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any welders out there?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by tacoma08MZ, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. Jan 21, 2009 at 12:37 PM
    #1
    tacoma08MZ

    tacoma08MZ [OP] Well-Known Member

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    ok heres the deal. i want to start playing around with welding, i always have i think it would be a good thing to know how to do then i can maybe start building my own stuff. the problem is i know nothing about it.

    what kind of welder should i look into buying?
    i wana spend like 2-3 hundred? but i dont know what they run?
    should i go mig tig or something else?
    any brand welder better than another?
    or should i just buy a cheap starter kit from walmart or somthing that ive heard about?
    any help would be great :)
     
  2. Jan 21, 2009 at 12:46 PM
    #2
    LonghornTaco

    LonghornTaco Can you pass the bailout please?

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  3. Jan 21, 2009 at 12:50 PM
    #3
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. Moderator

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    My first Welder was a Miller. It worked well. Im not a Welder by trade, but I like to weld stuff now and then. Im better at ARC welding, and you can pick up one of them pretty cheap. Get a good helmet, preferably with an Auto darkening shield, and get a good set of leathers. Then, find some scrap metal and start welding. There should be plenty of on line info to get you started.
     
  4. Jan 21, 2009 at 12:50 PM
    #4
    Motoknuckle

    Motoknuckle Braaaaap!

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    I would stay away from the cheaper brands.

    Try looking into stick welders, they are quite affordable and can teach you the basics of welding. Hobart makes great welders, they are what I used when I took my welding class.

    I've been a certified welder for about 3 years, but have yet to get one of my own due to college. After I get out I'll be buying myself one!:)
     
  5. Jan 21, 2009 at 1:07 PM
    #5
    OU812

    OU812 ban the term murdered out

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    I've got an old Linclon at the house. It works pretty good for basic stuff, welding implement parts back together, misc stuff like that. Check out estate sales in rural areas/auctions for cheap one.
     
  6. Jan 21, 2009 at 1:10 PM
    #6
    98tacoma27

    98tacoma27 is gooder 'en chicken Moderator

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    The type of welder you buy depends on the type of welding you want to do. You are going to have to spend more than $300 for a decent welder, unless you can find a good used one. As stated before, the best way to develop the technique is with a stick welder. You can a new 220V Hobart at Lowes relatively cheap.

    The cheap wal mart kits are marketed for the home mechanic, but built for the hobbyist (mig style anyway). They really aren't good for much.

    Do not forget to purchase the safety equipment either. You will need: gloves (that go halfway up your forearm), a helmet (auto adjust recommended), wear a long sleeve welding jacket, and leather shoes. I also recommend a welding cap.

    You should also have an agle grinder and many types of discs.

    Other tips:
    • keep your rods dry and free of moisture
    • never weld in water
    • be aware of your surroundings when welding
    • learn how the metal will react to the heat ( the importance of tacking and clamps)
     
  7. Jan 21, 2009 at 1:24 PM
    #7
    Killer Red Taco

    Killer Red Taco NorCal Rock Whore

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    safety first I was zapped by a 220 millermatic once, it didn't feel so good.
     
  8. Jan 21, 2009 at 1:28 PM
    #8
    RelentlessFab

    RelentlessFab Tacoma offroad armor fabricating beast Vendor

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    My advice is to buy a decent welder, not one of the cheapies. A good welder will last longer and save you from headaches and save money in the long run.
    An ARC welder will be the cheapest buy for you, though MIG may be easier to use. It's just a bit more expensive to buy/operate than stick welders. Also, make sure you look at the maximum thickness it will weld in a single pass, as well as the duty cycle of the welder.
    You'll also want to notice that the real small welders use 115volt power(home outlet style), many of the moderate size ones jump to 230volt so for one of those you would need to have a 230 power source.
    A combo tig/stick rig like the basic Miller Diversion 165 will be the most versatile as you can weld just about any type of metal (with an AC/DC rig) but are quite expensive, around $1500.
    As for brands, Miller, Hobart, and Lincoln are the ones i'd recommend.
     
  9. Jan 21, 2009 at 1:34 PM
    #9
    Snipe

    Snipe Well-Known Member

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    Welding is a skill that takes lots of practice, you can pick up the basics either on your own just by doing it or you can take a few classes which is what I'd suggest, with an instructor you have less chance of forming bad habits which are hard to break until to are forced for whatever reason into doing it correctly.
    I learned by getting tossed into the foremans position at a fab shop many years ago and had to pick it up pretty fast so I could hire and fire without being challenged on my abilities.
    I didn't get any type of certification until several years ago and went for my pipe certification because more of the projects I get involved in are requiring it now a days.

