? about 110 volt wire welders

zekeJanuary 8, 2005

i am curuios about the small wire welders

that dont use "gas" .

how good do they work ,as i am interested in finding out more about them ,if anybody is familar with them ??

why do most of the MIG. welders use "gas" and does flux coated wire work any better than regular wire ??

and what is the most common diameter of wire

looking at e-bay i have noticed that .030 seems to be fairly common .

as i occasionally have to weld stainless steel at work

i use a Miller dc stick welder and it sure is tedious

welding s.steel with a stick welder , i am looking for a welder that is small enough to carry by hand ,not that i am going to carrying it around all day , and what kind of wire is required for welding S.steel ??

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OK, just to get some terms straight.

MIG welders use a solid wire and require an inert gas for sheilding. Flux-core welders use a hollow wire that has flux inside it. When heated, the flux forms a protective gas layer around the weld.

The purpose of the sheilding is to prevent air from getting to the weld and causing a variety of problems, such as oxidation to hyrdrogen embrittlement from oxygen and water vapor in the air.

One can also use an inert gas to shield flux core - thereby doubling the protection.

I've never tried to weld stainless with anythign but TIG welding. TIG uses a power supply similar to a stick welder, but intead of a consumable electrode it uses an non-consumable tungsten electrode. It is also similar to oxy-fuel welding in that one must provide filler material with a separate rod. TIG is good for difficult to weld materials, such as aluminum or stainless steel.

The wire size has more to do with the size of the welder as anything else. The cheapr 110 volt welders probably can't power a much bigger wire, so .030 tends to be more common. You will need larger wires to weld thicker gage materials. For a 110 volt machine, the maxium wire size is probably around .035".

Flux core is good outdoors because a breeze will not blow away the sheilding gas/slag. Mig is good for aluminum and stainless. My advice would be to get a dual purpose machine that can do either Mig or Flux core, and size it according to the gage of material you intend to be welding, and also to your expected available power supply.

Here is a link that might be useful: MIG vs Flux Core

    Bookmark   January 8, 2005 at 10:22PM
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I bought a 240 volt mig welder on the advice of a friend and have not regretted it. just to give you an idea of hom much I use the flux core wire, I still have most of the 1 lb.roll of .030 flux wire and have gone through 2 11lb. rolls of solid wire. I definitely advise the 240 volt model because I've used 110 volt ones and there is a big difference.
My two cents,
Mike A

    Bookmark   January 9, 2005 at 8:28AM
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It depends. If you are going to do a lot of outside welding on steel, then you'll be using more flux-core wire. Inside, MIG may be better, and it's the only choice on that machine for aluminum and stainless.

MIG is a lot cleaner than Flux-core. Flux core has a lot of splatter and you have to remove a layer of slag on the weld - kind of like stick.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2005 at 12:08PM
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Here's a link for a flux core welding wire that sounds like the cat's pajamas for welding thin steel with a wire feed machine. J. W. Harris is the company. Good welding information at their home page also.


Here is a link that might be useful: flux core weld wire

    Bookmark   January 9, 2005 at 2:28PM
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A 20% duty cycle means you can weld for 2 minutes out of every 10 minutes.

Not for 20 minutes out of every hour (and not because 20 minutes per hour is really 33.3%).

The key is that the machine can only weld for 2 minutes at a time at full power, and then it needs to rest for 8 minutes. If you attempted to weld at full power for 20 minutes, and then rest for 80 minutes, the machine would probably overheat within the first five minutes and either shut down or self-destruct.

I know this stuff because it was emphasized in my welding class last summer.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2005 at 10:20PM
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A cheap 110 volt welders will turn you off from welding... I had a friend buy one and he ask me to show him how to work it... I was ready to put the hole thing in the trash... I got 40 years of welding behind me and I could do nothing with his machine... The best welder I ever got to use was around 60 years old It was made like a gen-set...

    Bookmark   January 17, 2005 at 7:02AM
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I am going to disagree with kbeitz. I bought a cheap 110 volt welder in Dec. It all depends on what you want to do with the welder. If you want to get into welding as a job then 110 welders are not the answer, or if your doing repair work on a farm ect. I on the other hand weld up yard art for the fun of it, and the 110 welder is just the ticket. I cann't afford a high voltage stick welder or for that matter a wire welder, but at $140. I can afford to own a welder for the type of welding that I do. I also think that you get what you pay for so with that in mind the 110 welder is just a toy, but its fun. Bill

    Bookmark   January 19, 2005 at 7:49AM
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I think backyardbill has it right - I've been a fitter/welder for 32 years, and worked with just about every hunk of equipment around. I recently bought a little 110v Lincoln flux core welder (.035) and the silly thing's a hoot!! Don't expect TOO much from it, and you'll get along fine!! Serious equipment will cost you serious money, but that goes for just about everything, right?

