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View Full Version : what do you think of this welder?



rredecker
10-26-2010, 11:06 AM
Hey Everyone

I was at Harbor freight the other day and they had a really inexpensive welder there and was hoping for your opinion on it for making wire frames.

Here is the Link:

http://www.harborfreight.com/welding/arc-welders/80-amp-inverter-arc-welder-91110.html

Oh one more question what type of wire are most of you guys using to make your wire frames out of?

Thanks in advance for all you help this site is great.

Randy

Dougp
10-26-2010, 11:37 AM
I have been using their welder for over a year now and love it. I just use the wire that comes with the welder.

steve_hirst
10-26-2010, 11:59 AM
I think he is talking about the wire for the frames not for the welder.

rredecker
10-26-2010, 01:07 PM
Steve you are correct I was talking about about the wire you use to make the frames. I am sorry if i was not clear in my earlier post. Thank again. Randy

dirknerkle
10-26-2010, 01:10 PM
A lot of folks have purchased their cheaper 90-amp mig/tig flux-core wire welder and have used it with good results. Last time I looked it was about $80 on Harbor Freight...

rstehle
10-26-2010, 01:20 PM
I bought one of the mid range mig welders from HF. I used it for a while with just the flux core wire, then I tried the gas/solid core wire combo. Man, what a difference the gas makes. My welds look 400% better with the gas, and any spatter is almost eliminated. Cut my grinding time to almost nothing......:cool: I wholeheartedly recommend buying a welder that can utilize gas.:D

jrock64
10-26-2010, 01:22 PM
You are looking at a stick welder there.
If you have never welded MIG is easier to learn.
Look at the $109 ones.
I have had one like those for 4 years now.

Joel

dirknerkle
10-26-2010, 01:57 PM
My welds look 400% better with the gas, and any spatter is almost eliminated. Cut my grinding time to almost nothing.....

My welds look like crap in the daylight, but at night and from the inside of a car on a drive-by? Nobody would ever know -- nor for that matter would they likely care, either. And grinding? That's make-work to me. Oh, I'd love to have the experience, equipment and skills to be able to make beautiful, solid, clean and smooth welds first time, every time, but to me, all that's really important is that it stays together.

Splatter? Not worried about it on the piece for the same reason, and cleaning the floor of the garage with the power-vac is a piece of cake...

Dougp
10-26-2010, 02:44 PM
Steve you are correct I was talking about about the wire you use to make the frames. I am sorry if i was not clear in my earlier post. Thank again. Randy

Sorry about that, I use 1/4 round cold steel. You can get it in 20 foot lengths from a steel supplier.

rredecker
10-26-2010, 02:54 PM
Thanks everyone for there feedback it looks like I need to go with the mig not the stick welder. Also thank Doug for the head up on what type of wire/steel to use. you guys have been a great help today.

mmulvenna
10-26-2010, 07:56 PM
I bought one of the mid range mig welders from HF. I used it for a while with just the flux core wire, then I tried the gas/solid core wire combo. Man, what a difference the gas makes. My welds look 400% better with the gas, and any spatter is almost eliminated. Cut my grinding time to almost nothing......:cool: I wholeheartedly recommend buying a welder that can utilize gas.:D

I agree, you just cant use it when it is windy:(

Wayne J
11-14-2010, 11:14 AM
I agree, you just cant use it when it is windy:(

That's why you don't throw away the flux core wire. You use it for "on site" work. Heck it's only a polarity and tip change and good to go. ;)

Santacarl
01-19-2011, 11:55 PM
I have a dozen or more wireframes.....wire size depends on the size of the wireframe you create..... Big ones like my 7 foot santa and snowmen you need 1/4 for sure....smaller ones like my elf do fine with 3/16...and it's cheaper....

griffixdc
01-20-2011, 01:03 AM
any suggestions on a good arch welder for this type of fabrication ? preferably 120v not 220

