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I Wanna' Learn How To Weld...

Old 02-06-2015, 06:20 AM
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Default I Wanna' Learn How To Weld...

What do I need to know to get started? Thinking of a MIG spool gun like a Hobart 140. I just want to be able to do small tasks/repairs around the house and build a smoker. I would appreciate some insight from the welding experts here that can help me get moving down the right path.
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Old 02-06-2015, 06:28 AM
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The cheap welders from HD, Lowes, HF etc. are lower class as far as quality.
Even the Lincolns from HD are built with cheaper parts.
I would buy a machine with a long duty cycle (80%+)from a welding supplier
Lots of tuts on Youtube
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Old 02-06-2015, 06:43 AM
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Borrow an A/C cracker box welder from a friend. Buy yourself a couple pounds each of 1/8" 6011 and 6013 rods. Collect a few pieces of mild steel scrap iron and have at it.

Once you learn a little bit and decide if you like to do it or not then go buy yourself a welding machine.

I have 2, an old sears and roebuck that was built in the 1950s, and also a small wire feed, flux core mig machine. They will do any job that my skill level allows me to do. 99% of the time they sit in the shop unused. I would not recommend spending tons of money on a hobby/home repair machine, for that reason. My dad has a huge Lincoln machine at his house, to my knowledge the only time it's been used was when I went over there and welded something for him. The expensive Lincoln machine did not improve my welding, or the quality of the welds I laid down.
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Old 02-06-2015, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by VanderLaan View Post
What do I need to know to get started? Thinking of a MIG spool gun like a Hobart 140. I just want to be able to do small tasks/repairs around the house and build a smoker. I would appreciate some insight from the welding experts here that can help me get moving down the right path.
The best money I ever spent was taking a adult ed class in welding at our local vocational school. (35 years ago)

I got an education on all types of welding, as well as torch use (cutting, brazing, & gas welding.) The first 9 week course was on basics & then I went advanced with the 2nd set of classes into mig welding & some basic Tig.

I built things during the class instead of just welding plates together like most of the students.

(they would let you bring your own steel in if you wanted for projects )

It was 4 hours 2 evenings or maybe 3 evenings per week for 9 week split about 35% class time & 65% hands on lab time.

I still have & use some things I made in that class today. Built my torch cart, fence post driver, & a serious bumper for a 3/4 ton truck I had back then way before these bull bumpers on newer trucks you see were available.

Get some hands on time & then decide what level of equipment fits best for your needs.

Gook luck

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Old 02-06-2015, 07:05 AM
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I weld a bit,nothing pro,just for myself.Id buy a 220 volt (do not waste your money on a 110 volt unit)Mig setup with gas as a first purchase.Name brand like Lincoln,Hobart etc.They all make kits that will include a helmet,gloves, a cart etc.Look for at least 185 amps.get some .035 and .023 wire and tips and get to practicing.Youtube has some really good beginner videos.you can always take some training courses locally too.I also have a stick welder,Oxy-Acetylene torches and even a hi-frequency tig setup for aluminum,but the mig is the most useful and most used by far.
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Old 02-06-2015, 07:42 AM
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Take a class, and don't buy a small cheap low amp welder, you will end up buying a larger one, buy the larger one first
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Old 02-06-2015, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by VanderLaan View Post
What do I need to know to get started? Thinking of a MIG spool gun like a Hobart 140. I just want to be able to do small tasks/repairs around the house and build a smoker. I would appreciate some insight from the welding experts here that can help me get moving down the right path.
Take a class at a local community college or adult continuing education center to see if you even like it. Welding is not for everyone.

If you like it, practice, practice, practice and then run more beads.

As for machines, nothing wrong with the 110V machines, aka suitcase welders - they actually serve a purpose, but let it be known that they do have their limitations, mainly duty cycle.

As for everyone telling you to "go big or go home" for a lack of a better term, do you even have 220 available in your garage or workshop? If not, factor in the cost of running it.

My suggestion for a machine is a MVP machine, like the Hobart 210, which will run off of 220 or 110. Miller also makes a comparable machine in multi volt. However, you gave no indication of a budget.

poke around at weldingtipsandtricks.com for a while - Jody is no nonsense straight forward and has great tutorials.
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Old 02-06-2015, 07:56 AM
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Back when I was in Animal Science we had a class called Farm Shop that was mostly welding. Good experience. Was taught at the local Technical College. Of course we also had a class in Artificial Insemination too.. mostly had your hands up a cow butt... good experience too.
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Old 02-06-2015, 10:39 AM
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[QUOTE=twentynine;7537904]Borrow an A/C cracker box welder from a friend. Buy yourself a couple pounds each of 1/8" 6011 and 6013 rods. Collect a few pieces of mild steel scrap iron and have at it.

He asking about mig. Not stick welding
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Old 02-06-2015, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Jersus View Post
...do you even have 220 available in your garage or workshop? If not, factor in the cost of running it.
I do. Most of my stationary woodworking tools are set up for 220.
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