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jimFPU
07-01-2008, 11:58 AM
http://www.tractorsupply.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay_10551_10001_49007_______14151%7C142 20%7C14238%7C49007?listingPage=true

Doc Hollywood
07-01-2008, 03:57 PM
I am selling a Clarke 100EN welder with gas regulator for $225.00 I don't know where you are located but I am in Fremont, California.

I just purchased a Hobart 187 220 volt MIG so I will no longer need the Clarke. If you don't know the Clarke is an Italion made Welder. I have put several spools through it without a problem.

jimFPU
07-01-2008, 04:02 PM
Thanks doc, but shipping that baby to Texas...I could get one cheaper locally.

Doc Hollywood
07-01-2008, 04:12 PM
No problem Jim, I just thought that I would throw it out there since you are looking. I didn't know where you were located.

jimFPU
07-01-2008, 05:17 PM
Went by and looked at the one listed above...new for $169. Might work for what I need here.

Doc Hollywood
07-01-2008, 05:36 PM
Jim you may want to consider finding one that you can use gas as well. Much cleaner welds less clean up. Once I switched to gas it was so much better. Only problem is if you have a lot of wind then flux core is better also if you have a lot of dirty surfaces then flux core is better.

jimFPU
07-02-2008, 09:36 AM
Add another 100 bucks for the gas set up +gas bottle +gas +++++....LOL!

trikeman
07-02-2008, 11:46 AM
Gas shielding is a bit easier to weld with and makes a prettier weld, but I seldom use it. I mostly weld outside anyway, where its difficult to use gas. I don't mind using flux core wire, and it works fine on 16ga steel.

If I were doing it all over again, I would buy a 120v flux core only welder, or AC/DC stick welder used. If I later wanted to move up to gas, my next welder would be a 230v MIG (Hobart 187 or better) anyway. Most people that move up seem to want to go to 230v so they can weld larger stuff. When I first started out, I didn't have anyone to teach me (except the internet). The exception would be if they mostly want to weld car body panels - hen, a little 120v MIG with gas capabilities is the ticket.

I bought a name brand welder, because having never welded, I didn't want to have to worry about whether my bad welds were the welder's fault, or mine. If you stick to a brand and model someone you trust recommends, you will probably be ok with that. I also like a brand with a good support forum on the internet, in case I have problems.

My philosophy is the same with people just getting into bicycling. When they ask me what to buy, I try to steer them clear of the multi-thousand dollar units and tell them to get a thrift store bike, tune it up yourself, and RIDE it, RIDE it, and RIDE it. After riding for a few months, you probably have some idea what kind of bike you want and need. Its kind of the same with a welder. If you don't spend much on a used one, you can probably sell it for the same price, once you know what you really want and need. There are others that say buy the most you can afford out of the gate. That is probably right for them, I like to stick my toe in first.

jimFPU
07-04-2008, 11:25 AM
What about this one? I know nothing about the name brands of welders or what the specifics mean. Y'all know the specs better for what we are building here...

http://dallas.craigslist.org/tls/742260258.html

gbbwolf
07-04-2008, 01:11 PM
I have an opinion on something WOOHOO.
STAY AWAY from speedway tools.
They are junk in my opinion.
I have bought speedway tools before.
NEVER again.
Cheap homier distributing crap.
And Homier sells nothing but CRAP.
I worked for Homier on the Tool shows.
They travel around the country doing tool shows,and auction's.
Everything We sold was 100 % A1-Verified CRAP.

If you want something CHEAP, that will break quick buy it from Homier.

Go visit their showroom in my home town of Huntington Indiana.
You will see a very nicely laid out selection of 100 % CRAP

Oh and that 50 buck speedway welder is or was $49.95 at Homier brand new.
That welder is still 50 bucks at homier.


Nelson:mad:

TheKid
07-04-2008, 01:33 PM
Tha link doesn't work well. I agree. Homier tools are crap, and they have outrageous shipping charges as well. And for 10 bucks more, tou can get an auto-darkening helmet from Northern Tool that's better than the one from Homier.

http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product2_6970_200311850_200311850

Here's the 50 buck welder from Homier

http://www.homier.com/detail.asp?SessionKey=L8d3E1jxtCExM8vMLmVwfhqAMkK0 6vHUHZV61nlDH1BOvRUO4Tq9qe1MZ%2fYSkF3Qes9QaFyC9B6C&dpt=&cat=&sku=01433

I use a welder equivalent to this one. I also have a reconditioned stick welder from HF that works well. I bought it 2 years ago, and never had a problem with it.

