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UPandComing 09-05-2011 11:44 PM

Help picking a welder
Hey guys im currently dabbling in new areas i had not expected, first off i just sandblasted the frame on a large truck im getting on the road, i need to remove approx 1 foot of frame from the rear. i will have to reattach the back plate but i dont know what kind of welder i should use on 1/4 inch steel to attach it to the frame rails. Mig Tig Arc? also i have a car im getting into body work with that have some smaaaall cancer areas in the t top channels which i was thinking of blasting the rust off and filling with a tig welder? could someone explain the differences between the 3 welders and what they are intended to be used for before i buy the wrong one lol thanks in advance

Chevymon 09-06-2011 04:43 AM

Your replies to this will be mig by 20 to 1 ratio, because it is suited to the affordability and talant of most. But if you can afford it and have a little bit of talent, and are willing to devote a little time in learning, then there is no contest----it is tig.

timothale 09-06-2011 05:35 AM

eventually one of everything.
In the shop we have larger almost industrial rated welders , an old airco arc and tig, good for big stuff but the amperage is controlled with a hand crank. hard to use on small stuff, but you can arc weld with the Hi frequency, easy to start the arc on heavy , painted, rusty farm machinery, A Lincoln SP 200 wire feed about the size of a washing machine, heavy and hard to move around, My son's carry around 110 v flux core mig, Not working now. A lincoln 255 tig that will also arc weld but I have to disconnectthe controll cables and change leads to go from tig to arc, The old Airco you just un plug the arc cable and plug in the Tig. The 255 has square wave, ac-dc pulse and balance and the thumb control torch Tig It's nice to weld with it. There is an old gasoline powered Lincoln on the trailer we haven't used for years. so far we have been able to move broken equipment to the shop. And 2 oxy acety setups, a big shop unit and a small portable one. and a plasma cutter, If you start with a Mig, be sure it is big enough to handle at least 1/4 " comfortablely which means they advertize it for 3/8.

Chevymon 09-06-2011 05:48 AM

I just have a small tig (up to 1/8") but that's all I need. It came with the finger tip control and it was very cumbersome, so I bought a foot control. It has a learning curve, but the welding results are outstanding, and leaves the weld soft like the metal so you can hammer on it without cracking it.

delawarebill 09-06-2011 07:14 AM

i like my Lincoln 225 stick. very good for stuff like your going to do... i'd have to look at the stick number i use but it flows great..

matt167 09-06-2011 08:57 AM

I use 70/14 on a Lincoln A/C 225 for just about everything except sheet metal work

66GMC 09-06-2011 09:38 AM

I'm a novice welder.
I took a short course (evening classes) at the local ag college.

They started us with oxy-acet equipment, then stick, and finally mig.
All top-of-the-line equipment ... Miller-Matic, etc.

After finishing the course, I bought a used 115-volt Lincoln flux-core wire-fed welders for "practise" purposes. I just gotta say ... "NO comparison" ;)

Splatter and bird-poop. :D

They do make a gas kit to make this a mig welder, and I *might* even buy it. The great thing about a 115-volt ia that you can plug it in just about anywhere. (Anywhere that has a 20-amp breaker, that is.)

A word to the wise, anyone that is building a new garage ... get it wired for 20-amp minimum. I DID get mine wired for 50-AMP 220V with a welder in mind, but only did 15-amp 115V.

Yep, swapped in a few 20-amp breakers, knowing that the wiring really isn't rated for it. If my garage ever goes up in flames, the insurance company will have an easy out. :(

I truly doubt that I'll ever have a problem as I really don't weld continuously, and have LOTS of receptacles and LOTS of circuits.

