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Kalamazoo

Welding, welder...well?

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Kalamazoo

I don't necessarily have a welding project needing immediate attention.

I don't know how to weld.

I think I'd like to learn basics and be able to so some simple stuff eventually.

I know nothing. I'm betting several on TMC do.

looking for advice on 'household' welder that can basically handle regular and maybe stainless steel. nothing real heavy, can't see reason to go beyond 1/4". Probably not aluminum as I think its a PITA. I have a 220 power source available.

Any suggestions?

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oldjeep

I don't necessarily have a welding project needing immediate attention.

I don't know how to weld.

I think I'd like to learn basics and be able to so some simple stuff eventually.

I know nothing. I'm betting several on TMC do.

looking for advice on 'household' welder that can basically handle regular and maybe stainless steel. nothing real heavy, can't see reason to go beyond 1/4". Probably not aluminum as I think its a PITA. I have a 220 power source available.

Any suggestions?

This is the modern version of what I use. Good home style 220 welder and is upgradable to a spool gun if you change your mind about aluminum. Should be able to pick up a new one for around $850

http://www.hobartwelders.com/products/wirefeed/handler187/

Main thing is to not fall into the 110V welder trap. They are neat little toys but you outgrow them faster than you think.

Edit - looks like the 190 is the current model, about same price. (Mine is an older Handler 180 - basically same machine just 15 years older)

http://www.hobartwelders.com/products/wirefeed/handler190/

Edited by oldjeep

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WINEGRAPEGROWER

community colleges typically offer several types of welding: gas, stick, MIG, TIG.

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DIE2SURF

I learned gas and stick in high school. I would learn before you buy one. MIG is the way to go I would imagine. Much better than stick I've heard, but I've never done it. Also, are you planning on doing any cutting?

Edited by DIE2SURF

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MadMan

I learned gas and stick in high school. I would learn before you buy one. MIG is the way to go I would imagine. Much better than stick I've heard, but I've never done it. Also, are you planning on doing any cutting?

Definitely go with a MIG, much much easier than stick or gas. It's almost as easy squirting out toothpaste.

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tdelandsheer

I'm in the same boat (well not the same Malibu but you know what I mean) as Kalamazoo and have heard while MIG is easier stick is cheaper and more fun/challenging to learn. We have long off seasons here and this could be something cool to learn. Would you guys agree with that or is it just a waste of time and effort to learn stick?

I have very little experience as well.

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DIE2SURF

I've been looking for a MIG, but I don't weld enough anymore to justify switching from my old trusty Lincoln arc...someday. MIG looks smooth as butter.

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DIE2SURF

If I was learning from scratch, I'd go MIG now. If you decide on arc, go with an easy rod like 6011, 6013. 7018 is a PITA for me, but it all depends on what you are welding.

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oldjeep

I'm in the same boat (well not the same Malibu but you know what I mean) as Kalamazoo and have heard while MIG is easier stick is cheaper and more fun/challenging to learn. We have long off seasons here and this could be something cool to learn. Would you guys agree with that or is it just a waste of time and effort to learn stick?

I have very little experience as well.

You can certainly stick weld for cheap. I'm not a fan because it is so slow and even a good weld usually.looks like poo. That being said, with mig it is really easy to lay down a beautiful weld that is weak.

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DIE2SURF

funny...my neighbor was a welder for Aerojet for 30 years. He has some of the coolest welders that I've ever seen. He's given me a couple of his old gas and arc welders since he doesn't use them anymore. He's got an aluminum welder that's so big it sits on a 5'x5' wheeled trailer. looks like an old railroad car.

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Michigan boarder

Thinking Artprize are ya?

I learned to stick weld working on a pig farm when I was 18, welding up feeders that got knocked around and destroyed. None of it had to be pretty, so it was a perfect training ground. Fun stuff.

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Lance B. Johnson

I just bought two millermatic 211s for the school shop and added a welding unit to the advanced automotive class as this school does not have a metals program.

Hands down the best welder I have used, it makes me (a mediocre welder with some basic knowledge) into a master. Seriously I can lay down some beautiful welds with these machines.

Do yourself a favor and get a cart with it. Never know when you might need to go portable.

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Lance B. Johnson

I say nix the cart and fabricate your own. Might as well start somewhere!

great idea!

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Bawshogg

Good to see that you were able to get something going like this at the High school level. I think we talked at about years ago in one of those meetings. Its a great skill for the kids to obtain going into an industrial field like automotive. Nice work Mike.

