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Unread 10-24-2007, 12:21 AM   #1
Delox
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Thinking of buying a welder

Im very much a newbie to the world of welding, but I would really like to get into it since it opens up alot of fabrication doors for me.


I have welded once or twice with a mig welder (wire), it was a hobart handler, ran on 120v

I would like to purchase something with a little more capability, since I hope to build up bumpers and basic bull bars, along with being able to fix up my exhaust.

I am looking into purchasing a lincoln 220v stick welder (since they seem very cheap and have a good reputation)

I do not, however, know how to stick weld, though I have been watching videos.

I am just confused on one thing really, I though you needed argon (or some other gas) being exhausted onto the weld pool, but from the looks of it, with a stick welder, you just put the stick into the stinger, and attach the other end to your work, and just go at it by making an arc. how can this be? How do you give it an arc sheild? Do you need an arc shield?


thanks

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Unread 10-24-2007, 06:33 AM   #2
rustywrangler
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That is the whole point of stick welding, you do not need any gas. The coating around the stick is what burns and gives the sheild to the puddle. I think you are thinking tig for argon.

Stick welding is just set, clamp, throw your sheild down and strike an arc. Personally, for home use, a mig is going to get you further than stick will.

I like how miller set up their site. Here is a link to the training section: http://www.millerwelds.com/resources/

Another site with TONS of good info is: http://www.weldingweb.com/
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Unread 10-24-2007, 07:58 AM   #3
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i've been using a friend's Lincoln Electric Pro-Mig 175. So far we've made a big steel rack to hold scrap & 20 ft lengths, a hard top hoist for my jeep and a 4ft x 4ft steel welding/workbench. We haven't used Argon once yet, all done using flux-core. I've gotten pretty good at the flux-core and I'm looking into getting an Argon bottle & solid wire to get a nice weld on the next project - a tire carrier.

You don't need Argon to weld, you can do it with flux-core, the shielding is inside the wire. Only bad part is you get some porosity and a yellowish residue you need to wire brush off. Sometimes you need to cap the weld or grind a bit to make it look good.
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Unread 10-24-2007, 02:32 PM   #4
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If cost is any consideration the stick welder will be king in your book. I have had 3 different Lincolns, 2 in the 225 A/C version and 1 of the 225 A/C-D/C flavors. The A/C-D/C is by far a more versatile welder. If I were to buy one today I would get the Hobart 230/160 A/C-D/C stickmate as is is more compact and has a better amp adjustment system. It runs in the neighborhood of $440.00-$475.00. TSC seems to have the best price on these.

If you want to go Mig the Handler 187 or 210 are good welders. With gas tanks and a carrier they do run about twice as much as a stick welder.

The advantage to a stick welder is;
1. You can weld heavy stuff very well on the cheap.
2. If the metal is a little dirty or has some rust the stick does not care.
3. Duty Cycles are almost always better with a stick welder.
4. You can change rod size and amps very easy.

The advantage to a Mig is;
1. Very nice looking welds if you have a big enough machine.
2. For some it is easy to learn. (I'm still trying to figure out Mig after welding stick for 30 years)
3. Most 180 amp size mig rigs require 30 amp instead of the 50 amp service for stick.
4. You can say you have Mig and razz the stick guys!

Seriously speaking. If you want to weld gas shielded MIG on heavy gauge(3/16"-1/4") metal with some confidence you will need a large Mig. The 180 amp 220 volt units are about as small as you can go IMHO. Flux core welding you can do with them very confidently. But flux core and stick welding are about equal in looks to me. Stick welds do not look as good as gas shielded Mig welds. But as far as strength goes they are the same. BTW, whether gas shielded or flux core anything you weld with a mig rig needs to be really clean. Zero contamination or rust.

I have the Lincoln 140 amp mig and it can weld gas shielded up to 1/8 pretty good. The specs for it only say up to 10 gauge metal, but I am confident in my gas shield welds on 1/8" stuff. With .030 flux core you can weld up to 3/16" single pass if everything is squeaky clean and you max out the amps. I have done 1/4" multi-pass, but I don't like it and don't trust it. Just not enough heat. And the duty cycle sucks big time. I can only weld about 12"-18" of bead on 3/16" material before she shuts down for a breather. A 225 Stick machine can weld 3/16" all day without a hiccup.

I currently do not have a stick welder. But I will get one one day. For as much as I weld I am having a hard time justifying $575.00-$650.00 it would cost me to buy the welder and get 50 Amp power to the garage.
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Unread 10-24-2007, 05:23 PM   #5
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We need to jump on this one and put all the "I need a welder" info in it.. I'd like to make it a sticky.

