please suggest cheap welder

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Randy H

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On thing I see that isn't mentioned here... Any self shielding fluxed rod/wire needs to have a clean base to work well... That is after making a tackweld... Chip and brush to clean it well, for the final pass... Then again after the welding is done, to inspect the final results..
Kinda drives me a bit nuts to see it(I'm a little OCD about it when I'm using mine) not cleaned up a bit, and people say hey see my kart/buggy/ machine... But all these fluxed-up welds not clean...

I agree for the most part. But guys who use a 110v HF flux core machine don't have to worry much about chipping and wire brushing. They just need a good grinder. Hahaha, hehehe.
 

mckutzy

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Feel free to stop by and fix up my welds anytime.:cheers2:

Hey Bob thanks for the invite... It would be an interesting time visiting and conversing about your extensive knowledge of the internal combustion engine field... However it's a little out of my daily route... But, should an occasion occur that my travel shall deviate a few thousand miles into the Chicago area... Il will drop you a line for sure..:cheers2::cheers2:
 

TT540

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Not exactly budget, but I love my Miller Diversion 180 as a good entry level TIG.

Have you considered some of the stick welders? Start with this one and look at the reviews. It all depends on what you want to do with it.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B...F1VP1&linkId=601b5812a22f12cdbb57ada7a46b2db8

Then go to you tube and see what people can do with them. like so:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIK-M5ryHYY

My first ever setup was a Oxygen & Acetylene torch and stick. You can do a lot with that. You learn preparation is key no matter the form of welding. Don't let pother people's pretty welds hurt your feelings. Just avoid slapping weld boogers on that don't actually penetrate and you'll quickly realize that you will never throw away scrap steel again! haha.
 

mrbeggs432

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You cant get a decent one for under $100 at least new that is....

I currently use the H.F. 170 amp 240 V w/flux core wich does a decent job for small projects and builds...runs about $170. and you can add an argon tank later if you like.

Buy the warranty though.......lol
 

XJRanger

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I paid $100 for an old Century welder off of craigslist. It is a Lincoln weldpak in sheep's clothing. Uses Lincoln tips. Works great for traveling and quick welds.
 

anickode

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B.S. If you need to know something, ask a teenager, they know everything. I like my HF welder. It doesn't suck, it works.

(Maybe you are confusing shop vacs with welders?)

Let's not get back into that whole argument.

The HF flux core is the '81 Honda Civic of welders. It is the cheapest one on the market, and also, let's say, the "least good". It's cheap, and it works, but it's not good. Some people are happy with cheap and functional. And that's fine. But you can't really get all defensive over someone calling it out as cheaply made, lacking performance, and probably not the best thing to recommend someone buys unless it is literally the only option available.

It works, and it sucks. It can be both. I have owned and run everything from the $99 harbor freight to $8000 Millers. The HF is bottom of the barrel, but it IS at least, in the barrel.
 

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J.S.@SMS

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A: He said he wanted a cheap welder to learn on, not a budget breaker pro setup.
B: MOST vocational schools/HS shop classes use a 90-120a MIG Welder, (which can adapt to Argon) Usually Lincoln Electric or Miller. They never start straight off at 220 due to control. (Burning right through material for example). They do have 220s but usually you need at least 20hrs on a 110 to even touch one.
C: A Chicago Electric or equivalent el cheapo 110v 90a MIG welder is a perfect starter tool. I bought one and taught my kids to weld with one and I use one on a regular basis. No the welds aren't pretty without gas but that's what Die grinders are for.

Wise person once said. "Bare minimum you need is a cheap welder, mask, gloves, brush, grinder, and motivation. You'll go very far very quickly."

How about a Lincoln Electric ac225 stick welder, which has a 40a-225a range, to start out on.
 

Randy H

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How about a Lincoln Electric ac225 stick welder, which has a 40a-225a range, to start out on.

That type of machine has the capability to produce a decent quality weld on a variety of thickness of steel.

I learned on 3 phase electric motor/generator machines. Very nice with extremely controllable arc. Out of thousands of hours of stick arc time, probably less than 100 on an AC only machine.

So lol not super fond of buzzboxes. But they work. Less chance of cold lap (weld metal that isn't fused to the base metal) than other processes, in particular the much loved low current AC flux core machine.

Another thing is the expense of leads and/or power cord.

Whatever the process or machine.
Proper joint prep, clean. No reason to weld over mill scale. The dirtier the material the harder it is to see the weld puddle.

Watching the puddle is the key to good welds. If you can watch and control the puddle you'll save on post weld grind time.
 

65ShelbyClone

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A good cheap welder is going to be an old, formerly expensive welder. Good welding machines are still capable of garbage welds, so it still comes down to the person using it.
 

Kartorbust

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That type of machine has the capability to produce a decent quality weld on a variety of thickness of steel.

I learned on 3 phase electric motor/generator machines. Very nice with extremely controllable arc. Out of thousands of hours of stick arc time, probably less than 100 on an AC only machine.

So lol not super fond of buzzboxes. But they work. Less chance of cold lap (weld metal that isn't fused to the base metal) than other processes, in particular the much loved low current AC flux core machine.

Another thing is the expense of leads and/or power cord.

Whatever the process or machine.
Proper joint prep, clean. No reason to weld over mill scale. The dirtier the material the harder it is to see the weld puddle.

Watching the puddle is the key to good welds. If you can watch and control the puddle you'll save on post weld grind time.
Well they do make electrodes that will run on dirty steel. Before wire feed welding became popular for sheet metal work, people used 6013 stick electrodes for it. Heck, before I got my wire feed welder, I used 6013 to fix up my neighbor's lawn tractor mower deck, that was over 6 years ago and it has not come apart again.
Granted I also went to trade school for welding.

I'm seeing some people go to Hobart 210mvp or a Lincoln PowerMig 210 MP instead of buying a harbor freight Vulcan. Both can run 120v or 240v which will give more power and longer duty cycles. Everlast is also becoming popular.
 

anickode

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Best dirty metal electrode around is a 6010, but it's gotta run on DCEP and it's a pretty darn agressive burn. Takes some time to get a real good handle on it. 6013 handles dirt/rust better than a lo-hy like 7016 or 7018, but it is a fairly low penetration rod compared to a 6010. As kartorbust mentioned, 6013 was quite popular on sheet metal.

6011 is a similar rod to 6010, made for the same purpose (deep penetration for running root passes), but the flux is a little more chemically active to sustain the arc through the zero voltage point of an AC sinewave. 6010 = cellulose-sodium flux, 6011 = cellulose-potassium flux.

No matter what rod you run, material prep will ALWAYS deliver better results than trying to weld over paint, rust, dirt, and poor fitup.
 

Kartorbust

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Running a 6010 takes a lot of practice to run it with a whip. I wasn't a fan of running 6010, especially 6G on schedule 40 pipe, I thought running a tig root pass was easier. I do agree that prepping metal is very important, as is proper fitment of the joint.
 

mrbeggs432

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Uhm hang on..
I was under the impression that ALL wire feed welders can be converted for shielding gas..
(IIRC my el cheapo italian thingamabob even has a gas tube in the gun already)
no regulator no internal cutoff valve of course..
but there is nothing more to it, right?
A regulator and a gun with a gas tube (a valve if you want to go fancy), or do I miss something?

'sid
I know the cheap HB ones come with that option...and they also throw in a cheap piece of plastic hose
 
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