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Posted: 8/15/2007 6:04:49 PM EDT
I just bought a big pile of rusted Bronco and need to do a lot of body work on it. I'm considering doing the body work myself, including replacing two quarter panels and the floor boards.

What kind of welder do I need? Must it be wire fed or can I go with a cheaper stick fed.

It's been years since I did any welding and even then, it was thick metal; never have I tried to weld thin stuff.

If the price difference is not that big, I'd like to have a welder that can stick together tubing for bumpers, roll cage, etc.

It will most likely have to run on 110.

Opinions?
Link Posted: 8/15/2007 6:09:55 PM EDT
I have a Lincoln Pro-mig 135. It is a 110v unit, wire feed. Can run Mig or flux core. To run mig you'll also need a bottle and gas which will cost extra.

The unit cost $450 at Lowes, plus $100 for the bottle at the local Airgas place. I used the hell out of it working on the sheet metal on my Scout. Great unit for working sheet metal and will do some larger stuff as well.

I wouldn't try a stick welder for sheet metal. Would be a pain in the butt, IMO.
Link Posted: 8/15/2007 6:11:30 PM EDT
tagaroo!
Link Posted: 8/15/2007 6:12:11 PM EDT
Mig is the way to go.

Any body work is going to require a wire feed. Roll cage in mild steel requires wire feed. Chrome Moly requires Tig.

Whether its red (lincoln) or blue (miller) do not get the 110 volt models. That might work on sheet metal body work but not on roll bar tubing.

Link Posted: 8/15/2007 6:52:13 PM EDT
would a 110v be adequate for 1/4" steel plate?

I am in the market for one, too.
Link Posted: 8/15/2007 9:36:37 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Kooter:

Originally Posted By bobwrench:
Mig is the way to go.

Any body work is going to require a wire feed. Roll cage in mild steel requires wire feed. Chrome Moly requires Tig.

Whether its red (lincoln) or blue (miller) do not get the 110 volt models. That might work on sheet metal body work but not on roll bar tubing.



There is no might to it, It does work great on sheet metal. I wouldn't hesitate to weld a roll bar up with mine. In fact it is on the list of to-dos one day.

Everyone told me to get a 220, you'll need it one day they said. Well, I have had mine for several years now, and it has never failed to weld what I have needed it to.


+1. I have a 110 volt Hobart Handler (135 amps) that is plenty strong enough for all of my welding needs - so much so that I haven't fired up the 225 amp Lincoln "tombstone" in over 10 years.

BTW, folks like to rag on flux-core wire for being messy, but it has one useful feature: It handles considerably thicker metal than conventional gas-shielded wire in the same size welder.

As for buying a welder, Amazon and ebay often have the best prices, but there's also something to be said about patronizing your local welding supply shop - the expert advise is always free, and the supplies are cheap and immediately available.
Link Posted: 8/16/2007 1:45:46 AM EDT
Don't be scared of buying a 220 welder. You can build an extension cord for it and plug it into your dryer outlet. I have a 50' extension cord for mine and haven't noticed any drop in power.
Link Posted: 8/16/2007 4:02:26 AM EDT
This is what you need and the price is right.

Indian Welder
Link Posted: 8/16/2007 4:09:40 AM EDT
I use a snap-on mig for restoring cars ..
Link Posted: 8/16/2007 4:16:40 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Pangea:
Don't be scared of buying a 220 welder. You can build an extension cord for it and plug it into your dryer outlet. I have a 50' extension cord for mine and haven't noticed any drop in power.


I was told 220V extension cords make the baby Jesus cry...
Link Posted: 8/16/2007 4:21:57 AM EDT
If your not far from central Ky, I have a Miller 130 amp mig for sale with cart and accessories. No gas tank.
300.00

That should make up your mind.
Link Posted: 8/16/2007 4:26:26 AM EDT
I asked previously about one for our shop. In the spirit of buying once we went with a 220v Lincoln wire feed with gas, I don't remember the model number. The thought process was that it would handle anything that we currently use and then still have some capability left.

We used our local Airgas and like a previous poster said, those guys were a great help and local supply is a good thing to have.

96Ag
Link Posted: 8/16/2007 4:26:37 AM EDT
I would go with a 110v Miller or Lincoln with .023 wire for sheet metal work. The 130amp model does have enough juice for doing 1/4" plate but I would change to .035 wire for that.
Link Posted: 8/16/2007 11:03:09 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/16/2007 11:03:42 AM EDT by trg42]
Where you have to be carefull is ALL 115volt MIGs on the market draw well over 15amps to make its "advertised" output . So to ask if a 115v MIG will weld 1/4 " is kind of a loaded question

If you have 230 volts dont even think twice, because everyones 230volt circuits have more than enough amps to drive the 180 amp welders ( typically draw 20 amps @230 ) . If you however buy a 115volt MIG they typically draw 20amps . You will pop your 15amp breaker when trying to weld heavy material

Having said that a 115volt MIG is barely adequate to give a sound weld for 1/4" with a MIG wire and shielding gas. If you use these small MIGs with self shielded flux cored wires these small 115volt migs a generally rated for 1/4"

Another reason to go with the 230volt units is if you ever plan to do aluminum you will need the extra output ( aluminum requries more amps to weld )

A year ago, you couldn go wrong with red or blue ( ford / chevy thing ) . Right now the new Lincoln Power Mig ( not the same as Pro Mig ) 140s and 180s are IMO better machines than the equivalent Millermatic 140s and 180s

Btw , dont even think about a stick machine for your applications. Go with a small 140 or 180amp MIG
Link Posted: 8/16/2007 11:07:18 AM EDT
Lincoln 180C That is all.
Link Posted: 8/16/2007 11:10:44 AM EDT
My 1st GMAW welder has/is a 110V Hobart Handler 135.
With proper prep, .120 tubing fused just fine. I upgraded for the duty cycle alone.
It now runs flux core as a quickie mobile welder.

I currently run a Millermatic 210. The gun is larger & heavier, but I can weld tubing all day
and not worry about it. I like it's smoothness at lower amps as well.
It's a big machine, but I wanted a rig I would grow into - not out of.
Link Posted: 8/16/2007 11:31:37 AM EDT
110 volt wire feed is good for what you want

the things you want to look at is how often are you going to be welding? ( replacment parts; bigger names = easier finding parts)

How long are you going to be welding at a shot? ( duty cycle )

How many AMPS is the machine rated to draw? ( your shop may need a new breaker)

the solid wire with gas is better for the thin metals as you can adjust it down easier
the Flux core wire has more of a tendancy to burn through and glob

stick welding would be very tricky on thin sheet metal if you haven't done so before

just my opinion
Link Posted: 8/16/2007 11:41:38 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/16/2007 11:44:19 AM EDT by wingnutx]
You can do chromemoly or mild steel roll cages with stick, but you can't do sheet metal worth a damn with stick.

Get a 220v wire-feed and you can do just about anything. You might have to hand a 220 outlet off of your breaker box, but it'll be worth it.

I have a Pow-Con stick/mig setup, runs at 220 or 440.

Link Posted: 8/16/2007 11:52:01 AM EDT
The blue one!
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