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Old November 14th, 2010, 04:57 PM   #1
Blakemore00XJ
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Default new to welders

well, im finally moving into a house with a garage so its time to start my tool collection! i know how to use a mig but as far as which one to buy im not sure.. may be able to have 220 ran to the garage but im not counting on that. what do i want in a 110 to occasionally burn through 1/4inch steel? im clueless when it says like 140amps.. the higher the amps the thicker the metal it can weld?

thanks
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Old November 14th, 2010, 05:22 PM   #2
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I don't know of any 110 that will burn thru .25 plate. Good penetration yes, but thats about it. You can do thicker material, but the prep work is more crucial and expect multiple passes. And yes, higher amperage, the thicker you can weld.
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Old November 14th, 2010, 05:23 PM   #3
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higher amps means higher heat... so yea it would be able to do thicker metal
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Old November 14th, 2010, 05:36 PM   #4
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this is the area where you make sure to over buy for what you need. The 220v line is worth the hassell, and if you get a good air compressor thatll take 220v also so just bite that bullet. As for welders buy a 250 amp mig of your favoirte brand and see to it that its got spool gun capibility because its fantastic for resale should the need arise.
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Old November 14th, 2010, 05:38 PM   #5
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thanks for the input
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Old November 14th, 2010, 05:47 PM   #6
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As far as brand, stick with the big 3: Lincoln, Miller, and Hobart in the 220v variety. These machines may cost more in the beginning but are well worth it later on down the road when you need consumables. IMO spool guns are not needed unless you want to run a bunch of aluminum. One add on I would recommend is the gas kit with the regulator and a tank of 75% argon/25% carbon dioxide. If you are trying to keep costs down just get 100% carbon dioxide.
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Old November 14th, 2010, 05:55 PM   #7
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ive been using a millermatic 185. it works pretty sweet for fairly thick material.

go 220v. go name brand. amps=higher is better.

i have always used elcheapo junk welders, and my welds were horrible!

with the miller my welds are pretty decent.
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Old November 15th, 2010, 07:04 AM   #8
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good info thanks everyone!
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Old November 15th, 2010, 10:45 AM   #9
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First, I would spend $200-300 on a community college welding class, it would be money well spent.
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Old December 17th, 2010, 12:54 AM   #10
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i bought a hobart 220v mig and damn glad that i went fot that one rather than the step below it...i was in the same boat i had no 220 in my barn at the time however i just used the 220 from the house (used the dryer plug when i needed to weld) look at it this way do you plan to put 220 in the garage?? if so save your money put 220 in and buy the larger welder....you can allways weld small stuff with a bigger welder however its not as easy to weld the thicker stuff with the smaller welder.especially if you plan to fzab thicker stuff in the future
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Old December 17th, 2010, 01:08 AM   #11
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220, I got a 110 lincoln in trade, saw someone with a 220 stick on cl who wanted a 110. Wishing I had done that trade about now.
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Old December 17th, 2010, 02:11 AM   #12
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If you're willing to consider Hobart (millers affordable brand), also consider Century which is the affordable line offered by lincoln. I have 200A/220V and 90A/110V century MIG welders and both are excellent welders, use Tweco guns which have cheap and easy to find consumables (i can buy contact tips and gas nozzles at Menards, try that with your F-ing Miller).

Also, are you looking specifically for MIG? If not a 225A/220V lincoln arc(stick) welder can be bought new at Home Depot for less than $300. Not a bad welder to start on, will weld almost anything but you have to deal with slag. I built my last truck with an arc welder and had no issues once I got used to the welder and the process associated with it. The MIG is much faster and a little more user friendly, but also costs more to purchase and run.
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Old December 17th, 2010, 08:33 AM   #13
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One thing I'd add, is that if you do end up with a 110v welder, use flux core wire without sheild gas for doing 1/4" thickness, and you'll be fine, if you actually know how to weld.

Weld prep and proper material fitting, bevelling, etc, are also keys working with a lower power welder.


I've used both 110v and 220v Lincolns (as well as a lot of larger units), for my personal home use, and both will do just fine for the typical 4x4 owner. There is a big jump in power with the 200v unit, but I built several vehicles with the 110v with no issues.


If you have the money, there are some units, I know Miller has one, that can run on either 110v or 220v.

If you are buying the house, then running 220v is pretty easy.
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Old December 17th, 2010, 09:14 PM   #14
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I just bought a Miller 211 mig and the thing is awesome. Used it tonight trying different material thicknesses and whatnot. It is the one the post above is refering to, as it will run on 115v or 230, gas or gasless. It was a bit more money than a 140 or 180 series (but only about $300) and it's something i will not have to replace for a long time. Not sure what your budget is, but it's definately a nice machine.
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Old December 18th, 2010, 06:59 AM   #15
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Don't waste your money on a 120V welder. Get something with 240V input power.
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Old December 20th, 2010, 09:44 PM   #16
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Go 220, you wont regret spending the extra money! I went with the Lincoln 180 HD. I built my own long arms and welded all my suspension components, bumpers, everything on my jeep with it and its plenty. Its an $800 welder in lowes or home depot, but i got mine for $535 Shipped on ebay. just keep an eye out for good deals.
http://cgi.ebay.com/Lincoln-Electric...item4cf3f4cc3e
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