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tig vs mig
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smokin ernie
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Joined: 26 Mar 2008
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Location: Wilmington MA

PostPosted: Fri Apr 11 08 9:16 am    Post subject: tig vs mig Reply with quote

So i have been doing some research on which would be best for myself and tell you the truth I am a bit more confused of which I should look into.

Quick background. I don't know how to weld. I am looking to be able to grow a bit with the welder as well. I plan to build a smoker and if things go good I would be building another. From what I have read I don't need anything fancy. I would like to be able to do more than just a smoker. I would like to do something like a trailer or something else. I can't spend a lot of money which I know will limit me. I most likely will be outside doing most of the work.

It seems that linclon and hobart are some of the more popular models.

Thanks for any help with this!
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Travis_Creek
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11 08 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Forget the TIG. I don't know of any inexpensive units that work well.

If your budget is very limited, buy a 'crackerbox'. It is a 220V stick welder. You should be able to pick one up at a pawn shop pretty cheap.

If you buy a MIG, I would buy a Lincoln 215. They run around $1500. Hobart also offers a small unit that is 220V and costs about $1000.

If you need any help, give me a call at 325-203-0028.
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smokin ernie
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11 08 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks travis creek. I will check out the crackerbox.

Is there a minium of volts...like the hobart 220v is that about the lowest you would recommened.

Thanks for the number!
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FATFRANK
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Joined: 27 Nov 2007
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Location: Wichita Falls, TX

PostPosted: Fri Apr 11 08 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Travis. Forget Tig.

If budget is a concern, get a used AC/DC stick welder. Hobart or Lincoln or Miller, all should be fine. I prefer Hobart or Miller because of the adjustment dial. You can weld anything you want (thick steel) with a 200+ amp stick welder.

For a mig I would go with the Millermatic 212, or even the Hobart Handler 210 would be a good mig welder that would all allow you room to grow.
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Tom C
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11 08 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just finished my smoker a while back and used both a stick welder Lincoln 220v and a small miller wire feed similar to the ones that Travis mentioned. Both served me well. I had some stick welder experience from high school and have since then done a few projects with a wire feed welder. IMO, the wire feed units are a little easier to get the hang of when starting with no experience. You will just want to make sure you get one rated to weld the material thickness you want to use for the projects.

I would recommend getting some scrap metal to practice with before welding on the project material. Lastly, go for it, you can do it!
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smokin ernie
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11 08 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was just looking but would something like this get me started?


http://www2.northerntool.com/product/384175.htm
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Travis_Creek
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11 08 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sure, but I bet you can beat the price. Check EBAY and the local classifieds.

You should be able to find a used crackerbox for no more than $200. Try to get an AC/DC. That gives you more choices on rods.
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joe-joe



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11 08 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You don't even need to go that far.I bought a lincoln model 225,220volt ac arc(stick) welder at lowes for 269.00.Very nice unit for all your stick needs.edit to add leads are kinda short,like 10 feet but you can make them longer or get a high voltage extension cord.
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JUST4FUN



Joined: 09 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11 08 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

check out www.weldingweb.com
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11 08 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are going to go stick the Hobart ac dc is a good choice, in fact if you are gonna go stick don't waste your time with just ac pay the extra bucks and get the dc set the machine on DcEp don't look back. I have the miller thunder bolt of the same. great machine, the only reason i chose miller is i am partial to blue.
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JoeD
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11 08 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like stated above, don't bother with TIG (not the right tool to build smokers and trailers)

IMO, stick and TIG welders are the hardest to master on. For you as a beginner and for the projects you predict, you’d be better of with a MIG welder, much easier to control the heat and a fast leaning curve.

I just bought a Hobart 187 to build a 7 foot offset smoker and a trailer, all ¼” plate, U channel, tubing and heavy wall stack, , I don’t even use max power. I can tell you that this 220 V machine is awesome; it lays a bead with very nicely with virtually no spatter (still using the original .30 tip and cup, after burning 11 lbs of solid core wire)
Check out my project by clicking my signature link.
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BBQMAN
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11 08 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The mig welder will also give you the best results for what you intend to do- lot's of cleanup with a stick welder. You can get some really nice results with a decent mig welder and a bottle of gas.