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=54878

trikeman
07-04-2008, 01:53 PM
What about this one? I know nothing about the name brands of welders or what the specifics mean. Y'all know the specs better for what we are building here...

http://dallas.craigslist.org/tls/742260258.html

That one you linked to has an extremely low duty cycle, which is probably indicative of the rest of the welder. If you are gonna buy an AC only arc welder like that, you can get Lincoln or Hobart 230v buzz boxes easily for $100-$150 off Craigslist and have a real welder for the rest of your life and your progeny. In my opinion that Speedway is just wasting $50.

If an AC only arc welder is your desire get one of these new or used:

http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_200304603_200304603

http://redding.craigslist.org/tls/740712504.html

Better yet, spend another $50-$100 and get an AC/DC model.

The $50 you are trying to save now will be forgotten soon enough, once you start welding. An arc welder isn't really the kind of machine where you ought to be buying the cheapest thing made IMO. Save that kind of thinking for grinders and chop saws.

The Kid is happy with his wire welder from HF, so maybe you ought to get that one and get to making sparks.

jimFPU
07-04-2008, 05:14 PM
All good to know!! I'm so glad people jump in right away to tell you what is junk an what is not, many thanks.

So it looks like I should really be looking only at Lincoln, Clarke, and Hobart for starters.

AtomicZombie
07-04-2008, 05:27 PM
...or Miller.

Brad

trikeman
07-04-2008, 06:19 PM
...or Miller.

Brad

Yes. I didn't mean to slight my own stick machine, which is the older version of the AC/DC Thunderbolt. Still works like a champ and looks like this only a bit dirtier. Mine was $200 off Craigslist last year with 75 feet of humongous copper leads:

http://www.atlantamusclecars.com/Paint/Thunderbolt.JPG

It will weld anything from sheet metal to truck frames.

TheKid
07-04-2008, 09:05 PM
My flux core wire welder looks exactly like the HF model, except mine is red and was made by Vaper. It's still a cheap welder, but once I upgraded the extension cord to 12 ga., it worked a whole lot better. A lot of these things are probably made in the same factory and private labled for various companies. (For example, my brother's company bottles Skin So Soft for Avon, and when the Avon order is filled, they switch bottles and labels, then pour the same stuff for CVS, Rite Aid, etc. They also do the same for some Victoria's Secret products and other name brands.)
I still plan on buying a better welder, and keeping the others for backup.
Jim, if you could swing a better welder, then do it, but if you just want to see how things work out, go with the cheaper models, or, as Trikeman suggests, buy a good used one. If I could find one used in my area, I'd buy it, but so far, all I've seen are really good welders selling used for $500 or more. I'm still looking.

Doc Hollywood
07-04-2008, 09:59 PM
You can check out toolking and get a factory reconditioned unit for a good price. Here are two Hobarts a 140 and a 175. The 140 operates on 115v and the 175 runs off 220v. Shipping is only 7.99 they also come with a warranty. The 140 is $399 and the 175 is $289. They also make a 125 but it is flux core only. I would save a few more bucks a nd get a larger one. I have used my little clarke so much that I bought the 187. Once you get it you start looking at building things like racks, carts, repairs... Once your friends know they bring their stuff to you as well for repair. I think I am going to build a motorcycle trailer next.



http://www.toolking.com/hobartwelders_500500a.aspx

http://www.toolking.com/hobartwelders_51700069.aspx

trikeman
07-05-2008, 05:45 AM
I have read on the Hobart forum that the 135/175 and 180 family of designs don't have as sweet an arc for sheet metal as the newer 140/187. Hobart purposely improved the 140 on the lower end for sheet metal (according the engineers on the Hobart WeldTalk forum, they change the output inductance to achieve different results when they design one). However, the pros on the WeldTalk forum say that most amateurs could not tell the difference. I suspect that some of this is the kind of talk you would hear a table full of gourmets discussing subtle flavors, but its fun to read and will make you sound great at the welding store lol.

