What to buy.....welders

Pooh BearMay 23, 2005

I'm still saving for a welder.

If I don't manage to spend my savings on something else first.

I been saving for a Lincoln K1297 ac/dc tombstone.

I'm halfway there rite now.

But I hate to plunk down $400 for something that will

spend most of its times sitting in the shed unused.

I got a whole shop of woodworking equipment that now sits unused.

I'm wondering if maybe I should get a smaller hobby welder first

and see how I like welding. Kinda play around with it first.

I can think of a lot other things I would enjoy buying.

I can't help buy worry about this purchase.

I feel like I'm wasting a bunch of money for something

that may or may not get used any at all.

Thanks for listening.

Pooh Bear

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I would think that it would depend on what you want to weld. I bought a 120 volt flux core wire welder last winter and use it to weld rebar and light metal together to make lawn art objects. The welder has its limitations an I should have gotten the mig welder so I wouldn't have all of the splatter, but I am really enjoying the welder. I made over $200. this last weekend selling my art. I would also recommend the auto darking helment as it makes it much easier to see what you are doing, but be sure that its rated for the type of welder that you purchase. For what I do this little welder is just the ticket, but as I said and others will tell you that these welders are not for building heavy objects. I have less than $200 into my welder and helmet so its not a huge investment(purchased from Harbor Freight) to see if you will enjoy welding prior to spending more money for heavier equipment. Another plus is that all you need is a 120 volt 20 amp outlet to get started. Bill

    Bookmark   May 24, 2005 at 6:10AM
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Pooh Bear

Yeah, that's another thing.
I don't have a convenient 220 outlet anywhere.
I'm not sure what I will be welding.
I want to be able to repair my tractor implements.
I have a 3pt rear finish mower that has a crack in the deck.
Most of my welding won't be of over 1/4 inch thick stuff.
Probably will be using a lot of scrap metal and salvage.

Just have to keep thinking about it.
And keep saving money.

Pooh Bear

    Bookmark   May 25, 2005 at 2:41AM
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Look for a used welder, or go with a harbor freight special.
If you dont like welding or use it much your out $120 not $400.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2005 at 5:19AM
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You don't want a 220 welder to get started. a cheap 110 MIG welder from harbor freight is a good start, the only thing wrong with them is the torches (the handle)are junky.
MIG is easy to learn, will allow you to make nice clean welds on clean steel, like for outdoor tables, lawn art, or fixing small metal items. Bear in mind that the gas will set you back a good $100 extra the first time, then about $20 or so to refill it.
If you want to jus weld old rusty tractor parts, or you not trying to do delicate or artistic work, than a cheap stick welder might do the trick, and cost you less.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2005 at 12:52PM
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Pooh Bear

How big of a good cheap stick welder.
How big of a small mig welder.
I originally wanted a wire feed welder.
But I was talked into the bigger stick welder.
I could swing a cheap stick welder now.
Possibly even a cheap wire feed welder.
Most likely have to save up a little more tho.

Hope I can hold out for this. I got money saved up
and I keep seeing stuff I want. Hard not to spend it.

Pooh Bear

    Bookmark   June 1, 2005 at 1:27PM
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If most of your intended use or need of a welder is 1/4 inch or less, go for a good wire feed welder such as a Clarke 130 amp, 110 volt. 380 bucks from Northern Tool. Your only other expense would be a tank of CO2/Argon, but you don't even need that with this welder since you can use flux core wire. This welder even has a cart to make it easier to use.

I've got two stick welders that are only used for major welding jobs like building log splitters, welding up truck water tanks, trailers, or other major projects. 95 percent of my welding is done with a 100 amp MIG welder.


Here is a link that might be useful: 130 amp mig welder

    Bookmark   June 1, 2005 at 10:28PM
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Pooh Bear

I was thinking that I could get a good wire welder
and if anything big/thick needs welding I could tack it
together and get someone else to do the major welds on it.
99% of my welding would be about 1/8 or thinner stock.

Pooh Bear

    Bookmark   June 2, 2005 at 2:55AM
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That welder from Northern Tool had a cart and a few other extras for that price. I saw some sites that were offering bare bones, just the welder and a couple extras for about $280. Building your own cart would give you a good practice project if you can get metal cheap enough. Otherwise, it may be better to go the more expensive route with a complete package. You don't need the cart to use the welder, it just makes it more covenient. I'd take the savings and get a decent auto darkening hood. You'll probably be around your budget of $400 for what just that stick welder would cost, and have a machine that would be a lot easier to use.

Don't forget if you go with gas, the cylinder may run about $100 or so for a 120 cu. ft. size.


    Bookmark   June 2, 2005 at 11:06PM
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Hi Pooh, hope you don't mind that I'm going to hijack your post. I figure if you let me have lunch at your house, then I can't be all bad. LOL

My son is graduating from high school in two weeks and wants to make a career of designing and building motorcycles. He has asked for a Lincoln welder (don't know the model) for graduation. The one he currently uses at a friend's house is 110 volt but we actually have easy access to 110 or 220. My son also mentioned that he's not crazy about having to pay for gas right now on his limited budget.

Our price range is under $500. We understand this is probably only going to cover an entry level unit but it's all what he wants for now. He's taking his first welding college course this summer and has already spent a good deal of time using his friend's Lincoln on a scooter frame and gas tank he's currently building.

Since I'm not crazy about paying for shipping should I start looking at local Sears? What other stores might be local for me in Southern California that have good deals on welders? Is it possible to get a better deal online or through a dealer even though I have to pay shipping?


    Bookmark   June 6, 2005 at 6:35AM
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Here's one link for welding equipment out of Washington. Free shipping is offered.

Sears has some equipment that is name brand such as Lincoln. You just have to look.

Read my post about the comments on Clarke. They are just as good as Lincoln, and will do all he needs for less money. Good warranty, plus service and parts are no problem.

Flux core wire costs offset plain wire and gas. Plus, welds are neater and easier to clean than flux core welds.

Hope this gives you some ideas!


Here is a link that might be useful: welding equipt.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2005 at 9:22AM
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Pooh Bear

I looked at welders at Sears.
Looked like more expensive to me. Even taking shipping into account.

Home Depot and Lowes are good places to look.
Local welding supply places are very good.
Tractor Supply Company (TSC) is good.
Harbor Freight is iffy, not sure of the quality.
Northern Tool catalogs are good places to check out.

This week has been SOOOO HOT.
I have seriously considered using my savings to put towards a pool.

Pooh Bear

    Bookmark   June 6, 2005 at 1:11PM
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