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Technical Welder Machines

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

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


    it would depend on the breaker for said outlet I had to change mine
  2. rustyangels
    Joined: Sep 28, 2010
    Posts: 182


    As for using the full potential of a 110v machine, a 20amp circuit and no extension cord will ensure you'll burn through hot mill scale for 1/4" stock.... You can weld with the flux core, but paint prep would probably require some spot blasting after leveling the weld.
  3. flypa38
    Joined: May 3, 2005
    Posts: 530


    Maybe I've just been lucky, but I've had one of those cheap HF welders for about 8 years and have had very few problems. I broke a hinge for the side door and was able to order parts.
    BUT I converted mine to gas very early on and the difference is night and day compared to flux core! Secondly I am not very good at MIG with any machine Ive ever tried, so my opinion on quality doesn't matter much. I greatly prefer my torch or old Miller TIG to any MIG.
    I would definitely prefer better control of amperage than the HF machine has, but it has always done what I needed it to do and has yet to break bad.
    All this being said, I'd take a higher quality machine like Miller or Hobart over this one any day if I bumped into the right deal.
    Fender1325 likes this.
  4. 270dodge
    Joined: Feb 11, 2012
    Posts: 742

    from Ohio

    If you want to learn about welding here is a link to a good site. I learned to weld in 20 minutes on a good machine. It was a Miller abp330 which I still own. My father in law was a pro welder and did the teaching. He said that the machine did 1/2 of the teaching and that was true. Quality.
    Fender1325 likes this.
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 9,244


    I'm right there with you. My rigs are old now and still work as good or better than anything else I've made sparks with. Millermatic 135 110V, Millermatic 250 220V, Miller "Econo-Tig" 220V with air cooled torch (for sheet metal and light tubing).

    As to learning, start with what you understand best whether it be video or books. Use "destructive testing" for your work meaning see what it takes to break the weld. And this " extension cord..." business, well I personally haven't found a way to hook right to the utility pole so I continue to use the most bad-ass extension cords available so I can weld anywhere in the shop. No cord? What about all the wire in the walls (or conduit)? Common sense rules the job. Good luck and don't be afraid to ask questions.
    49ratfink and Fender1325 like this.
  6. woodiewagon46
    Joined: Mar 14, 2013
    Posts: 2,101

    from New York

    Are you worried about voltage drop, by using an extension cord? It won't affect anything. The voltage drop for number 10 wire, single phase is .2404 volts, per amp, per 100 foot run. You will never notice it. When I wheel my Lincoln 140 around my garage I use a 20 foot, 10 gauge extension cord and have never had a voltage drop issue, never will, and you won't ether.
  7. rustang
    Joined: Sep 10, 2009
    Posts: 710


    I just recently sold my Lincoln ProMig 140 for $350.00. It was a 110 volt and I used it to build (2) cars and a bunch of other stuff...... was a great welder for what I used it for....
    I've since purchased a Miller 211, because it was still a smaller welder, but you can use both 110V and 220V... and has more flexibility........
    Buy the best you can afford, and step up later....Craigslist is a good start. :)
  8. El KaMiNo KiD
    Joined: Jun 15, 2009
    Posts: 509

    El KaMiNo KiD

    I picked up a used lincoln 110 machine on CL about 8 years ago for $300..I replaced the liner once..its paid for itself 10x...probably more..
  9. mustangmike6996
    Joined: Apr 7, 2013
    Posts: 147

    from the D

    I bought my buddy a Lincoln 140 MIG in a trade for some labor on my 69 Fastback. (I was not skilled enough to weld a full quarter and he was) Well that cost me like $380 new at Home Depot. I have had welding courses and always wanted to TIG but the place to be with a TIG is the Syncrowave, hands down. I looked at an Everlast and Eastwood TIG but for the extra 1-2k in price it WILL hold its value.

    I did snag a deal on Craigslist, I got a Lincoln MIG 180 (208/230VAC) with a spool gun (almost 300 bucks to buy), Kobalt auto darkening mask, 6 spools of flux core wire (I plan to use it it teach my wife and son to weld with it)I also got a full Ar/Co2 tank, cart and some slag hammers for $540. I cant even begin to tell you (as a former auto technician) that the money you invest in your tools directly is displayed in your craftsmanship. Can you do the same job with lesser quality tools and get better results, yes. Will it cost more money down the line, yes, you will most likely upgrade (by doing more car work for yourself or for buddies, heck, you can get paid in a case of beer for tacking something up for a fella or running a few beads like a master on a nice welder)