http://www.hobartwelders.com/weldtalk/showthread.php?t=23148&highlight=hh175

http://www.hobartwelders.com/weldtalk/showthread.php?t=23135&highlight=hh175

http://www.hobartwelders.com/weldtalk/showthread.php?t=19753&highlight=hh175

http://www.hobartwelders.com/weldtalk/showthread.php?t=18107&highlight=hh175

http://www.hobartwelders.com/weldtalk/showthread.php?t=16910&highlight=hh175

http://www.hobartwelders.com/weldtalk/showthread.php?t=679&highlight=hh175+pictures

That said, that Handler 175 for $289 is a super deal at ToolKing, if someone is looking to save money on a name brand, like-new wire welder with a warranty, that will weld anything from 22ga to 1/4" steel in one pass with flux core, and probably up to 1/8-3/16 with shielding gas. You can download the owner's manual here:

http://www.hobartwelders.com/om/0900/o944g_hob.pdf

Look at pages 22-23 for the settings and range of the machine.

Hopefully these little side trips won't add to the "paralysis of analysis." Just get a decent welder and get to making sparks.

jimFPU
07-07-2008, 09:08 AM
OK, I found these: (I'm so cheap...LOL!)

Any of them OK? (Remember I'm a very young Padawan...)

(Edit: all gone.)

Thanks again for the help...

And what is the part this one referrs to?
http://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/tls/745286360.html

trikeman
07-07-2008, 09:38 AM
Hard to tell with the first one, since they covered everything up and put the picture sideways. I personally would be somewhat leery of used wire welders of dubious parentage. It is important that the wire feed mechanism work properly, and they are a bit complicated (circuit boards, rollers, and drive motor). If a used Hobart, Miller, or Lincoln, and perhaps even a Clarke, wire feeder doesn't work, you can probably get parts. You can certainly get assistance on the internet with a name brand if something goes wrong. With that first one, who knows - might work well, might not.

Of the second two (both stick welders), I would go for the DC capability (easier for a newbie to weld with) since it is the same price. The Lincoln is of course bullet proof and an age old classic, easily flipped for what you paid if you bought it. Stick welders are built like tanks, so if it works when you get it, it will probably work another 50 years. Your learning curve will be a bit steeper with the sticks.

Just my $0.02.

n9viw
07-07-2008, 12:56 PM
Ditto Trikeman. The Lincoln "Tombstone" stick welder (so named because of its characteristic shape) is legendary in welding circles. $100 for one that young is a fantastic deal. I passed on a chance to have one for $100 a few years back that was almost 30 years old, but only because I already have a 230/140 Century stick welder.

That Craftsman, IIRC, was made by Century for Sears. I had a Craftsman (Century) 175A AC stick welder, and I could do anything with it. I almost regret having sold it, but I actually made $25 between the buying and the selling! Not a bad deal for a rig that was probably 15 or 20 years old, and worked HARD.

I also agree with the wire feed thing. The P100 isn't much of a welder, it's flux-only, and mostly plastic. The 'stinger' is the torch, you might be able to replace it with a Tweco or something similar. Unless the seller of the first wire-feed is able to provide better pictures (and unless the guy with the P100 has ANY pictures), I'd pass on it. My rule of thumb is: if there's one out there now, there'll be more out there later. You have nothing to lose by waiting but your patience, and we can ALL use a little more of that. ;)

TheKid
07-07-2008, 01:51 PM
The first one on Craigslist (sideways picture) is a Farmhand 125. Farmhand is a private label for Tractor Supply. I don't know which company made one on Craigslist, but the very first welder you inquired about was a Farmhand, manufactured by Campell Hausfeld. The next two on Craigslist are both 220v models. I'm not sure about the last one, but the guy may be taking a guess on the stinger. I'd absolutely pass on that one. There's nothing wrong with flux core wire, and if you decide on a wire feed welder, the question is where you'll do your welding. If indoors and outdoors, MIG with gas is the way to go. When welding outdoors, the slightest breeze blows the gas away, and you'll need flux core wire. MIG with gas handles both. If all your welding will be done outdoors, with no chance of ever welding indoors, then a flux core wire welder will save you some bucks.

jimFPU
07-07-2008, 02:40 PM
I'll probably be welding most of the time in my garage, with the doors open for venting.

