Originally Posted by isuace
Is a stick welder a good choice for doing things like spring perches or shock mounts? I plan on swapping in an 8.8 and am considering taking on the welding myself.
Same as with mig, you get what you pay for. If you go to Harbor Freight and get one of those 110 volt $150.00 stick welders you will be disappointed. I paid about $450.00 for mine. I can weld equal to or better than a $1,500.00-$2,500.00 mig as far as strength of bond goes. Does a 210 amp Mig weld look better? Yup. But that does not mean it's stronger and by using the correct rod on DC a stick weld looks darn good as well. Mine is a 230 Amp A/C-160 Amp D/C unit(Hobart 230-160 Stickmate LX). I can weld 3/16" all day long single pass (with great confidence I might add) using 100-120 Amp DC. Ditto with 1/4" stuff using 125-130 Amps. And when I say all day, I mean all day. The duty cycle can handle 100 amps for a long time. My 140 amp mig can run about 18" of bead in high gear then shuts down for at least 1/2 hour before I can start up again. You need to consider, although wire welders have been around for a while now they are still fairly new in the history of welding. As far as being affordable to the average guy, that has been a short while that they have been around. The arc or stick welder basically built this country. I don't knock Mig as I think it is great, I just can't afford a $1,500.00 set-up to weld in my garage once in a while. A mig that costs as much as my stick will not weld up stuff you are looking at doing with any confidence IMHO. The 180 amp migs run about $650-$750 without a tank and don't have as good of a duty cycle as my $450 welder. The minimum Mig I would get is something like the Hobart 210 Ironman or Miller 210. These are baseline production units. They will run anywhere from $1,200 - $1,500 without a tank.
EDIT NOTE: But either way you go make sure you can weld first if you have little or no experience!
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