I am looking into getting a welder for my garage. I haven't welded before, but have studied it and look forward to getting into it. My question is, what is an ideal startup welding kit that would work for welding bumpers, rollbars, etc? I figured everything else that I do on my vehicles has just been "get in and do it by trial and error" so I am going to keep that thought process going. So thoughts and opinions on welders would be great thanks!!
I am a certified welder, by far the eaisiest to learn while welding is MIG. You can pick up some small MIG welders for a few hundred bucks. These welds will be plenty strong for what you need. I do mostly ARCH welding but that is for large industrial type stuff. TIG is for like sheet metal and hard to learn, but it is really usefull once you get good with the MIG. The MIG will do all sorts of things for you, even sheet metal if your carefull. If you have any questions give me a PM.
97 TJ SE, 4 cly 5 speed, Atlas 2 Transfer case, Tom Woods custom drive shafts, Rough Country 4 inch lift, 35 12.50s. Poision spyder custom front stinger bumper. Lots more also.
To come... winch, lockers, fabtec long arm 8 inch kit. V8?
Echoing the above post, I have both an arc welder and a small MIG (with gas) machine. The MIG is fine up to about 1/8" steel. Thicker than that I prefer the amperage and penetration of an AC / reversable DC stick (arc) welder.
An oxy-acetylene torch setup is great also.
A good arc welder will run on 220 volts with a 50-amp outlet.
But if you don't have 220 in your garage and don't weld heavy steel, a small 110v MIG machine can do most of your welding chores.
I also got an aluminum-welding kit for my MIG, which makes it even more versatile.
__________________ "It always seems impossible until it is done." -Nelson Mandela
Last summer I came across and old Lincoln 220v arc welder, helmet, hammer and a slew of rods for $25. No welding experience at all, but I figured I couldn't pass it up. It cost me more for one 50 amp receptacle and a few feet of #6 wire than it did for the whole kit, but it was well worth it. I'm just learning as I go, but it's paid for itself a couple of times already..
'98 TJ Sport, 4.0, 5 spd., 3.73's; 4" RC Series II Lift; 33's, Daily Driver.
Life Member Hummer Recovery Team. Just Empty Every Pocket
I've MIGed and TIGed before. with the TIG i kept blowing through the metal while practicing. I would look for a small 110 welder. I don't have a place for one now so I don't have one. If you plan on doing a lot of welding or really want to do a lot of custom stuff on larger material you may want to look into a 220 mig welder. I've used one before, not too hard. My cage was welded with a MIG as well as other stuff on my jeep. Fairly easy to learn. Look for a local club, there should be someone there to help you pick one out and teach you. That's how I have learned. Still wouldn't trust my welds for anything major though