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what welder should I buy?

Old 12-16-2011, 09:47 AM
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Default what welder should I buy?

I'm needing to weld a railing on my ATV trailer. Having watched quite a bit of welding done I'm thinking of buying a welder. My neighbor (who is gone for the next 9 months-IRS problems) has a Lincoln Electric 120V wire feed and I beleive it uses argon gas. Watching him it looks pretty easy. Can anyone suggest what I should by? It will sit most the time not used and i don't want to spend more than $350 new or used.
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Old 12-16-2011, 10:14 AM
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I have a smaller lincoln from either HD or lowes. I use the flux wire but can use gas. Works fine for up to 1/4". I also used it on some thick steel on my backhoe and it worked well. I did grind a nice trough first then made several passes. This is at a high stress pin point and it has held up.

It looks easy and is, but you gan also easily end up with a good looking weld that is just sitting on the surface. Unlike stick welding, I have found that you really need to take your time to get good penetration.

I am what I would consider an experienced homeowner welder. Not an expert.
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Old 12-16-2011, 10:29 AM
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Coindidence. I've been thinking of getting a welder myself. I've never welded anything before, but I do virtually all of my own car repairs and home projects. A welder is something I've wanted to get, but don't need often enough to justify. Still, I'm thinking about buying one and learning how (my older brother is an excellent welder). This is the model I've been eyeing up. I know it's a little over your price range, but seems to me to be very versitile:

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...6073_200306073

But again, I am totally a beginner when it comes to welding.
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Old 12-16-2011, 11:30 AM
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I have a Hobart 135 which is older otherwise maybe the same thing as the one you posted. I'm also more or less homeowner recreational type welder fixer upper that basically got tired of borrowing the bosses and got my own. First off I've never used flux core in mine went straight to mig gas shield welding more or less because that's the way the one I borrowed was set up, and I liked it and it's far easier to learn than stick welding.

I'd also suggest especially for a beginner, get a auto-darkening helmet it's just makes it so much easier and well worth the investment. Now on to metals and flexibility the one twenty units well at least mine struggle with aluminum. Aluminum takes a lot of heat and a high spool speed to pull it off. If you're contemplating doing much aluminum you may want to consider a bigger more capable welder. Also if you plan on doing various metals and going mig choose your gas carefully. Some gases will cover adequately for crossover uses, some are metal specific and tank leases plus gas can get expensive pretty quick.
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Old 12-16-2011, 11:55 AM
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for a newbie welder go to harbor freight they have nice welders for beginners
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Old 12-16-2011, 12:03 PM
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I have a Hobart, works great. Fantastic welder.

I would recommend borrowing your neighbors when you need it and buy him a case of beer.
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Old 12-16-2011, 12:47 PM
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If you want to get a welder that's going to last and actually function well get a Lincoln, the red ones. A few simple rules to go by solid wire you push. Flux core or self shielding pull. Always go bottom to top (uphill)
Stick is easier than wire fed to control when it comes to the volts and amps ratio.

Id suggest getting a small stick welder and a 70 18 stick 3/32 its a low hydrogen drag rod bc draging it is all you have to do. Any big welds you have to make just bevel the joint or over size the weld don't try to slow down and run a huge bead run lots of stringer beads.

I dable in welding a bit.
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Old 12-16-2011, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by WildSideFL View Post
I would recommend borrowing your neighbors when you need it and buy him a case of beer.
Or maybe some Soap on a Rope!
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:02 PM
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I have a SP 200 Lincoln wire feed that can also stick. It's a very large and heavy machine. Great machine that will stitch, spot, time weld, thin, thick, you name it, it will do it. You're not going to move it without a machine to load it into the truck.

Get a small suitcase welder that you can carry.
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Old 12-16-2011, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Mist-Rest View Post
I have a SP 200 Lincoln wire feed that can also stick. It's a very large and heavy machine. Great machine that will stitch, spot, time weld, thin, thick, you name it, it will do it. You're not going to move it without a machine to load it into the truck.

