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Old 03-03-2013, 03:41 PM   #1
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Good Welding Macine

I am looking into buying a welding machine so I can make some bumpers and what not for my truck and some friends trucks. What would be a reliable machine that doesn't break the bank? Anything tips or tricks would be helpful too.
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Old 03-03-2013, 06:11 PM   #2
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Also, what size should I get?
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Old 03-03-2013, 06:14 PM   #3
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depends on what kind of welding and how thick of material you want to weld. I've been looking for something too, can't afford it now though...
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Old 03-03-2013, 07:09 PM   #4
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how much is NOT BREAKIN THE BANK?

I got a Hobart handler 175 for 600.....home depot and lowes sells Lincoln for around 500.....I see this as an investment I would (and did) get a 220v machine.
Stay away from flux core wire and go w/ gas (co2/argon)
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Old 03-03-2013, 08:43 PM   #5
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I have a Lincoln 180 mig pac, it works pretty good, is rather have a miller 211, it's a far superior machine, I use flux core wire, it's a little messier than gas but if I run out of gas on a Saturday evening I can't weld until Monday but I can get flux core wire 7 days a week, a cheaper route would be a arc welder, the machines are cheaper, rods are cheap and they work well, I have miller 150 suitcase, I love it.
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Old 03-03-2013, 08:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRD 09 View Post
I have a Lincoln 180 mig pac, it works pretty good, is rather have a miller 211, it's a far superior machine, I use flux core wire, it's a little messier than gas but if I run out of gas on a Saturday evening I can't weld until Monday but I can get flux core wire 7 days a week, a cheaper route would be a arc welder, the machines are cheaper, rods are cheap and they work well, I have miller 150 suitcase, I love it.
I was just looking at your build thread for your bumpers and sliders and was gonna ask you what you were using! But you beat me to it. So if i get a arc welder and a hand held grinder with zip disks and grinders I should be good to go?
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Old 03-03-2013, 08:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fire Taco Fighter View Post
how much is NOT BREAKIN THE BANK?

I got a Hobart handler 175 for 600.....home depot and lowes sells Lincoln for around 500.....I see this as an investment I would (and did) get a 220v machine.
Stay away from flux core wire and go w/ gas (co2/argon)
+1

110v fluxcore has it's uses for home/hobby. I've made a ton of things using mine, but I don't have ready access to 220v without seriously pissing off the wife (condo, only 220 outlet is for the washer/dryer, she wouldn't he happy if I welded in the kitchen!).

But seriously... from the question you asked, you need to get a few dozen projects under your belt before tackling bumpers and sliders.
These aren't home entertainment centers that are only going to trash an AV receiver if they fail. They can kill someone if they fail on the highway.

Baby steps and the world will be your oyster!
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Old 03-03-2013, 09:03 PM   #8
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Look at the Eastwood products. I believe it's Miller that makes them. I have the 175 and plasma cutter from them. Makes anything I want. They even have a spool gun for it.
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Old 03-04-2013, 01:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich91710 View Post
+1

110v fluxcore has it's uses for home/hobby. I've made a ton of things using mine, but I don't have ready access to 220v without seriously pissing off the wife (condo, only 220 outlet is for the washer/dryer, she wouldn't he happy if I welded in the kitchen!).

But seriously... from the question you asked, you need to get a few dozen projects under your belt before tackling bumpers and sliders.
These aren't home entertainment centers that are only going to trash an AV receiver if they fail. They can kill someone if they fail on the highway.

Baby steps and the world will be your oyster!
With some 10 gage wire and the right ends you can make a 240v extension cord and weld outside. Just roll it up and store it when your done. Get a male end that matches the dry outlet and a female end that matches your welder plug in, problem solved, welding with 240V
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bistineau View Post
With some 10 gage wire and the right ends you can make a 240v extension cord and weld outside. Just roll it up and store it when your done. Get a male end that matches the dry outlet and a female end that matches your welder plug in, problem solved, welding with 240V
Still a problem.

Can't get to the plug without pulling the (stacked) washer drier out of the cubby.
The only place to put it blocks access to the kitchen.

