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-   -   New to welding. MIG or flux core. (http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/new-welding-mig-flux-core-167832.html)

kilgorq 11-03-2009 09:19 PM

New to welding. MIG or flux core.
 
I am fairly new to welding. I did some stick welding 20+ years ago. I recently got set up with a stick welder and realized after fighting it for a few hours that it just will not work for sheet metal. It works great for 1/8 to 1/4 tubing. I need to Get either a flux core or MIG with the gas. Obviously the gas set up costs a more so My question is what are the advantages to the gas over the flux core. I have been looking at several and due to a tight budget I am looking for inexpensive but not cheap. Can I get good results from the flux core or are the advantages of the gas worth the extra couple hundred dollars. Any recommendations on good priced reliable welders would be welcome also. And what to look for in features. What are the must haves and the not so important.

ericnova72 11-03-2009 09:44 PM

Trying to weld sheetmetal with flux core wire gives the same results as trying to stick weld it... Slag and pinholes in the weld. Only good use for flux core is just like stick: thicker materials and when shielding gas might be blown away by wind.

Get the Gas MIG set-up to weld thin materials like autobody.

oldschoolrods 11-03-2009 09:51 PM

You definitely want the gas. As far as recommending a welder, what's your budget? You definitely want to stick with a brand name here, Miller, Lincoln, Hobart etc.

Miller - Has an auto-set feature for to help people set up their welders but is more costly

Lincoln - Can even be found in home depot, no auto set feature

Hobart - Essentially the same unit as the miller but lower price, and I don't believe it has auto set

Happy shopping

kilgorq 11-03-2009 10:15 PM

I am looking at about $300 then get the tank in a couple weeks. Possibly borrow one until then.

I Ran across a Hobart handler 135 on cgslst for less than 200. But it needs repairs. The seller claims it is not performing well. It still works but not like it should. Something about a weak arc. He said the part costs 100. What are these worth in good working condition. Are they any good?

From what I have read on the forums gas is defiantly the way to go.

I really don't think I need to go up to the 220 v unit. If I am welding bigger stuff I will use my stick welder or do multiple pass.

Jake_Dragon 11-03-2009 11:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kilgorq
I am looking at about $300 then get the tank in a couple weeks. Possibly borrow one until then.

I Ran across a Hobart handler 135 on cgslst for less than 200. But it needs repairs. The seller claims it is not performing well. It still works but not like it should. Something about a weak arc. He said the part costs 100. What are these worth in good working condition. Are they any good?

From what I have read on the forums gas is defiantly the way to go.

I really don't think I need to go up to the 220 v unit. If I am welding bigger stuff I will use my stick welder or do multiple pass.

The problem with 110v units is the amount of welding you can do before it shuts down to cool off. Duty cycle is a key, a 220 will have a larger duty cycle and let you weld for a longer time before it has to cool down.

speedfoos 11-04-2009 06:24 AM

I've got a little 110V Lincoln Power Pak (I think) 120 that I've got setup for gas and I love that little welder. I have never had it shut off due to exceeding the duty cycle, but I do notice that its limit is about a 4-inch steady bead at max output before the amperage drops a little. This is fine for me as it give me time to reset my position, clean the previous weld, take a swig of beverage and move on to the next pass.

Admittedly, I don't weld for a living, but do run through quite a bit of consumables with it and don't have a problem with the welds. Depends on your budget and your expected use. I'm welding a lot lately and will probably be upgrading to a 220 unit in the near future so I can go longer and also run the larger wire rolls instead of the 2 lb rolls my Lincoln takes.

Nothing wrong with a 110 as long as you are patient and don't expect it to weld the thick stuff like a big boy welder will.