Get a small suitcase welder that you can carry.
My vote
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Old 12-16-2011, 05:43 PM
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Flux core wire use reverse polarity. Switch the wire inside the cabinet for gas shielded welding solid wire. Use 75/25 carbon dioxide.
110v Mig welding is for clean metal only not anything of high importance for strength.
A cheap stick welder will do dirty metal a good penetration easy.
7018 3/32 is a nice rod to burn but could be difficult to beginners to go uphill.
Buy your machine from a local weld shop they will show you the basics free on your new machine.
If you were local to me you could sit in my weekly class I have at the shop
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Old 12-16-2011, 11:18 PM
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115V welders have a short duty cycle, which causes a lot of starting and stopping. See if your local community college has a spring welding class coming up. Good way to pass some cold evenings.
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Old 12-17-2011, 01:13 AM
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I was once a certified welder and used a lot of different types of mig and stick machines. Some of the technology has left me behind but the concept is the same. A lot of good advice above. Wire welding seems cool and easy to a lot of beginners. It takes an experienced eye to know if you are penetrating or just laying a pretty surface weld. Some believe that mig is not as strong as stick for this same reason but that is not true.

I own one of the first 110v mig machines (20years old) and it will weld clean sheet metal and that is it. Pretty decent for muffler work. If I were looking for one for home use, I might consider one of the Lincoln's from Lowes and one of the larger ones that require 240v supply.

A small stick welder one that is AC/DC would be the most versatile for welding thicker metals. Start out with 6010, 6011 and 6013 rods, 3/32 and 1/8" for general use and easy to strike an arc. 7018 is the industry standard low hydrogen rod.
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Old 12-17-2011, 02:26 AM
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Originally Posted by polarred21 View Post

A small stick welder one that is AC/DC would be the most versatile for welding thicker metals. Start out with 6010, 6011 and 6013 rods, 3/32 and 1/8" for general use and easy to strike an arc. 7018 is the industry standard low hydrogen rod.
Completely forgot that some of the smaller ones don't have dc. Go to your nearest welding supply shop and ask for a fast freeze rod and lh. They even make aluminum rods now no idea on the quality of the weld but my dads john boat does.

I'm a certified welder also what'd you do with your certifications?
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Old 12-17-2011, 07:36 AM
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gameon - not sure where you are loacted, but go to www.airgas.com and click on the "find a store" link. I am sure there is one very close to you. All of there inside sales force are very good at answering questions plue they will have everything you need. All of the replies posted are very good and it sounds like they have a lot of knowledge. I persoanlly have been welding or affiliated with welding in some shape, form or fashion for the past 26 years. You cannot go wrong with Lincoln or Miller (Hobart) is manufactured in the same plants as Miller in Appelton, WI. Either one of these manufactures will give you many years of service and not to mention, much enjoyment. If you only have ot work on a trailer, I would like to suggest either the MIG or Stick Welder. As a beginner, you will do a much better learning to weld with a MIG Welder since all you basically need to do is pull the trigger and "pay attention". With Stick Welding or GMAW, there is alot of skill involved such as "angle, arc distance, rod type, etc..... Not sure what size of trailer you are working on, but you would not need anything larger than a Miller Maxstar 150 - this machine will operate on either 120V or 220V - this machine will only allow you to Stick but it will last you a LIFETIME!!!!! If you would like to see the specs on this machine - go to www.millerwelds.com and click on the products tab.... If you want a MIG Welder, take a look at the Miller 140 Auto Set - it has everything you will need - Regulator, Powersource, Hoses and it comes with a 1# spool of wire and an instructional DVD to help you get started.

Please note - I am no way affiliated with Miller - just one that has 20 years of experience with their products.

Good Luck

Good luck and if I can help you more, send me a PM and i will give you my cell number...
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