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Unread 11-26-2007, 02:32 PM   #46
Bigbob
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Quote:
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.

Absolutely.


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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Unread 11-26-2007, 04:10 PM   #47
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Yeah, I have only welded once. I figured I would start out by trying to build something not so challenging, like a very simple bumper to hone my skills. Something that doesn't stake my life on the quality of my welds
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Unread 11-26-2007, 04:34 PM   #48
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Quote:
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.
Yes.

The only reason I'd tend to steer you away fron a stick welder is because you keep mentioning "rust repair". If you want to do a lot of bodywork, you need to look at a mig. DC stick will do it, but you being new, the learning curve would be difficult.

Your 8.8? Are you going to weld the tubes to the center section?

You better practice up before you do if that's in your plans. You do not want to undercut or burn through the axle housing tubes, and it's easy to do.
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Unread 11-26-2007, 04:38 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigbob
You need to consider, although wire welders have been around for a while now they are still fairly new in the history of welding.
General Electric Company invented the automatic wire feed process in 1920.
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Unread 11-26-2007, 04:41 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isuace
Yeah, I have only welded once. I figured I would start out by trying to build something not so challenging, like a very simple bumper to hone my skills. Something that doesn't stake my life on the quality of my welds
Best thing for you to do is take an introductory welding class at your local high school/community college/votech school.
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Unread 11-26-2007, 05:04 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e-Welder
General Electric Company invented the automatic wire feed process in 1920.
I did say they have been around. But I have been welding for 30 + years and it's just been recently that the average guy has had access to them.

Don't misunderstand me, I have no issue with the mig process. I have been doing it for a number of years. But if a guy has a small budget and wants to weld stick is a lot cheaper. I can say after messing around with a 140 amp 110 volt mig for quite some time I worry about guys welding up stuff they should not be welding with one of those. Great for sheet metal, but not so great for structural welding. The 140 amp mig cost me as much or more than my stick welder after I bought the tank. The stick will weld circles around the CLW. I do agree that for a lot of sheet metal work the small mig will work well. But it sure won't weld any rusty metal. The stick just gives you more bang for the buck IMHO.
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Unread 11-29-2007, 02:53 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e-Welder
Best thing for you to do is take an introductory welding class at your local high school/community college/votech school.
I looked around and all I can find is a class at the local comm college, and they want $600 for the class. Plus it is as far on the other side of town as you can get, and I'd have to drive down there through rush hour .
For that much I could buy a new Lincoln 220v 250/125 AC/DC and a pile of sticks, a pile of scrap, and make an extension cord to plug into the dryer outlet.
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Unread 11-29-2007, 04:57 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isuace
I looked around and all I can find is a class at the local comm college, and they want $600 for the class. Plus it is as far on the other side of town as you can get, and I'd have to drive down there through rush hour .
For that much I could buy a new Lincoln 220v 250/125 AC/DC and a pile of sticks, a pile of scrap, and make an extension cord to plug into the dryer outlet.
And?

I could buy a bunch of medical supplies and run around with them in a bag diagnosing sick people.

That doesn't make me a doctor.

Buying a welder, some supplies, then trying to hammer apart something you haphazardly melted together doesn't make you a weldor.

Best thing anyone can do is take a class. That said, not all classes are created equal. Ask around. IS the program offered to you a quality program? It may not be. It may not be worth $600.

Then again, it may be a great program. A program where if you pass the tests, you walk away with a D1.1 cert in your procket. Then that $600 is worth every penny.
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Unread 11-29-2007, 06:27 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isuace
I looked around and all I can find is a class at the local comm college, and they want $600 for the class. Plus it is as far on the other side of town as you can get, and I'd have to drive down there through rush hour .
For that much I could buy a new Lincoln 220v 250/125 AC/DC and a pile of sticks, a pile of scrap, and make an extension cord to plug into the dryer outlet.
Do a search online for some welding tips. Start out with 6011 on A/C and learn on that. BTW That dryer plug is a 30 amp and that welder requires a 50 amp. Just make sure you are not setting it up in the high amp ranges. make sure you get good safety eye wear and a good helmet/hood. I suggest at least an 11 shade for arc welding. The eyes are the first thing to go if you have crappy equipment.
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Unread 11-29-2007, 07:15 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigbob
Ditto what he says.

