use wire? hope the wire doesn't cost too much...may need some kind of cutter too...maybe a sawzall...or somethin that uses heat may be better
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Old 10-08-2007, 11:44 AM   #7
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A Sawzall and an angle grinder would be good for starters. They both have a lot of uses. Look in the yellow pages for steel supplier. They shouldn't be too hard to find. Get yourself a chunk of 2"x4" with .125" wall thickness.
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Old 10-08-2007, 02:52 PM   #8
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Find a couple batteries. Double as a good trail welder too. I wouldn't trust a 110V arc welder, probably would take multiple passes to get good penetration, especially in the hands of a novice. A 220V is alot more forgiving just because of its power.

Also, square is as cool as round for bumpers, its all in the design and finish
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Old 10-08-2007, 03:33 PM   #9
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i don't have 220V outlet though...
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Old 10-08-2007, 03:37 PM   #10
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i don't have 220V outlet though...
Thats why I said find a friend to do it

That or make an longer cord to go from the dryer.
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Old 10-08-2007, 03:39 PM   #11
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Welder no doubt in my mind and then a pipe bender and make your on stuff! A 220 line is not a big deal either and the cost shouldn't be to bad,as long as you have space in your breaker box for the breaker.
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Old 10-08-2007, 03:48 PM   #12
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I would get a welder, stay away from the 110 arc welder it uses rods, a 110 mig welder uses the wire and is a little better. 220 is your best bet but more expensive. I have a little 110 mig welder which is OK for lighter materials. I make things at home with 110 and just tack them together then take them to work for finish welding. Welding is a good skill to have, even if you do not work in the field.
Think of it this way you can buy a 2 bumpers ( front and back ) 1 time $300-$500
or learn to weld and you can make bumpers, skid plates, axle brackets, roll cage etc. for your lifetime no matter what kind of vehicle you own or get.
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Old 10-08-2007, 03:57 PM   #13
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ok...thanks

what does the amp rating mean?

i've looked at 4 different welders with at least 3 of them having different amperature ratings...
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Old 10-08-2007, 04:03 PM   #14
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To keep it simple more amps = more power= weld thicker material
the downside is your electrical system must be able to handle it. You do not want to be tripping breakers all the time.
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Old 10-08-2007, 04:07 PM   #15
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I would get a welder, stay away from the 110 arc welder it uses rods, a 110 mig welder uses the wire and is a little better. 220 is your best bet but more expensive.
How is mig welding any better than stick welding? If anything, I prefer stick for varied materials in that I don't have to switch an entire spool of wire when switching materials. Also, anyone good with a stick machine will pick up mig welding much much easier.

Anyone can mig and make it look good, doesn't mean its strong, no matter what you choose learn from someone who knows what they are doing so you don't learn bad habits.

Also, don't learn to weld on anything that your life depends on. Bumpers are fine, but don't make suspension components or cages until you trust yourself.
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Old 10-08-2007, 04:25 PM   #16
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Sorry I never meant to say one was better then the other but I did use a 110 stick before and it just never had enough amps or duty cycle to get a good weld that is why I bought a big lincoln 220 (sold it last year), I also have a 110 mig and use it for the non critical lighter materials.
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Old 10-08-2007, 04:34 PM   #17
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i have a couple of options...

200 amp 110V/210V (this is how its listed ) --- $135
120 amp 110V ---also has a torch $105
100 amp 110V ---also has a torch $95
165 amp 110V ---$125

which one would yall get?
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Old 10-08-2007, 05:07 PM   #18
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i have a couple of options...

200 amp 110V/210V (this is how its listed ) --- $135
120 amp 110V ---also has a torch $105
100 amp 110V ---also has a torch $95
165 amp 110V ---$125

which one would yall get?
200 amp at what duty cycle?

How thick of materials are you looking at welding?

Also, to the above guy what size rods were you using?
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Old 10-08-2007, 05:21 PM   #19
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the only 2 rated are as follows

165 amp = 10% duty cycle

120 amp= 60% @ 50 amps and 10% @ 120 amps (says "best for welding plate steel")

i am looking at welding ".125 wall thickness" i guess...whatever thickness bumper materia is...im guessing that would be 3/16" or 1/4"
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Old 10-08-2007, 05:43 PM   #20
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the only 2 rated are as follows

165 amp = 10% duty cycle

120 amp= 60% @ 50 amps and 10% @ 120 amps (says "best for welding plate steel")

i am looking at welding ".125 wall thickness" i guess...whatever thickness bumper materia is...im guessing that would be 3/16" or 1/4"
I'd find a pawn shop deal on a good 220V arc welder, lincoln hobart or miller are all good.

3/16s is .188
1/4s is .250
.125 is 1/8" and would reall only be good for a covering portion not expected to impact anything.
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Old 10-08-2007, 06:39 PM   #21
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Also, don't learn to weld on anything that your life depends on. Bumpers are fine, but don't make suspension components or cages until you trust yourself.
OR recovery points. Use bolt on hooks till your welding skills get good. I have seen quite a few welds break on shackle mounts.
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Old 10-08-2007, 07:46 PM   #22
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I'd find a pawn shop deal on a good 220V arc welder, lincoln hobart or miller are all good.

