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JLSAG05
11-06-2006, 11:02 PM
Hey guys, what specs on a welder do you suggest for the tripods and feeders yall are building. I'm looking into buying one soon, don't know too much about them but the bare basics and don't want the guy at AIRGAS to sell me more than I need. Just curious what specs and brand you pro D-I-Yer's suggest. I will use it for for stands, feeders and the occasional home project and light farm work. Thanks in advance.

Hog_Hunter
11-06-2006, 11:40 PM
I use an ARC welder for just about everything.

Bill in San Jose
11-07-2006, 12:27 AM
I'm not a tradesperson, so I bought a $100 mig welder at Anchor Freight. It's 100 amp and does not have the inert gas tank hookup. More amperage and the gas raise the price. You definately get what you pay for. The welds are not pretty at all, but they're holding things together.

Get one of the helmets with the automatic lens that darkens when you strike the arc. I got one for my son for Christmas and use it now myself and it makes welding much easier.

2 cents advice from a welding novice.

Problem Child
11-07-2006, 02:22 AM
A wire fed mig is the way to go. You can pick up a small 120 volt mig in the $500.00 range. I have a one I picked up at Home Depot and it has handled every project that I have needed welding for.

Dale Moser
11-07-2006, 10:49 AM
Miller makes the best wire feeds, Lincoln makes the best stick rigs. For your purposes (basicly the same as mine) wire is the way to go. The argon hookup makes everything easy, but flux core wire, without gas will do anything you need. Plus it can be used outside in the wind with no ill effects.

I've not used one but I've heard good things about Hobart welders and they don't cost as much as Miller or Lincoln. I can't imagine they wouldn't be just fine for what you want to do. If you've got the power a 220v box is nice to have but 110v will build any deer feeder, pipe fence, or skinnin rack you could need, they just use more juice that way.

Check out www.northerntool.com

Texastaxi
11-07-2006, 11:08 AM
Dale, I think my little lunch box welder is a Hobart.

I picked it up at Lowe's for about $100 ... knowing NOTHING about welding. It's a flux core machine without the gas hookup. It didn't take long before I was sticking metal together, mainly because the machine is SO simple and doesn't have a bunch of knobs, switches or gizmos. I've used it to build all kinds of stuff. I know I've got a long way to go before my welds are "pretty", but they hold. For the price, I don't think a beginer can go wrong!

Joey~AP
11-07-2006, 11:09 AM
I use a Hobart w/ flux core.

Easy to use. Heat range corresponds to steel thickness. Just make sure you can see it penetrating bothe pieces of metal as you weld. If it dont.....I wouldnt climb on er. :)

Run a test weld to get yer speed rite.

jta
11-07-2006, 11:31 AM
Miller 135 is a great little wire welder. Everything i use it on has held.

Wayno
11-07-2006, 11:49 AM
I must be the luckiest guy on here. My dad is a welder by trade, so anything I need like this, I get done by a pro, and my prices can't be beat either...FREE! He was reminding me and my brother-in-law this past weekend of how we are going to miss him when he is gone. He's right, in more ways than one.

Dale Moser
11-07-2006, 12:11 PM
BTW the one I use is a Miller 175. I've done some stuff here at work that HAS TO BE stout, out of 1/2" and some a fuzz bigger, and have had zero problems.

People will tell you, and have told me that this rig isn't big enough for "High test/heavy duty" stuff. They're full of it, or don't know how to weld.

Bill in San Jose
11-07-2006, 12:32 PM
Like most other hardware and hunting gear, you get what you pay for. My $100 mig (in my hands) does not make pretty welds. As my son's friend said in the waterfowl refuge when I pointed out the ugly welds on the cart I built, "there's no points for pretty out here".

I'd watch craigslist in your area, you may find a used pro quality mig for sale at a good price. My son and I did that when he needed power tools for a summer job doing framing. He has all used Milwaukee stuff for less than Dewalt at Home Depot.