The cat would not be happy, and she wouldn't be able to make me a sammich!
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:15 PM   #11
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Old 03-05-2013, 05:49 PM   #12
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I'm probably going to get this one
http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...2691_200332691
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Old 03-05-2013, 05:53 PM   #13
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Ive had thousands of hours on a miller 252 and 350P with no failures. So I highly recommend Miller products, I've heard great things about the 211. Being a 110/220 machine is a plus too!
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Old 03-05-2013, 06:01 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Drew5387 View Post
This won't weld a bumper very well. I have a 150 amp and it barely welds 3/16". A bumper core is usually 1/4" and there's no way it would do it. I would say you need at least 180 amps for a mig but I'm not an expert. Also trying to weld long passes with my 120v 150 amp welder will easily exceed the duty cycle.
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Old 03-05-2013, 06:03 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew5387 View Post
I am looking into buying a welding machine so I can make some bumpers and what not for my truck and some friends trucks. What would be a reliable machine that doesn't break the bank? Anything tips or tricks would be helpful too.
Get any Lincoln machine from home cheapo
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Old 03-05-2013, 06:07 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Drew5387 View Post
Dont skimp on tools. You wont be happy and that wont be good for any long beads on materials thicker than 11ga.
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Old 03-05-2013, 06:26 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew5387 View Post
I was just looking at your build thread for your bumpers and sliders and was gonna ask you what you were using! But you beat me to it. So if i get a arc welder and a hand held grinder with zip disks and grinders I should be good to go?
I've been welding for a lot of years, and only in the past few years have I trusted my welds to hold up to the abuse I put my truck through, get your welder (miller or Lincoln 220V IMO) a good grinder, chop saw, some magnets, a good welding helmet... And start by building a cart to hold all of it, then maybe a welding table, and any other project you can think of that don't have any liability attached to it before building a bumper, when you have good beads with good penitration and you can cut a straight line with a zip disc (harder than it sounds) then start tackling bigger things. Arc welders are great, I learned with one but a 220v 180A+ mig will be a lot easier to use
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Old 03-05-2013, 07:31 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRD 09 View Post
I've been welding for a lot of years, and only in the past few years have I trusted my welds to hold up to the abuse I put my truck through, get your welder (miller or Lincoln 220V IMO) a good grinder, chop saw, some magnets, a good welding helmet... And start by building a cart to hold all of it, then maybe a welding table, and any other project you can think of that don't have any liability attached to it before building a bumper, when you have good beads with good penitration and you can cut a straight line with a zip disc (harder than it sounds) then start tackling bigger things. Arc welders are great, I learned with one but a 220v 180A+ mig will be a lot easier to use
Excellent advice +1
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Old 03-06-2013, 05:03 AM   #19
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yeah stay away from anything electrical from northern, get a lincoln. ive got a lincoln weld-n-power genarator welder,its nice to be able to take it anywhere and run tools off it.im a union pipefitter so i weld for a living.i get spoiled at work with only miller ad lincoln generator welders.but if you are new to melting metal a mig welder will b easier for you to learn on.
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Old 03-06-2013, 05:46 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew5387 View Post
Not a good choice for building bumpers or welding much more than 11 gage(1/8") metal, it would work OK for sheetmetal body work type stuff but not much more. You really need one that can run on 240V to do anything close to being serious. The Miller Matic 211 would be a good investment, it can run on 120V or 240V. On 120V it is about the same or a little more than the one you metioned, actually BETTER than that. And on 240 it will get you into doing 1/4" stuff OK with some practice and learning how to set up and use it PROPERLY. Don't always rely solely on the auto-set feature to be correct 100% of the time though. It can also be equiped with a spool gun later is you want to do aluminum, not sure if the Northern Tool one can be set up for it, even if it could it's still no where close to what the MM211 can do. If you want to do bumpers and such type work get something that can operate on 240V, the 120V option on the MM211 is nice if you need to take it to a buddies house for a lightweight project where 240 might not be available. Just don't expect to weld more than 1/8" stuff on 120V, with any MIG or stick machine for that matter. Don't even look at the Harbor Freight machines in any voltage range if you are anywhere near serious about doing quality welding. Get a Good name brand machine that you can grow into, not something you will quickly grow out of and need to upgrade in a year or two.
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