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Old 03-17-2005, 04:48 AM   #1
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Welders!

Everytime we turn around somebody's asking about a welder. I figure we'll start a thread where all the experts chime in on the various welders. When we have everything we'll move it to the FAQ page.
Personally I have a Hobart Handler 135 with CO2. I am in the process of learning how to use it and am looking to upgrade to Argon mix soon.
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Old 03-17-2005, 07:41 AM   #2
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lincoln

i have a lincoln 225 arc welder ,it's what i grew up on ,my father had his own welding shop in houston and brookshire texas i learn to arc weld when i was about 12 years old . so i am comfortable with the lincoln . peace
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Old 03-17-2005, 12:38 PM   #3
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I have a MIG (argon/CO2 mix) that I use. Actually got it from Sears as just a hobby welder. Works really well. I hope to add a seperate tank later and use it for all my aluminum stuff and get a bigger welder for the steel. One day I hope to try stick (arc) welding. I also have a synthetic welder (for plastic welding). Now THAT takes some getting used to.
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Old 03-18-2005, 01:56 AM   #4
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I agree with most of what RSTYCHY said.However,for the most part I wouldn't worry quite so much about the duty cycle.I don't think too many home projects require 2-3 mins. of actual weld time for every 10 mins..
It's true that most times the amps the machine is rated for is at a reduced d.c..
I'm also true blue as far as any and all electric welders go (don't care for lincoln electrics).When it comes to portables,I run a Lincoln 300d on the rig and I wouldn't trade it for any other brand that I've used in the past.
Got the 251 huh?Gotta admit I'm jealous,I like my 210 alot but I really wanted the 251. hehe.
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Old 03-18-2005, 10:50 AM   #5
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Can't say I'm "true blue". I do have a Millermatic 175 though... Bought it soley because the specs I found were better n everyone else.

1. The wire feedhead is cast aluminum, (thought that would hold up better than all the plastic ones I saw).

2. Has the auto shut down for over heat. I don't think I will ever exceed the duty cycle, but leave it to me to screw up if it's possible.

3. Had the fastest wirefeed speed in this class of welders. 700"/min. Don't know where this will come into play yet.

Then after I got it, I discovered what their "tip saver" was. Gun shuts down when you short it out on the work... No more "hairy spiders". (Never said I was a good welder.) I have only ruined 1 tip so far because of this. Whenever I played with my dads Harbor freight wirefeed I would just automaticly bring another bag of tips.

Price was a bit high. $699 freight included, on cyberweld.com. Then bought locally an 80c.f. ar/co2 tank for another $115. Definately more welder than I need. Did not want to run into anything I could not handle so I got it. Glad I did.
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Old 03-18-2005, 11:35 AM   #6
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Good thread. I am going with the Hobart 185 with gas. I bugged a lot of folks on here and decided with that one. I already have a 220 plug in my garage. I just need a few more bucks and I'll go get it.
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Old 03-19-2005, 09:31 PM   #7
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I have a Lincoln SP100T mig setup. I picked it up from this place

http://www.weldingmart.com/Qstore/c000184.htm

Mine was a used reconditioned by Lincoln and came with the same 3 year warrenty as a new Lincoln. It was about half the cost of a new one. So far it has worked very well for me. I only bought it to do body work on the truck and it works just fine. I'm not real good yet, but I'm getting lots of practiice .

I was also looking at a Miller 110v welder when I found this one and the price of the lincoln is what made my decision.
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Old 03-20-2005, 04:34 AM   #8
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I prefer the Lincoln welders, probably becuase that is what i am most familiar with..However I have run a few Millers and Hobarts and found them to weld just as well. The the smaller Migs with a bottle (CO2, Argon, or Mix) are great for sheet metal and other light fabrication. And you can pick one up new or used at a decent price.
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Old 03-21-2005, 01:33 PM   #9
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Since were talking welders:
What is the proper pressure setting for 75/25 argon co2 mix?

