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Old 11-12-2008, 01:33 PM   #1
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Re: Welding Storage Boxes, Tank Frames

I bought the smallest Lincoln wire feed available, something like a model 110, in the mid 90's. I've welded a Jeep frame (after 5 min of practice), motor mounts, transmission mount etc with it. VERY easy to use, but not for thin sheet metal work. For that it should prob be set up for MIG. I still can't do decent thin sheet metal work. If you're doing every day fabrication type welding, use the standard flux core wire. Did I say GET A WIRE FEED WELDER? I wouldn't get an el cheapo, Lincoln is prob the bottom line. You'll be a happy welder. You must also get a grinder- use it to clean/re-do welds, clean metal prior to welding, cut metal.........
Keep the metal as rust free as possible, thoroughly de-grease it even if it looks clean, and keep paint as far away as possible.
Get a flip-up mask/hood. The little thing Lincoln gave to hold up in front of your face was an absolute joke. A welding/chip hammer, wire brushes and a small pair of side cuts to trim the wire before EVERY weld pass (the little ball that forms on the wire tip will prevent a fast arc, and can stick). Work in a well ventilated area.
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Old 11-12-2008, 09:55 PM   #2
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Re: Welding Storage Boxes, Tank Frames

It's good that your out to do this yourself. I would suggest looking into a name brand, Lincoln, Hobart, or Miller. It is a lot easier to find parts if you should need them. Scope out Ebay for a Lincoln or Hobart 135 or 140. Even if you buy them used they work just as well, check your local classifieds and craigslist. If you buy them used most likely they will even throw in a bottle of gas too. I bought a Lincoln 155 Mig that was 15 years old and the only thing I had to replace was the regulator. I would invest in a small bottle of gas because the welds just come out so much nicer and you won't have as much slag shooting everywhere. If you choose to stick with flux cored wire, get a bottle of nozzle dip to keep the slag from sticking to your nozzle. Flip up helmet is a must, auto-darkening is not needed but very helpful. Harbor Freight sells a descent auto darkening for around $50. As far as the learning curve, it is pretty easy. Most welders come with a chart that tell you what settings to use based on the thickness of the metal and they are pretty close. Most of all, you'll love it once you get the hang of it. You'll be making all sorts of things before you know it. Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:25 PM   #3
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Re: Welding Storage Boxes, Tank Frames

Bumping an old thread instead of starting a new one. Found a used welder on CL for a price I'm willing to pay. It's this model:

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Lincoln-El...i_sku=13079173

I know nothing about welding other than a very basic understanding. Is this a good one to use for a Skoolie project? After the bus is "done" the welder will probably sit in the garage for a few years until I find another project, so I don't want to spend a lot. How does a novice teach oneself to weld?
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:33 PM   #4
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Re: Welding Storage Boxes, Tank Frames

That's an AC stick welder. It will be more difficult to learn on than a wire feed welder.
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:42 PM   #5
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Re: Welding Storage Boxes, Tank Frames

If you have never welded before, I would NOT recommend a stick welder. The learning curve on them is much more difficult than a wire feed welder. A few years ago, I bought a 110v wirefeed welder. I went and got a bunch of pieces of scrap metal and started welding. Then I would take a hammer and try to beat them apart. Trial and error, I figured out what worked. Fast forward a year and I was welding axle mounts and fabricating an entire suspension system for my jeep cherokee. I then proceeded to beat the living crap out of my jeep, including plenty of air time. None of my welds ever broke... One key thing is that I had a close friend I could ask for help if I ever had problems. I can now weld thin sheet up to 3/8" steel, all with the same welder. YMMV
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:57 PM   #6
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Re: Welding Storage Boxes, Tank Frames

Ok, thanks for the advice. I'll keep looking.
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Old 05-10-2010, 10:05 PM   #7
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Re: Welding Storage Boxes, Tank Frames

Definately easier to use a wirefeed welder. The stick welders are great, but take a lot of practice to get good at using them. A lot of guys think they are called "Stick" welders because as soon as you start the arc, the rod literally sticks to the metal and shorts the whole thing out.
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