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Discussion Starter #1
I've always wanted to get into welding and I've done it a couple of times, but really I have no idea what to look for. I want to start with making some work benches, for my garage. Eventually I'd like to be able to apply basic welds on my T. Welding crap on like my traction bar mounts, air bag mounts, and maybe on board air. I've been looking at inexpensive models which tend to be flux core. What do you guys think is a good welder to start with? I'd like to stay under $200 for now.
 

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well for $200, whatever you get wont be worth it, and you will have a very bad time learning how to and making a good weld. yes it can be done.... but as I said you wont have a fun time, the smallest welder I would recomend is a Millermatic 140, you can pick one of them up for about 500$ used there are plenty of other options also (im just a miller man)
it also depends on what power you have in your garage, if its just regular 115v power, it will suck but 220v will be a decent machine able to do something.
flux core is good and easy to learn with, and will make a nice weld, and is an all position wire (which is why most smaller machines will be flux)

in short $200 wont buy you a good welder
 

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millermatic for sure. can't go wrong. theres a model that lets you switch between 110 and 220 but won't be very cheap.

i have a lincoln power mig 210, does 110 and 220, also does mig, flux core, stick, and tig. wasn't cheap, but its flexible. too bad i suck at stick welding, and don't know how to TIG yet. lolz
 

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millermatic 211 is all you will ever need for home garage used... can run on 120v or 240v.... will weld up to 3/8mild/aluminum steel..yes its a bit on the high side at $1200 something but believe me its the one for you.. and like others have said a cheap welder is just a waste of money ...oh yeah hobart brand is also good there hobart handle 140 is a great little machine at around $500 ..
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the recommendations guys. Looks like I need to save a bit more. I might still by a cheapo flux core for making some garage benches. For that I don't really care how the welds look. They would still be strong right?
 

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One of these days I'm going to buy a welder. But before I do that I'm going to take a class at the local community college or maybe at the welding supply store. I'm tired of making everything out of wood. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ya honestly I was thinking of picking up a cheap one to play around with it and see how I like it. I think making some garage furniture out of box tubing would be a great starter project. I just don't want to get frustrated with something simple like that.
 

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Ya honestly I was thinking of picking up a cheap one to play around with it and see how I like it. I think making some garage furniture out of box tubing would be a great starter project. I just don't want to get frustrated with something simple like that.
uneven legs will frustrate the **** out of you lol. its a fun hobby though, and can make some good cash. Built a movable wall for a advertising agency near me and got paid 900 for it....took me 3 days to make:big_grin:
 

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I recommend the Miler 140 or 180 with auto start and shielding gas as that makes for a much easier and cleaner weld. The little Lincoln machines at Home Depot work very well also and hold up very good. I used a Lincoln 180 for 2 years in my bpipe business and it did great. It's gonna be hard to get a machine that's worth a dam for under $500
 

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Discussion Starter #10
A few months ago I was helping my grandma clear out her garage after my grandpa died. She said I could take any tools I wanted and I took some pics. This welder was there but it was directly wired to the breaker box and we were only there for a couple of days so I didn't really feel like messing with it. Is this worth going back for? She lives about 8 hours away.



 

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Turn of the power to the garage and the disconnect the breaker for the panel, you can always attach a good quality plug end to it or re wire it with a ready made plug and cord. If anything it will help your grandmother to get it out of there. to disconnect it were talking like 10 minutes. If you got any questions on how I will be happy to answer just follow the wire to the panel and take some pictures. and remember always cut power off at the main breaker on the panel and check with a volt meter to ensure the power is off before doing any work inside the panel box.
the only problem I have with my lincoln weld pack hd flux core from the home depot is that flux core is a lot dirtier than shielded mig and you have to clean the welds a lot but they are cheap, get the job done and work off of 120V.
 

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Harbor freight 180 amp mig....249.00
 

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not worth it to me....you did snag that torch setup tho yeah????

8 hours is a lot of driving for an super old and sketchy looking welder.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
not worth it to me....you did snag that torch setup tho yeah????

8 hours is a lot of driving for an super old and sketchy looking welder.

I didn't go get it yet. Maybe next time I get out there to help my gma move. Should be sometime this year. Thinking about that harbor freight welder with a super coupon... IDK though. I've had good luck with a lot of their stuff. Just kinda unsure about something potentially very dangerous.
 

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I didn't go get it yet. Maybe next time I get out there to help my gma move. Should be sometime this year. Thinking about that harbor freight welder with a super coupon... IDK though. I've had good luck with a lot of their stuff. Just kinda unsure about something potentially very dangerous.
I wouldn't normally suggest the HF welder, but my neighbor has been welding his azz off with it for the last 3 years.
I'll be getting one soon, and if I get 200 lbs of wire out of it I'll be happy. I'm not ready to drop a grand or more on a welder.

FYI, 200 lbs is A LOT of welding.
 

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FYI, 200 lbs is A LOT of welding.
or a lot of wasted wire:poke::poke: when i was setting up my lincoln i wasted so much damn wire trying to get the settings right and the tightness on the spool just right.
 

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or a lot of wasted wire:poke::poke: when i was setting up my lincoln i wasted so much damn wire trying to get the settings right and the tightness on the spool just right.
Depends on who you are I guess. I've burned thousands of pounds of MIG wire through the years.

I'm very particular about getting deals on stuff like this, and that Lincoln sounds like a good deal.
 

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I read a lot about welding and decided on an Everlast welder. They are made in China but everything else is made there also now. Even Miller is only assembled in America. The Everlast guys are active on some other welding forums I read.

I bought an inverter model. It is a Power I-Mig200. It has worked great for me. I have only used flux core with it because I do not have a gas bottle yet. It also does stick welding and switches between 120 and 240 volts.
 

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I've got a 120V Blue Hawk from Lowes, love the little thing.

Shop Blue Hawk 120-Volt MIG Flux-Cored Wire Feed Welder at Lowes.com

Took me a little bit to get used to it since I had mainly used stick welders up until then.

And auto darkening welding mask are the bomb, but again took me a little bit to get used to it since I was so used to constantly flipping them up and down and had to keep reminding myself I didn't have to do that now.
 
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