Martinsr's tutorial says 25-30cfm or 3-4psi. I do not have a flowmeter. I've been setting my regulator at 20psi. Way too high?
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Old 03-21-2005, 06:46 PM   #10
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That's where I normally have mine about. I do not remember who, but for most body welding they say you want to keeop it around 10-15 at the tip, so they suggested 20 to account for drop in the hose and what not. Seems to work good for me.
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Old 03-25-2005, 10:41 PM   #11
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Well,
I don't own a MIG welder but have two TIG/Stick welders. My garage unit is a Lincoln Squarewave 175 and my portable TIG is a Miller Maxstar 150 STH. You can't beat a 150 amp TIG that weighs 13.7#. I thought about getting a MIG for when I want to deposit large amounts of filler but the finesse of a TIG welder is hard to beat.
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Old 04-26-2005, 04:44 PM   #12
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Hey gents. Just thought I'd say Hi and introduce myself in here. Been a welder for over 10 years now professionally, fully certifed for 6; its been fun.

One addition to the direction of the conversation: when you change shielding gasses say, from straight CO2 to Argon, your machine settings will need to be changed also due to the gas having a slightly different ionization characteristics. For example, argon gas gives you a narrower weld with greater penetration, the Oxygen in CO2 gives you a "hotter" arc, Helium gives IMMENSE penetration and "wets" out your puddle. This is why there is no universal shielding gas.

Just my .02 of brain food for now.

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Old 04-27-2005, 01:11 PM   #13
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hey everybody, i m a welding student at the North Dakota State college of Science. here we have mostly miller shopmasters, which run mig and stick and have add ons for tig. we also have some lincoln stick welders and some lincolns than run both as well
at home i use a millermatic 250 which as an onboard computer which is VERY handy, just set the gas using, metal, and wire size and it will do everything else I would have to say that i like Millers the best, they work better than the lincolns we have here in lab.
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Old 05-28-2005, 09:08 PM   #14
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ive been a boilermaker/welder down in tassie since 1991,the welding units that i have used most of are made by cig,boc and wia,not sure if they are available over there.ive got a cig 350ec(3phase)at home.
the gas flow on a mig or tig is measured in litres per minute(lpm)not psi,psi tells you what is in the bottle not the flow.usually run about 12-15lpm.ive found an argon/co2 mix works best for me on steel,we use straight argon for welding aluminium.
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Old 05-29-2005, 11:49 AM   #15
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good point k-20....the best setup for shielding gas metering is a flowmeter, which reads is cubic feet/min, or litres/min. Some cheaper setups do come with a simple pressure regulator though, which simply steps down tank pressure to working pressure (similar to a regulator on an oxy/acetylene setup)

While good results are possible with the regulator, the flowmeter IS the way to go.
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Old 06-17-2005, 07:27 PM   #16
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I've found 15 CFM on the regulator's flow gauge to be plenty sufficient with my Miller 175 and C25 gas. Typically, I adjust a welder's flow down to about 10CGM on the gauge: This leads to instant ugly welds with huge voids in them: they look like rice krispies.

Then I simply bump up slowly until the finished welds surface is passable, and add 3-5 CFM on the reg's adjustment for a safety margin. It's like setting timing the redneck way: Advance until you hear pinging, back off slowly until it goes away, and then back off another hair in case changing conditions or small amounts of knock you can't hear are still there.

On windier days or with a fan running you'll need to bump up the gas's flow rate quite a bit, or switch to flux-core wire.

Something no one's touched on so far is wire diameter. I assume that for everything 1/8" and thicker everyone's been using .030 diameter wire in their MIG. If you've only ever welded with .030 wire on sheetmetal, pick up a spool of .023 wire before your next sheetmetal job, along with the matching tip for the MIG gun. You will be astonished how easy it is to run a consistent stack-o-dimes bead on exhaust tubing now. Burn through is about 50% harder to achieve.

