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-   -   best welding tool? (http://www.wranglerforum.com/f118/best-welding-tool-99214.html)

sciocco 06-21-2011 09:34 PM

best welding tool?
 
newb i am, i'm looking to get into some welding, i want to start off with some exhaust, body work and possibly design my own front and rear bumpers, and advance to some perhaps frame work, my dream is to be able to cut and weld like i've seen others do with complete builds...

but will definately practice on sheet scrap and cheap sheet metal from home depot....

I would like one that:
easy to use
enough amps for full range of metals for building a jeep
and spend as little as possible in money incase this goes sour....

much appreciated to be pointed out in the right direction...

CMA_Rider 06-21-2011 09:39 PM

I prefer mig, its the easyest to use and you can go to home depot and pick up a good Lincon welder for a couple of hundred bucks.

sciocco 06-23-2011 06:28 AM

any thoughts on a buzbox? all electric welder?

MetsFan978 06-23-2011 06:37 AM

I just bought a Miller 211 to do some rust repair on the Jeep. From all the research I did a 120V welder would be fine for sheet metal work, but if you ever plan on working with some thicker metal like the frame get one that can do 220V. The 120V machines don't have the power to weld metal as thick as the frame.

MIG is easier to learn and works well for body work. If you can get 220V volts something like the Hobart 187 would handle anything you'd do for the Jeep.

kfdjason7620 06-23-2011 06:39 AM

A 110volt wire welder from Lowes will dong all you need as long as its rated to weld 3/16 in one pass, but pass on the flux core and going with a shielding gas would be best bet, oh yeah and all this is my opinion since there are 1000+ more experts up here

95YamJam 06-23-2011 07:35 AM

A 120v mig will do a lot. You can weld thicker metal by chamfering the edges and filling the chamfer with weld. I also highly recomend running shileding gas. Flux will work fine but it's messy and usually requires a lot of "cleaning" after the weld.

I have a weldmark(hobart/miller) 187 220v welder. I am running a 75/25 mix gas. I have welded all kinds of stuff with it. It's reliable and consistant. I've never hit the duty cycle with it and to me thats important, I don't like to wait on a welder.

I have a used some 110v welders and Have had to wait on them before. It's annoying.

The key is to get a welder and start burning. It's understandable that you don't want to spend a lot of money but if your actually gonna use it to build a jeep then get something decent. I'd say since your a newb a 110v welder would work great for you for now.

Just don't forget all the accesories. A good helmet, good gloves and welding jacket of somesort. A good grinder, maybe two. Lotsa cutoff wheels and grinding or flapper wheels. A few different sizes of wire too. .020-.025 is good for sheet metal, .030-.035 is pretty good for most other stuff.

The more you weld the better you'll get.

kfdjason7620 06-23-2011 07:35 AM

"Do" not dong!! Lol dam auto correct

sciocco 06-23-2011 11:14 AM

nice, exactly the kind of info i need to be hearing on here, obviously i've noticed alot of welders are 200 to 1000 starting.... and i do find alot on craigslist

only problem with used is if it works, i'd ask whoever i buy it from to give me a demonstration on the spot that it works.... (granted i bring to slabs of metal... )

Ibuildembig 06-23-2011 11:25 AM

IMO skip the 110 stuff and go directly to 220. I had a 110 way back in the day and it was the hardest non welding piece of crap I have ever seen. A skilled welder can use a 110 with ease, but a beginner should learn on a 220 for the simple fact its easier. You should be able to pick up a nice used one on CL for a grand or less. Stay away from the non big name ones too, since you will need parts eventually and you wanna be able to get them. I personally have 3 Millers and I wont buy anything but that, although there are some just as good in other brands.

TheTJRod 06-23-2011 12:09 PM

Try to get the 100-150 amp 110v welders from lowes. They will do everything you need and still be cheap enough to want to make the initial investment. For body work and sheet metal you will want the gas. For everything else it is optional. I have no garage so I only use flux as it is better for outside. There is a Lincoln 140amp 120v welder at lowes for $530 it can handle what you want. Yes you can get a 220v welder and yes it will work better than the 120v welders but they cost more and you can still do what you need to do.

Look on craigslist for cheap welders from people upgrading to bigger ones. I did a search in my area and got 2 for $350 and one for $285.

Definitely get yourself an auto darkening helmet, welding gloves, jacket or at least an apron, chisel and hammer, and most definitely an angle grinder with grinding discs. I got everything except the welder at Harbor Freight. I absolutely love my $35 auto darkening helmet from them.

Plop 06-23-2011 01:03 PM

A mig welder that runs off of 110/ regular plug will do for most things. Most welders from Lowe's, Home depot have guides for the metal thickness but will always need tweaking to be perfect. Just play with the welder for a day or so before you do anything, just remember that welding flat, vertical up and vertaical down will required adjustments to the suggested wire speed and amps on the side of the panel.

kfdjason7620 06-23-2011 01:19 PM

A guy I work with built a tube buggy on an s-10 frame 3 years ago and bought a Hobart 110 welder and it did everything he wanted perfectly, bumpers, rollcage, frame work, but like me, he's an experienced welder, that does make a difference, and you can get a hotter gas for thicker metal grade 551 60/40 instead of 75/25 tri mix, of course your local welding supply shop can help you there.

doclouie 06-24-2011 12:00 AM

Make sure you have the appropriate plug for the welder. Some are 220 and take a special plug. Some of the 110V welders take 20 or 30 amp lines. Most lines in houses are 15 amp.