If the stick welders are a good deal, then maybe I'll try the learning curve involved with them...OTOH I still have time to wait....

jimFPU
07-08-2008, 12:41 PM
OK, this just popped up, what do you think? How much is a new stinger?

http://dallas.craigslist.org/ndf/tls/746907541.html

n9viw
07-08-2008, 01:17 PM
From what I can tell, that is a Weld Pak 100. You might try contacting Lincoln and seeing how much it goes for, but do you need just the torch, or the whole assembly to the face of the box? Another question would be, WHY? My thought is, it shouldn't cost any more than $50, $75 at the outside.

jimFPU
07-09-2008, 09:08 AM
Add one more...go/no go?

http://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/tls/746207490.html

trikeman
07-09-2008, 09:15 AM
Add one more...go/no go?

http://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/tls/746207490.html

Its a good welder (I have the earlier version of the AC/DC Thunderbolt), but I think $200 is overpriced for a used AC only versoin. You can get the AC version brand spanking new for $249 at TSC, or less when its on sale. The Hobart Stickmate and the Miller Thunderbolt are identical under the skin (one is blue, one is grey), according to the Hobart welding engineers and pro welders on the Hobart and Miller forum. The parent company, ITW, owns both Miller and Hobart, and some of the machines, such as the Stickmate/Thunderbolt are made on the same factory line.

http://www.tractorsupply.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay_10551_10001_36307_______14151|14220 |14238|36307?listingPage=true (http://www.tractorsupply.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay_10551_10001_36307_______14151%7C142 20%7C14238%7C36307?listingPage=true)


I paid $200 for my Thunderbolt AC/DC off Craigslist last year, but it came with about 75 feet of humongus copper leads, which are probably worth more than the welder today.

Its a bit harder to learn on an AC only welder, and the resulting welds are usually not as pretty, but they do work. If you want an AC only stick (the only thing Brad uses) the earlier Lincoln 225 for $100 was a much better deal.

jimFPU
07-09-2008, 09:53 AM
This is becoming quite a task to find a good, cheap welder...I know that those terms may not go together, so let me say a good, inexpensive welder.

And apparently the other one for $100 is gone, can't find it this morning and no reply from the seller.

trikeman
07-09-2008, 10:01 AM
This is becoming quite a task to find a good, cheap welder...I know that those terms may not go together, so let me say a good, inexpensive welder.

And apparently the other one for $100 is gone, can't find it this morning and no reply from the seller.

Its only because you are cheap (or should I say thrifty?) like me :D It took me about 3-6 months to score my used Thunderbolt for what I thought was a good price. I missed several Lincoln AC/DC models for $150. If the price is good, they don't last long on Craigslist. Fortunately, I had my wire feeder to weld with in the mean time.

trikeman
07-09-2008, 10:22 AM
Here is one in Duluth, that even comes with a tiller cart lol

http://duluth.craigslist.org/tls/707974674.html

A true zombie at heart!

Why not just go pick up the one you posted made for Sears/Craftsman for $100? Its AC/DC and looks well made. The guy apparently still has it. As n9viw wrote:

That Craftsman, IIRC, was made by Century for Sears. I had a Craftsman (Century) 175A AC stick welder, and I could do anything with it. I almost regret having sold it, but I actually made $25 between the buying and the selling! Not a bad deal for a rig that was probably 15 or 20 years old, and worked HARD.

http://dallas.craigslist.org/ftw/tls/744950171.html

Polish it up and flip it for $125-$150 if you don't like it.

jimFPU
07-09-2008, 11:09 AM
Only bad thing is it's 71 miles from here!!! I asked if he could meet half way for $75. Let's see what he says.

jimFPU
07-09-2008, 11:11 AM
Its only because you are cheap (or should I say thrifty?) like me :D As a Dave Ramsey fan and Financial Peace University Grad, working on Living Like No One Else, I take that as a compliment!!:D

trikeman
07-09-2008, 11:18 AM
Only bad thing is it's 71 miles from here!!! I asked if he could meet half way for $75. Let's see what he says.


