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Welding Shop

Need help choosing a welder


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  #1  
Old 03-14-2008, 04:56:56 AM
beeman
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Default Need help choosing a welder

Hello friends,

I need to find a welder to suit my needs. I have a small farming operation with a 80hp tractor and implaments. Most of the time I either snap something off or need to fabricate something on an existing piece. I never need to weld anything larger than 1" thick. Probably 1/8" is the smallest that I would need to weld. About once a month I find myself visiting my friend at the local machine shop and I'm afraid that I'm going to wear out the welcome mat. He has a big Esab. What is an affordable welder that I can use for my needs? I have Oxygen/Acetylene cutting/rosebud setup. Does brazing do the job or would I be better off with an electric welder? Thanks much and have a nice day.
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Old 03-14-2008, 05:05:23 AM
JKWidener JKWidener is offline
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Default Re: Need help choosing a welder

I have a Miller Matic 250 wire feed welder, welds anything i have done.
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Old 03-14-2008, 06:07:39 AM
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Terry Beasley Terry Beasley is offline
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Default Re: Need help choosing a welder

I use an ESAB 250 and it is perfect for my needs.
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Old 03-14-2008, 08:15:42 AM
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Randy Hart Randy Hart is offline
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Default Re: Need help choosing a welder

Mig / wire feed welders are wonderful machines for thin to average thickness metal, say 1/8-3/8 even 1/2 I've owned a Miller 200 amp machine since the early 80's and life wouldn't be the same without it. I also believe there is a place and time for Migs and then a place and time for stick welding..

If you decide to go Mig you might want to consider useing Flux core wire.. In farm applications the rust, oil and grease that we need to work around is not cover gas friendly and your welds will be less than good.. you will also eliminate the need for a tank and reg. I've seen many flux core equiped machines on the farms I visited while in the dealorship.

If you want a " do everything machine" something like a Miller Shop Master 300 with a wire drive on top gets my vote but the cost can be a little steep for now and then repairs.

Just my observations. Hope this helps.
Randy Hart Ohio
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Old 03-14-2008, 08:26:40 AM
TommyA5 TommyA5 is offline
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Default Re: Need help choosing a welder

I started out with a Hobart AC/DC Stickmate. I bought it to work on my tractor and implements as well. With stick welding you can use many different rods that better suit the welding application needed at the time. This is especially helpful with the rusty dirty metal. You will find the AC machines are cheaper but the DC is nicer to use.
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Old 03-14-2008, 08:56:40 AM
K D Redd K D Redd is offline
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Default Re: Need help choosing a welder

The Lincoln "Buzz Boxes" like picture at the top of this thread might be a place to start. I think the one picture is the AC/DC version. The AC only one is relativly cheap and would let you get your feet wet. They are no the beat welder on the market but they are better than nothing. An AC buzz box and 6011 rod is hard to beat on rusty greasy metal. Used one for years until I bought a Miller 200 with Spoolgun. If you do chose a Mig type I agee you should think about Flux Core capability.

Kent
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Old 06-02-2009, 04:17:56 PM
tstory422 tstory422 is offline
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Default Re: Need help choosing a welder

Iam 70yr's old been welding 50yr's J H Foster hit the nail on the head. That little red Lincoln will do the trick,but knowing what know I would try for an ac dc even used. You will learn to weld on what ever you get. Iwould go with stick
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Old 06-12-2009, 12:20:09 PM
mrxlh mrxlh is offline
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Default Re: Need help choosing a welder

Biggest question is how much do you have to spend? A lincoln, miller or hobart cracker box ac/dc would probably meet your evey need. However if you plan on any projects in the future, a mig might be nice. I would definately get a DC version. You have many more rod choices.
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Old 06-12-2009, 10:24:55 PM
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Motormowers Motormowers is offline
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Default Re: Need help choosing a welder

I have been welding with those AC Lincoln buzz boxes for the last 20 years and love them. They take a beating and are dirt cheap at Home Depot. The AC welders cut through rust better than DC and for farm work I wouldnt think weld beads need be that pretty. You can still put a nice bead down with AC too. I like to use the 7014 rods for general purpose. If youre ever going to weld tin or stamped sheet steel then a MIG would be better.
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Old 06-12-2009, 10:57:35 PM
mrxlh mrxlh is offline
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Default Re: Need help choosing a welder

AC welders do not and will never "dig" as good as a DC machine. No AWS or ASME coded vessel is welded with an AC machine. Not that an AC machine will not work, you just have a much better selection and welding options with a DC machine.
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Old 08-27-2009, 04:44:08 AM
Jacks44 Jacks44 is offline
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Default Re: Need help choosing a welder

Had/still have, but will sell, a Miller thunderbolt...always on ac off the back porch dryer plug-in. Fine welder...but recently ran across a AEAD Miller 200 LE, electric start...(thank god for little favors, at my age pulling ropes can be a real pain...its a DC Onan generator welder (1976) (& puts out 5 kw ac on power setting) and is the smoothest welder I have ever used...very adjustable, burns any rod...even mystery rod from garage sales; so old the numbers have disappeared...and even my welds look good and they've never done that before.

I like wire feed and use them for thinnish material...but when it comes to putting real steel together where it will stay together...Stick is the way to do it. And used stick welders are cheap, cheap and cheap. Electrodes come in every flavor and are cheaper and a snap to change, whereas wire feed needs 15 minutes (for me at least) that is if nothing goes wrong.
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Old 08-29-2009, 06:47:18 PM
Kevin1591 Kevin1591 is offline
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Default Re: Need help choosing a welder

I used to sell welding equip, 13years, to small repair shops and to large factories both,there are places for stick, mig,tig and oxy acet welding. My sugestion would be, check into the classes that a community college might offer and learn from there.All welding types can "stick" two pieces together but making them stay takes some time under the hood.
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