Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Posted: 8/13/2001 5:37:05 PM EDT
I am thinking of buying a welder but know almost nothing about them. I could use some help choosing one that will work for me. I will use it for welding spider cracks in sheet metal on my car, exhaust hangers, and some places where a fillet weld would be better than the factorys spot weld (about 1/8" thk. metal). Here are my choices that seem to fit my budget and my homes electrical output. Craftsman 80 amp gasless wire feed welder #20101. Uses .030 flux-core wire. Welds 18 ga. to 3/16" steel. Craftsman 100 amp AC Stick welder #20139. Uses 1/16" to 1/8" electrodes. Welds 1/8" steel in a single pass. I would use the welder very little. Any input would be appreciated.
Link Posted: 8/13/2001 5:39:37 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/13/2001 5:46:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/13/2001 5:47:22 PM EDT by Grundsau]
I don't have any experience in welding sheet metal, but you may not get a satisfactory weld with any of the above. Maybe someone else can answer that. When I have welded thin stock, I use metal coat hangers that came in a free case from the local dry cleaner and my Oxy-Acetylene outfit. Seems to give me more control but it takes practice. The coat hangers are a lot cheaper than buying tubes of mild steel rod to use when gas welding. I also have a Miller 530 Mig welder. You don't need a 220A line for it and it's fairly mobile at a light 80 some lbs. I don't use gas and the splatter is minimal(.030 wire seems to feed best). Miller and Lincoln are a good way to go. Good luck.
Link Posted: 8/13/2001 6:13:06 PM EDT
Have you given any thought to taking a beginning welding class at night at the local J.C. or H.S.? Then deciding what would be the best for you. At this stage you would get more use from an OXY/ACE rig...(IMHO)
Link Posted: 8/13/2001 6:27:04 PM EDT
Noname: Yes I have considered taking a welding class. Unfortunately my family life/work schedule won't allow it at this time. I have worked a fabricators in the past. I struck a few arcs just for kicks when we were slow but, I wasn't really trying to accomplish anything at the time. I wish I would have messed with it more when I had the opprotunity. I know the Lincolns and the other machines you all have metioned are better. Will the Craftsman do any good at all for what I am wanting to use it for or is it an absolute P.O.S. Thanks
Link Posted: 8/13/2001 6:35:59 PM EDT
I'd get a Miller or a Lincoln MIG welder. MIG welding is the easyiest welding to learn for most people. At the local welding supply stores there are sometimes deals on used ones (if money is a factor). If you get a cheap one you might (will) have a hard time getting replacement parts for it. Good luck and be fire safe.
Link Posted: 8/13/2001 6:40:18 PM EDT
I wouldn't worry about the Craftsman unit, I have an older model that was made for sears by Lincon. Most parts are always interchangable. Go with the wire for small jobs. Fullclip
Link Posted: 8/13/2001 6:40:46 PM EDT
I have a Century 100 amp wire feed with the gas mix bottle. Perfect for welding mild steels up to 3/16. I looked at Hobart, Lincoln etc. Cost wasn't my concern. What I wanted was both wire and heat rheostat controls not Heat 1, 2, 3, etc. Why I chose the Century. 1 Cost was 299.00 at Sams Warehouse 2 Had a 5 year warranty (hobart and Lincoln has one year that tells me something) 3 This unit came with the valve to hook up a bottle of gas. Rick
Link Posted: 8/13/2001 10:50:42 PM EDT
have you considered renting welding unit ? since you plan on using it very little, and you would be able to practice and see which welding process you are better at. i think a gas set up would be the best thing, then mig. consider getting a used unit at a pawn shop or something. but really the Jr college class would be the best thing, you can learn how to do things properly and even bring in your personal projects to work on
Link Posted: 8/14/2001 3:52:39 AM EDT
I have two welders: a Lincoln stick welder and the Lincoln Sp-175 Plus. The 175 runs off of 220VAC, but I already had it in the garage. It gives me what I want in a MIG welder: infinite heat control; most other small MIG welders only have 4-5 settings. I'd also recommend the MIG welder. If you're sure you're not going to really get into it, I could be talked into one of the 110VAC Century mig welders with infinite heat control. I also recommend that you get the gas and weld with solid wire vs. fluxed wire. Not having to clean up the flux is a real big plus for gas mig welders. Good luck. Merlin
Link Posted: 8/14/2001 4:00:39 AM EDT
Get yourself a mig, and PRACTICE/PRACTICE/PRACTICE..........most important is the type and quality of wire.......go for a 100-125 amp unit, you`ll have it if you need it....gas is a thought for the future.....the advice on this thread is all good.......[:)]
Link Posted: 8/14/2001 4:00:56 AM EDT
Miller or Lincoln MIG is the way to go. You should, however be comfortable with stick welding, too. Try picking up a cheapo Harbor Freight buzz box.....
Link Posted: 8/14/2001 5:09:27 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/14/2001 7:34:53 AM EDT
Miller or Lincoln. The more variable the better, and run gas for bodywork. I personally run a Miller 250X MIG and a Miller Sycrowave 180 TIG machine. Still practicing the TIG. The 250X is big for body work but works.
Link Posted: 8/14/2001 9:25:30 AM EDT
Go to the welding supply store in your area and talk to the people their. Also call/go to a weld shop and ask them if they have time to answer your questions, he might even show you or let you have a hand at it.
Top Top