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post #1 of (permalink) Old 12-11-2001, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
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welder opinions

JCWhitney sells this PORTABLE GAS WELDING OUTFIT
http://jcwhitney.com/product.jhtml?CATID=5603&BQ=jcw2
Any opinions? I have to get some shock mounts welded onto axle and was quoted an hour of labor @ $70-75/hour. No way I'm paying that. I might be wrong, but it sholdn't take an hour to run 4 beads, with me doing all the prep work.
So, I figured I'll look into welders in up to $500 range. I'm guessing it's not the last time I have to have something welded, so I should get my own and learn.

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 12-11-2001, 12:13 PM
 
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Re: welder opinions

Might want to slow down on that a little....

Most places won't full YOUR bottles, large liability issues...
They will only fill bottles they lease or sell you. (I have a PILE of those little bottles around here)
Most of those kits have bottles that won't pass DOT inspection (from China), so you will be out the bottles right away...

AND...
That kit is enough to buy a small MIG welder with... Unless you just have to have a torch rig.

Just my $0.02 worth...

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 12-11-2001, 12:21 PM
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Re: welder opinions

A torch is not a bad thing to buy, but it isn't really what you would use to weld the shock mounts on. They are great for heating metal, brazing, and cutting. You really want a wire feed MIG type welder or a stick welder that uses electrical current to short against the workpiece and create the heat needed to melt the two metals together with the filler material.

I wouldn't pay to have the shock mounts welded. I would first see if a bbs member would be willing to do it. (It should only take a few minutes).

If you want to buy a welder, there has been a ton of discussion on this over the past couple of years, do a seach. I personally have a 230 volt Lincoln wire feed welder. They are under $500. It comes ready to run flux core wire, but can be changed to use a gas cylinder. It is probably the most economical of decent 230v wire feed welders. There is obviously no limit to the top end available.


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post #4 of (permalink) Old 12-11-2001, 12:50 PM Thread Starter
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Re: welder opinions

how about this one? (http://www.lincolnelectric.com/produ...ent/sp135t.asp) Is 115 volt one that much inferior to 220 ones? What wouldn't you weld with 115 one? How much weaker are the welds?

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 12-11-2001, 01:23 PM
 
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Re: welder opinions

You are going to have a real hard time with penetration above about 3/16" with a 110 VAC unit.

Hobart has a 175 amp Job Handler that comes with regulator, and all the hardware for about $550 now.
(Hobart is owned by Miller, so you get all the Miller goodies inside)
It's a 220 VAC unit, but it does a very good job, and you can do 1/4" on a single pass with 0.035" wire and gas.

The good news is it's still truly portable. It's a hand full, but it's light enough you can move it by your self.
They have a free welder cart that holds the gas bottle going on right now, so you might want to look into it.

Hobart also makes a 135 amp Job Handler that is a 110 VAC unit.
It also comes with gas regulator and all the goodies, and I think they may have the cart thing going with those too. Expect about a $450 price tag though, and you can do 3/16", but not in one pass...

Lincoln 130 amp is the thing for body men that work with thin sheet metal all the time.
They have an infinitely adjustable voltage setting, as where Hobart has the presets on the switch type ('Click, Click').
If you are a body man trying to weld on some if this new high tensile strength steel they put in cars now, you will appreciate the voltage control you can achieve. It's just too easy to ruin that thin metal.
If you are a 'Heavy Duty Inventor'... (like most Jeep guys are) the extra power the Hobart provides is what you are looking for.

So, You can do more tricks with a Lincoln, but the Hobart/ Miller will do more work and be less picky about what it will weld.

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 12-11-2001, 01:36 PM
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Re: welder opinions

The 120V machines are not necessarily inferior, just different. The limiting factor is the thickness of material that you can run a 1 pass weld down. I have a Hobart 135 120V machine, and I love it. I run 0.030 flux core. I have done a lot of welding on 3/16" and 1/8" with great results. Weld strength is really a function of the wire you are using, and the loose nut holding the gun. I don't care if you buy the nicest weld machine in the world, if you use poor technique you will get poor welds. The Lincoln looks like a nice machine. I got the Hobart due to features and price. The unit you linked to, looks just like the hobart, except I didn't get a video and the cheesy faceshield. I just saw a Harbor Freight flier with the hobart advertised at $440. The duty cycle and the power output look almost identical. The 220V machines are nice, but the cost is large, and I don't feel like the gain in versatility is proportional to the increase in price. I use an old Miller AC/DC machine to stick weld thicker material.

