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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking into getting a welder. MIG/Flux core I dont need anything crazy or nuts. Just for simple things. I've never welded before, but figure this could be a good start.

Since hopefully I'll be doing a turbo swap on my car I need to build up a new exhaust. Also I need to make a new mount for the wastegate. And maybe a PS mount. Again, little things. Nothing major.

I've been told good things about craftsman sears stuff which is made by Lincoln electric(http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00920569000P?prdNo=1&blockNo=1&blockType=G1). But I was also told about homedepot has some good cheap welders as well. But I was also thinking since its only going to be for a few small projects here and there maybe I should look at the cheap harbor freight ones.

I'd probably be splitting the cost with my brother so total, no more then 300 or so. I know its not asking much. But depending on what types of responses I get may encourage investment of a more worthwhile welder.
 

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Dan I know you love craigslist, so CL it.
 

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Hobart, Is Miller Matics cheap brand. I recomend "Hobart" you can buy them at "TSC" Tractor supply Co, I recommend that as a great starter Mig, Or "CEBORA" from Italy. I really don't like Lincolins very much, Very over rated in my opinion. I've owned all 3 brands. I finaly Bought a Fancy $5K Mig/Tig from Snap On 8 years ago. But the Hobart was far better for the money in the Cheap deartment. Remember the Swedes invented the Mig with the "ESAAB" but Used ones are still More than a new Hobart.
 

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in all honesty, since i was in the same boat over the summer, i used one of the million coupons i got and got the higher end harbor freight one. think i spent like 200 total for a mig/flux with gas hookup kit. then i could have gotten a decent size bottle of gas for about 100.

it doesnt have the extensive settings all the big names do, but i played with it for a bout an hour on some scrap that was thinner than exhaust tubing until it was to my liking, and then had no issue doing up a whole exhaust.

im glad i didnt spend more than that, because i welded that one exhaust and haven't used it since (shops were quoting the same price if not more than the cost of the welder to do the job anyway)
 

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DO NOT buy a Home Depot or Lowes. I personally have no experience with them, or know anyone who has bought one, but if they are like everything else they sell, its a ching-chong-chang chinese piece of shit with a Lincoln sticker, that will work for a year, then something STUPID will break, and you will NEVER be able to find a replacement piece for it because its not a true Lincoln.

Spend a few extra bucks and buy something name brand. You'll have it forever, and if you ever need service, Lincoln, Miller, Hobart etc will be able to help you out.

My rule with Depot / Lowes..."it it has any kind of switch, or motor, don't buy it there."
 

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I have one of the cheap HF ones. I never welded before and just wanted to give it a try so went that route. It does the job once you get the hang of it. I've welded patch panels in when doing body work, stuff like that. If I had a choice, I probably wouldn't go that route again. I've had consistent wire-feed issues with it. I've tinkered with it and learned a few work-arounds so now it's workable, but not optimal. For exhaust, I just tack welded the parts and then had a pro weld them up. It takes a lot of practice to get clean weld beads, something I don't have the time to do.
 

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Another vote for Hobart. That's what my father bought to replace his el-cheapo mig setup about 5 years ago, and it's worked great. Good heat control, lots of settings for various gauges, and it's been dead on reliable through some reasonably heavy use given that we're just shade tree mechanics. I think we've done a solid 30 feet of welding on my 85 Rx-7 over the past year, not a hitch :-D

Chris
 

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harbor freight is where my auto school buys all their welding stuff. its cheap, gets tons of use and has been reliable.
 

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Been running a lincoln 110v MIG with tri-gas for over 2 years with no problems. Upgraded the sleeve for stainless wire, and a few other things.

Also, my father and I learned/were taught how to weld on it. Doing great so far.
 

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Save up your $$$ and buy the biggest and best you can afford. Eventually you will want to weld thick stuff and will want all of the fancy amperage settings.

I have a Hobart 140 MIG. I have welded 16 gauge stainless with it (stainless takes more power, 1/4" mild steel is the limit for 110v welders), without any problems. Now I wish that I would have the spent $200 more and got a Miller which has more fine amperage control.
 

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Personally, I prefer welding with an oxyfuel torch. You can make nicer welds than any GNAW/MIG, its just slower, but unless you plan on doing a lot of welding, that doesn't matter. You can get a nice high quality gas setup for far less than a really good GMAW. If you can afford it, GTAW/TIG is the best. Lincoln, Miller, Hobart...all are good. The GMAW capable welders sold at lowe's and HD are true Lincolns, I have the weldpak 100 setup with 70/30. Great little welder, but I still prefer the flexibility and quality of a good oxyfuel set. Just my nickel.
 

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Personally, I prefer welding with an oxyfuel torch. You can make nicer welds than any GNAW/MIG, its just slower, but unless you plan on doing a lot of welding, that doesn't matter. You can get a nice high quality gas setup for far less than a really good GMAW. If you can afford it, GTAW/TIG is the best. Lincoln, Miller, Hobart...all are good. The GMAW capable welders sold at lowe's and HD are true Lincolns, I have the weldpak 100 setup with 70/30. Great little welder, but I still prefer the flexibility and quality of a good oxyfuel set. Just my nickel.
yes tigs are great but they have there downfalls other than just being expensive, expensive to maintain, hard to learn at first, extremely hard to weld any sort of a gap, and very bad for any sort of body work because of warping. I have a lincoln sp115 i believe and a lincoln ranger tig. when it comes to mig i would save up buy a nicer one and a 220 if you have that sort of power in your home. Hobart is great i have used millers, lincoln, panasonic, more than i can remember and hobart is almost at that level. Also if you dont have a garage and plan to weld outdoors flux core is a must unless you want a buddy holding some plywood for you.
 

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I found GTAW/TIG easier than GMAW/MIG as a novice, just because you could control current with the pedal rather than having to play with the knob settings.

I still maintain that a good oxyfuel setup is more versatile (sheet metal to thick stuff), for less money, and can make better welds, than any other setup (GTAW excepted). Even outside.

I've always had less than stellar experiences with flux core welders.

My advice, take a class at a local vocational/high school evening program. Learn/Use all the different processes and get some practice in. Then make your decision. I did that at a local high school two years ago and learned a lot in a few short weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Now am starting to think, I'll get a less then good one. Just make the tack welds and bring it to a shop to weld it up fully.

Thats another thought.

Again, it wont be used heavily.
 

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My father has a $1500 or more MillerMatic something Mig and the thing is awesome. Welds nice and smooth and lays a bead like butter. It's like a glue gun, it works so nicely. If you will use a welder CONSIDERABLY, I say to spend the extra money for higher quality. If you're like most of us on here, who might use a unit 1-5 times a year, then go the cheap route. Otherwise, you've tied up big $$$ in something you won't really use that much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
If you will use a welder CONSIDERABLY, I say to spend the extra money for higher quality. If you're like most of us on here, who might use a unit 1-5 times a year, then go the cheap route. Otherwise, you've tied up big $$$ in something you won't really use that much.
Exactly my point.

Today my brother and I tuned up(t7suite) his otherwise stock Viggen.

He then went to go buy a GS DP...and realized it was like 450 bucks and backed out.

If we both split the price of a welder....it'd be worth it just for each of our downpipes/exhausts.
 
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