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Welders

Discussion in 'Tools and Garage' started by colindo94, May 4, 2007.

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  1. colindo94

    colindo94 Well-Known Member

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    SO what kind of welders are you all using? What do you use them for? Looking to buy one for my SAS and many other little projects so some ideas would be great.
     
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  3. lycan91

    lycan91 Active Member

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    i always see people using wire feed welders either mig or tig i cant remember. ive arc welded before but if i had a preference it would be wire feed. you can use them for just about anything
     
  4. Turdle

    Turdle Go Chiefs! Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Mind if I jump in?
    I would like to find a used, capable unit for around 500--
    I have heard most MIG welders can be converted to TIG--with the correct attatchments. Is this true?

    I have a 100v 80a MIG unit, but can't quite get it to weld even 1/4". How many Amps would be a minimum for a hobbyist to achieve his goals here--
    I would like to be able to weld 3/8" or more, correct?
     
  5. IZwack

    IZwack Moderator Emeritus

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    Yeah you need something at least 100a to 120a to do things over say 3/16".

    3/8" stock is quite the thick. If you're going to weld that thick of steel, the most cost effective way is to go with a stick welder (SMAW) using a 1/8" electrode or slightly larger. Most 220v stick welders hover around the $300-$400 mark.

    But as with most things, its all about preparation. For example, you probably want to bevel the edges when welding 3/8" to ensure proper penetration.
     
  6. JDraper

    JDraper Somewhat Functional Moderator Emeritus

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    I use a Lincoln 220 stick welder. IIRC, I got it from Lowes for around $200.
     
  7. mynameisaric

    mynameisaric Well-Known Member

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    well from what little welding edumacation i got in school, i'll tell you what i know(or at least what i think i know...)

    the 110v welders CAN weld 1/4" plate, but in short bursts. they have very low duty cycles, and to properly do 1/4" plate with good penetration, you need to have the surface prepped (very clean and very well beveled). if you go this route, get one of the higher end 110v units. the cheap ones..... well you get what you pay for. (these units can only do 1/4" with flux wire(fcaw), solid wire with gas(gmaw) can only get up to 3/16)

    the lower end 220v single phase welders can easily do 1/4" plate, but again have lower duty cycles, so you can't lay bead after bead after bead. most home fabricators prep their steel, weld it, and while they are prepping the next piece, the welder has had adequate time to cool down. this route is a better way to go. with the proper wire, these things claim to do 1/2" steel in a single pass (i'd like to see how long that pass is before the duty cycle light kicks in). Also, the wire that can supposedly weld 1/2" is flux core(fcaw) and if you use solid wire with gas, 1/4" is usually the max, maybe 5/16 if properly prepared.

    110v stick welders are a waste of time/money. they cannot properly penetrate thicker steels, and will burn right through thinner stuff unless you really know what you are doing. If you know what you are doing, these may be good up to 1/4" when properly prepared steel is used.

    220v stick suck on thin stuff, but really ... i mean really kick butt on thick stuff. easily weld 1/2" in a single pass. your pass lengths are limited to your rod choice.
    notes about rod choice. 6010 is not a fun rod for beginers, but requires less metal prep, and good knowledge of welding technique to get a clean bead.
    7018 tends to stick when you start the arc, but once you get it going, it is easy rod to use and leaves a VERY nice bead for almost any user.
    another thing about stick is if you plan on doing vertical or overhead.... its not fun and takes lots of practice.

    if you are on a budget and dont plan on ever touching sheet metal(body work) then a 220v stick is a good way to go.

    if you have the money, 220v wire feed welder with mig option is a good way to go. using mig on thin sheetmetal is the only way to go. body people have problems using flux core welders.

    if you get a 110v welder, i believe you will kick yourself in the butt(unless you got a reallly good deal) because once you start fabricating, you will learn its limitations really quick. and 110v welders are notorious for leaving PRETTY bead with no pentration that WILL fail under light stress(ie, leaving the curb of your driveway)

    hope that helps, if you have any questions, i will try and answer them for you.

    ebay has good deals on the 175hd lincoln mig/flux welder


    gmaw = gas metal arc welding (mig)
    fcaw = flux core arc welding (usually called mig... but its not)
    smaw = shielded metal arc welding (stick)
    gtaw = gas tunsten arc welding (tig)
    dsaw(i think) = dual shield arc welding (mig with flux core wire(thus dual shield)
    oaw = oxy-acetylene welding (open flame)

    as far as convertin mig units into tig units.... usually can't happen. stick units can be used as brute tig units with the right attachments. higher end welders have a power source that can be used for stick and tig, and then you can add a wire feeder to it for mig.... but you are talking thousands of dollars for that kind of setup.
     