Elmo2resc
03-05-2011, 02:37 AM
griffixdc
It would be a pain in the behind to weld the wire up with a stick welder. Unless you are also wanting to do some heavy welding i would spend a little more on a MIG. they are way easier to use and more versatile. The negative side to it is if you want to weld heavy steel you have to spend allot more money when compared to a stick. Having the ability to use gas is also a nice with a MIG "cleaner". Going with a HF unit will safe you some money for a hobbyist. Just don't count on getting parts for it when it breaks. I am sure many people get years of use out of them. I spent the extra money for a product I knew I could get parts for.

griffixdc
03-05-2011, 03:00 AM
griffixdc
It would be a pain in the behind to weld the wire up with a stick welder. Unless you are also wanting to do some heavy welding i would spend a little more on a MIG. they are way easier to use and more versatile. The negative side to it is if you want to weld heavy steel you have to spend allot more money when compared to a stick. Having the ability to use gas is also a nice with a MIG "cleaner". Going with a HF unit will safe you some money for a hobbyist. Just don't count on getting parts for it when it breaks. I am sure many people get years of use out of them. I spent the extra money for a product I knew I could get parts for.

well dont mean to ask a stupid question but does HF mean Harbor Freight? alright so you say mig welder where would you recommend me getting one....later down the road i do want ot custom fabricate Hot rod frames and be able to weld aluminum...so since i really dont know much about equipment please point me in the right direction,

wonko
03-05-2011, 04:01 AM
Welding aluminum with an arc welder...eeks. Speaking from personal experience, that's about one of the most difficult things to learn how to do with an arc welder (and I used to weld under water lol). I'm not saying it can't be done, because I spent a few years learning how to do it and make it look good, but it takes allot of patience and practice. These days when it comes to welding aluminum, TIG is the only way to go. It's all I use for any of the welding I do, with the exception of the really thick stuff that needs loads of penetration. Your either going to need 2 different welders or your gonna spend big bucks on 1 welder to do all that for you. I hear it said allot...buy your last welder first, and you'll save yourself a lot of headaches.

Brian

P.S. check this (http://www.millerwelds.com/resources/articles/index.php?page=articles12.html) out. Lots of good info for ya.

imbluenote
01-10-2012, 11:22 PM
Kind of a follow up...all I want to do is make wireframes (at least that is my story now!) I can get the HF 90 amp stick welder for $50, in the end would it work for making wire frames? As a previous poster noted, I can care less how clean they look just so long as it holds, but I don't want to buy a welder that will not be able to do the job.

angus40
01-11-2012, 12:00 AM
If your buying just for wire frames the arc is plenty good .

If you plan to use for other welding applications - go for the gas- mig , you will not regret it .

flux core = dirty welding

gas = clean also requires reverse polarity

Matt_Edwards
01-11-2012, 02:44 AM
what size material are you thinking?
1/4"? Stick is fine, Mig (with Argonshield) is nicer
1/8"? Oxy Braising or Mig (with Argonshield)
That is what I tend to do anyway. I have not mastered Gasless Mig and don't want to raise my blood pressure trying. I make good Bird S#!t.

crazy_carpenter
01-12-2012, 03:13 AM
I bought the HF 90 amp flux core wire welder (89$) and an instant on hood (39$) back on Black Friday to start up a little side gig building bottle trees. Never welded anything in my life and thought this would be a cheap way to learn. Anyway, I've been welding 1/2" and 3/8" rebar together and the joints seem strong enough for yard art and Christmas stuff so far. Splatter is real bad but that is what a grinder and paint is for :thup2:

And Matt... Did you ever try those Dura Fix sticks you posted in another thread? I really want to try them if they work.

WWNF911
01-12-2012, 05:06 AM
I bought one of the mid range mig welders from HF. I used it for a while with just the flux core wire, then I tried the gas/solid core wire combo. Man, what a difference the gas makes. My welds look 400% better with the gas, and any spatter is almost eliminated. Cut my grinding time to almost nothing......:cool: I wholeheartedly recommend buying a welder that can utilize gas.:D

SOLD.

