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Old 11-10-2013, 09:31 PM   #1
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Welders

Hey all you fabricators. I'm trying to figure out what welder to buy. I know nothing...don't even know if I can weld. But figured this Jeep project is going to take me down that road. Just starting the research but would rather rely on you all's experience. It's just going to be used around the garage for projects on the Jeep...exhaust, motor mounts, axle work..stuff like that.

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Old 11-10-2013, 09:41 PM   #2
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Let's See Your Welds ( 1 2 3 ... Last Page)

These guys could probably help you out

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Old 11-10-2013, 09:50 PM   #3
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I grew up in a fabrication shop, made my career in production metal fabrication as a welding engineer. I have used just about every welding machine there is. I confidently recommend you check out the Hobart Handler at your local tractor supply for a do it yourself first time machine you will have more than you will probably ever need.

For the money I would go with the handler 190, it is more capable than most projects you will have with your jeep fab, but if you have the occasional need to weld something heavier you will have tha capacity. The duty cycle on the handler is perfect for home/small projects.

The other advantage is you can get your gas and all your consumables at tractor supply.

I am partial to Miller, I personally have a miller 252 with spool mate for my garage but it's way more machine than you may need.
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Old 11-10-2013, 09:54 PM   #4
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I've got a 252 millermatic mig, but that was a very pretty penny. I'd start with a stick welder if I were you, probably find a lincoln for just under 300 and that'd handle everything on a jeep. Stick welders are easy to learn off of too.
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Old 11-11-2013, 06:44 AM   #5
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when I taught welding,I always started my students on a flux core mig welder..that is the easiest to learn with..you can buy one at home depot for less than 300 bucks..only down side to this welder is that it will only weld up to about 1/8 inch thick steel..perfect for exhaust,body work and such but not powerful enough for thicker stuff..once you mastered welding with this you could step up to a stick welder
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Old 11-11-2013, 06:52 AM   #6
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I've got a Hobart 135 mig. it will burn 3/16-1/4" pretty good. It's runs on 110 volts, so the average "joe" can run it into a garage. The duty cycle will let you run some pretty decent passes. It normally comes with a flux core wire, but it can easily be fitted to run gas.
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Old 11-11-2013, 07:08 AM   #7
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I've got a Hobart 135 mig. it will burn 3/16-1/4" pretty good. It's runs on 110 volts, so the average "joe" can run it into a garage. The duty cycle will let you run some pretty decent passes. It normally comes with a flux core wire, but it can easily be fitted to run gas.
yes,a welder this size or preferably a little bigger would allow you to weld anything on a jeep..But,the bigger the capability then the higher the cost..Regardless of what you go with,I would recommend going with a major brand such as miller,hobart,lincoln,etc.,for ease of repairs and replacement parts
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Old 11-11-2013, 07:31 AM   #8
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when I taught welding,I always started my students on a flux core mig welder..that is the easiest to learn with..you can buy one at home depot for less than 300 bucks..only down side to this welder is that it will only weld up to about 1/8 inch thick steel..perfect for exhaust,body work and such but not powerful enough for thicker stuff..once you mastered welding with this you could step up to a stick welder
I just bought a 90 amp flux welder at harbor freight. I'm a welder by trade, and if money were no object I'd have a miller synchro wave (I just love them for ss and alum tig), and a Hobart mig machine. But for what I need in the garage, the cheapo flux machine should be fine, for now!!
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Old 11-11-2013, 10:44 AM   #9
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I teach welding classes and the first thing I would recommend is to get a copy of "The Welder's Handbook" by Richard Finch, copyright 2007. It will explain all of the processes and all of the acromyms and abbreviations associated with them, like the ones in the previous posts. You can order it from Amazon or pick up a copy at Home Depot.

