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Old 02-25-2009, 10:13 AM   #1
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Welders - Look Here! Opinions Needed!

I am the casual, general purpose welder, the guy who makes repairs and welds small things when I need to. I don't need a giant Miller rig to sit in the corner of my garage and go under-used, and I am not sure a little TIG unit is what I need, either. I have a small stick welder and am wondering if a small flux wire welder would give me nicer looking welds. And, if so, is this little thing worth a ? A lot of Chicago Electric stuff is cheapie throw-away stuff, but sometimes you get lucky. If this one blows, make a recommendation.

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=98871
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Old 02-25-2009, 10:16 AM   #2
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i don't know about the brand but I would not try to weld anything thicker than 1/4" plate with it.
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Old 02-25-2009, 10:20 AM   #3
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Racer what are you planning on trying to weld and how thick? That welder is only good if you are doing less then 1/4" stuff. I have used it on my bagged trucks and was really hard to get it to weld some thicker sutff to mount one of my tanks. I would try to find something that you can adjust the amprage on them. That way you can get it to work on thicker materials. What is your price range you are looking to spend?
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Old 02-25-2009, 10:22 AM   #4
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Old 02-25-2009, 10:24 AM   #5
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its only got a 10% duty cycle that aint t look into lincoln electric welders they are not as expeincive as millers and are very good. it all depends on what you want to use it for. like witchdoctor575 said i wouldnt weld anthing over 1/4 with that
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Old 02-25-2009, 10:25 AM   #6
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Mostly tube, plate and bar stock. I doubt I'd see anything more than a 1/4" thick, but I've been wrong before. It'd be nice to get something that is capable of doing 3/8" to 1/2" plate if needed. My problem is that I only weld about 10-12 times a year so if I spend a grand for that set-up, I'm a fool. I have access to a larger welding rig at a friend's machine shop.
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Old 02-25-2009, 10:28 AM   #7
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Well you can pick up a decent welder for less then a grand. Shop homedepot they have lincon I believe. I sell mainly industiral welders and they go for more then a grand but they weld really nice. If you want look at northern tool they have some ok stuff that is not as cheap as the harbor frieght. Hopedepot was going for like 600 I think. the small lincons work fine. That is what one of the guys that does my suspension work uses on my truck. He is installing c-notches link setups and everything.
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Old 02-25-2009, 10:29 AM   #8
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You might also consider one that uses argon. Either one will probably look better than SMAW. I wouldnt waste the $ on that one at HF. Check CL, I have seen may there.
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Old 02-25-2009, 10:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Racer997 View Post
Mostly tube, plate and bar stock. I doubt I'd see anything more than a 1/4" thick, but I've been wrong before. It'd be nice to get something that is capable of doing 3/8" to 1/2" plate if needed. My problem is that I only weld about 10-12 times a year so if I spend a grand for that set-up, I'm a fool. I have access to a larger welding rig at a friend's machine shop.

it doesn't take much more of a welder to cover those thicknesses. but you'll need a higher duty cycle, adjustable amperage and proper welding techniques. a small mig welder can weld thick stuff but you'll need to have a good root, cap, etc... to make it strong. I had a little mac tool 120 mig that I could weld all kinds of chit. Picked it up at a shop for $150 bucks.
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Old 02-25-2009, 10:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Racer997 View Post
I am the casual, general purpose welder, the guy who makes repairs and welds small things when I need to. I don't need a giant Miller rig to sit in the corner of my garage and go under-used, and I am not sure a little TIG unit is what I need, either. I have a small stick welder and am wondering if a small flux wire welder would give me nicer looking welds. And, if so, is this little thing worth a ? A lot of Chicago Electric stuff is cheapie throw-away stuff, but sometimes you get lucky. If this one blows, make a recommendation.

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=98871
Ive tried one, I can weld just fine with gas, but I had ALOT of splatter and the welds were when I went with this. Its nice not having gas and all.. but, imo not worth it.
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Old 02-25-2009, 10:41 AM   #11
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If you have one that does flux or gas, make sure your polarity is set correctly, or you will get crappy welds. I would skip the HF stuff and spend a little more on a small Linclon or similar. You should be able to get something in the 140-170 amp range for under $400. Check Home Depot or Lowes
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Old 02-25-2009, 10:44 AM   #12
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Lincoln or Miller FTW
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Old 02-25-2009, 10:45 AM   #13
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Lincoln or Miller FTW
What about Hobart?
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Old 02-25-2009, 10:46 AM   #14
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Hobarts are fine
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Old 02-25-2009, 10:53 AM   #15
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those little ones that plug into a 110 wall outlet are good for welding body parts. but not for anything but super light metal. if u want something easy to use but can still have a little power spend the money on a gas mig welder. it will have a spot for a argon tank on the welder and look like a giant version of what u got. it will weld all day and is super easy to use. and u can weld some pretty thick stuff and have confidence in the weld
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Old 02-25-2009, 11:37 AM   #16
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Quote:
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What about Hobart?
Hobarts are right there in the hunt too. The welders with the higher duty cycle are the better ones.
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