Recommendations: Very minimum 210-230 volt capable machine, gas shielding and anything branded Miller or Lincoln. Hobarts' are not half bad either for light duty. Any machine that will handle 3/16" plate is pretty much adequate for home uses. As far as aluminum welding, if you care how it looks your gonna need to a TIG machine. Spool welding aluminum gets real messy real fast.

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Lance B. Johnson

I also recommend going with a 75/25 argon/C02 blend.

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Lance B. Johnson

Good to see that you were able to get something going like this at the High school level. I think we talked at about years ago in one of those meetings. Its a great skill for the kids to obtain going into an industrial field like automotive. Nice work Mike.

Recommendations: Very minimum 210-230 volt capable machine, gas shielding and anything branded Miller or Lincoln. Hobarts' are not half bad either for light duty. Any machine that will handle 3/16" plate is pretty much adequate for home uses. As far as aluminum welding, if you care how it looks your gonna need to a TIG machine. Spool welding aluminum gets real messy real fast.

Thanks, I was happy to get it approved. I agree, welding can be extremely important.

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oldjeep

I say nix the cart and fabricate your own. Might as well start somewhere!

Yup, cart is the traditional first project

Just for grins, here is the one I built right after I got a plasma and wanted a place to keep them together.

weldercart1.jpg

WelderCart%20001.jpg

Edited by oldjeep

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oldjeep

Hobart vs miller in a small mig is the difference of a few plastic parts and sometimes more voltage taps.

Mine has run a couple hundred lbs of wire with no issues.

Lincoln you have to watch what you are buying, they have good and bad models .

Edited by oldjeep

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Mackie 12

Anything Miller brand, 220V 30Amp and capable of burning 0.30/0.35 wire and you're good for anything you will build in your garage. You can run fluxcore and metalcore wire thru them just fine and stay away from stick unless you have a need for it. I have shown enough people how to run a basic mig machine for garage use plenty of times.

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Wayne

Miller or Hobart MIG with gas shielding. You can nearly teach yourself with one and a few YouTube videos they are so easy to use.

I will go against the trend and say a 110 volt welder has a lot of capability for what the OP said he would be doing. if you can find a good used one you will easily be able to get your investment back if you wanted to go bigger.

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brad72

I'm feeling a bit spoilt here as I have a MIG, TIG and plasma cutter in the back shed. I mainly weld stainless and alloy so use the TIG pretty much exclusively. I also tig mild steel sheet and chrome molly tubing.

All TIG's have the capability of stick welding which is great for heavier gauge steel or stainless. The trick is to make sure you buy good quality rods which make laying down nice beads very easy. ALso make sure you strore the rods somewhere warm and dry when not being used. For heavy gauge alloy you need to ensure the TIG can push out enough amps and if doing long runs of a thicker gauge material a water cooled torch is a must.

I use the MIG for light and heavy gauge mild steel and it does do a great job. Fast and easy and lays down pretty nice beads. Just remember the anti splatter spray as it makes clean up easier. MIG's do like the steel to be nice and clean though so any surface imperfections like rust or paint must be completely removed or the weld is not as good. I tried alloy welding with the MIG but never liked the result. I do know however the more you spend on the welded the better the result.

Welding with any of the above is not hard. It just takes a steady hand a a bit of practive. Like others have said community college is a great place to learn or you tube video's. My main advice though is to write down the welder settings for each material and thickness once dailed in as it saves alot of mucking around the next time you weld.

Edited by brad72

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jk13

Years ago I had the chance at a group buy on brand new Miller DVIs with spool guns for a killer deal. My friend got in on it and I've used his a few times. Works awesome on 220 and as well as any 110 machine I've used on, well, 110. That's the route I'd go if they still made them or I could find a used one. There are times when 220 is not readily available and having both in one machine makes it easy.

Few days ago I used a Lincoln 140HD with stainless wire and 75/25 gas only (not 3 gas) to weld up my SS exhaust on my car. Not super impressed but it was outside recommended usage. Couldn't find the DC sweet spot at times. Other times it was fine.

BTW instead of the Miller I bought my Bu so I can't complain too much. :whistle:

Edited by jk13

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TimbrSS

I know you're talking mig, but if you decide to look at TIG, here's my advice: I have the Watercooled HTP 221 Tig. I probably wouldn't have paid extra for the Dual Voltage, but they didn't have any straight 220V in stock when I bought it. It's a badass machine, and about half the cost of the comparable Miller Dynasty unit. For home hoby use the extra expense for the name brand units doesn't make sense.

IMG_20150402_105318053_zpsej0onuht.jpg

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brad72

^ that's a lovely looking TIG

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