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post #1 of (permalink) Old 09-09-2000, 07:51 AM
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Welder - what kind to buy

I think I am going to break down and finally learn how to weld. Have a couple of questions for those who have already done so.

1) MIG? TIG? ARC? GAS?
2) Any particular brand to stay away from?

Figure I will be doing general Jeep type welding up to a quarter inch or so thickness and probably some aluminum too. I was thinking MIG. Also have access to 220 volts.

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 09-09-2000, 10:20 AM
 
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Re: Welder - what kind to buy

is cost an issue?

it would be pretty hard to be more versatile than a good/big 220 MIG.

you could probably do it all ( except the Al) with an old buzzbox, but itll be a bit more of a learning curve.

Lincoln/Miller/Hobart

I wouldnt mess with the little Chicago elec, or other offbrand warehouse specials, they are generally a nightmare to find consumables, and replacements parts for.


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post #3 of (permalink) Old 09-09-2000, 12:05 PM
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Re: Welder - what kind to buy

I would stick with a miller. My friend has a 200 amp miller, plenty of power. To weld aluminum you can by a spool gun to attach to the welder. The spool gun holds a one pund roll of aluminum. I built an aluminum gas tank for him a while back with his machine, and a spool gun from my work . It worked great. I need to buy this setup my self.

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 09-09-2000, 12:40 PM
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Re: Welder - what kind to buy

Doug
Get MIG /w gas .
I went through the same decision about 3 months ago . Yes , 220 is nice BUT 110 has advantages too . Will your next residence have 220 ? What about if you want to take the welder with you over to your buddy`s house or use it in the backyard , 220 extension cord , BIG $$ . Get GAS right away , cannot be beat !!! Much cleaner and nicer welds .
I ended up buying a Lincoln welder , goes to about 125 amps and run it off a regular house outlet. If you use an extension cord , don`t cheap out on this( get a good one rated for the amps) and dont run anything else on the outlet while using the welder. I learned to weld on body panels on my Jeep , it`s tricky doing thin guage metal and probably would have been better learning on 1/8 " but I always do things the hard way [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif[/img] There are some very experienced welders on this board , I`m sure you will have lots of info coming. Just get a Lincoln , Miller or Hobart. Hobart was just bought by one of the other 2. Good Luck !! Let us know what you get .

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 09-09-2000, 01:57 PM
 
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Re: Welder - what kind to buy

A welder is nothing more than a transformer that control current. What ever brand or model you buy there will be a better one for couple dollars more. Now that that said:

I used a :
miller 130 mig
lincoln ac/dc cracker box

mig for sheetmetal/ lincoln for heavy stuff

only advice I can give you. weld with a DC machine. It is so much easyier than AC machine. I had an ac only machine, I was a bicycle welder. Borrow a friend dc machine. I can weld like a shipbuilder now. Bought one that afternoon. DC with 7018 rods only way to go.

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 09-09-2000, 02:39 PM
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Re: Welder - what kind to buy

BB - you are talking a DC machine. Does that mean it does NOT plug into a 110 or 220 outlet, or does it mean that it converts the AC to DC?

The Lincoln you are talking about - is it just a plain arc welder - no gas? Assume it is not wire fed either??

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post #7 of (permalink) Old 09-09-2000, 02:48 PM
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Re: Welder - Another question

Difference between 110 unit and a 220. Have found in other things - air compressor for instance - that 220 just runs things easier and nothing seems to strain like pushing a 110 to the max. Is it the same with a welder, or is the 220 hotter, stronger or something else? Let's say I was welding a couple of pieces of 1/8" steel together. Would I notice any difference between the 110 and 220? Also comment on the difference between an AC unit and a DC one.

Am leaning very strongly toward MIG, BTW.


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post #8 of (permalink) Old 09-09-2000, 03:15 PM
 
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Re: Welder - Another question

My dc machine is a lincoln crackerbox that runs off of 220 ac then convert to ac.
Think about this ac is a fregency that switches every 60 cycle. so for a micro second they is no voltage. Dc is a constant voltage. so welding is easyier. I know that does not make sense . I use a 110 mig because not that must power is needed for sheetmetal. mig welding is alot easyier than stick. but how come majority of pipe welder and shipbuilder use stick. I would not give up my mig for anything and being 110 i can run off of a generator miles from power but in the shop I use stick.

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post #9 of (permalink) Old 09-09-2000, 03:47 PM
 
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Re: Welder - Another question

welders can have a dc or Ac output, all the welders we are talking about here are AC powered 110/220, 220 just having more ability to weld thicker materials.

the ac welders are swapping polarity 60 times per second, this causes the arc to jump around, its also not real safe to use while lying on the ground or working outside in damp conditions

Dc is a smooth arc at the actual weld puddle, less jumping around
also ,much safer to work with out of doors or in damp conditions

the $210 lincoln buzzbox is AC only 225 amps output ( plenty of power for most home use)

the $350 lincoln buzzbox has ac/dc output capability

every MIG that Ive seen is DC, also the term MIG indicates it is a wirefeeding machine with a Gas sheild
a "wirefeed" welder can be flux cored wire , no gas sheild, better for out of doors or more portable, but not quite as high of quality of weld with the gas sheld and more splatter generated.

the smaller migs/wirefeeds are very useful for sheetmetal and smaller non structural stuff, but if you plan to do any .250 plate or thicker you really need more power than can be attained from a 110volt outlet.



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post #10 of (permalink) Old 09-09-2000, 04:20 PM
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Re: Welder - what kind to buy

I have a millermatic challenger 172. It is a 220V. All this talk about portability is overrated. A crescent wrench is very portable and versatel(sorry can't spell) but I usually end up cussing and pissed off every time I use it. Get a good 220V (172 Amp at very minimun). I almost wish I bought the 185, but so far I haven't needed anything more.
One thing to remember is that when you buy a welder you really need to spend more money so you can use it properly. In a sense, you are spending $650 so that you can spend $1500-$3000 more in the near future.

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