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Thread: Help on what type of Welder

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  1. #1
    badweld Guest

    Question Help on what type of Welder

    Hello guys man this is a great site....I have a couple of question to ask..!
    I am looking to by one of these welders could you tell me witch welder would be better to buy?
    90 Amp Flux Wire Welder or a 100 Amp or 120 Amp Arc Welder I don't have 220!
    Any help on this matter would be great...just starting out and don't have much to work with yet.
    Thanks for your time guys

  2. #2

    Default Re: Help on what type of Welder

    Hi badweld
    It all depends on you. What is your welding experience? As a new welder I found the wire feed flux welder easier to learn. However the arc welder will allows you different options for different metals. Also I understand if you learn Arc via stick welding you can weld just about anything. I had issues getting the arc to start and keep going. I have the same Wire feed welder but I upgrade it to a gas feed using ready made factory kit. Gas feed mig has less smoke so it is easier for me to see where to weld. One day I would like to try tig welding as I would like to experiment with Aluminum. But that s sort of a future plan sort of thing. YOu might want to check out Garage sales and Craigslist or Backpage for used welders. I got mine from a Garage sale and the guy threw in a 4.5 inch angle grinder. Just know your prices before looking as some people want a mint for their machines and if your paying that much for them then get new with warranty.

  3. #3
    Kardolf Guest

    Default Re: Help on what type of Welder

    I am certainly no expert, but I bought a Harbor Freight 90amp Flux Core Wire Feed last year to use for my bike. I waited until I found an ad cheap enough to justify, but when I went into the store, they were out of stock. Until I managed to find a scratch&dent sale in the front corner, where I found the machine I wanted for almost 15% off of the sale price. I had to make a latch to hold down the top, but that was minor, in comparison to the cost. I think I walked out for about $60 for the welder. It's been a great piece of equipment to learn on.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Help on what type of Welder

    I recently bought a new TIG welder. AC/DC, HF starter, a gazilion extra knobs and torch/electrode clamp. €516, delivered at home.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Help on what type of Welder

    The Harbor Freight flux core unit works well for most welding. It isn't so good at fine work, at least that is my experience.

    If you get this one, be sure to get this, and a couple of these.

    I find I go through less wire with the .035, and you WILL need to replace the tips.

    The wire can be bought at most local welding suppliers, and at some local steel suppliers, sometimes even cheaper than at HF.

  6. #6
    badweld Guest

    Default Re: Help on what type of Welder

    Thanks guys I still haven't decide just what to go with yet. But your advice and help on this matter was greatly appreciated guys!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Help on what type of Welder

    Quote Originally Posted by badweld View Post
    Thanks guys I still haven't decide just what to go with yet. But your advice and help on this matter was greatly appreciated guys!
    Just like to point out that you MAY have 220 you don't know about! i bought a 220 extension cord and rewired it to run off the outlet for the stove in my apartment, 25 feet out the window and i was weldin' in the alley! also works with electric dryer outlets. you do occasionally pop a breaker but it's rare for me to do that. buy a 220/gas unit and you never go back, nice clean welds in 3/8 plate with no cleanup.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Help on what type of Welder

    About 35 years ago, faced with the same dilemma, I ended up buying a Lincoln AC 225 stick welder. The house did not have a dedicated 240 volt 50 amp circuit, but it did have an outlet for a electric stove, fused at 40 amps. Since the house had a gas stove, the electric stove circuit was unused. I made a "cheater" using a stove plug and cord (available at the local appliance store), and a 50 Amp welder receptacle from the welding supply house. I ran the extension cord thus created through the kitchen floor to the workshop (which luckily was directly below the kitchen in that house). Although I spent many years trying to perfect my stick welding technique, I found it difficult unless I was welding every day.

    A few years ago, I had the opportunity to buy a commercial-grade MIG welder with shielding gas equipment at a bankruptcy sale. Since getting the wire-feed welder, I've used it with both gas and flux-core wire, and the stick welder has gathered dust in the corner. MIG is definitely the way to go, even if it's only a flux-core unit. I was very glad I bought a gas-capable unit, though, because the welds were much more even and required very little cleanup.

    Just my two bits worth

    TL

  9. #9
    Omega Guest

    Default Re: Help on what type of Welder

    I am NOT a professional welder, but here's my $.02 anyway.....

    As has already been pointed out, you may have 220 but just don't know it.

    I started out with a Hobart Stickmate LX235 "buzz box" and taught myself (with a bit of help) to melt metal together. You can absolutely weld some fairly thin material if you're careful. Practice, practice, practice. My own welding is not pretty, but it holds together.

    I later bought a Hobart Handler 187 gas/fluxcore MIG machine. I think it is much easier to use than the stick machine, but you have to be careful that you are actually penetrating and not just laying down a pretty looking bead on the surface.

    My advice would be to buy as much welder as you can possibly afford. I'd lean toward a 220V gas MIG unit, but a good welder (not me!) can still do amazing things with a stick. I still use the stick for "heavy" welding, in my case anything over 5/16".

    Whatever you end up with: Practice, practice, practice!

