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Welder for new to welding
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DRR Trophy
posted
Looking for input on welders. Will be doing basic sheet metal replacement on a couple project cars, and welding on my trailers,(open car and several landscaping trailers). I have some stick and MIG experience from school 20 years ago, so I certainly need to work on my capabilities. Fortunately, I have several old bits/pieces I can practice on without worrying about ruining a good part. While cost is definitely a consideration, I'm ok with paying a bit more for a high quality machine. What brands should I stay away from, and what brands/models to look for. Doesn't have to be new either. Thanks and have a great evening.


William Kilduff
1970 Barracuda
1968 Camaro X2
1968 Caprice
1964 F100
 
Posts: 112 | Location: Wilmington NC | Registered: June 15, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Top Comp
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So, which type are you wanting? Tig or Mig?


.
Dave



F J B

 
Posts: 4480 | Location: Earth | Registered: February 08, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Trophy
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Mig. Interested in learning tig, but for my current needs, mig should be all I need.


William Kilduff
1970 Barracuda
1968 Camaro X2
1968 Caprice
1964 F100
 
Posts: 112 | Location: Wilmington NC | Registered: June 15, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Sportsman
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As I am sure you have found out there is so much stuff out there to pick and choose from.

The inverter machines are pretty much what everyone is going for in a new box.

Keep in mind that if you are looking at the multi-process machines, most will do stick, Mig and DC Tig. Like anything that is multi-purpose they do a fair job at everything, but typically they are not as adjustable as a individual machine built for a single purpose.

Lots of people have good success with them. It just depends on what you are wanting to do with it. Keep in mind that for TIG welding you will need a machine that does AC if you want to weld aluminum.

My Tig machine is a Vulcan from Harbor Freight and it has been pretty darn good. My Mig is a old MillerMatic.

I wouldn't be afraid to buy any of the Vulcan inverter machines.

I would recommend buying the longest extended warranty possible no matter what machine you choose. Lots of horror stories out there about like new welders that die with no repair or replacement parts available for either USA or offshore made welders.
 
Posts: 457 | Location: coquille,or | Registered: November 18, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Pro
Picture of Brktracer
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The Millermatic mig machines are very good. The main thing to consider is material thickness you want to weld. The older 110v machines will only weld up to about 3/16". I don't know about the newer machines.
I have a 90's model Millermatic 251 and it will weld anything I've ever wanted to weld. Great machine.
Mig machine tips are consumables so make sure to buy a machine brand you can get parts for.


Matt Ward



 
Posts: 1394 | Location: South Carolina | Registered: March 20, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR S/Pro
Picture of SCDIV1
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In the world of welders there are now 2 distinctly different types of machines as far as what's inside....

Old style machines used a heavy transformer based power supply inside......

Newer machines from all builders are INVERTER type power supplies inside....No heavy transformer...all solid state....

Inverters can output a lot of power without the need for big power (amps) input.....They use less energy and are cheaper to run.....
They cost more.....they are not going to live as long generally....

I would never recommend a 110 volt Mig welder for anything but very light sheet metal with an old style machine

The Inverter based machines are much better but I'd still always recommend a DVI or Dual Voltage Input machine.....They can run on 110 or 220 and come with an adapter plug for both...

Mig welding for best results works with shielding gas in a closed environment....

You can run Flux core wire without shielding gas but it to me I'd sooner stick weld than use that process....I could stick weld far better than the horrible looking flux core results...

All the welder builders are on the INVERTER bandwagon.....They have put inverter power supplies inside every type machine.....they are committed to the technology....

They do work fantastic that's for sure..

They are also building all in one machines.....Mig, Tig, Stick and portable......Amazing stuff.....

I've fixed a number of modern Inverter based machines......Some under warrantee that were brand new.....Once I fix them and test them, I'm knocked out at the power they produce and what the can do welding wise......

Welding with your TV is my joke for them........OH and I fixed my own flat screen TV a few years ago just to see if I could.....Cost me under $50 in parts and a few hours.....I've never used that TV since....LOL

I do not like fixing inverter based machines for a number of reasons but I like using them.....
 
Posts: 2733 | Location: Where ever I am, I'm here and it's me | Registered: March 15, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Trophy
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Thanks for the input. Hoping to get set up in the next couple weeks. I see some affordable used stick welders for fairly often, so may get one of them and a dual voltage mig. I expect the stick would be better for my landscaping trailers. Thanks again.


William Kilduff
1970 Barracuda
1968 Camaro X2
1968 Caprice
1964 F100
 
Posts: 112 | Location: Wilmington NC | Registered: June 15, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post



DRR Sportsman
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depending on your price range I have a small lincoln mig has served me very well I mostly tig weld and I just replaced a 21 yr old lincoln with a Everlast 255ext this machine is amazing so far. from my reviews and experience so far I would not hesitate to purchase a mig from them if I was looking to replace mine. good luck and let us know what you buy
 
Posts: 412 | Location: Bellingham MA | Registered: October 21, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Sportsman
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We just got one of the new millermatic 211 at work about a month ago along with a flex head mig gun . Its amazing how good it welds and is also set up for 110 and 220 out of the box.
 
Posts: 337 | Location: up on the wheel | Registered: March 06, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Trophy
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Take a look at the Everlast welders, I bought one last March or April. Its a multiprocess unit I can mig or tig both aluminum and steel. Very nice unit works well.
 
Posts: 142 | Location: Ashland,Va | Registered: March 29, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Sportsman
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I highly recommend the Hobart 140. I got one a couple years ago and its great. 110v plug in. It penetrates up to 1/4" without double passes. And it came with a Miller Regulator. I am fairly certain it is actually the Millermatic 140 that has been rebranded to Hobart after Miller came out with the Millermatic 141 with auto set functions. I got the hobart 140 for 400 bucks I think. Not sure what they cost now.
 
Posts: 664 | Location: UTD | Registered: September 25, 2019Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Sportsman
Picture of Dave Koehler
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I have had Miller and Lincolns. I have no experience with the off brands though some looked real good in their capacity range.
I did have this experience.
I started with a tombstone stick welder.
Graduated to a MIG
Graduated to a TIG.
Looked around one day and realized I never used the MIG anymore.
Why? I don't do production. The TIG size I have used and still use is strong enough to do anything on a car, trailer or what have you.
This includes steel, aluminum and exotics.
A bit slower but neater,finessed results.
Slower is relative. I have witnessed some guys and gals that can absolutely fly with a TIG.
Plus the TIG can also support stick if I really have something big and fugly to deal with.
As a result I have one machine that does everything well.
Just my experience


Dave Koehler - Koehler Injection - http://www.koehlerinjection.com
Fuel Injection - Nitrous Charger - Nitrous Master Software - Balancing
99% of fuel injection problems are electric.
 
Posts: 355 | Location: Urbana, IL 61802 | Registered: December 03, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
DRR Pro
Picture of Goob
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Get a used name brand 250 amp machine, DUTY CYCLE rating is key...120v machine welding up at 3/16" is going to have about 5% - 10% duty cycle.
When it comes to getting replacement parts and expendables, you'll appreciate a Miller or Lincoln unit.
And what SCDiv1 sez. Right


"Despite the high cost of living, it remains popular."
Dave Cook
N375
 
Posts: 1703 | Location: Indy | Registered: November 21, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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