Finally gonna get into welding

QuickNDirty

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So bitcoin went apeshit the other day and I did a decent job taking advantage of the volatility. Got enough to get a welding machine, accessories, and probably enough left over for materials to build a decent table.

I've got some rusty floor pans in my jeep I need to fix, I want to build a roof rack I can sleep on, some friends want me to weld their kit bumper things (1/8 or 3/16 thick mostly), and I want to make some steel targets I can hammer into the ground. 1/4" is probably the thickest stuff I'd work on except maybe some scrap 1/2" plate I might weld some chains to.

Think this little bastard would ever let me down?

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009X43F38/ref=ox_sc_act_title_3?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1

 

mcameron

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    ide spend the money and get a 220v unit.......especially if you want to weld up to 1/4"

    and honestly ide get a stick welder first over a mig welder.........a stick welder will be a lot more versatile, as you can weld aluminum, steel, and cast iron with the same unit......and they tend to be cheaper than a mig.....not to mention dead nuts reliable.
     

    sirhrmechanic

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    Don't bother with a Mig. Get yourself a Tig Welder and never worry about anything you want to cut again.

    Just takes a bit of finesse with the rods. But the Tig Welder is massively more flexible and capable than Mig.

    A Miller EconoTig is a great machine... a few years old. But cheap. Or get a more up-to-date square wave Tig welder.

    Stick welders and Mig's are just not worth it vs. the little more for a TiG.

    Cheers,

    Sirhr
     

    mcameron

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    my only "issue" with tig welders is all the prep thats needed..........the metal needs to be super clean, and all mill scale needs to be removed before welding.

    the good thing about a stick is itll blast right through dirt/ paint/ and mill scale.....which is handy if youre working on farm equipment or anything outside.


    but yeah, if you are able to clean and properly prep, Tig welding is MUCH better than stick or mig......and you are able to get super clean welds that dont need to be ground after
     

    QuickNDirty

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    I'm OK with stick, but I kinda favor mig because it looks easier to work with one-handed and I can run flux-core or use gas. I like the 120 option because a lot of my work will be in random spots where 220 won't be available and dragging a bottle around would be a PITA. Also probably a better option for 14ga and smaller sheet metal bullshit I'm going to be dicking around with.

    I've run stick and tig before, and done some oxy/acetylene welding, never tried stick though. Looks fun on youtube. Is it really so shitty?
     

    FS1

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    That machine will be challenging to weld 1/4 inch. But you can weld up to 3/8 with it if you use a torch to preheat. Mig is the easiest to learn but easy to cold lap if you don't pay attention. That machine you should check and see if it does flux cored wire. That is the simplest no shielding gas needed. If you are only gonna play a little that will be enough for you. Any serious welding will leave you with buyers remorse. And remember it's only 20% duty cycle. That means 2 minutes welding 8 minutes cool down.

    if you think you are going to get serious with welding look at a multi process welder like milermatic 200 I think that is the #. It will cost a couple of grand but it will weld all three processes. And it's 110 and 220v very good machine for the serious hobbyist. Small too.
     

    Gunfighter14e2

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    Think this little bastard would ever let me down?
    It will do the job just fine an if you change it to 0.030 inter-core you will like it better.
    I've Lincolns, one 120Vac Mig I changed to 0.030 inter-core wire, an will never install the gas bottle or 0.035 wire ever again, an a 250amp stick. The 120Vac will weld 3/8 an pass X-ray w/o issue but the duty cycle is low in hot weather. Whatever you end up with, get a good adjustable auto darking welding helmet w/adjustable shades from 5-13 an never look back. Make sure you get one with strike, an off ark adjustments as well, as those are worth every penny.
     

    mcameron

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    I'm OK with stick, but I kinda favor mig because it looks easier to work with one-handed and I can run flux-core or use gas. I like the 120 option because a lot of my work will be in random spots where 220 won't be available and dragging a bottle around would be a PITA. Also probably a better option for 14ga and smaller sheet metal bullshit I'm going to be dicking around with.

    I've run stick and tig before, and done some oxy/acetylene welding, never tried stick though. Looks fun on youtube. Is it really so shitty?

    regardless of what type of welding you do, the only time you are going to be welding 1 handed is when you are placing tacks.......when you run actual beads, you are going to almost always be using 2 hands....... unless you are in some odd position.

    regarding MIG welding.....its not as bad as people make it out to be......it welds just fine.........i just hate dealing with the wire and replacing burned up tips.
     
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    QuickNDirty

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    Cool. I pretty much guarantee some odd positions and confined spaces, probably requiring a mirror. Are the dual voltage rigs worth it, or is that gimmicky on the lower (sub 1000$) end?

    I've been eyeballing this one for a couple of years now. Italian rig, people seem to like it. Mig/flux core, Tig, and stick on 120/220.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UAL7LJM...ing=UTF8&psc=1

     
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    Slash0311

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    I have one and run the flux core. It does fine for thinner stuff. A buddy runs one with gas for his exhaust work in his auto care business and it does great, even with regular (almost daily) exhaust jobs. I would certainly recommend it for the money especially if you're welding lighter stuff. Let's face it, how many home shop guys weld 3/8" - 1/4" stuff anyway. That option might be nice but only you can answer if that option is worth the money.
     

    demolitionman

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    You can always turn a 220 welder down, or use them on a 110 outlet. You can't turn a 110 welder up.... if you go mig(my recommendation) get a 220 rig.
     