oldred 11-04-2009 09:18 AM

I did weld professionally for many years and always had heavy welding equipment to use but I still would have felt lost without my little 110 Lincoln! I did a lot of work outside and some jobs, one in particular that came up often, would have meant trying to string out many feet of heavy welding cable (sometimes nearly 150'). This job site had 120 volts available to power the lighting and some small cooling fans so I would just grab my little Lincoln with it's small gas bottle attached, climb on up there and have at it! :) The duty cycle was the only limiting thing here as we were welding machine guards and handrails so the metal was rarely over 1/8" thick but occasionally it would be as much as 3/8" which with a bit of preheating from a torch was no problem either. Those little Lincolns will weld about anything you are likely to tackle with proper procedure and preheating the base metal BUT it starts to get impractical even if it is possible if the job normally would take more than just a very few minutes using a bigger welder. It's up to the operator, if you have all day to do a normally small job and are willing to take the time and extra attention such as preheat and multi-pass welding then these small machines can do some things a lot of people think they can't do but as I said it starts to get impractical and can be a genuine PITA. NEVER buy a 110 machine thinking that these little tricks will make it work anywhere near as good as a larger machine and if the purpose will require welding more than just thin sheet metal for more than just VERY small jobs then you will need a bigger welder. The 110 MIGs can work just fine for body work and other thin metal projects and they can be used for heavier jobs in a pinch but the extra time and prep just makes them impractical for more than that, for instance you may be able to weld a shock mount bracket with proper prep and procedure but it would take a heck of a lot longer to do it and welding a frame just should not be undertaken with one of the little outfits.

Schoust 11-04-2009 03:01 PM

I'll chime in here. If I were you even though you say that you will only be welding a little,spend the money you won't regret it! I was in this very same predicament and ended up buying a used Century unit it's Ok but the new Lincoln's or Miller's are much better for a variety of reason's one being weight! The older units are HEAVY! Not to mention they are not as good at what they do period. I also would recommend the Hobart because as stated before they are the same as the National Brand that was mentioned and there cheaper over all. If money is the issue simply buy the unit and do not get the gas set up but make sure that it is capable of using it (gas) that is. I have a Bud who did this and saved a bit more and added the bottle a little later on when he had it. You won't regret doing it right. Overall the Mig with shielded gas (argon) is the very best way to go! I would not buy a flux core machine.....
Good Luck

S10 Racer 11-04-2009 04:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kilgorq
I am fairly new to welding. I did some stick welding 20+ years ago. I recently got set up with a stick welder and realized after fighting it for a few hours that it just will not work for sheet metal. It works great for 1/8 to 1/4 tubing. I need to Get either a flux core or MIG with the gas. Obviously the gas set up costs a more so My question is what are the advantages to the gas over the flux core. I have been looking at several and due to a tight budget I am looking for inexpensive but not cheap. Can I get good results from the flux core or are the advantages of the gas worth the extra couple hundred dollars. Any recommendations on good priced reliable welders would be welcome also. And what to look for in features. What are the must haves and the not so important.

Definately get a gas welder, stay away from flux core for sheetmetal. Make sure you can buy all the consumables that you will need for whichever welder you go with. You will need tips, nozzles, liners and maybe diffusers. Most of these are readily available if you buy a name brand welder.

Chevrolet4x4s 11-04-2009 06:41 PM

Clarke makes a good mig/flux core,great warranty,affordable too.
Shane

oldred 11-04-2009 08:10 PM

Clarke went bankrupt less than a year ago so you can't buy a new Clarke, at least not by that name. Maybe someone else will pick them up, or maybe someone already has, and if so they seem to be a real bargain. It's disappointing really because they had just started to make a name for themselves and had developed a good reputation for performance and dependability at an unbeatable price.

matt167 11-04-2009 08:14 PM

Theres a few sellers on Ebay selling remaining New Clarke welders produced b4 they went under..

I gotta buy a MIG here soon, cause I decided I'm not going to attempt welding my rat-rod body togther with my HF Flux core. I can weld sheetmetal with it, but it's dirty... looking at the Northern Tool welders, they appear identical to Hobarts. I might go with 1 of them

NEW INTERIORS 11-04-2009 08:17 PM

Sorry but you couldn't give me a Clarke... :smash: And a close friend learned the hard way about them... And sad to say not long after he bought it, He gave it away.. :smash: Good luck if you buy one.. :nono: :nono:

Spend a little more, And buy a real machine.. :)

oldred 11-04-2009 08:47 PM

That's the first time I have heard anyone complain about CLARKE. :confused: The two I know of locally are decent machines and the guys who own them both like them a lot, I had not thought much of them one way or the other until someone here told us how much he likes his. The local farmers Co-Op sold them here and after the thread about them I asked what those guys thought about them and it was the same story, two of the guys working there had them and both said they were very reliable. Last year I got to try the 220 volt version and it seems to be a very good machine, for the price I thought it to be quite impressive.

oldred 11-04-2009 08:55 PM

Just did a quick search of the Clarke bankruptcy and it seems they are indeed available again. I am assuming these are the same Italian made machines as before since they look the same and they are still being sold under the Clarke name.


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