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Welder and welding questions need some help

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Blake84, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. Blake84
    Joined: Feb 4, 2012
    Posts: 740


    I have very little to no welding experience but I have a maintenance guy that works for me that knows how. I want to purchase a welder to learn with and also that is strong enough to do frame work on a car. The welder I was looking at is a Lincoln electric 180 hd wire fed 220v.

    I'm going to do ALOT of practicing on various pieces of scrap before even attempting a frame but I want to have a welder capable when the time comes. I also plan on taking some classes.

    Is the welder above OK?

    Is there a link to a welder that would be better and capable of sheet metal and frame welding.....I want one welder that does anything from bike frame and sheet metal up to a frame of a car.....any help would be greatly appreciated.

  2. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 4,527


    Lincoln is a great welder. I suggest you go to an actual weld supply store and compare before buying at home depot. There are some very good prices on ebay from very reputable welding supply houses also, gets you regulators, carts etc.
  3. rottenrods
    Joined: Sep 17, 2010
    Posts: 211


    That welder will be fine for what you want
  4. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 4,527


    I was re reading the description, says flux core / farm use. Be sure whatever you buy has the capability to run shielding gas.
    Flux core sucks for body work.

  5. grabrr
    Joined: Nov 9, 2010
    Posts: 129


    Exactly what I was gonna say, I went through it all this spring, Home Depot, Lowes...etc..etc..I knew I wanted a Lincoln, I went to the welders supply, they showed me everything inside the machine, I went back to the HD to have a look for myself, and they were right, the ones at the welding suppliers have better guts. A little more money, but I'm more than happy with my welder, it even made me a better welder, compared to my 25 year old machine.
  6. Look at the pic. The regulator is right there next to the machine
  7. 5Wcoupe
    Joined: Oct 2, 2007
    Posts: 306

    from L.A., Ca.

    It's hard to find 1 welding machine (or process) that can do everything but this is probably a good choice for the work you're talking about.
    Here's something to consider. Because it's 220V, it's probably going to stay in one place.
    I have always liked the 120V machines for being able to plug into a 20A outlet wherever the work is and the 120V machines go up to 140A these days. So that to me is a trade-off. (For a 220V machine, it's on the small side)
    But if portability isn't an issue anyway, this looks good to me and it will handle what you say you need to do. And the $ is right
    I like that you can use a spool gun too in case you want to weld aluminum later.
    Also, don't know where you are in L.A. but Glendale Community College has a great welding program. I got certified for tig there. If you want any more info, P.M. me
  8. You can buy machines that run 220 and 120v they come with an adaptor. Also miller just came out with a machine that is tig, mig and stick, it should be all the machine you would ever need.
  9. cayager
    Joined: Feb 10, 2012
    Posts: 293


    go to a welding supplier and buy a machine from them, or online. check out cyberweld, or indiana oxygen company, or harris welding supply. they have pretty good prices.the extra money will be well spent. when you show up at a supplier looking for parts for a home depot special they will laugh. good luck going to home depot for parts or getting tech if you have a problem. the lincolns made for the big box stores are built alot cheaper. is there a gas valve in it? how many plastic parts versus aluminum parts? duty cycle? just a few things to think about
  10. caseyrod
    Joined: Feb 9, 2008
    Posts: 138


    the friendliest mig welder out there is the millermatic 211 its pricier than others but for the begginers its your best bet.
  11. druids62
    Joined: Oct 1, 2009
    Posts: 188


    For the love of all things good,please DO NOT buy a welder (or any other tool) from Home Depot. Please trust us.
  12. thunderbirdesq
    Joined: Feb 15, 2006
    Posts: 7,036


    I have an earlier version of that machine (pro mig 175) and it is a great one for the money. In ten years, I have had to replace the aux transformer/fan motor twice ($75) but I really use the hell out of it and definitely don't blow it out as often as I should. Other than that it's been troublefree and a real workhorse for a "home use" machine.
  13. Beau
    Joined: Jul 2, 2009
    Posts: 1,883


    The welders you see at the big box stores will have the same casing, but cheaper parts internally. Which is why they are always cheaper.

    ALWAYS buy from a welding supply store.

    I just picked up a Miller DVI that will plug into both sockets.
  14. 5Wcoupe
    Joined: Oct 2, 2007
    Posts: 306

    from L.A., Ca.

    Really guys- I'm sorry to say it but this is poor advice.
    This is a Miller machine and a Miller part number no matter where he buys it.

    I know that certain chains like Costco will order products for sale only in their stores but it doesn't look like that's the case here.
    The last Lincoln welder I owned was 30 years ago. My shop is filled with Miller and Hobart but that doesn't mean Lincoln isn't any good and this guy isn't asking "where" to buy one, he's asking for advise on the type of machine to buy. If you don't want to make an effort to help him, take a Midol and move on.
  15. 29AVEE8
    Joined: Jun 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,384


    The drive mechanism in the welders sold in the "Box Stores" are made of plastic. The miller 180C sold at most welding supply stores have all metal drive mechanisms. Which one do you think is going to wear out first. Where are you going to get the plastic one repaired? Lowe's-DePot? Try taking it to a welding supply for repair. They will tell you to take it where you bought it. I bought a Lincoln 180C a couple of years ago and am very pleased, and if it breaks I can get it repaired at the welding supply store where I bought it and my consumables.
  16. 5Wcoupe
    Joined: Oct 2, 2007
    Posts: 306

    from L.A., Ca.

