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Old 06-13-2010, 12:50 PM   #1
oldschoolsubi
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Default What Welder To buy ???

Hey everyone out there, I want to buy a welder but I have no idea what kind to get! I know how to weld and have 110 and 220 out lets in my garage. I do a little of everything , but not more than custom bumpers. Thanks
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Old 06-13-2010, 01:40 PM   #2
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buzzbox
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Old 06-13-2010, 04:18 PM   #3
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Oxy welders are the most versatile as you can cut, weld ,braze and heat up stuck stuborn components and bend thick metal after applying heat so they are always first choice.
Next choice would be a good quality 110 volt Mig welder or maybe a cheaper inverter Stick and Tig welder DC only as they are cheap and good,these obviate the buzzbox as they are these days only usefull for heavy work and the inverter setup gives you DC stick welding which is far easier than AC buzzbox stick welding.
Last of all is an AC~DC Tig setup and when you graduate to one of these go for a Rolls Royce and get something from Miller,Hobart Kemmpi Esab or Lincoln as when you get to that level you are serious and will use and appreciate the extra features support and quality of those brands over cheaper asian stuff.
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Old 06-15-2010, 04:20 PM   #4
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Spend once cry once. I don't know when you'd use a buzz box on a automobile.

If you want good results, dont bother with the harbor freight stuff.. some are decent, but its a crap shoot.

Mig will be the easiest for you to learn, but tig will be the most flexible.

I have a phobia of oxy-acetelyne, so I dont do that.
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Old 06-15-2010, 04:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yarbles View Post
buzzbox
lol wat? do not buy a damn buzzbox. you will never use that crap for automotive work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by coxy View Post
Oxy welders are the most versatile as you can cut, weld ,braze and heat up stuck stuborn components and bend thick metal after applying heat so they are always first choice.
Next choice would be a good quality 110 volt Mig welder or maybe a cheaper inverter Stick and Tig welder DC only as they are cheap and good,these obviate the buzzbox as they are these days only usefull for heavy work and the inverter setup gives you DC stick welding which is far easier than AC buzzbox stick welding.
Last of all is an AC~DC Tig setup and when you graduate to one of these go for a Rolls Royce and get something from Miller,Hobart Kemmpi Esab or Lincoln as when you get to that level you are serious and will use and appreciate the extra features support and quality of those brands over cheaper asian stuff.
it really depends on what you are doing, most auto work stuff a 110v mig would be fine. but having a 220v smaller setup would be perfect. check out the millers. I have both a smaller miller tig welder and a lincoln 110v mig welder (thats being sold) and picking up a 220v miller mig setup.
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Old 06-15-2010, 04:58 PM   #6
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I went against the grain (Miller) and bought an Invertig 201 from HTP. It is almost identical to the Miller Dynasty on paper, but is much more cost effective considering it also includes many accessories.

I can't vouch for their Mig welders, but this Tig is definitely a perfect functioning machine and their customer service is top notch.

Learning Tig:


-Jake
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Old 06-15-2010, 05:23 PM   #7
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ooh nice. I wish I saved a little more before getting my synchrowave instead of the invertatig.

Then again, what difference does it make, its been almost 2 years since I fired either of them up. Im lazy...

miller Synchrowave 200, and a Older lincoln mig (in 220). But my favorite thing is the Jackson Nexgen helmet.

BTW, anyone have a recommendation on welding leathers?
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Old 06-15-2010, 06:03 PM   #8
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Have used the top brands over the years: Hobart, Lincoln, Miller, Century. The first three brands make good products. I don't think Century is still around

Don't mess with cheap flux core welders.

Amazon.com sells Hobart with free shipping btw.
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Old 06-15-2010, 06:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madmax718 View Post
ooh nice. I wish I saved a little more before getting my synchrowave instead of the invertatig.

Then again, what difference does it make, its been almost 2 years since I fired either of them up. Im lazy...

miller Synchrowave 200, and a Older lincoln mig (in 220). But my favorite thing is the Jackson Nexgen helmet.

BTW, anyone have a recommendation on welding leathers?
I usually just get the green or blue jacket that has leather sleeves on it. It works well for extreme position stick welding.

It's a little bit overkill for bench welding, but nice if you don't want to risk burning up your expensive tattoos.
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Old 06-16-2010, 01:12 PM   #10
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Why all the hate for good old SMAW? It's not the process but the weld.
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Old 06-16-2010, 01:13 PM   #11
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buy used. check Craigslist and the newspaper. Tons of shops are going out of business and need to unload equipment fast.
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Old 06-16-2010, 02:17 PM   #12
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Really you need to look at what you will be using it for, thickness and metal. You might realize you need both a tig and mig. I did opted for a Miller Tig and then a miller mig welder. Right now miller has there 211 mig that does 110/220 on the same machine. You should be able to find a used tig for 1000-1300 in our area that would be a nice starter machine.
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Old 06-18-2010, 01:49 AM   #13
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Full disclosure: I work for Miller Electric (however I am not a welder by trade).

