Recommend a Welder

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  1. seabee

    seabee FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    Hi Gang,

    I am looking to buy my first welder to learn on and do some patch work and exhaust. welding. Can you give this greenhorn some tips and advice as to what to look out for on ebay/craigslist?

    -I have a small garage with 120v outlets.
    -We're military and tend to move frequently so tanks etc. can't go.
     
  2. 67cudafb

    67cudafb Well-Known Member

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    Look at Tractor Supply and pick up a Hobart mig and flux core wire and start putting steel together.
     
  3. pauly v.100

    pauly v.100 Well-Known Member

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    Millermatic 135 here, love it!
     
  4. Woods74

    Woods74 Broke Senior

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    HF flux core black box are good machines too, did my whole resto with one. The other tip I can give is use a cup brush on an angle grinder to remove the flux, makes touch ups a breeze.

    For sheet metal work on long runs keep the heat on low, and cool each tack weld as yo go with a water soaked rag to prevent warpage.


    Take your sweet time.
     
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    • pro-tech

      pro-tech Well-Known Member

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      Harbor frieght has a flux core welder for $89 I bought one for exhaust work and it works great...You cant beat it for the price.. The cart is goes on is $49..It is a great starter welder..My professional welder is a Lincoln Idealarch and uses argon gas..But this one works great on exhaust or just welding something together...Check it out...Bill
       
    • crackedback

      crackedback FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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      Look for a miller 135-140 or a lincoln 135+. I prefer infinite voltage setting and not fond of tapped unless it's on a bigger machine that you can't use anyways.

      I HATE welding with flux core wire. Nasty, smokey, dirty....

      If need be, buy a small bottle and sell it if you need to move.
       
    • inkjunkie

      inkjunkie Well-Known Member

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      rent a bottle?
       
    • Moparone

      Moparone Well-Known Member

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      I just ordered an eastwood mig 135. Great little welder for the money. I believe it is actually made by lincoln. $299 and free delivery.
       
    • Propwash

      Propwash FBBO Cat

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      I use a millermatic 140 at home, use a 175 at work. Both great welders! You can Lease/rent bottle like mentioned. My 140 will run on 120V no problem. Just avoid using small gauge/long extension cords
       
    • JoesEdge

      JoesEdge Well-Known Member

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      I have a Lincoln PowerMIG 180C - Go to your NHRA races, get a discount, then look into the Money Matters program from Lincoln to get a rebate. I think after everything was said and done it cost me between 700 to 900 bucks (can't remember since it was years ago). Sounds like quite a bit of money, but it's a professional welder.

      Oh, the new PowerMIG 180C's also come a dual voltage variety. At the time, mine did not. If you go too low end and you get really good at welding, then you'll have to buy again to step up. With a dual voltage unit, you can always step up to 220 volts when you're ready (so as long as you have a 220 volts where you do your welding).
       
    • pishta

      pishta I know I'm right....

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      harbor freight flux core. Learn on that and youll be VERY good on a Miller, and if you dont use it more than 2x, youll only be out $79.
       
    • Bunker45

      Bunker45 Well-Known Member

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      I have the one from eastwood also. Nice welder, easy to use.
       
    • 67Dart273

      67Dart273 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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      Having fiddled with a stick for years, I would not have a flux core jammed up my..................


      For me, a MIG MEANS having gas shielding. The advantages are TREMENDOUS

      Gas shielding means for fussy stuff like sheet metal welding, you can easily stitch without worrying about flux cleanup in between welding

      Much, MUCH easier with gas to get a good clean solid weld. You can SEE WTF you are doing
       
    • pauly

      pauly MOPAR or no car! FABO Gold Member

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      Just bought an Eastwood 135. Waiting to get my bottle before I try her out - maybe tomorrow
       
    • rklein383

      rklein383 Well-Known Member

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      Most tanks for mig welders are not big. When I did alot of moving in the Navy, the movers would move the cylinder if you showed them the tank valve was open and therefore wasn't pressurized.

      Anyhow, the small cylinders are not very expensive.


       
    • fishy68

      fishy68 Tyr Fryr's Inc.

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      After owning a couple cheap low buck welders then owning a good mig welder no way could I ever go back to cheap low buck flux welder. MIG makes for so much cleaner welds and if you get a decent machine with infinite voltage and amp adjustment it's so much easier to dial right in on what your welding and do a really nice job. Last year I bought a Eastwood 175 which is a pretty big machine and takes 220 volts but I've heard great reviews about their smaller 110 volt 135 amp machine. I understand your concern about not having to move tanks but they have some pretty small tanks also that don't weigh that much and as RKlein said their not generally any problem moving them. Another possibility is what Doug mentioned about renting a tank
       
    • seabee

      seabee FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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      Thanks for the replies everyone, I really appreciate it.
       
    • jrwood

      jrwood Well-Known Member

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      I love my Hobart 140, its only 110 but will do everything I ask it to, and if I ever need to build an armored vehicle I have an old cold war era 220v stick welder buzz box....well maybe not that old...lol
       
    • Aaron65

      Aaron65 Well-Known Member

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      X2...my Hobart's been great. I rent a tank for 5 years at a time.
       
    • zkx14

      zkx14 Duster De-ruster FABO Gold Member

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      Another Hobart 140 here. Great machine. I bought my bottle from GTS.
       
    • seabee

      seabee FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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      Come on tax return...........
       
    • EchoSixMike

      EchoSixMike Well-Known Member

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      Hobart 140 is good choice for hobby users. Filled 55cf argon/C25 bottle are around $100 and make good portable kit. Bout the same size as a 80CF SCUBA tank. Give you about 2hrs of arc time per fill.

      Make sure those 120v outlets are at least 20amp circuits and plug directly to the outlet. 120v MIG is great for automotive, but watch the cold lap. S/F.....Ken M
       
    • Rodzilla

      Rodzilla Well-Known Member

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      I've got a Lincoln mig pak 140, great 110 welder. Definitely skip the flux core welding if you can, looks like crap and harder to tell if weld is good. I've been doing up to 3/16 steel with this welder, and on the gas with only a few hours of practice my welds look like a row of dimes.
       
    • halifaxhops

      halifaxhops It's going to get stupid around here! FABO Gold Member

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      I have the same one and it does the job. I just would not do structural repairs with it.
       
    • SGBARRACUDA

      SGBARRACUDA ROY FABO Gold Member

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      As said for 110 go with a Hobart/Lincoln/Miller 140. For small shop and if you have access to 220 use the 170. Argon is the way to go either way you go on a mig.
       
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