  8. 410Fortune

    410Fortune Snow Season Staff Member Moderator

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    I have a Hobart handler 180, 220V mig

    for the $$$ this is a NICE setup, proven reliable.
    This would be just one step below a Millermatic 175 220V, the only difference is the Hobart has an 8 way adjustable dial wheel for heat range and wire speed whereas the Miller is infinatley adjustable (no 8 positions, anywhere on the dial works) (disclaimer 8 may not be accurate here I am just guessing without the welder in front of me so it may have 5 positions, it may have 10 but you get the idea-illi-o)

    It came highly recommended to me, I got a deal on it with a cart, with gas hookups, with a self tinting mask, gloves, etc for about $600
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2007
  9. Brian1

    Brian1 Elite Explorer

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    I have a Century 120v MIG for sheetmetal and other small work.
    I have a Miller Millermatic 35 MIG I got for $100, it is 220v and I use it for most of my MIG welding. It was made in the 70's and can easily do 3/8".
    I have a Miller Syncrowave 250 TIG/Stick machine I got for $1k with a new bottle, pedal, torch, regulator and ground lead. I use the TIG for various projects. A TIG produces a very strong, clean and nice looking weld but it takes much more patience, it is a slower process than the MIG. The Syncrowave machine will also weld aluminum which I have yet to do.
    Lastly I have a Ready Welder for trail repairs. It is a MIG that runs off car batteries and is a spoolgun type where the wire spool is in the gun.

    No
     
  10. mynameisaric

    mynameisaric Well-Known Member

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    I disagree. high end machines use a power source and a wire feeder.... people will call it a mig, but if you unplug the wire feeder, switch a few knobs and plug in a torch, and high frequency starter... you got yourself a tig welder.

    but you couldn't take a millermatic175 or lincoln175hd or hobart180 handler and convert it to tig. so you are also correct:D
     
  11. 410Fortune

    410Fortune Snow Season Staff Member Moderator

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    Section also has the Hobart 180 and he loves it from what I read here on the forum (he uses his alot more, I am still learning, but I'm a fast learner hahaha)
     
  12. Msupertek

    Msupertek Axle Annihilator!

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    Flux Core 110v welder Campbell Hausfeld

    The flux core leaves a little more slag then a mig but no where near the amount of a arc welder. Works very well indoors and outdoors even when the wind is blowing hard.
     
  13. section525

    section525 sextion525 Elite Explorer Moderator Emeritus

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    Tru dat. :thumbsup: I may upgrade to a Miller 251 down the line so I can run a spool gun for aluminum. But the HH180 is a freakin great machine for the price. I <3 it. :D The newer version is now the 187. But I imagine it's pretty much the same. :salute:
     
  14. mynameisaric

    mynameisaric Well-Known Member

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    has 2 or 3 extra heat settings..... so that means the 180 is down in price since it only has 4 or 5. :thumbsup: i usually only play with wire speed anyway. i need to get myself a 220 mig.... el padre keeps claiming he can get one for me for cheap... but i'm not patient.
     
  15. james t

    james t Elite Explorer Moderator Emeritus

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    I have the 110v 140 amp Hobart and love it. It will weld .25" on .030 flux wire single pass. I would love to switch it to the bottle, but dont want to loose the penetration since its such a small welder. The duty cycle is really low maxed out welding 1/4", but honestly in our hobby building an offroad rig how much weld are you going to be making on 1/4" anyway? Ive done alot and taking my time with a few beer breaks and whatnot ive never tripped it out.

    Im about to weld some 1/2" plate with it. Yes, you heard me. :p: The trick is to bevel the crap out of it, pre-heat it, and make 2 passes. Ill have pics in my bronco thread later on. I have found pre-heating a wonderful tool at getting a small welder to weld thick stuff.
     
  16. CodePoet

    CodePoet Well-Known Member

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  17. lifeguard379

    lifeguard379 Well-Known Member

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    i have Benn using a lincoln weld pack 100 hd. it works fine for me
     
  18. Jefe

    Jefe Well-Known Member

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    I've built my whole truck with my Lincoln SP-135T (110v) Does well with 1/4" setup as flux core, and anything up to 3/16" with MIG. I have also welded aluminum with no problems.

    I wish I had somewhere I could plug in a 220v, but so far I haven't needed one. Yes, the 20% duty cycle sucks (especially doing 1/4"), but like mentioned, if you're fabricating at the same time its not a huge deal. The only other down side is that, even though its rated at 15 amps, it needs a good 20A circuit w/ 10ga wire run to it in order to give it the voltage it needs to perform at its best.
     
  19. Brian1

    Brian1 Elite Explorer

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    ..and figure out a way for the gas solenoid to give pre and post flow, and rig a controller, and...

    He said most MIG welders and most MIG welders found in peoples garages are not high end industrial machines. I just gave the short answer :p:
     
  20. DB_1

    DB_1 Elite Ranger Elite Explorer

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    I've got a Lincoln SP-175 plus (220v) and it's a kick ass little machine. They have an innershield (flux core) kit that allows you to weld 3/8" plate. It includes a 10 lb. spool of .045 shielded wire and a gun liner that allows for the larger wire to run through it. I've used that set up a bit to make some brackets and it works very well. The majority of the stuff I work with is either 1/4" or 3/16" thick material using .035 shielded wire.
     
  21. IZwack

    IZwack Moderator Emeritus

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    We just ordered the same machine -- how does it do body work/sheet metal using flux core?
     

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