I ended up driving about 30 miles to pick up my Thunderbolt (one way). I didn't realize it was so far away when I started, but the really good deals are still there for a reason. Of course gas was only $2 when I bought mine.

trikeman
07-09-2008, 11:34 AM
If he met me half way, I would give him his C-Note and be smiling from ear-to-ear all the way home.

I am not sure how you will test the unit half-way, but hey for $100 you can afford to take a chance. There is really nothing inside these boxes but a big transformer, a few switches, an output inductor, a fan and some giant diodes (or a silicon rectifier). Some may have a capacitor or two. Nothing that you can't fix pretty easily if it fails (except the transformer which probably isn't cost effective to fix if it dies). We have walked numerous guys through repairs on non-Hobart machines on the WeldTalk forum. It just aint rocket science.

n9viw
07-09-2008, 12:53 PM
Another nice thing is that Century has now been bought by Lincoln, and is so supported retroactively by "Big Red". My current rig, as several here already know, is a Century 230-140 AC/DC I bought on ebay. Silly me, I thought I had a good deal when I won it ($150), only to realize, IT'S IN CALIFORNIA. The shipping almost cost me a nut, but after running it, I consider it worth every penny. Even on the undersized buried wire from the house, I can strike and hold an arc with 5/16" 6013, but that's about the max I can do.

As others have noted here, 6013 is easy to start and is a good, all-around rod. I had the opportunity to try out a few of those 1/16" 7014s I picked up at HFT, and they DO lay down sweet! I don't think I've gotten a better-looking weld since I gave my dad's Millermatic 200 back last year (dang I miss that rig!).

jimFPU
07-12-2008, 08:10 PM
http://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/tls/746112372.html

Good deal? What should the offer be? Good equipment? 30 mile drive.

Seems like people post on CL then never answer or return e-mail or phone calls.

Sorry about all the questions, just looking for good advice and trying to get a deal.

trikeman
07-12-2008, 08:27 PM
http://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/tls/746112372.html

Good deal? What should the offer be? Good equipment? 30 mile drive.

Seems like people post on CL then never answer or return e-mail or phone calls.

Sorry about all the questions, just looking for good advice and trying to get a deal.

With the Jackson full face helmet (Jackson is a good brand), its a decent deal, if you want an AC only welder and if the helmet is auto-darkening. I would rather see you land an AC/DC but remember you just posted one like it (without the helmet) last week for $100, and a good Sears AC/DC for the same price, but they went pretty fast, and how long do you want to look? My general guidelines for a fair price (based on many wasted hours scouring Craigslist) for used name brand arc welders are:

Lincoln, Hobart, Miller AC Only - $75-$150
Lincoln, Hobart, Miller AC/DC $150-$200
other brands, such as Sears, I might knock off $25-$50 if they work.

A new autodarkening helmet (el cheapo that works) is $50 at NT or HF, and it ain't a Jackson. My advice to a beginner is not to even consider anything but autodarkening. Its nice to be able to see what you are doing before the arc starts.

50 feet of heavy copper welding leads (ground and stinger) can easily cost over $200, so that may factor in too. I wouldn't pay anything for a box of old welding elctrodes, since I don't know how they were stored.

Yes Craigslist can be maddening. Since it doesn't cost anything to post there, people just don't care whether they answer your calls and letters. Most of the good deals I have gotten off Craigslist, I got within an hour of the posting, but I am semi-retired and have time to check it a few times a day.

jimFPU
07-12-2008, 10:41 PM
Thanks, and indeed they do go fast if it's a good deal. I'll keep looking as I don't have anything but the plans anyway, so I have some time.

TheKid
07-12-2008, 10:59 PM
Have you checked this out? Trikeman and others say the Clarke is a decent welder, and that's good enough for me. Click on the Welding tab when the link comes up.

http://www.tool-mall.com/index.htm

Doc Hollywood
07-12-2008, 11:53 PM
I have this auto darkening helmet and it works very well. Great field of view. Wait until they go on sale and hopefully you will have a 15% off coupon to go with it as well.

