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Thread: I'm dreaming of a welded christmas

  1. #1
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    I'm dreaming of a welded christmas

    Hey, folks,

    Christmas is coming, and Doorlink is asking what I want. I'm thinking I don't have any welding capacity in my shop, and several times this year I found myself wishing I did. So I'm thinking of asking for a welder setup. But the more I read, the more I realize that what I know about welding would fit in a thimble. So here's my question. I'm sure that what I'd do would be considered "light duty" Is *this* a reasonable option?

    http://www.grizzly.com/products/110V-MIG-Welder/H8155

    Is there something better out there in a similar range? What else do I need?

    All input welcomed...

    Thanks,

    Bill

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    810
    Bill,

    I can't comment on this unit as I've neither seen nor used one. I will comment on wire feed welders in general. I have a small MIG of my own, made by Miller. It uses an external gas bottle for shielding and it works very well. I have tried a flux core wire in a couple of Campbell Hausfeld units (we do the warranty for them at work), and I didn't like the way they welded at all - lots of spatter and gaps in the weld bead. It's entirely possible that the poor results I obtained were due to incorrect procedure, but ... I don't think so. Others experiences may be different and better.

    cheers eh?

  3. #3
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    I have done a lot of welding and I have to second the comment that Miller makes a great welder, and yes definitely get a wire feed unit. I'm not familiar with the Grizzley unit , but I can't imagine a 110 volt unit being of much use for anything but sheet metal. You need to check for the duty cycle on whatever welder you decide on, this means how long you can use the welder every hour of operation without stopping, if you aren't familiar with the term. Good luck with your decision
    Chuck

  4. #4
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    Depends on what you plan to weld, but you can get an oxyacetylene rig and do quite a lot. You can also braze with it if you just want to hook two pieces of steel together.

    It's fairly easy to learn to gas weld.

    Mike
    Ancora imparo
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  5. #5
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    I agree with John and Charles-----Miller is very good if not better. I understand Hobarts are also good but have not used them. I have no idea about the Grizzly welders. I think that you would be dissapointed over time if you bought a welder that light duty. Looking at the specs you can ony weld material about 1/6" thick, at least with one pass. I think that to be real useful you need a unit that could handle at least 1/4" thick material. I think that something like this would be a good buy regarding capabilities vs price. http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/w...6073_200306073

    This way you would also be able to use sheilding gas if it was required such as welding aluminum or stainless steel.

  6. #6
    I am no welding expert - far from it. I have a little Lincoln MIG unit that started with flux core wire. I would agree with what John said about the flux core spatter etc. It works, but is messy. I upgraded the unit with a gas kit - now I just need a bottle. It doesn't look like the Grizzly unit can be upgraded. I would go with gas on the MIG if you can.

    FWIW,
    Wes

  7. #7
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    If you have a welding supply place near you that is a good place to start. The guys know what they are talking about which can be a real help. Sometimes they have some good prices also. If you have the time a class can really give you a head start. I know as I learned what I could on the farm growing up and from books. A ton of wasted time and bad welds. I'm still not much good but can stick things together.

  8. #8
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    Bill, my brother is an accomplished welder and woodworker. But he absolutely won't use them in the same shop. Too much risk of a spark smoldering in some hidden sawdust. When he retired, he sold all his welding and metal working gear, and now only does woodworking.

    Consider whether you have two separate work areas, or want to take the risk, etc. Can you trade services with a friend or neighbor who has a welder but no woodworking equipment?
    Charlie Plesums, Austin Texas
    (Retired early to become a custom furnituremaker)
    Lots of my free advice at www.solowoodworker.com

  9. #9
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    Miller and Hobart are both owned by Illinois Tool Works, and there is some overlap in their product lines, I believe they do have some separate manufacturing still. Both are excellent lines of machines.

    Wire feed is just a hair more difficult than hot gluing, the most common gotchas being too little/too much power for the thickness you're trying to weld, too little/too much wire feed for your power setting, and too much voltage drop for portable units (make up a nice big cord if you want to move around, and it'll weld a lot better). A day or so of fooling around will probably get you up to speed fairly well.

    I've mostly done gas shielded welding, which is cleaner and a bit easier than flux core, but flux core has its place and can be used very effectively for many tasks. One use where flux core is desirable is welding outside, if there's any kind of breeze, your gas shield tends to blow away. You also can generally weld thicker materials with flux core wire, as its a larger conductor.

    I've used several light duty 110 units, some will do 1/4", some will not. All that I've used will do 1/8", and though I've not used the one you linked to, it looks like that's about its limit. Lincoln makes a similar unit for a similar price that HD carries. Should be ok for occasional light use, though I tend to prefer heavier units. HD also has a 110V lincoln that will do 1/4" for about $100 more, which would probably be my minimum starting point.

    Another alternative is a stick welder. Harder to self-teach, but not impossible, and a bit harder to use, but has a greater capacity for the price you pay. Needs 220v too, that can be a bit of a limiting factor.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Downey View Post
    Another alternative is a stick welder. Harder to self-teach, but not impossible, and a bit harder to use, but has a greater capacity for the price you pay. Needs 220v too, that can be a bit of a limiting factor.
    These are true statements. I use a stick welder at home because it is what I have always used as a personal welder and I am to cheap to get a good MIG welder. I would trade my stick in a minute for the same capacity MIG if I didn't have to put out the extra dollars. I only use mine six or eight times a year now so cannot really justify it. Maybe others would not feel the same.

    Charlie is right about not mixing flamable materials with welders. Not a real big of problem if you are careful and/or do not mind puting out small fires every now and then.
    Last edited by Allen Bookout; 11-30-2007 at 03:25 AM.

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