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Unread 09-19-2008, 10:52 PM   #16
flatlander757
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If you only need to weld 3/16" and under, you CAN go for gas shielding, but flux-core wire(ie: gasless) is good up to 1/4"

The HH140 comes w/ a 1lb spool of .030" flux core wire to get you started. I've been practicing like mad and I'm nowhere near the end of it yet. Going by the Hobart chart/guide for the welder, it says .030" flux-core is good up to 3/16, you need to get a spool of .035" flux-core for 1/4" stuff.

I got my HH140 from www.northerntool.com in-store for $470. Bought an auto darkening helmet/mask for about $50 or so(Northern brand), a chipping or slag hammer for about $7, some gloves for like $7, and another package of .030" contact tips for $8(in case you ground it out and needs replaced, haven't had to yet but got tons of spares). You really don't need spare tips of that size though, I didn't know that the welder already came with 5 tips total. So now I've got 10, haha.

I have something like $550 not including tax, so something around $580 to just get started learning and practicing.

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Unread 09-19-2008, 10:57 PM   #17
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flatlander thanks so much for you advice.

i looked around a little bit and found some good-looking factory refurbished hh 140s for about 400-450.

i was a little worried about having to deal with gas (tho inert), just cost-wise. but i knowing flux-core wire will work i'm feeling better. no gas pressure to worry about, either.

i will not get thicker than 1/4" steel, most likely.

i want to built a set of bumpers (u know, after enough practice) out of 3/16" so i think this'll be a nice fit.

any other advice wil be gladly taken!

thanks again guys, you're making this real for me
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Unread 09-19-2008, 11:10 PM   #18
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For the price difference, there's no reason not to spend another $40-50 and buy it new. You get the 5/3/1 factory warranty which IMO is worth it should you have trouble.

Make sure you have a drill or something and a decent wire-wheel to make easy work of removing slag crap from your welds. The chipping hammer is nice for removing the tiny blobs of crap that melt to the surrounding area of the metal, but the wire wheel does better at getting to the weld itself(it will leave a chalky dust as well).

Just read through the manual and stuff, look on Youtube and the Hobart websites for videos/tips on FCAW(flux core arc welding) w/ a MIG or wire-feed welder. I found a few very helpful in getting a general understanding of the concept.
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Unread 09-20-2008, 03:35 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by flatlander757 View Post
For the price difference, there's no reason not to spend another $40-50 and buy it new. You get the 5/3/1 factory warranty which IMO is worth it should you have trouble.
If you buy a refurb unit from someone like toolking.com, Hobart still applys their 5/3/1 warranty. To the OP, going with gas is going to really benefit you and your projects and setting it up is as easy as turning a knob. Open the tank and set the flow to about 20cu ft/min. That's all there is to it. I'd hate the idea of building bumpers and such using fluxcore. Much less cleanup using gas and solid wire. If you happen to have a Tractor Supply near you, getting a smallish bottle of shielding gas won't be expensive as their bottles are leased, not user owned. FWIW, I was using 40lb bottle that I owned. I bought it at my local welders supply store, and up until last weekend, I'd drive 25 minutes to exchange tanks. Well, that place is closed on weekends, you know, when you do most of the tinkering in the garage. I called Tractor Supply and they said bring your bottle in and we'll check it out. I took it in and they simply charged me a $20 fee for swapping for one of their leased bottles and upsized me from a 40lb tank to a 125lb tank for the difference of the $20 and the cost of the gas. Now I have a 125lb tank that'll last me 3 times as long, I have the convenience of a store that stocks all of my consumables and a store that's open on weekends. Something to think about.
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Unread 09-20-2008, 06:58 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by JeepinTJ99 View Post
tank & gas ~ ??? (is shielding gas ALWAYS required for MIG? i can never remember)
yes. MIG always requires shielding gas. 75/25 or 100% CO2 for steel, CO2 gives more penetration, but more splatter. 100% argon for aluminum (you need close to or over 200amps, the aluminum needs to be melting when it leaves the tip).
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Unread 09-20-2008, 11:41 AM   #21
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If you only need to weld 3/16" and under, you CAN go for gas shielding, but flux-core wire(ie: gasless) is good up to 1/4"
...a 1lb spool of .030" flux core wire to get you started. I've been practicing like mad and I'm nowhere near the end of it yet....
I went through 6 pounds, welding together a '59 Jabro MKII space frame for a guy (he already has 2, but want another) . It took about 13 hours to weld it together. I hate working with the flux stuff because you have to remove all of the slag to weld over top of the old weld. I was requested to build up the welds on the joints and grind them off to make them look "cleaner" the grinding and wire wheeling took an extra 15 hours. : but the money was nice $15/hr.

Pics of that space frame:






here is what the finial result will look like.

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Unread 09-21-2008, 12:27 AM   #22
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$15/hr for welding/grinding? Man.. that's terrible.