Beyond that, I agree with "harleydragon" and "OUJeep2" with regard to ease of learning and use of a wire-feed machine. I do not agree that stick process is easier to learn. All of my students have been able learn with a wire-feed much faster.
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Old 11-11-2013, 11:58 AM   #10
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I teach welding classes and the first thing I would recommend is to get a copy of "The Welder's Handbook" by Richard Finch, copyright 2007. It will explain all of the processes and all of the acromyms and abbreviations associated with them, like the ones in the previous posts. You can order it from Amazon or pick up a copy at Home Depot. Beyond that, I agree with "harleydragon" and "OUJeep2" with regard to ease of learning and use of a wire-feed machine. I do not agree that stick process is easier to learn. All of my students have been able learn with a wire-feed much faster.
I also don't agree with stick being easier to learn. Wire feed welding is much easier to pick than stick. For auto related welding, where a lot of the welding is lighter gauge and sheet, wire feed is probably the best bet. Also, a lot of auto welding can be out of position, making mig/wire welding much "easier" in those situations.
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Old 11-11-2013, 12:21 PM   #11
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yeah,I believe half my students would have quit if I had started them on a 7018.Even after learning on the mig they cussed when I swapped them over
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Old 11-11-2013, 12:35 PM   #12
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I have both, a stick welder and a Miller mig....started on the stick but now it sits in the corner and has for years...
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Old 11-11-2013, 12:35 PM   #13
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Sub'd cause I keep being finicky with what welder I wanna start on, one of the better threads I've read. Hopefully I can pick up a summer certification classes so I can weld my way through school instead of this delivery driver stuff
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Old 11-11-2013, 01:03 PM   #14
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yeah,I believe half my students would have quit if I had started them on a 7018.Even after learning on the mig they cussed when I swapped them over
A lot more "finesse" required for anything more that basic stick. I thought I was pretty good at stick till I went to Hobart. I learned more in two weeks at Hobart than 2 years at vo/tech in high school. I never thought I'd get the hang of pipe welding with a 6010 root pass. That drove me nuts for weeks, then all of a sudden I got it.
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Old 11-11-2013, 01:18 PM   #15
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Just to brag only I have nothing to add I learned from the Navy on 6011 back in the 80's.


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Old 11-11-2013, 01:54 PM   #16
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just to clarify for these guys that don't know anything about welding,6010,6011 and 7018 are some of the different welding rods used in stick welders..the first 2 numbers identify the tensile strength of the weld.70 indicating 70,000 pounds per square inch tensile strength..the 3rd number indicates welding positions recommended for the particular rod.1 indicates all/any position.the 4th number indicates the type of flux on the rod.8 indicates a low hydrogen flux..I used 7018's almost exclusively in fabricating very heavy duty construction and farm equipment because of it's great strength..6010's main claim to fame is it is a hard weld.as was mentioned earlier it is many times used for the root pass ( first weld) on pipe lines because its hardness resists wear.usually the remander of the passes on pipe lines are welded with 7018's for strength..the 6011 main claim to fame that the old sailor used is it's ability to weld rusty steel. there are specialty rods made for most any situation and application
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Old 11-11-2013, 09:56 PM   #17
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my millermatic 252 will weld up 1/2" thick metal with ease, but I paid around $1900 for it on sale. I suggested a stick welder because they will weld anything on a jeep and are simple enough to use and learn off of like I did, also a good lincoln 240v 225amp stick welder is only $300.
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Old 11-11-2013, 10:43 PM   #18
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In high school ag. class we all learned on the classic Lincoln 225. But as soon as I got the chance on the MIG I don't think I touched the stick again unless the teacher made me, but with him knowing I was more into cars than tractors, the MIG was more suited for me. A stick can be aggravating for starting out on but if you can weld with a stick a MIG is a breeze. If I were to be purchasing a welder today it would be a Hobart like everyone has mentioned. For the fact that they are not too expensive, can be plugged into a regular 110 plug in, and the fact that we have a Tractor supply in town.
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Old 11-12-2013, 12:50 AM   #19
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I just bought a Lincoln Pro Mig 180 last week new in box with all the accessories for $500. List is quite a bit higher so I think I did good. I used to fab bumpers and 4x4 junk for a job (before going into the af) so I am pretty excited to get back into it.

You experienced guys have anything to say about the machine I bought? I havent used it yet since my garage isn't wired for 220 yet, and my jeep is torn apart in the way of it. With my small experience with stick and my slightly less small experience with wire feed mig I felt it was a good machine to start with and should last me a while before I out grow it.
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Old 11-12-2013, 03:47 AM   #20
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I have a Pro Mig 180 & love it. Its a fine machine. It'll last me a long time.