You can even weld the paper-thin sheetmetal on imports with .023 without spending half your time filling holes: (This was my 12" bed shortening project on my Toy):



Millermatic 175 from cyberweld.com (highly recommended): $600ish
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Oh, and in case your wondering, that Century welder I borrowed worked fine for this, but on anything 1/8" or thicker, it is HURTING. Experience with it is part of the reason I cherish my 220V MIG now.

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Old 06-21-2005, 12:35 PM   #17
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want to learn to weld

I welded on race cars in the 60-70's with a stick but I never learned properly or did I ever use a wire feed. What is your suggestion I do to learn to weld properly. Welding is something I told myself I would learn to do this year and I am running out of months. Thanks in advance. Tim
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Old 06-21-2005, 04:32 PM   #18
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The simplest answer to "how should I learn to weld" is... buy a welder and start gluing metal together with fire. That's how I did it. Pick a couple non-critical projects for your first ones... a coat rack for the house, then a bumper, maybe a small spare tire bracket. Hold off on projects like shortening your trucks frame for a while... for obvious reasons. Also, start on things thicker than 1/8". Sheetmetal is a lot trickier - especially with wire thicker than the thinnest stuff (.023) and the really thin sheetmetal used on imports and newer cars.

Wire-feed welding is dead simple to learn. In about 2 hours of total bead-laying time you'll be somewhat proficient. It didn't take me long to be somewhat competent... It took a good while longer to be 'good'.

Another thing: If you MUST buy a 110V welder, make it a decent one like the Hobart Hander 135 or similar Lincoln or Miller products. The cheapy welders like a Century or no-name will frequently be rated at 80 amps or less. Anything smaller than 100amps is STRUGGLING to penetrate 1/8" thick steel... and virtually any bracket you'd want to weld to your frame, or axle, or pretty much anything of substance on a vehicle is thicker than that.

Also, tiny welders on thick material are frustrating. My buddy still has that century in the above picture. I have to really, really be a team player with it to get a 1/8" bracket to stick to a framerail or similar. He uses a stick welder on anything thicker than sheetmetal... he bought it only for that.

My first unit was a Millermatic 175, which is what I still use. Many people shy away from it because it's 220volt-powered, and it's about a 600 dollar machine. It's the most expensive tool I own, but I'd sell my torch, engine hoist, and every hand & air tool I own before I got rid of it. I built a 48" wide plow with 1/4" thick teeth to drag behind my father in laws ATV last night. Welding 1/4" plate to a 2" thick solid steel bar is pushing the limits of that welder... but it got the job done with some really pretty, strong welds.

The first thing I did when my Miller showed up from cyberweld.com (good prices and great service) was grind all the crappy 110V welds off my rear bumper on my 4x4 and glue everything back together with the Miller. I've since had both my truck and a fullsize chevy hanging off the rear tow point while I winched him up a 40-degree hill. No problems.

That bumper was the first project I did with my Miller. I used the baby-welder to shorten the bed 12 inches. They work great on sheetmetal, although the big boys can be adjusted down to work slightly better.
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Old 06-24-2005, 05:18 PM   #19
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I am looking at buying a welder for sheetmetal and lightweight fabrication. My problem is that I do not have a garage to weld in. Does anyone have any suggestions in this situation. All of the bodywork will have to be done outside in the wind.
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Old 06-25-2005, 06:09 PM   #20
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I feel your pain! My plan is to try welding on calm days or barring that, setting up in areas where something shields me from the wind. Maybe even hanging a tarp to block the wind.
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Old 10-03-2005, 02:00 AM   #21
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I have a Miller Thunderbolt AC/DC stick welder. If you're going to buy new, I don't recomend using any stick welder on sheet metal but since this all I have it's what I've learned to use. If you can't afford a wire feed, either because of price or you need bigger amps to weld bigger stuff, then I'd say get a stick welder with DC and you'll be able to weld sheetmetal with some practice.

For 1/8 are larger steel I like either a Miller or Lincoln stick welder. My father had/has a Lincoln and it's what I learned to weld with when I was 13 years old.

