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Welder recommendations


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Looking to upgrade to a nice welder. Probably just need a MIG since nearby teammate has a TIG welder (and I haven't learned TIG yet).

 

120v MIG

Budget cap ~$1000 including gas tank & gun if it doesn't come with

 

Any you would suggest?

Edited by enginerd
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I have this one.  Mine is from 2014 so it’s bigger and looks different.  It been a tank!  Much improvement over the 110v Lincoln I had before.

 

https://www.millerwelds.com/equipment/welders/mig-gmaw/millermatic-211-mig-welder-m30024

 

the gas bottle around me aren’t cheap.  A tall bottle is like 75 to refill but like 200 to buy the bottle.  
 

 

i didn’t like the idea of a all in one machine as that’s more to go wrong down the road, and at least now I have some redundancy in my tig if the mig breaks or vis-versa

Edited by Huggy
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I've got an old Hobart Handler 140.  Bought it from Tractor Supply probably 12 or 13 years ago.  It came with all the stuff to run gas, but I have only ever run flux core.  I use it outside a lot, and it's a lot more portable not having to drag a bottle around everywhere.  I think it was a shade over 600 out the door with a warranty and everything.  Only thing I've ever done to it was I finally had to replace the grounding clamp last year.

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Hobart 210 MVP - multi voltage plug

 

This: https://store.cyberweld.com/homigweneha2.html Rural King tends to have great deals on them if you are close to one as well. I have had good luck with Cyberweld - purchased a TIG as well as bottle of gas from them, among other things. 

 

If you can run 220V you will be in a much better spot and will be able to use it to weld on big stuff all the way down to sheet metal. Get a 10lb spool of 0.030" ER70S-6 and 75%Argon/25%CO2 gas. 

 

Hobart is owned by ITW who also owns Miller, so this welder shares consumables with Miller. 

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Whatever rig you get. Replace the ground clamp with a good one. Maybe even run 2. That's what I do. Replaced the factory one and added another. Basically you just doubled the length of your ground cable. Nice to know you have 2 solid grounds. The factory clamps on most are el cheapos. Change it out from the get go and you'll have a spare in a pinch if something happens to the good one.  The Miller 211 is a nice machine. I have one,but find it a pain to dial in where I like it. Hobart line is very good. The Everlast is a good machine for the money.

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I bought one from Northern tool online about 4 months ago. Hobart MVP210 with spool gun 999.99. Hobart is part of the miller family so parts and consumables are available from most of the big box stores. Home Depot, Lowes, Tractor Supply, and more. The selling point for me was the multi voltage plug, MVP, works both 110v and 220v. I currently have 220v but know I might not always have it if I move. Happy with it so far.

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39 minutes ago, bigusnickus said:

That's like running a marathon before walking a 5K. Clean clean clean and acetone wipe everything or else you're gonna have a bad time. Start with no filler and then add it to a flat plate before you try doing tubing. 

 

You're going to have a bad time Blank Template - Imgflip

I’m a “jump in and learn how to swim once you’re in the water” kind of guy... Learning this will be my winter project. 

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3 hours ago, enginerd said:

I’m a “jump in and learn how to swim once you’re in the water” kind of guy... Learning this will be my winter project. 

You are gonna learn 2 things.

1)  everything needs to be spotless! (Do NOT use chlorinated brake cleaner.  I can kill you).

2) you need to be able to have 1 foot, and both hands doing something different at the same time.  Takes practice!

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18 hours ago, bigusnickus said:

That's like running a marathon before walking a 5K. Clean clean clean and acetone wipe everything or else you're gonna have a bad time. Start with no filler and then add it to a flat plate before you try doing tubing. 

 

You're going to have a bad time Blank Template - Imgflip



 Nate already has a MIG welder and knows how to MIG weld, he just has a super shitty flux core and he wanted to get a decent machine. I have also shown him how to TIG and had him do a few test welds in my garage. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

FWIW I own a TIG and a MIG, and they really serve 2 different purposes. For roll cage tubing, MIG is the way to go and is the preferred construction method for almost all of the cage tubes on NASCAR chassis. Takes too long to TIG, and is hard on the user to run high heat welds in odd positions for that much time. A good MIG is great for body work and chassis repairs, actually any part you can't clean well the MIG helps you "move past" those sins. Also for rust repair and floor plates for cages. It also keeps the heat buildup down which is a must for panel repair (buy a pneumatic flanger tool and with your MIG you can do real fender panel replacements). The speed is much faster, so things like fixtures and exhaust make sense with a MIG. I also often use both tools on a project, MIG to make large tack welds and them remove the part to TIG weld the critical parts (when you want better filler material, like "super missile" for high nickel metals, or brazing rod for cast and dissimilar metals). 

 

I have a Lincoln 220 volt 175 mig welder I got for $350. It is from the early 2000s. I would take old and higher current over a new lower power unit (assuming price is an issue). It has performed flawlessly with little care. @enginerdI would keep an eye out for a cheap older name brand higher current 220V welder to add to your list. Dump the flux core unit. 

 

The one downside, you will need Mixed argon to get proper heat with the MIG, the TIG will only run with pure Argon. You end up not able to share tanks. If you mix up the tanks, you will know pretty quickly.....

Edited by Black Magic
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4 minutes ago, Black Magic said:

FWIW I own a TIG and a MIG, and they really serve 2 different purposes. For roll cage tubing, MIG is the way to go and is the preferred construction method for almost all of the cage tubes on NASCAR chassis. Takes too long to TIG, and is hard on the user to run high heat welds in odd positions for that much time. 

Some really good custom roll cage builders DO take the time to TIG weld their cages.

The last sentence is entirely true. It is very difficult and time consuming. You rarely see TIG welded cages on anything even close to resembling mass production.

Oh wait this sounds like an ad for a custom cage builder, LOL!

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14 minutes ago, mcoppola said:

Some really good custom roll cage builders DO take the time to TIG weld their cages.

The last sentence is entirely true. It is very difficult and time consuming. You rarely see TIG welded cages on anything even close to resembling mass production.

Oh wait this sounds like an ad for a custom cage builder, LOL!

 

You Chrom-Mo cage builders using TIG welders are making everyone else look bad. All that weld time and checking for HAZ, you guys need a hobby :) 

 

NASCAR is sort of production level....2-3 race life span for a chassis. 

 

We used to TIG weld short track cars, when we wanted absolute min weight. After looking at the labor costs it was cheaper to use the $ to save weight elsewhere. There was also solid debate over which was stronger, with tight fitting (laser cut) chassis tubes the thicker MIG weld makes a sort of "lip" that is harder to push past in a crash. TIG welded cars had less cross section where tube met tube, potentially making them weaker. This is why the MIG welds on most NASCAR chassis look a little "fatter" than normal.

 

This is on regular 1000 series steel cages, your 4000 series steels pretty much need to be TIG welded and the drag world prints money for welders because of it....

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