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  #21  
Old 03-06-2007, 12:47 AM
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I have one of those AC-225 stick welders and i love the thing! True, it isn't good for body work but when it comes to heavier metal i'd trust it with my life. Besides, once you learn how to stick weld it is so much more fun than mig welding. The only thing i didn't like was having to install the 230V plug for it.

Lincoln has a carbon torch for the 225 that makes it more versatile.
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Last edited by 401-J10 : 03-06-2007 at 12:49 AM.
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  #22  
Old 03-06-2007, 12:31 PM
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I have the el-cheapo Harbor Freight 110 welder. I bought it on sale for $200 and bought the tank to convert it from flux-core. For $200 it is pretty darned decent. Not as nice as my buddies miller or anything, but it you are cheap (like me) you might consider it.

Regardless of what MIG you buy, I recommend you spring the extra $$ and get rid of the flux core wire. I never got it to flow well when running a bead regardless of how thick the metal was.

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...temnumber=6271
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  #23  
Old 03-06-2007, 12:42 PM
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Mine's a 110V 90A Century MIG with cart with everything but the tank itself that I got at some hardware store (Lowe's or Home Depot or something). Supposedly it'll weld up to 1/4" (multiple pass tho). It was a stretch to spend the ~ $400 so I'm happy with it tho still trying to learn. When it comes time to do bumpers etc I will think about springing for a stick welder, as I doubt I can afford even a used high end MIG. IIWY I'd keep the stick for welding the big stuff and think about a MIG for bodywork as my reading echos the comments here.

Michael
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  #24  
Old 03-06-2007, 08:47 PM
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I'm trying to come up with a convincing story to tell the wife about why the welder she bought me isn't everything I need! Don't you just hate it when your really sweet wife does something that you wish you could tweak just a little bit! I'm still waiting to see what everybody thinks about the Lincoln 120v mentioned in my earlier post.
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  #25  
Old 03-06-2007, 09:09 PM
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There are times when it's better to be grateful and keep the pie hole closed.

Michael
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  #26  
Old 03-06-2007, 09:24 PM
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just keep it and add it to the tools . .I am sure it would have its place . .add a MIG later.
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  #27  
Old 03-07-2007, 11:33 PM
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I would get the best welder you can afford, you will have it a long time and use it on projects you never thought of.

Also, If your'e not great welder, you better be a good grinder!!
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  #28  
Old 03-08-2007, 01:05 AM
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Dont know much about GMAW (MIG), but do know a bit about GTAW (TIG) and SMAW (Stick) welding. Finally stepped up the arsenal to the Miller DyNasty 200DX, and a Miller Spectrum 375 Xtreme (plasma) .
If its strictly auto work you want to be doing then yes GMAW is where you want to invest your $. Fortunately any good one will also have a SMAW capability as well.
Miller makes the best (no biases with that statement at all, honest), and has the most incredible customer service out there. The service you WISH you could get every day 365.
Just realize that there are limitations to each process. Ive heard some good things about the el' cheapo Clarke MIG boxes off of ebay, and the Harbor Freight MIG is okay. Just make sure you get enough Amps (150+).
Another thing to consider is whether you have 110 or 220 capability. Dont want to buy a 220 unit if you only have 110!
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  #29  
Old 03-08-2007, 02:04 AM
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It sounds like you didn't drop enough hints to your loved one on what type of welder you would like. Hints are great. It's even better when they give you the money and say, "go buy a welder". It's OK to trade it for a different welder. She is an understanding person, I can tell because she lets you have a FSJ. My wife knows not to buy me anything without consulting me about the purchase first.

It looks like your getting a lot of really great advise. The only thing I can add is the setup I currently have for bonding two pieces of molten steel together. Gets me fired up just thinking about it.

I have a Lincoln AC/DC 225/125 and hardly use it, mostly because the go switch is broke. I use the bajevees outta my Millermatic 175, (The new 180 model starts at $958, WOW) 220v w/gas, up to 1/4". I have a full size oxy/acetylene setup and a bunch of grinders. You tend to use less grinder wheels with the more experience you get.

Comparison Chart

I put an electric dryer plug on the end of a 90 foot extension cord so my MIG will reach anywhere around the property I need it to go. After using gas with my MIG I wouldn't even consider getting one without a built-in gas hookup. The welds are 95% cleaner, which means less cleanup and prettier welds.
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  #30  
Old 03-08-2007, 05:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpcoutts
The local Lowe's has this one: http://www.mylincolnelectric.com/Cat...et.asp?p=38790 $457 It is a Pro-Mig 140, plugs in to 120v and seems to be a complete set up except for the gas.

