So after getting a 77 cj5 i need to do some fabrication and such. And rather than paying shops to do work I'd rather learn how to do things for myself. Any welders and pipe benders/accessories you all would recommend for garage work?
I've had a miller matic 175 about 3 years. It's a 220v mig. I use straight CO2 since I need to weld the thickest steel I can with it. So far I have been able to weld everything I needed to including welding cast steel pieces on axle knuckles and housings.
For the price I just couldn't justify a Miller or Hobart for my hobby/garage work. Especially if you're just starting out and want to learn. Buy the Northern Tools welder and save enough money for metal and other tools.
I am not a brand snob so a 230V Miller, Lincoln or Hobart.
I currently use a Lincoln SP-175T (Home Depot) and love it, it replaced a Millermatic 140 (gift) because it tripped the breaker continuously in the garage and I did not want to add new service. I made a 10ga extension cord and ran it to the dryer in the house and the Lincoln worked great. In my new house I ran new service to the garage but I still use the extension cord when I am out in the driveway.
If I were to replace the Lincoln now, I would probably get the Hobart 210.
I also have a Hobart AC/DC that I use at times.
1978 Cherokee, 360/T400/QT...5.3/4L60E/NP241C in the works...
I have a little Lincoln 110V for sheet metal and small jobs. It is a good little cheap welder you can pick up at Lowe's or Home Depot. Then I have a Miller 180 230V for larger jobs. I like the Miller because you can upgrade it to do aluminum for $200. All you have to do is buy the spool gun. I bought the Miller on ebay for $400. It was brand new from a pawn shop. I had to look for a long time, but it pays off. On the subject of tube benders, you can't go wrong with the JD2. I started with the base model and slowly built it up to the pneumatic/hydraulic version. I bought a new hydraulic cylinder on ebay for $100. Then I found the hydraulic pump new on ebay for $180. I have about $600 in it. It sells new for $1295. If you take your time to search ebay, you can save alot of money. Good luck.
2005 Unlimited Rubicon, too much junk to list!-sold
2012 JKU Orange Crush
I have a Miller 130xp (120v) and the new miller 211 with the multi voltage plug and auto-set.
I run .023 wire in my 130 and .030 in my 211.
The 211 will do decent light mild steel welding (plus you can weld aluminum with the spool gun) but certainly shines with the thicker stuff.
My 130 lays does smooth beads with great penetration for a 120V welder.
It all depends on what you are fabricating. I bought the 211 for building and repairing trailer frames, and suspension stuff.
The 130 with the right gas will do a lot of work and I still use it more than my 211.
If you are new to mig welding the autoset on the 180 and 211 is nice. I find it a bit aggressive on wire speed but its great to get you started.
Lincoln or Miller...
Once you have a look in a Hobart, or have to replace parts in a Hobart, you won't want it anymore.
Hobart may be owned by Miller, but it's NOT a Miller by any means!
Our body shop guys like Lincoln, they can do more 'Tricks' with them.
Body shop doesn't do things like frames or roll cages.
Our fab shop & production guys like Miller.
Once you set a Miller up, there isn't any tinkering with it, it stays RIGHT where you put it.
The Miller welders have better transformer coils,
They lean into the work better than Lincoln and generally have longer duty cycles with less 'Fade', meaning they don't cool down at the weld as the machine heats up from use...
When I was was a full-time welder in the shipyard, Miller was the only brand that we used. I would burn on an average 40 lbs of flux core (1/16) wire a day with no problems (just had to change out the tips, insulators, and about once a month, the liners).
'77 CJ-5 Renegade 304 / T-150, Dana 20, 30/20 axles, Aussie Locker in the Dana 30, American Racing 15x10 Outlaw II's, 33" Dynapro M/T's" ,Optima Battery, TeamRushed + Summit Racing CDI ignition, FlowKooler water pump, Edelbrock Performer Intake Manifold, Holley 4160 390cfm, Herculiner, Silver Ceramic Coated Hedman Hedders, Flowmaster 40's.
Warn PowerPlant HD 12K Winch, Dirtworx front and rear bumpers.