1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Getting a welder

Discussion in 'Tools and Fabrication' started by drohweder, Jan 22, 2004.

  1. drohweder

    drohweder

    Messages:
    1,144
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2003
    Location:
    Golden, CO
    So I don't know how to weld but I hate paying people to do stuff I know I could learn. So I have a list of things I need to do to the truck and lots of it invloves welding, so I was thinking about putting these repairs off and putting the money toward a unit and doing this stuff myself.

    Just read a good review in Custom Trucks about the HTP MIG 140. I know very little about welding and the equipment available so please help educate me with you experiences.

    A wire fed welder, seems like it would be easy to learn. Sound like MIG is the way to go but its a lot more expensive (and the machines more complex). Help me out. I know there has got to be an older thread on this subject so perhaps someone could just direct me to it.

    Thanks! :D :cheers:
     
  2. Landpimp

    Landpimp

    Messages:
    15,807
    Media:
    1
    Likes Received:
    1,778
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2003
    Location:
    Gig Harbor WA
    prolly one of the better place to look for info/opinions is over at Pirate, you don't need to be a member to search. Just do a general search for Welders and you will have days of reading ;)

    But in short, Millers are highly recomended, the 175 is what I have, this is a 220volt machine so you need to have an outlet for it or have one wired up........me I use my dryer plug and a 50ft cord(old shore power cord) and it works great. Other machines are 110......so they plug in anyplace.

    I think with the tank and all the goodies it cost $800(not real sure as it was a gift). And no I can't weld ;)

    and if and when you get one.............practice practice practice or be smart and take a class......thats what i really want to do.......just don't have the time.
     
  3. Poser

    Poser Oh...Durka Durka Durka. s-Moderator Supporting Vendor

    Messages:
    20,233
    Media:
    17
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    513
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2003
    Location:
    MN
    Wire feed is commonly refered to as MIG(metal inert gas) welding.

    Perhaps you were talking about TIG(Tungsten intert gas), which is similar to welding with a flame torch, you use electricity instead of gas/flame for heat.

    If this is something that you have not ever done before, personally, I would entertain the idea of learning at a votech. Use thier equipment, become familiar with it, and the different processes, before you decide to spend a pile of cash on a good unit, and decide that it is not your bag. Welding, while not difficult, is something that is not learned overnight, or over a weekend, and takes a while to become proficient at. There is alot more to it than just burning two pieces of metal together. It is not just your saftey that is to be concerned about.

    Good luck!

    -Steve

    Oh,

    And if I were going to get a new wire-feed machine today, I would get a miller 220V/210 amp unit. Will be fine for body work/sheet metal with .023 wire, or turn it up and will burn through 1/4 inch with .035 wire.


    -Steve

    http://www.millerwelds.com/products/mig/millermatic_210/
     
  4. 73lndcrsr

    73lndcrsr SILVER Star

    Messages:
    745
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    May 28, 2002
    I have the Hobart Handler 175 (made by Miller). I absolutly love it. I have used a friends Lincoln and mine welds just as good. They are resonably priced as well. I saw one earlier this week in the $550 range without bottle. Of course like everything these days you will need accessories. Cart/bottle/safety gear etc.

    I also recommend going ahead and getting a bottle of gas. I used flux core wire the first few times and using gas makes the welds MUCH better.
     
  5. The Dude

    The Dude

    Messages:
    1,255
    Likes Received:
    25
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2003
    Location:
    Foam Lake, SK
    I was in your situation about a year ago. I had limited welding experience but knew what I wanted to do. First, stay with a quality unit. It's hard to find subjective info on the net about this stuff. It's like a chevy vs ford thing.... I don't think you can go wrong with the lincoln or miller units. There are others like esab and hobart that work well also.

    I went with the Miller 135 110v mig unit and an almost new lincoln stick welder bought at an auction.

    I would have liked to have jumped up to the millermatic 220 but it was just too much money and the differeence between the 135 and 175 weren't big enough to lose the 110 volt option, which I love. i can use that welder anywhere.

    When I need top do heavy welding, I tack with the mig and finish with the stick. Works great for me.
     
  6. woody

    woody unhelpful spotter Staff Member Admin

    Messages:
    10,659
    Media:
    317
    Albums:
    8
    Likes Received:
    2,030
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2002
    Location:
    Toquerville UT
    I run a Miller 185 and love it...replaced by the 210, which some friends have and love.

