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Old 03-10-2012, 04:39 PM   #1
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Welder

I'm looking to get into welding. What's a good type of entry level welder. I know there's a bunch of different types just curious what I should look to get.

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Old 03-10-2012, 04:41 PM   #2
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MIG is the ONLY WAY to go, or don't go at all.

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Old 03-10-2012, 04:51 PM   #3
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I'm looking to get into welding. What's a good type of entry level welder. I know there's a bunch of different types just curious what I should look to get.
Anything by Hobart, Lincoln or Miller. Get a 180+ amp version if you have 220V in your garage, or get a 140amp version if you only have 110V in your garage.

What you are looking for with entry level stuff is wire feed welders. You can run flux-core wire (shielding, which is flux, is inside the wire), or MIG (shielding is an inert gas, which surrounds the weld puddle).

Flux-core is more forgiving with dirty steel, outdoor environments, and it doesn't require gas. MIG requires more prep to clean the steel, and can only be done indoors with no wind. The weld puddle is easier to see with MIG than flux-core.

I'd suggest starting with flux-core because porosity far less prevalent, and you can learn how to hold the puddle and move it to fill gaps and add material. Starting with MIG will almost always yield excessive porosity and frustration as you move too fast or too slow and don't quite understand how they relate to gas coverage. But once you get the flux-core down as far as heat, feed rate and puddle control, the transfer to MIG is much easier.

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Old 03-10-2012, 05:17 PM   #4
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I have been welding commercially for years and in my garage is a Hobart 140 MIG, which is 110 volts, It is a great all round machine and I have regularly welded up to 1/4 plate which is about all you need for a general purpose machine. The 220 volts machines are nice if you want to go the extra bucks. Stick with a brand name as mentioned above.
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Old 03-10-2012, 07:19 PM   #5
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I am a Lincoln man myself. They never have let me down. I have two in fact. One that is 220V and the other is 110V. MIG or flux core is the way to go if you will be doing thinner material and only have access to 110V outlet (It should be a 30 amp circuit though) a heavy duty stick welder will do better for 1/4" and up, but you will need a 220V circuit like you find for an electric dryer. Welding is a lot of fun and it is amazing what you can make. Weldingmart.com has some really good prices and the customer service is good.
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Old 03-10-2012, 07:43 PM   #6
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I highly recommend miller 180 mig... its 220... but it has an auto set, all you adjust is thickness of metal. Very little education needed. I also have a miller 180 stick tig combo, but if i had one it would be the mig for jeep fabbin.
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Old 03-10-2012, 11:31 PM   #7
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Learn to arc weld first, then get your mig. There are times when a mig just won't penatrate enough or work in some situations. The welding I do in our shop will hold peoples lives very high in the air and there are a few welds on our machines where we need the utmost in strength and the arc is the only way to go then. The bumpers I build are mostly wire fed except for the d-ring mounts, they are always arc welded.

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Old 03-11-2012, 10:46 AM   #8
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Most trades-and-tech schools have an "intro to welding" course that you could take, and it's a good investment.

If you have the budget, stick with a name-brand tool. WRT sizing, what the earlier posters said. Shop around. You may find variations in price. Even check Amazon.

BTW, if you're running flux-core wire, be sure you have good ventilation. The fumes can be NASTY.
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:56 AM   #9
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I just bought a Miller Invision 352 and I really like it. It's kind of pricey but I got a good deal from someone going out of business.
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:59 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by morton615085 View Post
I highly recommend miller 180 mig... its 220... but it has an auto set, all you adjust is thickness of metal. Very little education needed. I also have a miller 180 stick tig combo, but if i had one it would be the mig for jeep fabbin.
X2, that's what I have. I sold my old 135 amp Hobart 110v MIG welder to get one 4-5 years ago and I'm super pleased with it. It works extremely well and it (mostly) removes one variable by setting the wire speed for you which is really helpful. I'm still a hack welder but the Miller has helped me to move up to the advanced hack welder level.

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