RR 314
11-07-2006, 12:48 PM
I know you guys love the wire welders, and they certainly are easy to learn with, not to mention very easy to use when welding light gauge metal. I still prefer the stick welder for beginning welders as I believe it makes you a better/safer welder. I have seen a lot of welds with no penetration with gobbs of bead/slag with beginners using the stick, but if you begin with a stick I believe you truly can be a better welder with stick or wire as you progress. I realize the logic may not follow and why start with a stick when you ultimately want to end up with a wire welder? Good question, and that is one you will have to answer. As far as price, you can pick up a used AC/DC 220v stick welder for a couple hundred bucks and are ready to start (learning how to) weld.

I have been looking at Dale's projects over the years and he certainly is a good welder with the Millermatic 175. The problem I see with novices starting off with the wire welders is if you buy the most inexpensive wire welders out there (knock off brands with 110 v--certainly the Miller(matics) are excluded from this list and are great machines) you simply cannot get enough penetration--IMHO--to safely weld some of the heavier metals.

I made some towers with 4" galvanized angle and I may catch grief, but you cannot get enough penetration with a crackerbox wire welder. Just so there is no confusion, the Millermatics mentioned above would be suited for this work, but again, you are looking at $900 on the low end (135) for a set up, on the way to several thousand dollars, even if you don't get set up for aluminum. If you want an inexpensive set up, I would go for the trusty old stick and spend some time in the shop with scraps learing how to weld. If you do sheetmetal (light), forget the stick and move up to the wire welders.

I hope not to start a stick v. wire thread, but do think you should consider a good and inexpensive stick welder if money is a concern, especially if you want to make stands and trust your safety to your welds. Pick up a good angle grinder and slag hammer and have at it.

Big_gun
11-07-2006, 01:09 PM
I have a craftsman welder (don't know who makes it for Sears) and it has done fine. I believe I have about $275 in it....All I use is flux core wire BUT it does have gas hookups. up to 3/16" single pass had the highest cycle rate of all the " cracker box" units I looked at.

Dale Moser
11-07-2006, 02:15 PM
RR 314, I can't disagree with one word of that either!

expressfish
11-07-2006, 02:44 PM
if you go with 110v , go with a wire fed, they burn hotter than a stick. anything more than 3/16 will be hard to get good penetration tho. I have two cracker boxes, one 110v and other 220v.......nice to have when 220 plug not in reach. oh and the wire and plugs to make an extension cord aint cheap either !!! geez theres another 70-100 bucks

Dale Moser
11-07-2006, 03:39 PM
I learned with a Lincoln Idealarc 250 3 phase, that my grandad bought when he still ran our company.....he retired in '79 and we still use that welder here. Everybody's lights go dim when you turn that sucker up!:)

Bill in San Jose
11-07-2006, 04:03 PM
A little trick for using a mig welder at home- ours throws the 15amp circuit breaker pretty easily. My home was wired for an electric clothes dryer with 40amp service. Running a heavy power cord from the garage into the laundry room and using the 40amp service has stopped the lights from going out.

Only took me months to figure that out, maybe it will help somebody else.

RR 314
11-07-2006, 04:39 PM
Bill,

I did the same at my last house! My wife was not happy with wire running through the house every other weekend, but I had the builder in our new house set me up with 220 in the garage. Much happier wife but the neighbor next door is miffed with the light show. . .

Texas Grown
11-07-2006, 11:01 PM
Mig on carbon steel is the easiest to learn. Any mig set-up of 100 to 175 amps would be a good start for what you'll be wanting, pending your A/C outlet (110 volt or 220?) and your $$$.

Hobart is the oldest name in the business. I used to work for them in the eightys, as a welder. I'm still welding today. Started when I was eighteen YOA back in 1975, spool arc-ing aluminum . Mig, tig, and/or stick now. Most any type of fuseable metal with one or the other.

I personally preffer Miller products. But have used most all of the name brand, including Airarc, Miller, Hobart, Lincoln, Century, Orbital (a couputerized programable tig welder/machine for small pipe, like 3/16" dia .020 wall pipe), and a bunch I can't remember the names of at the moment.

