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I wanted to know if this is a good enough welder to weld some motor mounts to a frame?? Plus i want to learn with it as well before i do actually weld the motor mounts. Was looking at the one from harbor freight the chicago electric flux 125 welder.
Just to do some motor mounts, may want to borrow or rent a simple stick welder...
Where are you located?
Talk to some rat rod guys at local car shows, they know how to do things simple and cheap...
 

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IMO, flux core is an act of desperation, you will find few reputable welders using it. Keep in mind that it is possible to make a good looking weld with MIG that has virtually no penetration and strength even if both surfaces are squeaky clean, but it is almost impossible to make a "weak but good looking" weld with stick.
 

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I wanted to know if this is a good enough welder to weld some motor mounts to a frame?? Plus i want to learn with it as well before i do actually weld the motor mounts. Was looking at the one from harbor freight the chicago electric flux 125 welder. View attachment 616864
I have one. It is quick and easy to do small things. Right now I have a bunch of swedge nuts that spun when I tried to remove the bolts. I swill use the flux unit to tack the nuts. And I sand blast after welding.

That was my first "MIG". I later got a Miller for serious stuff. But that is still ugly. My TIG is pretty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
I definitely knows there way more better welders out there for sure. Im doing a motor swap and was just trying to keep things budget friendly and want to do all the work at my house by myself, so i think buying a 150 welder to just do motor mounts was realistic in my book lol plus i did hear reading up on some harbor freight welders was to replace the welding wire they provide with the welder with something better for better results.
 

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I'd still get a welder that has gas capability. I have a little Cambell-Hausfeld 110V unit with a gas bottle. Came with flux core wire, and I used it, but welds were atrocious looking! Grind down to look good and most of your weld (and a whole lot of grinding disk and time!) are gone. Bought a bottle and some regular wire. Welds look good, but after the machine starts to get hot they start looking worse. These little machines have at best a 20% duty cycle. That means out of 100 minutes you can weld 20, then need to let it cool 80. This can be increased by 10-15% with the addition of a fan (you'd think they would have one built in, but got to keep cost down...). You won't regret paying a little more and getting one that is gas capable. HF doesn't have a 110V model, just a 240 (make an extension cord for your dryer plug or run a 240 to garage/shop).

Most of these sub $400 MIG welders use a short-circuit system. They only weld when the wire actually touches (or all but touches -- very near) the work then arcs. That's why they spit and sputter. This system doesn't require as much power. When you get in the $400+ range they use more energy (larger, more expensive transformer) and use what is called a "spray arc" system. Once the arc starts there is enough energy to keep it going through the arc itself without the wire physically coming into contact with the work. This creates a much smoother arc (and weld).

This one appears to be gas/flux core, though the questions say not. The MIG handle has a gas tube. Like my C-H, you just connect gas with a simple regulator and the MIG trigger activates a solenoid to let gas flow, same as the TIG for this particular welder. I might be wrong, really need to see the user manual.
 
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I was in Cuba and I had my son buy the little green box when it was on sale for $ 150 My grandson has been taking welding in highschool and welded with it and said it worked Ok. I wanted a small portable welder to fix gates on the farm that I could run with a generator. I have a HF 3200-400 watt rated generator and it won't handle the welder. 120 V times 20 amps is 2400 watts but the generator would stall after about 3 seconds of welding, for the shop i havae bought used usa made weldsrs. A lincoln sp200 mig and a lincoln 255 square wave tig with water cooled torch. both are large heavy welders. I also bought a lincoln tombstone ac for $ 75 35 years ago that my sons share at their homes. 30 years ago I also bought an old Airco AC_ DC with high freq scratch start tig machine. that I stick welded farm machinery with the Hi frew turned on to repair. good for quick repairs that are not clean- paint free,
for serious work I would look for used Lincoln or Miller that I could test weld.
 

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I have a Harbor Freight welder as you pictured in my collection of welders, it is a reasonable unit, BUT.

First “BUT” is I’ve been welding for some 65 years so I’ve got some time in grade to pick up the tricks that let you tackle the different machines and processes.

The other “BUT” is welding is 10 percent the machinery your using and 90 percent your art and craft of using that machinery. All forms have their advantages and disadvantages some are easier to master. An inexpensive wire flux machine is among the more difficult simply because it introduces a lot of variables such as indecent feed control that are hard for a beginner to deal with until you get enough time on the machine which is not going to happen in an afternoon of running short beads while fighting to learn the machine.

