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nes_matt
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Joined: 04 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13 09 8:28 pm    Post subject: Welding... Reply with quote

Hi all,

I'm still looking for my tanks for a build, but in the mean time I'm considering the welding aspect of the build. Some things you should know:

1) I'm reasonably handy with tools, but not a real craftsman.
2) I've never welded anything (except a little spot welding)
3) I don't own a welder.

I think I can arrange access to a decent MIG welder but I'm not sure. The TIG welder I have access too wouldn't fit in my truck and requires a small nuke plant to operate, so that's out.

So, what are my options if I were to buy something? I've looked at some of the less expensive (~$250) wire feed welders available, but they say they can't handle more than ~3/16 steel and this seems too thin (how thick are the walls of a 120gal propane tank?). Can I do trailer work with such a welder? I'm guessing many/most of the members of the trailer will be 1/4" or so (haven't looked at the stresses yet - thought that's probably over thinking... I should just look at some plans... anyone have a source/suggestion?)

As a first time welder, who will not have alot of occasion to continue welding, what should I buy? Or should I buy anything? One thing I've considered is pre-cutting everything then hiring a professional welder for a day to assemble the parts for/with me. If I did that, I'm figuring a solid 8 hours of welding service at ~$50/hr = $400. Sound reasonable?

Thanks,
Matt
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nes_matt
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Joined: 04 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13 09 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hmmm... but now I see this: http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=55060

This says it could go to 1/4" and it's only $70 Shocked ....

I'm so confused...
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bigjoe
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Joined: 05 Jul 2008
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Location: Parma Hts, OH

PostPosted: Sat Jun 13 09 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is the one I have... Lincoln Electric ...and IT works great. The operator? well...not so great. Embarassed

I found mine...tank, cart, & welder... for $400. Don't use it often, but it's a lifesaver when I do need it. Very Happy
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erniesshop
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Joined: 11 Jan 2009
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Location: Grants New Mexico

PostPosted: Sat Jun 13 09 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bigjoe wrote:
This is the one I have... Lincoln Electric ...and IT works great. The operator? well...not so great. Embarassed

I found mine...tank, cart, & welder... for $400. Don't use it often, but it's a lifesaver when I do need it. Very Happy

I have the same machine.....I have welded 1/4 " plate , took 3 passes , however it held .
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Haaseman
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Joined: 27 Jun 2008
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Location: Granite Falls, Wa.

PostPosted: Sat Jun 13 09 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just got done with a lincoln 170. Had to let it rest from time to time but wouldn't go with anything smaller.
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k.a.m.
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Joined: 12 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13 09 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nes_matt, the H.F. machine is a small stick machine that is only going to frustrate you. It will only pull 1/16'' rods. When I weld 1/4'' plate my machine is pushing around 130Amps on D.C. reverse using 1/8'' rods. My suggestion is the cooker portion you can have fun learning to weld on, I would look for at least a 140 AMP wire feed gas being optional, there are places that rent machines to. The trailer is another story, I would either look for a trailer or let some one with enough welding skills build your trailer, unless you never think its going down the road. 50.00 an hour is not bad for a rig welder, but I doubt he will be able to build a cooker in 8hrs, things have a way of slowing to a crawl when building a cooker.
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morick
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Joined: 21 Aug 2008
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Location: northeast,mo

PostPosted: Sat Jun 13 09 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=98103-1703-K1170&lpage=none
$269.00
http://www.lowesmoving.com/register/step1.asp
Filling this out gets you 10% off
Or go for the hobart handler 140 $475.00 free shipping

http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_200306073_200306073

To me these are your cheapest options that you will be happy with.
I hope you purchace a welder and not pay anyone $400.00 like you said it would cost.Why throw money away and besides one project will lead to other you just dont know that right now.Your welder will pay for itself on just this one build of yours. Best of luck
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em21701
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Joined: 18 Jul 2007
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Location: Warwick, RI

