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Unread 09-16-2009, 04:27 PM   #1
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Location: Sweet Home, AL
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Thinking about buying a welder to learn on...

so i have decided i want to weld. I have run into so many times that i hated myself for not signing up for welding class in high school, because i always run into situations that a welder would have saved me time, money, and frustration.

I do have several guys that have let me play on there MIG welders, and one arc welder. i am decent (for having about 5 mins. of experience) but i want one for myself so i can practice and get to the point where i can fab up my own parts and fix random things.

so what do you guys suggest? i don't know anything about the models, brands, a little about the types of welding machines, but nothing to in-depth.


P.S. I've also found out that if you own a Jeep, its almost mandatory to know how to weld lol.

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Unread 09-16-2009, 09:33 PM   #2
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I got a Lincoln 100HD (home depot model) online for around $240 I wanna say last year. It is a 110v wire fed that can be used with gas. I don't use gas (just went mind blank and can't think of the name of the wire you use without gas) lol. Anyways, I taught myslef and its pretty easy. Played around with some scraps till I felt comfortable and since then I have built both front and rear bumpers, tire carrier, rock sliders, and a few other small projects. Its a very good investment and just good to have. Makes removing striped bolts a breeze. If you strip the head off a bolt just weld a nut onto it and your good.

WHen I was shopping around I heard a lot of bad things about the Harbor Frieght models so I would stay away from them. I was told over and over again to go with something name brand such as Lincoln, Hobart, Miller, ect. Also if you have access to a 220v in the garage they are supposed to have a lot more power. THe 110 does fine for me. I haven't had the need to weld anything over a 1/4 yet which is pretty much my limit.
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Unread 09-16-2009, 09:53 PM   #3
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I would say the Hobart Handler 140, it is a good cheaper welder, it does flux core and solid wire and is rated for 1/4" but you need to really prep it and do multiple passes and its only a 110v so it is more portable. Northern Tool has them for $480 shipped plus a cart, or you can get a refurbished one for $400
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Unread 09-17-2009, 05:38 AM   #4
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A good starter machine for 110V is the Hobart 140. You can get it at tractor supply for $450: Hobart Handler 140 Welder - 3812040 | Tractor Supply Company


If you truly want to start fabbing for yourself and have access to 220V power, get the hobart 187: Hobart Handler 187 Welder - 3807126 | Tractor Supply Company

You will not be disappointed with a 220 machine, you may with a 110.

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Unread 09-17-2009, 08:24 AM   #5
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Go big out of the gate. It's better to start out with a machine that is too big, rather than sinking money into one that is too small that you'll have to replace in a year or two.

I'm a big fan of the Lincoln Power Mig 255s, though a 215 is a good purchase too.
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Unread 09-17-2009, 10:17 AM   #6
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I like Mig, Blue, red, white or Yellow (ESAB) are all good. 220v is great, you can always turn down a high output machine but you can't a low output unit.
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