Depending on how much welding you want to get into and where your skill sets are and where you want them to be plays a big part in what you should get. I see you have some skills already, I would NOT buy a stick welder if you are going to do automotive work(outside a frame). I would stick to TIG and MIG, I personally would not do FCAW either(outside rusty frames), but that is my personal opinion. TIG takes more skill and time than MIG but your beads will look better and you have a much smaller heat effected zone than you do with MIG. MIG is easy, honestly anyone can do it with a little practice(except the kid who kept lighting his pants on fire in the welding class) and generally you will get better penetration and higher metal deposition and spend less time welding. Now the big difference in cost to operate comes with gas and filler metals.

TIG you almost always use 100% Argon no matter what material you are welding. The only difference from job to job will be tungsten size and filler rod. If you want to weld Aluminum though you need a machine capable of AC output.

MIG machines can weld just about anything, however you need to change gases with different materials for the best outcome(stainless is a different gas than aluminum than steel). There are many different types of metal transfer in MIG (short are and spray mostly) and depending on the job you are doing will change your selection of gas, wire, and general settings for best results. Also MIG welding does not allow the degree of heat control that TIG does.

Most garages in my area have Millermatic machines and a small TIG machine, which honestly I would recommend instead of getting 1 multi process machine as between the two you can cover just about anything. I happen to have an XMT 350 MPa machine which is capable of MIG, stick, DC TIG, and pulsed MIG. I can do anything with this machine except TIG aluminum(which I am terrible at), but I had to get a separate wire feeder for MIG. I went with a Spoolmatic 30A and WC-24 controller as it runs 1 lb spools which is plenty for the amount of MIG welding I actually do.

If anyone has any questions or would like to talk PM me your number. Sorry to the real welders out there if I got some things mixed up, it's late and this text box is small.

edit- plasma cutters are awesome.

Last edited by jasonspeed; 06-18-2010 at 02:04 AM.
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Old 06-18-2010, 11:14 AM   #14
PARANOID56
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i am about to pull the trigger on buying a another miller (mig welder this time, thing the 211) any discounts for us nice people?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonspeed View Post
Full disclosure: I work for Miller Electric (however I am not a welder by trade).

Depending on how much welding you want to get into and where your skill sets are and where you want them to be plays a big part in what you should get. I see you have some skills already, I would NOT buy a stick welder if you are going to do automotive work(outside a frame). I would stick to TIG and MIG, I personally would not do FCAW either(outside rusty frames), but that is my personal opinion. TIG takes more skill and time than MIG but your beads will look better and you have a much smaller heat effected zone than you do with MIG. MIG is easy, honestly anyone can do it with a little practice(except the kid who kept lighting his pants on fire in the welding class) and generally you will get better penetration and higher metal deposition and spend less time welding. Now the big difference in cost to operate comes with gas and filler metals.

TIG you almost always use 100% Argon no matter what material you are welding. The only difference from job to job will be tungsten size and filler rod. If you want to weld Aluminum though you need a machine capable of AC output.

MIG machines can weld just about anything, however you need to change gases with different materials for the best outcome(stainless is a different gas than aluminum than steel). There are many different types of metal transfer in MIG (short are and spray mostly) and depending on the job you are doing will change your selection of gas, wire, and general settings for best results. Also MIG welding does not allow the degree of heat control that TIG does.

Most garages in my area have Millermatic machines and a small TIG machine, which honestly I would recommend instead of getting 1 multi process machine as between the two you can cover just about anything. I happen to have an XMT 350 MPa machine which is capable of MIG, stick, DC TIG, and pulsed MIG. I can do anything with this machine except TIG aluminum(which I am terrible at), but I had to get a separate wire feeder for MIG. I went with a Spoolmatic 30A and WC-24 controller as it runs 1 lb spools which is plenty for the amount of MIG welding I actually do.

