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how is this welder?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by freebird101, Jan 2, 2010.

  1. freebird101
    Joined: Feb 13, 2009
    Posts: 1,203

    freebird101
    Member

    I found a Harbor Freight coupon page in my R&C magazine, one of the coupons is for a 90 AMP Flux Wire Welder . The coupon dropped it from $149 to $90 bucks, my question is, is it worth the money or is it junk.
     
  2. Like the saying goes , you get what you pay for. For $90.00 don't expect much. It may be okay for light sheetmetal work at best.
     
  3. HotRod33
    Joined: Oct 5, 2008
    Posts: 2,245

    HotRod33
    Member
    from MO

    It is JUNK............... save yourself the trouble and buy a miller or a lincoln welder....
     
  4. Garyr
    Joined: Sep 20, 2006
    Posts: 66

    Garyr
    Member

    Flux welder welds look like pigion poop at best. save your money and buy a gas shielded welder, even a HF you'll be happier in the long run. If you use a gasless it needs to be really dirt and oil free to make a sound weld.
     
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  5. 37FABRICATION
    Joined: Apr 4, 2007
    Posts: 672

    37FABRICATION
    Member

    I would recommend NOT buying it. 110 welders are ok for bodywork but it needs to run gas. And yes, welders are one of those things that bigger is better, if you have a 220v mig you can always turn it down, but you cant turn up a 110v to weld frame material.
     
  6. not much of a duty cycle
     
  7. its junk, but if thats all you have, its better than nothing.
    be ready to get good at grinding and sanding to clean up the booger welds, but then again, if thats all you have, at least your welding for 100 and learning to grind too.
     
  8. I bought a Lincoln flux-core welder for $150 about 15 years ago and it's been a great welder for me. It's expandable so I can use it with gas, but I usually just do the flux core wire. You can do good things with flux-core, but it is messier and more technique sensitive. Buy the best welder you can afford, and maybe save up and buy a better one. 220v is better...gas sheilding is better...but flux core can work.
     
  9. Esab is bitchin too.
    search the craigslist and buy you a name brand rig used, see a lot of them with the bottle and regulator included.
    Even the Classifieds here, I bought my Esab MigMaster 205 and Esab Plasma 650 (both bad mofo's) for $1400. from a Hamber.
     
  10. freebird101
    Joined: Feb 13, 2009
    Posts: 1,203

    freebird101
    Member

  11. I have used a Lincoln Weldpak 175 a few time. Seems like a very good little welder. My buddy bought his for around $500 but I saw them in Home Depot this past summer, on sale for $299!............It is a 220V and very easy to use. I weld for a living by the way.
     
  12. not proud of it but i bought one last week
    just needed somethin to weld some body panels on my 52 chevy truck
    it works great
    button welds sheetmetal just fine
    good penetration
    spatters a little but that is the nature of flux core wire
    it gets the job done
    i personally cant afford to shit 400 bucks plus for a lincoln or a miller
    as long as you arent welding frames together with it its fine.
    youre not gonna find anything better in that price range.
    pm me for further info
     
  13. shock733
    Joined: Jan 19, 2009
    Posts: 199

    shock733
    Member
    from Florida

    its junk...save up for a real one. made that mistake. nfg for patch panels and no penetration for any thing else. I bought a 140 then a 175 Lincoln and never looked back. the HF units sits collecting dust.
     
  14. 66-Frankenfish
    Joined: Nov 2, 2009
    Posts: 77

    66-Frankenfish
    Member

    I've been thinkin of buyin that $90 Harbor freight welder just so I could Learn.
     
  15. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 25,659

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Miller, Lincoln or Hobart for starters. With any of the three the local welding supply shop won't laugh at you if and when you show up for parts and service.

    The Esab units are great but a bit expensive for most of us for home use.

    Check the sales at Lowes, and Home depot as they usually drop prices about this time to cut inventory. The Hobarts are usually sold at Farm/Ranch related stores and are first cousins to the Millers and Lincolns. The Handler 140 is a decent 110 unit that goes either gas or flux.

    If you can find an older Miller Sidekick 110 unit in good shape for a right price they are great units. My buddy has had one for years and used it for everything before buying his bigger Miller.

    The flux core wire has it's place but you will find that it isn't great for automotive use when you want good looking welds. If you were out welding steel pipe together to make fence posts it would be great.

    We keep pounding the "buy a quality name brand welder" on here simply because if you buy one of the HF or other off brand welders you will pretty soon have to go out and buy one of the good ones anyhow and then you are stuck with the 99.00 one that is either broken or no one else wants it. And as I said before, if you use a welder, sooner or later it will need service and parts and that is where the off brands are a real problem. What can be an easy to get or off the shelf at the welders supply part for a Miller, Lincoln, Hobart or Esab ends up being impossible to get for the off brands or you have to wait for them to come from offshore on a boat.
     
  16. scrap metal 48
    Joined: Sep 6, 2009
    Posts: 5,671

    scrap metal 48
    Member

    You can lay a nice bead with a flux core and the weld is actually stronger than gas mig. The splatter clean up is alot more but hey, I''ll do a little clean up work for $90.......
     