PostPosted: Sat Jun 13 09 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some welding supply shops also rent welders, it might be worth it to look into that.
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Black Pearl
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Joined: 20 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13 09 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If there is a United Rentals (unitedrentals.com) around, they rent a 13hp gas powered Miller stick welder for $60 a day. If you get it on a Friday you get to keep it the whole weekend for the same one day rental. What we do is, cut stuff all week after work then have a pretty good idea of what we can get done, then rent it a just weld all weekend. They include the leads and everything in that $60 charge unlike a lot of the other places.
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RedneckRocket
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13 09 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the handler 140. Its a great welder and can do has or no gas. One thing to think about is the power supply in your garage. You will need to make sure that you can supply enough power to the welder with out tripping breakers all the time.

R.R.
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lh1440



Joined: 26 Aug 2008
Posts: 13
Location: Corinne, UT

PostPosted: Sun Jun 14 09 12:48 am    Post subject: Welding oil barrels Reply with quote

Are oil type barrels to thin to weld on? If not what size of rod would you use? Or would it be better to braze it?
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nes_matt
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Joined: 04 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14 09 3:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

morick wrote:

http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=98103-1703-K1170&lpage=none
$269.00


Looks like I could get this off craigslist for ~$150-200... if it comes with the kit at $150 that'd be great. Otherwise maybe I'll just go with a new one...
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Tom C
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14 09 4:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nes_mat,

I used the two units that morick posted just except my wire welder was the miller equal to the Handler. The both worked well for me. If I had to choose one to use for another smoker I would use the miller and might step up a grade. It will cost you some but wire feed is the way to go. It's much easier to learn if you don't have much welding experience.

Like others have said you will also need to be sure you have the correct breakers to run the welder you choose.

Good luck!
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J0K3R-X
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Joined: 02 Aug 2008
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Location: New Port Richey, FL

PostPosted: Sun Jun 14 09 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nes_matt, I have a Lincoln 3200 weld pack which is about like the lincoln 140. I can weld 1/4 inch plate with it in a single pass using flux core. I don't really care much for the MIG welders, I am more comfortable with stick. I have a big old Sears 235amp AC welder that I converted to DC by adding a bridge rectifier, 56000 uf 65v capacitor and an induction coil and that thing is a beast!!! I love the way it welds but it is BIG! The welder that I use the most is a small DC inverter welder that I got at Harbor Freight. I know, I know everybody is laughing at the Harbor Freight stuff and for the most part I don't really like any of the other welders they carry except for the inverters. You really can't beat an inverter welder with a traditional transformer based welder. Would you rather lug around a 100 to 500lb welder or a 10 or 20lb welder that will do the same thing if not better? Some of these inverter welders have almost a 100% duty cycle at full power! Lincoln and Miller are making inverters now also but they are crazy expensive...

Check out this guy welding 1/4 inch plate with a 80 amp Harbor Freight inverter.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bujvEHMcnEE
I know somebody is gonna say that you can't really penetrate 1/4 inch plate with 80 amps but I am gonna tell ya that you can and I have!

If you really want to step up a notch you could get this one at 165amps with stick and TIG.
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=98233
Or this one at 130amps
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=66787

I like the little 80 amp because you can go anywhere that you can plug into a 20 amp 110v reseptical and it only weighs 8 pounds!

Another option is deep cycle car or marine batteries! You can weld with 2 or 3 of them hooked up in series at crazy high amperage!! The batteries ar pure DC so they lay down a perfect bead without any rectifier. You can use stick, which is what I do or you can get a MIG spool gun like this
http://www.readywelder.com/

Imagine having a MIG that pushes 350 amps!? Holy S#!t

You can hook it up to your Miller or whatever brand stick welder you have also and have a nice little setup. I saw one on Craigslist the other day for $200.00 brand new in the box and I saw some on ebay for $250.00 or so.

