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post #1 of 11 Old 08-15-2013, 06:20 AM Thread Starter
RagTagSoldier
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New to fabrication

Hello all, I am new to fabrication and am currently learning to weld from my finances father. I want to work with tube and attempt to fab up my own tube bumper with a prerunner. My question is would a the 12 ton hydraulic pipe bender and tubing notcher from harbor freight work for me. The only bend I would need to make over 90 degrees is the stinger/prerunner. Everything else is 90 and under. I plan on using 1 3/4 inch tube, what size welder would I need? Would a 70 amp arc welder be okay? I plan on getting the welder from HF aswell as I'm not going to be doing this all of the time just the occasional thing now and then. What is the heaviest material I could use a 70amp arc welder on?

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post #2 of 11 Old 08-15-2013, 06:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RagTagSoldier View Post
Hello all, I am new to fabrication and am currently learning to weld from my finances father. I want to work with tube and attempt to fab up my own tube bumper with a prerunner. My question is would a the 12 ton hydraulic pipe bender and tubing notcher from harbor freight work for me. The only bend I would need to make over 90 degrees is the stinger/prerunner. Everything else is 90 and under. I plan on using 1 3/4 inch tube, what size welder would I need? Would a 70 amp arc welder be okay? I plan on getting the welder from HF aswell as I'm not going to be doing this all of the time just the occasional thing now and then. What is the heaviest material I could use a 70amp arc welder on?

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With a little "tweeking" of the bender, you could make it work. Because 'pipe' and 'tube' are different, you could place a half piece of 1 3/4" tube in the die so it wouldn't flatten out the tube on bending. Search the net for harbor freight bender on tube and you'll see what I mean. The notcher will work for your purposes as well if you have a drill press.

I'm not a fan of HF welders....but to each his own. I know the decision to get a HF anything is cost driven...but in this case I always recommend saving a few more bucks for the entry level lincoln or hobart welders. I'd even suggest skipping the notcher and using those dollars toward the welder. You can do just about any notch with a grinder and some practice. Cheers friend...happy fabbin' !

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post #3 of 11 Old 08-15-2013, 06:40 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you. I will start by getting my own welder FIRST so I can practice my technique when away from the garage. So I can drop a bit more on the welder . What amp would be a foot starting amp welder. I hear arc welders are extremely versatile

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post #4 of 11 Old 08-15-2013, 09:17 AM
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I'd just get mig/flux core welder. The hobart handler 140 would be a great choice for you imo.
Too bad you're not closer to me as I have one for sale.
Also the HF bender will work, but you have to get a little creative. On the bigger sizes, you really can't bend any more than 60* and you've got to fill with sand. Nominal 1" pipe (1.32") bends great in it though. The dies are cut for pipe sizes, so you are restricted to pipe size. Check with your steel supplier for 'pipe size tube' with is rated structural A500 and not regular pipe.

If you plan on doing much more than just one bumper, just save and get a real tube bender. You could always sell it later and get most of your money back.
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post #5 of 11 Old 08-15-2013, 09:30 AM Thread Starter
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I remember my father having a Buzz box in his she he hasn't touched in years. Maybe that will work. I'll check it out when I get off work and report back with the make and type. Maybe I can save a few bucks if he gives it to me lol.

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post #6 of 11 Old 08-15-2013, 04:44 PM Thread Starter
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The buzz box is a farmhand 85 wire feed welder, is this okay

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post #7 of 11 Old 08-15-2013, 07:44 PM
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85 amps is too small for any serious fab work- you will fight all sorts of penetration problems among other issues. It would be a good little welder to start learning with, especially if its free... get your consistency down, learn to work the puddle, etc. when welding most joint types with a 110V machine; you have to have a fairly large root opening or bevel to weld into to ensure complete penetration. Ive got a little lincoln sp-135- its older but with .035 flux core its OK for thin material (1/4" and under), but I usually just use it to tack stuff together, then take my workpiece in to the shop I work at, and weld it with a 220V machine. the 135 is OK for bumpers and the likes, but I wouldnt use it weld any suspension brackets, axle stuff, or anything that takes any sort of structural load.

my advice would be to learn to stick weld, it is much harder to learn, but once you get it; you can pick up any other welding process pretty quickly. Plus, a good quality 220V AC/DC machine can be had for relatively cheap. As for the HF pipe bender, dont bother... if you wanna turn a $250 stick of D.O.M. into a pile of flattened ****, go for it. spend the extra $ on a JD2 manual bender. The HF notcher is OK, just buy a GOOD hole saw, lenox is the best.

98 XJ- 4.0L, NP231, AW4, chryco 8.25, 4.5" mid arm 3-link, 285/75 Herc terra tracs on moabs, V8 ZJ tie rod, fabbed bumpers...
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post #8 of 11 Old 08-16-2013, 10:41 AM Thread Starter
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Since it is free I might start with it is a wire feed welder, no gas. Being 85amps what is the thickest steel I can weld with it?

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post #9 of 11 Old 08-16-2013, 07:26 PM
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with an 85 amp machine, 1/8" wall will pretty much be its max while still achieving complete pentration; 3/16" if you run it real slow with a big root opening/ bevel.

98 XJ- 4.0L, NP231, AW4, chryco 8.25, 4.5" mid arm 3-link, 285/75 Herc terra tracs on moabs, V8 ZJ tie rod, fabbed bumpers...
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post #10 of 11 Old 08-17-2013, 03:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AGDubyaJ
with an 85 amp machine, 1/8" wall will pretty much be its max while still achieving complete pentration; 3/16" if you run it real slow with a big root opening/ bevel.
Should be good enough for what I need while learning, thanks!

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post #11 of 11 Old 08-20-2013, 09:34 PM
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I bought a Century 100 gasless wire feed welder close to 15-20 years ago. It is not the one with the slanted face but the one that looks like a box. You can upgrade it to gas when you want. Used it a lot when I circle track raced and have done a lot with it. With the flux core you get splatter but I live with it.
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