  10. #10
    shellghost Guest

    Default Re: Help on what type of Welder

    I recently purchased a Craftsman Arc 240 AC/180 DC Welder for $100.00. It is a stick welder with AC connections and DC connections. I have a 220V/100amp dryer circuit that I want to use for it. I am going to make a 40' extension cord for it so I can get the welder out of the garage. So far everything that I have read says this will work. My questions are ....What is the difference in AC and DC welding? Do I need to purchase special rods for the DC side? I have 25 lbs of 5/32 6013 rod that I had used on my Harbour Freight welder before it died, can I use these rods with the new welder? The old stick welder was 120Volt. Thanks for any help you might be able to offer.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Help on what type of Welder

    Quote Originally Posted by shellghost View Post
    I recently purchased a Craftsman Arc 240 AC/180 DC Welder for $100.00. It is a stick welder with AC connections and DC connections. I have a 220V/100amp dryer circuit that I want to use for it. I am going to make a 40' extension cord for it so I can get the welder out of the garage. So far everything that I have read says this will work. My questions are ....What is the difference in AC and DC welding? Do I need to purchase special rods for the DC side? I have 25 lbs of 5/32 6013 rod that I had used on my Harbour Freight welder before it died, can I use these rods with the new welder? The old stick welder was 120Volt. Thanks for any help you might be able to offer.
    Check this chart out.

    Shows commonly available rods, and what they are best for, as well as other important things you might want to know.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Help on what type of Welder

    Hi Badeld,
    Just my take on it,
    if your prepared to take the time to learn to weld get a stick welder, there are rods for all situations and steels, my honest opinion of single phase fluxed wired mig welders is they easy to use but questionable on weld strength. I have used them but my choice would be a stick plant first, no tips to burn or liners to foul up, they just work

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Help on what type of Welder

    shellghost - DC is easier to strike an arc with and makes prettier welds with less spatter. A lot of rods, such as 6013 can be used with both AC and DC http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...2233_200362233

    Personally I much prefer oxy-acetylene (cant afford TIG), but all of them work if you learn how to use them. I sold my MIG last year because I am happy to weld with the torch, or break out the stick welder when I feel the need to see a lot of smoke and sparks. As far as cleanup goes, I question how much time people that weld a few bikes a year really spend on cleanup anyway.

    Take a look at the pretty welds Brad does with a simple AC box.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Help on what type of Welder

    Hi badweld Mate I would go with the arc unless you can afford a good inverter mig. I had a cheap mig and it was all splatter no weld so I ended up using my arc welder instead.I sold my mig and bought a lincoln inverter mig there is no comparison between the two, but the inverter type are still expensive. There is lots of good information on welding welding forums etc on the net. I Hope this helps.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Help on what type of Welder

    I dare to say a useable Inverter MIG doesn't have to cost that much.
    At least over here. 10 months ago I bought myself an AC/DC TIG, and that was $650, delivered at the front door.

    That same firm does have MIG welders to suite any hobbyists taste starting from $200 for a light flux core thingy, to light industrial ones. I would, if I wasn't addicted to TIG, think about this one
    I know this Plasmacutter will be mine when the funds allow.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Help on what type of Welder

    I've never used one, but I have always been impressed with Freddytk421's YouTube video of this inexpensive Harbor Freight inverter welder. I love all of Freddy's videos. Its light as a feather compared to my Miller Thunderbolt AC/DC stick machine. If I ever sell my Thunderbolt, I am going to buy one of these little inverters to carry in my pocket lol. I think with the thin metal we usually use it would be great, but again, I have never used one.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQWO-QhxlQg

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bujvE...feature=relmfu

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Help on what type of Welder

    Some folks have even converted the little HF inverter to a scratch start TIG by addng a TIG torch head, regulator and argon bottle. Reported cost to do with new parts about $275.

    http://weldingweb.com/showthread.php?t=34410

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Help on what type of Welder

    My first TIG welder was a scratch-inverter($500 second hand, 9 years ago). I added a 2/2 valve on the gas hose and a switch on the TIG torch head. To avoid high voltage trough the swith, I used a small 24V transformer, a rectifier and the valve solenoid was 24V. Later on I added a timer circuit so the gast kept flowing for 2 seconds after releasing the switch.

    Did great things with it.
    But then I bought the Youli If that keeps on working for 9 years, I'm totaly happy. Does everything a TIG welding nut wants. Unfortunatly, there is a detail. The 250 amps advertised are optimistic. I rate it 200A tops.

  19. #19
    Rubens Guest

    Default Re: Help on what type of Welder

    Hello,
    I am also shopping around for a welder. I learned to weld using an arc welder years ago but I haven't done it for quite some time now.
    Budget and lack of proper electrical installation are pushing me to one of those 120V, 70A units (something like this: http://www.princessauto.com/mobile/p...ductID=8169385).
    So my question is: can I build bikes with it?
    Thanks!

  20. #20

    Default Re: Help on what type of Welder

    Lincoln Electric has some impressive welding machines, so please check with Lincoln Electric. It has welders for both, learners as well as experienced.

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