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Tool Tips Here you will finds tips on using old tools, as well as the latest in new tools that you can use on your 'Bird's projects.

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  #11  
Old 12-20-2018
badandy badandy is offline
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Stick welding with a tiny machine is for the birds. A 110v MIG from Miller or Lincoln (or Hobart) will do what you want with ease and the newer Chicom units work pretty well, too. You can't burn 1/2 plates in a single pass, but they will blow holes through 1/8" steel. If you don't want to drag a tank out for something then just load up flux core wire into the MIG.

Nowadays you could probably pick up a Syncrowave 250 for chump change, but it's not very portable and won't run on 110v!
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  #12  
Old 12-20-2018
Bikeboy57 Bikeboy57 is online now
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Please take this in the spirit it's intended, forum posts are easily misread. I don't want to come across as the welding police.

I personally wouldn't weld anything remotely safety related, such as axle hangers, with a bargain basement welder. I get it for patching stuff on the road. But if you have access to good stuff use it for the critical applications.
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  #13  
Old 12-20-2018
DW SD DW SD is offline
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If it was me, I'd look on craigslist and buy a name brand unit produced in the last few years from someone who barely used it. (Lincoln or miller) get a demo that shows it is working right. You probably will get shielding gas thrown in, which is a great benefit.
That will save you 50% easy.

I have a 220V / 175 amp MIG by Miller and a chinese made inverter TIG, 250 amp (everlast) that I bought new for about 1/2 the price of the miller with the same features. From what I remember of my research at the time, Everlast makes industrial grade machines. You might look at their low end MIG to see the price point.
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  #14  
Old 12-20-2018
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Revision Revision is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bikeboy57 View Post
Please take this in the spirit it's intended, forum posts are easily misread. I don't want to come across as the welding police.

I personally wouldn't weld anything remotely safety related, such as axle hangers, with a bargain basement welder. I get it for patching stuff on the road. But if you have access to good stuff use it for the critical applications.

No worries at all, no offense taken. This is a dinghy trailer that hauls a boat from the yard right next door to the ramp, not an over the road trailer.
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  #15  
Old 12-20-2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DW SD View Post
If it was me, I'd look on craigslist and buy a name brand unit produced in the last few years from someone who barely used it. (Lincoln or miller) get a demo that shows it is working right. You probably will get shielding gas thrown in, which is a great benefit.
That will save you 50% easy.

I have a 220V / 175 amp MIG by Miller and a chinese made inverter TIG, 250 amp (everlast) that I bought new for about 1/2 the price of the miller with the same features. From what I remember of my research at the time, Everlast makes industrial grade machines. You might look at their low end MIG to see the price point.



That's a good call, I'll scope out CL and FB Marketplace, I just don't really know what makes a good machine and what doesn't. I know some of the bottom end Lincolns are getting huge negative reviews..are the Millers a safe bet across the board?


Thanks again for all the input.
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  #16  
Old 12-20-2018
rshrimp rshrimp is offline
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Everyone, Lincoln and Miller included makes entry level (read low end) machines. They have to to have a price point. If you just want a little stick welder the one you show in your first post is fine. If it were me, I would go with a gas capable 110v MIG and just use flux core wire if you don't want to carry a gas bottle (although they make small ones)
I have a Hobart Handler 135 and it has served me very well. I am a hobby welder, but have had the machine for 10 years with no issues. I use gas but it will run flux core too.
If you go with a gas capable machine you have options. That little machine in your first post is DC TIG and no foot pedal so steel only and constant current. Don't bother buying a TIG torch for that unit. You wont like it.

MIG. Easy, very low learning curve.
Stick. Better keep those rods dry!
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  #17  
Old 12-21-2018
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I bought a small Harbor Freight MIG welder to learn with for $115 on sell. It's 120v 125a unit. It's small, cheap, works, and fits in my small FC storage bays. It was even used off my generator to repair John Finns generator slide once in Arizona after a tree attacked him at our White Tanks rally.

Keep in mind it is cheap, but it works! Duty cycle is only 20% at 90a and I've had it stop and needed to cool down, but so does my $500 Miller unit too. It's good with 1/8" material I typically weld with it.
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  #18  
Old 12-21-2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtpn60 View Post
I bought a small Harbor Freight MIG welder to learn with for $115 on sell. It's 120v 125a unit. It's small, cheap, works, and fits in my small FC storage bays. It was even used off my generator to repair John Finns generator slide once in Arizona after a tree attacked him at our White Tanks rally.

Keep in mind it is cheap, but it works! Duty cycle is only 20% at 90a and I've had it stop and needed to cool down, but so does my $500 Miller unit too. It's good with 1/8" material I typically weld with it.

I think this machine is what Pete Haggins had in Montana when we fixed his bike lift,he had a goldwing on the lift,not sure why the lift was broken but we went to a shop and bought some angle iron and beefed up the lift,doing the welding in the costco parking lot.
I think we found the machine was a little small and a few days later he bought the next size up at HF.
Maybe he just wanted another welder? I don't remember.
But,we got the bike rack fixed up and we were not slowed down but a few hours.
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  #19  
Old 12-21-2018
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I really like my Hobart Handler 140.. parts and supplies are available at any Tractor Supply store or online. This past year, I made a set of pit rails at the barn, along with steps and other components. It's perfectly sized for steel up to around 3/16". It can certainly handle 1/4" and is great for art projects too.

https://www.amazon.com/Hobart-500559.../dp/B009X43F38
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  #20  
Old 12-21-2018
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Shanes right,the Hobart Handler is a great machine,i have had a couple in the last 30 years.
We hauled one to the races for years,they do a good job.
Thats my choice for a small machine.
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