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Old 01-02-2013, 05:29 PM   #1
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Welding help

I'm going to buy a welder because I'm fed up with super high prices on bumpers and other things. Real rigs are built, not bought right? I want a mig welder but idk what kind I should get or what the specs need to be. Any help? Building rockers, a rear bumper and tire carrier and other things like that.

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Old 01-02-2013, 05:37 PM   #2
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You cant go wrong with the millermatic 180. Get 220v, gas not flux, and a name brand like miller, Hobart, Lincoln, etc.

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Old 01-02-2013, 05:44 PM   #3
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You really want a unit that uses a shield gas rather than flux core wire. A shield gas unit does not prevent the use of flux core wire, but there is a big difference in the results using a shield gas. Your choices on the type of unit really depends on what kind of welding you want to do. I picked up a Hobart package for about $400 (made by Miller) 2 years ago that runs on 110 volts and it has performed well for me, easily handling 1/4" plate steel. If you plan on welding a lot heavier steel plan on a 220 volt unit. Miller makes some of the most popular units on the Market but if you find something else post the info and get some feedback,.
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:46 PM   #4
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Alright thanks, I'm trying to pick up a whole kit for a great price, possibly a used one in good shape. Any ideas on where I could find that?
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:48 PM   #5
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Alright thanks, I'm trying to pick up a whole kit for a great price, possibly a used one in good shape. Any ideas on where I could find that?
You cannot go wrong looking around craigslist. I have picked up some real good deals there
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:55 PM   #6
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:55 PM   #7
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Spend sometime researching and reading before you buy. There are several Welding sites to get great information.

Weld Talk Message Board and Online Forum - Hobart Welders
WeldingWeb™ - Welding forum for pros and enthusiasts - Powered by vBulletin

But as stated...stick to Lincoln, Miller or Hobart.
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:57 PM   #8
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I have a older version of it (135 SP) and that kit was likely bought at Home Depot (hence the "HD").

http://www.homedepot.com/buy/lincoln...l#.UOS9CuRlF8E

I have been very happy with mine, but I think its too light for Bumpers. Also, it is set up for Fluxcore and not gas.
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:59 PM   #9
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What am I looking for in a welder?
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:04 PM   #10
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Two features that I would look for in a mig welder would be gas shielding and continuously variable voltage. What I mean by that is lincoln welders have perhaps 6 voltages that you can set them at and then vary the wire speed. Miller generally let's you dial it specifically so if you're laying a little hot you can dial it back gently instead of loosing all your heat with a full click down on your heat.
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:08 PM   #11
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What am I looking for in a welder?
110V (still to light for a bumper)
Weld Pak 140 HD Wire-Feed Welder-K2514-1 at The Home Depot

230v
Weld Pak 180 HD Wire Feed Welder-K2515-1 at The Home Depot
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:07 PM   #12
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No, that is not big enough to weld bumpers with... at least not easily. Stick with a MIG welder that is a 220v model with 170-180 amps of welding capacity. The above mentioned brands including Miller, Lincoln, and Hobart will be fine.

There is one welder in particular that I upgraded to from my previous Hobart that I can heartily recommend to a newer welder. The Millermatic (from Miller) 180 Autoset. The Autoset feature is unique to Miller and it greatly reduces the complexity of welding by automatically setting the wire feed speed for you. My previous Hobart MIG welder didn't have that feature and my welds immediately became easier & better once I started welding with the Miller 180 Autoset.

Finally, I recommend only a 220v welder & not a 110v due to your desire to start making fairly heavy steel parts like bumpers. A 110v MIG welder maxes out at 135-140 amps which is not quite enough power for heavier gauges of steel like you'd use for a bumper.

YES I know an expert welder can make a 110v MIG welder work for welding bigger pieces of steel but it won't be easy for someone who isn't an expert. I'll never go back to a 110v welder. A 220v 180 amp MIG welder from Miller, Lincoln, or Hobart will be fine for most anything you will ever likely want to make.
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:25 PM   #13
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I would recommend some welding classes, their is a lot more to welding than what some people think, just because it looks good doesn't mean it will hold. For example you need to be able to tell if you have penetration, or if you are undercutting the base metal, because your welding to hot. I am not trying to be a jerk, but just throwing that out there.
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:26 PM   #14
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No, that is not big enough to weld bumpers with... at least not easily. Stick with a MIG welder that is a 220v model with 170-180 amps of welding capacity. The above mentioned brands including Miller, Lincoln, and Hobart will be fine.

There is one welder in particular that I upgraded to from my previous Hobart that I can heartily recommend to a newer welder. The Millermatic (from Miller) 180 Autoset. The Autoset feature is unique to Miller and it greatly reduces the complexity of welding by automatically setting the wire feed speed for you. My previous Hobart MIG welder didn't have that feature and my welds immediately became easier & better once I started welding with the Miller 180 Autoset.

Finally, I recommend only a 220v welder & not a 110v due to your desire to start making fairly heavy steel parts like bumpers. A 110v MIG welder maxes out at 135-140 amps which is not quite enough power for heavier gauges of steel like you'd use for a bumper.

