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Help picking out a welder?

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so i need to make some parts for my dads bike to fit his size 15 foot. (shifters and stuff). I have done some research but just want to check in here to see. I know i want an arc welder...thats about it. I will do more research about masks and stuff like that on my own. i want this thread to be about the size of the welder i can have. so on to the questions:

1. my dad says we have 20 amp sockets and 120 volt plug in sockets ( not sure if those 2 go hand in hand but just thought i would throw that out there)

2. so i know i dont want to use gas of any kind i am looking to plug and play

3. i have no idea what kind of welding rods to get

4. what is the biggest sized welder i can get to work woth my house, the specs are what i am looking for so i can search for different brands, and look around stores and stuff and pick what i want, i just dont know what i should be looking for other than an arc welder.

thanks in advance guys

Wolfgang

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so i need to make some parts for my dads bike to fit his size 15 foot. (shifters and stuff). I have done some research but just want to check in here to see. I know i want an arc welder...thats about it. I will do more research about masks and stuff like that on my own. i want this thread to be about the size of the welder i can have. so on to the questions:

1. my dad says we have 20 amp sockets and 120 volt plug in sockets ( not sure if those 2 go hand in hand but just thought i would throw that out there)

2. so i know i dont want to use gas of any kind i am looking to plug and play

3. i have no idea what kind of welding rods to get

4. what is the biggest sized welder i can get to work woth my house, the specs are what i am looking for so i can search for different brands, and look around stores and stuff and pick what i want, i just dont know what i should be looking for other than an arc welder.

thanks in advance guys

Wolfgang

On 110/120 volts, its really limited. A MIG will be able to weld up to 130 amps with 110 volts, but it needs to be a 30 amp outlet. With 20 amps, it will be less. Get a 220 V unit, add a plug in the garage if needed be. Otherwise, you will have what I call a "pop can welder" is about it. Get a MIG, and no less than 180 AMPS, you will thank me later. :busted:

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Unfortunately, 120v arc welders are terribly pathetic. They border on nearly worthless. Granted, If you are making little parts and don't need to weld for more than 10 seconds at a time, then one might work out ok. But I seriously doubt you will be happy with it. Also, arc welding takes a fair bit of practice to get good at. And if your welder starts smoking then trips a breaker after welding for 20 seconds, then you won't get much practice.

The way I see it, you have 4 choices:

Do some rewiring and get a 220v arc welder.

Get a name brand 120v MIG welder. You can get flux cored wire and weld without gas. Using gas is far superior, however.

Learn how to weld with oxy/acetylene. Old method, but works well.

Pay someone else to do it.

Be sure to check out craigslist/other classifieds for good deals on used gear.

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My suggestion is that you should not buy one. You really need to take a class or two on welding before you start thinking about buying a welder.

I personally own 3 welders, a TIG, MIG and a Stick. The TIG (GTAW) and Stick (MAW) both require single phase 240 volt 40 amp supply. The smaller MIG (GMAW) can run on 120 volt 15 amp supply. None of them were easy to learn.

In any case, you need to understand why you need to use AC current and DC current and even when and were gas should be used. This is why you need to take a welding class first.

Seriously, you will learn a bunch and save even more money in the long run if you take a class first.

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I got a millermatic 135 a few years back and am happy with it. It welds what I need it to without problems. It's rated to weld up to 3/16" steel, but I've welded 1/4" without problems with a good penetrating weld bead. Sure a 220 unit is the way to go, but if you don't have acsess to a 220 outlet then buy the biggest 110 you can find. The 135 was replaced with the new mm 140.

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Mig is alot easier to learn compared to an arc welder. Get a good auto darkenng helmet. That makes a big difference when your trying to learn. Read up and watch vids on how to weld and it won't take LNG at all to get good.

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I got a millermatic 135 a few years back and am happy with it. It welds what I need it to without problems. It's rated to weld up to 3/16" steel, but I've welded 1/4" without problems with a good penetrating weld bead. Sure a 220 unit is the way to go, but if you don't have acsess to a 220 outlet then buy the biggest 110 you can find. The 135 was replaced with the new mm 140.

