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Technical Welder Machines

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Fender1325, Sep 7, 2014.

  1. Fender1325
    Joined: Aug 31, 2014
    Posts: 730

    Fender1325

    I have never welded before but Im anxious to learn, as I'll need it for my 1950 cadillac.

    Harbor Freight has a welder for 100 bucks. It runs off a standard wall outlet and uses flux core wire, so you dont need gas. It can weld panels up to 3/16 thick.

    My main concern is that I read that flux core wire will essentially bleed through a painted surface eventually, making it bad for body patching.

    Any advice? My cad needs floor board repair and little areas in door jams, etc. At least, as far as I can tell with the paint still on it!
     
  2. aaggie
    Joined: Nov 21, 2009
    Posts: 2,531

    aaggie
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I can't think of anything more frustrating than trying to learn how to weld with a cheap HF machine. Save your money and buy a used Lincoln or Miller MIG machine.. Flux core wire is dirty and doesn't work well on sheet metal, some people swear by it and I swear at it. I have been welding for 60 years.
     
    belair likes this.
  3. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,792

    tfeverfred
    Member Emeritus

    My instructor at Welding school said, "Get the biggest, best machine you can afford.". A friend of mine has that Harbor Freight welder. If you're doing minor stuff around the home or shop, it's good. But my friend always wants something welded and he's looking for MIG or TIG type welds. When he pulls out that flux core machine, I just laugh.

    I'd run away from welding over paint. That's just not how to do it properly.
     
  4. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,762

    belair
    Member

    The HF rig makes sparks, but is not gas, and makes a mess. I had one and never liked it. Save your money and buy further up the food chain.
     

  5. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,675

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Find a good, used Miller or Lincoln. They are out there. Use Co2/Argon mix gas.
     
  6. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 30,027

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    There are probably a hundred threads on here on this and the answer is always the same. NO don't waste't your 100 bucks for one to work on a car with. There is no support system for them outside of hauling them back to HF and having them sent off or swapping for a new one. They have their purpose and work ok for the guy who only occasionally needs to do light welding on small projects that don't need pretty welds. Thy ealso work for the guy who wants to tack things together at home and then take the tacked together assembly to someone who has a bigger welder to have it welded up. I did that with a little 110 buzzbox on my T bucket in the early 70's, weld a part up and drop it off at my buddy's garage for him to weld up after he got home from work. We built most of the chassis that way.
    Miller, Lincoln and Hobart all sell welders in 110 that can be found for decent prices used and sometimes new. The Hobarts are usually sold through Ranch and home type stores and are often on sale. All three can be repaired at any decent welder's supply store or through them at their service center. I've watched the guys at the welder's supply very soberly tell the guys taking in HF or other off brand cheapie welders in for repair that they cannot get repair parts for them and will not waste time attempting to service them.
     
  7. mikhett
    Joined: Jan 22, 2005
    Posts: 1,412

    mikhett
    Member
    from jackson nj

    I bought a Hoabart Handler 110 volt from Indiana welding supply on the net it was like 450 plus 100 for he gas cylinder.I did a lot of rust repair with it.
     
  8. stevethepreacher
    Joined: Nov 16, 2011
    Posts: 213

    stevethepreacher
    Member

    Hobart Handler 140. Here is S.W. Virginia they can be purchased at Tractor Supply Company. I didn't have the $$$ for one so I opened an account with them, made the monthly payments and now I have a decent welder. I went back and bought a tank with gas later and it makes all the difference in the world. Skip Harbor Freight... I almost did the same, and am now glad I didn't buy from HF.
     
  9. chopolds
    Joined: Oct 22, 2001
    Posts: 5,967

    chopolds
    Member
    from howell, nj
    1. Kustom Painters

    ALWAYS, always, always...better to buy good used American tools, than cheap Chinese CRAP!
     