    IMO, the 175 is the minimum I would consider....220 powered for thicker stuff. I'm a major Miller fan, but their Hobart "bastard child" welders are nearly as nice. I run .030 wire and mixed gas and have done 3/8" single pass with no problems.
     
  7. SPRDAV

    SPRDAV

    Messages:
    82
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2003
    [quote author=woody link=board=1;threadid=10497;start=msg94124#msg94124 date=1074807855]
    I run a Miller 185 and love it...replaced by the 210, which some friends have and love.

    IMO, the 175 is the minimum I would consider....220 powered for thicker stuff. I'm a major Miller fan, but their Hobart "bastard child" welders are nearly as nice. I run .030 wire and mixed gas and have done 3/8" single pass with no problems.
    [/quote]

    I agree, the Hobart is a really good for the money. We have a few guys that use them in the club (Cascade Cruisers) and they give really good results. One welder that I would steer away from is the Lincoln Wirematic 250. My pop has one in his shop and it is constantly going on the fritz. It works good, when it works. After replacing parts, talking with dealers (and watching their face cringe when I told them the model), I decided to buy a Miller Syncrowave 250 TIG. I got a smoking deal......1000$. 10 years of TIG welding makes you want to run back to old faithfull. Good luck with your purchase, and definitly: practice, practice, practice.
     
  8. drohweder

    drohweder

    Messages:
    1,144
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2003
    Location:
    Golden, CO
    Hope I didn't come across as cocky. I know welding is an art and I just want to get in with a decent enough unit that I can start to practice it. Sounds as though the Miller units are popular, I must look into them. Anyone have any experience with HTP?

    I still don't know the vocabulary of welding so any rescources off the net you know of would be a help. I would like to take a welding class at one of the local Vocational Colleges in the area but time is all to rare. Once they have classes from 11-1 am I'd be ok!

    I am not going to jump into this as its a big purchase. There is a ton of cruiser related things I could spend my money on but maybe learning how to weld will allow me to do more myself and save money in the long run. Delayed gratification is a good thing right?

    A 110v unit is more practical for me. I am looking to do sheet metal and light fabrication. nothing bigger than 1/4". Thanks for the advice. I'll check out pirates and a few hot rod forums.
     
  9. cruiser_guy

    cruiser_guy

    Messages:
    11,194
    Likes Received:
    24
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2003
    Location:
    Wherever the truck stops!!
    Dan, for light gauge the trick is setting the heat just right. My initial welds on the FJ55 resto looked horrid (I hadn't welded before either). Now I can make a decent looking weld most of the time in sheet metal without getting burn through. Another neat trick I discovered is that with a thick chunk of aluminum or other dissimilar metal you can even weld holes closed as long as the metal is decent (no you can't weld rust holes closed) and the dissimilar metal doesn't stick! I welded a 1/2" hole in the hood of the '55, that was made for one of the old hood locks, closed!
     
  10. dd113

    dd113

    Messages:
    2,922
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2003
    I have been though a few welders over the years. The Miller 210 is about perfect for most all applications outside of industrial. Around $1200 + acc. It is way too much welder for most people. As others have said the 175 and 185 series are great standards for general use. I just bought a Lincoln 175SP for $637 w/free shipping. The 220V will make all the difference in easy of use and quality of weld. Go ahead and get the better 220V. Pick a brand, either Miller, Lincoln or Hobart and go for it. MIG is very easy to learn just practice a lot on scrap.
     
  11. 78crzr

    78crzr

    Messages:
    657
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2003
    Location:
    Tomball, TX
    I'm in the exact same mode your in - looking to purchase a welder that I can grow into, although I have never welded anything in my life. I've been lurking around different boards trying to get an idea of what to buy. The consensus seems to be Miller 175 or 210. Here are few links I found useful:

    http://www.hobartwelders.com/mboard...r=&sortfield=lastpost&perpage=25&pagenumber=2

    http://www.millermotorsports.com/mb...?s=acc6dd6fc481a754bebd18ff646c7dc4&forumid=3

    Let us know what you decide. I think I'm going with the 210 within the next 2 weeks or so. :D
     
  12. Poser

    Poser Oh...Durka Durka Durka. s-Moderator Supporting Vendor

    Messages:
    20,233
    Media:
    17
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    513
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2003
    Location:
    MN
    78crzr-

    You will not be disappointed..