    If you want to buy a box and just start burning rod on your own, I suggest you stick with the name brands and avoid those cheapo deals you see at the local auto part stores, swing by a weld supply shop and talk to them, they get trade in equipment and they love new potential customers so most will point you in the right direction.
     
  10. Jan 21, 2009 at 1:34 PM
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    tacoma08MZ

    tacoma08MZ [OP] Well-Known Member

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  11. Jan 21, 2009 at 1:39 PM
    #11
    tacoma08MZ

    tacoma08MZ [OP] Well-Known Member

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    xtreme i did hear somthin about the duty cycle from the guy i work with like for example you weld for a minute and it has to cool down for 10 or smohting like that? can you elaborate?
     
  12. Jan 21, 2009 at 1:39 PM
    #12
    Snipe

    Snipe Well-Known Member

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    I work many days welding pipe laying in mud with a creek flowing in my right boot and coming out my left sleeve and if you cuss loud enough it drowns out the sound of the sparks jumping off the end of your eyebrows :D
     
  13. Jan 21, 2009 at 1:41 PM
    #13
    Killer Red Taco

    Killer Red Taco NorCal Rock Whore

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    If you plan to mig weld with that you need different wire and a tank with a steel mix gas, AIrgas sells that
     
  14. Jan 21, 2009 at 1:42 PM
    #14
    Killer Red Taco

    Killer Red Taco NorCal Rock Whore

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    I think we will call you sparky! :D
     
  15. Jan 21, 2009 at 1:45 PM
    #15
    tacoma08MZ

    tacoma08MZ [OP] Well-Known Member

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    damn. even more money
     
  16. Jan 21, 2009 at 1:49 PM
    #16
    Killer Red Taco

    Killer Red Taco NorCal Rock Whore

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    But flux core is good to start with and you don't have to drag a tank around:)
     
  17. Jan 21, 2009 at 1:49 PM
    #17
    Motoknuckle

    Motoknuckle Braaaaap!

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    Welding isn't something that will be cheap.

    Like stated above, look for some auctions. They usually have quality used welders for a great price.
     
  18. Jan 21, 2009 at 1:51 PM
    #18
    higherlux

    higherlux Well-Known Member

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    my advice is dont get the walmart one thosr are set a 70 maps constantly which means that you can only weld thin metal (1/16 or 1/8inch thick metal)
    go for the adjustable 220 amp welder at lowes but keep in mind that for those you have to run a bigger power supply out to your shop/ work area

    never weld near water
    keep your rods dry
    dont weld in a wooden building (ive learned from experence)
    weld in a well ventlated area
    and always wear a mask gloves and a good pair of leather or steel toe shoes(cuz hot slag hitting your foot isnt the best feeling in the world)

    a good rod to start with is E6013 or E6011
     
  19. Jan 21, 2009 at 2:02 PM
    #19
    bobwilson1977

    bobwilson1977 Well-Known Member

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    I'd say go with a ire welder for a few reasons. 1 is that they're small and often run 110V. Secondly, you don't have to make sure that the welding material is bone-dry. With a stick welder, the sticks have to be kept totally dry. Some guys use a toaster oven to dry them out. Additionally, you have to stop and change the sticks a lot, which is a pain in the ass.Wire welders can run on big spools that last a long time. It constantly feeds wire, which is nice. But stick welders are simple and usually inexpensive.

    What's nice about wire welders is that they weld really hot, as in the surrounding metal gets almost molten. Some people say that wire welders aren't good for heavy duty jobs. But I build custom racing mower frames which take a severe beating on the track, and I have yet to break a weld.

    Lastly- get a good welder. The ones at wally world and harbor freight are junk and will burn out quicker. I got a Lincoln Weldpac HD100. It was around $350. Get yourself a self-darkening helmet too. They're worth it. Lastly, get some good magnets to stick things together with.

    It takes a lot of practice to get good at it. Just get some scrap and paly around for a few days until you get the hang of it.
     
  20. Jan 21, 2009 at 2:04 PM
    #20
    RelentlessFab

    RelentlessFab Tacoma offroad armor fabricating beast Vendor

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    yeah basically. for example, 20% duty cycle would let you weld for 12 minutes out of the hour(60min). Maybe weld 3 min, cool for 12, and then repeat, etc. This is the reason why having a higher duty cycle is a good thing. Who wants to weld for a few minutes only to have to let the welder cool down for a much longer period of time than they can use it?
     
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