Weld quality is based on penetration of the parent material, this is not like soldering or brazing where the joint strength depends on capillary action to develop an adhesion between metals. This process is analogous to gluing pieces of plastic together. Welding is much different, here you are mending the parent material so that of two separate pieces the material flows together to become one complete structure. The welding rod is there to add material to fill out the shape displacement and reinforce the seam.

The typical beginner globy bead lacks penetration and consistent fill, this results not only in a poor cosmetic look but due to inadequate penetration is weak. No matter how much you grind to pretty it up, it is still weak. Add to this that constant attempts to make improvements to the weld add enough heat to affect the properties of the base metal which these days is usually an alloy steel to where the properties are changed to where overall strength in the heat affected zone are weakened often to a point where stress cracking forms at the edges of the heat affected zone.

One good thing is these mid thickness steels from about 1/8 to 3/16ths are a bit easier to learn on as they are a lot harder to burn through that thin sheet and less joint prep in shaping, and are a little less prone to heat warpage.

My recommendation if you insist on doing this yourself is to get into the local Junior or Tech college welding class to learn what your really up against and how to do basic welding. For the farmer, rancher, hot fodder having this basic skill while far from being a certified welder is a very useful skill. But being born an American male does not confer this ability on you as it does motorcycle riding. So to the end of immediacy I recommend having a hiring a competent welder that is tooled to do the set up that keeps things aligned while welding, a big effort on its own and then do the welding itself.

Bogie
 

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Or should i go with the tanium 125??
View attachment 616865
If you want a multi purpose welder go with an AC/DC stick welder. It will need 220 volt wiring. I bought a Harbor Freight model almost 20 years ago that I have welded everything from 1/2” steel to lawn mower decks. Just need the correct rod choice and A/C or D/C depending on the rod selection. I use 3/32” 7018 rod with D/C current for anything that requires strength such as motor mounts. It’s my rod of choice. But I also use 1/16” 6011 on A/C current for heavy sheet metal. I also weld with 3/32” stainless rod and have also effectively welded cast iron with 1/8” nickel rod. I paid around $170 for the machine new. If you get into a major welding job , like I had on one or two occasions, the overheat switch will pause welding output until the machine cools down. I put a portable shop blower at the welder air intake to extend the duty cycle. I’ve been welding since I was 12 so that’s been 57 years. I have experience as a heavy equipment mechanic/ welder and as a structural welder. I’d definitely recommend the Harbor Freight A/C-D/C machine for hobby welding. It is NOT rated for continuous duty.
 

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If you want a multi purpose welder go with an AC/DC stick welder. It will need 220 volt wiring. I bought a Harbor Freight model almost 20 years ago that I have welded everything from 1/2” steel to lawn mower decks. Just need the correct rod choice and A/C or D/C depending on the rod selection. I use 3/32” 7018 rod with D/C current for anything that requires strength such as motor mounts. It’s my rod of choice. But I also use 1/16” 6011 on A/C current for heavy sheet metal. I also weld with 3/32” stainless rod and have also effectively welded cast iron with 1/8” nickel rod. I paid around $170 for the machine new. If you get into a major welding job , like I had on one or two occasions, the overheat switch will pause welding output until the machine cools down. I put a portable shop blower at the welder air intake to extend the duty cycle. I’ve been welding since I was 12 so that’s been 57 years. I have experience as a heavy equipment mechanic/ welder and as a structural welder. I’d definitely recommend the Harbor Freight A/C-D/C machine for hobby welding. It is NOT rated for continuous duty.
I also made up a 40’ 12-3 extension cord for the welder that allows me to weld out in the driveway. The unit only requires 20 amps. But as Bogie said. It’s only 10% the machine and 90% the person doing the welding.
 

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For budget, as Alan mentioned, the best would be the stick welder as proper penetration may be achieved. Don't know why I let my tunnel vision only see TIG and MIG.

You could very well end up with a welder for a bit more than you pay someone.
 
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I guess i just pay somebody to weld my motor mounts on
It's sounding more and more that might be the best idea. Don't want the motor falling out or going up through the hood when you step on the gas!

You might still want to get a welder and some scrap metal to practice on. BREAK the welds when you make them -- that's the best way to see what's going on. If they won't break that's a good sign!

