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Old 05-17-2020, 10:21 AM   #1
JLivi1224
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Default Welding jealousy!

Alright guys. Iím tired of being envious of all the DIY stands,feeders, Wok-its etc....

Spare me the search function comment please. I prefer this.

So you guys that have started welding as a hobby, where did you start? What machine? Any other helpful tips? Thanks!!!

Justin
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Old 05-17-2020, 10:22 AM   #2
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Miller 180 with auto set. Love the machine. Got the big bottle on it and it lasts a long time when just hobby welding.
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Old 05-17-2020, 10:24 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasCanesFan View Post
Miller 180 with auto set. Love the machine. Got the big bottle on it and it lasts a long time when just hobby welding.
Thanks TCF!
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Old 05-17-2020, 10:28 AM   #4
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Looks like they no longer make the 180 and IOC says the replacement is the 211. That gives you 220 and not just 110.
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Old 05-17-2020, 10:30 AM   #5
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Lincoln 140 weld pack. 120v and flux core makes for easy welding. Will handle 1/4 steel no problem.
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Old 05-17-2020, 10:33 AM   #6
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12 years old on the back of my Dad's pipeline rig. It was a Lincoln SA250 or 300.....not sure, as its been a while ago. My only real recommendation is to get a 220 rather than a 110. The Miller machines are far better than they used to be years ago. Back in the day there were called "blue tumors".
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Old 05-17-2020, 10:35 AM   #7
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I wouldn't start with a 110v unit, you won't get the results you need or want. Lincoln or Miller are fine. If you watch a couple youtube vids you will be a good welder in short order.
Understand you will need some consumables on hand, ( tips, nozzles, shrouds etc...), you can buy kits online or go to your local welding house.
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Old 05-17-2020, 10:36 AM   #8
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I appreciate the responses guys.
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Old 05-17-2020, 10:41 AM   #9
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I started with a Lincoln cracker box years ago.
A lot will depend on where and what you plan to do. I see on here where most guys have some kind of wire welder in their garage or shop. So then, you are limited to that one place. I've used wire welders on the job in years past and you will ALWAYS have some kind of trouble with them.
Why not learn to stick weld, buy a gas powered machine that you can take anywhere at anytime?
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Old 05-17-2020, 10:55 AM   #10
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Welding in the shop or garage.....get the biggest wire feed you can afford. The smaller ones with low duty cycle will try your patience. Once you get going good, you will hit your duty cycle and have to wait for it to cool off. I run a Miller 252, but would recommend a Hobart Ironman in similar size. They're made by the same people and use the same tips, rollers, sleeves, etc. The Hobart will be cheaper.

With a wire feed, you have to stay out of the wind, and your material has to be clean. Can be a pain sometimes working with dirty, rusty material. Have to spend more time prepping weld areas.



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Old 05-17-2020, 10:55 AM   #11
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I started with the Hobart Handler 140 and it did everything I needed it to do. I built feeders, deer stand towers, and many other things.
I now have the Millermatic 211 and love it.


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Old 05-17-2020, 11:28 AM   #12
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If your on a budget check out the Eastwood welders. Iíve had the 175 for a while and with very few issues. Helped me pay for college doing side work.


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Old 05-17-2020, 11:46 AM   #13
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Thanks again fellas.
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Old 05-17-2020, 12:08 PM   #14
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for stick welding you cant go wrong with Lincoln Red box welder for price, durability, and ease of use.
others may wish to comment on learning to stick weld first vs using the wire feed mig welder first.
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Old 05-17-2020, 01:33 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by easeup View Post
for stick welding you cant go wrong with Lincoln Red box welder for price, durability, and ease of use.
others may wish to comment on learning to stick weld first vs using the wire feed mig welder first.

Make sure itís an AC/DC machine, if you go with the Lincoln tombstone. I started on my dads Lincoln SA200 pipeliner. I bought a small Miller 211 110/220, then upgraded to a Miller 210. Mig is easier than stick, but itís good to know how to stick weld. Also, you could look at a multi process machine, TIG, MIG, Stick....Itís convenient to have them all in one machine, but the more processes it has, the more of a chance that itís not great at any of them.


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Old 05-17-2020, 01:35 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RattlesnakeDan View Post
I wouldn't start with a 110v unit, you won't get the results you need or want. Lincoln or Miller are fine.

Totally agree on avoiding the 110 units and I feel the same way about flux core wire also.

