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MIG welder

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MIG welder Empty MIG welder

Post by Joltin Joe Thu Feb 17, 2022 12:06 pm

Looking to buy my first welder. Never used one before, so assume I know nothing.
I did the google thing and the Hobart 140 is a top pick. It sells for about $650 and runs on 110.

I know for a fact, Mike (Hotrod) is a master at such things, as I've no doubt are many of you.
So, what say you guys?

Joltin Joe

Posts : 76
Join date : 2021-10-02
Age : 74
Location : Vermont

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Post by Hotrod Thu Feb 17, 2022 1:22 pm

Well, I'm certainly not an expert, but I appreciate the confidence.

I have to qualify my answer.  Keep in mind that I have always worked with industrial machines and don't have any experience welding with the small machines.  I have seen the results of welds made with them, though. You might get better advice from someone else.  For instance, my MIG machine is a very old 250 amp Miller industrial unit with a separate wire feeder.  I bought it from my next door neighbor for about $300 when he moved. Of course, I did have to replace the entire gun and gun lead to get it to weld right.  It doesn't have all the fancy controls that the modern machines have, but it will easily weld 3/8" material and has a 100% duty cycle for most work.

The answer is it depends on what you want to do with it.  For thin body type sheet metal or very light fab work, the 140 would most likely do.  However, I would recommend getting at least a 200 amp machine that runs on 240 volts.

The bigger machine will let you weld heavier material with no problem and you can always turn it down for thinner stuff.  Since you might not know what you will be using it for in the future, the bigger machine makes sense.  Lets say you wanted to modify the chassis on your Sebring, there is no way I personally would attempt that with a 140 amp 120 volt machine.  It's very hard to consistently get the penetration needed with a low amp machine.   That's the main issue I have always had with the MIG machines being recommended for home use.  MIG can give you a decent looking weld that has very little actual weld penetration into the base metal.  I've seen this on my own Sebring.  I recommend you sign up for a night course in welding.  At leas that will give you an idea if what constitutes a reasonable weld.  

You want a machine that is shielded with gas as opposed to a flux core machine.  Use 75%/25% Co2/Argon mix.

Another thing to be aware of is duty cycle.  This is listed as a percentage of 10 minutes based on the amperage you have the machine set for.  Duty cycle usually increases as the amperage required goes down.  Let's use use 30% as an example.  This means that the machine can weld 3 minutes out of every ten.  Higher percentages usually indicate a heavier duty machine.  You will find that the cheaper machines might have as low as a 10% duty cycle when maxed out.

You can't go very wrong with Miller, Hobart, or Lincoln.  I think Lincoln has a 175 that would be a reasonable compromise as to machine size.

I recently replaced my TIG welder with an Invertig 225 from this company.  I have no experience with their MIG machines, but considering how good the TIG machine has worked, I would consider them for a MIG replacement.  This link is for their 210 machine.  A higher price than the machine you posted about, but this is the minimum I personally would consider.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Hope some of this helps.
Hotrod
Hotrod

Posts : 844
Join date : 2014-06-16

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Post by Jerry & Lisa Mills Thu Feb 17, 2022 4:18 pm

Well Joe, I'll throw in on this topic.
Completely agree -as usual - with Hotrod. Buy the biggest, baddest welder you can afford, take some classes and you'll be set for anything.
On the other hand........
Bought my little mig 120v Miller almost 40 years ago.
It will weld 3/16" mild steel in a single pass. Best i could afford then and just used it a few weeks ago. Am not a good welder but i can stick two pieces of metal together pretty well. Did learn to be a really good grinder though. It's done almost everything i've needed. And by "almost" i mean i've never done ANY safety related welds. The roll bars and steering shaft were done by certified shops for a reasonable price.
Everything else on the cars i've done has been 10ga or thinner. It has served my needs quite well. If i were to do another car (ain't happening) i would buy a better machine and add the aluminum option.


Jerry & Lisa Mills

Posts : 246
Join date : 2015-03-24
Location : Glendale, Arizona

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Post by Joltin Joe Sat Feb 19, 2022 9:46 pm

Thanks for taking the time, Mike, I knew I could count on your help. You and Jerry told me exactly what I needed to hear. never thought about the welding course. I WILL be doing just that.
In addition to my Saxon, I'm waist deep in building a '67 BJ8 (long ass story! That at some point I will share).
I'm also looking to build a replica 100S at some point. So, I will need to know how to weld.

Again, thanks, Mike for all the info. You too, Jerry. I'll be in touch.
Semper Fi, guys,
Joe

Joltin Joe

Posts : 76
Join date : 2021-10-02
Age : 74
Location : Vermont

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