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Old 05-20-2016, 09:57 PM   #221
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Originally Posted by Jman6631 View Post
I could use some welder input. I know rudimentary welding enough to get me through this project. What I don't know is if the Harbor Freight gas-less welder I just picked up for cheap off Craigslist will get the job done (yes it works).

I know it's borderline but it was so cheap I couldn't pass it up. I'd rather not upgrade if I don't absolutely have to since it will only take money away from the rest of the project. After seeing what it can do it sure seems like it will be adequate, if only barely.

I will be doing a roof raise and will build storage boxes below deck, so it will be used.

Thoughts?
Test it out and see how it welds. A cheap welder can still do a good enough job, its all trial and error.
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Old 05-20-2016, 10:02 PM   #222
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Yeah I did and so far it looks decent enough. I just know there are hardcore welders with very strong opinions about gas-less welding. I'm just not experienced enough to be totally clear if what I end up with, that may look good to me, may not be and could end up ruining my project.
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Old 05-20-2016, 10:04 PM   #223
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I've done both. I PREFER gas welding, but have done hours upon hours of gas-less. Both work.

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Old 05-20-2016, 10:16 PM   #224
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I've done both. I PREFER gas welding, but have done hours upon hours of gas-less. Both work.

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Yep. A shop my buddy works in does all gas-less welding.
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Old 05-20-2016, 10:22 PM   #225
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that paint is lookin good! I use the inverters with the clips all the time as they are great for temporary use.. I DID wire a breaker into the leads on my inverter though in case the inverter were to malfunction and somehow short out i wouldnt end up with a fire.. theres SUPPOSED to be internal fuses or breakers on the input side of inverters but not all of them have the correct sizing for the wires they provide..

one thing to watch is an inverter connected to the batteries and operating even with no 110 volt appliances plugged in will still run your batteries down.. obviously not as fast butthe inverter circuitry tends to be a tad inefficient
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Old 05-20-2016, 10:51 PM   #226
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If it uses shielded wire instead of gas, expect lots of smoke & spatter. Good idea to have a fan handy as breathing that stuff in quantity is not a good idea.
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Old 05-20-2016, 10:57 PM   #227
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as someone who has never welded 2 sticks together in his life, which is the best type of welding to start with as far as learning curve..
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Old 05-21-2016, 11:51 AM   #228
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Got a quick question on inverters; I have a chance to pick up a 3000w inverter for $225.

Is that likely to be adequate? I haven't planned my electrical load yet so I don't know if this would be in the range or not. I'm not going to have anything really crazy, just your normal, average kind of build.


Is this likely worth it?
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Old 05-21-2016, 12:03 PM   #229
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Inverters are great but remember they are using power from the vehicle electrical system .. Ie the batteries. And batteries also have to be recharged.. Granted you will likely not be pulling 3000 watts all the time but you want to make sure the wattage output on your alternator can handle the inverter along with the vehicle systems you are running...
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Old 05-21-2016, 12:28 PM   #230
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Thank you all on the welding tips. I will proceed with what I have and hope for the best. If it's crap, well that's what happens when you roll the dice, right?

I have heard a lot about the smoke and splatter from the flux core wires but I thought that was isolated to the really cheap stuff from Harbor Freight. This used unit came with a full spool of it which I immediately replaced with better stuff from Lincoln that is supposed to be much better...hopefully. It will still smoke and splatter but is not supposed to nearly as much.

As for your questions cadillackid, I recently took a weekend class, two 8 hour days, and while it was an excellent experience I'm not qualified to tell you which is better to start with, but I can tell you about my experience and what I was told and you can take it with a grain of salt.

The instructor was a 40 year veteran master welder plus an all around really nice guy so I weighed his input pretty heavily. We used Miller MIG welders with gas and they cranked. I did overheat mine a couple of times but that's not because there was anything wrong with them or that I'd done anything wrong. We students weren't taking the normal breaks that experienced welders do plus the machines were pretty dusty inside (which we helped clean out with a compressor).

His opinion was that gas-less welding was inferior to real MIG welding. I'll spare you the adjectives! I was never totally clear to me about the reasons why, just that it wasn't as good. Ultimately I took it to mean it was his preference, but that gas-less was a slightly inferior weld, which prompted my question to the board here. I figured I could make the gas-less welder I have work provided I followed the guidelines (gap the pieces slightly and the weld goes much deeper) and switched out the wire. I'll report back on my findings once I get into the actual welding.

Again, thanks for the input!
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