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"Drive It Until It Breaks"
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just wanted to run a quick question by some of you on here with much more knowledge than me. A few years ago, I bought a little small Lincoln welder with the intentions of learning to do a little welding and save myself a little money on small jobs on my ’66 Mustang. Well. The welder sat in the box for over a year before I finally gave it to my father-in-law. But now I’ve decided to give it another try, which brings me to my question.

What would you guys recommend for a decent little 110V MIG welder. I know to stay away from flux and I actually still have the bottle of gas. Just need a welder. Hoping to maybe do a few patches and other small jobs. The job I’m actually looking at know is I’m converting a single exhaust car to dual exhaust and I need to relocate the rear brake bracket. I figured I’d do a little practice on some scrap sheet metal and steel and then try to fix my bracket. Any recommendations for a welder would be greatly appreciated. I don’t need the top of the line welder, but one that welds well and is user friendly for a beginner.
 

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Race it, Don't rice it!
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8,541 Posts
Bottom line, I hear some guys having happy thoughts with the HF welder on gas. Might look at that.
Repair parts aren't gonna be a thing for very long though.

Lincoln/Hobart are very good machines bit a bit more money upfront.

My machine is a Home Depot Weld-Pack 5000 special I bought new 25 years ago and I converted to gas and eventually moved all the plastic parts to metal ones so it's now the same as the SP175 of the ERA. I think the latest offering in SP180 . I use it pretty hard for days building or repairing a chassis and then it might not again for a month or more. It all kinda depends on what I've got myself roped into. My machine is hardly a production machine, I've used those too but it's been great for me, Lincoln and Hobart are both good names and will last and last and in the event something does go sideways repair parts can be had. Those are a bit more upfront though.

For tinkering and light duty stuff the HF seems attractive too. You'll have to decide whats worth the most for you and your budget and what your going to be doing with.
Lastly, get you a good helmet, Like a Jackson or the like. I HATE SpeedGlass to my core. Others are happy though. A good helmet will help you.
 

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"Drive It Until It Breaks"
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260 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I just picked up a Hobart Handler 140 from Tractor Supply. I read a few reviews on it and all of them said it was a pretty good welder for small shop projects. I guess all there is to do now is practice. The bottle (75% Argon, 25% CO2) I have is only 20 cu. ft., so I’m not sure how long that will last, but it will get me started. Thanks for the response.
 

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1979 Chevrolet Malibu 496-TH400-9" (cruiser). 1992 Chevrolet S10 355-700r4-7.625" (daily driver).
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91 Posts
In the interest of conserving the gas, you could start out with a roll of flux core wire. Getting things like comfortable positioning, your pattern, speed, wire speed, penetration, distance, etc. can be done with the flux core. Once you're to the point where it all becomes a little more natural you could add the gas.

Having a large plastic cup or a small bucket of water within reach isn't a bad idea either. If you have a sudden realization of hot wayward spatter, you'll be glad to get some water on it.
 

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the 'Duracell Project'
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I know to stay away from flux
if that's all you've learned over the years, you probably shouldn't try welding anything. Fluxcore is a better welding process and makes for a better weld. Not prettier, just better weld. I've welded with most welding processes over the years and bought a Fluxcore welder . I welded most of my avatar with a Lincoln weldpac100, the results speak for themselves. Nice thing about Fluxcore is no welding cart needed. No gas bottle that runs out on Friday night of a planned mustII install. I've carried my welder up a ladder and tied it off.
You definitely need the most expensive welder ever made for a good weld. Not.

If you can afford it, buy a name brand 120v mig welder, run Fluxcore until you have puddle control. That's 90% of welding
 

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I bought a 110 V Lincoln in the mid 90s when I restored a Mustang for my son. It's still going strong and I'm using it right now replace a truck bed floor. It's paid for itself several times over. I'd stick to one of the good name brands if I were you.

Maybe you can ask your father-in-law if you can use his. :)
 

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If you switch from inert gas to flux or flux to gas, you must change polarity, consult the manual. Also push and drag is more effective in flux welding.
An adjustable auto darken helmet helps learning, just one less thing to do. Practice out of position welding, welding flat is easier, but challenge is good.
Hobart, Lincoln, Miller all good.
 

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if that's all you've learned over the years, you probably shouldn't try welding anything. Fluxcore is a better welding process and makes for a better weld. Not prettier, just better weld. I've welded with most welding processes over the years and bought a Fluxcore welder . I welded most of my avatar with a Lincoln weldpac100, the results speak for themselves. Nice thing about Fluxcore is no welding cart needed. No gas bottle that runs out on Friday night of a planned mustII install. I've carried my welder up a ladder and tied it off.
You definitely need the most expensive welder ever made for a good weld. Not.

If you can afford it, buy a name brand 120v mig welder, run Fluxcore until you have puddle control. That's 90% of welding
With all due respect , with gas. The lack of spatter & being able to better see the puddle is worth whatever other considerations you've named above . I hate fluxcore .
 

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I prefer stick welding for repairs to heavy gauge metal. You can put much more heat in while filling and blending into the puddle. You have to be able to see the difference between the puddle and floating slag to make good welds.
I had to weld the stick back together on a 40 ton excavator, when it broke at the knuckle. 6013 root pass with 4 - 7018 passes, it took over 10 pounds of rod. All down on job site. It was still operating fine when I retired, 3years ago.
 

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Grand Prix user
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Now thats relevant! ^^^ Kidding. Stories:

Dad stick welded a tricycle for me. Big neighbor girl sat on it and broke it in half. Mixed emotions because it wouldn't skid like the Big Wheel in TV commercials. He channeled a Model A with a buzz box and it didn't fall apart. He built the hot rod as a preteen and it didn't break though. Trike he was more like 30. Skills fade I reckon.

Couple decades ago my 69GP encountered an issue which "had a GM service bulletin". I started getting a tire rub backing out of the driveway. Left front lower control arm rear bushing bracket broke off the frame taking that square of frame rail with it. I ran it back in the garage after investigating. Borrowed a 110 flux core to stick it on then drove it in to work and had a more experienced guy lay a couple MIG beads. Put a hunnert thou on it since.

Did you find this content relevant? :) :(

:D
 
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