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Old 04-30-2006, 07:05 PM
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Going to Harbor and frieght to buy a mig welder. Opinions

Here's the link to their site, i don't know if their store selection is the same as the site but just for reference:
http://da.harborfreight.com/cpisearch/web/search.do

I have been wanting/ needing a welder for a while. I finalyl decided i am going to buy one of these inexpensive units to start off with then when i have some welding skill i will upgrade my machine IF need be.

I need some tips for what to look for and what i need. I dont want a 220v machine.

I will be welding ONLY steel maybe some SS but probably not. Nothing over 1/4" thich pieces

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Old 04-30-2006, 07:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riot Racing
Here's the link to their site, i don't know if their store selection is the same as the site but just for reference:
http://da.harborfreight.com/cpisearch/web/search.do

I have been wanting/ needing a welder for a while. I finalyl decided i am going to buy one of these inexpensive units to start off with then when i have some welding skill i will upgrade my machine IF need be.

I need some tips for what to look for and what i need. I dont want a 220v machine.

I will be welding ONLY steel maybe some SS but probably not. Nothing over 1/4" thich pieces
you can also by a lincoln at Home depot or lowes.....any way, get a welder that is set up to run on gas it works alot better then the inner shield flux wire. and get as much amperage as you can
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Old 04-30-2006, 09:04 PM
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Your not going to be happy, I got one years ago and it was ok for little stuff tacking a weld here or there always had to mess with it. Stay away from flux core not need for car stuff.

Craig
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Old 04-30-2006, 09:24 PM
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Going to Harbor and frieght to buy a mig welder. Opinions

Alot of people dont like the flux core welder, but i do. Been using mine for years now, and i have no problems with it. In fact i built this whole Trike using this welder, that included the tubing framework, and the sheet metal work, and even the springer front end and it carries a heck of a load on it. But you buy what you feel is best for you.
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Old 04-30-2006, 10:23 PM
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If you are limited to 115V this is about your only option but don't expect a lot for the price. I am always tempted to tell anyone looking at these things they would be FAR better off with a Lincoln or Hobart for a machine this size but there is a matter of price and I realize this can sometimes make the difference between having a cheap machine or none at all. I know you said you did not want a 220V but I must point out the "Duel_Mig" 220 is only about 30 bucks more and is light years ahead of the smaller, lighter duty 115V model which, because of the VERY short duty cycle, will spend a lot more time cooling off than it will welding. Again I would strongly recommend going with a name brand for reliability but I know of one of those 220V models that has been holding up well for over two years now and it works a heck of a lot better than it should for the price (less than 200 bucks). If you are planing on doing auto work with this thing then avoid the flux core wire unless you plan on welding outside or in other drafty conditions, the MIG will work a hell of a lot better.

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=55247


220 model

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...temnumber=6271
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Old 05-01-2006, 12:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldred
If you are limited to 115V this is about your only option but don't expect a lot for the price. I am always tempted to tell anyone looking at these things they would be FAR better off with a Lincoln or Hobart for a machine this size but there is a matter of price and I realize this can sometimes make the difference between having a cheap machine or none at all. I know you said you did not want a 220V but I must point out the "Duel_Mig" 220 is only about 30 bucks more and is light years ahead of the smaller, lighter duty 115V model which, because of the VERY short duty cycle, will spend a lot more time cooling off than it will welding. Again I would strongly recommend going with a name brand for reliability but I know of one of those 220V models that has been holding up well for over two years now and it works a heck of a lot better than it should for the price (less than 200 bucks). If you are planing on doing auto work with this thing then avoid the flux core wire unless you plan on welding outside or in other drafty conditions, the MIG will work a hell of a lot better.

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=55247


220 model

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...temnumber=6271
Why would i need the 220v?

The problem with the 220v stuff is this" Welding current range: 30-120 amps
because of that you can't weld thin steels and aluminums. I think you would burn the **** out of some sheet metal.

I plan on doing only MIG welding on this welder. Auto work is defiantely in the picture for this thing, but at the same time i don't expect to be building chassis' anytime with this unit.

Do you really think this welder will need lots of cool down time? Can i attach a high CFM small fan to it?

I need some more pointers.
I was looking at the hobart and lincoln stuff and they seem to be very similar in terms of features as the JAP crap items.
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Old 05-01-2006, 07:02 AM
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Trust me you will find even the 220 volt welder to be anything but overpowered and yes the 115 volt machine will spend a lot of time cooling off with only a 16% (claimed, probably even less) duty cycle. You simply can not compare the HF machines to the Lincolns or Hobarts in either performance or reliability, but then they don't compare in price either. I would recommend (have done so in the past) the HF outfits only to someone who is on a really tight budget and need them for hobby type welding. If you can afford the Lincoln/Hobart/Miller machines then by all means go that route and you will be happier for it. Be warned that even with the name brands the 115V units are quite limited in performance and have a duty cycle only slightly better than the HF welders.
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Old 05-01-2006, 07:16 AM
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Riot,
another fault for a 120V is your house wiring.....have to turn off everything on the curcuit and put up with re-setting the typical 20amp breaker (welder does pull30+)