    I dont have anything against Everlast, they make good machines as far as I can tell. I have read that the multiprocess (Stick/TIG/MIG) machines have a higher rate of failure under higher use due to the different voltages/currents required to run MIG/TIG. So if your machine fails, you are out all 3 processes. Miller will ALWAYS hold value, Lincoln is a better home-use machine and lower cost but will also hold its value. If you can snag a Miller, Lincoln,Hobart welder 140-180 series (I think Miller is like the 211 or something) for a good deal with all of the added costs, get it. run some beads, get your form and speed down. everybody is different. Practice over and over and over (keep away from the Flux core stuff for practice because its so much different than MIG) Either way, an actual MIG (with the tank, because thats what makes it a MIG) is the best way to go, dollar for dollar
  10. camerl2009
    Joined: Jan 26, 2014
    Posts: 203


    a Lincoln 140 for $380 they are almost double that up here
  11. mustangmike6996
    Joined: Apr 7, 2013
    Posts: 147

    from the D

    Sorry, I shouldve said that I bought that welder about 5 years ago. Just goes to show you that they hold value
  12. Yes Tubman....oxy/ace welding is great but tig has taken its place mostly....but you need a tig machine like a Syncrowave with a cooler, pedal....etc......mig has more heat but if your careful and space out your stitch welds and deep it cooled off then it will do the job quite nicely.
    I do a lot of welding for commercial purposes, and to go back to 16ga will give you tired head but as my teacher once told me........"hey....whats the hurry?"

    There is one tool I picked up at HF thats worth its weight in air tool that has a hole punch on one side and a crimper on the other.....pop holes every 3 inches or so along the edge of floor pans to spot great and much better to crimp one edge and then put holes along the edge of the panel that lays in the crimp edge......smooth welds like factory and much stronger....tool cost me $50 I think.
  13. 302aod
    Joined: Dec 19, 2011
    Posts: 275

    from Pelham,Tn.

    My Lincoln welder came with flux core, but came setup for a bottle and wire. The Eastwood welder I now have is 110 and only works with a bottle and wire. I use 23k wire for sheet metal with it.
  14. slowmotion
    Joined: Nov 21, 2011
    Posts: 3,321


    We've got a little 110v Lincoln 140 here, using 75/25 gas mostly. Under $500 a few years ago w/gas kit. Upgraded to a little bigger bottle & good to go. Big-ass extension cord is a must if you're gonna move it around the shop. There's a big 'ole diesel Classic 300 handy if we need to build a bridge or something.

    Really for the average hobby guy, one of the name brand 110v machines can cover most situations.
  15. TBone69
    Joined: Aug 21, 2007
    Posts: 829

    from NJ

    I was in the same boat and after doing my research I went with the Hobart Handler 140. I didn't have a Tractor Supply Company close by so I ordered direct from Hobart, went with the factory refurb unit for $399 and shipping was a ridiculously low $4.95. I also picked up a auto darkening helmet they had on sale.

    Got the new model with all metal drive and 5 voltage settings. Extremely Happy with it. I have been making repairs on my Model A frame with it and works great and has plenty of power to spare.
  16. Koz
    Joined: May 5, 2008
    Posts: 2,548


    I'd rather use chewing gum and duct tape. Do yourself a favor and learn on a decent machine. Even the best weldors have a rough time welding with junk. For someone who is not used to the process, it will be overwhelmingly frustrating. If your just doing sheetmetal I would consider Oxy/Ace over Mig as an acceptable alternative. If you can master this then Tig becomes a cinch!
  17. Dick Stevens
    Joined: Aug 7, 2012
    Posts: 3,474

    Dick Stevens

    I hope you didn't change your breaker to 20 amp with 14 gauge wiring(typically used with 15 amp circuits), 20 amp circuits need 12 gauge wiring to prevent fires :rolleyes::eek:
    I always use 12 gauge 20amp circuits when wiring outlets
  18. camerl2009
    Joined: Jan 26, 2014
    Posts: 203


    yep rewired it I found some original wiring(the house was built in the 1920's) while I was doing so scary s****
  19. Engine man
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,480

    Engine man
    from Wisconsin

    Miller does not own Hobart. Both Miller and Hobart Brothers are owned by an international conglomerate known as Illinois Tool Works[ ITW] with it's headquarters in Glenview, Illinois. I'm sure all welding machine companies are having parts, if not entire machines, made offshore.
  20. AHHHHH....thanks for the correction Engine Man.
  21. falconsprint63
    Joined: May 17, 2007
    Posts: 2,358

    from Mayberry

    flux core only is not a kiss of death. I used one for almost 15 years. if you get good with that then switching to gas is really easy. that said I bought a lincoln machine from the big box hardware store and it's been a great one. you can pick up a similar machine for less than $200 used or a better quality gas rig for $4-500.

    that said I took the advise to buy them most you can afford. I just upgraded to a lightly used miller 211 dual at a local pawn shop after using a buddy's Hobart on and off for a year. it was a good machine too.

