Where to start w/ welding?

Discussion in '<a href=http://www.lawnsite.com/buttons/jump.php?i' started by watatrp, Jun 26, 2002.

  1. watatrp

    watatrp LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 511

    I have need for occasional welding. Mostly modifications to my trailer. Things like adding brackets, replacing expanded metal, etc. What is a good all around welder to purchase? I don't need anything super expensive as it will only be for my own use. I also don't want something that will last only a year and then be useless. Any input would be appreciated.
  2. Rick1

    Rick1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    I would suggest Hobart or Miller. I am an occasional user and bought a used Hobart. Works great. I think I paid $200 for a 150 amp MIG unit. If I decide to upgrade, I can sell this unit for close to what I paid and buy a new one.

    Good luck
  3. bob

    bob LawnSite Platinum Member
    from DE
    Messages: 4,260

    About 2 weeks ago, I bought a Lincoln model 100 wire feed welder. I got it at Home Depot for around $330. It runs off of 120 volt house hold current. I've already used it 4 times for repairs.
  4. karl klein

    karl klein LawnSite Member
    Messages: 78

    i own a hobart 135 mig welder. and love it it's the same thing as a miller but without the name.
  5. Danfwelds

    Danfwelds LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    I suggest buying a brand name not a cheap model, they just don't work as well or last very long (many friends went with a cheaper brand and they always broke). Especially if you are an occasional welder, the better brands are easier to run. I've had my Miller for years. I'd also suggest a MIG unit - I think its easier than Stick and a bit more flexible for the projects you mentioned.

    Let us know what you decided,
  6. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    If you are after a basic welder your better off buying a 220 Volt Buzz box which is a AC stick welder as a stick machine is better for doing general maintanance. If your working with rusty and dirty steel a stick also works better because you do have to clean the metal if your using a wire feed machine.

    When you do go look for a machine look at the duty cycle the higher the % number at high amps is good if the machine is only got a 10% duty cycle at full amperage you will be overloading the welder.

    Myself I all I do is stick welding when I was working in my families welding shop I would burn 30lbs of 5/32s 7018 per day depending on what I was welding. Our machines are 100% duty cycle @ 400 amps a guy had to put the stinger in a bucket of water to cool the SOB down even with gloves on it would get so hot I couldn't hold it anylonger.

    I never did get into wirefeed a old time welder told me if you can't weld with stick you shouldn't be welding at all and he was right you give a guy that has only used wirefeed he doesn't know what todo with a stinger.

    Good Luck on you decision and if you do buy a machine try get a name brand one like Hobart or Miller getting parts is gonna be alot easier. ;)

    Ohya I'am only 26 and I had to give up welding because my eyes were getting bad even with # 14 shade in my welding helmet.
  7. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 4,771

    I am in the same boat as you. I just bought a mig welder a few hours ago. It's Chicago Electric 101. I paid $200 new. It's ok for what I want I suppose. I have not done much with it, but I made some decent welds with it. I didnt want to spend and more than what I have, but I am sure I could use a little more amperage. I am like you, just want to do some modification to my trailer, it's not like I am going to go out and build a snow plow or anything.

    Good luck
  8. Only problem, from a resi stand point most electrical service is 200amp and under, and for zoning only a loud a 50amp max plug.

    And if one is not available to use and have to have installed it would cost close to $600.

    A 110v0lt miller, lincon mig welder does a pretty good job for the lighter stuff.

    You can plug into most outlets.

    I learned to weld using that 220 buzz box, so from my standpoint the mig was much easier to use.
  9. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 4,771

    I love my new welder. The wire that comes with it is not worth much. I used it up practicing and then went and bought another spool of Lincoln wire. The difference is night and day. Although, if you need some heavy duty welds, than be expected to make a couple different passes. What I bought serves it's purpose and does fine for me.


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