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AddShoe 12-19-2009 12:46 PM

Welder question
Did some searching but wanted to get a definite answer. I have seen both schools of thought when it comes to welding frames with 110V MIG welders, that it can be done but will take extra time due to duty cycle or that it shouldn't be done and that a 220V welder should be used...

Any advice? I have a Lincoln Electric 110V MIG that can weld 1/4 inch but am thinking of buying even a stick welder to do some frame fabrication just to be safe and end up with a solid frame.

Thanks for any reply.


cjperotti 12-19-2009 02:39 PM

Asking for advice on a mig welder and only telling the reader you have a Lincoln 110-Volt is too generic and vague. What's the Amp rating displayed on the case? It's usually represented as the model such as 100, 130, 185 or other.

amx180mph 12-19-2009 02:49 PM

I build frames and own a bunch of welders arc,TIG,MIG. My preference for most of the work is the 110V MIG the 220 gives the same results (heat penetration) I just like my small welder. I would not arc weld anything on a street rod frame, I do when I do trailer frames but that is a lot different in metal and final cosmetics. I TIG motor mounts and cross members but that is more of what I do rather than necessity. MIG 110 or 220 will work exactly the same although I know a lot of the 220 units come with a lot of options for presets for novice welders more so than I see on the 110. Also gas versus gas less is the cosmetics for a gas weld is far superior to flux core. The only other argument on a 220 over a 110 is that a 220 can be used on thicker metals by turning up the heat but this would not be needed in building a frame for a car.

Cunningham and Hersh Hot Rods

matt167 12-19-2009 04:11 PM

you should not build a frame with a 110V MIG. they cannot provide the amperage and without proper pre heat, penetration will suffer.. possible to 'get it right' if your a decent welder, but it's not practice that should really be suggested.. 110V Arc will create a far stronger weld for somthing like a frame when comparing to a 110v MIG.. yea it won't look as good as a Mig weld, but not all pretty welds are strong...

ogre 12-19-2009 05:20 PM

i have the lincoln weldpac 100, 110v set up for fluxcore wire. it did fine welding in my mustII crossmember and boxing the frame. you have to grind fluxcore welds to make them look right. my welder is 20% duty cycle. i bought the 110v unit for portibility.
i won't say a welder is a welder, but a lincoln weld is a lincoln welder. input voltage has nothing to do with output voltage. if you look at lincoln's 2 small mig welders the 140 & 180. the 140 is 110v in, 30 to 140 amps & 33v out. the 180 is 220v in and 30 to 180 amps & 34v out. you can weld the same stuff with either one. the higher the amperage the thicker the material that you can weld in a single pass. you can weld thick materials with a small welder by doing it in mulitple passes. more heat on most materials will warp & stress the metal. usualy multiple passes is preffered over a high heat single pass.
the 110v lincoln will weld anything you want to weld on a car or truck. yes it will weld a frame and do a fine job at it. you must live within the duty cycle of the welder. the duty cycle is rated for maximum heat, at lower heat (that you will use most of the time) the duty cycle increases.
keep your 110v unit, it will be fine. i keep mine setup for fluxcore and do not own a bottle, but i wish i had a gas setup for mig.
i do have access to a mig at my friends shop, we do production ss exhaust welding with a 180t, often welding an hr with it.

AddShoe 12-19-2009 05:52 PM

This is the welder I have, found the pic on google images.

output range 25-135 Amps DC
welds up to 5/16" steel
20% duty cycle (any input on this factor would also be cool for the thread)

ogre 12-19-2009 06:14 PM

In tools/equipment such as welders, the maximum duty cycle is defined as the percentage of time in a
10 minute period that it can be operated continuously before overheating.
source wikipedia

20% duty cycle means that 2 min welding, 8 min cooling. do not turn the welder off, the fan is doing the cooling.
your 110v unit is 20% duty cycle. the 220v unit is duty cycle rated at 30%, 3 min welding, 7 min cooling.
keep what you have. not worth the $$$ to get 1 min more of welding in 10 min.
seriously, i have welder 20 min with my 20% welder @ heat 3 of 4

your welder welds 5/16" steel in a single pass.
your welder will weld thicker material in multiple passes.
you could theoretically weld 2" material with your welder. it would take for ever but you could do it...

cobalt327 12-19-2009 06:18 PM

20 % duty cycle just means that you can weld 2 minutes out of 10 at max rating, IIRC.

oldred 12-19-2009 06:40 PM

Those duty cycle ratings are a lot like HP ratings on compressor motors and most are optimistic to say the least! There simply is no comparing a 110V welder to a 220V and there is a heck of a lot more to it than just 1 extra minute welding time out of 10, the highest setting on most 110 machines is not really high enough to do a proper job on frame welding and the duty cycle will be a PITA. You can certainly do small frame welds with a 110 machine but this will require preheating with a torch due to the low amp setting and that makes it impractical for large jobs.

A stick welder (a DC machine) will do an excellent job on frames and with 7018 rods strength will not be an issue, HOWEVER doing this with stick requires a very different level of skill and doing it improperly could be disaster!

AddShoe 12-19-2009 07:18 PM

oldred are you saying it would not be a good idea to go into assembling a frame with this welder?

70455 12-19-2009 08:09 PM

Three phase welder is best for building frames, but most people won't have on to much money. So 220 would be the next best thing. 110 just not good idea for car frame. I wouldn't trust my life to the 110.

amx180mph 12-19-2009 08:40 PM

Miller Matic
I use a Millermatic Passport Plus with a spool gun that is wired for 110v it welds just as well as my Millermatic 252 220V. I have a magnaflux system and test welds when ever I am concerned on overhead welds and hard to reach areas. The welds from either welder are very strong and very clean. I know nothing about the cheaper welders never used one so not much more I can add to this board.

Cunningham & Hersh Hot Rods

cjperotti 12-19-2009 09:13 PM

The model you posted will do whatever you need it to do.

110-volt migs have come a long ways since they were first introduced in the market back in the early 80’s. In the beginning, they were nothing more than a battery charger rigged with a cheap wire-feed attachment to weld and had a poor duty cycle. Today’s 110 migs have heavier coil windings with larger capacitors to accommodate what they are intended to be used for. Improvements in the wire-feed attachments have also been implemented.

ogre 12-20-2009 09:44 AM


Originally Posted by AddShoe
oldred are you saying it would not be a good idea to go into assembling a frame with this welder?

are you trying to justify the cost of a new welder to your wife or are you interested in the facts?
yes, your 110v lincoln will do what you want

speedfoos 12-20-2009 09:48 AM

I made my frame with my 110 Lincoln. I am not worried at all about its structural soundness. I made two passes on the welds and am willing to be guarantee mine and my family's lives on its integrity. That statement is not based on ignorance.

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