Need some quick advice on a welder.

More of an art than a science - discuss metalworking and welding here.



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 6:32 pm
Ok, I havent posted here in a while because I didn't have anything to work on, but I bought a 1988 Mustang GT a while back and i am ready to restore it. The car came from Chicago and has a little bit of rust and at one point was in a wreck and the inner fender aprons and the cowl are bent and will have to be cut out and new ones welded in.

Here's my dilemma. I don't have a whole lot of money to spend on an expensive welder. I found one this weekend really cheap. My birthday is next week so my wife bought me this one from Harbor Freight. Keep in mind I don't need a welder very often, so paying a lot wouldn't really be worth it for me. Would this be sufficient for my project? I have to make two small patch panels in the body, patch panel for the floor pan, spot weld two new inner fender aprons, and the cowl. Maybe more later, but this is as far as I've seen so far.

Here's what I have. I havent taken it out of the box yet just in case it's complete crap, but a couple of people said they have the same one and it is decent. Also keep in mind I have NEVER welded before in my life.


Image


NO GAS REQUIRED
Specifically designed to use self-shielding flux-cored welding wire, eliminating any need for gas and regulators normal MIG welders require. Includes: 4'' spool of flux-core wire, spare welding tip, wire brush/hammer and welding mask.
Self regulating feed control
Thermal protection with warning light
Carry handle on lid
Input: 115 volt, 15 amps, single phase
Welding current (2 settings) 63 to 68 amps (low), 79 to 90 amps (high)
Duty cycle: 10% @ 80 amps, 18% @ 60 amps
Wire capacity: 0.030''
$119.85

Any opinions? I looked for a better used unit, but couldnt find one around that price. Also, it has to run on 110V, and be able to work without gas.[/img]



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 8:07 pm
FluxCore will be a complete pain in the butt on auto sheet metal....
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 9:33 pm
Well, gas is all but out of the question mainly because I dont want to rent a tank and have to pay to fill it. Can it be done with a wire welder?



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 9:39 pm
Is an Ideal 120/N a good welder? I found one for $125 but I cant find any specs on them. Is that the brand or is that just a model?

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 9:46 pm
You will probably get many different opinions, but for me Miller seems to be one of the best MIGs out there. Hobart is the DIY line put out by Miller and if you look at the insides, very much the same stuff. A bit more money, but you get what you pay for. As the Hobarts are going to be $400+ and you are talking $125, I'm not sure I can help. I am in the same boat as you in that I don't weld much. But when I do, I want it to be a good quality weld. So I forked out the extra money knowing that this welder will be around for a LONG time and may even go to one of my kids.

As for gas or gasless, you can do things with the flux core wire, but the welds don't seem to be as clean and it is a bit more messy.

Don't stress the gas and renting the tank. They make very small tanks (which is all I use) so it doesn't take up much room. The cost isn't that much and the quality of the welds is MUCH MUCH better.



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 6:42 pm
Well, Im just having a hard time spending the money just now since I have never welded before. I wanted to practice with something cheap first until I learn how. Then once I get good I figured I'd go out and get a better one. I know the welds will be messier, but I can clean those up. Will this model suffice temporarily until I can learn?

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 10:37 am
Flux core welding is hard to do even with a good welder with full controls (Miller).....When you have less control (less voltage taps or infinite adjustable voltage and precise wire feed), it makes it very hard to produce a good weld.

You might be able to "get by" with it, but the welds are very thick and usually have lots of slag and splatter. The flux doesn't burn clean so it contaminates the weld. I started out with a Hobart 135 running Flux and it was a bear to weld with, but did get the job done (roof section, floor pans, inner fenders, etc). Now I have a Millermatic 135 and would use it for anything up to 3/16" steel.

I suggest you save your money and buy a good welder, it makes your life so much easier. If money is a serious concern and you don't have any credit cards ;) You can usually find used welders in the local papers, pawn shops, ebay, etc. The Lincoln SP-135 Plus is a good welder also! Sometimes its a lot easier to find Lincoln tips, Home Depot, etc has them. Can come in handy if you need a tip on a sunday and the welding store is closed ;)



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 9:30 pm
Is Home Depot the best deal for those SP-135s? I might go look at one of those tomorrow. Will it be sufficient for bodypanel welding? I've considered gas and have NO problem with it. I just dont know if I can afford one of those. I'm gonna browse the pawn shops tomorrow as well and pray I stumble across a Miller or a Hobart or something similar. :D



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 9:51 am
nput: 115 volt, 15 amps, single phase
Welding current (2 settings) 63 to 68 amps (low), 79 to 90 amps (high)
Duty cycle: 10% @ 80 amps, 18% @ 60 amps


With those specs it's not going to have a very broad range of materials and the duty cycle sucks. 10% = 1 minute of use 9 minutes of cool down.

I just went through a similar conundrum and decided to bite the bullet and get a 175 amp welder. You could go with the 130-140 amp range and be good. I got a lincoln Weld-Pak 175 Hd on ebay for $400, the guy had the 3200 HD (135 amp, 110volts) for $300.



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 11:26 pm
Spend $400 now, it will be a lot cheaper in the long run, or with Harbor Freight, the short run.
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