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Welder help? got one for xmas not what i was looking for.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by True till Death, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. True till Death
    Joined: Mar 1, 2006
    Posts: 123

    True till Death

    So I got a welder for Xmas. It’s my first welder and I have no prior experience with welding. What I want to use it for is floors and body panels on my 51 ford, also light to med fabrication. Think harbor freight bead roller modification and fork lift forks for a tractor bucket.

    The unit it got is a Hobart Handler 125 EZ; it welds 18 gauge up to 3/16 inch and runs Flux Cored wire, from what I have heard the flux core isn’t great for body panels its messy ect.

    <O:pWhat would you guys recommend I have it narrowed down to two other units?

    <O:pThe Hobart handler 125 it does flux core and optional MIG conversion kit for welding with .023-.030 in (0.6-0.8 mm) solid wire and gas shielding. Welds 20 gauge up to 3/16 inch


    <O:pThe handler 140 it does flux core and optional MIG conversion kit it Welds 24 gauge up to 1/4 inch

    <O:pThe 125 unit is a 20 dollar price difference from the 125 ez the 140 unit is about 150 dollar difference vs. the 125 ez. The 140 unit is the top of my spending limit.
  2. I got my 175 Lincoln off of Ebay brand new for $375 plus 45 shipping. I wouldn't trade it for anything . The 110 that I have just doesn't cut it any more. I thought I would use both but since I got the 220 volt, I haven't touched the iio volt one!! Big difference!
  3. flying53gmc
    Joined: Mar 2, 2005
    Posts: 357

    from M-boro, TN

    I have used all three welders you are pondering. For the money there is no way I would keep the ez and at least step up to the 125 that can do gas but the conversion kit you have to buy to do it on gas would get you close in price to the 140 handler. The 140 is a great welder for a 110v model. I was very surprised how much power it had. I would definitely step up to the 140, it is well worth the extra money.
  4. These are just an old dude's opinions. I'm sure you will get other opinions that differ.

    1. Don't try to learn to weld using flux core.
    2. Don't buy a welder until you can afford to go 220V.

    Joined: Jul 16, 2006
    Posts: 2,571


    There is your answer.
  6. x2 on a 220 unit.. actually a prefer a 220 buzz box, but I am weird. if ya can afford it a 220 is the way to go.. go with a brand name welder, if ya can't afford a new one get a used unit.. (mines 25 years old) if its a good name brand one they last...
  7. Hdonlybob
    Joined: Feb 1, 2005
    Posts: 3,963


    Another plus to go with a 220 unit.
    I am not an expert welder, but do just fine with my Hobart Handler with gas. It will almost weld tinfoil, and is awesome to body work, and does a good job on 1/4" steel as well.
    Another plus to the 220 unit is that your friends (and relatives) won't be able to borrow it, cause they probably don't have 220. :cool::D:eek:
  8. Jalopy Jim
    Joined: Aug 3, 2005
    Posts: 1,867

    Jalopy Jim

    I have both an 220V and a 110V and the 110V seems to work better on sheet metal than the 220V. The 220V is a Linde and the 110V in a Miller 135.
  9. aacfmach
    Joined: Jul 17, 2009
    Posts: 28


    imo the 140 probably will suit you the 220s are nicer but if you want to run on thin ga metal it works best with smaller wire (.024") like the 110s are set up with from the beginning. definitely go with the gas!! Personally I still have the 110 I bought to start with then when I needed and could afford it I got a 250A 220, they are both on the same bottle and cart and use both regularly.
  10. jrod60
    Joined: Jul 20, 2005
    Posts: 89

    from Katy, TX

    I'll join the no-gasless-flux-core crowd. When used on thicker material it has a place, but sheetmetal is not that place IMO. Gas + solid wire = welding happy
    I have a Lincoln 140 (110V) and it's a fantastic machine. I can't see needing more than that for most stuff the home hobbyist does. They claim up to 1/4", but if you're doing more than that (or even at that thickness with the common .025" wire) add a bevel and little preheat and make it in three passes.

    /anecdote on/ I work with a guy who passed x-ray welds on a 18" diameter gas pipeline with a Hobart 140. I've seen his work and tend to believe him. Good welds are more about the hands, not the machine. \anecdote off\
  11. chopt top kid
    Joined: Oct 13, 2009
    Posts: 959

    chopt top kid

    I've heard a lot of good things about the Hobart 140. I read lot's of reviews and nearly everyone rated it a four or five. That being said, I bought a Hobart Handler 187 on sale at Tractor Supply. Now I have to run 220 to my garage...
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2011
  12. R Frederick
    Joined: Mar 30, 2009
    Posts: 2,658

    R Frederick
    from illinois

    I would at least upgrade to a welder that is not charged until you pull the trigger. I've tried to weld with cheap ones that have the wire constantly hot, and there's no way.
    I wouldn't worry about flux core, that's all I've ever used. I have a Thermodine FP120 115v with flux wire. I've even welded a Yamaha V-star gas tank with one and made it air tight. Sheetmetal on those are PAPER thin. It's just about how you learn to use it and not burn through.
  13. 54BOMB
    Joined: Oct 23, 2004
    Posts: 2,107


