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Welder Suggestions?

Discussion in 'The Tool Shed' started by Sierra Bum, Mar 12, 2018.

  1. Mar 13, 2018

    Kz400 Member

    Wheaton il
    Oct 31, 2017
    Based on your needs and experience I would go stick. Wire feeds are nice, but if your comfortable with stick just stay with it, its cheap easy and versatile. Welding 3/16 or 1/4 plate will require multiple passes with a wire feed unless you have a large one with a high duty cycle. I would definitely look at the duty cycle. I have a 120v lincoln mig that is great but with a 10% duty cycle it needs alot of breaks on anything more than sheet metal. I don't stick weld much, I prefer mig or tig BUT when welding outside, or on a rusty trailer, or on cast iron, or thick plate stick is the way to go. Stick welders dont sell for much, I would recommed watching for one and if its a 4hr drive just spend a day and go get it. If you buy good equipment you pay for it once, if you buy junk you pay for it every time you use it.
    ITLKSEZ likes this.
  2. Mar 13, 2018
    Sierra Bum

    Sierra Bum Member

    The High Sierra
    Oct 23, 2017
    Thanks everybody. Lots of valuable insights here. Everyone seems to have a way that works for them. I'll probably get a stick welder. I appreciate the versatility and quality of mig and tig welding, and the aesthetics of a beautiful weld but I want to keep it simple and go with what I know. I have a buddy with a small wire feed welder if I need it. Yeah, I don't see welding sheet metal right now. There's a a 240v AC/DC buzz box in Mammoth for 150 bucks that I may go check out. I bet I could get it for 100 bucks. I'll post up an update when I'm sorted out. Cheers
    ITLKSEZ likes this.
  3. Mar 13, 2018

    PeteL Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Hills of NH
    Aug 3, 2003
    That sounds like a deal for a DC capable unit. DC costs a lot more on new ones.
  4. Mar 13, 2018

    Daryl Sponsor Sponsor

    Bonney Lake, WA
    May 25, 2006
    Most stick welders are worth more for the copper in them to recycle then they are as a welder. Stick welding is about as common as a crank start car these days.
  5. Mar 13, 2018

    tarry99 Member Sponsor

    Northern California
    Oct 29, 2012
    Nick .....Depends on where your standing?..........16 gauge .060" /18 gauge .048" Outdoors , in a pure commercial use as a buzz box would normally function in that's pretty thin......Jeep bodies being around 18 or 19 gauge are better suited for Tig with silicon Bronze or Gas/Oxy or Mig for filling small holes quickly........in the shop if your playing with thinner materials like 20 or 22 gauge / .030" most people are either spot welding those things or inter-grading seams & folds on the brake to keep those parts together...hardly any welding there at all.
  6. Mar 13, 2018

    Glenn Kinda grumpy old man Staff Member Sponsor

    Apopka, Fl
    Sep 21, 2002
    I totally agree, but stick welding certainly isn't dead and never will be. :coffee::)
    ITLKSEZ likes this.
  7. Mar 13, 2018

    OldKooT New Member

    Mar 7, 2018
    Just today the Miller gas powered stick welder got a workout repairing a broken cattle guard about 20 miles from any building. Rare ya don't see a large stick welder on the back of most ranch/farm service trucks, ours included. Thick metal/wind create the scenario where a stick is the only real solution.

    I again will say my Mig gets the nod most days in the shop. But not going to josh.... when the metal gets thick, its far easier to grab the buzz box than to change liners and wire spools on the mig. Which is why I have both LoL
    Glenn likes this.
  8. Mar 13, 2018

    duffer Rodent Power Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Bozeman, MT
    Sep 17, 2009
    Yep! They don't care if the wind is blowing, one hell of a lot easier to get leads way away from the welder unit, and you can get a stick into places you can not fit a MIG gun. I built a DC converter for my buzz box using diodes probably from a EMD SD40. Absolutely still a place for a stick welder. But most of my welding these days is MIG.
    Glenn likes this.
  9. Mar 27, 2018
    Rick Whitson

    Rick Whitson Detroit Area Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    I live South of...
    Dec 2, 2014
    I know it seems like I always have an opinion, and opinions are like asses, everyone has one and they all stink, or so they say. That being said, I will say this, stick welding is not dead, you are all right. There are Stick welders, that are the base for everything, but a lot of welding can be done with a stick machine and a Feeder to make it an innershield welder. I have a Lincoln Idealarc 250, stick machine, and a Honda EW 1700 stick welder/ generator, that cover my basic needs home and at the cabin. But I also have a Millermatic 180 Mig welder with a spool gun for aluminum, at home and a HF 220 wire fed with intershield wire in it at the cabin. I like the Millermatic the best, but when I need to stick weld, the Lincoln Tumbstone is the best. At the Cabin I use my Honda with 3/32" 7018 LH, for most of the little jobs everyone has for me to do for them, but have the HF innershield for the thin work that people find for me to do. So I guess I have not said anything to help you make a decision, except I need both, a stick welder and a wire feed welder, for all the different things I do. Good Luck
    Danefraz likes this.
  10. May 25, 2018

    IRQVET Member

    Feb 5, 2015
    Stick with one of the US "Big 3" as the quality is much better.

    - Miller
    - Hobart
    - Lincoln

    Miller and Hobart are owned by the same company, Illinois Tool Works. So many of the parts interchange and both are really nice machines. Miller is geared more toward commercial, and Hobart more toward residental. I have the Hobart 210MPV and it will tackle anything I throw at it and it eats it for lunch. I have yet to find a project my Hobart can't handle.

    Lincoln is American made but unfortunately they are now assessembled in Mexico.

    Miller's are made and assembled in Wisconsin and Hobart in Ohio if memory serves me correctly.
    Last edited: May 25, 2018

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