  10. Miller owns Hobart......so either brand is good along with Lincoln. Most Miller machines allow you to set your temps closer to what you want using a dial where Hobart has set heat ranges on a switch.
    For sheet metal repairs on a car get a solid core wire machine that will use mixed gas to shield.
    The better the machine then the better you can pinpoint welding temps.....if the machine has A,B,C,D ranges for heat you can make it work ok but a really good machine will allow you to dial in your heat and wire speed to the material your welding.
    Buy American!
     
    Lawrence Clayton likes this.
  11. Ok, here's what you'll get-
    roughly 100 bucks worth of a 500.00 welder. Will it weld in your floor boards, sure it will. Will you be happy, you might not know enough to feel otherwise if you've ever never welded before

    Now this is completely false- My main concern is that I read that flux core wire will essentially bleed through a painted surface eventually, making it bad for body patching.
     
  12. All the above is true.Save up for a good new or used and get one you can eventually hook up to gas,you'll be happier.
     
  13. username
    Joined: May 8, 2001
    Posts: 149

    username
    Member

    Checkout Everlast Welders. It sounds like you are on a budget, many of their welders have all the same features as the above mentioned brands. I recently sold a Miller to buy an Everlast, tig not mig though.
     
  14. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,675

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I have made several hundred thousand dollars over the years using Miller welding equipment.
    I require no other proof.
     
  15. I use a 225 amp Thermal Arc Fabricator with an argon mix. Very pleased with it.
     
  16. 29moonshine
    Joined: Dec 30, 2006
    Posts: 1,325

    29moonshine
    Member

    go to lowes and look at there lincoln not high $ but welds good
     
  17. camerl2009
    Joined: Jan 26, 2014
    Posts: 203

    camerl2009
    Member

    id stay away from flux core with body work you want mig wire with gas even a crappy HF one will work but you want to have mig/gas for body work. you will not run into metal that's too thick most cars floors are only about 16ga if that.
     
  18. Fender1325
    Joined: Aug 31, 2014
    Posts: 730

    Fender1325

    Interesting. Thanks for all the input guys.

    Question. Are all 110 welders pretty much limited to really thin material? Like under 1/4 inch? Im assuming thats enough to do flooring and body panels?

    I had read somewhere, I forget, that if you welded with flux core wire, then painted over it, eventually the joint would show through the paint. Doing a proper weld first and then painting over it im saying.
     
  19. camerl2009
    Joined: Jan 26, 2014
    Posts: 203

    camerl2009
    Member

    yes slag and flux will still show up even after they are well cleaned off. most 110v/120v welders will only do up to about 1/8 inch with flux core and a little less with mig. but like I said you are not going to run into really thick metal while doing body work a 110v welder will work well. doing body work you do a series tack welds no long beads this will keep warping to a minimum
     
  20. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 5,852

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I want to second the recommendation for an Everlast machine. I have had a couple of 180/225 amp stick welders and also have a Hobart 220 volt handler (sorry, I can't come up with the exact model number now [240 maybe?]). I bought a $250 140 AMP Everlast combination stick/Tig welder. I want to get into Tig, so that will come later. For basic fabrication, I have found the Everlast to be superb. I have always preferred to stick weld, and his machine is clearly superior to either of the 2 Millers I had before. The Inverter technology is much better than the old transformer technology. Easy arc starts and a very stable arc once you get going. Yes, they are of Chinese origin, but they come with a 5 year warranty and appear to be very well made. As you can see, I'm very happy with mine so far. In the next couple of weeks, I am going to buy another bottle and valve and try to learn how to Tig. If all goes well, I will be buying a spool gun for my Hobart so I can weld aluminum. Bottom line, there has been some great technological advances made in the last few years.
     
  21. Fender1325
    Joined: Aug 31, 2014
    Posts: 730

    Fender1325

    Im assuming the stick welding is for jobs less delicate than body panels?

    From my understanding, mig welding with gas is ideal for body work. Is that right?
     
  22. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,675

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I prefer to support the people in, and in the surrounding communities to Appleton Wisconsin, rather than the people of Guangdong Province, People's Republic of China.
     
    Falcon61wagon and gc427 like this.
  23. oldcarguygazok
    Joined: Jun 20, 2012
    Posts: 401

    oldcarguygazok
    Member
    from AUSTRALIA.