3/16s is .188
1/4s is .250
.125 is 1/8" and would reall only be good for a covering portion not expected to impact anything.
the price of a 220V is no problem...its just that its most convenient to use the standard outlets.
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Old 10-08-2007, 09:00 PM   #23
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I picked up welding while being aboard the R/V langseth. I found it a fun and cool skill. It wasnt really hard, biggest thing to learn is what rods for what materials and what amperage for the material you are welding. I have only done arc welding no mig or tig. I have been thinking of getting a welding machine myself for just this same reason. I have heard that the 220 v ones are by far the better choice. faster duty cycles and more amps to weld thicker materials. But I havel also heard that 110 v migs are not too bad for a shady tree mechanic. Sorry I am not much help, I am in the same boat. But if I could afford a good quality welding machine. I would setup a 220v circuit in my garage and have the welder in there. I think having the welder and practicing building bumpers and such is a better choice than buying a bumper. You can order steel from the internet like mcmaster carr a bit pricey or just google it and see what you find. Still scrap is going for a pretty penny so it maybe hard to get a some scrap steel from a steel yard.
Well good luck.
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Old 10-08-2007, 10:18 PM   #24
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How is mig welding any better than stick welding? If anything, I prefer stick for varied materials in that I don't have to switch an entire spool of wire when switching materials. Also, anyone good with a stick machine will pick up mig welding much much easier.
Could be starting a flame war here. Actually, I personally prefer MIG. Is very easy and I only use 1 spool (.045) I just adjust wire speed and voltage as needed for the thickness at hand.

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Anyone can mig and make it look good, doesn't mean its strong, no matter what you choose learn from someone who knows what they are doing so you don't learn bad habits.
Strength comes from doing it right. And agreed, learn from somebody that knows. After that practice, practice, practice. Oh, and practice some more!

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Also, don't learn to weld on anything that your life depends on. Bumpers are fine, but don't make suspension components or cages until you trust yourself.
Totally agreed. I've got 2 migs: a 110v and a 220v. Would never consider the 110v for anything structural. The 220v, however...rated at 1/2" in 1 pass

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Originally Posted by mrbigjeep View Post
i have a couple of options...
200 amp 110V/210V (this is how its listed ) --- $135
120 amp 110V ---also has a torch $105
100 amp 110V ---also has a torch $95
165 amp 110V ---$125
which one would yall get?
the only 2 rated are as follows
165 amp = 10% duty cycle
120 amp= 60% @ 50 amps and 10% @ 120 amps (says "best for welding plate steel")
i am looking at welding ".125 wall thickness" i guess...whatever thickness bumper materia is...im guessing that would be 3/16" or 1/4"
Rating is basically the % of time you can run it constantly in 10 mins. e.g. 10% means run it for 1 min and let it cool for 9. (*correct me if I'm wrong here guys...has been a long day!*)

Lower percentage is not necessarily bad. There are many times you'll want to do short bursts and let it cool before continuing. 10% however is a little low; you'll get frustrated very quickly with this one.

Which to get? I'm gonna have to lean on the old addage...you get what you pay for. Get the best one you can get right now (check e-bay, pawn shop, etc too!) If it comes down to it, save up for a few months and get an even better one. Just about guarantee you'll out grow it soon. I outgrew my first one (a 110v mig (Lincoln 3200HD)) within 5 or 6 months. Convinced the wifey and picked up a MillerMatic 251 (totally ROX!!!)
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Old 10-08-2007, 10:24 PM   #25
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Anybody here ever use a millermatic DVI?

I was lookin at buyin one in the spring.
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Old 10-08-2007, 10:47 PM   #26
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Just wire a 220v outlet to your garage from the breaker box it's not that hard to do.
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Old 10-09-2007, 12:12 AM   #27
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welder...no contest
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Old 10-09-2007, 09:13 AM   #28
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I would like to get a smaller cheaper ark or mig 110 or 220v welder. You guys have any links to decent welders.
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flowmaster40,hpd30 with aussie locker,currie upper joints,4.88's, lca skids,chromo shafts,vanco brakes,d35 with super 35 and arb locker,re 4.5" springs,currie arms,re front uppers,Re shocks in back,walkerevens shocks up front, Re track bars with currie jj joints,anti rock,ss brake lines,re rear sway bar links,jks 1.25" bl and mml,bfg 35x12.5 km2's,craiger soft 8's,ome steering stabilizer,currie hd steering,rockmen front bumper,emp tank skid,lots more too.
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Old 10-09-2007, 09:28 AM   #29
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i don't have 220V outlet though...
Do you have a buddy that is an electrician? If you have 220VAC for the oven or clothes dryer in your housew you have 220VAC coming into the house. Provided there is spare room and capacity in the panel, a 220 VAC outlet can be added for a few bucks.
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Old 10-09-2007, 11:09 AM   #30
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Harbor Freight just had these on sale for 99.00. They are not that bad for a budget welder. They have others as well, including a Chicago Electric arc welder on sale for 79.00.
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=94056


Arc welder. 79.00
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=55060

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