Dale, take good care of that Lincoln. :)

Cotton
11-08-2006, 09:34 PM
I've been using a stick all my life and I really like the miller in the picture and being able to use it anywhere. I now have a miller wire welder that runs off the miller in the picture. Just have to learn how to use it now. :) I also picked up a Plasma cutter so I'm all geared up to cut and stick some metal!

3081

Dusty Britches
11-09-2006, 08:37 AM
What size generator would you need to run that small Miller?

Y'all have me thinking I might be able to learn to weld -kinda' sorta' in a way.

bcg
11-09-2006, 11:49 AM
I learned with the Lincoln IdealArc AC/DC stick welders in school. Great machines but really expensive. I later got a Lincoln AC225 that I used around the house for a number of years. Stick welding with AC is a royal PITA, I think. I was never happy with the appearance of my welds. Sure, AC gets great penetration and the welds were strong but I don't like welds that look like crap. I just recently missed out on a used Millermatic 175 with both the carbon and aluminum setups and the gas for $650 so I went to Home Depot and got the Lincoln WeldPak 175HD. It's a great machine and can easily handle up to 1/2" material. I personally can't see any reason that I'll ever need to weld anything that thick. So far I've built 6 or 8 hog traps, a frame for a door canopy for a building, some ladder racks and a few other little odds and ends with it. I've run probably 30 pounds of .035 flux core wire through it and another 2 or 3 pounds of the mig wire with Argon shielding.

First, you should find a way to have 220 wherever you plan on welding. I was fortunate in that my dryer connection was in the garage at the last house and we used a gas drier and the new house has the breaker box in teh garage so it was nothing to add 220 here. I haven't seen a 110 welder yet that would make clean welds consistently unless the welder was really skilled and there's no reason to handicap yourself when you're learning if it can be avoided.

If you can afford $600 or more, you should get a wire-feed welder, you will want one eventually anyway if you like welding. Miller does make better machines than Lincoln in that area but htey also cost more. Both Lowes and Home Depot sell the 175 (different names but the same machine essentially) and Lowes will even give you a free grinder with the machine via a mail in rebate. You can also buy the "true" 175 at a welding shop but I think they run a little more there and I really don't see any difference in the specs when I look at them.

If a wire feed just isn't in your budget now and you decide to go with a stick, do yourself a favor and get an AC/DC machine. It is SOOOOO much easier ot weld with DC, especially with thinner material like 14 or 16 ga square tube and the DC welds will look so much nicer. You'll spend probably an extra $100 for the DC capability but believe me, it's worth it.

Cotton
11-09-2006, 12:04 PM
What size generator would you need to run that small Miller?

Y'all have me thinking I might be able to learn to weld -kinda' sorta' in a way.

It's all self contained, the box on the side of it is a car battery, gas tank on top and the motor is to the back. It actually doubles as a generator so you can run other power tools out in the field. Just guessing I'd say that unit weighed around 500 pounds. But it's a must have when your on the ranch and have to repair a gate or something that's not easily brought up to the shop.

JLSAG05
11-09-2006, 02:47 PM
That lincoln 175 from lowes was one of the one's I was looking at. I think you just might of seales the deal. Now just gotta wait for that holiday bonus.

Dusty Britches
11-09-2006, 04:05 PM
So, Cotton - what Model is that Miller? It looks kinda small so the weight has me thrown for a loop.

Cotton
11-09-2006, 04:46 PM
DB, it's an older model. This Miller (http://www.millerwelds.com/products/enginedriven/bobcat_250/) is pretty much it in the new version. This one weighs 560 pounds so I'm pretty close on my guestimation but I was being conservative.

The only way it gets loaded or unloaded is with the front end loader of the tractor. The vertical blue plate with the whole in front of the gas tank is the balance (pick up) point.

Stolle
11-09-2006, 05:50 PM
Cotton

I have the same machine. You ever have problems with the automatic idle? It will idle up a little when you strike an arc but not enough to weld.