Get a unit that does 220 and the bottle of gas for a much better long term purchase.

YouTube is definitely your friend to learn.
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Old 05-17-2020, 01:40 PM   #17
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Start with a stick welder. Lincoln 225 tombstone, Miller thunderbolt, or Hobart. Start running beads and before you know it you can build anything.

Yes mig machines are easier, but crappy ones are crap and good machines start at $500 then you’ll want to run gas and before you know it you’ll be $1000 into it.

The stick welders are $250-400 and have the ability to weld from 10ga up to 3/8” or so Very easily. If you are trying to weld light metal then there would be an advantage to the mig. I got started as I needed to make a repair on our metal barn. Started basics and now I’m at least able to build you basic deer lease essentials occationally with a good looking bead.
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Old 05-17-2020, 01:44 PM   #18
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I started with a Lincoln tombstone 40+ years ago. Still use a Lincoln tombstone 40 years later. Just wish I could see what I was doing nowdays.
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Old 05-17-2020, 02:04 PM   #19
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Welding is only 40% of it. Learn to fit and fab and welding it together is the easy part.

That being said, a miller 211 or 215 is a perfect garage setup. Get a new miller with digital interface, you wont be sorry. I got the 215 multiprocess for the garage last year, awesome machine.
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Old 05-17-2020, 02:15 PM   #20
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I have a Lincoln mig 110v machine. It works, but has a low duty cycle and material has to be super clean. If I had it to do over again I would buy a 220v machine. All the guys saying flux core wire is amazing, must have never welded w shielding gas, it gives a far superior weld. They are easy to learn, just go for it, you will love it. But a welder is only part of what u need. Grinders, clamps, chop saw, etc. and you will def want a torch at some point
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Old 05-17-2020, 02:15 PM   #21
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Lincoln MP 210
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Old 05-17-2020, 02:18 PM   #22
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Old 05-17-2020, 03:03 PM   #23
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Another vote for the 211. If 110v is all you have, you can weld a crapload of stuff with the 211 on 110v. That’s how I got started with mine, and it welds great up to 3/16”. Now, it is a much MUCH better welder on 220v, and if you have 220 available you’ll never choose 110. But the 110 is nice to have in case you need to use it at the lease on a generator or some other less than ideal situation. It also runs flux core great, so you can get started welding on 110v with no gas bottle expense and then get 220 installed and a bottle of C25 later.

One thing to consider. Reread your original post. You said you want to make stuff. Yes welding is fun as a hobby, but the hobby is actually making stuff with metal and using welding to do it. MIG is the easiest path towards being able to make stuff. I haven’t done stick or TIG, and as much as I’d like to check it out, it’s just too easy to make things with a MIG welder.

One final word of warning. You will quickly discover that you need to cut metal, bend metal, heat metal, and clean and paint metal. It will add up quick! (Get a torch. By far most fun toy in the toy box!)
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Old 05-17-2020, 05:08 PM   #24
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Some ancient shop welder, a 6011, and a purlin clip.
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Old 05-17-2020, 05:19 PM   #25
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I have never welded but I would say to spend the time and effort to get certified. Then you could make a crap ton of money on the side!
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Old 05-17-2020, 05:35 PM   #26
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Honestly, I love Miller and Lincoln. I concur with txpitdog on the MIG idea. It's the hot glue gun of welding. It's the absolute most fun and easiest to learn.

If you want to save a little coin, get the Hobart 210MVP. It's a great machine for your purposes.

I was between the 210MVP, Lincoln MP210, Miller 211 and the Hobart IronMan230

I went with the IronMan 230 because it was the biggest machine of the bunch. It's transformer based and if you open it up, everything says Miller on it.
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Old 05-17-2020, 06:18 PM   #27
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I started off with a wire feed from Harbor freight, then upgraded to a wire feed from Home Depot that said Nascar on the side, and a tombstone.

Then I bought a Bobcat 250 and a better wire feed welder, which I still have.

Then a Miller Multimatic was added to the pack.