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=94336

jimFPU
07-13-2008, 04:25 PM
Have you checked this out? Trikeman and others say the Clarke is a decent welder, and that's good enough for me. Click on the Welding tab when the link comes up.

http://www.tool-mall.com/index.htm Has anyone had any dealings with this company...I'm remined of the old saying: 'If it sounds too good...':rolleyes:

TheKid
07-13-2008, 07:27 PM
I'm going to order from them this week. Will keep the Krew posted.

jimFPU
07-13-2008, 10:24 PM
Yeah, 30 buck sounds great, but will it be worth it to risk paying twice...?

Let us know. Us cheapies still like to get good stuff.

TheKid
07-13-2008, 11:45 PM
I already have 2 stick welders, so I won't be buying one of those. I'm buying a bench grinder, and if the service is good, I'll probably buy a Clarke 125 or 130 EN later. I'll keep you posted on the shipping time. I hope they're faster than HF.

jimFPU
07-14-2008, 08:58 AM
Cool, looking forward to a good report.

TheKid
07-14-2008, 10:02 AM
BTW, one of the stick welders I have is a reconditioned Chicago Electric 140 from HF. I've had it for two years with no problems. The other is one of those 8 pound inverter stick welders from HF I found in someone's trash. Naturally, I found it not long after I bought the first one, which was after 6 months of trying to find a real cheap welder used.

jimFPU
07-14-2008, 11:16 AM
Well the search continues...maybe I'll just have to get a reconditioned one and work with it until I can save up to get a 'good' one. At least I can 'practice' until I figure it out or it craps out...

TheKid
07-14-2008, 04:56 PM
The reconditioned one I bought from HF had the same warranty as a new one. There are no warranties at Tool Mall, everything is sold "as is". I'm glad I checked. I don't want to buy anything sight unseen without a warranty. Same with used items. If I can't check it out first, I ain't buyin'.

jimFPU
07-14-2008, 08:18 PM
So it was too good. Too bad.

jimFPU
07-15-2008, 07:30 PM
OK, what would you offer for this one? http://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/for/755044847.html
Talked to the guy he said he added in the new cord (50 footer) and duty cycles are: 80% @ 35 A, 50% @ 75 A, and 30% @ 120 A. Basic welder, told him what I was gonna be doing-he said it would work perfect for my application. What do you think? Told me on the phone $80-90.


New it's $129. http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=40388

trikeman
07-15-2008, 08:28 PM
I wonder why the model with a bit more upper end is less?

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=55060

The extension cord is probably worth $30-$50 new, if it is at least #10 wire. I would probably offer him half of $80+$40 = $60, if I wanted it and needed the extension cord.

TheKid
07-15-2008, 08:36 PM
Look at the duty cycles on the HF website. They don't match what this guy claims. I bought the reconditioned ARC-140, and have had no problems with it. It came with a warranty. The manual that comes with it is for the ARC-120, which is an identical unit, except the 140 goes up to 140 amps @ 230v.

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=55060

It's a step up from the ARC - 120. I use it on a 110v circuit, and have never exceeded the duty cycle. I use it at 65 amps.

TheKid
07-15-2008, 08:37 PM
The lower price of the 140 is because it's reconditioned, not new. The 140 new costs $139.99 For the extra cost of shipping, the 140 would at least have a warranty. I'd want to try it out first, and if it works well do like Trikeman says, but offer $50 and settle on no more than $60.

trikeman
07-15-2008, 08:42 PM
The lower price of the 140 is because it's reconditioned, not new. The 140 new costs $139.99

Over on the Hobart forum, where lots of us buy Harbor Freight tools, there is a saying that all Harbor Freight tools are really just kits that you have to tweak and reassemble to get them to work right. That is a lot of truth in that, for the ones I own. The reconditioned one is probably better, since some Chinese guy had to look at it more than once. If it is gonna fail, it will probably fail in the first 30 days (assuming you use it), and if it does, they seem to be pretty good about taking things back.

Then again, as I said, the extension cord is worth something. The one I made by hacking off the ends of $30 HF RV 50' 10-3 extension cord cost me about $50 by the time I replaced the ends with 230v ends. I replaced the ends of the one I made for my Hobart 140 too, but that was to get them from 15A to decent 20A plug and receptacles. The old ones started to melt a bit before I did.