Cotton
11-09-2006, 07:05 PM
Funny you should bring that up, the last time I used it I had that problem. Don'r know if it will fix it or not but I'm going to give the engine a tune up.

Andy
11-09-2006, 09:07 PM
I been useing a Miller Trailblazer 301G for past 4 years. Like lots of the other gentlemen here I been a welder all my life. I have used the comerical linclons in welding shops years ago and many other types even the old Heliarc....Never tried a wire feed yet use stick for everything but this trailblazer has been the best I have used.Several years back when it was brand new our electricty was out in one of floods for several day that 10,000 watt generator it has come in handy...I still want to buy the wire feed that will plug directly into this trailblazer..........Andy

Cotton
11-09-2006, 09:17 PM
Andy, I got one similar to this one (http://www.millerwelds.com/products/wire_feeders/suitcase_vs/) and so far it's great. I'm just learning it but man you sure can lay some purty beads!

BIG IRON
11-11-2006, 11:36 AM
I know you guys love the wire welders, and they certainly are easy to learn with, not to mention very easy to use when welding light gauge metal. I still prefer the stick welder for beginning welders as I believe it makes you a better/safer welder. I have seen a lot of welds with no penetration with gobbs of bead/slag with beginners using the stick, but if you begin with a stick I believe you truly can be a better welder with stick or wire as you progress. I realize the logic may not follow and why start with a stick when you ultimately want to end up with a wire welder? Good question, and that is one you will have to answer. As far as price, you can pick up a used AC/DC 220v stick welder for a couple hundred bucks and are ready to start (learning how to) weld.

I have been looking at Dale's projects over the years and he certainly is a good welder with the Millermatic 175. The problem I see with novices starting off with the wire welders is if you buy the most inexpensive wire welders out there (knock off brands with 110 v--certainly the Miller(matics) are excluded from this list and are great machines) you simply cannot get enough penetration--IMHO--to safely weld some of the heavier metals.

I made some towers with 4" galvanized angle and I may catch grief, but you cannot get enough penetration with a crackerbox wire welder. Just so there is no confusion, the Millermatics mentioned above would be suited for this work, but again, you are looking at $900 on the low end (135) for a set up, on the way to several thousand dollars, even if you don't get set up for aluminum. If you want an inexpensive set up, I would go for the trusty old stick and spend some time in the shop with scraps learing how to weld. If you do sheetmetal (light), forget the stick and move up to the wire welders.

I hope not to start a stick v. wire thread, but do think you should consider a good and inexpensive stick welder if money is a concern, especially if you want to make stands and trust your safety to your welds. Pick up a good angle grinder and slag hammer and have at it.

Kinda like the gun vs. bow agruement:D

BIG IRON
11-11-2006, 11:40 AM
Stick welders are harder to figure out, but with the added time it takes, the more you will learn about weldind. I learned with a mig and started to believe that I was pretty good until I started welding with arc.

P.S. I have a Hobart cracker box a/c stick that I am willing to sell if you are intrested.

JLSAG05
11-12-2006, 11:06 AM
What do yall think about this one? http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product2_6970_200328799_200328799

Albert_d
11-12-2006, 09:10 PM
What size of generator would you need to power a Hobart Handler 187 MIG Welder — 230 Volt, 180 Amp,

BIG IRON
11-12-2006, 10:37 PM
What size of generator would you need to power a Hobart Handler 187 MIG Welder — 230 Volt, 180 Amp,

I used to have a hobart 175,( I am assuming that they are compatable) and a 5k watt generator. The breaker got pretty weak after a while and hauling both around the fence line at my house got pretty old. I now have a Lincoln engine-driven that cost the same as old gen and welder combined and wish I had bought the Lincoln to start with.
P.S. the one I have now is a stick

Albert_d
11-13-2006, 08:20 AM
Big Iron,
Which Lincoln do you have? I need a unit to do pipe fence repair so something engine driven is a must.

