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Projects 215 mig vs ?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Donuts & Peelouts, Aug 17, 2017.

  1. Poh
    Joined: Apr 17, 2007
    Posts: 158

    from Quincy,Ca.

    Here is the other thing, say on the 140 you are looking at, that number basically relates to amperage.. when Welding you want to set your machines amperage to roughly the decimal equivalent to the thickness of material being welded..

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  2. Thanks Poh, I ment to tell you yesterday. Have a cool night

    Sent from my SM-J727T1 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  3. Flathead Dave
    Joined: Mar 21, 2014
    Posts: 1,354

    Flathead Dave
    from So. Cal.

    Been using Harbor Freight welders for years and now have had my HF Chicago Electric 170 welder (chinese) for a few years and have never had a problem. My unit is 220v and is not switchable.

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    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017 at 2:17 AM
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  5. Chiss
    Joined: May 12, 2017
    Posts: 101


    You probably been welding for a while, Hell I have an old friend that can weld with a car Battery and jumper cables better than most. But the Quality Machines will be more Dependable and user Friendly and probably better Support. And when you crank the Dials you would probably know what the puddle needed to fine tune the Heat. A beginner needs the best name Brand they can afford.
    catdad49 and Donuts & Peelouts like this.
  6. Flathead Dave
    Joined: Mar 21, 2014
    Posts: 1,354

    Flathead Dave
    from So. Cal.

    I also threw in a pic of my HF 40 Plasma Cutter.

    Attached Files:

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  7. clunker
    Joined: Feb 23, 2011
    Posts: 1,331

    from Boston MA

    Here's another reason to give Harbor Freight a go. With some tools I buy the 2 year extended service plan. With an item under $500 they automatically replace it. For the mig 180 it might be $30.

    I use their metal cutting portaband saw all of the time. (I don't really follow the guidelines and limits in the manual, I'm rough on them). I've burned out two motors so far (2 years), and both times I just took a break, drove to HF (2 miles), they just gave me a brand spanking new one no questions asked. Then I get a coffee at D&D's, then head home and keep working. The people there know the drill, they don't fight you like they do elsewhere, it's understood.

    I also have the $90 HF flux core wire welder and had the two year extended warrantee. I ignore the duty cycle, use cheap extension cords and generally beat on it. Two years is up and it's not failed once despite my best efforts.

    If I hadn't found this Solar 175 with cart and tank, spot welding kit, extra spools etc, for $200 on Craigs List;
    I was planning on buying the HF MIG 180 ($230) and a two year warrantee. The 180 has better control over your voltage than the the 170 which just has 2 settings, the difference in price is pretty small.

    If you look around my garage it looks like I robbed a shipping container heading to Harbor Freight. It's this or nothing for me, I've got a family to support on my income alone, and I'm not really good at making money. My old car/motorcycle hobby is about as important in the big scheme of things as my 9 year old son's Lego addiction (have you seen that DeathStar? That thing is $500! Jeez! He 'aint getting that one...)

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    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017 at 5:48 AM
    catdad49, raven and Donuts & Peelouts like this.
  8. I did the same thing. My garage is wired for 100 amps. In my dad's house, the welder plug was in the basement, had to open the window and snake a big cord to the dedicated box we had installed next to the fuse panel.
    Donuts & Peelouts likes this.
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  10. raven
    Joined: Aug 19, 2002
    Posts: 3,713


    If you are on a budget try this route. Buy a used 110 volt set up for your 'light' welding needs. If you have a torch with a rosebud tip, you can get away with preheating your thick (1/4") metal and weld on your high setting to get penetration. I build a fast roadster frame doing this and have no issues with it years latter (and I am pushing it's limits with the engines I run). For more heavy/thick metal welding, scrounge craigslist for a used Lincoln 220 volt stick welder. They run from $100-$150 and they'll weld through about anything you put on or under a car.
  11. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 6,268

    from oregon

    The two negative experiences I've had with "offshore" mig welders (friends) were mainly from the cheezy drive systems, the wire feed seemed to be inconsistant.
    Donuts & Peelouts likes this.
  12. lostone
    Joined: Oct 13, 2013
    Posts: 211

    from kansas

    I searched for a while and finally found a Lincoln sp175t dual voltage with cart for 500. I've had it 4 yrs and love it.

    Also what's great with this model is a aluminum setup for it can be bought for 70.00 & that's with a roll of aluminum wire. All you need to change is the liner and wire roll.
    Donuts & Peelouts likes this.
  13. H380
    Joined: Sep 20, 2015
    Posts: 241

    from Louisiana

    Look for name brand used buzz box. Also also try to find an AC/DC over AC only. Unless it is a smoking deal. Common 7018 rods need DC. I have a AC only box that was given to me and miss the DC bad. You can get by on AC only but it limits you on rod choice.
    Donuts & Peelouts likes this.
  14. in this whole conversation about the el-cheap-o welders and the better Lincolns and Millers, the one thing I have found out is the cheaper ones don't have the high current relay/contactor so they don't cut the current to the welding wire, they just turn off the feed. This makes it very hard to fill gaps and holes. I think it would be much easier for a new welder to learn while using a Lincoln or Miller.

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