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Old 07-22-2003, 10:16 AM
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Low end mig welders?

Hi all,

New here and love this forum. Finally getting around to restoring my 55 Chevy truck after 25 years. Want to mig weld patch panels myself. Thought about renting a Mig but also noticed low end machines for under $200.00 on EBAY. Of course I don't think there as good as as $1500.00 rigs...But can they do the job? Are they good enough? Any major negitives with these machines?

Most mention flux core wire ...so that gas is not required. What are you welders using? Gas? Flux core?

Thanks,

Keith / CT

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Old 07-22-2003, 10:29 AM
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Flux Core won't cut it.

I own a 1957 Chevy 3100 Truck, and a few months back, I was asking the exact same question you are now. I ended up buying a Hobart Handler 125 for about $350. I tried welding with the flux core...and even at the lowest settings the metal evaporates right before your eyes! Nothing will piss you off quicker.

I just bought the shielding gas kit for it for $80.00 + probably another $100 for the gas and bottle. So at the end of the day, you can expect to pay somewhere around $500+ to do what you want to do. The shielding gas will allow you to weld thinner sheetmetal.

Some may argue but a 110v machine is more than capable of handling body work and even roll cages and miscellaneous tasks around the house. Buy as much of a machine you can afford. Do NOT buy into something that does not allow upgrade to gas.

Hope this helps
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Old 07-23-2003, 08:02 AM
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Thanks Unstable...

That being the case I'll likely rent if one is available. Just to stop the bleeding. I need to buy a compressor capable of powering air tools and since I'll the Mig will only get occasional use I'll rent.

I have tanks and torches but the last time I used them I learned
how short the period of time is between cherry red and a hole.

Thanks for the reply,

Keith
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Old 07-23-2003, 09:03 AM
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I'd say look at buying a small machine...really. Because even though it doesn't take a high degree of skill to weld using a mig, it's going to take some practice. And if you're just going to rent a machine to do your panels, you're probably going to be in a big rush to get it done without paying a large rental fee...so the job is going to be crappy.

If there's one thing I learned from my wife, it's that hotrods don't happen overnight. That's why most of the guys cruising in cool cars are old.
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Old 07-23-2003, 10:47 AM
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Thumbs up

I have to agree with unstable, BUY a small mig!! You will need to practice not only to prevent burn-through, but you don't want to have huge blobs of welds. Remember, you will need to grind this smooth too, and mig welds are some of the hardest to grind down without warping the sheetmetal.

There are plenty of mig welders out there, you may want to look for a rig that has stitch and spot welding capabilities. This could help you when welding thin sheets. One company that I have bought welders and plasma cutters is HTP America. They are always there when I need them.


Seth
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Old 07-23-2003, 11:58 AM
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I guess i'm the only guy here with a century made craftsman mig.
dont go for flux, use the argon/co2. I wouldn't use it on critical areas, like a frame, but, it'll do all the sheetmetal you could ask for. i'd recommend a century, snapon migs used to be(don't know about the newer ones) made by century.......
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Old 07-23-2003, 12:05 PM
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I have a small Lincoln 100 (I think that's the number - it's in that series anyway) and I will put it up against anyone any time for quantity and quality of weld. Got it at Harbor Freight. They had their in-house brand too which is probably very good but the Lincoln was on a sale so cost about the same as their brand.
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Old 07-23-2003, 01:55 PM
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Willys, are your welds this beautiful?

this is from a very talented weldor on the hobart forums.


Quote:
To show you what the HH 125 is capable of producing I am attaching a picture of a weld that I ran on 1/8" mild steel with the HH 125 that I tested. On the picture I have shown the oscillation that I used to create the weld and also an arrow to indicate my direction of travel. By the way I am right handed. Just remember with fluxcore wire you need to pull the weld bead.
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Old 07-23-2003, 01:57 PM
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No but my grinder is gorgeous!
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Old 07-25-2003, 07:31 PM
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Thanks all!

The concensus is gas ...no flux...So be it. If money was no object..ha,ha,ha buying would be the way to go...but I'll have to see if the local renter has a gas model..

Appreciate the comments..

Slick
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Old 07-26-2003, 01:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by willys36@aol.com
I have a small Lincoln 100 (I think that's the number - it's in that series anyway) and I will put it up against anyone any time for quantity and quality of weld. Got it at Harbor Freight. They had their in-house brand too which is probably very good but the Lincoln was on a sale so cost about the same as their brand.
is this flux core weld??? Wow pretty good looking for weld without gas.
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Old 07-26-2003, 08:01 AM
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I have a 110V unit I bought from Sears about 10 years ago. It only has High and Low settings por the power. It has variable wire speed control. I have had no problems with welding anything of 1/8" or less. Anything larger than that I use a stick welder for anyway. The only problem that I have had with mine is that the wire is always "hot". If I was going to buy another one I would go for one that the wire is only "Hot" when the trigger is pulled. Makes for easier control when starting. When I bought mine I paid about $450 for the welder. The gas bottle cost me about $300. Since then they have gone down I guess. That's usually how it works for me anyway. Everyone else benefits when I buy something.
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Old 07-26-2003, 01:53 PM
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I don't know whether that picture was done using flux core or gas. I'd imagine it was done using gas, but I can find out for sure.
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Old 07-26-2003, 07:07 PM
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To produce a good looking weld takes 2 good welders. The one that is bought, and the one that bought it. Just having a good welder does not mean that you will be able to produce good welds. Also just being able to produce good welds with a good welder doesn't mean that you can on any welder. It takes practice and ability.
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Old 07-26-2003, 07:24 PM
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here's what "DAN" on the hobart forum said about the pic of the weld I attached...he also attached another, just to rub in the fact that he is very good.

Quote:
That lap joint was welded with an .030 E 71T-11 self shielded fluxcore.


This one was ran with an .023 E70S-6 solid wire and C-25 for the shielding gas

Both joints were ran on 1/8" cold rolled.

Oh yeah and both welds we produced by a HH 125.
I'm going to attach the one he ran with Solid wire and C-25
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Last edited by unstable; 07-26-2003 at 07:31 PM.
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