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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/27/2005 10:58:59 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/27/2005 11:09:03 AM EDT by BB]
Whats a good, general-purpose welder? I'd like to learn how to weld, and I'd like a versatile, easy to use machine that I can use around the barn and it the shop on steel and aluminum. I'm also looking to not spend alot, and I need to run on house voltage (120).

I'm looking at either one of these MIG welders, not sure if I should spend the extra $150 on the Hobart over the Chicago Electric:
Chicago Electric 87 AMP/115v MIG welder
Hobart Handler 135

Also, could I power either of these using something like this mounted in my F250?
2000 WATT CONTINUOUS/4000 WATT SURGE POWER INVERTER
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 12:33:38 PM EDT
When you say aluminum you jack the price . What thickness steel do you want to be able to weld? Will you use it hard or just infrequently ? The more you want to be able to do the higher the price. Your best bet is probably the mig welder. with the gas not the flux core.
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 12:49:18 PM EDT
you want somethan with gas like he said
alum takes a diff machine all together
try and run a welder off your truck best case youll only kill the batt

it really depinds what you wanna use it for
if your lookin for somthan to weld ak rails and small stuff like that almost anythang will work
if your lookin to weld up a roundy-roundy you need somethang real
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 12:54:09 PM EDT
btw nothang "real" is gonna run off 110
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 1:09:52 PM EDT
whats a good choice for an all-purpose welder then? I'm concerned about the 220 because I need this to be somewhat portable.
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 1:24:10 PM EDT
Like has been said, Aluminum is a whole different beast for welding. It requires a spool gun at least, better yet a TIG machine. Sounds like you want a basic MIG setup for general steel welding jobs. That Hobart there should work good as long as you run shielding gas, not flux-core wire.

I use a Lincoln SP-175t, but it's a 220 machine. They make a SP-135 that's a great entry level 110V MIG you won't grow out of. Only reason for going 220 is if your'e going to weld thicker materials.
hth,

Link Posted: 8/27/2005 2:04:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/27/2005 2:09:27 PM EDT by TheRealKiller]

Originally Posted By BB:
Whats a good, general-purpose welder? I'd like to learn how to weld, and I'd like a versatile, easy to use machine that I can use around the barn and it the shop on steel and aluminum. I'm also looking to not spend alot, and I need to run on house voltage (120).

I'm looking at either one of these MIG welders, not sure if I should spend the extra $150 on the Hobart over the Chicago Electric:
Chicago Electric 87 AMP/115v MIG welder
Hobart Handler 135

Also, could I power either of these using something like this mounted in my F250?
2000 WATT CONTINUOUS/4000 WATT SURGE POWER INVERTER



I've got to tell you the 110 will not lay a very good weld on anything thicker than 16ga. Go with a 220 volt setup you can use the dryer plugin. make some extention cords with different plugs so you can use it when people have a different plug in.


you may want something like this zena

or this gas power



the thing is a gas powered welder will run you quite a bit more that a standard one. get the hobart or a lincoln sp135 in 110 volt or 220volt. also if you are welding outdoors you will want to use shielded wire fluxcore" instead of hard wire with gas shielding.

another thought is to buy a used one out of the classifieds or on ebay you can usally find something cheaper that way.

I picked up a hobart TR-250 tig of of ebay for 400$ a few years ago and bought a L-tec 225 mig for 600$ from some dude down the road around the same time

chicaco electric = total waste of money by the way"
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 2:38:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TheRealKiller:
I've got to tell you the 110 will not lay a very good weld on anything thicker than 16ga. Go with a 220 volt setup you can use the dryer plugin. make some extention cords with different plugs so you can use it when people have a different plug in.



No way. My Lincoln 135 110v lays down a great weld up to 1/4". Anything more requires multiple passes or pre-heating. And yes, it's a penetrating weld and just not sitting on top of the surface. I stress test my welds the hard way (by crashing into gravel at 30 mph)--made a tag bracket that withstood the impact while my subframe cracked off.
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 3:17:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By squeky:

Originally Posted By TheRealKiller:
I've got to tell you the 110 will not lay a very good weld on anything thicker than 16ga. Go with a 220 volt setup you can use the dryer plugin. make some extention cords with different plugs so you can use it when people have a different plug in.



No way. My Lincoln 135 110v lays down a great weld up to 1/4". Anything more requires multiple passes or pre-heating. And yes, it's a penetrating weld and just not sitting on top of the surface. I stress test my welds the hard way (by crashing into gravel at 30 mph)--made a tag bracket that withstood the impact while my subframe cracked off.



perhaps the one at my work is a POS but it won't weld for shit. we have a 110volt sp135 and like I said it is totaly wuss it is set up using .030" wire and argon/co2 mix 85/15%. This is the extent of my experence with said machine and it will not weld 1/4" in one pass or 3. What wire ect. are you using? I don't want to scare BB away from a good machine.
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 3:19:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By socandyman:
btw nothang "real" is gonna run off 110



I can weld 1/4" plate steel with my 110 MIG. Either using flux-core or multiple pass MIG.