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post #7 of (permalink) Old 12-15-2001, 06:52 PM
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Re: welder opinions

yo dennis
i too needed a welder and was tired of paying to have it done. i bought a lincoln AC-225 stick welder- 220V. used for $140 and the guy finished some welding on my rear bumper and threw in a used dewalt 7.5 amp angle grinder. i had 220 wired into my garage which was on the same wall as the breaker box so it was just a hole in the wall and put the plug-in. that cost $115. i looked at all kinds of welders- the wire feed 110V seemed too small for heavy gauge steel ie 1/4". this was already mentioned. i recommend a stick 220V like mine. i had never welded before and i am doing ok. they are around $225 new at home depot i think- check it out. i welded part of my rear bumper, welded a d-ring on front bumper, welded both front shackle mounts that broke and am now welding a support strut for the steering box. you play with ROCKS, you need a WELDER!

post #8 of (permalink) Old 12-15-2001, 07:59 PM
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Re: welder opinions

I agree that buying the bottles through JC Whitney would not be the best bet, but you can do very good welds with gas. You have to practice, and you have to buy GOOD rod (not the cheap "metal content unknown" chinese rod). But Gas can lay down some sweet looking welds. It can be as clean and pretty as tig. It takes longer though, a lot longer. That is why no one does production welding with gas.

As mentioned the Hobart 175 is a good 220V mig. You do want MIG, using gas. Flux core wire feed blows.

Arcs are great for heavy stuff. I use a Lincoln AC-225 all the time. DC is better and easier to make pretty welds with, but AC works well. The down fall of buzz boxes like the AC 225 is on thinner material. There are only so many preset amp choices and you have to experiment with amps and rod size to find the best combo for the guage you are welding.

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post #9 of (permalink) Old 12-16-2001, 10:22 AM
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Re: welder opinions

check out http://www.brwelder.com/toc.htm or http://www.cyberweld.com/ Both have the Hobart 135 with free cart for Ibelieve $445 or the 175 with free cart for $544 (br) and $555 (cw). I believe both have free shipping.

The welder on my wish list is the Lincoln Power MIG 200 http://www.lincolnelectric.com/produ...owermig200.asp. I loved the Millermatic 185 and thought it was the best 180-200 amp MIG around until I welded with the Lincoln 200. The dual drive is awesome for those times you can't help putting the cable in a bit of a bind. You can feel the wire drag a little, but most others would slip and/or rats nest the wire. It has more amp taps as well, though I really wish it had a "true" variable amp selector. I also hear miller is coming out with a new MM in the 200 range. It is supposed to be more industrial than the 185 in order to compete with the Lincoln 200, can't wait to see it.

EDIT- I just looked at Millers page. The MM210 is out and looks every bit the equal to the Lincoln 200. Plus they are throwing in a free spool gun to boot. From the literature it seems you can have both the spool gun and the standard gun hooked up at the same time and run whichever you need. Too cool, no more switching back and forth when you need to weld aluminum or steel. I think I'm going to have to have a LONG talk with the wife. I see lots of begging in my near future.

I also want to get a good TIG one of these days.

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post #10 of (permalink) Old 12-16-2001, 04:24 PM
 
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Re: welder opinions

Question about the gas welders...

Why don't people seem to like them?
Around here you have to rent the bottles ($50 for the contents, and $250 when you return the bottles so you pay $300 (CDN) and get $250 back.)
The torch/hoses/regulator only cost $200-$300 CDN. So if you have the cash around to put the deposit down on the two bottles... is there a problem with gas welding?
Sure in the short run it's going to cost you more.
$500 USD for a good MIG, $600 USD to get setup with gas, but it claims you can weld 1/2", as well as cut, heat.. and bla bla bla.

I herd gas welding was harder and most people I have talked to said to take a course...
But if a migwelder that's going to do 1/4" and be sketchy, is $750 CDN, and a gaswelder that will do 1/2" (or 5/8" easy) is $900... why not go gas?

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