The info on the lincoln site looks like this one would fit my needs. It is a little confusing when you look at what comes with the unit and what will be an extra expense.
Jim,
Sorry, just got back to this thread.
That's Lincoln's hi-end 110V unit and should serve you well.
You will need the adapter coupling to run CO2 instead of Argon for that regulator (different tank fitting and CO2 is way cheaper that Argon) they probably do not sell the adapter at Lowes, it's about $18 at a welding supply store (you'll be going there for wire anyway).
Our SP-135's are going on 4-5 years of daily use and we have only ever broken one ($12) internal part.
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  #31  
Old 03-08-2007, 07:11 AM
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Bama Burden Bama Burden is offline
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If you didn't mind getting a reconditioned unit, Tool King has good prices on Hobart machines. You can a little more welder for basically the same price as the lowes/homedepot stuff.
http://www.toolking.com/productinfo....roductid=10929

I also say keep the buzz box. They're nice to have around and a buzz box that only has an AC side will make you appreciate the mig even more.
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  #32  
Old 03-08-2007, 11:28 AM
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Oh, and if youre looking for deals...
B&R off of Ebay is pretty good, but its Cyberweld that usually does them in. Lots of people who have had great experiences with the two.
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  #33  
Old 03-08-2007, 09:54 PM
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Tad, I'm glad to hear that the Lowes item is not the low end of the market. I'll probably be looking in that direction because that's where the stick welder came from. Thanks for the tip on the gas fitting. In response to the posts about learning to weld with the stick welder, just how steep is the learning curve? Keep in mind I'm pretty handy with tools etc. but have absolutely no welding experience. I see a lot of grinding wheels in my future! As for the pie hole...like I said she is very tolerant, and not bad looking I might add!
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  #34  
Old 03-08-2007, 11:50 PM
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Get yourself a 5 lb box of both 6013 and 7018. Get a bunch of 0.25" square plates (hit your local scrapyard for about 20-30lbs of "coupons") and practice, practice, practice. A week and 10 lbs will get you some confidence.
Take some time to perouse, and take each step deliberately...
http://www.weldingweb.com/
http://www.millerwelds.com/education/library.html
A grinder, som acetone (for cleaning), SMAW gloves, a chipping hammer/wire brush, and a good auto darkening hood will get you going faster (really requirements).
I would not buy this stuff from HD. Find yourself an Airgas near you. Will give you a good local connection/relationship that will serve you for years. 7018 needs to be taken care of too BTW, but you can look it up on weldingweb for more beta!
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  #35  
Old 03-09-2007, 05:45 AM
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Well, aren't women allowed to exchange that piece of jewelry or purse you bought them? Take the welder back and get a MIG... She'll never notice it
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  #36  
Old 03-10-2007, 08:16 PM
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I've done some more looking and the Lincoln Pro Mig 140 has infinitely variable wire feed rates from 50 to 300 inches/min, but has only 4 pre-set voltage settings. How much of a limitation is that. I looked at other units that have infinitely variable voltage that seems to be a more flexible setup. Am I expecting too much from this type of unit?
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  #37  
Old 03-12-2007, 01:30 AM
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I guess the important question for us would be how much cash you are willing to spend. Figure that out and buy the best unit you can with that amount. It boils down to funds at this point.

Did you look at the comparison chart I posted earlier?
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  #38  
Old 03-12-2007, 04:32 PM
vacca rabite vacca rabite is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpcoutts
I've done some more looking and the Lincoln Pro Mig 140 has infinitely variable wire feed rates from 50 to 300 inches/min, but has only 4 pre-set voltage settings. How much of a limitation is that. I looked at other units that have infinitely variable voltage that seems to be a more flexible setup. Am I expecting too much from this type of unit?

That is the exact welder that I have, and I love it. The same thing from Home Deopt is the Lincoln 1400HD (or HD1400 - I don't recall).

Anyway, it is a fantastic little welder, and they are supposed to last forever.

I've gone through a couple spools of wire on mine, and it just keeps on going. It is a great welder for sheet metal. You have to use flux core wire for doing thicker metal (1/4 inch) but that should not be a problem. I don't know that there is anyhting on these rigs that has a wall thickness of more then 1/4 inch.

Zach
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  #39  
Old 03-12-2007, 05:01 PM
cincyjeeprs cincyjeeprs is offline
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I'll second the Miller DVI, if you can scrape up the bucks. My son expressed some interest in welding so we got him a welding class at the community tech school for a Christmas present a couple years ago. He took to it real well, so we got him the DVI for his HS graduation present. He had it for 2 days, came home, told me he had to get some aluminum to practice on because he had a job interview THE NEXT DAY. Long story short, he bluffed his way into the job and spent the last year and a half making aluminum fire truck cabs. Just changed jobs and is now doing Stainless Steel tig work. Now he has a career. Best present we could have gotten him.

Oh yeah, the DVI; 110/220 is REAL handy. 110 for the light stuff, 220 for the heavy. Made a 100' x 10 ga. extension cord to drag around to all of the fleet.
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  #40  
Old 03-12-2007, 10:31 PM
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Thanks guys! Irbob, the chart is where my question about voltage controls came in, and my funds are probably going to be no more than a self imposed limit of about $500. I have no doubt that I would like the Miller. My practical side says that's too much since it's for my hobby, not my daily work.

All of you that have chimed in on this thread are really great and that is what makes this board what it is.

Thanks.

P.S. My wife has shown her beauty once again by telling me it's OK if I trade the stick unit in on the mig.
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