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Welder for beginner

Old 02-26-2019, 12:47 PM
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Default Mig vs. stick

Both power sources will work just fine given the application. On one hand with a stick welder you will spend a lot less money on it and it is easier to find one that will plug into a 110 outlet if need be. With that being said there will be a lot more restrictions when it comes to application use. As a qualified welder and fabricator I shouldnít be saying this but if you arenít going to follow the structural steel welding codes (D1.1) all you have to do it buy a cheap stick welder and be halfway decent with a flap wheel or grinder. I reccomend an inverter power source but it is the most costly. On the other hand there is MIG welding. It is relatively easy to lay some metal down when it comes to MIG welding but there are so many more components that will also need more maintenance such as always keeping your gas full, stocking up on wire along with extra costly components for your gun and wire feeding set up with components for your and with maintenance comes money. At the end of the day, for all of us, it doesnít matter how much we want to spend it matters how much we can spend and quality power sources are very expensive. So if you plan on just buying the cheap and minimal option a stick welder will do you just fine. If you have your heart set on a MIG welder I am a fan of Miller xmt 350 mpa, it is a common power source that is an industry standard but I would like to advise that they will cost around five grand.
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Old 03-06-2019, 11:30 PM
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Iíve been looking into the same thing. I was thinking going fluxcore for small jobs. Rust repair, body panels etc etc, but have been leaning more towards stick recently. Still undecided. I donít have a garage to store gas tanks or a climate controlled shop. I have a shade tree and a will be getting a prebuilt carport. So my machine would have to be somewhat mobile. Also inexpensive.

I think I would have to upgrade my breaker box with a dedicated circuit as well. Not to sure yet.

If if I decide to go with flux I was considering this machine:

https://www.amazon.com/Forney-Easy-Weld-261-Machine/dp/B07CP9CDVQ/ref=mp_s_a_1_7?keywords=flux+core+mig+welder&qid=1551936515&s=gateway&sr=8-7 https://www.amazon.com/Forney-Easy-Weld-261-Machine/dp/B07CP9CDVQ/ref=mp_s_a_1_7?keywords=flux+core+mig+welder&qid=1551936515&s=gateway&sr=8-7
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Old 03-14-2019, 04:23 PM
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Stick weld sheet metal? guess it could be done,, but not ideal
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Old 03-14-2019, 05:13 PM
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I have one of these and it works great, it will do stick, mig, flux core, or tig if you buy and extra attachment. I have only used it as a mig welder and it is easy to setup and can do some good welds. https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/pr...nverter-welder
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Old 03-15-2019, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Slackdaddy View Post
Stick weld sheet metal? guess it could be done,, but not ideal
Stick welding sheet metal. Like using a snow shovel to swat flies. Yeah, you might hit and kill it eventually, but the aftermath is gonna be ugly.

Also advising on a 5k power source is pointless, he's looking to stick metal together not start a fab shop.

Bottom line here, for any beginner looking to stick 2 pieces of metal together, a wire feed unit is what you want, but...you need to pay attention to certain things, like voltage, duty cycle, MIG capability as well as flux core, consumables, what kind of drive wheels, etc....

My suggestion is get the best welder you can afford, make sure it has metal drive wheels, get a dual voltage setup to run on 220 or 110, and MIG capable, with a decent duty cycle. Lots of low cost machines that fit that bill. I will also recommend to stick with bigger name companies, easier to get replacement parts.



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Old 03-15-2019, 07:46 PM
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FWIW, I work in a fab shop using professional equipment, but my home unit is a Miller 211, perfect machine for the house and garage. Found mine brand new in box on CL with a factory warranty for 900 bucks.

Shop around, be patient, the right deal is out there
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Old 03-15-2019, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by 00t444e View Post
I have one of these and it works great, it will do stick, mig, flux core, or tig if you buy and extra attachment. I have only used it as a mig welder and it is easy to setup and can do some good welds. https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/pr...nverter-welder
The only problem I have with multiple process rigs, is while they do 3 different things, they don't do any of them very well. Versatility is good, but I have yet to see an affordable machine that does it all reliably.
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Old 03-15-2019, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by roninofako View Post
The only problem I have with multiple process rigs, is while they do 3 different things, they don't do any of them very well. Versatility is good, but I have yet to see an affordable machine that does it all reliably.
It mig welds as good as any other 120v mig I have seen. I haven't used the other settings, I have a Lincoln 240v stick welder If I need to stick weld.
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Old 03-16-2019, 01:57 PM
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Which backs up exactly what I'm saying...you have a multi process machine that you only use for one thing. You default to the dedicated rig when you need to.

I'm not dissing them, they can be useful, but limited in what it can do. Especially at 120v.

Which is why I suggest a dual voltage MIG capable unit with a decent duty cycle. Extremely versatile, and will handle most anything in a home shop, while being easy to learn on.
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