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Welding Shop

Need help choosing a welder

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Old 03-14-2008, 04:56:56 AM
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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.

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Old 03-14-2008, 01:22:51 PM
Gailey Henderson Gailey Henderson is offline
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Default Re: Need help choosing a welder

I have all of the welders that have been mentioned On a farm i would my first welder be a Miller or Lincoln aircooled portable they are a little pricey but you also have AC 110 standby . The older water cooled portable are now out of favor because of their weight and age, sometimes can be picked up cheap if it will run and will weld go for it. A hand full of 3/32 7018 &6013 rod will fix anything on the farm from sheet metal to cast iron
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Old 03-17-2008, 04:38:25 PM
candersen candersen is offline
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Default Re: Need help choosing a welder

I would recomend a lincoln 225, they are affordable and I think the best for small farms. I use it for repairs and to build new implements from old rusty junk. Ive used hobart and century brand welders of same size and cant produce as nice of welds as with the lincoln. I paid about $350 for the welder and another $200 for 50 amp circuit breaker wire, plug, and to build a 30 foot extension cord. I know name brand doesn't allways mean anything but I trust my lincoln 225.
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Old 04-01-2008, 09:39:07 AM
Uncle Willie Uncle Willie is offline
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Thumbs up Re: Need help choosing a welder

Hey Beeman ,U ought to go with a stick, the buzz box would weld pretty good for what u need it for, myself I would go with a stick machine, after buying wire, gas, tips ,etc. on a stick machine ,put the rod in the stinger & go to town.I agree with Gailey Henderson, 3/32 7018 & 6013, if u can stay away from 6011's I would, They don't look as good as theses rods. they say the 6011 will burn threw rust & everything, I would rather my stuff clean, that way u get good penetration.Thats why they call 6011 a trash rod, cause thats what its.If u could afford an gas machine, I would, what about if the fence breaks,or anything,where u cant get it to the crackerbox, plus has 110 sockets on it, for ur grinder.I hope I helped ,goodluck.
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Old 04-01-2008, 01:45:58 PM
JHFoster JHFoster is offline
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Default Re: Need help choosing a welder

All rods, including 6011, have their place and each can make a mess of what you are welding if you do not understand their use. By no way am I trying to start a pissing match, but a great deal of the time it is the guy that you look at in the mirror while shaving that is also the problem with the weld. I am not talking about anyone in particular. We all have bad days. Jeff
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