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Any welders in here?


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I figured I'd post up here since many of you guys seem very knowledgeable on many subjects. But I'm looking into getting some type of welder, preferably MIG, something fairly easy to use. I have not welded since high school and that was fairly minimal. But I've got a few projects planned that need to be somewhat customized. I may not even be able to get everything I need done with ONE machine, but if I can wing it, I'd like to. I need something that I can use for something as heavy duty as welding steel to steel for adding some boxes, rack and hooks to my work truck ladder rack. So obviously I need something that will make a decent weld for safety reasons. I also need make some custom sized water diverters for my job out of a thin sheet metal. Other various projects would be small exhaust tacking or other light duty use. If I had to guess at this point, material thickness will vary from probably about 1/8" to 1/4", but it's possible the diverters I'm making are slightly less than 1/8" thick. So basically, (if there is such a MIG type welder) I need something that will tackle a various amount of projects in one unit. I've seen some of these electric welders that have the option to attach a fuel source to it if needed, but will also work on electricity alone. I just don't know what brands are good or bad. Money is also somewhat a problem after everything I've spent on my truck recently, so I need some affordable suggestions as well. Thanks for any ideas

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Took a look at Hobarts site, I saw the Handler 140 which looked like it has what I need. I didn't see a 135, maybe I could find one on ebay or another retailer, but the 140 was priced at $680. Could handle everything I need it for, but is a little pricier than what I was looking for. I will look around see what's available elsewhere. Thanks for the suggestion.

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Took a look at Hobarts site, I saw the Handler 140 which looked like it has what I need. I didn't see a 135, maybe I could find one on ebay or another retailer, but the 140 was priced at $680. Could handle everything I need it for, but is a little pricier than what I was looking for. I will look around see what's available elsewhere. Thanks for the suggestion.

As with anything, the addage goes: "You get what you pay for" If you skimp on buying a quality welder, you will regret it. Especially since you mentioned you want to keep safety in mind. With the projects you are looking at doing, a 110 volt welder is what you want. 220 is overkill, unless you plan on doing thicker, structural type of stuff. For me, my ultimate setup would be a 110, 220, and TIG welder. But thats some bookooo bucks there. Save your money a little longer and buy a GOOD welder! Get one that you just plug-in. If you try and get one that uses an onboard generator, you are looking into big bucks. I personally own a Lincoln Electric 110volt welder. I can use flux-core .035" wire for thicker stuff or switch to .030" wire and use shielding gas for thin stuff. Also, having wire-fed style versus a stick style is usually easier for people who are just getting into welding. Stick welders can definitely penetrate though. Remember, you may have a great welder, but you also need to practice your welding and understanding what techniques to use so you have a strong, safe weld. BTW, they do not necessarily have a big name made for themselves, but they are well-spoken of in the communities that they focus on: Parker metalworking I dunno if they are still in business or not, but I bought my plasma cutter from them a while back. They deliver a pretty quality product but can also keep you from breaking the bank. They have all sorts of machines they do. Give them a try as they may have a welder you are looking for.
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This is the welder that replaced the 135. http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200306073_200306073 It might not be the best choice for a full time fabrication shop but it has a 20% duty cycle and mine has never let me down. I have Lincoln power mig 215's in 2 of my shops at work and both have needed a decent amount of repairs. Other than that, the Lincolns are good.

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I can see that I will probably need to save a little more money before I buy. I was looking at the Lincolns, which they sell at my Home Depot. The 125 HD kit looks to have what I will need, with the option of adding gas later, should I ever need to. That will probably be the one I go with for $420, or maybe the one in the link above, unless I find a better deal on a better welder. But I would like to buy a new one for sure, not used.

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I agree with dually, look for a used one. I personally own a 220 crackerbox lincoln stick welder, oxy-acetylne torch, and some crappy Lincoln flux mig welder. Which in my opinion i hate flux mig welders, if your gonna get a mig and your gonna do a decent amount of welding no matter how thick or thin go with a argon gas mig. As far as work goes we have a Miller argon gas mig (dont remember the model but it handles up to 3/4" with no problem), oxy-act. torch, plasma cutter that will handle up to 5/8's, and a Miller diesel stick/mig(gas) on a trailer with an oxy-act torch as well. Also have an old esab Tig welder that doesnt get used a whole lotGood brands to look into are gonna be lincoln, miller, esab, hobart, theres others that just arent coming to mind this time at night lol. Also what is your price range gonna be?-Jordan-

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I will not be doing any major welding or VERY frequent welding for that matter, so $1400 is way steep for my budget. I'm looking in the $4-600 range for something that will do what I need to do. If I could buy a new Lincoln 125HD which has the option to add gas, that sound like it would be plenty for me. If I use electric only, it says 1/4" can welded but will take a few passes. 1/4" is about the most I will ever need to weld.

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