I'm a big fan of Miller units as well.

I'm also a TIG guy, but I'm not the average user either! Wink If you intend to weld smaller parts or do any kind of fine work a TIG will produce the best results every-time.

If you don't need that, save your money and go with a straight mig unit.

If you do intend to sharpen your welding skills and do more than just smoker welds, spend the extra money and get a versatile welder that covers all the bases.
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Travis_Creek
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11 08 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MIG is the better choice. If money is a factor, I would rather have a stick unit than a small MIG.
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smokin ernie
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11 08 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys. I going to do some searching this weekend.
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Teleking
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11 08 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I took a one day weekend warrior class on Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) a.k.a MIG welding awhile back. The newer machines are essentially a computer on wheels and one nice feature (on the expensive welders) is all of the preset options for many welding thicknesses etc... Once you get the machine set for your needs it is essentially no hassle. Infinite blends of shielding gases to suit industry needs. If doing many types of welding in different scenarios can be mind boggling to set the machine up properly.

I am also a self taught stick welder which is pretty easy to get the hang of.

This is the class I took with a couple of buddies:

http://www.newenglandschoolofmetalwork.com/welding/index.php?page=mig-gmaw-welding-clinic

Lots of fun and highly recommended if you can find somewhere like this in your area.
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shanedog
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11 08 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All the advice above is good advice. Just keep in mind that you're the only one that knows your budget, your project goals, your electrical capacity, etc.

Craigslist or thrifty nickel are good sources as well. Not to mention there are smaller 110v fluxcore units out there for little $$$, and no shielding gas is necessary.
That may even be a good option for you if you haven't welded before.
They're inexpensive, they're easy to use, and they're a good compliment to a larger stick machine down the line.

They're awfully easy to learn on, whereas stick is more difficult to learn. They're also very good for light guage work, whereas stick is really tough to use on real light guage stuff. Not to mention that a lot of them will run off of 110.
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txfireguy2003
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12 08 3:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't forget guys, true MIG (as well as TIG) requires sheilding gas. If welding outside, if there is even a slight wind, you're likely going have your gas blown away and end up with horrible welds. For outside work, I prefer stick, but flux core wire, in a MIG machine will work as well, but you still have the cleanup issues like stick welding. It's not a big deal, since most all MIG welders can handle fluxcore wire, you just need the proper tip to help prevent spatter from building up in the tip. Just somethign to thing about.
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hvac81
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12 08 6:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BBQMAN wrote:

I'm also a TIG guy, but I'm not the average user either! Wink .


Mike! I didnt know you were a " Tigger". Nothing better than TIG on Stainless. Dont you agree Question
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SMOKECRAZY.COM



Joined: 05 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12 08 8:15 am    Post subject: welder Reply with quote

i weld everyday-aluminum,stainless and carbon steel,get you a mig with sheilding gas-flux core NO GOOD.you can get one at lowes i use a 120 volt on road trips which work great,if you have 220 then get one and you can weld 1/2" with practice and preparation.my only probelem with my little 120 volt lincoln w/gas is that it's never here at the shop-everybody is always borrowing and saying they a 1st class welder.i burnt a lot of rods and wire in my day and thats you best bet
ck my websites
www.trickfab.com
www.smokecrazy.com
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Hell Fire Grill
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12 08 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If your welding outdoors flux core is the best way to go, for wire. Thats why we use it to field weld ALL of America's High rises, bridges,etc,etc,etc. If I dident have a mig at the house, I would go with a small 220v buzz/cracker box. You'll need some 7018 rod in 3/32" or 1/8" dia. It welds in all positions and is easy to make strong, pretty welds on relitivly clean, dry steel, when compared to other rods. Whichever one you get youll figure out how to make it work, and have some tasty grub when your done with your build.

I agree with Travis_Creek on all points. He tells it like it is.
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