I didn't mention that I taught beginning welding in the USAF and a beginning and intermediate course at a tech school after I retired. We started butt welding 2"x3" 3/16" thick pieces along the 2" edge, then put them in a vise and bent with pliers. The first weld or two a student got looking good usually broke pretty easy -- to fast, just laying filler on top, but looked good! We started with torch cutting then welding, then stick welding. Real easy to lay a nice looking bead with a torch and have hardly any penetration, and you can actually see the two metals flow together. Can't see it happening with electric arc -- brightness and quickness prevent it. But I'd do the same even starting with electric arc. If using a cheap MIG (flux core or gas) I'd start with 1/8" thick pieces. You can weld 1/4" with one of the little ones, just have to bevel the edges and/or weld both sides. I've found that though it says it will weld 3/16" thick material, you better bevel a little or weld both sides to make it strong. 1/8" thick is about it for one side welding, and you have to be careful then. They are really best for thin sheet metal, 16-18 gauge or more. Thinner is even harder to weld. Taking an adult ed course at a local tech school is a good idea, easier/quicker than learning on your own.
 
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When I needed An aluminum part T welded I prepped cleaned and had the part clamped in position and took it to a fab shop. when the guy saw it was ready he quickly chaned his tone and the price was very resonable. when working on a roadster project with my sonyers ago He did all the grinding cleaning and prep work and I did the welding. later he got a job at a fab shop welding. before I was confident of my welds I tacked things in position and had a pro do the welds,
 

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Welding is not magic and many people make usable welds without ever having any training. I have gotten several people interested in welding by letting them try it with my Mig welder. Usually within a few minutes of coaching (5 minutes), they were making a decent weld. Generally its fairly easy to make welds that will hold, but you have to get the adjustments on the machine close enough that it works properly. Many machines have a chart that you can look at that will tell you what to set the knobs to based on the thickness of the material. Step up to a little better machine and you can get an "Autoset" feature. Simply set the knobs to the size of the wire you are using and the thickness of the metal and the machine gives you the correct setting.......

What I just said is VERY important. Probably the biggest reason for poor welds is not getting the machine to the correct settings. Its not really because your hand &eye co-ordination sucks. Most newby welders just get caught up in thinking they don't have the necessary skill. When I showed my friends how to do it, and had the machine set right, they had no problem.

Does that mean you will NEVER make an ugly weld? No, but there are usually small things that you do when welding that you don't notice. As a person welds, they move the tip along and they often change the angle of the tip without realizing it. That allows the gas to exit without completely encompassing the weld........and suddenly a good weld begings to look like s**t.

The point here is that if you buy a POS welder you introduce a lot of variables into the process........too much to explain here. If you are a decent welder already you can often get by, but when you are first trying to learn it can be very discouraging. You can't figure it out so therefore it must be YOU.

Learning to weld is a very rewarding effort. Its kinda like learning to ride a bike. You may get rusty in your skills but you never completely forget. Once you learn to weld it will open up a new world to you if you want it. My suggestion is to make your pattern and parts for the mounts and take them somewhere and have them welded. While you are there, talk to the guy and ask him if he will let you try to make a weld on a scrap piece of metal.....pay him for a little advice and coaching. Once you have held the welding gun in your hand and given it a try, THEN decide if you want to be a welder. If you learn to weld, you will never regret it. Like I said, the hardest part is often getting the correct setting.......
 

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When I decided to learn to weld 20 years ago I got the Richard Finch book and read it cover to cover. I bought an oxy-acetylene setup and started with torch welding and brazing. Just like the Finch book suggests, my very first project was a super heavy duty welding cart that I gas welded together. Then I practiced with the “coupons” with gas welding and brazing. After I felt very comfortable with the torches I bought a Hobart MIG welder. I’ve used both my welding setups countless times. What I would say about you original question is that the flux welder can do the job you want it to, but only if you spend some time practicing on similar thickness metals. Even with practice, with your inexperience there is a chance what your welding could fail, if not right away then after some time. You have to weigh the benefits of the pride in doing it yourself against the chance that you will have to deal with the hassle if it fails. My advice: buy it and give it a shot. I’m a firm believer in the philosophy that in life t’s better to say “I shouldn’t have…” than “I should have…” Your best investment first though would be to get the Finch book:


Hope this helps.
Mike
 
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