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Old 02-17-2004, 11:56 AM
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welding body panels any thougts on this welder?---->

I am looking at a chicago electric--gasless mig welder---uses flux-cored wire. I know, go for an expensive or the most expensive you can possibly afford. Well this is all I can justify for this project. So you can suggest others to purchase but the amount I am willing to actually spend is limited. Hence I am looking at a $119 welder.

I thought about going with an arc welder, which I have minimal experience with, however I could lay down a decent weld, but its been a while, so that doesn't matter much now. I was told a mig is easier and I only plan to work on sheetmetal. So when I came across this one that uses flux core wire and requires no gas, I thought I would see what others think.

Anyone use one of these? Any thoughts appreciated


357ford

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Old 02-17-2004, 12:01 PM
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Re: welding body panels any thougts on this welder?---->

Quote:
Originally posted by 357ford
I am looking at a chicago electric--gasless mig welder---uses flux-cored wire. I know, go for an expensive or the most expensive you can possibly afford. Well this is all I can justify for this project. So you can suggest others to purchase but the amount I am willing to actually spend is limited. Hence I am looking at a $119 welder.

I thought about going with an arc welder, which I have minimal experience with, however I could lay down a decent weld, but its been a while, so that doesn't matter much now. I was told a mig is easier and I only plan to work on sheetmetal. So when I came across this one that uses flux core wire and requires no gas, I thought I would see what others think.

Anyone use one of these? Any thoughts appreciated


357ford
i don't care for the flux core wire for welding panels as there is alot of splatter afterwards to get off, but for that price range it's probably a good one
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Old 02-17-2004, 12:26 PM
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I only use a flux core wire welder. One of these days I'll upgrade to gas but if you're going to grind or clean up your welds anyway the flux core wire works just as well (IMHO). It does spatter more but a quick pass with a high speed sanding disk will remove all the little nodules quickly.

Don't consider an arc welder for sheet metal. They're too aggressive and you'll probably never get a bead without burning through the thin sheet.

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Old 02-17-2004, 12:55 PM
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If you're definately buying one....

I just bought a campbell-hausfeld gas mig welder from e-bay for a little over 200 bucks. You may just be thinking that you're just gonna use this for just one project, but I promise you, once you get comfortable with the welder, projects will start to spring up in your head. My intention was that this was a one time deal, and I wouldn't be welding much after. I've replaced both floor pans, both cowl vents and cover, and rear quarters in my mustang. Now that I'm comfortable with it.....well, I started building my own body rotisserie a week ago. Now every stand or large tool made of metal, I'd rather build myself than pay 5 times the cost of steel to build one. It's up to you, but for not too much more, you'll get something that you won't ever need to upgrade. By the way, I imagine that cambell-hausfeld makes a gasless to and mine works flawlessly. Alot of people say that when you buy the cheaper welders that the speed control isn't too good at fine tuning.

Research, research,

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Old 02-17-2004, 02:40 PM
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get a used quality MIG/MAG welder, if you are ever going to fix your frame or do your own tranny or engine mounts you are going to need atleast 160 amps in my oppinion
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Old 02-17-2004, 02:49 PM
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i saw that campbell hausfeld welder on ebay, didn't look too bad. i don't like paying the 40 dollars theywant to ship it though. Check out www.northerntool.com i just bought a hobart from them. it came with a free cart and free shipping. they've also got this thing called EZ pay that let's to pay over 6 months with a credit or debit card. i saw a few on there for around 200-250. most lower end mig welders can be used as flux-core welders anyways, so you don't have to worry about getting gas right away.
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Old 02-18-2004, 08:03 AM
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Appreciate it, seems everyone gave me pretty good advice. Thanks again



357ford
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Old 02-18-2004, 12:09 PM
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Pay close attention to the type of trigger they have. I borrowed a friends cheap welder and the trigger only controls wire feed not arc. This was annoying to me as I am not too experienced but used to a Lincoln which had a true dead wire gun on it. I flashed myself several times before getting used to the fact that the wire was always hot.
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Old 02-18-2004, 01:08 PM
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ha ha yeah, that's right, i've done that a thousand times with my friend's century welder, that really drives me nuts. after you get flashed like that you can barely even see your hand in front of your face let alone where you're pointing the gun.
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Old 02-18-2004, 01:13 PM
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stay away from the flux core wire machines. they run way to hot for sheet meatl. expect splatter and warping in your welds. either go with a solid wire (with 2% argon and 98% CO2) or get a econo-tig welder from miller. the econo tig is tight, i highly recomend it for sheetmeatal work, very clean and no warpage.

and just forget about stick welding. way to much post work on grinding plus warapage.

hope it helps
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Old 02-18-2004, 01:55 PM
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LOL Econo-tig by miller ??? Sorry I was dumb enough to check it out, the econo part is definitely misleading at $1500, I guess compared to the $6000 versions they are selling, it just might be an economical welder, in their world, not mine.

Think minimal output of money. I appreciate all the advice but please, think minimal output of money, I am not shooting for a concours restoration here . Just an old truck I wanna straighten the panels and put a fair paint job on.

Thanks again for the recommendations and advice, though.

What about those stitch welding and spot welding attachments available for the arc welder? eastwood lists them and so does jcwhitney. I am thinking that way I could do frame or heavy welding with the arc welder then use the attachments for the body panels. Or do they not work as described? Any thoughts appreciated


357ford

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Old 02-18-2004, 02:04 PM
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Check pawn shops, My brother picked up a Lincoln mig (sp125?) for $200.00 works excellent and will run flux or gas.
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Old 02-18-2004, 02:45 PM
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Ebay's not too bad...

As long as you make sure you get it from a reputable supplier. I got mine for 235$ including shipping. It's a campbell hausfeld mig welder. You can use flux core, but I'd get the tank and run the solid wire. It can weld up to 3/16" thk. or sheetmetal. You're not going to find a setup that can to that much for cheaper and still work like it's supposed to.

Peniclneck314
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Old 02-18-2004, 03:13 PM
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357-Even if you are on tight budget I would still stay away from the gasless machines if at all possible and definitely avoid the EASTWOOD spot and stitch welders.EASTWOOD has some high quality stuff but those two items are not among them!They are very hard to use even for a pro and even then the weld is nowhere near the quality of a mig welder. Check the pawn shops and classifieds for used machines and maybe harbor freight for some of the cheaper new ones. On a tight budget a 110 volt machine might be ok if all you plan to weld is body panels or other thin sheet.(1/16" or less). You can even weld thicker plate such as frames if you take the time to properly preheat (very important)! Also you might want to check out this new welding wire as it makes 110 volt machines far more useful I have tried it and I almost never use solid wire now. The sheet metal that we are welding in my shop is even thiner than most body panels and this stuff does a superb job. Good luck! www.jwharris.com/images/twentygauge.pdf
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Old 02-18-2004, 07:25 PM
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I have seen numerous posts that say that you have to have more than a 110 volt mig unit. Mine is an old Craftsman 110 unit. It will weld 3/16" with no problem if you do it right. The only problem with my welder is that it does not have the dead wire. I regularly flash myself if I am not really paying attention to what I am doing. If the money is really tight right now, like most of the time, I would still get a machine that uses gas. The tank can be added later, when the money shows up.

As an additional warning.... Additional projects seem to show up when there is a welder around.
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