My welds still look like crap.
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Old 05-17-2020, 06:53 PM   #28
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Name:  43BC520C-47C0-4D7C-95A6-F9715BD23979.jpg
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Built this yesterday with a little Hobart 140. Iíve got a Hobart Ironman 230, Hobart Champion 10000, and Miller Thunderbolt 160 as well. Need to sell one or two, but just canít bring myself to do it. Iím a better grinder than I am welder anyways
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Old 05-17-2020, 06:59 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TX03RUBI View Post
Attachment 1004208Attachment 1004209

Built this yesterday with a little Hobart 140. Iíve got a Hobart Ironman 230, Hobart Champion 10000, and Miller Thunderbolt 160 as well. Need to sell one or two, but just canít bring myself to do it. Iím a better grinder than I am welder anyways
The best tool for a pretty weld is a flap disk.
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Old 05-17-2020, 07:02 PM   #30
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I started in my grandfather's shop, with his Lincoln tombstone (he was a welder by trade and had some impressive machine-driven rigs, but the tombstone was all he'd let me use). I inherited that tombstone and still use it, but I also bought me a 190amp Hobart MIG and love it.
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Old 05-18-2020, 06:15 AM   #31
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Back when schools had shop class, I learned in 7th grade. Lincoln cracker box.
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Old 05-18-2020, 07:30 AM   #32
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Hobart Handler 140 with a gas bottle.

For hobby welding and deer lease stuff this is all you need.

If you plan to fab your own smoker out of 3/8” pipe then maybe go with a 220v unit like the Miller 211. But it’s a significant price jump. Less than $500 vs over a $1000.
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Old 05-18-2020, 07:40 AM   #33
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I really appreciate the input fellas.
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Old 05-18-2020, 07:41 AM   #34
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I learned to weld with a Lincoln cracker box back in high school shop class. I have a Millermatic 211 now and love it.
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Old 05-18-2020, 07:53 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TacticalCowboy View Post
Some ancient shop welder, a 6011, and a purlin clip.
I learned a lot from a neighbor who was a rigger and welder in the 50s. He called a 6011 a hippie rod, because even the hippies could weld with those.

I had a Lincoln 110 unit from Home Depot and it worked. Upgraded to a Hobart 210 MVP and its awesome. I run it on 240 but like the flexibility. Get that, a bottle of gas, a weldcote hood and go. Watch youtube and try. Cuss, watch it again and try again. It will come. My welds look rough at times (especially out of a flat position) but they hold.
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Old 05-18-2020, 08:14 AM   #36
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Old man told me once that if you have to grind your welds to make them look good you're a grinder not a welder.
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Old 05-18-2020, 08:16 AM   #37
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This is the handiest thing I've ever had.Works real good on a 25' extension cord.Doesn't burn anything bigger than 3/32 rods very well..I used it on a 50' cord the other day,and worked pretty good.

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Old 05-18-2020, 08:20 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobinHood View Post
I started with the Hobart Handler 140 and it did everything I needed it to do. I built feeders, deer stand towers, and many other things.
I now have the Millermatic 211 and love it.


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Same here, the Hobart machine was great, but the Millermatic gives you lots more versatility for bigger projects.
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Old 05-18-2020, 08:43 AM   #39
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I've been welding for over 50 years. Was certified when I got out of college in the '70's... Never made my living as a welder (or grinder), but for any project where wood or metal would do the job, I always picked metal because I can cut it and make it fit better than I can with wood. I can also weld easier than I can nail. I've had all kinds of welders and still have 3. If I need to weld up something pretty heavy, I use my Lincoln Tombstone. Heck, you can crank that sucker up and cut with it. It has all the power you'd ever need around the house or deer lease and even most shops. I don't use it much since I have a couple wire welders. They all have their purpose.


The one I use the most is a Lincoln wire feed in MIG mode. Not sure what the model number is, but it runs on 110V. I also have a larger multiphase Lincoln that is 220V. The reason I use the small machine the most is because it is very portable, will fit on the back of a 4-wheeler alongside my Honda EU2000i genny. I can go to the field and make repairs, put up feeders, anything I need to do with that set up. Also, if I'm welding up a project at the house or in my shop or the barn, I've got 110V plugs everywhere. Not so with a 220V. The 110 is just easier to use, not from a welding standpoint, but from a convenience standpoint.



Further, if you are going to be welding outdoors, Tig with gas will drive you nuts if there is ANY wind. Heck you can even run a shop fan welding with gas without it blowing the gas off your weld. Also, the metal, both pieces that are being welded must be ground clean. Even new metal has an oil coating that must be wiped/ground off for gas blanket welding. Yes it welds better, IF you do all that stuff. However, .035 flux core wire will weld ANYTHING that is steel. It can be rusty, painted, oily, any condition. All you need to do is get it clean enough where you ground it and it will weld.



