HF welder - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 6 Old 01-20-2013, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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2005 LJ Wrangler 
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HF welder

Has anyone used this welder before?

Or this one from northern tool

87 YJ, 4.0L, 5speed......sold, 05 LJ Rubicon
"It'll buff out"
"If it moves and shouldn't, use Duct Tape & Zip Ties. If it doesn't move and should, use WD-40 & A hammer"
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post #2 of 6 Old 01-20-2013, 03:35 PM
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I have a very small amount of experience with the Northern unit. Its adequate and Northern Tool is prevalent and widespread. Also Tweco parts is nice. Would opt for a 220V model though.

Don't bother with Harborfreight welding junk.

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post #3 of 6 Old 01-21-2013, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by DirtRider1357 View Post
I have the Harbor Freight one you linked to. I picked it up about 5 months ago and have just been learning the basics.

I know lots of people scoff at the brand, but it has been a fantastic first welder for me. I didn't want to spend the dough on a more expensive one since I wasn't sure how much I would enjoy welding as hobby. Turns out I love welding, and will probably upgrade in the future, but I have been really happy with it. It was easily worth the money I spent...I walked out the door with absolutely everything I needed to lay my first beads for under $350...

Like most HF products, there are a couple small mods you can do to improve the tool from the state you bought it in. I documented my mods on another forum: http://weldingweb.com/showthread.php?t=236821

Originally Posted by Sundowner View Post
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post #4 of 6 Old 01-21-2013, 08:49 AM
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Forgot to mention, the Harbor Freight unit is a 220V and needs a 30amp circuit. Make sure you have a sufficient power source in the vicinity of where you will be making smoke. It has a 50 amp plug that is different than most standard dryer outlets, so you may need to make an adaptor/extension cord...easy and cheap enough to do but it was one thing I didn't anticipate. Also, if I was doing it again, for an extra 80 bucks, I'd bump up to the 180 for the additional heat settings and slightly more juice.

Originally Posted by Sundowner View Post
Owning a Jeep of any sort is an experience rife with opportunity to expand one's knowledge...
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post #5 of 6 Old 01-21-2013, 01:52 PM
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This is the budget welder I recommend been using it myself for over 2 years has been 100% problem free can be run off 220 or 110 maxes out at 1/4" has the adapter to run either big or small spools of wire, regulator for adding a shielding gas tank is also included. Is it one of the big 3? No. Would I trust it for frame or bracket welding? If I was more experienced and knew more of what to look for maybe but short answer for a learner ... No. (I wouldn't trust any 110 machine for that stuff but that's just my opinion) but the reviews were good across the board and their no questions asked 30 day return/3 year warranty coupled with the affordable price sold me. (link is their ebay store for some reason it is $20 cheaper and free shipping on their ebay store vs their actual website)

My first welder purchase was that HF machine utter garbage wish I had listened and never done it yes there are people that mod them to make them passable for some things but I wanted a welder I could just unbox and count on to do it's job this eastwood machine is close enough in cost I wouldn't waste time looking at the HF stuff (again, just my inexperienced self taught opinion)

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post #6 of 6 Old 01-21-2013, 08:36 PM
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When it comes to welding equipment, or any shop tool for that matter you get what you pay for. If you buy a $300 machine, it will act like it. Knowing what I know about welders I wouldn't spend less than $800 or $900 on a new welder. I'm partial to the DVI welders because of the flexibility. That may sound overkill to some people but having certified and welding for a while it's just the way I am.
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