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Unread 12-18-2014, 01:18 PM   #1
71-CJ6
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What are you welding with?

Haven't welded since junior high, and that was an intro class with a stick welder. Now I'm looking to teach myself with the intent of being able to weld some body work (spot welds at first) and further develop my roll cage later on. I understand I'm going to burn holes in body work until i'm used to it, but think I'll be able to lay a decent bead after some practice. Taking suggestions on what to start back out on.

Considerations- money is always an issue. I realize I'm not going to get a new top of the line welder and I'm ok with that. Would like to get a MIG, as I've read they're probably the most versatile in consideration of what I'm working on.

Should I go used and get a decent name with shielding gas, etc or should I go Eastwood-like and get a flux core?

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Unread 12-18-2014, 02:23 PM   #2
CSP
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For sheet metal use MIG not flux core.

ESAB makes an easy grind wire that's great for body work.
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Unread 12-18-2014, 02:27 PM   #3
firegod33
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Some good deals can be found on used equipment. Stick with Red White or Blue ( Lincoln, Hobart, Miller, respectively ) and it's hard to go wrong. Gas shielded with .023" wire would be best for body work but flux core wire can be used. The biggest downfall to flux wire welding is more spatter and cleaning off the slag (like stick). Flux penetrates fine, despite the smack talk you read on online forums.
I got my Lincoln SP175+ for $700, on sale. Don't know what your budget is.
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Unread 12-18-2014, 02:43 PM   #4
RedNeckCorvette
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If you do buy a used machine have the owner weld with it in your presence. If you have the option remove the cover and take a look at the transformer wires. If you can see the insulation to the free wires connected to the transformer are all flaky and burnt don't buy that one.
RN
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Unread 12-18-2014, 02:49 PM   #5
Crankcase
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I just bought a complete welding setup online for $750. Below is the list of everything you'll need (other than metal) to get a great setup.

Hobart Handler 125 welder
Welding cart
Gas 75% Argon / 25% CO2 (60 cu ft)
.023 wire and tips
Regulator & hose
Gloves
Helmet
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Unread 12-18-2014, 02:50 PM   #6
CSP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firegod33 View Post
Flux penetrates fine, despite the smack talk you read on online forums.
Flux core actually penetrates better than MIG, all other things being equal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedNeckCorvette View Post
If you do buy a used machine have the owner weld with it in your presents.
No way anyone would weld in my Christmas presents! I don't even know what they are yet. Sorry had to go there since it's a week away. Presence is the word you're looking for.
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Unread 12-18-2014, 02:53 PM   #7
my1986cj7
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A red lincoln buss box is what I have for a stick welder and a Century mig both are fairly cheap the lincoln is my dad's that he bought over 30 years ago.
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Unread 12-18-2014, 02:56 PM   #8
my1986cj7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSP View Post
For sheet metal use MIG not flux core.

ESAB makes an easy grind wire that's great for body work.
I would get one that has a shielding gas hook up you can always run flux core wire though it if you want I do.
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Unread 12-18-2014, 03:04 PM   #9
Splinter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSP View Post
For sheet metal use MIG not flux core.

ESAB makes an easy grind wire that's great for body work.
Interesting. Can you provide any further info on this wire. Seems that around Yuma the Welding Supply shops do not deal with Esab much. Have been waiting 3 weeks for contact tips.
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Unread 12-18-2014, 03:21 PM   #10
CrankyD
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I picked up a Miller Maxstar 150 stick/tig combo for $500 used and the guy threw in a bunch of clamps, consumables and a good autodark helmet. I'm thrilled with it even on 110V it welds awesome. Tig Isn't the best for body work but in skilled hands you have alot of versatility. It is DC only so I can't really do aluminum thats the only downer. It welds stainless extremely well.

Last edited by CrankyD; 12-18-2014 at 03:22 PM.. Reason: spelling
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Unread 12-18-2014, 03:29 PM   #11
CSP
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Splinter: https://weldingsupply.com/cgi-bin/ei...DEF:OR:130PS43

You can do a Google search on Esab EZ grind and get more info.

Is there a Yuma in Canada?
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Unread 12-18-2014, 03:34 PM   #12
Dadamsnv
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I have a Hobart Handler 140. It's 115v, but I can weld 3/16" no problem. It comes with everything you need to go .030" flux cored plus it comes with hoses and regs for gas. Another great benefit is you can buy an adapter to run a 10lb spool in it. Anyone who has done a big project knows how lame it is running out of wire mid weld every couple of hours.

I love my welder! All of the setting in the chart are dead on and it straight works everytime! This picture was my second project with this welder. I was using the hobart brand flux cored wire.

PS: I wouldn't go near body work without running gas. The gas allows you to weld much thinner material without blowing through.
image-471031033.jpg

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Unread 12-18-2014, 03:46 PM   #13
Matt1981CJ7
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Drew,

I had never welded in my life until I picked up a Lincoln 140 MIG with gas a few years ago. I spent a day laying beads on some scrap metal and experimenting with different settings.

On the second day I started cutting rust spots out of my tub and spot welding in patches. Below was my first attempt. Not the prettiest welds, but they worked and the final result was more than adequate even for my picky tastes.

One key thing I learned was to use a copper backing whenever possible. This disperses the heat and prevents blow-thru. I simply smashed a chunk of copper pipe flat to use for the backer.

Matt
patch2-2.jpg   patch2-3.jpg   patch2-7.jpg   patch2-8.jpg   patch2-9.jpg  

patch2-10.jpg   patchfinal.jpg  
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Unread 12-18-2014, 04:47 PM   #14
dirtdudeaz
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You should be able to get a nice mig welder for $1000 or less used off of Craigslist or locally. Agree with the others as far as brands.

Personally I have seen 2 close friends run into issues with their Homedepot models and ended up spending more on parts and labor to fix the things than to put it all into a better model to begin with.

Gas shielding is my preference, although you can get some good penetration with flux core too.

If you are building a roll cage that will hold other people besides you, I would suggest getting a friend that is expereienced to help teach you. It is very easy to make a weld look pretty and have little to no penetration. I am always amazed to see some bozo who thinks they can weld or build cages and use the wrong material or type of welding for structual cages. I make it a point to avoid them if I see them on the trail/course, and sure as heck won't ride with them!

The other way you can learn to weld is to buy the same material you will make a roll cage or whatever else you are building and cut a bunch of small 6 inch lengths and then practice welding them together and figuring out your machine settings. You can then take a chopsaw/bandsaw/cutting disc to split the tubes in half perpendicular to your welds to examine the finished product.
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Unread 12-18-2014, 04:51 PM   #15
RedNeckCorvette
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Matt did you fix that hole in the support bracket? I will bet nine to one you did.

One welder is never enough.

Want better penetration with a smaller machine, Preheat.

RN
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