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cheap welder?

Discussion in 'Garage / Workshop' started by malander, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. Aug 9, 2010 at 9:52 PM
    #1
    malander

    malander [OP] That's some tight butthole

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    as of now i know very very little about welding but i think it would be a pretty valuable skill for me to learn. is there any cheap welder that would suffice for a novice?
     
  2. Aug 17, 2010 at 6:05 AM
    #2
    cjh

    cjh Well-Known Member

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    You can get cheap-o welders at harbor freight for around $100 on sale. The only problem is getting parts if something breaks. If you are looking for a mig welder, get something with the capabillity to use gas or flux core wire. I would say either the a lincoln 125 or a hobart 125. They are both around $300 but are a better investment than a generic unit. I have a lincoln weld-pak 100 and just got a hobart handler 187 and from using both, both brands are a quality product. I have had no issues with either unit. It is cheaper to use flux core wire, but the welds have more spatter and slag then when using solid core wire with gas shielding. I also have an older miller thunderbolt AC welder as well as a newer hobart AC/DC stick welder. They are good for really thick metal, but I really haven't used them much since getting the 187.
     
  3. Aug 17, 2010 at 9:09 AM
    #3
    skytower

    skytower Well-Known Member

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    +1 on staying away from cheapo welders.
     
  4. Oct 1, 2010 at 4:27 PM
    #4
    jofixer

    jofixer Well-Known Member

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    If you are gonna learn to weld, you should at least use dc. It will make it easier to weld and cause less spatter. I'm talking stick welding. TIG is not cheap. MIG is not cheap and will limit you to relatively minimum penetration. Find a used ac/dc lincoln 225 ac max. 20% duty cycle, 220 volt. With a little practice and the right rod, you will look like a pro. Good Luck!
     
  5. Oct 6, 2010 at 5:35 PM
    #5
    sdemarois

    sdemarois Member

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    cheap welders are probably fine if you cant afford a nice one. I always say you get what you pay for because 9 times out of 10, the cheap stuff make you waste more of your own time and can be very frustrating. I bought a mig millermatic 110v welder about 5 years ago and couldn't be happier with it. My fabricator buddy came over to help on my project and after using my little welder, he told me that it burned just as good as his $8000 model. I am still yet to try and weld aluminum with it but i've heard it can be done. I would love to hear if anybody has done that. I recommend to save your money and get a decent brand and something you can grow into. So far all my welds have held up but I have to say that it's not the prettiest weld out there. Another important thing to remember that practice, practice, practice.
     
  6. Oct 7, 2010 at 11:13 AM
    #6
    scottri

    scottri Well-Known Member

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    I have a Lincoln Mig welder that I bought at Home Depot several years ago. I started by just using flux core to get the basics then I added gas. You can find some decent deals on used MIG welders on Craigslist. I myself wouldn't waste money on the cheap ones.
     
  7. Dec 16, 2010 at 10:18 AM
    #7
    helocat

    helocat Well-Known Member Vendor

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    Consider a portable welder like a Ready Welder. They are not bad price wise ($450-550) new. These don't take up allot of space and don't require special power plugs to use (2-3 12v batteries). This is a MIG welder and can run w/ or with out shielding gas. If you really get into it you can always move up to to a good 220v machine. Also it never hurts having a portable welder around for the trail and welder moochers that WILL show up at your house once you can burn metal. :D

    [​IMG]



    NOTE: Real Cheep welders are allot harder to use and learn on. Use a friends nice Miller 252 and a good quality (Not the $45 Harbor F. spec) auto darkening helmet and you will be surprised how much better your welds are and easier to lay down, if you have been using some $175 110v flux core China box.
     
  8. Dec 16, 2010 at 10:20 AM
    #8
    steve o 77

    steve o 77 braaap

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    Hobart, lincoln, miller. Chose your favorite color.
     
  9. Dec 16, 2010 at 10:25 AM
    #9
    helocat

    helocat Well-Known Member Vendor

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    For brand, pick a US brand that is supported by your local welding supply. (LWS) Huge difference in getting service and support. I am sure Lincoln has this too, Miller has a tech support line you can call and get pro help if you have any questions on your weld. They also have a good support forum too.

    If you cant tell, all welders in my shop are Blue. (251, 252 and Dynasty 200DX TIG)
     
  10. Dec 22, 2010 at 12:02 PM
    #10
    85GT 79FJ40

    85GT 79FJ40 Well-Known Member

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    Mine's blue too. But it's a 110 millermatic 140. I love it. Probably won't be up to welding a metaltech together someday for my FJ40 but I have a few friends with bigger blue welders.
     
  11. Dec 27, 2010 at 12:48 PM
    #11
    helocat

    helocat Well-Known Member Vendor

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    The Millermatic 140's are cool little welders you can do quite a bit with them.

    Yes not the best idea to weld a roll cage with a 110v welder (always an exception for welders with monster skill). The cool think with your 110v unit you can use it to do all the fit up and tack it. Then take it over to a buddy that is rocking a 220v welder for the final burn in.

    Mark
     
  12. Dec 27, 2010 at 5:46 PM
    #12
    85GT 79FJ40

    85GT 79FJ40 Well-Known Member

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    Actually that's the plan when I eventually have the coin to do the cage. I have been pretty surprised at what that little 140 will do. I've done lots of sheetmetal repair work and exhaust stuff and I even used it for some light frame repairs. And being far from a pro the auto set feature is quite nice.
     
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