It's real enough for my needs.

Welders can be such snobs.

Link Posted: 8/27/2005 6:53:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Justa_TXguy:

Originally Posted By socandyman:
btw nothang "real" is gonna run off 110



I can weld 1/4" plate steel with my 110 MIG. Either using flux-core or multiple pass MIG.

It's real enough for my needs.

Welders can be such snobs.




lol i wasnt being a snob
but if you try and use that for big jobs you will burn it up

used to have 1 and i loved it but i overworked it and shes gone now
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 6:57:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By squeky:

Originally Posted By TheRealKiller:
I've got to tell you the 110 will not lay a very good weld on anything thicker than 16ga. Go with a 220 volt setup you can use the dryer plugin. make some extention cords with different plugs so you can use it when people have a different plug in.



No way. My Lincoln 135 110v lays down a great weld up to 1/4". Anything more requires multiple passes or pre-heating. And yes, it's a penetrating weld and just not sitting on top of the surface. I stress test my welds the hard way (by crashing into gravel at 30 mph)--made a tag bracket that withstood the impact while my subframe cracked off.



+1 The Hobart is a great machine. I have the bigger version, but did have a 110V machine before that welded 1/4 just fine, but with a limited duty cycle.

You can push aluminum wire, thicker stuff, with a teflon liner through the hobart. It will weld aluminum, but not real pretty. Aluminum takes some current!

You would need at least 3000 watts to run a 110 volt welder.
Link Posted: 8/28/2005 4:55:10 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/28/2005 5:13:21 AM EDT by BB]
Thanks guys! I knew I could get some good feedback here. I'm thinking I may step up to a 220 machine like this, my shop can support it; I just wanted something a bit more portable. would a similar 220v Hobart be a better choice for aluminum? Maybe I can rent a generator for when I need to use it where there's no power; I was thinking one of those generator/welder combos would be cool but it seems like they are all stick welders and very $$$$. What do you all suggest?
Link Posted: 8/28/2005 8:42:24 AM EDT
I am not sure I understand what all you want to be able to do with this welder. What applications do you want to be able to do ? What range of thicknesses ? What materials? What quality of work? first rate or half ass. When you go to remote location, what size job? 30 minutes or half a day. Not trying to be smart , just trying to get idea of the uses.
Link Posted: 8/28/2005 8:53:30 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/28/2005 8:56:35 AM EDT by BB]

Originally Posted By rrc870:
I am not sure I understand what all you want to be able to do with this welder. What applications do you want to be able to do ? What range of thicknesses ? What materials? What quality of work? first rate or half ass. When you go to remote location, what size job? 30 minutes or half a day. Not trying to be smart , just trying to get idea of the uses.



Well, basicly I want to be able to do as much as I can without spending much more than $500; and something that won't limit me too much as I learn, yet still be easy enough to start learning on. I hope that made sense
Fixing broken welds on farm equipment, welding rebar, square tube, 1/4" stuff max I think, exhaust pipe, fix cracked aluminum frames on bikes, cracked aluminum manifolds, AK welds, etc etc.
Link Posted: 8/28/2005 8:58:52 AM EDT

Originally Posted By rrc870:
I am not sure I understand what all you want to be able to do with this welder. What applications do you want to be able to do ? What range of thicknesses ? What materials? What quality of work? first rate or half ass. When you go to remote location, what size job? 30 minutes or half a day. Not trying to be smart , just trying to get idea of the uses.



If you are going to weld everyday or on critical parts you will need a better set up.

That being said of the 2 you origionly stated would work for light/ hobby work on an infrequent basis. The thing you should be conserned with is the power consumption of the machine you get. both of the machines you listed run at 20 amp 110volt which will require at the minimum a 20 amp breaker on your panel dedicated to the welder, that means if you are going to takle it to a friends house to do some work he will need a 20amp breaker also.

Aluminum will require sheilding gas which is more to carry if it is to be portable.

If you are going to go 220yolt you can look at larger mig machines or a multi- process machine which will do most common arc welding processes( stick, TIG, MIG).

gas/desiel generator welders are costly but they are aslo the most portable. they are also heavy (200lbs+). Most generator welding machines are stick but you can get anything you want depending on how much you want to spend.
Link Posted: 8/28/2005 9:03:46 AM EDT
the first hobart would work for most of that.

you will just need to get all the parts nessicary to switch it over from steel(ferrous) to aluminum(non-ferrous). This will be new feed wheels , diffrent sheilding gas, liner,...etc but you will find all that out with the owners manual.

