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View Full Version : What king of welder to use?



Aerycks
11-27-2008, 08:56 PM
I have been wanting to start making my own wire frames for my display, and I believe that I have finally convinced the wife to let me do it.

But now the big question looming over me is what kind of welder do I buy. I see many different types at Lowe's/Home Depot and I would hate to invest the money into something that will not do what I want it to.

Help please! If I wait too long, the wife might change her mind:)

jrock64
11-27-2008, 09:19 PM
http://www.doityourselfchristmas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4524&highlight=welder

RobDude30
11-28-2008, 11:03 AM
I have the Lincoln Electric Weld Pak 100HD Wire Feed Welder that I bought from Home Depot a couple of years ago. It will do up to 1/4" steel (2 pass) and does fine for making wireframes. It is also good for light welding jobs around the house.

I have built 6 wireframes, the largest of which being a 6.5' tall Santa and a 6.5' tall Christmas tree, and the 100HD did all I needed it to do and did it very well.

Some have mentioned to get a bigger welder than you think you need and that is probably good advice if you have the money to spend. I will likely get a bigger welder at some point in the future as I begin to build larger frames out of bigger material. However, with that being said, my welder has served me very well for the price I paid.

Elmo2resc
11-29-2008, 04:06 AM
I use a Hobart 125 mig welder. I would buy the largest you can afford and keep in mind what you expect it to do with it. The 125 is more then enough for wire frames. I would stay with a wire feed. If you are going to want to weld heavy gauge steel it will cost you unless you move to a stick welder. A stick welder isn't going to be very friendly welding wire frames though.
Jerome

jpb
11-29-2008, 05:54 AM
I make my wire frames using 6mm round stock and use a stick welder with the lightest possible rods/amps and being careful.

Jon

jgrei1
11-29-2008, 06:35 AM
something like this would be great for what you need..

http://store.summitracing.com/partdetail.asp?autofilter=1&part=LCN%2DK2697%2D1&N=700+4294845435+115&autoview=sku

lincoln electric is good and reliable too.. should last you atleast 15 or 20 years

Mufassa
11-29-2008, 02:56 PM
something like this would be great for what you need..

http://store.summitracing.com/partdetail.asp?autofilter=1&part=LCN%2DK2697%2D1&N=700+4294845435+115&autoview=sku

lincoln electric is good and reliable too.. should last you atleast 15 or 20 years


This is the one I ended up buying. I have already gone thru a 1# spool of wire making all kinds of things. It works great for the 1/4" round I used to make stars etc. The price in this link is HIGH. I would check with Home Depot and Lowes. I got mine for $50 less with the price match (check the other thread). If you want something cheaper go with the 100HD weld pac. I think it would do the same exact thing I have used my 140 for to this point. The 140 will allow you to add gas later if you want. But I dont know if I will as you cant do the heavier metal with the gas, you still need the flux wire.

Overall I think this is the best purchase I have made in YEARS it has allowed me to fabricate so many things I couldnt before.

Also its EASY to use. It took me a few stars to get the hang of it but even the first one's are not that bad looking and everything has been strong enough bond to keep it together.

--Greg

speeddy
12-30-2009, 04:28 PM
I use a Miller matic 140 with gas and a Miller matic 252 with gas.

Wayne J
12-30-2009, 07:18 PM
I always recommend a Lincoln. In my 24 yrs (really 28) of welding, the Lincoln's have always done the best job and most reliable. Own one myself.
Keep in mind this is a purchase that will/should last you a very long time, so buy quality. Make sure the one you get can upgrade to gas shielding. ;)

kostyun
12-30-2009, 08:15 PM
I use an older (now) Lincoln 135 w/ shielding gas.

- also - keep an eye out on your local craigslist for a gas shielding cylinder - I picked up mine for a song there.

