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Old 11-29-2010, 05:22 PM   #1
Bus Nut
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 275
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: 466DT
Rated Cap: 65
Re: Welding Advice

I have an older Millermatic 200 which is a great welder, but not so much for a bus project, because of it's size. However, work has a Hobart 140, which has been around for years, and has been a very nice little 110v. welder. A coulpe of friends have the 140 and have been just as happy with them. If you plan on keeping it after the bus, and for heavier use, lincoln makes some nice little 220v.(if you have 220v. available) welders in the 175amp range (check ebay). I just saw an ad the other day for some eastwood welders, which I have no experience with, but to me look alot like the little lincolns, and come with a 3yr warranty. Again, I know nothing about them, but would maybe consider it for the price. Like Smitty said, keep your extension cord short, or at least a very heavy gauge wire.
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Old 11-30-2010, 03:37 PM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Portland OR area
Posts: 180
Year: 1983
Coachwork: International
Chassis: Carpenter
Engine: 8.3
Re: Welding Advice

Welding advice;

I have found in my many years of welding to work side to side, if you will wave the weld between the pieces of metal and move slow. I find a bead of 3/8 inch is more than sufficient for a heavy weld and you can lighten up on the width you wave when your dealing with a joint that is not stressed as heavy you can just tack weld where you only weld small beads every 3 or so inches depending on how much strength is needed.

Cleaning the metal surfaces is a big deal as well I have found, be sure the metal is clean and well buffed where weld is to be placed and it makes the process much easier and there is less a mess and a much stronger weld.

Practice will make this easy and you will gain much confidence. When I started I got a bunch of scrap metal from a fabrication shop, (cheap) and welded strange odd pieces together until I got the hang of it.(17 years ago)LOL I guess I have grown up!!!

Hope this helped!!!
"grease buddy" and all around nice guy
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Old 12-02-2010, 01:53 AM   #3
Bus Nut
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Elk Plain, WA.
Posts: 513
Year: 1993
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DTA360
Rated Cap: 16
Re: Welding Advice

Do you know anyone that welds??? If so, get a mask and just watch them for a bit... Welding is all about seeing the weld... I grew up in a weld shop and have been around all kinds of fabrication my whole life...

If you have a Harbor Freight around you pick up the auto darkening one from them when it's on sale for $50...

The 110 welders do fine, but yes, buy one that has the ability to run a bottle... Flux core will spatter a lot more... Running gas is easier to learn on as well... Stay with the major brands, Lincoln/Miller/Hobart... Easier to find parts for and better resell if you decide to go bigger or you don't like welding... I have a 135a Lincoln on a 75/25 bottle that gets just about everything done...

A 220 will be a lot more money, but start/stop and the weld itself will be on another level... Same brand and bottle as above... Never use extension cords!!! You can buy leads or make some yourself to run from the outlet to the welder... But, most ext. cords from the stores wont hold the amps and they will fry your machine...

Welding is a great hobby... You'll also find that you can fix a lot of stuff that you would even have considered before... Check out the youtube vids, they will give you the basics... But, like anything else, it takes practice to get good at it...

Check into your local community colleges and see if they have a short course for hobby welding...

Good luck...
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