A friend offered to sell me his nearly new Miller for only $100, so that was a no brainer. I'm sure they retail for at least twice that, probably more. It has a high and low side AC 30-150Amps and 40-230Amps. The DC is 20-150Amps.

I've learned how to weld sheetmetal with it but you have to be careful. I use a 3/32 6013 rod on DC Reverse Polarity at 45Amps. For some reason DC Reverse Polarity is not as quick to burn a hole like AC current. Also, the 6013 rod doesn't penetrate like a 6011 and lays down more of a surface weld. If you do screw up or if you have a gap it's the easiest one to fill a hole with.
The main trick is don't try to lay down a constant bead or you will burn a hole. Weld about a 1/4-3/8" at a time and then stop briefly to let it cool off. You can still see the glow through your mask and right when it fades out you can start again.

I have even used a 3/32 6011 on sheetmetal using DC 40Amps. As long as you have DC it does OK. It's just about impossible to use it on AC without burning holes. I've not tried the 6013 on AC but if you were very careful it would probably work. It would certainly be preferable to the 6011 if AC is all you had but why bother when you have DC?

On my exhaust, I used a 3/32 6011 on AC at 45Amps on 16 guage aluminized steel. It lays a nice bead, even upside down and never once got close to burning a hole. I tried it on DC but the aluminum in the steel literaly blew the flame off the metal. With the 6011 I was able to lay a constant bead with no problems.

If you need to make high strength welds on thicker steel it's tough to beat a 1/8-5/32" 7018. They are one of the strongest you can make. Just make sure the surface is clean and not rusted. If you don't need super strength then go with a 1/8-5/32" 6011. It's plenty strong for most stuff and will burn through any amount of rust.
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Old 10-22-2005, 01:23 AM   #22
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Re: Welders!

I have a Licoln buzz box arc welder, & just got a Chicago Electric MIG 151-Harbor Freight return,it just had a piece of weld wire broken inside the liner-piad $40, I spent more for rent on the argon/CO2 bottle($50). I am fairly impressed w/it, I am using .023 wire. Main complaint is very short leads & power cord. I have already patched the floor on my 64 & it is still working. Brian
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Old 10-22-2005, 05:19 PM   #23
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Re: Welders!

We have a 1951 Lincoln SAE300 arc welder that can put out 400 amps max, runs on a straight six Hercules flathead gas engine. It's about 7.5 feet long, 2.5 feet wide, and about 3 feet tall and weighs probably 1000lbs easy. It's one of the best welders there is for heavy duty stuff like pipelines and oilfield work, which is what I'll be using it for when I get out of school. That machine will burn rod all day long.
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Old 11-08-2005, 11:41 AM   #24
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Re: Welders!

Re: Millermatic 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by chickenwing
3. Had the fastest wirefeed speed in this class of welders. 700"/min. Don't know where this will come into play yet.
The fast wirefeed speed is an advantage when welding thicker materials. It allows a higher deposition rate. This is especially handy when you only have .023 wire available and need to lay down a lot of wire. Obviously if you went to a thicker wire you would not need quite so fast of speed. You got to admit it does make for versatilty.

Did not mention this model has infinite control for voltage and wirefeed. This is kinda bad for a beginner cause it gives you too many damned choices to get it "dialed in". Once you get a little bit of experiance though it really helps when going to thinner materials.
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Old 11-26-2005, 09:08 PM   #25
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Re: Welders!

i think on the 8th day God spoke with Lincoln and came up with lincoln sp135 plus which has the more amperage/wire speed setting with line voltage (120=wall plug) that will not draw more amps to blow the breaker... wow, works great for even a moron like me... i went right past the flux core wire and got a bottle of argon/co mix for the shielding and it makes for a very clean weld with out flux splatter... i resently got a bottle of straight argon with intentions to wire weld aluminum but a body shop professional friend of mine said just bag that idea, as the metal would just blow threw and get too hot... so i imagine the next toy is the tig with the lottery winning ticket... i think i paid about $500.00 with the welder, gauges, and the 3 foot bottle and chose to build the cart... its a hoot and i love it... good luck
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