- when looking at HD or lowes - get the 10% off movers coupon!!!

kiowamike
12-30-2009, 08:38 PM
I too have a Lincoln Electric 100HD. It comes out of the box as a FCAW (Flux Core something Wire) but, you can always upgrade it to MIG later. The best thing is it runs off of 120V rather then 220v.

Ekuth
12-30-2009, 08:40 PM
Wow... am I the only one using an oxy/acetylene rig? :cool:

It's what I learned on... never did get the hang of wire feeds.

Wayne J
12-30-2009, 08:41 PM
Something I want to bring up to all that have/will buy a 110vac welder. Get a good 10ga extension cord. You will find yourself in a need to have it.

kiowamike
12-30-2009, 08:48 PM
something i want to bring up to all that have/will buy a 110vac welder. Get a good 10ga extension cord. You will find yourself in a need to have it.
'fo sho'

51fordf2
12-30-2009, 09:53 PM
Hmmmm....Ford vs. Dodge vs. Chevy....

I have a Hobart Handler 187, and I love it. I have used Millers and Lincolns as well, and they all do a satisfactory job. I just happen to do my best with the Hobart.

R

daviddth
12-31-2009, 08:33 AM
Hmmmm....Ford vs. Dodge vs. Chevy....

Very true, but down here it's Ford Vs Holden vs all the other trash ;)

I have tried 5 or 6 Mig welders and provided you have something that supports shielding gas (I wont go back), has a nice smooth wire feed action and enough current to weld the desired thickness steel, the brand does not matter a whole lot. Oh and a good welding helmet helps a lot too in my opinion

I'm on my 3rd bottle of shielding gas and second roll of cable since I bought it & love using the welder whenever I can.

jgrei1
12-31-2009, 10:42 AM
i have to agree... most top of the line welders are the same and it only comes down to personal preference.

i have a WIA welder myself, purely because they have been tested and proven in australian fabrication shops.

i think gas sheilded wire produces a cleaner and nicer weld than flux core, while saying that though if you regularly weld outside you are probably better off using flux cored wire. It doesnt matter which you use as long as your welder is setup correctly and the correct size wire is selected you shouldnt notice much difference in weld strength between the two

Wayne J
12-31-2009, 01:00 PM
I am going to disagree with the "it's personal preference" opinions. I have used them all, and have found that the drive units in Lincolns are the most dependable and smoothest running. The Arc starts are stronger also.

stanward
01-04-2010, 04:19 AM
I use a Miller matic 140 with gas and a Miller matic 252 with gas.

Miller makes the best welders.... period.

disneynut
01-04-2010, 07:39 AM
I agree mostly on the lincolns but I am a welder by trade and use a Miller mig and tig setup with stargon gas and love it. I would suggest if you do invest in a welder must it fit you not you fit it. I love to tig anything I can get my hands on.The rods are much cheaper than wire and it is the cleanest weld you have seen. Plus with tig, you can use any type of metal, even stainless. If you go mig(wire feed), make sure you can use gas with it, that will also so give clean welds without using flux coated wire.

stanward
01-05-2010, 01:11 AM
Disneynut, your opinion is most valuable since you're a welder by trade!

Argon gas is so expensive now, so you can't go weld-crazy nowadays! I don't have a miller, as I can't afford one, but have learned how to weld on 2 different Millermatics. Also, used a Lincoln, and my piece of crap Blue Point. Millers are THE BEST.

speeddy
01-05-2010, 07:54 PM
Lincolns are higher priced and the ones at lowes are a cheaper model than one you buy at the welding shop.I have welded with Lincolns ,Miller ,Hobart ,ect. Miller owns Hobart. For parts Most shops carry mostly Miller parts.Don't get me wrong. Lincoln makes some great machines.I have x-rayed with both.Most construction jobs use Miller 8 packs.Miller gas Machines (Bobcats) I'm going to get a Trailblazer for portable use.

Wayne J
01-05-2010, 08:08 PM
What I do with the welders I use :cool: .......

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