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Thread: What Welder to get?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    WesternTreasure Valley, Idaho
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    Default Re: What Welder to get?

    I have the same welder that Doug P has only it is an older one. I have been using it for 6 years now and never reached duty cycle. Can't go wron gfor a hobby welder. Doug uses his probably 50 times more than I do now.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
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    Delafield,WI
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    Default Re: What Welder to get?

    I have one of those cheap HF welders. Yes it does spit some. But for under $100 it's a reasonable deal. I've found one of the important things to be aware of is you need to use a 20 amp circuit. Not that it will blow a breaker on a 15 amp outlet, the voltage drop on the line will have a big impact on your welds. I prefer to run it off my 3500 watt generator. A huge difference without the input voltage dropping.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    Default Re: What Welder to get?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfie View Post
    First and foremost, I AM NOT A WELDER. I only have very little experience. But that experience is very much related to the OP's desire. Wireframes.

    I agree, the HF welder is crap. But its very very cheap crap that will work for at least part of what the OP is wanting to do. There are several tutorials on converting it from AC to DC and I plan on doing so this summer which appears to improve its performance considerably for minimal additional cost. However, out of the box it does work and can work for your needs, at least on the wireframe aspect. And it can do so on a very small budget. I used it to make this last year:


    It went on to become Serena's disco ball halloween costume.


    You are NOT going to weld aluminum with it. You are NOT going to weld structural steel with it. It will weld wire of most gauges we will likely be using for wireframes in our projects. It will weld thin mild steel (1/8" rated but I have done thicker though not pretty). It is NOT the best welder by any stretch of the imagination. It is the cheapest though Under a hundred clams and you can be making blinky stuff. And it runs on standard 115v. Many of the other welders folks above recommended require 230v. So if you don't have that in your garage/work area, then you are going to either have to stick with smaller cheaper 115v welders or you are gonna need to run a 230v circuit for the welder.

    If, and I repeat IF you can afford a better welder, then I would. The HF flux welder spits like a major league pitcher, mainly because its flux but also because its AC. DC conversions do seem to help with that according to everything I can see/read. I will likely find out this summer when I convert mine. At the time, I wasn't expecting to use it much after the disco ball project. I mostly considered it a cost of making the costume and mostly as a consumable and basically a throw away. However I have found it handy to have and used it for tweaking and fixing other odd projects around the house. Had I known I would end up kinda liking welding and have any further use of it, I probably would have opted for one of the Eastwoods. I am not sorry I got the HF cheapie flux welder. IIRC, I think I got it for around $80 on sale with a coupon and considered it a disposable tool. It got the job done, it did more than I asked of it and welded stuff bigger than its rated for. I still have it and will still use it.

    Welding wire was, well, how can I say this. Um. A PITA. Never having welded before, took no lessons, and had no tutor or mentor made it a challenge. There is so little room for error before you burn the wire and thats a hard lesson to learn too. Welding flat stock and hardware was a piece of cake compared to thin wire. So prepare yourself for some initial frustrations getting your first wireframes done. Consider them practice pieces. And, if you know a welder, see if you can pick his(her) brain or get a mentor. Wish I had one.
    Eastwood is a good option. Before that, what I think is you need to be good at welding. If you are hobbyist definitely you need to know the basic welding. Go with the vast and vivid google. Youtube is my best teacher but when it comes to the practical session it lacks. I have experience. I started welding with the help of youtube, I surfed for the welding videos, tips, safety measures while doing the welding from there. It is really helpful for small welding works but when it comes to professional it lacks. Mainly because it is difficult to clear our doubts. So, the better option is to go for regular courses. There are many welding programs are available like 4 days tool and die courses. Better you choose such welding programs or night classes and get trained in it.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    May 2018
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    Iowa,Des Moines
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    Default Re: What Welder to get?

    Miller, Hobart and Lincoln make portable welders with that much auxillary power in a few models of each brand. Some won't have all the welding capabilities for TIG or MIG but those that cost a bit more will. That is what they were built for to supply more auxillary power at job sites yet also be able to put out more on 220V auxillary for emergencies. Step up to some of their larger models too with small diesel engines and they are very fuel efficient compared to gas models and some of the air cooled models can be bought OEM to run on propane. Some don't understand everyone can not afford all the toys they want.The gasoline engine on any of the 10 kW welder generators runs at 3,600 rpm when electricity is being consumed or welding is being done. Adding load to the generator would be sensed by the governor and the throttle would be opened more - the speed would vary little. Also, the rotating mass of a 10kW size rotor and its 20 hp engine will allow very little droop in rpm when a large load is added. I think you have little to worry about here. Do not use the automatic idle feature when making electricity.
    I have a Lincoln Ranger 8 https://mechanicguides.com/best-cheap-welders-money/ which I originally bought using your logic: weld, power my shop and provide emergency power. However, I have since learned that the Lincoln is a pretty good welder, and a very noisy and inefficient generator (although it makes power just fine). I have now purchased Onan diesel generators for the power needs, and the welder is reserved for just welding and powering the grinder. The smaller diesel burns 0.25 gallons per hour, while the welder burns a bit more than 1 gallon per hour. That adds up over 200 hours per year. Yesterday on Youtube saw a bunch of videos on a similar topic,check out this one, I hope it helps you.

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