    "Where are you going to get the plastic one repaired? Lowe's-DePot? Try taking it to a welding supply for repair. They will tell you to take it where you bought it."

    I believe you could take it to any authorized Lincoln dealer for Warrantied service
  17. deto
    Joined: Jun 26, 2010
    Posts: 2,621


    We just got a Lincoln mig at work. 220. You can run a tig torch off of it as well. Doesn't do AC but if I were buying a welder I would want the ability to tig after I got down the mig welding
  18. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 30,185


    I've got the earlier version Lincoln Pro mig 175 that I picked up from a guy who had it for a few months and upgraded to a bigger machine. My son who welds for a living thought it was new out of the box when he saw it though.

    It came with metal drive wheels but I didn't get any extras with it. The only problem I Have ever had was gettng the drag on the spool right and that may be more me than the welder.

    From what I've read online the welders are the same no matter what the face they have but the box stores buy thousands at a time while the welding supplies buy a lot smaller quantities and also have to have a higher markup.

    And I'm not the least damned bit worried about being laughed at if I need to take it down to my friend who has repaired welders for the past 40 or so years to have it repaired if needed.
  19. budd
    Joined: Oct 31, 2006
    Posts: 3,478


  20. Blake84
    Joined: Feb 4, 2012
    Posts: 740


    Thanks for all of your guys time and advice.....I'll def look into buying from a welding supply store it does make more sense if the internal components are metal vs plastic as well... I just want to find a good first welder to learn and practice with that also has e capabilities of doing frame welding because my goal is to fabricate a car as a hobby and I know nothing about will be my hands on learning experience.....definitely will do a build thread and just learn from my mistakes and as I go......I kinda like just getting thrown in the deep end and seeing if I can swim......
  21. Deuce Daddy Don
    Joined: Apr 27, 2008
    Posts: 5,261

    Deuce Daddy Don

    Wrong advice here!------Don't settle for anything less than a Lincoln 250 for frame & any thickness up to 3/8, you won't regret it later!-----Don (welding since 1951).
  22. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 19,104


    Remember kids, plastic parts are for toys.
  23. 5Wcoupe
    Joined: Oct 2, 2007
    Posts: 306

    from L.A., Ca.

    Home Depot is an authorized Lincoln dealer and the 1st name that is listed on the Lincoln website. Followed by Lowes and Sears.
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,422


    I use a Miller 110 welder. I did all the frame welding with it, and it is great for sheetmetal work. No matter what brand you buy, get from a welding supplier. You will get much better service after the sale there.
  25. VoodooTwin
    Joined: Jul 13, 2011
    Posts: 3,455

    from Noo Yawk

    It's more money, but for a few hundred more, you can get the Miller 212, which is a BEAST of a welder, and has the Autoset feature, as well as the option of running on 110 or 220-volt power. Whatever you decide, review the duty cycle.....not a HUGE issue for car building since we tend to tack-weld/stitch weld, not continuous make sure it'll be ok based on your future plans.
  26. b-body-bob
    Joined: Apr 23, 2011
    Posts: 515


    Welding suppliers here are just happy to see a customer walk in the door, they certainly aren't going to turn money away if you have a machine they are authorized to work on.
  27. 41fordguy
    Joined: Oct 25, 2011
    Posts: 12


    Hey hows it going, in regards to lincoln electric i just bought their lincoln power mig 180c part number k2473-2 i am not by any means a professional welder nor am i a subject matter expert but i currently starting my ground up on my 41 ford pickup. this welding machine has plently of amps to weld on my frame and probably any frame out there its very easy to set up and the guild cheat sheet for starting points for setup on the gauge of metal your welding on are pretty spot on a little tweaking here and there but for the most part its accuate. and not only but if you buy from a autherized dealer you can use the money matter program and i chose to get the "free" auto darkening helmet its the viking series one. 190 dollar value which i would recommend rather than getting 75 bucks off your purchase. but it has all metal internals rather than plastic but you can read the description on their website. its a very user friendly machine to use i havent welding mig since high school which was about 7-8 years ago and i pick it up and threw down some nice beads. lincoln electric has two variants of this machine 180c and a 180t in short terms the "c" allows you to fine tune your watts and wire speed where the 180t stands for tapped and has detents on the knobs that doesnt allow for setting a.5 or b.5 its just A and B so they are set settings. that definately comes in hand to fine tune the settings for the metal you are welding. but i have rambled on long enough here other words its a good deal for the money and you can get a very nice auto darkening helmet out of the deal and a bunch of goodies that come with the welder. check it out!
  28. 302aod
    Joined: Dec 19, 2011
    Posts: 275

    from Pelham,Tn.

    I bought a Lincoln welder from a non dealer ( Lowe's I think) had some problems with it and the people at the welding supply said they could get parts for my cheap welder, but they were expensive. My welder had less settings and has since been replaced. I think all manufactures have a no frills product for the discount stores and a good one for the real stores.

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