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Advice on purchasing a welder

 
 
Reply Sat 31 Jan, 2009 05:51 pm
Can anyone offer any advice on what sort of welder I should purchase.

I have zero experience in welding so keep that in mind.

Also, would you recommend buying a welder used (i.e. craigslist).
 
View best answer, chosen by maporsche
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 Jan, 2009 05:58 pm
@maporsche,
what are you intending to weld with it?

as a beginner, I would suggest a wire feed (mig) welder, 110 unless you want to do heavy pieces.

(I would buy new, they are not that expensive)
maporsche
 
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Reply Sat 31 Jan, 2009 06:05 pm
@Rockhead,
That's a good question. I'm not really sure what I'd like to weld, but I feel that it's a skill that may come in handy. At some point I'd like to build a trailer (one you tow behind a truck), and I'd be very interested in using these skills to modify automobiles (installing new engines, roll cages, etc).

How far would a 110 mig welder get me in those activities?
Chumly
 
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Reply Sat 31 Jan, 2009 06:24 pm
I have taken lots of welding courses and done my share on the job from time to time. A smaller 120 volt machine will show its limitations rather quickly.
0 Replies
 
Rockhead
 
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Reply Sat 31 Jan, 2009 06:44 pm
@maporsche,
For structural work (like your trailer and moly steel for a cage) you would want a 220 machine. At that point a used welder is more of a consideration, but I would not trust Craig's for it. You can spend a lot on repairing a broken unit.

There is probably a welding supply near you that would possibly sell refurbished machines. (and maybe let you try your hand and give pointers)

For a 220 unit with a gas lease, you are talking better than $1500 investment at the least.

(110 machines are great for light auto body work)
maporsche
 
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Reply Sat 31 Jan, 2009 06:59 pm
@Rockhead,
I'll probably start with a 110 machine then at least to get me started and improve my technique. I expected to spend between $300-500, but $1500 is too much right now.

Any manufacturers you'd recommend? Also, I understand the safety gear needed (mask, gloves, etc), but is there anything else I'd need besides the welder? Any good books/websites on this?
Rockhead
  Selected Answer
 
  3  
Reply Sat 31 Jan, 2009 07:02 pm
@maporsche,
Miller or Lincoln

(make sure it is gas shielded)

An auto darkening helmet makes life easier, but you will drop $200 on a decent one.

don't know about web-sites, I learned the old fashioned way...
maporsche
 
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Reply Sat 31 Jan, 2009 07:03 pm
@Rockhead,
Thanks for your help.
Rockhead
 
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Reply Sat 31 Jan, 2009 07:07 pm
@maporsche,
you're welcome.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
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Reply Sat 31 Jan, 2009 08:00 pm
@Rockhead,
Um, yeah. I know someone who bought a 220V welder at auction for the company he worked for. Swell, only it turned out to be 220 three phase. It was several years before the company could justify the cost of a three phase installation.
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farmerman
 
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Reply Sun 1 Feb, 2009 05:00 am
@maporsche,
I dont know where youre at but the ag newspaper Lancaster Farming]. The paper has a swap and save section called The Maibox Market. Ive often bought things very cheap. They always have welders , both electric and gas for sale at deep discounts. Do you have a regional ag newpaper in your area? Id start there.

I have a 120 Ac and a gas welder. The biggest investment was the regulator and a cart and I ultimately got some of these for free. I do very little welding but when I need to, its always emergency work for my place or for a neighbor . Im certainly no expert (Im barely competent) , I am good at cutting though.

Welders are like exercise equipment, evryone who buys either really thinks they will really make great use of it.
0 Replies
 
 

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