Lincoln stick welder question

Pooh BearMarch 12, 2005

I'm still saving up to buy a welder.

I was gonna get a wire welder but ya'll convinced me a stick welder would be better.

So I got a question.

I am looking at getting a Lincoln ac/dc 225 "tombstone" welder.

Can this welder be converted to a wire feed welder.

I still think a wire feed welder would be easier for me use.

But I really like the funcionality of the stick welder.


Pooh Bear

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Pooh, if you plan to weld a lot of thin metal, I'd go ahead and get the wire welder with gas. Welding thin metal with stick can be awfully challenging. Look at what you think you'll be welding. If most of it is 1/8" or less, go with the wire welder.
My $.02,

    Bookmark   March 12, 2005 at 4:06PM
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Pooh Bear

I expect to be welding from 1/8 on up to 1/2.
Never welded before for not sure what to expect.
But I have been told wire feed welders are easier.
But I need to be able to weld dirty rusty metal too.

Pooh Bear

    Bookmark   March 12, 2005 at 8:07PM
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Yeah, definitely go with the stick machine.Use 6010,6011 &6013 rod on DC. Get 3/32",1/8"&5/32". Once you feel comfortable using these types, get some 7018 in the aforementioned sizes. 7018 will only run on DC unless you buy 7018AC. Hope this helps, Pooh.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2005 at 11:02PM
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From my hobbiest fabrication point of view:

Wire (assuming flux and MIG) pros: Faster, looks better, much better for sheetmetal, can do nonferrous, can be easier to learn depending on the person.

Wire cons: Much more expensive and less reliable, much less power for the money, not as good for heavy welds, need to lug a gas tank around for really good work, not versatile at all, easy to make attractive beads that have no strength.

Stick (assuming AC/DC) pros: Cheap, reliable, lots and lots of power, can weld almost anything under the sun, can cut and thaw pipes, strong welds also usually look good, can be used in adverse conditions, can use a carbon torch or be converted to TIG, can be easier to learn depending on the person.

Stick cons: Sheetmetal is hard (although doable with great care), aluminum or stainless is very hard, not always fast.

And for your question: Stick vs. MIG are completely different power supply types. Constant current as opposed to constant voltage. No way you're running wire on a stick welder. You _can_ however convert a DC stick welder to TIG, which really lets you anything you want (sticking two razor blades together, etc).

For me it came down to application and (mostly) cost. Most of the stuff I weld is heavier or odd like cast iron. A powerful wire welder, even used, is expensive. I got a 295A AC stick welder by trading some stuff I paid $30 for. Not so hot for sheetmetal, but you can light up a 1/4" rod and start making tanks or bridges without any trouble.

Buy the stick welder, you'll be happy. 6011 will blast through rust, 6013 or 7014 looks great. Look into a used Lincoln or Miller Thunderbolt/Hobart Stickmate.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. Best thing about learning to use stick vs. wire? With a stick welder you can _always_ apply more power while you're learing the finer points.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2005 at 1:19AM
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