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first welder?

Discussion in 'Garage / Workshop' started by CohbsTaco, Nov 6, 2013.

  1. Nov 6, 2013 at 7:51 AM
    #1
    CohbsTaco

    CohbsTaco [OP] Hood Rat

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    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!!! :D
     
  2. Nov 6, 2013 at 7:54 AM
    #2
    jeremy_283

    jeremy_283 Super Member

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    I have a Lincoln Mig Welder from Lowes. It's great.
     
  3. Nov 6, 2013 at 7:58 AM
    #3
    Fenwick1993

    Fenwick1993 Hillbilly

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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.
     
  4. Nov 6, 2013 at 8:02 AM
    #4
    Swimmerboy2112

    Swimmerboy2112 Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  5. Nov 6, 2013 at 8:08 AM
    #5
    JLee

    JLee The Man! Vendor

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    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.
     
  6. Nov 6, 2013 at 8:17 AM
    #6
    CohbsTaco

    CohbsTaco [OP] Hood Rat

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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??
     
  7. Nov 6, 2013 at 8:18 AM
    #7
    woodygg

    woodygg Well-Known Member

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    what he said. do not waste your money on a harbor freight version.

    http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200447703_200447703

    depending upon your needs.
     
  8. Nov 6, 2013 at 8:19 AM
    #8
    woodygg

    woodygg Well-Known Member

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  9. Nov 6, 2013 at 8:19 AM
    #9
    JLee

    JLee The Man! Vendor

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    How thick do you want to weld?
     
  10. Nov 6, 2013 at 8:21 AM
    #10
    45acp

    45acp Paint me back in Wyoming again...

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    Search craigslist. I got my 140, bunch of wire, accessories, tank of CO2 and a cart for $400.
     
  11. Nov 6, 2013 at 8:22 AM
    #11
    JLee

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  12. Nov 6, 2013 at 8:28 AM
    #12
    TenBeers

    TenBeers Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  13. Nov 6, 2013 at 8:41 AM
    #13
    GhostDog86

    GhostDog86 Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  14. Nov 6, 2013 at 11:08 AM
    #14
    CohbsTaco

    CohbsTaco [OP] Hood Rat

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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..
     
  15. Nov 6, 2013 at 11:11 AM
    #15
    MightyMouse-SCT

    MightyMouse-SCT Well-Known Member

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    Hit up homertaco . The grill guy. I think he still has one for sale . Brand new in the box .
     
  16. Nov 6, 2013 at 11:24 AM
    #16
    jathomas437

    jathomas437 Well-Known Member

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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).
     
  17. Nov 6, 2013 at 11:31 AM
    #17
    medic2230

    medic2230 Ditch Doctor

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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.
     
  18. Nov 6, 2013 at 11:33 AM
    #18
    Gaunt596

    Gaunt596 Resident Otaku

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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?
     
  19. Nov 6, 2013 at 11:40 AM
    #19
    JLee

    JLee The Man! Vendor

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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.
     
  20. Nov 6, 2013 at 11:42 AM
    #20
    Gaunt596

    Gaunt596 Resident Otaku

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    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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