    Good luck!

    -Steve
     
  13. RustyNailJustin

    RustyNailJustin

    Messages:
    1,291
    Likes Received:
    444
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Location:
    Western CO and Southern Oregon
    I have been welding for years and the mistake I see people make all the time is buying a small box welder thinking they will never need anything bigger... Yea right! As soon as you do that you will need a bigger one 220 or longer duty cycle. So get somthing thats 220 right away. THe Miller 175 is an awesome starter welder and you wont out grow it very quick and its not very expencive. I personally own a Lincoln 255 and its my favorite of everything I have used and I make a living with it in the winter, and it does not let me down.
     
  14. skiakhokie

    skiakhokie

    Messages:
    133
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2003
    Is something like the Miller 175 big enough to weld axles, and drivelines and all the stuff that matters when you're driving downt he road or fully flexed out?
     
  15. RustyNailJustin

    RustyNailJustin

    Messages:
    1,291
    Likes Received:
    444
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Location:
    Western CO and Southern Oregon
    I think its rated at 3/8 single pass. Yes the 175 is enough welder to do most stuff on cars. If I were you I would take a welding class at a local CC or other college in your area and get some pratice. I took a welding class when I first starting doing all this stuff and I learned a ton its worth the money.
     
  16. Poser

    Poser Oh...Durka Durka Durka. s-Moderator Supporting Vendor

    Messages:
    20,233
    Media:
    17
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    513
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2003
    Location:
    MN
    [quote author=skiakhokie link=board=1;threadid=10497;start=msg94335#msg94335 date=1074834300]
    Is something like the Miller 175 big enough to weld axles, and drivelines and all the stuff that matters when you're driving downt he road or fully flexed out?

    [/quote]


    It would be fine for most modifications that you are going to run into. However, I would want a lot larger machine if I were going to build Dana axles, as there are some pieces on those axles that are very thick metal that are going to need a lot more power than the 175 will be able to put out. I am sure that the 175 would work fine for what you are looking to do, just fyi.

    Good luck!


    -Steve
     
  17. woody

    woody unhelpful spotter Staff Member Admin

    Messages:
    10,659
    Media:
    317
    Albums:
    8
    Likes Received:
    2,030
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2002
    Location:
    Toquerville UT
    the 185 has had zero problems doing everything I want with regards to suspension and chassis work....the 175 will be more than adequate except for those REALLY HD jobs. (I do still have an old Miller Thunderbolt stick welder in the garage for the rusty metal jobs, cast jobs, or those times when I need LOTS of penetration....)
     
  18. toddslater

    toddslater

    Messages:
    1,498
    Likes Received:
    3
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2002
    Location:
    Kennett Square
  19. Landpimp

    Landpimp

    Messages:
    15,807
    Media:
    1
    Likes Received:
    1,778
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2003
    Location:
    Gig Harbor WA
    one thing, the Miller 175 is still portable, the 210 really isn't.......if that matters.
     
  20. billmc

    billmc

    Messages:
    809
    Likes Received:
    125
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2003
    [quote author=drohweder link=board=1;threadid=10497;start=msg94196#msg94196 date=1074815560]
    Anyone have any experience with HTP?
    [/quote]

    I used to work welding bulldozers 25 years ago out in Casper, Wyoming and then I dropped it until a couple of years ago when my wife decided I needed a hobby. She bought me a low-end Century 110 (rebranded Lincoln or something) which I wasn't really satisfied with. Last spring I bought the HTP 140, and absolutely love it. Much better control over the weld and they have great customer service. My garage still only has a 10 amp circuit, so I run a heavy duty extension cord into the house to the dryer circuit. I've been practicing a bit on scrap, and have started now on my FJ62's rust problems. This is really a practice vehicle, before I cut in to my FJ40. What with work, I don't get as much time to practice as I'd like, but I can now weld in rust patch with a nice flat bead and no blow through, except when upside down (like under the rocker panels) I make a mess still.

    You'll probably be happy with any of the welders recommended above, and I'm sure you'll be happy with the HTP Mig 140 if that's what you decide to go with. Comes with a good orientation video.

    HTH
    Bill