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Old 11-08-2013, 03:28 AM
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Beginner Mig Welder advice

My wife is looking for a Mig welder to do art type pieces up to 1/2 inch round steel / rods.

Looking at HF 180 Amp MIG/Flux Wire Feed Welder $289
100 lb. Capacity Welding Cart $39
Adjustable Shade Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet $49

or

Hobart 500550 Auto Arc 130 Wire Feed MIG Welding Kit $448
Hobart 500550 Auto Arc 130 Wire Feed MIG Welding Kit - Amazon.com Hobart 500550 Auto Arc 130 Wire Feed MIG Welding Kit - Amazon.com

She has taken some classes. She wants auto feed.

Should we get one to learn on and then get a more expensive one later or spend the money once.

Any ideas and advice on what to do and what to get if not one of these?

Thank you in advance for all your advice.

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Old 11-08-2013, 03:36 AM
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buy a good one

I have a Hobart 140 that would be perfect for what she plans on doing and If I where you I think you need to use shielding gas 75/25 just my opinion.



Chris,
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Old 11-08-2013, 05:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by model-a View Post
I have a Hobart 140 that would be perfect for what she plans on doing and If I where you I think you need to use shielding gas 75/25 just my opinion.



Chris,
I also have had a Hobart 140 for 20 years and it has never needed the first service.....Excellent machine.

John
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Old 11-08-2013, 06:00 AM
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Hobart, Miller, Esau, Lincoln 140 or higher, 220volt will weld 1/2" plate. C25 gas for a clean weld

Stay away from the Harbor Freight or any of the cheapies. Most will work at least for a while, but if it quits, that Chinese factory that made it wont have parts as they are now making baby toys.
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Old 11-08-2013, 08:32 AM
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Buy the best you can the first time, I bought a nice Lincoln but wish I bought the next size up later.
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Old 11-08-2013, 09:46 AM
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Buy the best you can the first time, I bought a nice Lincoln but wish I bought the next size up later.
Yup! I bought a HF MIG back in the 80's and wondered why I could never weld worth a cr@p until it went south and I bought a Miller 175. My welds improved 1000% overnight!

Russ
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Old 11-08-2013, 10:05 AM
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Yup! I bought a HF MIG back in the 80's and wondered why I could never weld worth a cr@p until it went south and I bought a Miller 175. My welds improved 1000% overnight!

Russ
Russ is correct. My first MIG was a Cebora and when I traded for my Hobart I could not believe the differance,

I do however have a Lotus Plasma Cutter I paid 409 dollars for with free shipping I absolutely love. The problem is it will be a throw away unit if it ever dies, I am sure.

John
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Old 11-08-2013, 12:58 PM
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Quick note to the OP. Since your wife already has the basic knowledge, she can catch up on any of the finer points at weldingtipsandtricks.com, site run by Jody Collier.
And if it costs an extra couple of hundred to buy the Hobart (or any of the better machines) over the price of the very cheap asian models, go for it. I think everyone will tell you that the first time you use a decent machine you will appreciate it.
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Old 11-08-2013, 03:37 PM
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So is the 115 vs 220 volt ones going to make a difference to us at this level?
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Old 11-08-2013, 03:57 PM
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before id buy a harbor freight welder i would definitely get a used name brand.
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Old 11-08-2013, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by eastsidebuzz View Post
So is the 115 vs 220 volt ones going to make a difference to us at this level?
My 110v Hobart does what I need it to do but you definitely need to check the mfr spec sheet to make sure it will handle the thickness you need.

220v will penetrate heavier material.

John
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Old 11-08-2013, 05:25 PM
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If you buy a welder try to get one with a variable speed and heat control. I have a Lincoln 175+ and can dial down for light sheet metal or go up for heavier metal. It's a 220 unit with gas and I love it.
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Old 11-08-2013, 07:35 PM
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Lincoln, Miller, ESAB or Fronius are all top notch. Everything else is a copy of one of these.

To quote Ricky Bobby: "With all due respect" Harbor Freight = Chinese Crap... with a few exceptions. Patronizing them is like spitting on your fellow American blue color workers.

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Old 11-25-2013, 08:16 AM
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East side buzz, if you decide to go with the Auto Arc 130 (a MUCH better choice than the
Harbor freight units) you can get the same outfit from TSC for $399.99
AutoArc 130 MIG Welder Value Package - Tractor Supply Co.
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Old 11-25-2013, 10:55 AM
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She ordered a Hobart 140. Today should be her first welds on it. She got the cart and C-clamps from HF figured that did not matter.
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