For those on tight budgets, its probably a reasonable option. For those with $50-$100 more, I personally would hold out for name brand AC/DC box.

jimFPU
07-15-2008, 08:43 PM
OK, I'll have a go at it tomorrow, and see if he can lay down a few beads for me. If it works OK, I'll go $50-60, and see where he settles.

trikeman
07-15-2008, 08:54 PM
OK, I'll have a go at it tomorrow, and see if he can lay down a few beads for me. If it works OK, I'll go $50-60, and see where he settles.

Jim. Just make sure that extension cord is at least #10 (good) or #12 (marginal) wire if you intend to use it and run it off 120v. Otherwise, it will drag the voltage down so much it will frustrate you. If you are gonna run it off 230v, #12 wire should be fine.

jimFPU
07-15-2008, 08:55 PM
OK, thanks.

TheKid
07-15-2008, 09:52 PM
My welder came with #12 wire. I recently bought a #12, 50' extension cord for $35. When I bought it 2 years ago, it was 60 bucks. I bought it to see if I was capable of learning to weld, which was a lot easier than I thought. I didn't like the sticking that occured when welding inside corners, so I looked at MIG's. A friend of mine lent me his MIG, but warned against using gas outdoors. He was right. The slightest breeze blew the gas away, and the welds came out crappy. There was a flux core wire welder on sale at a local Pep Boys, so I bought that instead of a Mig with gas. The problem is getting a new liner for the torch. No one carries the parts, and for what a new torch costs, I'd rather just buy a new welder.

jimFPU
07-16-2008, 08:35 AM
It looks like there are so many personal preferences when it comes to welders...I may just save up a bit more, get a new MIG (with a warranty) and go from there. Good thing I have some tome to look.

TheKid
07-16-2008, 01:20 PM
If that used welder is good, and you could get it for 50 or 60 bucks, it's not a bad idea to buy it. You can keep it for a backup when you buy a better unit down the road. You never know when something comes up, like you run out of wire, or the liner on the MIG needs replacing, anything can happen. You may even find you prefer stick over wire welding, as some guys do.

trikeman
07-16-2008, 01:24 PM
Welders are like bicycles - one is just never enough lol.

jimFPU
07-16-2008, 01:30 PM
Great...another collection DW will be overjoyed!!

jimFPU
07-16-2008, 01:47 PM
The guy won't take $60, so I guess I'll keep looking. I could get a new one of these with a warranty for $130. May as well just save up and buy a good one.

jimFPU
07-17-2008, 08:07 AM
I've asked about this kind before I think. :confused: http://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/tls/749954218.html

Said he could do a demo, and has extras. $150 a good price if it works well? I believe this is the kind y'all say is built like a tank...

trikeman
07-17-2008, 08:19 AM
If the hood is auto-darkening the price is about average. Yes, its built like a tank, and very little inside to go wrong. That said as new welder you will probably find it easier to strike and arc (less stuck rods, cursing, and frustration) and lay down a pretty bead with an AC/DC model. I have only had my Thunderbolt switched to AC a few times. Once, whey I wanted to cut some steel at 225A, and once when I wanted to see if DC really was that much better. There are hundreds of threads on the internet (google) about ac vs ac/dc arc welders. Brad only uses an AC, so we know it can make beautiful bikes. Here is one thread:

http://www.hobartwelders.com/weldtalk/showthread.php?t=28704&highlight=ac%2Fdc

If that deal includes and auto-darkening hood in good shape, and you don't like the AC only model, you could easily sell the welder for $100 and keep the hood. Maybe the guy can let you try a few beads and see how you like it.

jimFPU
07-17-2008, 11:05 AM
Ah, but it looks as though I could learn to weld AL with this thing...maybe that's why I need the AC?

trikeman
07-17-2008, 11:27 AM
Ah, but it looks as though I could learn to weld AL with this thing...maybe that's why I need the AC?

Yes you could, but from what I understand its very difficult with a stick welder. Of course with an AC/DC unit you can use either one. The aluminum rods cost about $1 apiece btw.

jimFPU
07-17-2008, 11:33 AM
This looks as if it may be the biggest hurdle to get over: which piece of equipment to start with!!

trikeman
07-17-2008, 12:00 PM
We have probably given you too much information and overwhelmed your cerebral cortex.

