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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After years of entertaining the idea of having a welder and recent months spent looking at 110V units, I finally bit the bullet last night and ordered a Hobart 140. Now, I haven't welded anything in 15 years and even then it was just a crash course in my high school shop class. My thoughts are that I will basically teach myself to weld first using the flux core that comes with the machine. I have lots of scrap steel to practice on. Once I get comfortable with that, I'll make a cart for the welder and a gas bottle. By then I feel that I should be pretty comfortable with everything and I'll start in on the cab corners and rockers on my truck (using shielding gas of course). Can anyone else off thier two cents or some tips that will help me get started?
 

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I have a Hobart 110V machine. Works well for light jobs. Would not want to weld a frame with it though. Just keep in mind that the flux wire and the regular wire will weld differently. I use mine mostly with the flux wire, but not for body work. Use GAS when welding body pannels. The flux can get trapped under the paint and cause it to bubble up after a while.

Sounds like your on the right track though, practice on scrap first!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have access to a Lincoln 220 arc if I need to do anything over probably 7ga. I know the HH140 says it will do 1/4" with the flux, but I think I want to get my skill level up quite a bit before I do anything like that.

I'll get into frames and stuff later when I have been skills and probably a better machine. For now I'll just get some practice under my belt and then move on to some body work, brackets, and maybe even some custom headers. I'm getting excited about some projects that I can now make into reality!
 

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Just a couple of things, first use C25 gas and don't try to save a few dollars by using CO2, it will work but not nearly as good and the C25 is more than worth the extra cost. I have no idea if you would have even considered using CO2 but thought it worth mentioning. Also when you start practicing use some actual body panels cleaned and prepped as they would be if they were to actually be used on the car and set up joints just as you would be using when you start to install actual parts. Too often someone will practice on nice clean sheetmetal and just run beads on flat surfaces and think they have it down only to find a totally different situation when they try to weld in those new (and often expensive!) panels. Grind some of the joints (on the practice parts) even thinner than the actual part to simulate having to join parts that are thin because of rust removal or from other grinding and try to learn to butt weld the joints, lap joints do work ok but leave an area for moisture to be trapped and for rust to start.

Just a couple of thoughts that might help when you start in on that cab, much better to make mistakes on scrap than on your car or truck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the advise oldred. I've got a couple old pieces of junk that are rusting away that I can cut up and make test panels out of. I definitely will be practicing butt welding the joints. I've actually already priced out the refills for the C25 gas and one of the places about 30 miles from me is very reasonable in their pricing. Now I just have to keep my eye out for a good deal on a tank.
 

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Tanks

Check Craigs List for used owner bottles. You don't have to find a co2 or ca25 bottle as most welding supply stores will exchange other gas bottles for what you want. Look in the Tool and General sections on Craigs list.

Jack.
 

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Check with your gas supplier if they lease tanks, for people working on a specific project sometimes it comes out as the better deal.

I bought the small 20CF tank when I bought my Hobart 140 and quickly decided that wasn't nearly big enough for the amount of welding I was to be doing so I asked them about my options.
The lease agreement they offered me was, for $55 dollars/year they would give me a 120CF tank to use.
The only thing I need to pay for is the gas and that costs me roughly $75 each fill up.
Two tanks was plenty to finish the entire car and there was a boatload of welding to be done.
This worked out well for me because I am not a full time welder just a hobbyist with a huge welding project.
After that project is done and over with I can re-fill and keep my smaller 20CF tank for little odds n ends welding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
$171 for the initial cost of the lease and $48 per year after that, plus the filling charges. Went online and found a brand new 80cf tank, full of C25, and shipped to my door for $200. I think I'm going to go that route when I'm ready for the gas.
 

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1meancuda said:
$171 for the initial cost of the lease and $48 per year after that, plus the filling charges. Went online and found a brand new 80cf tank, full of C25, and shipped to my door for $200. I think I'm going to go that route when I'm ready for the gas.
Better make sure its a tank your local supply will fill.

You should be able to just buy a tank outright - not lease it!

I just bought a tank for 140.00 from my local supplier (PraxAir) and no problems ever getting it filled.

Just something to keep in mind.

 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm definitely going to buy a tank rather than lease one. I need to stop up at the local AirGas depot and see what they say. Lots of different options, but I'm not quite there yet.

On a side note, the welder arrived yesterday evening, but my wife says that I'm not allowed to play around with it until the home projects are done first. :(
 

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One more thing about that tank, and a very important one from a savings standpoint, is to get the biggest tank you can safely handle. The cost of the gas per cubic foot goes down substantially as the size of the tank goes up, it costs only slightly more to fill a large tank as it does a small one and in some places the bigger tanks cost about the same or only slightly more than a small one.
 

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oldred said:
One more thing about that tank, and a very important one from a savings standpoint, is to get the biggest tank you can safely handle. The cost of the gas per cubic foot goes down substantially as the size of the tank goes up, it costs only slightly more to fill a large tank as it does a small one and in some places the bigger tanks cost about the same or only slightly more than a small one.
Yep Roughly $50 to fill that puny 20CF tank but around $75 to fill the 120CF monster.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I noticed that when I was looking at the price list. I think I'll go with either an 80 or 120cu tank. If I find the 80cu on a good deal from somewhere, I'll probably go with that. Otherwise, if I buy new, I think I'll just spring for the 120.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well, I couldn't wait to get this thing fired up. We have a patio chair that has been sitting broken all summer and tonight I got to try to fix it. I think I gobbed enough weld on to make it work, but it sure isn't pretty. I've got a lot of practice to do! I'll also be ordering an auto darkening helmet soon as I can see this will help out greatly.
 
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