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I need to buy a welder to start going on my project. I noticed today that the Lowes by me has the 110v lincoln mig welder on clearance. I thing it is a pro mig 140. Around 250 bucks. I priced nice millers and they were 800. The guy at the welding shop said the cheap ones are no good because the voltage is not adjustable only 3 or 5 pre set levels. I have to teach my self to weld and need to know is the Lowes special a total piece of junk or is the welding shop blowing smoke up my ass trying to sell me the expensive one? I can't afford 800 right now but can swing the 250. It is just for brackets and such as I am not planning any structural fab work. The lowes is set up for flux core and you also need a kit to hook up the gas for mig.I figure I can learn with the flux core and move to the mig later. Here is a pic of what I'm working on. Any advise is welcome.
 

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save up for the millermatic, eithe r135 or 175 i have the 135 and i wouldnt weld a frame together with it, but i would weld just about anything else with tit, any brackets etc.

the adjustible voltage is great. my father has been welding since befor ei was born and he is amazed at the thing and its 110v.

ive welded anything thats on my hotrod with it, including steering brackets, brake brackets, and sort of body mounts.

if you want to weld a frame a 175 .
 

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Buy the Lincoln, and get to work. You can sell it later when you have additional funds to move up. Welders hold their value, and Lincoln is one of the top 2 welding mfg'rs. Parts are readily available, damn near everyone sells Lincoln, and warranty work or repair should be easy to come about.

The 110V will be fine. Also Hobart is owned by Miller.
 

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Buy either a stick or oxy/ace torch set . Those will give you the strongest weld for the money . I have seen lincon arc welder for $250 or so and you get a much stronger weld then with a 110 flux core . And with oxy/ace you can just about weld anything . Also you can convert a arc in to a scratch start tig real easy . then you can really learn to weld !
 

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If the dude is new to welding, both of those methods will do nothing but discourage. Neither stick nor oxy/acety are easy. He ain't gonna do nothing but make a mess with stick, and burn his house down with a troch.

No offense, regarding your abilities but...

Trumpnut said:
Buy either a stick or oxy/ace torch set . Those will give you the strongest weld for the money . I have seen lincon arc welder for $250 or so and you get a much stronger weld then with a 110 flux core . And with oxy/ace you can just about weld anything . Also you can convert a arc in to a scratch start tig real easy . then you can really learn to weld !
 

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I have a 110v Lincoln with the gas conversion.I have welded ALOT of stuff with it. When using the gas,it is an awesome sheet metal welder.Using flux core wire is messy and requires alot of cleanup.My dad has a Miller 175 which is a near bottom of the line 220v welder.Anybody can weld with that thing and make it look good.He bought it on Ebay delivered for $725.00.It is a trade off...buy the cheap one now...sell it later then move up....At least for now you would be independant and getting some work done.
 

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Why is a stick welder a bad choice? Ive been seeing what look like fairly nice machines for sale at a decent price on ebay and at swapmeets. Do they not make good welds, or is it just sloppy? I have very, very little "need" for a welder, would it be a dumb decision to pick one up? (sorry for the hijack)
 

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Kyle said:
Why is a stick welder a bad choice? Ive been seeing what look like fairly nice machines for sale at a decent price on ebay and at swapmeets. Do they not make good welds, or is it just sloppy? I have very, very little "need" for a welder, would it be a dumb decision to pick one up? (sorry for the hijack)
It isn't necessarily a bad choice, it's just not as easy as mig. The good thing is you can convert a stick machine for use as a tig.
 

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Hop on Craigslist or the like and find a good used MIG setup. 220v would be best, or get the biggest 110v machine you can. I say this because the difference between 110v and 220v machines, even those built by the same company, is night and day different. There are exceptions though... My buddy just back-halfed his drag bike frame up at my shop last weekend with a 110v Hobart machine with FLUX core wire and it looks damn near as good as any MIG weld I've ever seen.
 

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My advice is if your welding sheet etc... and wanna learn through that then a cheapie will get you through, problem is even welding simple brackets to a frame you need a strong welder to penetrate the frame as well as the bracket...

So if your pissin around with small gauage sheet and stuff by the cheapie to learn on (then keep it as a table top when you get yer big one later), if your just gonna be welding thick stuff from the start save your cash and buyt a big proper one. Can't comment on cheap US brands as i'm in the UK so...

