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Author Topic: what welder to buy  (Read 1000 times)

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Offline DDW_OR

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what welder to buy
« on: February 01, 2017, 09:40:51 am »
I am looking for information only.

New
USA made preferred
under $700
AC and DC weld

so far i like Hobart, Lincoln, and Miller
I am new to welding. have done some with a cheap buzz box

also looking for oxy acetylene and oxy propane
TimberKing 2000, Mahindra 5520 4x4, Max22 4x4, Bobcat Excavator 331, E80, Multitek 1610EZ
"let the machines do the work"

Offline North River Energy

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Re: what welder to buy
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2017, 10:38:47 am »
What do you plan to weld, how often, and in what environment?

Offline pine

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Re: what welder to buy
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2017, 11:34:49 am »
Are you looking at SMAW (stick), GTAW (Tig), GMAW (Mig), FCAW (Wire/flux core).  While GMAW and FCAW are similar and often called the same, some units can do one or the other (cheap ones) or both.  Other units are multi purpose units and do all of the above but often not that well.

As far as being US made. :D  :o ::)
Terminology issue.  US made entirely not going to find I don't think. 
US assembled from foreign parts, easy to find but price is higher for same capability but service is much easier to get and repairs are much easier.

For your price range SMAW is all you will most likely find for a US assembled product.

For gas welding you can equip yourself very nicely for under $700. with both acetylene and propane,  Just get the correct hoses for doing both.

Offline ljohnsaw

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Re: what welder to buy
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2017, 11:43:41 am »
This topic pops up every 6 months or so.  Lots of opinions and it really boils down to what you are doing. 

I have had a USA made Lincoln tombstone AC welder ($240) for close to 40 years but only been welding off and on.  Never a problem.  Had a ranch and tractor to make tools for for (Tom) 11 years.  Recently, using 7018, I'm thinking an AC/DC welder would be helpful.  My daughter took a welding class at the local JC a few years ago.  She can't understand how I can stick weld without the StrikeForce (or whatever they call it).  It gives some sort of amp boost to help you strike an arc.  I just tell her I've probably burned 500lb of rod, you get a feel for it :D  I recently (and currently) use it for my sawmill build and repairs to my equipment used in making my cabin.

I picked up some Oxy-acetylene stuff a few years ago (got a FirePower set new at Goodwill for $35!, big tanks and cart off CL $150).  I don't really like gas welding - hard to penetrate and not make a mess.  I guess I need more practice.  However, stick welding is a lot less expensive and better for heavy welding jobs.  Gas is good for thin stuff with enough patience and practice and for heating/bending.  I've cut with stick and gas - gas is WAY better.  Also, gas is good for brazing where needed.
John Sawicky

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SkyTrak 9038, Davis Little Monster backhoe, Case 16+4 Trencher, Home Built 38" cut Bandmill up to 64' - using it all to build a timber frame cabin.

Offline muggs

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Re: what welder to buy
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2017, 03:58:19 pm »
I have a Lincoln Idealarc  250. ACDC stick welder. I bought it about 40 years ago. I think I paid around $ 500.00 new. It has been just fine.    Muggs  8)

Offline DDW_OR

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Re: what welder to buy
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2017, 11:40:18 am »
well i have narrowed it down to either the Miller Thunderbolt XL 225 for $655 or the Hobart Stickmate LX235 for $490.

the Miller has a Copper coil and the Hobart has the Aluminum coil.
the price difference is $165. since this is not going to be used on a monthly basis i will go with the Hobart and use the $165 for something else.

Thank you all for the help.
TimberKing 2000, Mahindra 5520 4x4, Max22 4x4, Bobcat Excavator 331, E80, Multitek 1610EZ
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Offline Kbeitz

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Re: what welder to buy
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2017, 09:57:45 pm »
Just me but I would stay away from the Aluminum coil. I had one
blow up on me. I have a copper coil welder that I bought around
50 years ago and it's still going strong. I'll never again own a
Aluminum coil welder.
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Offline sawguy21

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Re: what welder to buy
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2017, 10:56:29 pm »
The aluminum coil spells cheap. Copper costs a bit more but is much more durable.
old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm

Offline DDW_OR

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Re: what welder to buy
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2017, 01:13:54 am »
i got the Hobart Stickmate LX235 for $490

since this is to be used seldomly i decided to use the $165 to buy gravel

if i was going to be welding every week i would have gotten the Copper coil.
TimberKing 2000, Mahindra 5520 4x4, Max22 4x4, Bobcat Excavator 331, E80, Multitek 1610EZ
"let the machines do the work"

Offline Gearbox

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Re: what welder to buy
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2017, 09:18:32 am »
If you plan on any heavy welding Stick for sure . Those of us like me nearing middle age find that our eyes will not let us wire feed well . Cheeters in the helmet help but the flame is small .
A bunch of chainsaws a BT6870 processer and not near enough time

Online Don P

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Re: what welder to buy
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2017, 09:41:33 am »
 :D I thought it was just me unreeling feet and wandering off across the plate going nowhere in particular. Does anyone have a good cheap source for stick cables, I'm guessing these garden hose sheathed ones are about 60 years old on my Dayton 200 amp buzz box.

Offline Gearbox

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Re: what welder to buy
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2017, 01:42:52 pm »
I found a 100 ft. at the salvage yard . + cable was bad ground was good . Cut it in half to replace the ones on my portable .
A bunch of chainsaws a BT6870 processer and not near enough time

Offline Crusarius

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Re: what welder to buy
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2017, 03:48:04 pm »
Miller and hobart are basically the same welder. Miller uses higher quality parts but in some cases the parts are interchangeable. so if you ever have issues with the aluminum coil you can probably bolt in a direct replacement miller part that is copper.
I knew what I thought I meant.

Offline Kbeitz

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Re: what welder to buy
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2017, 05:41:32 am »
For those having a hard time seeing where to weld take a
soapstone marker to your welding line. It's very easy to
follow the white line.
Collector and builder of many things.
I have a
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Wood work shop
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Offline DDW_OR

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Re: what welder to buy
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2017, 10:57:24 am »
Miller and hobart are basically the same welder. Miller uses higher quality parts but in some cases the parts are interchangeable. so if you ever have issues with the aluminum coil you can probably bolt in a direct replacement miller part that is copper.

the electrical property of aluminum and copper are different so the control board may also need replacement.

For those having a hard time seeing where to weld take a
soapstone marker to your welding line. It's very easy to
follow the white line.


Thank you, I will try it  8)
TimberKing 2000, Mahindra 5520 4x4, Max22 4x4, Bobcat Excavator 331, E80, Multitek 1610EZ
"let the machines do the work"

Offline JoBuster

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Re: what welder to buy
« Reply #15 on: July 13, 2017, 09:58:18 am »
You cant go wrong with a Miller.

Offline pinefeller

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Re: what welder to buy
« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2017, 05:12:46 am »
ive had a miller 211 for over 8 years, on my second gun and over 1000lbs of wire through it(easy) any one need empty wire spools?. 0 problems. i weld sheetmetal to 3/4'' plate. yup it will do it.just has a short duty cycle and it takes multiple passes.

a little over your budget but its a life time tool can usualy be had for $900.00 if you sweet talk the dealer.
we the willing, led by the unknowing,are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. we have done so much for so long with so little, we are now capable of doing anything with nothing.

Offline Peter Drouin

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Re: what welder to buy
« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2017, 06:45:56 am »
 

 

This is what I have with a big argon tank, Works very well.
2008 LT40 super, And can cut up to 45' long
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