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Would a Hobart Handler 135 or a Lincoln SP-135T Mig welder be a good choice for a beginner welder/hobbiest who wants to learn body panel welding? Thanks for your advice.
 

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I would not recommend any welder that works off 115v. They say 130 amps BUT, that is input not output. the output is approx 90 amps & they usually have a 20-30% DUTY CYCLE.
IMHO you need around 130 output amps.
If you like Hobart I would recommend their 175 amp. I have a 200 amp Miller MIG (now the same co as Hobart) & a 250amp Miller TIG welder.

[ March 19, 2003: Message edited by: Don Meyer ]</p>
 

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Actually Don, a welder is rated at its peak amperage output. Input amperage is usually about 20 percent of the output amperage. This is due to the voltage drop the welder produces. Ohms law...

Duty cycle is the amount of time in percentage a welder can be used at full capacity in comparison to the total run time. For example if you weld at full power for 2 minutes on a 20% duty cycle machine, the welder needs about 8 minutes to cool. It will trip itself off when you exceed the duty cycle. As the load, or amperage, on the machine go down the duty cycle goes up. You can usually weld almost constantly at low amp settings.

That said, the Hobart 175 is a great machine. I have one and love it. It is a 220 volt machine, which I would recommend. The 220 volt machines will have a better duty cycle than the 110 machines.

Chris
 

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I am a beginner welder. I bought the Hobart Handler 175 from brwelder.com . I love it!!! I patched up a few panels on my daily driver with ease without ever welding a piece of metal in my life. I am practising on some scraps at the moment and getting ready to weld in new quarters on the car I am restoring. Excellent piece and great price!

Oh get the CO2-Ar mix bottle right away and if you are working with sheet metal, use 0.023 mig wire. Don't even waste your time with the flux cored stuff.

kev
 

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I bought the Lincoln SP125 110-120 volt Mig welder using the gas-shielded wire and it works great. I learned how to use it by doing all the body panel replacements on my 55 Nomad. Started with the floor that nobody can see and by the time I needed to do the quarter panels. I was able to handle it well. The down side to any Mig welder is the hardness of the weld and the amount you need to grind back off. But for ease of learning and value for the buck, you can't beat it.

Jack
 

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Mike, I'm a begginning welding instrustor for the USAF. Have access to all state of the art equipment at work (Miller 350), a little Campbell-Hausfield MIG at home that I bought at Wal-Mart for $265. If you're only welding 1/8" thick steel or less, the 110V welder is fine. The only thing I DON'T like about the CH is there are only four heat settings instead of a roatary control with infinite settings as on the Hobart 135 and Lincoln 135. I'm only using flux core wire since the local welding shops don't carry the CO2-Ar mix, all I can get is straight CO2 in a small bottle. The flux core works, but welds aren't as clean so require more patience, practice, and grinding (if they show). I don't do a lot of welding at home, bought it to do some sheet metal repairs that I couldn't bring to work and TIG. Unless you're planning on a lot of welding, or a lot of thick material (you can weld thick stuff with the 110V, but will require multiple passes, so more time and effort -- I wouldn't recommend welding more tha 1/4" thick, just to time consuming for prep and clean up), the little one should be fine. The heaviest thing I welded was the coupler onto a steering shaft. Worked great for that too. Coupler has about 3/16" thick walls, 3/4" steering shaft. Looks good! Duty cycle hasn't been a problem. I don't think it ever will be welding sheet metal, but for thicker stuff it could be that you have to let the machine cool a bit every now and then.
 

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anyone have experience with those "gasless" welders are they any good, are they harder to work with than gas ones, i need welder for my bel air floor replacement and shopping around for good one and cheaper
 
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