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Newbie Fabrication?

Old 08-11-2014, 01:14 AM
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Question Newbie Fabrication?

First off, I apologize in advance if this post is in the wrong sectiom..
Couldn't decide between this, and off topic, but this more of a logical
decision..

ANYWAYS; Ive decided to get take up welding/fabrication,
and I want to purchase my first welder. I have absolutely no
experience when it comes to fabbing. So this is where I need your
help. All of my fab will be primarily used for my XJ,
so what type of Welding should I be doing? Mig?Tig?Flux?
and what are the really reputible welders out there that
I should be looking at, oh and how many volts should I be using?
I was thinking about 180v the min?

Ive been told to steer clear any welders that Harbor Freight sells
and ive heard the Lincoln Welders are decent.
But I would really like to hear from you guys and get
your thoughts and opinions out there.

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Old 08-11-2014, 06:26 AM
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Wrong section.
But anyways,


Stick with the big three.

Miller
Lincoln
Hobart.

If ur house have the capacity, go for 220 volts.

Mig is recommended to learn first.

Check out the welding thread here
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Old 08-11-2014, 07:48 PM
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10 to 15 years ago I'd say Lincoln but since they moved to Mexico the quality went to crap. Hobart is made by Miller and is the cheaper, in price not quality, version. I'd recommend mig and unless you weld for a living don't mess with tig. The Hobart Handler series is great. I'd stay away from flux core welders just because it's not as clean and gas is cheap. Since anything you'll be making will be at least .25" get one that is rated for a decent bit more than that. Some of the 120v welders will weld up to 3/8" but not for long periods of time so like stated above if you have access to 220v that's your best option.
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Old 08-11-2014, 08:39 PM
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A good way to quickly pick up some fab skills is to take a welding class at a community college.

I have a miller 211 and love it, works on 220v and 110v. Best machine for the money.

Hobart handlers are another nice option. People are down on Lincoln welders, we had 3 of the 110v set up at work with either .023 and .030 for welding sheet metal and the work great. I've also used flux core in them to weld 1/4 plate with the polarity reversed. Flux core on straight polarity is actually stronger than hard wire, most high rise building are built today using flux core, and despite what people say with a machine set up properly it will look nice.

You don't have to take my word for any of this, these are simply the opinions of someone whose made a living fabricating for the last 16 years.
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Old 08-12-2014, 10:26 PM
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Also, I need it to run Argon/Co2, does that change which specific welder I should be using?

Thanks for all your help also.
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Old 08-13-2014, 12:12 AM
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The type of gas will not change the welder... Just the type of wire your running. Any type of welder from a 110v-ac/dc will work just make sure your using a dual shield wire or a solid stainless and you will be fine
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Old 08-13-2014, 04:36 AM
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My advice is to take a welding course at your cc then buy a welder that you won't grow out of. I own a miller 212 and 252, fantastic machines but more than most people need. I would suggest a miller 211, should do what you need.
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Old 08-13-2014, 06:40 AM
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You could go all out and buy a Miller XMT, that's what we use at work, and they are pretty amazing!
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Old 08-13-2014, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Gary Briggs View Post
You could go all out and buy a Miller XMT, that's what we use at work, and they are pretty amazing!

As much as i would love to spend 4k on a welder that is nice as that,
I dont have those kind of funds im thinking like 600-700
At the max on a welder.

------------------------------


My main purpose to get a welder is so i can weld some unibody stiffeners on,
Then I need to make a jail cage like setup for the interior..
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Old 08-13-2014, 09:00 PM
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I'd get a Hobart handler then
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Old 08-14-2014, 12:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Gary Briggs View Post
I'd get a Hobart handler then
Thats what Ive been really looking at,

Id like the Hobart Handler 190,
Runs 230VAC, and can do 24ga to 5/16in
Which is all I really need for now.
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Old 08-14-2014, 05:16 AM
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That's more than plenty. Go for it
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Old 08-14-2014, 09:10 PM
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Take a look at an Eastwood... I've heard good things about them and they are 1/2 the price of the big brands.
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Old 08-15-2014, 08:10 AM
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For a home hobby Eastwood will be okay. They use plastic drive wheels etc but they are pretty decent.

x-infinity. Go take a class. A mig welder will let you lay down a bead easily. But that doesn't mean you're getting good or proper penetration. Which means your stuff could/will fail.

20 yrs ago my old man handed me the stinger to his stick welder. He made me learn on that. Moving to mig from stick was a walk in the park and I never question my penetration.....nor does the wife

Good luck and take your time. Pay attention and you will be building all kinds of crazy sheet.
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Old 08-15-2014, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by xjmarc View Post
10 to 15 years ago I'd say Lincoln but since they moved to Mexico the quality went to crap. Hobart is made by Miller and is the cheaper, in price not quality, version. I'd recommend mig and unless you weld for a living don't mess with tig. The Hobart Handler series is great.
Funny because it goes either way, we got three Miller welders at the shop last week and they all came with Hobart wire and a few other things. I have a 110 Lincoln at home....it's ok, but I really like the Miller and imagine the Hobart is not much different. I would also go 220...you can always dial it down for thinner metal.
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