For "hobby" welding and the "learning how" process, I'd get a 110 volt wire feed welder with .035" flux core wire (or at least a dual voltage machine like others posted about). It will give you the most versitility, and will allow you to do things with a welder that you never thought possible. Heck, when I build feeders, I weld the leg brackets directly to the side of the barrel... No nuts n bolts for me on anything I don't intend to ever need to take apart!


One other thing, get you a good autodarkening helmet that has the capabilities to put magnifying lenses on the inside, especially if you wear glasses. Once I discovered I could put a magnifier lens in my helmet, my tired old eyes got a big lift. I can actually see what I'm welding again!! What a blessing.


One final thing, remember, when "making stuff", the better you can fit it together to minimize gaps, the easier it will be to weld together! Take the extra time to make it fit FIRST before welding.


Good luck and have fun.
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Old 05-18-2020, 09:34 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaltwaterSlick View Post
I've been welding for over 50 years. Was certified when I got out of college in the '70's... Never made my living as a welder (or grinder), but for any project where wood or metal would do the job, I always picked metal because I can cut it and make it fit better than I can with wood. I can also weld easier than I can nail. I've had all kinds of welders and still have 3. If I need to weld up something pretty heavy, I use my Lincoln Tombstone. Heck, you can crank that sucker up and cut with it. It has all the power you'd ever need around the house or deer lease and even most shops. I don't use it much since I have a couple wire welders. They all have their purpose.


The one I use the most is a Lincoln wire feed in MIG mode. Not sure what the model number is, but it runs on 110V. I also have a larger multiphase Lincoln that is 220V. The reason I use the small machine the most is because it is very portable, will fit on the back of a 4-wheeler alongside my Honda EU2000i genny. I can go to the field and make repairs, put up feeders, anything I need to do with that set up. Also, if I'm welding up a project at the house or in my shop or the barn, I've got 110V plugs everywhere. Not so with a 220V. The 110 is just easier to use, not from a welding standpoint, but from a convenience standpoint.



Further, if you are going to be welding outdoors, Tig with gas will drive you nuts if there is ANY wind. Heck you can even run a shop fan welding with gas without it blowing the gas off your weld. Also, the metal, both pieces that are being welded must be ground clean. Even new metal has an oil coating that must be wiped/ground off for gas blanket welding. Yes it welds better, IF you do all that stuff. However, .035 flux core wire will weld ANYTHING that is steel. It can be rusty, painted, oily, any condition. All you need to do is get it clean enough where you ground it and it will weld.



For "hobby" welding and the "learning how" process, I'd get a 110 volt wire feed welder with .035" flux core wire (or at least a dual voltage machine like others posted about). It will give you the most versitility, and will allow you to do things with a welder that you never thought possible. Heck, when I build feeders, I weld the leg brackets directly to the side of the barrel... No nuts n bolts for me on anything I don't intend to ever need to take apart!


One other thing, get you a good autodarkening helmet that has the capabilities to put magnifying lenses on the inside, especially if you wear glasses. Once I discovered I could put a magnifier lens in my helmet, my tired old eyes got a big lift. I can actually see what I'm welding again!! What a blessing.


One final thing, remember, when "making stuff", the better you can fit it together to minimize gaps, the easier it will be to weld together! Take the extra time to make it fit FIRST before welding.


Good luck and have fun.
^x2
I've been welding with $150 Craigslist Lincoln 110 Mig for 15 plus years. Great little machine. Almost alway been enough for all my projects.
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Old 05-18-2020, 09:44 AM   #41
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I only have experience with the Hobart 140 while working on Jeep projects and my other 4x4. Mostly welding 11ga and smaller it has been a workhorse. I watched quite a bit of welding 101 videos and have got a lot of practice with my current Jeep truck restoration. This welder has been so solid and not once had a hiccup.. knock on wood!



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Old 05-18-2020, 11:12 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sqiggy View Post
I started with a Lincoln cracker box years ago.
A lot will depend on where and what you plan to do. I see on here where most guys have some kind of wire welder in their garage or shop. So then, you are limited to that one place. I've used wire welders on the job in years past and you will ALWAYS have some kind of trouble with them.
Why not learn to stick weld, buy a gas powered machine that you can take anywhere at anytime?
This
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Old 05-18-2020, 11:16 AM   #43
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I learned in high school back in the mid 80’s and just started back a couple of years ago (FFA). I use a Hobart 210.
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