Bottom line?
Spend the money on at least a 180-amp 220V Mig. Can usually find a Lincoln at around $700 on sale here at Canadian Tire.

oldred 09-06-2011 09:40 AM

Since you are just getting started a few basics might be a good idea, first these are all "Arc" welders and the basic machines you might be considering break down to MIG, TIG, stick or flux core (innershield). TIG is basically a gas shielded Tungsten arc torch and likely the most expensive while MIG and Flux core feed a continuous wire from a roll, all wire feeders are NOT MIGs and MIG and Flux core are very different processes that both use a wire fed from a roll. With MIG the weld is shielded from the atmosphere by an inert gas while flux core uses a gas generating flux contained inside the wire with no extra gas shielding necessary, there is no such thing as a gas-less MIG although it is not uncommon to hear that misused term. Stick welders are the basic arc process and the oldest technology requiring the most skill and are arguably the least versatile. The suggestion that you would be recommend to buy a MIG by a ratio of 20 to 1 might be wrong only in that it likely would be even more than that and for good reason. For auto body work MIG is going to be the most versatile of the processes with stick the very last choice. Flux core will likely be the lest expensive and can be used for some things but it's a real PITA for body work, it tends to burn through the panels and leaves a dirty area around the weld with a lot of spatter. MIG is much easier on thin sheetmetal, makes a very clean weld and can be used for just about any welding task you might run into in the shop. MIG does have one draw-back however, it is very prone to weld contamination and porosity from drafts so still air is a must. This means that attempting to use a MIG outdoors often results in frustration, it can be done if there is no air movement or with proper blocking of drafts but this is often very difficult to do so MIG should only be considered for indoor use.

UPandComing 09-06-2011 10:22 AM

Ok all good inputs im picking some things up lol now with the 1/4 inch thick plate i have to go around the edges to attatch it to the frame rails and this plate also has a tow hitch reciever in it for tag along towing so what is the proper choice for welding it to ensure welds dont break under load from trailer weight? Does that make sense?

oldred 09-06-2011 10:33 AM

Yes it makes sense and something like that could easily be done with MIG, Flux core or stick but in each case the integrity of the weld is going to depend on the operator's skill. In any case where safety is involved, that is if an accident or injury could result from weld failure, then it should be left to someone who is already skilled until you are confident of your abilities. I am not saying you can't weld this, I am sure you can, just that something like a trailer hitch is not the place to learn. A weld might look perfectly good while having next to no strength at all and this can occur for many reasons, the ability to make a sound weld as opposed to a weak one as well as the ability to see the difference comes with experience. What I am suggesting is wait until you are experienced and more confident in your skills before attempting something like a trailer hitch.

OneMoreTime 09-06-2011 11:03 AM

If you are serious about owning a welder and have the need I would reccomend something like the Miller 180/220 volt machine. At least a quality machine of some nature. buy your machine from one of your local welding supply houses as the price will be about the same and you have those guys to talk to if you have any questions or issues.


UPandComing 09-06-2011 11:58 AM

Thanks guys ill fing me a nice mig and use the scrap metal i cut from the frame to practice and ill have a professional do the welding this time around thanks again

timothale 09-06-2011 10:36 PM

fit and tack
A long time ago I used to have the pro's do my critical and aluminum welds. I used to do all the prep and fit work and either tack or clamp the pieces then off to their shop. Most welders were happy that I had everything ready, and it didn't cost as much.

timothale 09-06-2011 10:43 PM

welding tips.
sign up for welding tips and Jody sends out a lot of good info each week. He does plug some of the stuff he sells and reviews other products he doesn't sell.

327NUT 09-06-2011 11:50 PM

2 Attachment(s)
The worst thing you can in any venture is to not educate yourself in the different kinds of welding processes, brands of welders and whether you REALLY need a 220V or 115V. I went through this entire scenario 2 months ago and researched everything I could find, including asking about it on this forum.

I really liked the Miller 211 but just couldn't justify spending a $1000 or more for my occasional use-age. During my web surfing I found that Tractor Supply was offering the Hobart Handler 187 on sale for $549 which is a hell of a deal for a 220V rig as nice as the Hobart. I purchased it and a 80 cu. ft. bottle of argon/CO2 and have been happily welding EVERYTHING I can get my hands on.

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