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how thick do we really weld, what welder to buy?

Discussion in 'Builds and Fabricators Forum' started by aallison, Nov 25, 2007.

  1. Nov 25, 2007
    aallison

    aallison 74 cj6, 76 cj5. Has anyone seen my screwdriver?

    Green Cove...
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    Nov 24, 2006
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    1,763
    I have an arc welder. I suck at it. I'm afrade if I start to weld to the frame I'll blow holes in it. So I've posted up on pirate. THey tell me I need a big monster 240 volt. But as I look at my stuff and what I really want to do, it seems I'll never weld anything thicker than 1/4 but mostly will weld 1/8 or thinner. Frame is fairly thin. I want to get good enough to tack together a cage and take it and have it welded by a pro. DOM tubing is not thick. Same with some tube fenders, etc. Fairly thin stuff.

    When I need to weld a front bumper I have the arc welder to fall back on.

    SO do I really need a 220 volt welder?
     
  2. Nov 25, 2007
    Boyink

    Boyink A tech-nomad Staff Member Sponsor

    Ditching Suburbia
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    I'd say you don't.
     
  3. Nov 25, 2007
    Patrick

    Patrick Super Moderator Staff Member Sponsor

    Los Alamos, NM
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  4. Nov 25, 2007
    $ sink

    $ sink Gazillians of posts

    Virginia Bch
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    hard to beat one of the name brand 110v welders for daily chores. I have a Lincoln and have never regretted the purchase
     
  5. Nov 25, 2007
    w3srl

    w3srl Jeepless in Pittsburgh Staff Member Sponsor

    Pittsburgh, PA
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    BTW- You CAN weld 1/4" stuff with a little 110v MIG, it just takes a little longer and a different technique. Bevel your joints to get good penetration and make more than one pass. The key is to get a good flowing bead in there and not just keep piling boogers on top.

    Keep in mind that the light-weght welders have a limited duty cycle, so you'll have to quit and come back when the welder cools off.
     
  6. Nov 25, 2007
    jd7

    jd7 Sponsor Sponsor

    Nacogdoches,Texas
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    ...most don't, 1/4" can be welded with a torch if you have too. But you don't have to 'cause there's a plethora of 110 volt wire feeds out there that can get the job done. But if you have an arc welder practice practice it'll surprise you what you can do, sheet metal included......
     
  7. Nov 25, 2007
    DanStew

    DanStew Incorrigible. Staff Member Sponsor

    Lexington, South...
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    I have a 110 mig for small stuff, and a stick welder for the large. With the larger machine you can up the heat a little more for better penetration. This compensates for using the small machine and you are not good at using it. You can do thicker stuff with the 110V but the larger just makes sure you get it to penetrate. Stick will suck for body work, but for everything else (except cages) it will do everything you need. It is simpler, and if you can master the stick welder you can do most others with ease. Only bad part about stick is it is messier to cleanup because of all the slag. But dont let anyone say a stick is not as good as a MIG, that is a load of BS
     
  8. Nov 25, 2007
    sammy

    sammy Coca-Cola? Sponsor

    Albuquerque, NM
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    I've used a Hobart Handler for years, 110 volt, only welder I own besides the torch. Never let me down.
     
  9. Nov 25, 2007
    bkap

    bkap Paint this thing! Sponsor

    Tucson, AZ
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    I have a 220 Hobart and an old stick welder, which I only use for the rare work that I don't care what it looks like. I hate the slag and having to hammer it off. Electric gapping with a wire feed is great for an old hack like me. :rofl: I agree with Dan on the penetration issue and higher heat. When I bought the Hobart, 110 units were just starting to come around, but were still not that good. The duty cycle on the 220 is great and I can keep working as long as necessary. I have, in the way past, welded roll cages with the stick but I've barely touched that machine since I got the MIG. In fact, that's why I bought the MIG, for race car cages. My problem is that I weld a bunch, then don't touch it for a long time. It takes a while to get back up to speed. It's the DIY nightmare: by the time you get good at something, the project is done and you won't need that skill for a long time. R)
     
  10. Nov 25, 2007
    aallison

    aallison 74 cj6, 76 cj5. Has anyone seen my screwdriver?

    Green Cove...
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    Thanks. I can pick up a Lincoln at HD or Lowes for under 500 bucks. I think it's the lincoln 170 I was looking at. I figured it was enough. Especially with a stick.

    But I wanted to check before droping 500 on a welder.
     
  11. Nov 25, 2007
    mb82

    mb82 I feel great! Sponsor

    Charlottesville Va
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    I just got the hobart Handler 135 and am very pleased. No more boogerwelds for me.
     
  12. Nov 25, 2007
    sammy

    sammy Coca-Cola? Sponsor

    Albuquerque, NM
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    I agree. Well. On the Hobart's at least. I'd buy a Hobart or Miller over a Lincoln.
     
