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my_wayward_son 02-14-2008 01:40 AM

Thinking about getting a welder
 
I'm bringing my Suburban home from school and have been debating buying a welder. I don't know much about welding, but from what I've heard, mig welders are fairly easy to get the hang of. I've only welded once in shop class, so I will also be learning with whatever I get. This welder on Harbour Freight caught my attention.

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=44567

It's a 115v gasless mig which I guess just makes it an "m". Will it be powerful enough to weld 4" box steel? The idea of a gasless wire feed welder appeals to me because not having to have a tank of gas sitting around would make it easier to move and store.

techron 02-14-2008 03:32 AM

hey kid, don't buy that welder. it's flux, you don't want flux. the amperage is to low. at a minimum buy a 115V-136-140 amp mig with gas. a lot of guys prefer 220V-180 amp migs, but you need a 220V plug. after lots of study i bought a 115-135 clarke mig with gas (25-75 mix, CO2-argone) (SP) it will weld anything if you watch the duty cycle.

OLDRED MAY POST HERE, listen to him, he knows just about more than anybody about welding.
i posted a more detailed version of my answer, but it dissapeared when i hit "preview post", so this a condenced version. :D :D :D

dinger 02-14-2008 07:27 AM

I;ll move this to the tool section, as Tech says, give a listen to Olred. Dan

NEW INTERIORS 02-14-2008 08:28 AM

The Lincoln 220 MIG from Lowe's is a very good machine for about $600.00 :thumbup:

PS.I don't recommend a 110 welder.

66chevystepside 02-14-2008 11:05 AM

I have a Hobart Handler 120 and have no complaints about it... its rated to 1/4" and I have done truck frame repairs with it as well as body panel replacements. They used this model in the auto body courses I took and they hold up great to all the punshment the students put them through... Lincoln also makes a good welder. I would also recommend using the gas as mentioned by others.

adtkart 02-14-2008 06:24 PM

You need to consider what you MIGHT want to do with it. That unit, as was said is not a MIG, but simply will use flux core wire, with no gas. MIG is welded with gas also, and makes a big difference.

If you are sure that you will only be welding relatively thin materials, being 5/16 or less, then you really want a MIG welder, and can most likely get by with a 110 unit. If you are only going to have one welder, and think you MIGHT need to weld something heavier than that from time to time, you should consider getting a 220 MIG unit.

Also... Take what OldRed says as gospel when it comes to welding.

Aaron

NEW INTERIORS 02-14-2008 06:53 PM

The 220 machines are a night and day difference.I would never buy a 110 welder.For the little difference in $$.Do yourself a big favor and don't get a 110.I have been welding for over 25 yrs.And never welded with a good 110.Just trying to help you.Today you might be welding light panels.But there will come a day when you will need a bigger and better machine.Take my word for it. :nono:

Henry Highrise 02-14-2008 07:12 PM

Think of it as a investment. A good welder will last for years and years. Get a 220 volt one at least 150 amps and get one with gas. That way you can weld anything that you would ever want to weld building and working on cars etc. You get what you pay for so don't cheap out. I have a Miller 160 that I have had for over 15 years and I like it.




my_wayward_son 02-14-2008 07:48 PM

Thanks for all the input. Price will most likely restrict me to a 110v set-up for a mig. I read the welding discussion in the knowledge base, and although a lot of people were panning them, what about stick welders? From what I see, they are cheaper and are mainly used for structural work, which is what I would like to use this for. It may not be a bad idea to get a stick; after all, I won't know what I'm missing :rolleyes: besides, I could afford a 220v system. :thumbup:

'paul

PS. Why are non gas wire feed welders so bad? Is it a safety issue, or just messier?

NEW INTERIORS 02-14-2008 08:02 PM

You have a better and cleaner weld with a MIG.If you are planning to build cars and do panel work,The last thing you want is a stick welder.Just my 2 cents. :thumbup:

Chevrolet4x4s 02-14-2008 08:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by techron
hey kid, don't buy that welder. it's flux, you don't want flux. the amperage is to low. at a minimum buy a 115V-136-140 amp mig with gas. a lot of guys prefer 220V-180 amp migs, but you need a 220V plug. after lots of study i bought a 115-135 clarke mig with gas (25-75 mix, CO2-argone) (SP) it will weld anything if you watch the duty cycle.

OLDRED MAY POST HERE, listen to him, he knows just about more than anybody about welding.
i posted a more detailed version of my answer, but it dissapeared when i hit "preview post", so this a condenced version. :D :D :D

I have the Clarke also,I just use flux core in mine(but it is gas compatable)It does a good job,I have fish plated a frame with it(Boxed chassis nissian, splash gaurd and mouse's nest led to frame rot), It did jut fine on it.
Shane

Chevrolet4x4s 02-14-2008 08:07 PM

Double post :embarrass
Shane

speedydeedy 02-14-2008 08:21 PM

YES YOU CAN USE A STICK OR A FLUX CORE BUT A MIG IS BY FAR THE BEST AND EASIEST TO USE ON ALMOST EVERY ASPECT OF CAR BUILDING.WITH A STICK AND FLUX CORE YOU HAVE TO CLEAN OFF THE FLUX WHEN YOU START AND STOP TO DO A PROPER JOB. WITH THE MIG YOU CAN START AND STOP ALL YOU WANT WITH NO CLEANING. YOU CAN GET BY WITH ALMOST ANYTHING BUT IF YOU WANT TO DO GOOD WORK WITH THE LEAST AMOUNT OF EFFORT ,GET A MIG.SORRY FOR THE CAPITALS IT WAS AN ACCIDENT.BUY A MIG!!!!!! :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

NEW INTERIORS 02-14-2008 08:33 PM

You will have a he** of a good time welding up a panel on a car with a stick welder. :mwink:

oldred 02-14-2008 08:40 PM

Like everyone said don't buy that welder you will certainly be disappointed with it. With only two heat settings, a 10 % duty cycle (10% if you get lucky!) and the fact it is cheaply made means it will hardly be usable at all, two heat settings and flux core makes it a TERRIBLE welder for body work!. If you are going to stay with a 110 outfit then you should take a look at the little Lincolns and Hobarts, they cost more but they are worth every cent. Also, although I have never owned one, the Clarke welders seem to be getting a lot of good reviews and hardly, if any, negatives and they are priced right so you might want to check them out also. If you plan to do mostly body work with some light frame/suspension work then you can probably get by with the 110 machine but if your main purpose for the welder is going to be more than body panels then you really should look at the 220 outfits, it's a lot cheaper to spend a few dollars more now than to up-grade later. Like Adtkart said that is a flux core welder in that link and not a MIG (M)etal (I)nert (G)as, there is no such thing as a "gasless" MIG.


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