    Ive had the Hobart 140 for about a year, and Im still a newbie , but I really like it.
  14. triumphtony
    Joined: Jul 14, 2007
    Posts: 226


    I have the 140. had it for three years,and it works great on sheet metal. as far as thicker meatal it works but not that good.
  15. brad chevy
    Joined: Nov 22, 2009
    Posts: 2,627

    brad chevy

    Keep the 110 for small stuff and buy you a 220 unit for the heavier stuff.
  16. carcrazyjohn
    Joined: Apr 16, 2008
    Posts: 4,844

    from trevose pa

    110 is great for sheetmetal and use arc for frames and heavy stuff ,My dad has the 220 from harbor freight and it burns too hot ,Doesnt matter how you regulate it .I have a 110 astro mig and I get by ,The cheaper units ,You cant dial in as good as the higher priced model ,But thats what I bought 15 or so years ago and No problems ,Even on any cars ,So mig for sheetmetal and arc for frames ,Im self taught ...But read a few books ,I would read first to understand penetration ,Too much isnt good and too little isnt good. All 2 machines with gas conversion under 700 bucks ......
  17. Once you get your welder situation figured out, do yourself a favour and sign up for a welding course at your local community college. Learn right from the start, save yourself a lot of headaches.
  18. burl
    Joined: Nov 28, 2007
    Posts: 748

    from Minnesota

    Just picked up the hobart 140 before christmas.Have used it on 18 gauge up to 1/4.
    It works really well on all of the 18 gauge panels i have worked on.Tried butt welding on some 1/4 material just for the hell of it and you could see it really penetrated well.Through the part in the press and bent the hell out of it with out cracking the weld.One of the guys i work with has next size 220 unit and he claims its almost to big for 18 gauge.He borrowed my 140 and and really liked it.I still have my big lincoln stick for the thicker stuff but am really happy with what this 140 can do.
  19. darkk
    Joined: Sep 2, 2010
    Posts: 456


    Well I'm not an expert, but I've been a body man / fabricator for about 50ish years. Although 110volt welders are usually crap, if they are gas mig they will work well enough for a newbie. Especially for sheet metal only. Just be aware that most 110 volt units have a live weld wire when powered on. A nice entry level for some one that is a home hobbyist would be a Miller 211. I'm partial to Miller welders but I'm sure the other brands are comparable in quality. At least trade up to a gas mig of some sort. A 220 volt 200 amp unit would be my personal minimum. This way you are pretty much covered for anything.
  20. Trick to using the 220V (I have a Hobart Handler 187) on sheet metal is using proper wire size, wire speed, and voltage setting. My son-in-law can't weld sheet worth a shit because he runs his wire too fast and he is a hard-headed yankee.
  21. johnny bondo
    Joined: Aug 20, 2005
    Posts: 1,547

    johnny bondo
    from illinois

    just buy the cheapest gas shielded welder you can find..... if youre not doing anything serious, you dont need anything serious. i use my friends "century 125" gas mig for sheet metal and it works pretty damn near perfect for sheetmetal.
  22. troylee
    Joined: Jul 10, 2007
    Posts: 685


    I use a lincoln 180c for all my sheet metal 025 os3. works great and can weld all day.
  23. 53sled
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 5,818

    from KCMO

    stick sucks for bodywork, which is his intent.
    Joined: Aug 10, 2006
    Posts: 2,259


    I use a little Lincold 110 flux core for sheet metal and light stuff, works great and I have no formal training in welding.
  25. It's a poor carpenter who blames his hammer :p
    I've got 2 welders. an 80 Century flux core and an old AC stick buzz box.

    I've got a budy with a big fancy 220 gas mig welder I borrowed a few times.
    Thick stuff it's "easier" to get pritty welds, but I doubt they are any stronger than my fatty 8018 welds
    I didn't care for the stitch setting for sheet metal, hard to dial in.

    Meh, do what you can with what ya got, I've done all my body work with flux, but it's a hobby.

    Oh, and don't look a gift horse in the mouth,
  26. gsport
    Joined: Jul 16, 2009
    Posts: 678


    take it back and save till you can get something you won't out grow of... i started with a cheap Clarke, hated it, couldn't run a bead to save my life. sold it, lost a little and bought a miller 211... a great machine with 110 or 220 volts with the change of the plug end.. i too am new at welding and this thing makes me look like i know what i'm doing... i got it at Airgas for $877.00 last January
  27. Lucky3
    Joined: Dec 9, 2009
    Posts: 652


    X3......Miller Mig's w/Stargon Gas is one of the best combo's !!!

  28. 17dracing
    Joined: May 15, 2008
    Posts: 362

    from Indiana

    Miller guy here ! But my thought on flux core is " If you get good at it , you will be great when you start welding with gas !!! Just practice , thats all you really have to do .
  29. zombie54
    Joined: Nov 15, 2010
    Posts: 18


    I am looking at a lincon 140 or 180. will the 140 have enough power to weld a frame notch and air bag set up on a 54 chevy. I only have the budget for a single welder so i have to choose 110v or 220. i do have some expierence welding so ability is not my concern just which would be the most versitle and still get the job done safely.
  30. mixedupamx
    Joined: Dec 2, 2006
    Posts: 513


    x2 on the 220 v right now im stuck with a 110 v but that will soon change

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