You could also get a cheap HF MIG and disconnect the transformer and just use the wire feed and hook it up to your Miller or what ever, you would basically have the same thing as the RW2. You would just have to have the 110 power to run the spool wire feed but the welding power would be coming from your battery, Miller, Lincoln, Hobart or whatever you have, so you would get the duty cycle of your big rig in the little POS Harbor Freight MIG welder.
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ortugger
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Joined: 07 May 2009
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Location: LaGrande,OR

PostPosted: Sun Jun 14 09 11:39 am    Post subject: Welders Reply with quote

There is much to be considered when buying a welder. First is how hard are you going to use it. They are all rated by duty cycle. For example a welder with a 30% duty cycle is made to only weld 18 of 60 min. in an hour. A 50% duty cycle is built to weld 30 of 60 min in an hour. But the time frame is shorter. I dont remember exactly but the time frame may be 10 min so a 50% duty cycle will weld for 5 min before it needs a rest for a minimum of 5 min. Most of the "buzz boxes" and the 110 welders have fairly short duty cycles. When you get into the bigger reverse polarity stick welders with a dial to control the variable power you get more into 80% to 100% duty cycle machines. Perhaps something like this miller wire feed.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Miller-Millermatic-250-MP-Wirefed-Mig-Welder_W0QQitemZ170341949256QQcmdZViewItemQQptZBI_Welders?hash=item27a92bdf48&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=65%3A12|66%3A2|39%3A1|72%3A1205|240%3A1318|301%3A0|293%3A1|294%3A50

I decent wire feed can be a mig, tig, or weld alluminum with a spool gun ect. Personally I would never buy a 110 unit unless I was stuck with it as an only option on a deserted dessert island situation. You can always cut the power on a bigger machine but nothing will make a smaller machine weld more than it is capable of. Sometimes you can find a dc stick welder with the rheostat wattage control on ebay for 3 or 4 hundred bucks. Just some thoughts. you might also google "welder duty cycle" for more info.

Hope this helps
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nes_matt
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Joined: 04 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20 09 6:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One more quick question:

It seems like from my reading that MIG welding using flux core wire allows higher penetration than when using CO2 or Argon shield gas. Is this correct? The difference seems substantial depending on the source (various specs)
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RedneckRocket
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Joined: 09 Oct 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20 09 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With my handler 140 I can weld 1/4 inch material at a lower voltage than I can with the normal wire and the weld gas. The down fall, in my opinion is that a 2 pound spool of wire is 26 dollars from Linweld. This will not be enough wire to compleate the pit, and I am not even building a trailer for it. A 3 foot tall bottle of gas is 39 dollars to refill and about 125 to purchase the bottle. I believe it is more cost effective to go the gas routel providing you have the breakers in your shop to handle the rates power. If not, go the flux core wire route. Either way, I do not think you can go wrong.

R.R.
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RedneckRocket
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20 09 6:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing I just noticed was that you plan on building your own trailer. I would suggest, from a safty stand point if you plan on building your own trailer and have no welding experisnce would be to either have an experisnced welder with you to help guide you and coach you along, or take some classes at the local trade school. Not saying that you can not do it, but if something would break while you are towing, that could be a bad deal.

R.R.
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nes_matt
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20 09 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RedneckRocket wrote:
One thing I just noticed was that you plan on building your own trailer. I would suggest, from a safty stand point if you plan on building your own trailer and have no welding experisnce would be to either have an experisnced welder with you to help guide you and coach you along, or take some classes at the local trade school. Not saying that you can not do it, but if something would break while you are towing, that could be a bad deal.

R.R.


Yes, I've thought about that... I think I will do as you suggest and get someone experienced to work on the trailer... don't need that falling apart and hurting someone while I trundle on down the highway!!
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XtraCheez
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Joined: 09 Jun 2009
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Location: Fayetteville, Arkansas

PostPosted: Sat Jun 20 09 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have 2 Miller welders (Maxstar 150 and Bobcat 250 Kohler) and it sounds crazy but if you do drop a large amount of money on a welder consider a gas welder as it doubles as a generator power plant. I used mine in the last Ice storm we had and it was a blessing. Plus they are portable. I have mine on a trailor with oxy/acetylene rig and job box ready to go.. Wink
Plus I get free rod, and a stick weld is stronger that a MIG/TIG weld and much more diverse range of rod.
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