I have one of these, too. A 135xp. Some people like to talk down about a 110v MIG. Yes, they will not weld thick metal. But I've run a mile of wire through that little machine, and it's been great. I save the big metal for my arc welder.

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I have a Lincoln weld-pak 100 flux cored 120v mig. It works, but I really want to get a gas kit for it! I find anything less than 16ga is a PITA to weld with the flux cored wire. 18ga is do-able but even worse. I can weld thinner stuff like 20ga as long as I'm welding it to thicker metal. With a gas kit it's only rated to weld up to 12ga though. Flux is good to 1/4" with 2 pass welding

My welding experiance is also limited - I took a welding class in grade 10 and then just stuff around the farm.

I would like to pick up something like the Miller 211, but I don't weld enough to make it worthwhile.

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ok so 220 is the way to go i am sure i can swing that. i thaught mig flux core at first but i seemed that is was harder to learn, and cost more. arc welding you can weld on almost anything and dont really have to prepare a surface right?

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http://atlanta.craigslist.org/atl/tls/1363942895.html

You could run this off of your dryer plug. It's AC only, which makes it cheap, but damn, it can be aggravating to learn on.

http://atlanta.craigslist.org/nat/bar/1363397201.html

Sell him a sibling.

http://atlanta.craigslist.org/atl/tls/1363392613.html

Can you fix small engines?

http://atlanta.craigslist.org/atl/tls/1362786779.html

You can probably get this guy to go under $180

http://atlanta.craigslist.org/atl/tls/1355392879.html

It seems like everyone has one of these tucked away somewhere.

http://atlanta.craigslist.org/nat/tls/1348237940.html

Blue Point is a Snap-On brand.

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ok so 220 is the way to go i am sure i can swing that. i thaught mig flux core at first but i seemed that is was harder to learn, and cost more. arc welding you can weld on almost anything and dont really have to prepare a surface right?

Flux core: you can weld somewhat dirty metal. You have to chip off slag, which is a hassle. Wire somewhat expensive (I think)

gas shielding: Need to do some surface prep. Nice, clean welds. You can see the weld puddle. You can weld really thin metal. You always run out of gas in the middle of doing something, and all you have is flux core. You curse.

Arc welders: Come in 2 flavors, AC or DC. (or both) DC reverse polarity (or DC positive) is used most of the time. Easy arc striking, smooth arc, deep penetration. DC straight polarity (or DC negative) gives a flatter, less penetrating weld. Still smooth.

AC: ragged arc, does not run smooth. Some rods have been designed especially for these machines specifically to make it easier. You can still make quality welds with an AC machine, it just takes more practice. There are some rods that can only be run on AC ( I cant think of what they are right now. Maybe aluminum? Yes, you can weld AL with an arc welder, but its, not for delicate stuff.)

Then you have to select which rods you want to use. Yes, there are rods that allow you to weld rusty, dirty metal.

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Well not to insult you but you have no idea what you need, but thats why were here to help.

First arc would work but its definitely not what I would use. TIG is by far the best quality weld but its also the most difficult and expensive. Mig is the easiest and cheapest to run although there will be a higher initial cost compared to arc. You can get by welding anything with preparing the metal but its always a good idea to clean the metal not matter what process you use. And dont let anybody tell you you have to go with a 220 machine. 220 are nice but I have a 110 mig and I have saved and made enough money to pay for that machine 10 times over. I welded 1/4 thick metal with that machine with decent results.

Arc has its place but its just not for motorcycles. You can do nice welds with 7018 rod on an arc but the splatter is terrible. I would say what ever you do stay away from a flux core welder, they are junk. So I would suggest a 110 MIG or if you have the time money and patience to learn get a TIG.

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Check to see if your dryer is 220, if so this will be you best bet. I have a Lincoln SP-175 Plus and love it. You can run gas or not, gas gives you a lot nicer welds.