Up here good welders get paid $32+/hr.
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Unread 09-21-2008, 09:04 AM   #23
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Don't foget to check for some used machines. Last year I picked up a monster old Lincoln mig with all kinds of controls and timers that I thought I would NEVER use....ends up I use them all of the time. It can weld the thick stuff with no problems. Then turn down the heat and set the stitch timers, and even a moron like myself can weld sheet metal without distortion. I think I paid $400 for it, which left me with all kinds of extra cash for safety gear.

Also, check your local technical high schools for night classes. I took a welding class for $275...well worth the time and money. It mainly focused on stick welding, which I find to be more fun than mig now that I know how to do it properly.
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Unread 09-21-2008, 11:05 AM   #24
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$15/hr for welding/grinding? Man.. that's terrible.

Up here good welders get paid $32+/hr.
for it being under the table, and me in high school its great!
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Unread 11-07-2008, 02:51 PM   #25
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Hey guys,

I have a little extra money and I'm seriously looking for a welding setup that I can start out with. I've been frequenting some welding forums and, believe it or not, some of the pros are recommending this 110 amp welder to some of the beginners to start out on. the price is obviously right. i'll be using flux core just to learn.

it's made by chicago electric (on HF)
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=55525

now i KNOW it's not going to be the best welder, or even a marginally good one for that matter, but what kind of quality issues can i expect if i try to start welding with this.

what do you think? i'll keep looking ...

i also forgot to mention that i only have standard outlets in my garage .. i don't know if that's a problem for the higher powered welders. i need something that i can just plug in as rewiring the garage is not an option
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Last edited by C2U5H; 11-07-2008 at 03:18 PM..
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Unread 11-07-2008, 04:43 PM   #26
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Hey guys,

I have a little extra money and I'm seriously looking for a welding setup that I can start out with. I've been frequenting some welding forums and, believe it or not, some of the pros are recommending this 110 amp welder to some of the beginners to start out on. the price is obviously right. i'll be using flux core just to learn.

it's made by chicago electric (on HF)
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=55525

now i KNOW it's not going to be the best welder, or even a marginally good one for that matter, but what kind of quality issues can i expect if i try to start welding with this.

what do you think? i'll keep looking ...

i also forgot to mention that i only have standard outlets in my garage .. i don't know if that's a problem for the higher powered welders. i need something that i can just plug in as rewiring the garage is not an option
That is a refurbished 220 volt welder. I'd seriously stay with Miller, Hobart, or Lincoln and save pennies to get your area wired for 220 and get a 220 volt welder.
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Unread 11-07-2008, 06:16 PM   #27
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The autoset IMO has too many bells and whistles that you really don't need.
Miller's Autoset has "too many bells and whistles"? Apparently, you don't really understand what it does. ALL it does is automatically set the wire speed, that's it. If that is too many "bells and whistles" for you, automatically setting the wire speed, I dunno what to say.

I will say that after selling my Hobart 110v MIG welder and upgrading to the Miller 180 MIG with Autoset, life has been good... much better in fact with the Autoset. I didn't have trouble with setting wire speed before but now it is automatic and it sets the wire speed better and more consistently for me than I could when I had the Hobart. Autoset is definitely nice to have... you just have to understand what it really does. No messing around setting the speed now... set the metal thickness on the voltage dial and Autoset takes care of figuring out the wire speed. Just one less thing to worry about, Autoset is sweet!
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Unread 11-08-2008, 09:57 AM   #28
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That is a refurbished 220 volt welder. I'd seriously stay with Miller, Hobart, or Lincoln and save pennies to get your area wired for 220 and get a 220 volt welder.
i wish i could do that and get my (parent's) garage rewired for higher power but it's just not possible right now.

if i want to work in my garage with standard household power what power welder do i need to stay with? will it be enough to weld 3/8" steel?

excuse me for being totally uneducated, i'm trying
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Unread 11-08-2008, 10:25 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by JeepinTJ99 View Post
i wish i could do that and get my (parent's) garage rewired for higher power but it's just not possible right now.

if i want to work in my garage with standard household power what power welder do i need to stay with? will it be enough to weld 3/8" steel?

excuse me for being totally uneducated, i'm trying
a hobart handler 140, lincoln 140 or miller 135/140 is the most powerful you'll get with household power and a wire feed. You will be able to do 3/16" single pass, and 1/4" double pass if you know what you're doing and know how to bevel edges, etc. You will definitely not be able to come remotely close to 3/8" without moving to a 180-210+ amp 220V, or a stick welder.
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Unread 11-08-2008, 11:44 AM   #30
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i wish i could do that and get my (parent's) garage rewired for higher power but it's just not possible right now.

if i want to work in my garage with standard household power
The welder you show in the link is a 220 volt. Only 110 amp though which puzzles me. http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=55525

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepinTJ99 View Post

if i want to work in my garage with standard household power what power welder do i need to stay with? will it be enough to weld 3/8" steel?

excuse me for being totally uneducated, i'm trying
I have a Lincoln 110 volt 140 amp mig that is great for small stuff. It does very well with 1/8" and below on gas and can do 3/16" on flux core wire. No way to do 3/8". But for most jobs it will do the trick on household current.
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