    BTW--I learned to weld from the lincoln video inlcuded with the original weld-pak.
  22. ...
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2014
  23. Diavolo
    Joined: Apr 1, 2009
    Posts: 824


    Back to topic, it sounds like you are under a budget. Here's what I did.

    I went to Lowes/Home Depot and picked up the Lincoln wire feed because it was the best I could afford. Then I almost immediately converted it to mig with stuff from the local welder supply house. It runs 110V and does 95% of anything I could possibly need it for. Ended up costing me about $500 for everything. Probably comparable to an entry level Miller or Hobart. It works well but I wouldn't bet my life on the welds, mostly because of the person, not the equipment.

    I also picked up an old cracker box on craigslist that burns a stick like nobody's business and is 240V. I made a huge extension cord and run it off the stove outlet in the kitchen to the garage. It was cheap and is ugly but will weld any thickness I can get a hold of. I even burned a bead on a 4" thick slab of steel I "acquired". Looking at welding pics, it burned hot on that 4" steel.

    Honestly if you aren't planning on doing a lot of welding, it will be cheaper to just pay a buddy to weld for you on the times you need it because the cost and learning curve are just not worth it. Your choice.
  24. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 21,834


    Last time I was I Wisconsin, I toured the Miller factory. As of then, everything, except electronic circuit components, was made there.
  25. Fender1325
    Joined: Aug 31, 2014
    Posts: 730


    Its important for me to learn, rather then pay for it.

    I like the idea of being able to build things that would last a lifetime.

    I never knew him, but my grandpa was a master welder, and welded planes in WWII. Too bad he's not around to show me the ropes.
  26. LWEL9226
    Joined: Jul 7, 2012
    Posts: 332

    from So. Oregon

    Honestly if you aren't planning on doing a lot of welding, it will be cheaper to just pay a buddy to weld for you on the times you need it because the cost and learning curve are just not worth it. Your choice.[/QUOTE]

    Any time spent learning a new skill is nearly always worth the time and effort.....
  27. Diavolo
    Joined: Apr 1, 2009
    Posts: 824


    Here's an idea. Get a gas welding setup and learn to weld with that. The principles of welding are just as important in gas welding as any other method. I would bet money your grandpa was throwing fire long before he ever threw sparks. An oxy/acetylene setup also comes in very handy for many, many things related to working on old cars. Cutting things off, hot wrenching a rusty bolt, heating and cooling a stuck bolt to get it out (with wax), nice, soft, hammerable welds for body panels... and the list goes on and on.

    It does sound like you are going to need to mig at some point though. Save your money until you can get a decent one, the price in the end will not be very different. Even my cheapest I could put together Lincoln setup is miles ahead of any shielded wire setup. Good luck, man.
  28. I learned how to weld with a WW2 era arc welder that would have been more than comfortable in a shipyard. it was a giant pig, but i learned a TON using it. Then I took a TIG class at the local college and learned TON more. When my boss presented me with a budget surplus and a need to spend I asked for a nice new Miller 251 MIG welder to replace my aging arc welder. I combined my knowledge and experience and made miracles happen with that unit. Not because I'm a great welder, but because I understood the principles of welding and metal.

    I left that job. when it came time to buy my own stuff I remembered the mantra that has been repeated here: buy the biggest machine you can afford. i considered what i would need and then some and I bought a Miller 200 MIG and a Miller 180 TIG.

    I doubt i'll ever have a personal need for anything larger, but for now i have everything i need.

    Lesson for the day: learn how a tool works and how to use it propely before buying one. then buy the biggest one you know how to use.
  29. mustangmike6996
    Joined: Apr 7, 2013
    Posts: 147

    from the D

    I agree with most of what you said, but there is nothing wrong with buying a welder and learning on your own machine. If he decides that he hates welding and gives up entirely on it, he can still sell it and recoup most of the money spent (assuming he bought a name brand machine)

    Look at it this way:

    What things exactly do you need welded now, what projects are you going to have in the future? Estimate a cost to have each piece professionally done and then look at the cost of a welding machine. Id be willing to bet you will run out of cash for labor before you run out of projects to have welded. Its an investment to your hobby and a great skillset to have.

    Its like cooking, you can eat out every meal because you cant cook but in the long run, buying a grill and learning to cook pays for itself after you recoup the initial investment and time to learn/learning curve.

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