95YamJam 06-24-2011 06:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ibuildembig (Post 1326095)
IMO skip the 110 stuff and go directly to 220. I had a 110 way back in the day and it was the hardest non welding piece of crap I have ever seen. A skilled welder can use a 110 with ease, but a beginner should learn on a 220 for the simple fact its easier. You should be able to pick up a nice used one on CL for a grand or less. Stay away from the non big name ones too, since you will need parts eventually and you wanna be able to get them. I personally have 3 Millers and I wont buy anything but that, although there are some just as good in other brands.

I agree and disagree. LOL! I learned on a lincoln 250 and glad I did. I was spoiled on 220v welders after that though. So now when I use someones 110v I get mad. LOL!

CL is a great place to look. Just make sure the thing works. Also watch people selling tanks. A lot of people will try to sell a rented tank. I also say stay with the namebrands. In this case especially. They do make the best.

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheTJRod (Post 1326191)
Try to get the 100-150 amp 110v welders from lowes. They will do everything you need and still be cheap enough to want to make the initial investment. For body work and sheet metal you will want the gas. For everything else it is optional. I have no garage so I only use flux as it is better for outside. There is a Lincoln 140amp 120v welder at lowes for $530 it can handle what you want. Yes you can get a 220v welder and yes it will work better than the 120v welders but they cost more and you can still do what you need to do.

Look on craigslist for cheap welders from people upgrading to bigger ones. I did a search in my area and got 2 for $350 and one for $285.

Definitely get yourself an auto darkening helmet, welding gloves, jacket or at least an apron, chisel and hammer, and most definitely an angle grinder with grinding discs. I got everything except the welder at Harbor Freight. I absolutely love my $35 auto darkening helmet from them.

Thats a good point on the flux. When I have my doors open and it's windy I have to bump my gas up a bit and adjust my welding.

I went to may local welding shop. Got a welder, tank, helmet, and some extra tips, and extra wire for just at $1000. This was 4-5 years ago. It's a 220v weldmark which is made by hobart/miller. So to me it was namebrand enough.

Also and I may be alone on this. If you get a welder make or buy a cover for it when not in use to keep dust and grinding crap out of it.

I also clean my guides and rollers about once a month maybe more if I am using it alot. Then thurough cleaning once a year. IMHO keeping the guides and roller channels clean makes it work better.

TheTJRod 06-24-2011 08:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by doclouie (Post 1327805)
Make sure you have the appropriate plug for the welder. Some are 220 and take a special plug. Some of the 110V welders take 20 or 30 amp lines. Most lines in houses are 15 amp.

I have a 100amp 110v welder and it can trip the regular 15 amp fuses on max. Luckly my washing machine is a 110v and they will "always"(if the electrician was any good) put those on 30amp fuses AND wires(please check the wires or you can easily start a fire in your wall). I run an extension cord RATED FOR 30AMPS outside and use that. If you need 220v, if you have an electric dryer you will be in luck. Most of those are 220v and at a healthy 30-50amps.

Your best bet would be to hire an electrician for $100-200 to run you a high amp line directly to where your going to use it. I only have one outlet in the front of my house and it's under my deck 50 feet from the driveway :banghead:. I always work with extension cords. I have been procrastinating so bad about calling one even though where I want my line is directly on the other side of the wall as my main fuse box.

95YamJam 06-24-2011 08:24 AM

^ Those are some good points. I have a 400A svc that I put in. Run the garage off 1 200amp panel and the house off the other. I have a few hundred in just wire to make my plasma cutter(220v/70A) work and my welder(220v/30A) work. I have two welder plugs(one on each side of the garage with a 25 foot cord on my welder and 1 plasma cutter plug with 25 foot cord on that. I have a 30x60 garage so sometimes I need the length.

Depending on the area code most washing machine circuts are 20A dedicated line(12/2awg romex), Most dryers are 40a line(8/3, romex).

I also recomend good SJO cord for extension cords rated for your amperage needs. You can get voltage drops on long runs but most people don't need to worry about it.

If your running a 220v welder I would have a liscensed electrician do the work for you but really it's pretty easy to do yourself.

idiot magnet 06-26-2011 10:19 PM

I have a sears 110 mig (was a gift from my wife) and it did great for what I was doing back then, then went to a lincoln pro100 ($40 from a pawn shop) great little welder, but not strong enough, then I found a Lincoln 220V SP175+ off of craigslist for $200.... best welder I own and can do anythig I need it to do on the Jeep. Variable speed and heat settings are a must.
Keep sarching and make sure you can run a 220 line to your garage or make a long extension cord from your dryer oulet with the correct size wire... it's pricey stuff $$$

Sabrina 06-29-2011 02:13 PM

OK guys, I'm going to be "the weirdo" here, and ask "Why not Oxy/Acetelyne"? It is the greatest training tool for moving up to a TIG welder, and is VERY portable. I have the small portable tankset from Harbor Freight, that is strapped to the Sportcage on my 1990 YJ when I'm out wheeling. I have used it to get my friends back home many times. Brie

doclouie 06-29-2011 07:43 PM

Oxy/Acetylene is more of a torch than it is a welder. Yes you can braze with it, which is a type of welding, but when people speak of welding they mostly are speaking of stick welding or wire feed welding. TIG welding is very specialized and is more like using a torch than it is conventional welding. A good TIG welding setup is very expensive and usually is mainly used for welding aluminum. A torch and welder both have their places and both take practice to be good at.

SirCanni 07-12-2011 02:50 PM

Wire feed welder that you can hook shielding gas up to is what I want. A 120 should be good enough for most automotive needs.I use a miller suitcase welder at work and you can use it to run stick or tig. You can also use 120 and 230. It's super light and portable but pricey.


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