Thank you Bigbob.. you got us off to a nice start.
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Unread 10-24-2007, 05:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BESRK
We need to jump on this one and put all the "I need a welder" info in it.. I'd like to make it a sticky.

Thank you Bigbob.. you got us off to a nice start.
Didn't we start to do that a couple weeks ago and never moved?
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Unread 10-24-2007, 07:00 PM   #7
Delox
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thanks for all the help guys!!

now i have another question. I like the idea of the stick welder, since I really dont care about asthetics of the weld, Since i would likely sand and paint anything I weld.

So, can you tell me, is a stick welder delicate enough to weld exhaust, but also strong enough to build a bullbar?
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Unread 10-24-2007, 07:23 PM   #8
Bigbob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delox
thanks for all the help guys!!

now i have another question. I like the idea of the stick welder, since I really dont care about asthetics of the weld, Since i would likely sand and paint anything I weld.

So, can you tell me, is a stick welder delicate enough to weld exhaust, but also strong enough to build a bullbar?
Yup. It takes a little practice welding sheet metal on A/C. If you get an A/C-D/C unit it is duck soup. The A/C only rigs will need to be turned way down and use a 3/32 rod. It will be similar to a flux core weld.

Bullbar is no problem at all. Even the Lincoln buzz box 225 can weld 1/2" multi-pass pretty darn good.

Once you get the drift of welding D/C stick the welds with 7018 will look almost as good as gas shielded Mig.

The 2 welders I listed above, the A/C-D/C Lincoln and Hobart, can weld 1/4" steel with great confidence using D/C 7018 in one pass.

If you can swing it the A/C-D/C units are the way to go. They usually will cost about $150.00 more.
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Unread 10-24-2007, 08:49 PM   #9
Delox
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Can you explain to me the difference between the A/C and A/C+D/C units?

for the D/C units, can I run that off my car?

for the A/C, do I need to run certain wiring to my garage(where i'll weld) such as a 50amp 220v system?

pros and cons on ac vs dc?

(sorry to ask alot of questions, but this is stickied now, so why not cover all bases)
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Unread 10-24-2007, 10:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delox
Can you explain to me the difference between the A/C and A/C+D/C units?

for the D/C units, can I run that off my car?

for the A/C, do I need to run certain wiring to my garage(where i'll weld) such as a 50amp 220v system?

pros and cons on ac vs dc?

(sorry to ask alot of questions, but this is stickied now, so why not cover all bases)
Same welder. A/C = Alternating current D/C = Direct current. It will use a 50 amp 220 volt circuit. Technically what and why they work different is best left to some smarter than me to explain. But I do know on the D/C setting there is better control and the action is much smoother.

On D/C you can change the polarity. Negative or positive ground. This helps with penetration which comes in handy while welding sheet metal.
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Unread 10-25-2007, 10:08 AM   #11
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Spend the money and get a miller XMT, mutli process!!
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Unread 10-25-2007, 11:06 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REDTJ35
Spend the money and get a miller XMT, mutli process!!
Great for that guy with loads of cash sitting around collecting dust. But a little over the top for someone who welds in his garage every once in a while.

It's kinda like buying a Kenworth dump truck to haul your trash to the dump 3 times a year.
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Unread 10-25-2007, 01:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REDTJ35
Spend the money and get a miller XMT, mutli process!!

To those that want to work in their garage at home, DO NOT follow this advice.
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Unread 10-25-2007, 08:34 PM   #14
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Q for you experienced guys talking about thickness - I have a Lincoln 175 and was under the assumption I could really go as thick as I wanted as long as multi passes are made. Is this not true? I would think as long you make enough passes to burn it all together, then all would be good. Does the 175 limit me to thickness even if multi passes are made? Great Sticky by the way.
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Unread 10-25-2007, 08:46 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdmonist
Q for you experienced guys talking about thickness - I have a Lincoln 175 and was under the assumption I could really go as thick as I wanted as long as multi passes are made. Is this not true? I would think as long you make enough passes to burn it all together, then all would be good. Does the 175 limit me to thickness even if multi passes are made? Great Sticky by the way.
Yes and no. How thick are you talking? I think the 175 is rated for 5/16" thick. I am sure that is flux core. The first pass is usually the important pass. You want to get as deep of penetration as possible. Then the rest of the passes are going on either side of the first pass. Again you are wanting to go as deep as you can on these secondary passes. Once done with the first pass you will need to clean the bead and area of all slag. A wire wheel on the grinder works well for this, but that wire gets to flying do cover any body parts you don't want wire stuck in. I find on my flux core welding a chipping hammer is not needed as the wheel gets it all clean and ready for pass #2.

I thi8nk the 175 can do 1/2" multipass without an issue. Someone on here will chime in.
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