Take a class at a local tech school so you can learn about welding befor you put out the money .
Link Posted: 8/28/2005 9:05:17 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/28/2005 9:07:00 AM EDT by bigcraig]
On the Hobart 180 .I have that exact model, I bought it at Tractor Supply in a complete kit. Auto darkening helmet, gloves, two spools of wire, small tank of gas, cart and a few more accessories for $650. Works great. But anything with Aluminum get a TIG machine. Even though you can do aluminum with it, you will not be happy with quality.
Link Posted: 8/28/2005 10:42:57 AM EDT
Aluminum can be mig welded but takes lots of practice, for a mig setup a spool gun is your best bet, to weld aluminum without a spool gun you will need a dedicated liner for aluminum wire, and your gas mix will be different, you will have to run straight 100% Argon. The problem with welding aluminum is the material is very soft and will bind real fast causing the wire to "spider web" inside the machine, which is a PITA to fix. once you get your settings correct and with some practice you will be able to weld the stuff with no problems, i built an aluminum trailer with this setup in the past, you can run some real nice penetrating beads with this process, just takes practice. McM
Link Posted: 8/30/2005 4:34:44 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/30/2005 5:18:31 AM EDT by BB]
Is Clarke a good brand? I found a similar Clarke MIG welder for much less than the Hobart, which is the better welder?
Link Posted: 8/30/2005 1:13:21 PM EDT
I have no experience with the clark machine so I don't know if the are any good


this is the place to get some good advice and lots of good info.

welding forums

Lots of do it yourselfers using small welders you should be able to get some feedback on the welders you are looking at. I personally would go with a Lincoln then a Hobart they are U.S. made and parts are readily available
Link Posted: 8/30/2005 6:59:47 PM EDT
If you are conserned with a SP135 not penitrating enough, use the .030 wire along with straight CO2 for the gas. CO2 penitrates deaper than "stargon" or the argon/co2 mix. I have used straight CO2 and I like it better. I have a SP125 Plus here at home and I love it. Just set the wire speed and amperage right and you can do nice welds on .250" thick steel.
Link Posted: 8/30/2005 11:05:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By BB:
Is Clarke a good brand? I found a similar Clarke MIG welder for much less than the Hobart, which is the better welder?



I've had a Clarke 220v Mig for 6 or 7 years, use it for fun-type projects and to fix the occasional broken part. It has run flawlessly.....while a 110v is more portable, a 220v will do twice as much and you can always make a big ass extension cord and run off of your dryer outlet. I did that for years.
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 5:48:22 AM EDT
Can these wire feed welders be used to cut? I know that you can use a stick welder to cut, so I was wondering if you can do the same with a wirefed MIG unit.
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 6:49:13 AM EDT

Originally Posted By BB:
Can these wire feed welders be used to cut? I know that you can use a stick welder to cut, so I was wondering if you can do the same with a wirefed MIG unit.



If you turn it up all the way, it will melt through relatively thin metal, so I guess technically they can "cut" in the same sense a stick unit "cuts". I've never heard of anyone doing it, if you want to cut metal get a gas setup so you can braze and cut.
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 6:50:49 AM EDT

Originally Posted By squeky:

Originally Posted By BB:
Can these wire feed welders be used to cut? I know that you can use a stick welder to cut, so I was wondering if you can do the same with a wirefed MIG unit.



If you turn it up all the way, it will melt through relatively thin metal, so I guess technically they can "cut" in the same sense a stick unit "cuts". I've never heard of anyone doing it, if you want to cut metal get a gas setup so you can braze and cut.



Good point.
Link Posted: 9/1/2005 8:03:44 AM EDT
Talked this welding/welder problem over with a long time friend and pro welder with over 30 years as a welder, he said it sounded like a job for his "suitcase" welding machine which turns out to be a Miller 110 v. mig fluxe wire welder, he did say it's a little more messy using the fluxe wire but cleans up well, also that he wouldn't recommened it (110v machine) for anything (steel) over 3/16th ". In the mean time I'm watching the mailbox for my laser cut flats, as soon as it comes I'll trot over to my friend's welding shop and get a verdict and maybe free welding job......I know this is going to sound crazy but...I was looking at this "cold welding" stuff in a tube, what caught my eye was the statement on the label "grind or machine it"...Hummmmmmmmm!
Link Posted: 9/1/2005 3:49:02 PM EDT
I can see the next sticky.................

How to: Romy kit, JB-Weld and you

Link Posted: 9/1/2005 5:08:58 PM EDT
Or Rommy kit: removing bolt and carrier from between eyes!
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