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Old 01-19-2004, 12:12 PM
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Welders

Hello there--- I have been geting some differing opinions about welders. So I thought that I's ask a question here and see what the responses bring. I am at a point in my project(34 Olds 3 window coupe) where I either need to take my frame somewhere for a bunch of welding or buy a welder and do some practice so that I can do it myself. I have a couple of freinds who are experienced welders and tell me that the average 230V welders like the Hobart Handler 175 wirefeed aren't going to cut it and that I would be better off buying something bigger. The problem is that I am on a fairly tight budget and the more I spend on a welder means that I'll have less available for the car. What are your thoughts about welders? How much would I need for frame work? I don't have any significant sheet metal work to do. Looking forward to hearing other peoples thought. Thanks. Mike

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Old 01-19-2004, 12:27 PM
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How much welding are you going to do on the frame? If, for instance you will be fully boxing the frame and installing tubular crossmembers, then I agree with your welder friends. While the 175amp MIG 230v welders will weld up to 1/4" metal, their duty cycle is such that they will not weld that thickness of metal for very long without triipping out on high temp. Also welding 1/4" metal with one of these welders takes multiple passes.

The Millermatic 175 will take care of most of the welding that I need to do to my commercially prepared 34 repro frame, (adding brackets and such) however I would not want to use it for bringing a stock frame up to the level of my new commercial frame.

Vince
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Old 01-19-2004, 12:54 PM
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Vince- My frame is plenty sturdy and my plan was to box the frame only at the back end where my attachment points are for the triangular links to the rearend go. Othere than that it's just doing motor mounts, transmission mounts, and a variety of small stuff. Mike
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Old 01-19-2004, 01:39 PM
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I have used many sizes and brands of welders in my day,I am of the opinion that its better to buy a used quality welder than a cheesy new one. If your set on wire fed ones,I would lean toward a millermatic,at least a 200. They weld good and will hold its value. for structural stuff I would run a smaller dual shield wire and a co2/argon gas,you can buy it mixed and it looks nice without all the splatter and it is out of position/gap friendly,that combo will be stronger than hard wire. Stick is cheap and trouble free,if you use the right rod for the aplication keep your rod dry its a little slower going on but it cant be beat for strengh.
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Old 01-19-2004, 04:31 PM
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i don't agree with the other guys on this one.

i think you'll be fine with a 230V 175A mig. the frame material on your car can't be more than 3/16" i wouldn't think.

i've got a lincoln SP175 and it works great. You crank it up and it'll be alright. i don't think i'd be buttwelding any frame rails but for boxing stuff and crossmembers, etc. i think it'd be fine. i've heard of people using 120V welders on frames before so i'm sure a 230V one is ok. also, duty cycle on my welder is 30%. i don't know what 302/Z28 is talking about a welder like that not being able to handle the welds. 30% is 3 minutes out of 10. you can weld a long bead in 3 minutes.

JB
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Old 01-19-2004, 05:19 PM
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I see nothing wrong with a 175 Lincoln,Ive used em and they are fine,Ive just had better luck with the way millers feed and you can always turn one down,it never hurts to have more than you need,in fact I recommend it. Just make sure whatever you buy you can find parts for easy,special order sucks.
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Old 01-19-2004, 05:26 PM
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oxygen and ceteline always solves the problem for me cutting welding or just destroying ...super stuff
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Old 01-19-2004, 05:36 PM
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WELDERS

buy the biggest you can afford second hand if need be
try the cassified adds but take your friends with you they will know buy the feel if the feed is good or the handle's crook
make sure its got a fan in it and good casters and practice lots
a good welder is a great asset
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Old 01-19-2004, 05:48 PM
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A millermatic 250 would handle most any needs you have minus really really heavy stuff,thats what I would hunt for #1.
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Old 01-21-2004, 10:25 PM
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The Miller 175 will do anything you want to do. I have one that i bought to weld sheet metal with now i use it for everything, never use the big one any more. I just finished a 18 ft. trailer with the 175 and never used up duty cycle. By the way shop around you should be able to buy one for about $650
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Old 01-21-2004, 10:57 PM
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Its not an issue of if it will,because it will do a lot,its that the way it welds when its taxed up doesn't compare to the stability and control of a stronger one,welders never work as well at the top end. I think if you look at used ones,the price difference will be minimal,and well worth the difference,ask anybody who welds professionally and Ill bet you they agree.
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Old 01-21-2004, 11:34 PM
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Guys- Thanks for your input. The majority of the advice I have recv'd off line and some of what I read here suggest that the way to go is either a Miller or Lincoln in the 200 series. Others have said that more is better to a degree and that a fella ought to get a welder that is one step above what the current project calls for so that it is a little more versatile later on. My hope is to get working on a 52 F100 redo after I get the 34 3WC done. Mike
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Old 01-22-2004, 11:33 AM
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A 175A mig should box the frame okay. Just V out the but welds, or set your boxing plates in so they create a square groove (the two edges at 90 deg.) You'll have plenty of penetration. I would still rather go with more than less if the bucks were there and it was up to me.
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