another welder thread

thorvald

.......
 
 
 
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Im looking at getting a first welder, mostly for working on my 40-body work, will use it for bumpers etc. also. so, Ive read most of the threads if not all I could find on choosing a welder. most advice is to save and buy big. ive got about 400-450 to spend right now (just bought a house in Dec. so if I dont use it it will be gone soon).
also dont have any 220 in garage, so thinking of going with 115
pretty much narrowed it down to a. wait for a cheap used mig, which I havent seen any for sale in paper recently. b. buy a cheap lesser name brand mig
c. buy a lincoln 135 d. buy a arcone115 v tig welder- can get it for under $300
e. buy a readywelder as stand-alone welder for now and get a arc to run off later.
my experience is limited to mig welding. I want to get the best welder for the money. Im leaning towards the ready welder, but was curious of opinions here between these choices.

thanks, Scott
 

mobi-arc

 
 
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thorvald said:
Im looking at getting a first welder, mostly for working on my 40-body work, will use it for bumpers etc. also. so, Ive read most of the threads if not all I could find on choosing a welder. most advice is to save and buy big. ive got about 400-450 to spend right now (just bought a house in Dec. so if I dont use it it will be gone soon).
also dont have any 220 in garage, so thinking of going with 115
pretty much narrowed it down to a. wait for a cheap used mig, which I havent seen any for sale in paper recently. b. buy a cheap lesser name brand mig
c. buy a lincoln 135 d. buy a arcone115 v tig welder- can get it for under $300
e. buy a readywelder as stand-alone welder for now and get a arc to run off later.
my experience is limited to mig welding. I want to get the best welder for the money. Im leaning towards the ready welder, but was curious of opinions here between these choices.

thanks, Scott
I would choose GO-WELD over Readywelder any day of the week and twice on Sunday. It's not there's anything specifically bad or wrong about Readywelder...the GO-WELD has spared no expense in the design and materials and as such, it's a bargain for the money. It is more expensive than Readywelder and justifiably so. IMHO
 

honk

 
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If you hadn't said that you want to make yourself bumpers I'd have recommended the Lincoln 135+ (plus) though I think it would exceed your stated budget somewhat. Because of the amount of current needed for solid mig welds in 3/16" or 1/4" steel I think that ReadyWelder will give you the most bang for the buck. Using two good deep cycle batteries it can output 200+ welding amps - enough to easily make single pass penetrated welds in those sizes of stock.

I've seen a lot of commentary on the Readywelder, both good and bad. But I've yet to see a negative comment about it from a person who actually owns and uses one.
 
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I would think twice about the Arc one 300 hundred dollar tig, unless it is remote capable ( foot pedal or thumb switch) to vary current.
I do have a Arcone I200STL that I bought a while ago, works fine, but they seem to have changed who's machines they import, because the model I have has much more amperage output vs. the one they are calling the I200 STL now.

I like the ergonomics of the Readywelder, but the build quality needs to improve IMO, it just feels a bit to fragilie. DO be aware that even if you get a Arcwelder to power the RW, it will not behave vary well with short circuit settings- nature of Constant Current vs. Constant voltage machines. Course they can run off regular migs as well and I had thought about using one as a 'cheap' spool gun for my PM.
Dont forget the added cost/hassel factor of deep cycle batterys vs. something you just plug into a wall outlet.

Folks seem to go pretty thick on their material choices for their bumper designs and such and that will be an issue with the 115volt shoe box migs.

This place has good prices on Lincoln machines, but I have never ordered a machine from them, other things but not a machine, they are ok, another drop shipper, but at least a real store does exist to call if your order gets screwed up.
http://www.weldingsupply.com/cgi-bin/einstein.pl?Next::1:UNDEF:OR:K1873-1

If you cannot wire in 220v, the Readywelder will be capable of welding thicker stuff than the 115v migs... Sheet metal the 135 plus should be good, but barebones- the 175Plus would be a wiser choice.

I also would avoid tig if you are on a budget- it tends to be an expensive process.
 

thorvald

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ive given thought to the hassle/cost of using batteries- main reason for looking for other options actually, as the ready welder has gotten rave reviews on this site. figure itll cost a lot less than having 220 put in and buying a 220 welder.

from the sounds of it its just as good a machine as some entry level 220's.

and down the road i figure itll make a good thing to throw in the vehicle if I decide its not a good shop welder.


also, Im not against getting a mig now as its what ill need first, and going with a arc later for bumpers and such.

anyone know how the durability of the readywelder is?
 
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For 500 USD I still can't help to think that patience could score a solid, full sized AC/DC tig welder that could also do stick. As tig has been around even longer than mig (50 years or more?), all the companies have made their version. These machine are capable of welding anything that can be welded, and don't have all the moving parts of mig.