  17. kenagain
    Joined: Dec 15, 2005
    Posts: 820

    kenagain
    Member
    from so cal

    Hey I just gave away my old HF. I cut a square hole in the back and wired up one of those 5 in fans to blow air over the rectifier and it increased the duty cycle to about 20 minutes. used it for all kinds of stuff and mostly ran it wide open. If you can weld you can make it work for small stufff no 1/4 inch frame material tho
    I do also have a hobart 220 mig with a bottle that is wwaaayy better for anything because it is variable rather than 2 switches for welding
     
  18. LSGUN
    Joined: May 26, 2007
    Posts: 1,257

    LSGUN
    Member
    from TX

    Go with a Miller, Hobart, or Lincoln in that order.
     
  19. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 16,252

    gimpyshotrods
    Member

    Bank the $90. Watch whatever you have for local classified ads. Good, brand-name welders are out there, and deals can be had. Diligence and patience pays off.
     
  20. I bought a Campbell Hausfeld on eBay quite a few years ago for not a whole lot more money. Wish I could tell you if it's decent or not - I bought it because I had the cash at the time and have yet to even use the damned thing.
     
  21. freebird101
    Joined: Feb 13, 2009
    Posts: 1,203

    freebird101
    Member

    how would something like a Craftsman 220 volt arc welder
     
  22. Slim Pickens
    Joined: Dec 15, 2008
    Posts: 3,346

    Slim Pickens
    Member

    Miller or a Lincoln welder. Always worked for me. Worth the money.
     
  23. Kenneth S
    Joined: Dec 15, 2007
    Posts: 1,527

    Kenneth S
    Member

    X2 ^^^^^^^^^^

    Didn't see any welder on the craigslist link that I would buy.
     
  24. dieselc
    Joined: May 17, 2004
    Posts: 1,315

    dieselc
    Member
    from ohio

    I can tell you first hand its junk, a friend has one and it sucks at everything, except wasting electric and metal.
     
  25. AllSteel36
    Joined: Jul 20, 2009
    Posts: 562

    AllSteel36
    Member
    from California


    What are you planing on welding? Just sheetmetal, or framework? Or?....
     
  26. freebird101
    Joined: Feb 13, 2009
    Posts: 1,203

    freebird101
    Member

    I want to learn so I can weld shit when I need to, so when one day I do something like a build, I do not have to spend 2 months learning how to weld
     
  27. Vin-tin
    Joined: Feb 1, 2009
    Posts: 88

    Vin-tin
    Member

    If you want a good all-purpose welder, then buy a 220volt mig welder. Fairly easy to learn and will be able to handle anything from sheetmetal up to chassis work. Just buy a good one like everyone else is telling you. You won't regret it. Stick with Miller/Hobart or Lincoln. If you don't need one soon, have patience. Deals are out there. You just have to find them.
     
  28. Kenneth S
    Joined: Dec 15, 2007
    Posts: 1,527

    Kenneth S
    Member


    For the beginner a Millermatic 180 autoset cant be beat, you can weld from 22ga to 1/4". Here's a link for you.
    http://www.millerwelds.com/products/mig/millermatic_180_autoset/

    Go to ebay and search this item number 370314796371
    they are in Maryland comes with the cart, and free shipping for $870.00
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2010
  29. AllSteel36
    Joined: Jul 20, 2009
    Posts: 562

    AllSteel36
    Member
    from California

    Well, then I'll assume you plan on doing some frame work as well, motor mounts, etc as well as sheetmetal work...patch panels and such?

    If so, then look for a used brand name welder...wirefeed with gas provisions, something like an old MM35 (find them in the 300-500 range) would suit all your needs and then some.

    An arc welder is tough to learn-first off-and isn't worth a dime for sheetmetal work.

    ANother option for you, is look forsomething like an older AIrco 3in one machine...does MIG/TIG and STick welding...the one I picked up[ a few years ago had an HF box on it...sure...it's not the greatest thing for any one application, but for 200 bucks, it's a good unit...I bought it maily for the TIG, but since ave stuck a roll a fluxcore in it to se outside in the wind when needed.

    What might be in order, assuming you don't have any friends nearby who can teach/help you, would be to take a CC class in welding, see what you like and see what you're goo at...then you can much more easily evealate your own needs for a welder.

    Heck, it doesn't have to be a 2500 machine, once you have developed a skill set of welding, you'll be able to evelauate any used machine to see if it'll do what you want it to do.

    Hey, you may even realize that you don't like welding 1/4inch stell and making motor mounts, etc...and you might be right back at Harbor Freight picking up that 90amp box for sheetmetal.
     
  30. plym49
    Joined: Aug 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,798

    plym49
    Member
    from Earth

    I have also been thinking about getting one.

    I already have a Millermatic 200 but very often it is just too much. Too big and heavy to move and set up for a lightweight, quick and dirty job. And I have never found a way to turn it down low enough to tack light sheet metal without burning through.

    The though of a small, lightweight 120 volt unit with no tank hassles is pretty compelling when you just want to tack one dumb little bracket on the handlebars of your snow blower.
     

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