I have 3 years of welding school under my belt. We started on stick then migrated to MIG & TIG respectively.

Anything you'll need weld on a jeep can be done with a good MIG welder. No need for a stick welder. I don't recommend flux core wire welders. Flux core makes sloppy welds. Lots of spatter. The only time i would consider flux core is when you need to use a wire welder in windy environments where the shielding gas of the MIG process could be scattered resulting in nasty welds full of imperfections.
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Old 11-12-2013, 07:59 AM   #21
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the operator might make sloppy welds with a particular type of machine but that is not the machines fault..For the average guy on here just wanting to do at home repairs or projects,a flux core mig is the least expensive,easiest to learn way to go
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Old 11-12-2013, 12:17 PM   #22
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I bought a Hobart 210MVP for a few reasons. First, I think it's large enough for anything I want to do on my Jeep. Second, it can run off of both 110VAC or 220VAC, so it's versatile and portable. It will only do thinner material when on 110VAC, just like any other 110VAC welder. I also wanted to use shield gas, and not be limited to flux core.

It's not cheap...I have over $1000 invested in my welding setup. The welder, shield gas bottle ($200), gloves, self-darkening helmet, pliers, magnets, clamps, etc. Everything was new - it's next to impossible to find used welding equipment around here.
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Old 11-12-2013, 04:02 PM   #23
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I have a Farmhand 110v wire feed welder from Tractor Supply. It will take plain wire with gas or flux wire. It's good up to 1/4 in material. I've used from 18g sheet metal up to 1/8 plate for frame repairs it does well with a good duty cycle. My Dad and I paid $300 for it and it has paid for itself several times over. For being a shade tree mechanic, it does us well.
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Old 11-12-2013, 06:17 PM   #24
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Don't get me wrong, they're a fine welder for around the shop stuff, but regardless of the operator they won't weld as nice as a properly set up Metal Inert Gas welder. Just the nature of the beast.

They're both point & click, both good choices for a novice just getting into welding.
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Old 11-12-2013, 06:42 PM   #25
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I have a Pro Mig 180 & love it. Its a fine machine. It'll last me a long time.

I have 3 years of welding school under my belt. We started on stick then migrated to MIG & TIG respectively.

Anything you'll need weld on a jeep can be done with a good MIG welder. No need for a stick welder. I don't recommend flux core wire welders. Flux core makes sloppy welds. Lots of spatter. The only time i would consider flux core is when you need to use a wire welder in windy environments where the shielding gas of the MIG process could be scattered resulting in nasty welds full of imperfections.
Cool, thanks for sharing your experience. I am happy to hear I picked up a good machine. I am actually going into welding school starting winter quarter on my GI Bill, I am really excited.
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Old 11-12-2013, 07:24 PM   #26
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Good deal. My advice for you since you're gonna go to school is start out with a stick welder. Once you get good with a stick welder, MIG & Flux Core is like child's play.

SMAW is where you'll hone your hand to eye coordination. Once you've got that down you can do just about any welding process. My instructor was old school deluxe. He could weld anything & everything. He started everyone on stick. You have a better respect for the craft that way.

Good luck & enjoy it. I had a blast at welding school.
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Old 11-12-2013, 07:40 PM   #27
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^^ Thanks, I did 4x4 fab full time for a few months a couple years ago so I am already comfortable with a torch in my hand. I know I will learn a ton in school though, and I look forward to that.
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Old 11-12-2013, 08:16 PM   #28
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Cool beans. You'll love it.
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Old 11-20-2013, 02:33 PM   #29
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I was a weldor for 40 years and I started out welding with stick rods at a Alcoa refinery, went to power plants, shops, and bridge constuction. All pipe had root passes with 6010 and subsequent passes with 7018. I have a Lincoln AC/DC stick welder and a MIG at home. I believe starting out with a rod can prepare one better for welding than starting out on a MIG.
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Old 11-22-2013, 11:40 AM   #30
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Check out these welders.
MIG 160DV Welding Package, Welding Parts, Metal Working Accessories, Welder Supplies | USAWeld.com

I have the one shown, it has worked very well for me for the past 10-15 years.

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