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Thread: Welder

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Thumbcocker's Avatar
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    Welder

    I took welding in high school in the late 70's. We used Lincoln stick welders. I am not a welder. I can stick metal together where it will hold most of the time if conditions are close to ideal.

    I would like to get a welder of some type to to basic repairs on stuff around the place. Probably 1/4" thick max maybe rarely 1/2". I have no experience with wire or tig welding.

    What type of welder would y'all recommend for someone with this background? Price is a consideration.

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  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    sparky45's Avatar
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    The old Lincoln "crackerbox" is still available and for a reasonable price, it's what I use. Check Craigslist or local For Sale ads. Think I paid $125 for mine.

  3. #3
    Boolit Mold
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    Go with a cheap stick welder. Use some 6011 rod.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    farmerjim's Avatar
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    Get a cheep HF gas MIG. It is the easiest welding there is for thin steel.
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    Nothing wrong with a decent stick welder.
    And if ya get to doing different things, there are more kinds of rods available than there are different kinds of MIG wire.

    For doing 'around the farm' sort of things, it's hard to beat the simplicity of a Lincoln or Miller 220 volt wire feed.
    With a basic understanding of the principle, you can teach a teenager to use one in a few minutes.
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  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master

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    The old Lincolns are still available the newer inverter models are much lighter and easy to use. One big thing to arc welding is to keep the rods dry. The buzz boxes have done a lot of welding over the years. For limited use and lighter work you might even look at Harbor Freights line. One thing I do is buy rods as needed this way they are fresh dry and correct for the job.

    The old lincoln 225 will do a lot of welding but joint prep and metal prep are important. Dad had the century version of it he bought ( demonstrators model) we used that machine for 35 years and my brother took it when dad passed, it is "rattling and banging" a lot more now but still lays a good weld.

    Another addition to consider with the welder is a welding table

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy Stewbaby's Avatar
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    If you don’t need to go over a quarter inch, one of the harbor freight flux cores are a great easy and cheap way to get into it and then you can always upgrade later.


  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    lots of good used welders show up all over the country on govdeals.com. ive got stick, mig and tig welders, last count, I think was 7.
    if you can find an old miller 200 mig welder. it lays down some sweet beads, and a lot of the Lincoln mig machines make it very easy to add a spool gun if you ever want to expand into welding aluminum. mig is very easy to put down great welds but for best results you would use shielding gas such as stargon for steel.
    the smaller wire feed welders that use only flux cored filler material/welding wire, splatter real bad compared to using shielding gas. plus the cost of flux core welding wire is pretty high.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    I wish I were in Houston area,
    there's more than one. and these are very nice machines
    https://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm?f...3&acctid=21127

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    The vast majority of professional stick welding is done with A welder that can supply DC+ current. Most of the Lincoln Tombstone “cracker boxes” will only provide AC current. Lincoln did offer a Tombstone that had both AC and DC.

    My at home stick welder is a Miller Thunderbolt that is both AC and DC. I also use this as a power source to scratch start Tig weld. They are also much more adjustable because of the hand crank current adjustment. These units can be found used on Craigslist for around $300-$400 dollars. They offer the at home stick welded a lot more versatility.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master Shawlerbrook's Avatar
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    I’ll second the flux core welders. I was where you are last year and ended up with a Hobart Handler flux core machine. I made repairs on 2 small 4’x4’ ATV trailers and a mower deck on an old JD mower. My welds aren’t pretty but they are strong. Stick with the Lincoln.035 flux core wire and your learning curve will be steep.
    Last edited by Shawlerbrook; 09-26-2021 at 07:27 AM.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Look for something used and avoid Harbor Freight. Buying from them is sending money to our #1 enemy.
    CL or other sites.
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  13. #13
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    I went with a Klutch multi process(mig, tig, stick) welder with spool gun for aluminum. Pretty much a do it all welder... https://www.northerntool.com/shop/to...3067_200833067 they have a lower cost 90 amp version if you want cheaper.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by farmbif View Post
    flux cored filler material/welding wire, splatter real bad compared to using shielding gas.
    I use a lot of .035 flux core, and as cluttered as my shop is:
    I'd often push enough stuff out of the away to a clear a spot on the bench to weld some little something 'real quick'.

    With the splatter balls bouncing all over the place, I soon developed a rather intimate relationship with----- FIRE!!!

    I also started using anti-splatter spray. It was sort of expensive at the welding supply place.
    I read the label one time, and hmmmm,,,,, it has exactly the same ingredients as Pam cooking spray.
    Hey,,, save a buck where ya can.
    Political Correctness and the cancel culture is only allowed to exist because of the coward culture.


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    In life: We are given tests, and learn lessons.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master



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    Too bad you are not closer. I would give you a stick welder that I am not supposed to use after getting my defibrillator.

  16. #16
    Boolit Grand Master


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    I just bought a cheap 165amp ac/dc welder on Amazon. $75 so wasnt expecting much but it does seem to work on the ac for thin stuff. Its to go with my HF Wire i got on sale for $80 or so and worked great on the mower deck
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  17. #17
    Boolit Master

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    My Miller 'Cricket' (115V, flux-core wire) has met my needs for close to 30 years and it's welded about everything from 1/16" sheet metal to 1/2" plate with acceptable results. (The 1/2" plate was repair of steel targets from our club range and required multiple passes). Miller dropped the Cricket a few years back, replacing it with a more sophisticated (and expensive) model but there are used units around and parts/service are still available.

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  18. #18
    Boolit Grand Master
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    I have 2 of those old red Lincoln AC "stick burners" I started out with 40 years ago (spatter and slag everywhere!) and never use them anymore after using my MIG wire-feed welders! The argon gas (no flux core wire) surrounding the wire fed to the welding tip gives a perfect shield and give you the smooth spatter-free welds you see done by professionals. Minimal clean-up with maximum strength. And the welds are a work of art! But it DOES take skill and some practice!!! A stick burner will give you mud dauber-type welds with just about any level of experience.

    God luck on your quest for welder that will give you good service and the quality you want.


    banger

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
    labradigger1's Avatar
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    Sounds like a 140amp Hobart, Miller or Lincoln mig will do most of what you need. 1/2” will be pushing it with multiple passes expected.
    Lincoln still makes a good ac/dc/dc- tombstone welder and they work great.
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  20. #20
    Boolit Grand Master

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    On heavier than recommended metal a preheat of the weld seam will help aid penetration and flow. It actually will help most welds

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