Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
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...