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Old 06-30-2008, 02:03 PM
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Welder for welding body panel.

I'm replacing the rear quarter panel on my 2003 Ford Mustang and need to weld the new quarter panel in place. I tried welding the sheet metal with my arc welder at the lowest setting and I just blew holes in the metal. I'm going to buy a new welder this week so I can finish the job.

I've looked at several mig welders and the prices range from $100 - $1000+ so I'm not sure exactly what I should get. I don't want to spend $1000 if I don't need to. I'll mostly be welding sheet metal with it.

What do you recommend?

Thanks

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Old 06-30-2008, 02:16 PM
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I am not a welder but can do OK with oxy/acetylene or stick. I decide to try a wire welder as they seem to be the ticket for sheetmetal. These are great! I like Lincoln brand and have one of their 120 volt Mig welders. I use a mix of argon/co2 gas and it works very well for sheetmetal and light fabrication. I have also used it without the gas using flux core wire and it works well that way but does "splatter" a lot without the gas. The leads have to be reversed inside the cabinet when using the flux core wire and no gas.

I bought the 120 volt model so that I could use it almost anywhere. If I were to have a "do-over" though I'd get a larger 220 volt model. That would be capable of heavier fabrication.

Other name brands are as good or better but are usually higher priced than the Lincoln.
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Old 06-30-2008, 02:18 PM
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Don't even consider one of the cheap flux core welders (probably what you were looking at for $100) get a MIG welder for body work, a flux core welder is not a MIG. Flux core wire not only is far more likely to burn through but it will leave a rough weld with a lot of spatter which means a lot of grinding to get it smooth. Probably one of the better buys for a low cost MIG is one of the Hobart Handler series machines or maybe one of the little Lincolns if you stay with one of the big brand names but the Italian built Clark is making a very good name for itself also and it is priced right!
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Old 06-30-2008, 02:20 PM
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Couple of things you can do..One is to learn to use a torch with a triple ought tip..If you wish to get a wire feeder (MIG) then go with a Lincoln..Hobart..Miller.. either the Sp1oo size (110 volt) or the SP175 size (220 volt) models..I have one of those machines and have had it at least 15 years or more and have long since forgotten what I paid for it and it still gives me a good service..does all I need it to do in a restoration shop..Try welders direct dot com for pricing..waay less than 1000 for one of those..

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Old 06-30-2008, 11:33 PM
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Depends on how much you are going to use it.

I bought a miller 135 (110V) w Argon/C02 bottle out the door for around $700.00 a couple of years ago.

I've used and abused this unit and only replaced the consumables.
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Old 07-01-2008, 08:50 AM
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don't buy a Harbor Freight Welder... I made the mistake of buying there cheap $100 wire feed welder.. after a few hours of use ( don't use on sheetmetal, it'll burn thru ) the feed wheel wore out.. I called and got a new feeder assembly for it, and put it in. but after that, I never even put the spool of wire back on it. the welder is a giant paperweight anyway
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Old 07-01-2008, 02:13 PM
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Yes, by all means get a MIG welder and a small bottle of C25/75 gas and use 0.023 solid wire. The trick is to not lay down a continous bead but to do a bunch of spot welds bringing them ever closer together in order to keep the heat and warpage down. Look in your local trader papers, Craigslist, e-bay, etc and try to find a good used Miller, Hobart, or Lincoln only, no chicom crap or HF junk for this one. If at all possible get a 220 version if you are wired for it. I've got a Hobart 187 and love it.
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Old 07-01-2008, 04:04 PM
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I'd recommend a Lincoln Flux core/ Mig welder. We have a 110V model at home, used it with flux core for a while, worked ok, lots of spatter as said before. Switched to gas and works great. And for what its worth and this is not a shot at miller, but at my work we fix welders and we see way more miller's than Lincolns, but I've only been there about a month so who knows if this is just a spurt of millers or not.
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Old 07-01-2008, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike6845
Yes, by all means get a MIG welder and a small bottle of C25/75 gas and use 0.023 solid wire. The trick is to not lay down a continous bead but to do a bunch of spot welds bringing them ever closer together in order to keep the heat and warpage down. Look in your local trader papers, Craigslist, e-bay, etc and try to find a good used Miller, Hobart, or Lincoln only, no chicom crap or HF junk for this one. If at all possible get a 220 version if you are wired for it. I've got a Hobart 187 and love it.
Harbor Freight does have good prices on Hobart Welders.
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Old 07-01-2008, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt167
Harbor Freight does have good prices on Hobart Welders.
I've never seen any Hobart product at H.F. but who is to say it will never happen, Actually I got my HH187 from Sears when they were running a 20% off free freight program. I think my cost was approx $560 or so. Like I said, it does everything I can think of for it very well. I also have at TD39 plasma cutter and talk about a wonder toy, this is it. Next week I pick up my Miller Syncrowave TIG welder. Christmas is early this year.
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Old 07-01-2008, 05:05 PM
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http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...f&brand=Hobart

does not look like they have very many to choose from now, but they do sell them... I have used the Ironman 210 b4, and it is a nice welder
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Old 07-01-2008, 05:19 PM
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Yes HF does have some genuine Hobart machines and occasionally (don't know why they don't have them all the time? ) they even have genuine Victor torch outfits.
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Old 07-01-2008, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldred
Yes HF does have some genuine Hobart machines and occasionally (don't know why they don't have them all the time? ) they even have genuine Victor torch outfits.
depends on when the train carrying victor torches derails

I did have a chance to do some welding with a little 110 hobart and it is a pretty darn good unit I believe tractor supply also carries hobart.
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Old 07-02-2008, 07:17 AM
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I'll throw my nickel in here - if your shop has 220VAC that's the best in my opinion. I bought a little Lincoln 120V gas unit that has done everything that I have asked it to do only because I didn't have 220V at the time. The 110V unit does have the advantage of portability - I did some welding - 3 times on a friends tractor - and was able to do it in his 110V only barn.

Brand names - Lincoln, Miller, Hobart, ESAB are some good ones that come to mind and I believe all are US made and all have good repair parts availabilty. Who knows with the off shore brands if parts will be available after purchase. Expect to spend $5-600 for the gas option version.

Of course - these are my opinions

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Old 07-02-2008, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike6845
Yes, by all means get a MIG welder and a small bottle of C25/75 gas and use 0.023 solid wire. The trick is to not lay down a continous bead but to do a bunch of spot welds bringing them ever closer together in order to keep the heat and warpage down. Look in your local trader papers, Craigslist, e-bay, etc and try to find a good used Miller, Hobart, or Lincoln only, no chicom crap or HF junk for this one. If at all possible get a 220 version if you are wired for it. I've got a Hobart 187 and love it.
For welding sheet metal - I do prefer the 110v, the 220v even on the lowest setting is a little more difficult to weld sheet metal with in comparision.

For maximum versatility though a 220v gives you more options for welding heavier stock.

As mike mentioned the welding method makes a difference and you can also use a copper sheet directly behind the weld to help burn thru issues and heat dissapation and there are also compounds that help prevent warpage like this stuff I got from Eastwood.

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