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Unread 01-13-2009, 08:18 PM   #1
jamoka3
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Thinking of buying a welder... (i read the sticky )

Well i sat here for over and hour and read the sticky about buying a welder, and now i want one even more!

I really want one i can just plug into my 120v, 15 amp circuit in my garage.
I'm looking to weld metal up to 1/4 " thick and dont care if its a MIG or arc. (stick) welder.
Now, what do you recommend?

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Unread 01-13-2009, 08:32 PM   #2
timatoe
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You're not gonna be welding 1/4" on a 120 mig machine.
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Unread 01-13-2009, 08:44 PM   #3
jamoka3
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whats the max i can go with a 120?
even with a few passes?
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Unread 01-13-2009, 09:39 PM   #4
j0nesy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamoka3 View Post
whats the max i can go with a 120?
even with a few passes?
with multiple passes ... and proper prep / knowledge / tools ... infinite thickness.

with average tools and skills ... 3/8 at most ...

for a beginner ... 3/16.

it can definitely be done. saying it cannot be done is improper ... there is more to a welder than its output power ... or input power.
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Unread 01-13-2009, 10:21 PM   #5
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Get a mig that runs on gasoline.
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Unread 01-13-2009, 11:01 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by j0nesy View Post
it can definitely be done. saying it cannot be done is improper ... there is more to a welder than its output power ... or input power.
True, I shouldn't have made a blanket statement like that. I meant single pass.
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Unread 01-14-2009, 05:19 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamoka3 View Post
Well i sat here for over and hour and read the sticky about buying a welder, and now i want one even more!

I really want one i can just plug into my 120v, 15 amp circuit in my garage.
I'm looking to weld metal up to 1/4 " thick and dont care if its a MIG or arc. (stick) welder.
Now, what do you recommend?
Craigslist. Any top brand (Miller Lincoln etc...) used is ok. May get a cart and or bottle in he deal.
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Unread 01-14-2009, 05:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j0nesy View Post
with multiple passes ... and proper prep / knowledge / tools ... infinite thickness.

with average tools and skills ... 3/8 at most ...

for a beginner ... 3/16.

it can definitely be done. saying it cannot be done is improper ... there is more to a welder than its output power ... or input power.
Exactly, I can, and have, welded 1" plate with my MM180 220V machine. Only rated for 5/16 max. AND it passed the state DOT bend test for bridge repair.

Welding 1/4" with a 110V machine is going to require beveled edges and 3 passes, if not 3 passes with 2 cover passes on top.
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Unread 01-14-2009, 06:46 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamoka3 View Post
Well i sat here for over and hour and read the sticky about buying a welder, and now i want one even more!

I really want one i can just plug into my 120v, 15 amp circuit in my garage.
I'm looking to weld metal up to 1/4 " thick and dont care if its a MIG or arc. (stick) welder.
Now, what do you recommend?
while the guys above are talking pro welding stuff with beveling and multiple passes, if you've never welded before you're not going to understand how all this works.

get the biggest (~180 amp) 220V welder you can if you want to do 1/4" thick. you'll have a hotter puddle and you'll be able to control it alot better since you're a novice.
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Unread 01-14-2009, 07:01 AM   #10
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Find you the best price on a 110v welder and get it....Go from there!

--you'll decide for yourself if it's sufficient for what you are doing, if so good, if not sell it and get you something better.
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Unread 01-14-2009, 07:26 AM   #11
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It is nothing to install a 220v plug. If you truly are going to use the welder, get a 220v machine. You can weld 1/4 inch with a 110v machine after you prep all the edges and do multiple passes. It will take you forever to get anything done and the duty cycle on a 110v machine will come into play.
110v machines are great for portability and body work, if you are doing structural work they just become a hassle.
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Unread 01-14-2009, 09:58 AM   #12
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It boils down to this... like me, you're not a professional welder with multiple welding credentials. It'd take a lot of experience and bad results to finally get to the point you could finally weld 1/4" steel with a 110v welder (but it'd take multiple passes). I had the biggest 110v (140 amp) welder you can buy and it was barely adequate FOR ME to weld on big pieces of 3/16"... they were big enough that they were absorbing too much heat for my 110v welder to keep up with which made my welds barely adequate.

For Joe-average who just wants to weld up to 1/4" without a lot of fuss, you REALLY want a 220v 180 amp (or better) welder. I sold my 110v 140 amp Hobart welder to get my 220v 180 amp Miller welder and just going to that new welder helped my welding quality a LOT. Since you say you want to weld 1/4", don't mess with a 110v welder... it'll just prove frustrating. My 110v welder proved frustrating even with big pieces of 3/16".
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Unread 01-14-2009, 11:27 AM   #13
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there is a lot of good info in this thread .... J.B. and Rustywrangler both make the best points here ...

Can it be done with a 110V welder ... definitely, if you have the understanding, experience, and proper tooling.

can it be done with a 110V welder in the hands of someone that has no experience. Definitely not.


i really suggest a MillerMatic 180 for most beginners ... simply becuase it has the power to burn in hot ... but its small and portable (no larger than the MM140) and its not going to take 10 years to pay off.

get a 220V welder ... it is well worth it.
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