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Old June 9th, 2010, 12:55 AM   #1
Ryms88
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what would be a good first welder?

i want to get my first welder for making small brackets, bumpers, etc. i dont know what i should get... any recommendations? preferably looking for something cheap too
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Old June 9th, 2010, 01:00 AM   #2
kj kyle
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definately a MIG. do you have access to 220v? a 120v will work up to about 3/16" (fine for bumpers, and some brackets) then I would say just stick to name brand.
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Old June 9th, 2010, 01:19 AM   #3
bajatoy53
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If you want to get started cheap harbor Freight has decent mig welders cheap. Get the replacement warrenty and don't expect it to last more than 2 years with a moderate amount of projects. You can't get parts to fix them easy either. I bought a miller after my harbor freight welder crapped out and love it. Hobart make good welders at a reasonable price too.
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Old June 9th, 2010, 07:32 AM   #4
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millermatic 211 mvp, its about a grand but you will not regret it
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Old June 9th, 2010, 07:37 AM   #5
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at a minimum get a 220v 180amp MIG. That is enough machine for pretty much any
hobbiest and a MIG is easy to get started with and very flexible.
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Old June 9th, 2010, 07:48 AM   #6
mxracer763
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I have done quite a bit with a Hobart Handler 140. They run around 500 or 600 new. Great welder for the price and it hasn't let me down yet.
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Old June 9th, 2010, 08:38 AM   #7
knaffie
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220V MIG - 170/175/180 series welder at a minimum.
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Old June 9th, 2010, 10:12 AM   #8
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the biggest one you can afford. 220 preferably, just remember you will want to weld thicker material than you think and having the bigger welders will allow you to do so
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Old June 9th, 2010, 10:31 AM   #9
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Since nobody has mentioned this i figured i would, Watch for duty cyles, they should come in percentages. I was under the understanding that the % is based on a 10 minute span @ that amperage.

I.E. a duty cycle of 40%@90amps, can only be run for 4 minutes @90 amps, with a 6 minute waiting period.

Someone please correct or adjust this if its wrong.
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Old June 9th, 2010, 10:45 AM   #10
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I have a Hobart that I bought from TSC. I works great, and if you need any replacement parts you can get them from Miller sense Miller makes them. The handle on mine even says Miller right on it.
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Old June 9th, 2010, 11:02 AM   #11
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I have a 220V Hobart Handler 180 or 185, can't remember, but i love it.

Duty cycle should definatly be considered for whatever you choose to do, with mine the duty cycle drops way off on the higher settings.
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Old June 9th, 2010, 11:10 AM   #12
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I'm old school, and an ,..........I bought a Century 85 mig, about 23 years ago for the thin stuff, and I have about a 40 year old Lincoln AC Buzz Box for the thick. I even have the conversion for the mig to weld aluminum, and I do a lot of boat repair in the spring with it.
They seem to work fine for me.
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Old June 9th, 2010, 02:57 PM   #13
Ryms88
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Thanks for all the input i need to make sure i have access to 220v.....and i will ask more questions when they come up... but now i have a start
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Old June 9th, 2010, 03:19 PM   #14
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Save your money til you have $600. then buy the Hobart Handler 185 it's 230v but you have 230 somewhere! ....later buy a tank of C02...weld all the steel you can get your hands on...VERY good unit for the $$$...
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Old June 29th, 2010, 10:02 AM   #15
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Keep checking craigslist and similar sites. I picked up a Lincoln 175 SP 220V for $200 not that long ago and a lincoln pro 100 for $40 that I can take with me if I have to. I still have my Craftsman 110V mig welder that I bought several years ago and is a great first time welder.
If we were closer we could work out a good deal on the Craftsman.
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Old June 29th, 2010, 01:46 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quiefinator View Post
Since nobody has mentioned this i figured i would, Watch for duty cyles, they should come in percentages. I was under the understanding that the % is based on a 10 minute span @ that amperage.

I.E. a duty cycle of 40%@90amps, can only be run for 4 minutes @90 amps, with a 6 minute waiting period.

Someone please correct or adjust this if its wrong.
You are correct. In Europe it is out of 5 mins.
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Old June 30th, 2010, 09:51 PM   #17
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I 2nd the HF welder.....

You don't know if you will enjoy welding or if you are any good at it, and whats the point in spending 600+ on a nice welder if you refuse to use it?

Idk what you're planning on doing, but my 90 amp flux core MIG from HF (they offer a 220v gas MIG I believe) has built me a bumper, and sliders ( I'm having Tab weld my structural supports for the bumper tomorrow to be safe) as well as patched a body panel and welded patches on my frame where it rusted out...

Its easy to use, and I can honestly say I can lay a much better bead than before, and I'm glad I got the welder. With a little prep it can do 3/16" just fine, I wouldn't really go much higher if its a really cruical part though.

The best part is, they are almost always on sale for 70-90 bucks, and alot of the stuff you buy can be used on a bigger machine. A nice auto-dark helmet, gloves, blanket, brushes...

I'd buy a HF cheapo welder, see how it goes for a few weeks/months (I'd say 4 lbs of wire is a good test period) and then decide if you're ready to move up to a bigger nice gas machine..

Or. you can buy a 600 dollar machine, find out you're not the welder you were expecting to be, and sell it to me for $100 :D
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Old June 30th, 2010, 10:21 PM   #18
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The first welder I had was the little 5'5" Mexican dude, he could kick ass. Weld upside down and all of it.

Best welding machine was a miller 212.
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Old September 12th, 2010, 08:31 PM   #19
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I have a miller EZ set 140, it runs off of 110 V. It will do 3/16" real nice, I have welded some 1/2" steel with it by grinding an angle on the butts and pre heating with a toarch, and multiple passes. Small wire machines are not great at any thing over 3/16 or 1/4" but you can do it with proper prep.

Stay away from flux core or coated wire, a gas shield with 25/75 is much nicer and makes a better weld.
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Old September 24th, 2010, 09:59 PM   #20
littletrucker
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i have an hobart handler 125- setup with flux core works great- very portable- welded tons and tons of stuff with this guy...

have used a handler 135 setup with gas- works great, probably a little better and slightly cleaner welds

both are great 110 volt welders
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