Been meaning to try some of this stuff for a while. Same welder just different method Randy?

Thanks

Leon

Matt_Edwards
01-12-2012, 06:49 AM
And Matt... Did you ever try those Dura Fix sticks you posted in another thread? I really want to try them if they work.

Yes. I used them to braze aluminium exhaust pipes for my model boats.

Wayne J
01-12-2012, 11:18 AM
I bought the HF 90 amp flux core wire welder (89$) and an instant on hood (39$) back on Black Friday to start up a little side gig building bottle trees. Never welded anything in my life and thought this would be a cheap way to learn. Anyway, I've been welding 1/2" and 3/8" rebar together and the joints seem strong enough for yard art and Christmas stuff so far. Splatter is real bad but that is what a grinder and paint is for :thup2:



If the splatter is really bad (I know flux core makes a mess), then the welder is probably out of adjustment. Also, a spray can of splatter guard will help. You just have to clean it off before painting.

Materdaddy
01-12-2012, 11:34 AM
Also, the miller wire from HD is probably much better than the cheap wire from HF and will help a little bit with the splatter.

speeddy
07-09-2013, 01:36 AM
For the splatter you can buy anti splatter spray to spray on ya metal only down side it will need recleaning with rag with actone.I have a welding shop.All my welders is Millers I got a miller matic 140 it uses 75/25 gas it last long time welding wireframes the difference on the prices on flux-core wire to er70-s2 wire fluxcore 65.00 to 70.00 for a 11 lbs spool to 24.00 solid a roll same weight.My recomendation is a miller with gas will save alot of time cleaning and cheaper to weld and welds look so much better.I been welding sence I was 12 and now I.m 46. I use to teach welding at our local college. I did have an welder like they have a hf.I gave it away after 15mins welding.You will do the same trust me.only time you want argon. welding with mig is on carbon steel.Tig welding you can use argon on all metals. if you get a trimix with heli it will be like adding 20 to 30 amps more to ya machine it welds alot hotter.Good for migging stainless or welding hastalloy.Trimix Cost alot.O yeah don't forget to spray ya gun also. tips will last longer.If your adjusting the machine. drive roller.start out lose and put on a glove point gun in ya palm pull trigger if the wire stops tighten roller to where the mig wire curls up in ya hand and for adjusting roll inside machine start out a little lose turn up ya wire speed all the way up pull trigger for 2 to 3 sec let go watch roll if it keeps turning snug bolt on spring in center of roll you want it to sptop when you let go trigger.if you adjust it that way all the driver roller and drive motor will last a long time.Just remember drive roller first and wire roll second. Extra tip if you using solid wire get you some lubricating pads and a can of lubricate they go on behind drive rollers clamped on wire. Cable in gun will last much longer.Everytime you change 11 lbs spool. Clean roller with wire brush and cleaner pull nuzzle off wire brush around tip then install new tip if you don t clearn first the threads will get screwed up from splatter. Good Luck

speeddy
08-15-2013, 04:52 AM
welding alum isn t cheap by far I got a Miller DX 250 with a water cool tig rig.Just the water cooled tig rig is $1100.00 with out water cooler and welder setup like mine complete is around 7500.00

Wayne J
08-15-2013, 10:02 AM
welding alum isn t cheap by far I got a Miller DX 250 with a water cool tig rig.Just the water cooled tig rig is $1100.00 with out water cooler and welder setup like mine complete is around 7500.00

There is a much cheaper way than TIG. You can buy a Spool Gun rig (http://www.lincolnelectric.com/en-us/equipment/guns/Pages/magnum-spool.aspx) for less than $300 and use on these portable welders for welding aluminum. This will work great for the hobbyist.
I have actually run aluminum wire through the liner of a regular gun before (emergency situation). I don't recommend it, but it can be done.

Remember, a shielding gas change is also recommended also.