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Old 11-06-2013, 07:51 AM   #1
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Talking first welder?

hey all, so ive decided to look into buying a welder, im a beginner and dont have much experience so im looking to get one that is very modest and not very technical, im not going to be building anything that is structural to the truck, (ex. various little mounts, maybed a little bed rack, possibly a bumper) so it dosnt have to be the nicest out there, and i dont really have the funds to spend on a extremely nice one anyway, id like to not have to get gas for it,

are the harbor freight welders horrible to learn on? any comments will help! thanks!!!
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Old 11-06-2013, 07:54 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CohbsTaco View Post
hey all, so ive decided to look into buying a welder, im a beginner and dont have much experience so im looking to get one that is very modest and not very technical, im not going to be building anything that is structural to the truck, (ex. various little mounts, maybed a little bed rack, possibly a bumper) so it dosnt have to be the nicest out there, and i dont really have the funds to spend on a extremely nice one anyway, id like to not have to get gas for it,

are the harbor freight welders horrible to learn on? any comments will help! thanks!!!
I have a Lincoln Mig Welder from Lowes. It's great.
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Old 11-06-2013, 07:58 AM   #3
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Harbor Freight welders are actually halfway decent for a beginner. I started on a little Chicago Electric from Harbor Freight. It can actually do work. I've had mine for a couple years, and at some points I was using it every day. Still works.
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Old 11-06-2013, 08:02 AM   #4
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I used to be a welder repair man and I also weld. With that being said, Miller is HANDS DOWN THE BEST WELDER YOU CAN BUY.

Lincoln and Hobart are good as well. A Hobart is basically a stripped "base model" of a Miller for $$$ less. I would highly advise you to stay far away from the Harbor Freight welders. Head down to Tractor Supply or Lowes and pick yourself up a small 120V mig welder, either Hobart or Lincoln.
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Old 11-06-2013, 08:08 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swimmerboy2112 View Post
I used to be a welder repair man and I also weld. With that being said, Miller is HANDS DOWN THE BEST WELDER YOU CAN BUY.

Lincoln and Hobart are good as well. A Hobart is basically a stripped "base model" of a Miller for $$$ less. I would highly advise you to stay far away from the Harbor Freight welders. Head down to Tractor Supply or Lowes and pick yourself up a small 120V mig welder, either Hobart or Lincoln.
This^ don't try and learn on a crap welder. If you have to go cheap the Lincoln weld packHD at Home Depot should be good. I started on the Hobart 140 and it's a great little starter Mig the price is pretty good as well.
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Old 11-06-2013, 08:17 AM   #6
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hmm.. so what kind of prices are we talking about here? is it possible to get something decent for under $400??
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Old 11-06-2013, 08:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swimmerboy2112 View Post
I used to be a welder repair man and I also weld. With that being said, Miller is HANDS DOWN THE BEST WELDER YOU CAN BUY.

Lincoln and Hobart are good as well. A Hobart is basically a stripped "base model" of a Miller for $$$ less. I would highly advise you to stay far away from the Harbor Freight welders. Head down to Tractor Supply or Lowes and pick yourself up a small 120V mig welder, either Hobart or Lincoln.
what he said. do not waste your money on a harbor freight version.

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...7703_200447703

depending upon your needs.
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Old 11-06-2013, 08:19 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by woodygg View Post
what he said. do not waste your money on a harbor freight version.

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...7703_200447703

depending upon your needs.
or one step up...

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...1413_200471413
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Old 11-06-2013, 08:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CohbsTaco View Post
hmm.. so what kind of prices are we talking about here? is it possible to get something decent for under $400??
How thick do you want to weld?
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Old 11-06-2013, 08:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CohbsTaco View Post
hmm.. so what kind of prices are we talking about here? is it possible to get something decent for under $400??
Search craigslist. I got my 140, bunch of wire, accessories, tank of CO2 and a cart for $400.
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Old 11-06-2013, 08:22 AM   #11
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This is about the smallest you can use for single pass welding on 3/16th
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Lincoln-E...4#.UnpsP_nv12k
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Old 11-06-2013, 08:28 AM   #12
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Not a pro like these other guys, but I built my bed rack last winter with the neighbor's Lincoln flux core welder. I hadn't welded for 25 years. Lots of spattering, but I eventually got the hang of it -- but nice-looking beads were rare, and lots of clean up required. But, it worked for what I needed to do and I was not in a hurry.

If I was buying one, I would go with a 120V MIG, either Hobart or Lincoln. The gas is worth the trouble.
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Old 11-06-2013, 08:41 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TenBeers View Post

If I was buying one, I would go with a 120V MIG, either Hobart or Lincoln. The gas is worth the trouble.
X2 on this...

Flux is okay for small stuff but you will get better welds and save yourself a lot of clean up time going with a mig.
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Old 11-06-2013, 11:08 AM   #14
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so it sounds like im going to be looking more used.. anyone know anything that i need to be looking out for when buying used? or are they pretty straight forward, like i could tell if something needs to be addressed? is an older welder a bad idea?

i'm just nervous with getting a gas one to do something wrong, the only welding experience i've ever had was with a welding class in high school.

it would need to penetrate thick enough for some type of bumper, that would probably be the max id do..
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Old 11-06-2013, 11:11 AM   #15
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Hit up homertaco . The grill guy. I think he still has one for sale . Brand new in the box .
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Old 11-06-2013, 11:24 AM   #16
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I vouch for Lincoln. I have a MIG 180-C. I can weld up to 1/2" carbon steel with flux cored wire (no gas).
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Old 11-06-2013, 11:31 AM   #17
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I started out with a Lincoln 120v weldpak flux core. It served me well to learn on and do some minor projects. I moved up to a Lincoln sp-150 220v a while back and I'm very happy with it. I paid $200 for the weldpak at a pawn shop in almost new condition. Did the same with the sp-150 for $300 with gas included. Just be patient looking and willing to let one go it the price is too high.
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Old 11-06-2013, 11:33 AM   #18
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I started out with a Lincoln 120v weldpak flux core. It served me well to learn on and do some minor projects. I moved up to a Lincoln sp-150 220v a while back and I'm very happy with it. I paid $200 for the weldpak at a pawn shop in almost new condition. Did the same with the sp-150 for $300 with gas included. Just be patient looking and willing to let one go it the price is too high.
heres a question, if the weld pak is 120V does that mean that i dont need one of those 3 phase 220V outlets for it?
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Old 11-06-2013, 11:40 AM   #19
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heres a question, if the weld pak is 120V does that mean that i dont need one of those 3 phase 220V outlets for it?
Most welders are not 3 Phase both my 220V welders are single phase. Only industrial welders are 3 phase and your talking around $5,000 as a starting price on a new one. Any 120V welder you can plug into you home outlets.
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Old 11-06-2013, 11:42 AM   #20
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Quote:
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Most welders are not 3 Phase both my 220V welders are single phase. Only industrial welders are 3 phase and your talking around $5,000 as a starting price on a new one. Any 120V welder you can plug into you home outlets.
cool, id love to have a welder but in order to add a new outlet fot the welder id have to redo the whole freakin house, and i juts scant do that on dime a day budget lol
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