BIG IRON
11-14-2006, 09:31 PM
Power arc 4k, bougth it at home depot. Not sure if they still carry them. Cost about $1100 w/out leads.

BrandonA
12-03-2006, 02:30 PM
I have an older lincoln stic welder/generator mounted on a trailer. Looking at getting wire welder. Right now I am looking at the Hobart HAndler 140 wire welder. I don't have access to a 220 outlet, except in the house. Any opinions would be appreciated. Thanks

switchback
01-29-2007, 11:05 PM
I'm looking at the Hobart Handler 187 MIG Welder — 230 Volt, 180 Amp, Model# 500525 at Northern Tool. It has the gas hook ups or flux core. I learned on a stick and weld for a living now. Actually been having to use a stick while they're having all of our welders refurbished and painted.

Snapper
01-30-2007, 06:47 AM
I bought the Hobart 140 for Christmas and really like it. It is versatile and I can run around my lease with it and a generator to repair stands and feeders. I am no expert by any means but I did just finish my first project, which was a very nice hog trap. It seemed to do a good job for me at least.

Dale Moser
01-30-2007, 09:00 AM
I REALLY want one of these!:D

http://www.millerwelds.com/products/enginedriven/big_blue_air_pak/

SirWraithe
01-30-2007, 09:56 AM
myself and several friends have the lincoln weldpak 135 and have built race car chassis, feeders, fences, metal builings, they work great for about $500.

Graybow
01-30-2007, 10:03 AM
Thats what I want, Dale. They really do the job. Had one on a ranch that I used to work on. It was great.

Cotton
01-30-2007, 02:07 PM
Heck Dale go get that bad boy! :D

One_Shot
02-08-2007, 12:01 AM
I first learned with a stick welder (cracker box) and then moved on up to a mig. The stick is the best way to first get started, but the mig looks a lot nicer. I don't know all the termonology, but the mig I used has a gas bottle on it and the welds were slag free. Stick is a lot more fun to me, but mig looks nicer.

switchback
02-20-2007, 02:13 AM
Just ordered the holbart 180 handler yesterday and should be here by the weekend. it has 2 less settings than the 187 I was looking at (last years model I guess). It was around 150 cheaper. Now time for the the chop saw, grinder,and torch set up. Maybe a compressor next year. :D

big_smith
02-23-2007, 03:41 PM
A lot of the Miller parts are interchangable with Hobart. My Hobart came with a Miller handle. I bought my Hobart 180 at TSC, and have loved it. I recently bought a Hobart Ironman 210 from the pawn shop. It is a hoss. I am about to build a shop and get all my equipment out of the carport. Miller and Hobart are hard to beat. Hobart is a little cheaper.

Howard
02-23-2007, 05:16 PM
I used this one this last summer... Man I wish it was mine. I enjoyed welding with it other than the burns, but stick welding in shorts and flip flops will do that to you!

13422


13424

big_smith
02-23-2007, 05:29 PM
That's nuts Howard. I welded with short sleeves one day because I was a dummy. Ended up with one heck of a sunburn on the insides of my arms. I bet you got a good tan, not to mention the pock marks on your feet from the bb's jumping off your welds.

bentstk
02-25-2007, 01:23 PM
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Category.taf?CategoryID=292&pricetype=
Don't anything about it, but it would be hard to go wrong at this price

BIG IRON
02-25-2007, 09:01 PM
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Category.taf?CategoryID=292&pricetype=
Don't anything about it, but it would be hard to go wrong at this price

That little rig would be just fine for light guage tubing.

bentstk
02-26-2007, 09:15 AM
Bigiron
What would be the minimum amp rating you would suggest for what we are talking about doing? That would keep a lot of us from making a purchase of a machine that's not going to do the job.

bullwinkl
03-03-2007, 08:37 PM
Finally, the better half broke down an got me a Hobart 140. Can't wait to take this baby out of the box and strike an arc. :)

But first, I need a welding helmet. Anyone familiar with the inexpensive, solar powered, automatic dimming from harbor freight?