YES I know an expert welder can make a 110v MIG welder work for welding bigger pieces of steel but it won't be easy for someone who isn't an expert. I'll never go back to a 110v welder. A 220v 180 amp MIG welder from Miller, Lincoln, or Hobart will be fine for most anything you will ever likely want to make.
x2 I have a degree in metals fab, and agree totally with this. I have 3 welders myself, one is a gassless110 v Hobart, its what I learned to weld with one is the Miller 180 autoset, and the 3rd is an old old Lincoln Buzz box stick welder. of the 3 I would recommend a newbie buy the Miller, the Lincoln Buzz box is more versatile, and cheap, and will do just as good a job in the hands of a trained user, but its not as easy to learn as mig. the gassless "suitcase" welders, like my Hobart are nice for small things up to 1/4", cheap to buy and easy to use, but aren't as versatile, or as reliable. my Hobart overheats regularly under constant use. but is easier to use for small quick repairs, and can be used at just about anybody's house. many people don't have a 220v outlet to use.
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:44 PM   #15
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but is easier to use for small quick repairs, and can be used at just about anybody's house. many people don't have a 220v outlet to use.
+1
It wouldn't be the worst idea to start out with a 110v flux core welder. I have a millermatic 180, dialarc 250 hf tig / stick, and a torch. Sometimes I wish I could just bring out a small welder, do a couple tacks, then store it away. I want a small hobart 110v flux welder just for stuff like that.
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:50 PM   #16
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+1
It wouldn't be the worst idea to start out with a 110v flux core welder. I have a millermatic 180, dialarc 250 hf tig / stick, and a torch. Sometimes I wish I could just bring out a small welder, do a couple tacks, then store it away. I want a small hobart 110v flux welder just for stuff like that.
Well and another option if you go with 110v is that you can tack a bumper together with it and get it how you want it. Then take it to someone to do the final weld that has the skills and a 220v welder.
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:56 PM   #17
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I run a Millermatic 210MVP w/ autoset. A friend of mine is a professional welder and he bought one after playing with mine. It's a superb bang for your buck, although they aren't cheap. Best of all you can run the 210MVP on 220v (210amps) or 110v (140amps). It welds better than my previous Hobart 140A and better than my friend's old Lincoln 175A. My 210MVP paid for itself when I did a customized exhaust myself.
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:57 PM   #18
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Well and another option if you go with 110v is that you can tack a bumper together with it and get it how you want it. Then take it to someone to do the final weld that has the skills and a 220v welder.
or, get the welder that could do the whole project, and do it yourself. a larger welder can be turned down to do smaller projects. you can get small 110v gas capable welders fairly cheap. if you wanted a 110v I'd recommend these, they can use the fluxed wire, or a shielding gas, and are not much more expensive than gassless welders. I'm not saying don't get a 110v. but for the projects you want to do, and given your skill level, a larger welder might be more costly, but will do the job better.
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:58 PM   #19
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Is it hard to get a 220V socket out of a 110V electric socket?
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:00 PM   #20
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Is it hard to get a 220V socket out of a 110V electric socket?
a 220V welder needs a 30+ amp 220V breaker. I plug my 220V welder off the clothes dryer socket using an extension cord I made from common stuff available at Lowes/Home Depot.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:03 PM   #21
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Sweet thanks. I'm not looking to go out and spend 1000 dollars on a welder haha. As I wish I could, I just don't have that kind of money. Any suggestions on a welder that is 220V that isn't way too terribly expensive?
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:06 PM   #22
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craigslist, eBay, a used welder, is often just as good as a new one, all of mine were used when I bought um, I got my Miller for 350
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:12 PM   #23
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Miller 180 Autoset is in the $870 range, Hobart 180 is around $760, a Lincoln is somewhere in-between them.

Check your local Craigslist, mine typically has several used 180 amp MIG welders for sale.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:22 PM   #24
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I found a few. Thanks guys, I also dropped by a local bookstore to pick up a book on welding, It's called "Welder's Handbook" by Richard Finch with HPBooks
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:25 PM   #25
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I found a few. Thanks guys, I also dropped by a local bookstore to pick up a book on welding, It's called "Welder's Handbook" by Richard Finch with HPBooks
excellent guide, we had to get it in college for class. I would also recommend talking to your local welding supply shop when you've gotten your welder to get the correct supplies. wire, gas, nozzles, electrodes etc. a good shop will help you to improve your skills as well, by giving you tips, on how to do better and save time/money.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:28 PM   #26
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Thanks I really appreciate it. I think my Dad's good friend is gunna give me some lessons because he was a professional fabricator. He was one of the welders on the indoor skydiving arena in Arizona.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:31 PM   #27
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:36 PM   #28
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thats a nice stick welder, but I think you'd prefer a wire welder, you want a MIG(metal inert gas) or GMAW these two are synonyms of each other, that is a stick welder or SMAW . its a little trickier to be good at stick welding especially for pipes and overhead welds than it is with wire.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:42 PM   #29
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Yep stick works well but it's significantly harder to learn than MIG. I had an afternoon-long lesson in stick welding for trail repairs but that only made me a passable emergency-only stick welder, Heaven help the broken down Jeeps on the trail I have to use my stick welding skills on. My goal is to put together some type of emergency MIG welding kit for the trail.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:44 PM   #30
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Haha Yea, I think ill stick with MIG then =P I just want to weld bumpers and tire carriers and rockers, maybe a few roof racks and that kind of stuff. Get good at it and hopefully sell some of my stuff.

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