All though ultimatley the best bet is to buy the most powerfull one you can get from the start... hope it helps...
 

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Looking good and having deep penetration with the weld are not the same thing. How many amps is the machine? I wouldn't even vaugely consider putting my ass on a frame that wasn't welded together by a welder with at least 180 amps.

DrDano said:
Hop on Craigslist or the like and find a good used MIG setup. 220v would be best, or get the biggest 110v machine you can. I say this because the difference between 110v and 220v machines, even those built by the same company, is night and day different. There are exceptions though... My buddy just back-halfed his drag bike frame up at my shop last weekend with a 110v Hobart machine with FLUX core wire and it looks damn near as good as any MIG weld I've ever seen.
 

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I wouldnt't bother with the cheapie for 250. Save for a little while longer and step up to one with the infinite voltage settings. You can weld up to a 3/16 with most 110 v machines running flux core wire. You get a hotter better penetrating weld, but you wouldn't want to weld sheet metal with flux core. Its too hard and britttle for working it around. Plus you'll warp the shit out of your metal. My advice is to go to your local community college and pay the fifty bucks to take an intro to welding class. Its a good place to learn for cheap, and then make a more informed decision based on your needs for buying a welder. You can get into a pretty nice millermatic 220 for about 850 on sale or check craigs list good deals on there sometimes.


sam
 

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I second the class!!

Mine was a little pricier than 50 beans, but well worth every penny. You get a chance to learn ARC, MIG, TIG and Torch welding as well as Plasma cutting if they've got it. My class was awesome and I learned a hell of a lot.

Your local welding store should have the same machine as Lowes but with the infinite settings for a little bit more money. My local shop offers the better welder with a cart and tank of Argon for $650 or so - can't beat that for starters.

Also, think about investing in a small torch setup - great for cutting and will also get you used to manipulating heat to weld/cut which is what's happening with all the other methods. Also, the torch is pretty decent for sheet metal and can be set up to weld aluminum a lot cheaper than TIG.
 

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Tha Nutz said:
Looking good and having deep penetration with the weld are not the same thing. How many amps is the machine? I wouldn't even vaugely consider putting my ass on a frame that wasn't welded together by a welder with at least 180 amps.
I have to agree with TheNutz as far as penetration goes. Pretty and good and very different. But with some practice you could get by with the little one. If you do go with the lower amp machine, Bevel your corners to be sure you get into the metal. And practice a bunch first. Take your practice pieces to a certified guy to get his opinion of your welds. Any Vo.-Tech. instructor should be happy to help. If you can afford it go with the better machine. You'll be happy you did after you know what your doing. I found they are easier to use too as they have more amps. Stay away from stick, it's harder to learn and unless your a master at it the welds will be all over the place. You can expect to learn MIG pretty good in a few hrs. with some pro advice. MIKE>
 

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Tha Nutz said:
Looking good and having deep penetration with the weld are not the same thing. How many amps is the machine? I wouldn't even vaugely consider putting my ass on a frame that wasn't welded together by a welder with at least 180 amps.
I completely agree, we've all seen welds that look pretty but are just that, pretty and not safe. Its a Handler 140 I think with up to 140 amps max output, which I think is the biggest 110v unit they make and is 'rated' to go to 1/4" steel. I'm not trying to say anyone can get the same results with a cheapie 110v unit, no way. I would never go smaller than this box for frame work, which is why I said he should try to find the biggest 110v unit he can. I guess what I should have said was he should try to find the machine with the highest amp output rating for 110v he can.

My preference would be use my 185 Precision Tig on a frame, because I love my machine and enjoy the TIG process. I also have complete control over the penetration and heat with it and the TIG process almost forces you to be a better craftsman with tight fitting joints that are clean and prepared correctly.
 

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you should be able to score some decent deals in MI on used equipment even if its from prototype shops in detroit area etc. you don't need LED readouts and a million options to have a nice tig machine or mig. you need voltage and amperage. myself, i wouldn't consider the 110V machine even on a budget, i'd shop harder for a 220V machine and do it right one time. if you hate welding, you can always unload the machine on to someone else, they don't lose their value.

there are several members of JJ or the HAMB in that area, i'm sure some of them would help you out with some welding. NC is a little far away or i would gladly offer.

brandon
 
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