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pictureLOVE 06-12-2014 11:24 AM

I want to buy a mig welder - help!
I found a great post here already about what to have in your toolbox for a conversion (the almighty angle grinder is first on my list!) but I was unable to find a lot of info on what kind of welder is ideal. I don't have a bazillion bucks to spend but I also don't want to go buy the cheapest mig at Canadian Tire to find out it's too gutless to be of any use nor do I want to grab something that's just plain overkill even if it is an amazing deal because some retired guy's kids are cleaning out the garage for him and don't know any better. Any thoughts/advice before I start cruising Kijiji would be great.

ol trunt 06-12-2014 09:25 PM

Re: I want to buy a mig welder - help!
Welding is like playing with the sun--it is one of my favorite work things to do. I trained as a welder as a young man well before the wire welder and got pretty handy with a stick. Today I stick with the wire welders, they are economical to buy/use and they produce beautiful welds. I've tried several of the off brands (read Chinese, Harbor Freight etc.) and they don't EVER live up to their hype. I'd recommend either a Miller or a Lincoln and I'd suggest that you buy the next one up (in heat size) over what you think you will need. Chose your initial size depending on what you plan to weld--how thin as in sheet metal or how thick as in 1/4" iron. I presently use a Lincoln 125 which runs on standard house 120 v elect though if you are subject to brown downs (low voltage at peak user hours) it can slow you up waiting for full line power. I find that this welder is good for sheet metal to 3/32" steel. It uses .035" wire and requires a shielding gas. If you plan on welding anything thicker you will have to look at a machine that uses .025 wire or heavier. These will always be 220 volt and will generally just blow up sheet metal. Ask your supplier for a trial demonstration--and then ask to try it yourself. If your weld sounds like bacon frying you are on the right track--mmmmm bacon 8)

wmkbailey 06-13-2014 08:27 AM

Re: I want to buy a mig welder - help!
I too have a Hobart, but only the 115 VAC version. Hobart 500549 Auto Arc 130 Wire Feed MIG Welder ... UTF8&psc=1

It pays to get a nice welder, it will save in frustration.

turf 06-13-2014 09:31 AM

Re: I want to buy a mig welder - help!
i got my welder for this project. last time welding was in school 30 years ago. but its fun to pick up and try again. i get my pro welding friends to run beads for the trailer hitch and such, but when i dont mind the bubble gum look.... i do it myself. :lol:

i got a deal on a used one of these :) been real happy with it. practice practice practice

plan on an additional chunk of change for the CO2 tank.

pictureLOVE 06-13-2014 10:04 AM

Re: I want to buy a mig welder - help!

Originally Posted by turf
when i dont mind the bubble gum look.... i do it myself.

I presume this will be me. I'm pretty scared to see what my bondo skills look like, too... ha!

I'm beginning to think my husband was right about calling Clementine "Milkshake" because she really DOES bring all the boys to the yard. We were chatting up a welder purchase with my son's best friend (who is a 2nd year welding apprentice) and he said, "Why don't you just borrow ours? I'll even help you out if you make me food..." Since he lives about 5 blocks away, that kind of price and convenience sounds damn near perfect. And will give us a chance to recover from having to use a substantial part of our bus reno funds to replace our %@&^%#% car this week...

Nat - which way from the big city are you?

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