If anyone has any questions or would like to talk PM me your number. Sorry to the real welders out there if I got some things mixed up, it's late and this text box is small.

edit- plasma cutters are awesome.
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Old 06-18-2010, 12:40 PM   #15
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I've used a Miller 220v Mig for about 8 years now and its never skipped a beat. My father in law is a welding instructor and swears by Esab. IIRC a 220 welder has a much better duty cycle than the 110 machines, and you can usually weld thicker material with the 220. Also you're going to need a host of grinders, wire brushes, and maybe even a plasma cutter. Some people talk down on Harbor Freight but I buy all my grinders and brushes there and have had good experience. Heck I even bough my 35 amp plasma cutter there...back in 02 and its still rockin!
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Old 06-18-2010, 01:16 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PARANOID56 View Post
i am about to pull the trigger on buying a another miller (mig welder this time, thing the 211) any discounts for us nice people?
You should ask your distributor about reconditioned equipment. They get fixed at the factory and are usually good as new. You get a good discount but you only get a 2 year warranty versus a 3 year with brand new.
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Old 06-18-2010, 01:19 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PERRIN_Jarid View Post
I've used a Miller 220v Mig for about 8 years now and its never skipped a beat. My father in law is a welding instructor and swears by Esab. IIRC a 220 welder has a much better duty cycle than the 110 machines, and you can usually weld thicker material with the 220. Also you're going to need a host of grinders, wire brushes, and maybe even a plasma cutter. Some people talk down on Harbor Freight but I buy all my grinders and brushes there and have had good experience. Heck I even bough my 35 amp plasma cutter there...back in 02 and its still rockin!
You are correct. 220V machines will have a higher duty cycle than 110V machines, 3 phase will have an even higher duty cycle.
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Old 06-19-2010, 01:43 AM   #18
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I hate low-end MIG machines that only have 4-5 voltage settings. Welding contaminated 18 gauge (body) sheetmetal is a serious pain, and I like being able to dial in the welder.
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Old 06-22-2010, 11:40 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yarbles View Post
Why all the hate for good old SMAW? It's not the process but the weld.
i agree, I love stick welding, i dont use it on car stuff but i could and if you use a rod like 7024 the welds are beutifull, if you have a badass welder like a lincoln pipliner 200 you can use some super thin rod and weld thin sheet metal. But stick welding is just my way of getting welding nerdy, you really cant beat a tig setup.
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Old 06-24-2010, 03:41 PM   #20
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Any suggestions for us who want to learn but don't have the time for school?
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Old 06-24-2010, 09:11 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piddster View Post
I hate low-end MIG machines that only have 4-5 voltage settings. Welding contaminated 18 gauge (body) sheetmetal is a serious pain, and I like being able to dial in the welder.
hmm, how low end? i have a 110v Lincoln welder that welds anything, and its on the lower end of their stuff. or are you talking harbor freight welders? also, if you are welding sheet metal, you are just making your life harder by having it dirty.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hybrid gti 2 View Post
Any suggestions for us who want to learn but don't have the time for school?
find somebody local to teach you.

Last edited by Paranoid Fabrications; 08-04-2010 at 11:07 AM.
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Old 06-24-2010, 09:26 PM   #22
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If you're looking for a TIG welder the Miller Dynasty 200 DX is hands down the best one. If anyone tells you different they've smoked too many banana peels. BTW if you're doing any aluminum get the cooler with it for it will save big time on your welder and its components.
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Old 06-24-2010, 10:17 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paranoid Fabrications View Post
hmm, how low end? i have a 110v Lincoln welder that welds anything, and its on the lower end of their stuff. or are you talking harbor freight welders? also, if you are welding sheet metal, you are just making your life harder by having it dirty.


find somebody local to teach you. (btw, got a Lincoln 110v mig i am selling )
That would be ideal but low on money. You take payments
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Old 08-22-2010, 07:30 AM   #24
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Simple how much money do you want to spend? Not going to slam oxy acetylene, it is really great for certain apps but not all. But for a newbie ask your local welding supply Co. Bottom line is don't cheap out with some no name china flux core POS . Make sure to post pics in the farication section once you start.
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Old 08-22-2010, 08:51 AM   #25
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I use Snap-On TIG250H2O in the shop for everything from piping in mild steel, stainless, and aluminum, but at $6500, been paying off for just over a year. I invested in an Invertig 201 from HTP after purchasing the Pyrex clear gas cup for the Snap-On welder. Mostly use the HTP on the other side of the shop as the Snap-On unit is huge. I also have two MIG welders, both 110V one from Matco, and the other from AutoArc xlt142. If a customer cheaps out on TIG welding pricing, usually MIG it together, especially with contaminated metal, better off using MIG.
I've used Miller Dynasty 350 in another shop, while doing some tuning work, their welder got a nasty burn, and I volunteered to help them finish the project, great welder.
All I can say is no matter what you get, everyone has different techniques, and sometimes a weld may not look pretty, what counts is true pentration, meaning make sure its a strong weld.
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