I just got the Hobart A/C D/C Stickmate LX at TSC and it is an amazing welder. Virtually infinate amperage control and a duty cycle that won't quit. And it is a nice compact unit. It can weld just about anything but very thin sheet metal and like mentioned above, aluminum. It can do thin sheet metal, but the mig does work better for that. Once you get to the thick construction type welding the stick is super. I still have my Lincoln 140 amp mig for the thin stuff (1/8" and thinner) as that is about all it is good for anyway. I am leaving the mig as a .025 solid wire gas welding rig only. No more flux core for me.

As far as Mig goes I would say to pay close attention to the duty cycle on those. Once you start welding 1/4" plate your duty cycle is usually pretty bad and you will need to do flux core anyway with the 180 class welders. Read the ratings closely and compare. Yes, they say they can weld up to 5/16"-3/8" metal, but that is flux core and multi-pass. Of course if money is no object and you can go big then do it. If you just want some extremely strong welds and save a couple bucks the A/C D/C is for you.
Not trying to start a debate but you don't need to run flux core to weld 1/4 inch with a quality 180amp machine. My lincoln will weld 1/4 with solid wire, it is turned right up but I have still found it give me close to 30" duty cycle and will pass a bend test... again with solid wire. I have used miller, lincoln and hobart 180 class machines and with flux core welding 1/4 material you certainly don't need multiple passes.
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Unread 11-29-2007, 09:55 PM   #56
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I have no idea what a D1.1 certification is, nor would it benefit me in my daily life to have one (I deal with computer networks in my profession). For me getting that certification would be akin to someone getting a CCNA to set up their wireless router at home.
I realize that a class would be the best way to go, but I simply cannot afford a $600 class, plus welder etc. I don't plan on buying a welder one day and opening a fabrication shop the next. As with all of the other skills that I have taught myself, I will start slowly, learning to run a good bead down a piece of flat stock. Then move on to butt welds, then angles, etc. Realistically, all I need to be able to accomplish is to tack some pieces in place until I can get it to a professional welder, however I would like to become proficient enough to do the whole job myself.
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Unread 12-16-2007, 09:47 AM   #57
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I know that no one has posted on here for a couple of weeks so hopefully someone will answer. I really really want to learn how to weld but I want to dive into TIG. I am about to start classes on TIG welding but I wanted to ask here first. What are really good inexpensive portable TIG welders? Would I be able to weld a cage with 1.75x.125 DOM with a 110V Welder or would I need a 220V? That's really it, thanks.
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Unread 12-16-2007, 10:41 AM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ace2001
I know that no one has posted on here for a couple of weeks so hopefully someone will answer. I really really want to learn how to weld but I want to dive into TIG. I am about to start classes on TIG welding but I wanted to ask here first. What are really good inexpensive portable TIG welders? Would I be able to weld a cage with 1.75x.125 DOM with a 110V Welder or would I need a 220V? That's really it, thanks.
TIG isn't something that you just dive into. I've been TIG welding for several years now and I'm just starting to get the hang of it. You really don't want to go straight for a cage on day one. The Miller Maxstar 150 or EconoTIG are both good entry level machines. Both will also run stick.

The Maxstar will run off of both 110v and 220v and is about the size of a shoe box. If you were to get a small tank, you could take it anywhere. It doesn't really have the heuvos to run aluminum though, which is where TIG really shines. Aluminum and titanium are the pinnacle of the TIG welder's art. You can't really say that you can TIG weld until you can lay down dimes on the heavy oxide coated, non-ferrous metals.
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Unread 12-16-2007, 11:01 AM   #59
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Thanks Matt. In no way do I plan on just starting with making cages. I am going to practice, practice and practice some more. Then when I get the hang of it I plan on working on cages and other stuff ie. fenders, bumpers and things of that nature. I also want to buy it now because when I start class, I don't just want to do it in class, I want to also want to practice at home.
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Unread 12-16-2007, 05:13 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ace2001
Thanks Matt. In no way do I plan on just starting with making cages. I am going to practice, practice and practice some more. Then when I get the hang of it I plan on working on cages and other stuff ie. fenders, bumpers and things of that nature. I also want to buy it now because when I start class, I don't just want to do it in class, I want to also want to practice at home.
The Maxstar 150 is what you're looking for then. They run really nice on mild and stainless.
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