lol....friend brought over a 120V....tv went off, every light went dim....wife came out to the garage "what the hell are you doing!" answered "just welding dear"

if your 220V clothers dryer is anywhere near the garage...220 is the way to go
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Old 05-01-2006, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldred
Trust me you will find even the 220 volt welder to be anything but overpowered and yes the 115 volt machine will spend a lot of time cooling off with only a 16% (claimed, probably even less) duty cycle. You simply can not compare the HF machines to the Lincolns or Hobarts in either performance or reliability, but then they don't compare in price either. I would recommend (have done so in the past) the HF outfits only to someone who is on a really tight budget and need them for hobby type welding. If you can afford the Lincoln/Hobart/Miller machines then by all means go that route and you will be happier for it. Be warned that even with the name brands the 115V units are quite limited in performance and have a duty cycle only slightly better than the HF welders.

I have a hobart 135 115v, I paided 400.00 buck for. For a round the house and thats fine for me. I did take it out on a couple of Jobs to weld some hand rail and stair stringer where I could not get in with a gas or 220v welder all I had was 115v power It did ok but was not great.I was lucky it was only 10ga. material I was welding ( BTW it was a high tech warehouse. And was not going to pull 1,000ft of cable in.)

But OldRed is right If you going to be welding a lot the 115v machine it limited in what you can do. The 220v machine is like night and day much better Power as a overall machine.


Craig
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Old 05-01-2006, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riot Racing
Why would i need the 220v?

The problem with the 220v stuff is this" Welding current range: 30-120 amps
because of that you can't weld thin steels and aluminums. I think you would burn the **** out of some sheet metal.

why can't you set the bigger units on the lower settings and use the thinner wire?
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Old 05-01-2006, 08:48 AM
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37, Exactly! You can always turn the 220 down but you can't turn the 115 up


Chevy, Even with the big Lincoln diesel and LN 25 feeder outfit on my service truck I still carried a little 115V Lincoln Weld pac with the tiny bottle for exactly the same reason you mentioned. Great for those little jobs and can even be used for bigger thicker stuff with proper prep and preheat but it would be painfully slow. Red65 also has a very good point in that some people will go with 115V to avoid having to provide a 220V hook-up only to find that they are still stuck with providing a dedicated 115V outlet.
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Old 05-01-2006, 09:58 AM
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Welders are a good investment...they will last for years and after you get used to having one around you will find all kinds of things to use them for. My advice is stay away from the cheap Harbor freight stuff. Get a good one, Lincoln, Miller, or Hobart. Buy the best of those three that you can afford. Get one that you can set up on gas, and by all means get a 220 Volt machine. In the long run you will be glad you did. The old adage...You get what you pay for...is very, very true when it comes to welders.
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Old 05-01-2006, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldred
37, Exactly! You can always turn the 220 down but you can't turn the 115 up


Chevy, Even with the big Lincoln diesel and LN 25 feeder outfit on my service truck I still carried a little 115V Lincoln Weld pac with the tiny bottle for exactly the same reason you mentioned. Great for those little jobs and can even be used for bigger thicker stuff with proper prep and preheat but it would be painfully slow. Red65 also has a very good point in that some people will go with 115V to avoid having to provide a 220V hook-up only to find that they are still stuck with providing a dedicated 115V outlet.

Well said, no mater what you pick its that Dedicated line thats the key.

Sometimes that one thing we forget about and when the welder is not working right you may say it a junk welder when its really you outlet that your shareing with other out let in the house that are draw power of the same line. You can't run other thing off the same line your using.

Most of the homes in Arizona are electric there trying to put gas in on the new houses. Anyway I can run off my dryer plug for 220 single phase if I run it real hard I some times pop the breaker, mostly in the summer time All I have to do is change the breaker.

Craig
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Old 05-01-2006, 01:43 PM
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Several years ago I had a fellow try and tell me the Lincoln 115V was junk as it would not weld hot enough even for .023 wire and would overheat and cut off after only a few seconds. Turns out he had run 50' of 14 ga extension cord from his house to his garage and was not only trying to run the welder from it but he also had a work light and a small box fan plugged into this set-up
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Old 05-01-2006, 01:53 PM
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I've bought alot of junk at H.F. And that's just what it is... jUnK...it has it's use in the toolbox. I wouldn't buy a welder from there. I just started talking to everyone. And, low and behold I found a guy with a used Miller 130... I joked around that I would give him $300. He just walked away. He came back later and asked if I would really give him $300? I went to take a look at it and it really was a miller 130 with a bottle, cart, lines, extra parts, tools.... just everything..... I kinda feel bad for stealing it, but, he was happy. Once I tried to use it nothing worked... Did I get ripped off. NO, It wasn't used, he had nothing set up. Brand new just sitting in his garage. I read the manual, adjusted everything and I'm happy as can be. Not everyone can get a great deal like that but, you can find nice used units that you can trust and get parts for later on down the road!
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