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Old 01-15-2015, 04:14 PM   #16
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SS sugar is a pita, better learn how to use flux or purge, etc.....
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Old 01-15-2015, 06:01 PM   #17
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Thanks for the detailed post Bondo.

Not planning on welding thicker than 3/16", so the 135 size should do fine. How is it for the thinner stuff ~ 20 gauge?

I hear you there about the Chinese stuff, I'll check on e-bay or buy new. Any tips on what to look out for buying used?
Ayuh,.... That's what the dials on the machines are for,.....

A 135a machine weldin' 3/16 is gonna have it's power dial turned up to High, or near it,....

Weldin' sheet metal, ya turn the power dial down to where ya can weld without burn through,...
If it's still too hot, spot weld it, pulse the trigger, puddle, cool, puddle, cool, etc,...
I've always run either .030, or .035 flux core wire,...
My wire speed, always seems to end up 'bout 3 or so on the dial,...
mig'ing aluminum, the speed dial is most always at Max, fast as possible,...
If ya wanta do tin, try some .023 wire,...

A mig, Ain't gonna weld beer cans, soup cans would be tough,...
Auto bodies, All day long,...
though newer cars, ya might end up spottin' it,....

I ain't got a tig,....
My wishlist starts with a plasma cutter,...
tig is down the list, somewhere,...

Last edited by Bondo; 01-15-2015 at 06:05 PM.
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Old 01-15-2015, 06:32 PM   #18
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after reading all the posts I have to agree with pugsley regarding the TIG, to an extent. I do not currently own anything but a good old fashioned stick welder but have welded with SMAW (stick) , GMAW (mig) , and GTAW (tig). If a TIG is considered, one must realize the negatives as well as the benefits.

Of course shield gas must be able to be contained. It must also be purchased. There are also the electrodes to to deal with.

. TIG is very versatile, just like my stick, since you can purchase various types of feed rod and gas variations and electrodes it allows an easier than MIG to deal with various metals but given what TIG is, it is capable of doing things that are difficult if not impossible to do with a stick.

Also, as with mig, tig is tough outside if there is any wind which makes it a negative. Not an issue with a stick unless you are trying to weld in a hurricane.

They are not as portable as my stick welder (due to the gas bottle)

if you are using it outside or want any portability, a thumb controlled torch is a good idea as a foot pedal is impractical unless you are in a shop.



and no, TIG welding is not as difficult as many believe. Just like any welding, there is a learning curve. The more you do, the better you (should) become.
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Old 01-16-2015, 08:10 AM   #19
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Have you welded before?


A MIG welder is probably the easiest to learn on but there are a lot of downsides to a MIG.

a stick welder is probably the most versatile but it is more difficult to master as well as other issues

TIG welding is great for light weight material but the welders are generally more expensive and the learning curve can be big. In the hands of a skilled welder they can produce probably the most attractive weld of the 3 main tupes of welders. They are not generally used for welding thicker metals so if you are into industrial stuff, they would probably not be the best choice.
No I have not. I have gotten into woodworking, etc. and feel like if I could learn to weld, I'd be able to extend possibilities. I'm stubborn enough to DIY as much as I can and welding is something I've needed from time to time, but since I don't have a welder, it's never been an option.

I'm not looking to break the bank and I don't mind buying used. I can't imagine needing to weld anything larger than some basic angle iron or repairs on mowers, fabrication of table legs, etc.
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Old 01-16-2015, 08:49 AM   #20
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Personally, as I said before, a simple ac/dc stick welder is about as versstile as you can get. The biggest downside is welding thin material is much more difficult with s stick
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Old 01-16-2015, 09:03 AM   #21
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stick welding can be a pita, starting stick is not fun, my tig unit has high freq start so its a tad easier, and rod flux leaves a mess.

stick "may" be easier, but certainly doesnt make the overall project easier.

i would suggest finding a local college or welding outfit who might do a free class this way you can experience each.

the easiest will be mig imho. thin sheet with mig is typically stitched, then ground down. if thin sheet is not in the mix and you are doing only mild steel, i would recommend ~130A mig for a DIY'er newbie weldor. a good brand 120/240 unit (some can use dual source, etc) that can accept gas or flux core wire is where i would start.

and to note, the 120v only models will probably only get ya ~20-25% duty cycle, so be prepared to weld some and then take a break, etc.

Last edited by concrete_joe; 01-16-2015 at 09:24 AM.
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Old 01-16-2015, 09:08 AM   #22
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I agree.

MIG for what the OP plans to do will be optimal.
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Old 01-19-2015, 12:21 AM   #23
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Im also purchasing my first welder. Its a Very difficult decision
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Old 01-19-2015, 04:35 AM   #24
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Im also purchasing my first welder. Its a Very difficult decision
What will you be welding?
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Old 01-28-2015, 06:58 AM   #25
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This subforum is awesome.

Love metal and thanks for making it Cricket!!
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Old 01-28-2015, 08:20 AM   #26
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This subforum is awesome.

Love metal and thanks for making it Cricket!!
You may want to thank Big Jim too, for he's the one that got this ball a rolling.
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Old 01-28-2015, 08:38 AM   #27
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Big Jim always has a standing order or gratitude from me.

Thanks again brother (i.e. Big Jim).

Eric
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Old 01-29-2015, 03:57 PM   #28
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No I have not. I have gotten into woodworking, etc. and feel like if I could learn to weld, I'd be able to extend possibilities. I'm stubborn enough to DIY as much as I can and welding is something I've needed from time to time, but since I don't have a welder, it's never been an option.

I'm not looking to break the bank and I don't mind buying used. I can't imagine needing to weld anything larger than some basic angle iron or repairs on mowers, fabrication of table legs, etc.
This is one of the nicest, easiest to use, small MIG welders I've ever used. After using it years ago, it talked me into buying my 252.........

http://www.ebay.com/itm/MILLERMATIC-...-/271563996817
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Old 01-29-2015, 04:34 PM   #29
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This is one of the nicest, easiest to use, small MIG welders I've ever used. After using it years ago, it talked me into buying my 252.........

http://www.ebay.com/itm/MILLERMATIC-...-/271563996817
i love my miller 251, looking for a spool gun for it w/o paying a leg.
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Old 01-29-2015, 06:51 PM   #30
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i love my miller 251, looking for a spool gun for it w/o paying a leg.
I get to use a 251 relatively often in a factory where we pour a lot of machine bases. Welds just as good as my 252, and it's probably 15 years old. Never misses a beat...........
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