  13. Nov 25, 2007
    Bob75CJ

    Bob75CJ Member

    Southgate, Mi
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    I have a Lincoln weld pac 100 and a stick welder. Love the little weld pac. But use it with flux core wire (no gas kit yet). had it about 8 yrs and love it for thin stuff, under 1/4. Use the stick for heavier, I use a lot of 7024 though, (idiot stick). Oh yeah. With the little wire feeds do not use cheap wire. splatters bad and doesn't weld nearly as well.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2007
  14. Nov 25, 2007
    Mcruff

    Mcruff Earlycj5 Machinist Sponsor

    Albertville, AL
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    I have a Hobart 140 that works great for about 95% of what I do. I even built a 12 ton hydraulic press out of heavy Channel iron, I just beveled everything good and did double passes. Most of the things that were done on firefighter mikes cj6 were done with my little 110 unit.
     
  15. Nov 26, 2007
    JeepTherapy

    JeepTherapy Sponsor Sponsor

    Negaunee, Michigan
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    Isn't the Lincoln 170 or 175 a 220V welder? I think a welder of that amperage a very good choice. I would recommend you go to a welding supply store and talk with them before buying a Lowes welder tho. Not sure if the Lowes welder is built to the same standards as the welding shop welders. I looked into a Hobart Refurb and could have bought one of those at a very good price.

    I think someone also mentioned to get the gas also. I use a flux core welder and it splatters a lot. Also look at the wire used to do the specific thickness of metal. Some of the smaller welders require flux core wire for their thickest welds. I don't think the 175 will have that limitation.

    I have used my 110V 110 amp or so flux core welder for everything I have built. The only welds I have ever had fail are the plow frame mounts my neighbor welded for me with his stick welder. I welded them over with my wire feed and they have held for two seasons. Some of the metal I have welded has been over the specs for the welder. As mentioned before it just takes multiple passes. The fail safe for duty cycle in my welder has failed so it doesn't shut down any more. But when it did work that was the most annoying thing.
     
  16. Nov 26, 2007
    nickmil

    nickmil In mothballs. Sponsor

    Happy Valley, OR
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    I have an old Millermatic 185 220v and a Lincoln SP-125 110v. Both were purchased used and both have been great welders. For 80% of my welding I grab the Lincoln as it's small stuff, but once in a while the big Miller is what's needed. One thing I will say is that pretty much all the companies have different quality of welders, meaning one level to sell at HD, Lowes, etc. and another level for the more professional user. My SP-125 falls under the latter. More infinitely adjustable, better duty cycle, etc. I'd seriously look at the local welding supply stores and see if they have trade-in's or rebuilt units for sale. If so you may get a better welder for the same money.
    I'd get the gas with solid wire unless welding where it's really windy. Much cleaner welds with less clean up. Nickmil
     
  17. Nov 29, 2007
    groomer_guy

    groomer_guy Member

    Western...
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    If yu are going to weld thinner stuff with a stick welder I would use either 1/16" or 3/32" electrode. As for 7024 rod.....This is for fillet welds and horizontal welds. It welds with no spatter and goes through light rust and oil well. The minimum tinsile strength is 70,000 psi. So this is very strong. The penetration is light. It welds smooth and with a low to flat weld height. It welds fast too. I mean you can weld fast with it too. If I were to have two types of stick electrode I would have 6011 and 7018. 6011 or rust rod or farmer rod works well with dirty metal but has lots of spatter. With a little practice you can weld nice with this rod. 7018 is for clean prepped metal. But it is a very strong weld and weld smooth. If you have a rusty or dirty piece of metal you can weld on pass with 6011 and cap it with 7018. Mig welders are nice because they are the easiest type to use. I like both. Miller and Hobart are the same company just to set the record straight. Both are good welders. Lincoln welders are good too. Just my 2 cents though.

    jim
     
  18. Nov 30, 2007
    scott milliner

    scott milliner Master Fabricator

    Seattle Wa.
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    Very happy with my Millermatic 135 with the cover gas. It's a 110 volt unit. Worked really well on the floor panels.
     
  19. Dec 1, 2007
    bobracing

    bobracing web wheeler

    Richland, WA
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    Oct 28, 2007
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    Guess I'm going to be different.
    I like welding with a 220, once you have the power a 110 seems like a toy. I do wish I had a 110 for sheetmetal.
    I went thru this a couple years ago and decided on a Miller 210. After reading LOTS of post on different board and having experience with stick, 110mig, & 220mig it wasn't a hard choice.
    Yes, the big machine are more expensive but it will weld most "hobbyist" projects and more without question.
    Please don't get me wrong a 110 will work with time and prep.
    Make sure you get a welder with gas, much nicer way to go.

    Now if I could only find a inexpensive tig machine and learn that.
     
  20. Dec 1, 2007
    willys59cj5

    willys59cj5 Sponsor Sponsor

    Gilroy, CA
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    I have a Hobart 135 110v and have been very happy with it. I don't like using flux core wire because of the splatter. Gas very very nice:). If you are buying a welder and don't have tanks you may want to factor in the price of a tank as well.
     

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