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Thread: Welding

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    East Freeetown, Massachusetts
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    3,021

    Welding

    I am thinking about buying a welder.

    I don't need or want anything fancy

    I want simple to use - easy to learn.

    I am thinking mostly for my signs. \

    I will be welding light steel box steel tube - 1" square

    I will weld rebar, and the concrete mesh to rebar.

    MAYBE - aluminum - MAYBE

    I don't really want to spend a lot of money

    220 is ok - 110 is ok

    What is good and what is not

    What are the Pro's and Con's

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Reno NV
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    I had a little 120volt generic mig and was never happy with it.

    Upgraded to a Lincoln 180HD 220v unit with a bottle of welding gas and I would not look back. I've been able to dial it down to do some thin sheet metal and have used it to weld together a little garbage cart out of 1" square tube steel.

    I went ahead and got the little spool gun I could use for welding aluminum.

    It's a nice little unit and pretty versatile.

    But I'll let the experts chime in on what they think.
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Kansas City, Missouri
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    The unit Brent posted would be my choice also, for aluminum, the spool gun is recommended as with the regular mig wand the aluminum wire gets bent/jammed too easily in the wands cable.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    The Gorge Area, Oregon
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    Similar unit to the Lincoln, I have the Hobart handler 140, so far it's done all I want and is pretty good for a 120v unit. Haven't tried aluminum with it yet, aluminum looks hard, and I don't have a spool gun which you'd definitely want

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    East Freeetown, Massachusetts
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    I have a lot to learn.

    A guy at work said I would be better with a 220v welder.

    I want to weld rebar

    I want to weld light duty square tubing.

    The stuff I have in mind is this stuff

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    I can sell a mailbox tree stump post for around $1500

    The signs are $1000 - $5000

    A sign like the TEAL sign with the post - around $5000 or more.

  6. #6
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    Aug 2007
    Location
    Reno NV
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    I figured I'd go for the 220. I know my previous 120 unit was a piece of junk, but the duty cycle made it tough to use at times.

    When I welded up my garbage cart, I had no problem at all with the duty cycle, and dialing in the speed and power was a piece of cake.



    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  7. #7
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    Something like that cart is something I would be interested in building.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Tokyo Japan
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    Get the 220v unit, don't look back, get the bottle set up, it welds the best by far, get a good unit, not some trash from China. Miller, Hobart, Lincoln, you can't go wrong with any of those, IMHO.

    Get good PPE, especially don't skimp on the helmet, I learned this the hard way I had a series of cheap helmets, they don't work so well and they are tiring to wear, they never stay up or come down nicely.

    I like the Jackson helmet, it is pricey but good, it is a joy to wear and you can see very well through it.

    See more about it in this thread post #8

    Buy a half decent welding jacket and gloves, you don't need something super heavy weight with the MIG, but decent gloves that you can work in.

    Buy a good cut off saw, don't skimp here either, when the saw will NOT cut at a 90 or a 45 well, you spend a LOT of time filling gaps and then sanding or grinding the extra away.

    Get a good quality 4" grinder, I went through maybe 4 cheap ones that were actually quite expensive as they did not last very long, I finally bought a good quality Hitachi unit and it has lasted for many years now.
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  9. #9
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    Jul 2011
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    And good closed toed shoes . Hot foot ain't fun!

    You might look at the local college and see if they have a welding program, it's a nice way to try out different techniques and tools before you buy.

  10. #10
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    Feb 2008
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    East Freeetown, Massachusetts
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    Yeah - I would take a welding class

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