    Make sure you remove all the fuel and brake lines before attacking the floors with a grinder,like any project the preparation is one of the most important parts of the final result,good luck !
     
    Fender1325 likes this.
  24. jimbousman
    Joined: Jul 24, 2008
    Posts: 547

    jimbousman
    Member

    Two things...one the HF welder will work in a pinch but not for long. Their electronic stuff is topically short lived. http://www.toolcrib.com reviews a lot of HF stuff. Some work well. Some don't. Welders don't.

    The second thing is you want to learn how to weld. I assume (and hope) you plan to take a class or two before you jump into anything big (or small). Your welders schools typically use either Lincoln or Miller. Trust me almost anything they will teach you on a good welder will be a waste of time trying to reproduce on a cheap welder.

    This is not just the usual "China cheap tool busting". With welders there IS a difference no matter where it is made. Pros have trouble getting decent welds out of cheap welders added to the fact that body sheet metal is the last thing you want to tackle without the right stuff. Save your bucks, learn how to do it right, and practice before you start on your ride. You will be glad if you do.
     
    Fender1325 likes this.
  25. I'm thinking about the learning process, made 1000 times harder by inferior equipment.

    Take a course at a local college, they do not cost much. They will have a variety of equipment which you can try to see which one suits you. Me, a Miller Syncrowave suited me, so that's what I bought. And I have never regretted it even one second of any day.

    I Have used a couple of Chinese welders. Thought I was doing a favor. Won't do it again, my (tiny, possibly insignificant) reputation isn't worth that hassle. And the welds weren't even remotely what I can do with my eyes closed, standing on marbles thinking about whipped cream and Beyonce, using MY machine.

    Cosmo
     
  26. camerl2009
    Joined: Jan 26, 2014
    Posts: 203

    camerl2009
    Member

    anyone can learn from a few vids on YouTube and some scrap metal. I don't know the quality of a HF welder because we don't have those stores here(although we do have something like it) but I only have a cheap mastercraft 120v mig/flux core welder it does the job on sheet metal and has not quit yet not all cheap welders are the same
     
  27. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 5,852

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Generally, Yes.

    A lot of folks think that Oxy/Acetyline is the best for sheet metal and Tig is a close second. I haven't got around to trying it yet, but the control I have experienced with the Everlast unit may allow sheet metal work with the proper electrode and settings. That being said, I am planning on Tigging my sheet metal work in the future when I get the proper setup.
     
  28. 302aod
    Joined: Dec 19, 2011
    Posts: 275

    302aod
    Member
    from Pelham,Tn.

    I buy stuff from HF, but never anything I plan to use much and never anything electric. I use there sandpaper and grinding wheels, Even have a 12" sheet metal brake. I have gone through 3 wire welders, 1 Wal-mart brand, 1 Lincoln and the 1 I use now is from Eastwood, all 110. Used flux core on the 1st 1. Flux core is expensive. The Lincoln I have is from Lowe's and the nearest dealer and the Lincoln factory look at you like you have a bad disease, when you need parts. And Lincoln parts are VERY expensive. Don't know who makes the Eastwood, but It's been working fine for over a year and I've used 4 or 5, 2 pound spools on it. The Lincoln handle burnt up and they wanted almost the price of the welder for a new one, after one year of use.
     
  29. Fender1325
    Joined: Aug 31, 2014
    Posts: 730

    Fender1325

    Wow.

    I also read specs on the lincolns and they all said flux wire 115v 20amp. Would a standard outlet power this? I thought they were 110v 15 amp.
     
  30. Bought a Hobart Handler 190 over a year ago and used flux core just to get the hang of a wire-feed welder (I'd been using a Lincoln stick welder for nearly 40 years). I'm very pleased, once I figured out how to adjust the feed tension and not rats-nest the wire. I've got a bottle of mix and some solid core now, and will soon try mig welding. I plan to enroll in the local community college's welding class before tackling sheetmetal.
     

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