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110v welders.

Well that have a place for sure in my shop. They are more portable then my bigger Hobart and Miller. I have more places to choose from in plugging them in. I can run it from my Toy Hauler GEN when needed. I can plug it in at most any house, trailer park or track I’m staying at.

I have done some big jobs with a 110v welder..bumpers, tire carriers, motorcycle racks, and a few trailers.. plus tons of small projects from brackets to engine mounts.,, You have less duty time, need to prep the materials well, cannot do single pass on most material thicker the 3/16. But it works ok.

Flux core wire also has it’s use. If you are working in an open area and have significant wind, Using gas shielded wire welder (MIG) is difficult, as the wind blows away the gas, and you get pores or contaminated welds.. Yes, you can make a wind block.., and turn up the gas flow and other mitigating things,, but there is a lot of times when I need to do a simple bracket repair or the like out in the open…. Drag out the 110v Lincoln SP-135, and just stick some steel together :busted:

To the OP. I second the opinion that you should get an 110v MIG vs an Arc welder. Stick welding smaller items like a shifter extension, while I could do it. The results are not going to look worth a darn.

If you have access to 220v single phase (dryer plug, some water heaters, or if there is a breaker box in the are your welding in,,, you can have a competent person add a 220v receptacle in most cases… 220v is the way to go if you can, but for smaller welding jobs (both material thickness and quantity) a 110v welder will work. Look towards a welder that has the ability to use gas shielding, some of the smaller and older Big three do not,,,and many of the cheap 110v off brand ones do not. Flux core will work, just a bit more of a hassle, and a little hard to use sometimes.

A class or three is a good idea, but not imperative if you have some aptitude towards this kind of thing. Read some to get a basic understanding, read and ask questions for a specific job and material your going to work with that day… and practice on scrap before you try with your working material.

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http://atlanta.craigslist.org/atl/tls/1363942895.html

You could run this off of your dryer plug. It's AC only, which makes it cheap, but damn, it can be aggravating to learn on.

http://atlanta.craigslist.org/nat/bar/1363397201.html

Sell him a sibling.

http://atlanta.craigslist.org/atl/tls/1363392613.html

Can you fix small engines?

http://atlanta.craigslist.org/atl/tls/1362786779.html

You can probably get this guy to go under $180

http://atlanta.craigslist.org/atl/tls/1355392879.html

It seems like everyone has one of these tucked away somewhere.

http://atlanta.craigslist.org/nat/tls/1348237940.html

Blue Point is a Snap-On brand.

Thanks for those and yes i can fix small engines, but i think he means a gas welder not a welder powered by a geny or something like that. those lincon 225 seem to be a dime a dozen. what would you guys pick? i can do 220 volts so thats not the problem one with a genny on it would be nice. what do you guys think of the blue one on the back to the truck.

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Thanks for those and yes i can fix small engines, but i think he means a gas welder not a welder powered by a geny or something like that. those lincon 225 seem to be a dime a dozen. what would you guys pick? i can do 220 volts so thats not the problem one with a genny on it would be nice. what do you guys think of the blue one on the back to the truck.

If you re-read the gas welder posting again, I'm pretty sure the seller was suggesting that it was gas powered, by saying that it's been a while since it last ran, and that one hadn't been started in a while. Granted, many people posting on c-list have awful writing skills. You need to call him. Let us know what he says. Engine powered welders are cool because they usually double as a generator. You can make some money with that thing if you get good at welding. Portability is niiice.

The blue one on the back of the truck appears to be an AC/DC machine, according to a 10 second Google search, anyway. Probably a very good machine. You're still gonna need a ton of practice to get good at it, but that machine, if in good condition, will last you forever.

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Lots of videos on youtube about welding,good ones too. Practice on scrap metal,good luck (ain't that hard)(arc or mig)

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ok well i did a little research and i do want a mig welder. so what are some of the specs i should be looking for when looks for a welder like the lowest acceptible specs, 220 or 120 volt what ever you guys think since there seems to be some controversy

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