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best welder for fab.



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Old 02-03-2011, 12:24 PM   #1
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best welder for fab.

ok so i want to start trying my hand at welding. starting with fixing a few spots in my chevys frame and working my way from there. what is a decent that will do sheet metal to tubing? lets not get rediculous with the prices either please. i like to learn so share some experiences here.

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Old 02-03-2011, 12:53 PM   #2
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Miller Millermatic 252
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Old 02-03-2011, 01:27 PM   #3
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I have always used the hobarts. Their made by miller and a little cheaper. Tractor supply usually has good prices on them also.
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Old 02-03-2011, 02:49 PM   #4
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I have a Hobart 187 and it Welds like a Champ!
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Old 02-03-2011, 05:04 PM   #5
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i bought an everlast i-mig200 last year and i've done everything from 20 ga to half inch and been extremely impressed with it. it's an inverter unit so your not limited to 5 heat ranges and wire speeds like the lincoln units and for $550 shipped i can't complain
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Old 02-04-2011, 09:42 AM   #6
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Miller Millermatic 252
x2

One of the best MIG s I have used. New they are around 2k, but sometimesyou can find them used for 1000-1500.
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Old 02-04-2011, 09:50 AM   #7
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I have a Hobart 187 and it Welds like a Champ!


x2 that is my next one.
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Old 02-04-2011, 12:06 PM   #8
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first place to start looking at is duty cycle of the s. it is the first tell sign of how well built a is.
most of your home type light duty s are 20 to 30% and your shop/commercial are 60% and higher.
also you want to look at how well the brand support is on replacement parts, all have parts that will wear out,burn up or just get broke. will you be able to find these parts easy? my advice is to stick with that you local welding supply carries consumables and some parts on hand. you never know when a liner, regulator, tips or something will go bad and mess up your weekend plan,it would be nice to just run down to you local welding supply and pick them up.

I personally have had many migs and of different brands,In my shop now are two Miller 210's. zero problems except for the usual liner tips,liner or regulator.
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Old 02-04-2011, 01:48 PM   #9
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awesome guys, thanks alot. yall helped me have a basis on what to look for. i have a tractor supply 10 mins from my house so ill go check that out after i do some more research and just like texasfrog said ill see what kind of materials and parts are available around here. you really cant aspire to have a sturdy truck without knowing how to weld.
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Old 02-04-2011, 02:05 PM   #10
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anyone ever tried the hobart 125? seeing as i have very little experience with welding (a few times in my auto class in high school) it looks like a very simple yet effective machine. keep in mind i want to be able to make tube bumpers and only do some frame welding etc.
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Old 02-04-2011, 02:19 PM   #11
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I tend to agree but if you are not needing to spend the additional coin on a Commercial duty or even have that coin, then go with what you can afford. The Hobert is 30% duty and I picked her up a few years back new for $600. It can also be converted to weld Al.

The 125 does not run gas, so I would at least jump to the 140. You need gas for what you are talking about building and I think you should at least go to the 187 at it will weld 5/16, whereas the 125 will only do 3/16......

If you go Hobart, Lincoln or Miller, you have nothing to worry about as mentioned above.
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Old 02-04-2011, 02:20 PM   #12
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Well most would say that is too small. I have a Lincoln Weld-Pac 100 that will do whatever I have ever ask it to. Just might take some better welding practices and more time. I have a Hobart 210 too but still like the portability of the little weld pac.
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Old 02-04-2011, 02:52 PM   #13
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I have the Lincoln 3200HD from home depot. Its a rebadged Lincoln 135.
Everything on my Rig was done with this . Nothing has fallen off.
It's a nice for cages, spring perches, rock rings and body work. It's a great machine. I use .035 fluxcore wire.

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Old 02-04-2011, 03:26 PM   #14
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ok so general concensus is that i need to run gas. if im spending this much i want to be able to do everything i need with it. so lets break it down like this. i have somewhere around $500 max to spend on a . i like the 125 because its easy, lightweight, and good for begginers. but if that wouldnt get it done i need atleast a 140 or 3200hd? and what about buying pawned s? bad idea or money saved?
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Old 02-04-2011, 03:33 PM   #15
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The last two s In have bought came from the pawn shop. Still have my miller 175 and it still runs great. Got it for around $400 because the guy couldn't prove it worked.
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Old 02-04-2011, 04:04 PM   #16
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I have a Lincoln Weldpak 175HD, its a good , had it about 6 years now. I run .035 wire and Argon/co2 mix on it for everything.
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Old 02-04-2011, 04:37 PM   #17
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get at least a 135-140 amp mig to weld tubing and frames. my lin. 125 struggles.
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Old 02-04-2011, 06:12 PM   #18
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get at least a 135-140 amp mig to weld tubing and frames. my lin. 125 struggles.



your 140 works pretty good on frames and cage work? been thinking about buying me a new one.
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Old 02-04-2011, 06:47 PM   #19
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A Buddy of mine has the Lincoln 140 and I must say it's s better then my 3500HD using flux core.
My expericance with gas is GO BIG. The gas on a 110V doesn't penatrate well although the welds do look nice. At the time I was in a house that only had 110V oulets. IF I had $$ I would get me a 220V on Gas.
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Old 02-04-2011, 07:35 PM   #20
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I have an older Miller-matic 250 and absolutely love it.
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Old 02-05-2011, 10:37 AM   #21
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gonna go check out a pawn shop either today or monday. hopefully i can find a tube bender around here somewhere too. oh lord what have i gotten myself into lol
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Old 02-05-2011, 08:33 PM   #22
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i have a lincoln 135 mig it, uses gas. if i bought another mig i would buy a 220volt machine. you can help a 110v machine out by using a flux core wire with CO2, this makes it burn in alot better. don't weld a cage with a 110v machine using gas. i like to burn all the joints in with the flux core w/ CO2, then grind everything smooth, and then go back over it with mig and 75/25 to make it look nice.

but now i have a gasoline powered miller legend 302. i stick everything (untill i hooked up the tig). i dont use the mig unless i'm working with sheetmetal. this machine is capable of doing everything. i just outfitted it with a dry tig rig (very simple to do, and this is much better than mig or stick). i dont have a hi-frequency box yet so i cant weld aluminum (but i can stick weld it). i'm trying to talk a friend at work into selling me his ancient freqency box. a suitcase mig is also available that attaches to this machine.

i would suggest trying to find a used miller gas powered machine. you cant get any more versitile than this. 11000 watt generator 50A 110v and 50A 220.
even a bobcat 225 would be great. you can bolt it to your trailer and take it anywhere you wheel.
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Old 02-06-2011, 05:10 PM   #23
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I would suggest at least a 220v weldr.

I would love to have a miller 252 but I only have a miller 212 the price jump is pretty big and the duty cycle is about 60% where I will run the machine 95% of the time. I haven't had any issues with the duty cycle and I usually run the miller as hot as I can.

If I tried to go larger than .035 wire or run alot of aluminum I may run into some issues.

I like to buy here because there prices are good and they usually have free shipping
http://store.cyberweld.com/millers.html
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Old 02-07-2011, 11:55 AM   #24
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I like to buy here because there prices are good and they usually have free shipping
http://store.cyberweld.com/millers.html
Man $2118 is high. I can get one around here for $1900.
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Old 02-07-2011, 12:08 PM   #25
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has anybody messed with the chicago from harbor frieght?
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