    Alphatreedog

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    It all depends on what you're welding . The Hobart or any Mig wi) do dheet metal . You said you're gonna do some fl[rboards so yeah that will do it . If you grind a decent angle you can weld 1/4 inch with that 140 . You wil just have to layer the weld in the bevel . Crank that fucker to 5 on the heat and drop your wire feed to 30 and take it slow . Always get some scraps and do a hammer test on your welds if its critical stuff . I'm talkin three pound maul and go effin King Kong on it .
     

    my human host

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    The Hobart Handler 210 MVP is an awesome welder for home use. A touch on the heavy side, but plenty of ass when hooked up to 230. Comes with 115 and 230V cords.
     

    QuickNDirty

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    Thanks for the feedback, y'all. I'm gonna bump my welder pricerange up a bit. I didn't know Lincoln had a multi-process for 1200, thought I was looking at 1600+ for one from them. Running off of 120 is pretty necessary to me, and the majority of what I do will be on stuff 1/8" or less, but occasionally I'd like to weld up a cannon, y'know?

    Gunfighter, I'm not sure if what you meant by "strike, an off ark" was in relation to arc starting settings on the machine or some feature of an auto darkening helmet. Could you please clarify?
     

    FS1

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    Craigslist can be your friend. Many people buy them and sell them quick. And they do sell quick so keep an eye on the ads.
     

    demolitionman

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    Thanks for the feedback, y'all. I'm gonna bump my welder pricerange up a bit. I didn't know Lincoln had a multi-process for 1200, thought I was looking at 1600+ for one from them. Running off of 120 is pretty necessary to me, and the majority of what I do will be on stuff 1/8" or less, but occasionally I'd like to weld up a cannon, y'know?

    Gunfighter, I'm not sure if what you meant by "strike, an off ark" was in relation to arc starting settings on the machine or some feature of an auto darkening helmet. Could you please clarify?

    Lincoln 210mp. My buddy recommended this welder to me first and said its the best thing going for the price. I didnt buy it but its on my list of tax return purchases.
     

    Gunfighter14e2

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    Gunfighter, I'm not sure if what you meant by "strike, an off ark" was in relation to arc starting settings on the machine or some feature of an auto darkening helmet. Could you please clarify?
    The delays that are adjustable in the helmet. Strike = first arc, off ark = you stop welding. Remember the machines duty cycle is normally based upon the machines highest heat setting. A 140amp machine using 0.030 wire will weld much longer that the same machine using 0.035 an will weld much better as well. Once I went to 0.030 I had to almost relearn my machine as the heat ranges all dropped almost more than one complete setting. Plus I had to relearn all the wire feed rates as well.

     

    cav has been

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    Just as well pitch in my two bits; A used Miller thunderbolt,ac/dc stick machine for a couple hundred or less. Then your choice of small portable migs. I use the 110v. Miller along with a small co2,argon bottle for portability. A good welding supply shop may help you out as they oft times take machines on trade.
    I am not a fan of the "square wave" tigs. Others love them. My old school Lincoln 300/300 works just fine and it was $600 and chased an $1800 Miller square wave out of my shop.
    I have a 250 amp mig that is the least used welder in my shop. Likely just my old grey haired stubbornness,but on heavy iron I still like a stick. As GF said drop the coin on a good variable hood.
     

    FS1

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    Good advice there cav. If you have any plans for a lot of tig welding get a water circulator and a water cooled torch. High amps on a air cooled tig torch gets Very hot and old real fast. With stick they do make some small rods for sheet metal but I never had any luck with them. Also picking the right electrode (welding rod) for the job is important. I would recommend if you go stick to not go straight AC get AC/DC AC is ok for flat work but going vertical or upside down has never worked for me.

    Cover up or the flash burn you get will ruin your day X2 for tig. Oh one last thing everything but tig the slag will destroy any shoe laces you expose. Leather boots work well. because a piece of slag in a sneaker will teach you to speed undress.

    P.S. Don't wear a white shirt it can reflect the arc flash into your helmet and your eyes will never forgive later that night.
     
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    QuickNDirty

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    Good advice there cav. If you have any plans for a lot of tig welding get a water circulator and a water cooled torch. High amps on a air cooled tig torch gets Very hot and old real fast. With stick they do make some small rods for sheet metal but I never had any luck with them. Also picking the right electrode (welding rod) for the job is important. I would recommend if you go stick to not go straight AC get AC/DC AC is ok for flat work but going vertical or upside down has never worked for me.

    Cover up or the flash burn you get will ruin your day X2 for tig. Oh one last thing everything but tig the slag will destroy any shoe laces you expose. Leather boots work well. because a piece of slag in a sneaker will teach you to speed undress.

    P.S. Don't wear a white shirt it can reflect the arc flash into your helmet and your eyes will never forgive later that night.

    Heh, yeah I'm a big fan of not going blind, also not a big fan of catching parts of my body on fire. I've got leather laceless boots, a leather long-sleeved apron which is great for the overhead stuff, and some good gloves. Do need a better hood, though. The one I have starts fucking up when it gets soaked with sweat.
     

    packratt

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    Don't know if they still have it but last year Lincoln had a pretty good rebate on those multi function units.
     

    missed

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    If you only have one machine, MIG is the way to go. I have all three processes. Millermatic 252 for the mig, Dynasty 350DX for tig and big stick, and a Maxstar 160 for smaller stick and portable steel and stainless tig. 220v and gas cover is great to have with the MIG if you can swing the price.
     

    Strykervet

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    Keep an eye on Gov Liquidation --I see commercial welders for sale all the time. They can be had for next to nothing sometimes. Military goes through a LOT of shit and sells it when the next new thing comes out.