That said, how about one of the Hobart handlers:

http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=6970&productId=200306073&R=200306073

http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=6970&productId=200306075&R=200306075

Note the difference in duty cycle. I think that is one of the main things the extra money buys you.
 
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Considering the # of hobart 140 & 180's that seem to be non-operational out've the box (judging by quantity of post on Hobart welding talk), I would make an effort to buy those machines from a local welding store.

Not saying they are bad welders, just that they seem to have some assembly QC gremlins.

Note everyone seems to 'love' those welders even when they don't work, because the service/support looks to be top notch, myself, I prefer the machine to work as soon as i plug it in.

The HH140 & 180, do give the most bang for the buck, in this size of mig machine.
 

honk

 
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Steve C said:
For 500 USD I still can't help to think that patience could score a solid, full sized AC/DC tig welder that could also do stick. As tig has been around even longer than mig (50 years or more?), all the companies have made their version. These machine are capable of welding anything that can be welded, and don't have all the moving parts of mig.
Maybe so.....but in most cases such a machine is dirty, needing cables and/or guns, ground clamps, or switches. Also those old welders that $500. might buy are HUGE and often require 3 phase input power at possibly 480 volts. They're inefficient too, often requiring more current than a household supply delivers.
An intimidating choice especially for a beginner.
 
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mobi-arc said:
I would choose GO-WELD over Readywelder any day of the week and twice on Sunday. ...
Can a mobi-arc unit provide the power source for the GO-WELD, eliminating the need to jumper batteries in series? If so, which mobi-arcs would be suitable?
 
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thorvald said:
Im looking at getting a first welder, mostly for working on my 40-body work, will use it for bumpers etc. also. so, Ive read most of the threads if not all I could find on choosing a welder. most advice is to save and buy big. ive got about 400-450 to spend right now (just bought a house in Dec. so if I dont use it it will be gone soon).
also dont have any 220 in garage, so thinking of going with 115
pretty much narrowed it down to a. wait for a cheap used mig, which I havent seen any for sale in paper recently. b. buy a cheap lesser name brand mig
c. buy a lincoln 135 d. buy a arcone115 v tig welder- can get it for under $300
e. buy a readywelder as stand-alone welder for now and get a arc to run off later.
my experience is limited to mig welding. I want to get the best welder for the money. Im leaning towards the ready welder, but was curious of opinions here between these choices.

thanks, Scott
For 3/16" 1/4" steel a 115v 130-140 amps will work well especially if you use flux cored wire or you do some prep work like V notching etc...
The arcone is a great machine and you really can get by without remote as long that you weld thicker materials, if you use 3/16" steel for the bumper the Arcone TIG will make strong welds, 35% duty cycle and only requires a 18amp breaker weld both sides where possible weld and use grade 5 or 8 bolts for the mounts.. now if you where welding a roll cage it would be a different story .
If you have never TIG welded before don't be discouraged it isn't that difficult to make strong welds.... only to make them look pretty :grinpimp:
 

mobi-arc

 
 
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Rich said:
Can a mobi-arc unit provide the power source for the GO-WELD, eliminating the need to jumper batteries in series? If so, which mobi-arcs would be suitable?

The answer is yes, but not right out of the GO-WELD box. We talked to those guys a while back and although it's possible to mesh the two, we didn't feel there would be enough consumer interest to justify the brain-damage.

Scott
 
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honk said:
Maybe so.....but in most cases such a machine is dirty, needing cables and/or guns, ground clamps, or switches. Also those old welders that $500. might buy are HUGE and often require 3 phase input power at possibly 480 volts. They're inefficient too, often requiring more current than a household supply delivers.
An intimidating choice especially for a beginner.
Valid points. These 250-300 amp machines are huge, may need some work and cleanup, etc. But I can' tell you how many fabrication shops I have been in that have these old machines that turn out great welds in almost any material, thick or thin. You are also correct that some run on 3 phase 480, but many will run on single phase 240 volts (like an electric range). Of coarse, each person needs to decide what most fits their needs, but I thought I would throw this option out as a way to get alot of "bang for the buck".
 
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Steve C said:
Valid points. These 250-300 amp machines are huge, may need some work and cleanup, etc. But I can' tell you how many fabrication shops I have been in that have these old machines that turn out great welds in almost any material, thick or thin. You are also correct that some run on 3 phase 480, but many will run on single phase 240 volts (like an electric range). Of coarse, each person needs to decide what most fits their needs, but I thought I would throw this option out as a way to get alot of "bang for the buck".
either 220-480 1PH or 3ph these indudtrial older machines will most likely
require a 30 amp breaker so this must be considered , and we are talking about 700-1000 lb depending on the machine , not exactly portable :eek:
 
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