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Best Welder for a Beginner?

 
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cloud1771
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Joined: 20 Jun 2013
Posts: 37

PostPosted: Tue Jul 02 13 5:54 pm    Post subject: Best Welder for a Beginner? Reply with quote

Well I don't want to keep relying on my uncle's availability and generosity to get things welded.

I probably wont be welding anything over 1/8in thick. I would like the ability to weld steel and aluminum.

Right now I am working on my smoker. But I would love to build anything(for example robots(im building a r2-d2), Few different grills, repairing metal things the break around the house, etc)

I was looking for something around $100-200max

would any of the following be worth it?

http://www.harborfreight.com/170-amp-migflux-wire-welder-22-volts-110-amps-68885.html

http://www.harborfreight.com/225-amp-arc-welder-69029.html

http://www.harborfreight.com/240-volt-inverter-arc-tig-welder-66787.html

Thanks ahead of time
Matt
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GF
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Joined: 30 Apr 2011
Posts: 2792
Location: Greenwich, CT.

PostPosted: Tue Jul 02 13 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cloud1771, JM2C, I would stick with Miller, Lincon, or Hobart.

Do you want a MIG or a stick machine? I don't think the stick machine you linked will do aluminum, I believe you need a DC machine. Consumables may be a issue with the MIG.

You may want to check your local welding supply, they may have something used in your price range.

I would wait, save a few more $'s, and buy a machine that would suit my needs now and in the future. A quality machine could outlast you. Shocked

Good luck with whatever you decide. Very Happy
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k.a.m.
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Joined: 12 Dec 2007
Posts: 26012
Location: Southeast Texas.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 03 13 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cloud1771, in my opinion your price range is not gonna get you what you want.
As far as the aluminum welding a wire feed with a minimum Amp rating of 180 would be my choice and even at that I would want a spool gun to feed it.
A good beginner machine for someone with no experience would be a Hobart 140 Amp wire feed. It is capable of running gas and can weld up to 1/4" with multiple passes.
If yiou want to learn stick welding then I recommend a Hobart Stickmate AC/DC.
I hope this helps. Very Happy
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Wreckless
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Joined: 15 May 2009
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Location: New Braunfels, TX

PostPosted: Wed Jul 03 13 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

k.a.m. wrote:
cloud1771, in my opinion your price range is not gonna get you what you want.
As far as the aluminum welding a wire feed with a minimum Amp rating of 180 would be my choice and even at that I would want a spool gun to feed it.
A good beginner machine for someone with no experience would be a Hobart 140 Amp wire feed. It is capable of running gas and can weld up to 1/4" with multiple passes.
If yiou want to learn stick welding then I recommend a Hobart Stickmate AC/DC.
I hope this helps. Very Happy

+1 Well of course the k.a.m. man knows. Yup, a wire feed without gas will blow a beginners confidence quick and an A/C stick only will do the same as in ( Man, I just can't get the hang of this) Wire feed can be self taught but the stick may require a tutorial or better yet, a lesson or two either paid for or a good bud as it really needs to be seen first hand if you want to avoid a lengthy learning curve. Stick is not for the faint of heart but valuable once mastered as the choice of electrodes offers advantages over wire feed for varying conditions ( out of position, somewhat dirty steel, etc) as a pro. As a con, stick does not much like thin metals. JM2CW to an already fine reply
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cloud1771
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Joined: 20 Jun 2013
Posts: 37

PostPosted: Thu Jul 04 13 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the advice, it sounds like I need to save up a it a bit more and find a way to justify it to my wife...

I have watched my uncle stick weld he was one that runs on a generator which is over kill for me...

I will probably go with the stick feed.

again thanks for all the advice!
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jrbergen



Joined: 22 Sep 2013
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sun Sep 22 13 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mig or tig is the way to go.

Sadly, with welders, cheap is, well, cheap.

Even a decent priced flux core is going to be a spattery bitch and you won't like the product.

Save for a decent gas mig set up or tig.

When I learned to weld I learned gas, stick and then tig. Learning gas and stick set me up to be a decent welder but tig is the way to go if you can afford it.
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happycamper68



Joined: 06 Feb 2014
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu Feb 06 14 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you can get a good welder for 100-200 just check on craigslist. I have a flux core welder without gas hook up and I am happy with it. I am just learning to weld on mig welder but have done ac arc welding years ago for the first time with no help and did a good job.
I have tried a mig welder with gas shield and didn't like it but I know gas shield gives a bigger range of what you can weld and a arc welder with ac/dc also gives a bigger range of what you can weld.
when I first got my flux core welder I learned on welding tin cans together.
it's just choice of what type of range of welding you want to do when you buy a welder.
once you get your welder adjusted to what your welding you can do a pretty good job.
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OmahaRed
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Joined: 12 May 2011
Posts: 96

PostPosted: Wed Sep 10 14 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

get an old Buzzbox. lincoln stickwelder. 60amp service. good welder, can find almost anywhere
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RangerJack



Joined: 29 Nov 2015
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Tue Dec 01 15 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

agree craigslist has ac 225's for cheap, as you gain proficiency buy a ac/dc machine. ac welds are a little uglier but work fine. harbor freight machines are ok for tacking but the duty cycle makes them impractical for actual use. as a father of two small kids I appreciate a budget but keep on craigslist, good stuff goes cheap often and look for lincoln miller and hobart
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