    Bookmark   January 19, 2005 at 11:55AM
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Are ya talking about those 110V buzz box toys, or a 110V MIG welder? Even my 295 amp 230V box gets annoying at times. Unless I'm working on some heavy duty project, I'll turn on my 110V Clarke welder to get the job done. Up to 1/4 inch is no problem for it, as long as the area being welded isn't too large.

Those M-G welders are usually found on the big construction sites. Electric ones are 3ph powered, 240/480V. Propane powered 18 HP Miller Bobcats are common too. Hard to beat for welding ease and quality with any of these for stick welding.


    Bookmark   January 19, 2005 at 11:44PM
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I have a Lincoln IdealArc AC/DC 250 made in 1957- stick electrodes- a serious welder. Includes power factor correction capacitors. My Century MIG is 120 volt. I like it and find it very useful. Anything it can't handle, the Lincoln can. Since I have the stick electrode machine, I use the Century only with shielding gas and solid wire.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2005 at 8:56PM
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Maybe they are not all the same.. But the welder I tried would not keep an ark... It was very hard to start an ark... Someone new to welding would never get it started
I was useing new metal and the ground was good...

    Bookmark   February 5, 2005 at 10:51AM
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I just bought one to use to putter around with. From what I read it is only good for welding steel, not Stainless or Alum....is the true. Since I have never did any welding before, I would appreciate any tips or advice you can give me.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2005 at 5:32PM
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What did you buy? We can't offer any tips or comments if we don't know what type or brand of welder.


    Bookmark   March 1, 2005 at 9:44PM
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i have used my clark 110 welder for some big projects, and welded up to 1/4 inch steel, without problems. i use gas. tried it with flux core wire and it wasnt that great. i also added a fan to extend the duty cycle. i put togeather 2 race car chassis, and had no weld failures.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2005 at 9:54PM
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I just got a 110v craftsman for some mild steel repairs (auto). It came w/ flux core wire, but can accept gas. The seller told me he never used gas, then gave me a quick demo. His "bead" held, but looked like high altitude bird crap.

I'm used to the "row of dimes" bead quality I can get with oxy/acetyline, and I know that this will be a different sport altogether - but can someone give me some advice on geting the "cleanest" weld from my wire feed? Specifically, I'm wondering if a combination of flux core AND shielding gas would be the way to go, and if so, what blend/type of gas should I get? My immediate projects are auto body and exhaust pipes.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2006 at 1:38AM
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i am deciding weather to buy a 110v or 220v mig welder. i will be welding bicycle frames(steel and chromoly) and i want to know if a 110v will pull it off.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 11:08PM
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Best advice for you is to GAS weld any Cr-Mo steel frames. The slow cooling from heating such a large area can keep you out of cracking problems--like when someone is riding downhill at 30+ mph.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2007 at 6:53PM
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saulgood- you'll get a very nice weld w/ straight wire and shielding gas. As long as the seam is clean and prepped well, you can get a beautiful bead w/MIG. The only welds I've seen that were prettier were from TIG. For general purpose steel, most people use a common CO2/argon mix. I recently bought a Lincoln 200 MIG, and I'm using flux core until I pony up for a gas bottle- yuck! I can't wait to get a gas bottle!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2007 at 4:11PM
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I am about to buy a welder. the debateof course is 110 vs 220V.
I welded in a shop, mostly wire feed, but not for about 15 years. A lot of stick welding on heavy jobs prior to 1990.
I gewt a lot of conflicting stories from salesmen about what a 110 wil or won't do - a little like here where one person with lots of experience says they couldnt make one work at all, while others having no problems with up to 1/4 inch....where is the happy ground on this?
Weill a 110 do aluminum at all...and if they can, how thick? I willb e welding a lot of different stuff, from aluminum tubing/pipe to steel tubing/pipe and possibly some thicker (1/4") steel. Most of what I will be doing will be on smaller pieces - not lage sheets.
Ahhh, so many projects.....where to start!

Thanks, Fleamer

    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 12:06AM
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most of the problems with the 110 volt wire welders that are flux core are getting the wire speed right i found the best speed at 2 and the price of the flux core if your going to weld alot.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2007 at 6:20PM
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I have a 110 volt MIG/Flux Core welder from Canadian Tire and I can not get the thing to work. I have had 2 expienced friends try and no luck either. The welds are not strong. Could the 30' of buried (in conduit)14/2 wire not be supplimg enough Amps? There is brand new 15 Amp. service to the shop. Any ideas? We had good ground & new, clean material.
Thank-you, Rod

    Bookmark   March 30, 2011 at 11:01PM
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All wire has resistance! The farther you get from the main power source the more likely you will have a problem. For a test only get as close to the main breaker box and try it. The main breaker box that the power comes in. Don't run a 300 foot extension cord out of your shop and sit under the power lines. Caution when you have power and resistance you make HEAT!

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 5:37AM
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