All the information you need is already in this thread, so just pick one and get to welding. If you can stand the waiting a perfect used one will show up. If not buy a new one.

jimFPU
07-17-2008, 12:16 PM
We have probably given you too much information and overwhelmed your cerebral cortex.
:eek:Boy, I'm with you there!! I'll figfure out something and let you know the results. I did e-mail my neighbor to ask if he wanted to learn to weld with me using the welder he has in his garage...maybe just start there.

TheKid
07-17-2008, 04:40 PM
If you're going to make frames with aluminum, be advised that it must be post heat treated to regain the strenght of the aluminum lost while being welded. It's an expensive process if you don't have access to an oven large enough to heat the entire frame at once to 750 degrees or more. For accessories that don't rely on the full strength of the metal, such as a lightweight skeleton for a fabric and epoxy fairing, aluminum works quite well I've been told.

jimFPU
07-17-2008, 04:59 PM
No, no, no, not going into AL, just mentioning something about the welder. I do understand a little about heat treating and annealing...worked on aircraft for a long time...

TheKid
07-17-2008, 05:30 PM
"I see," Said the blind man. I heard you get less spatter when welding with DC, but I get just as much spatter with my DC wire welder as I do with the AC stick welder. I'll have to try the inverter welder on DC as soon as my 7014 rods arrive.

trikeman
07-18-2008, 06:37 AM
Here it is. A good one. Don't dilly dally because it wont last long at all at that price, assuming the cables and switch are easily repairable.

http://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/tls/759536835.html

For that price, you have little to lose, and could easily sell it for what you have in it.

One caution, he says the cables look bad (wire showing through). If they are not easily repaired, cables can be more expensive than welders at today's copper prices. Here are some non-OSHA solutions, if the damage is fairly light. You can also just cut out a section if you have enough lead and its only bad on one place.

http://www.millerwelds.com/resources/communities/mboard/showthread.php?t=13505


Obviously, if you have to spend more repairing it than $50, you could just buy a used one with good leads and save the trouble.

If the stinger is bad, you could always replace it with one of these bad-boys lol

http://www.millerwelds.com/resources/communities/mboard/attachment.php?attachmentid=14998&d=1215975729

jimFPU
07-18-2008, 01:44 PM
OK, the saga of 'Hunt for a Cheap Welder' has come to an end (for now).

I just picked up a Chicago Electric 90 amp (http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Category.taf?f=bylogo&logourl=ChicagoW.gif&brand=Chicago%20Electric%20Welding%20Systems) welder , brand new in the box; still needs be assembled for....

OK....

Well, $60!! Guy got it from his neighbor as payment for some work, and he doesn't have a clue as to how it works!! (that makes two of us!:eek:)

Anyway, it'll work for a newb for a while anyway, and I don't have to worry about breaking someone elses...

Now I have to find cheap safety equipment to go with it (gloves & shield).

trikeman
07-18-2008, 01:45 PM
Praise the ****!

Now you can get to making sparks. I was at HF today looking for some more of those 1/16" rods, but they were out. I looked at that welder and it looked pretty substantial on the outside. I think they were asking like $120+ for it, so you got a good buy. For a MIG you don't need those big oven mit gloves - just get a good set of all leather ones that come about half way up your arms if possible. They sell some pretty nice ones for about $10 at Northern Tool. The big oven mitt ones make it hard to feel the trigger.

jimFPU
07-18-2008, 01:46 PM
It is a good PTL!! I'm thankful I have a budget in place, and have the cash ready to do it when I see it. Nice to have a budget.


Ewwwwww, sparks...pretty sparks!!

trikeman
07-18-2008, 01:54 PM
I think they call those gloves MIG gloves at NT, and are made by Steiner, among others. Very nice feel to them. In the welding section. Pick up the Auto-dark helmet for $49 while you are there and some 0.030 flux core wire and you will be good to go. You won't need a chipping hammer, just a few good wire brushes to brush off the slag.

You may also want to get a few spare tips (not sure what kind it takes) and some anti-spatter dip. The dip keeps the spatter from sticking to your gun. You can also buy it in a spray can to spray on the work, but I never bother with that, since flux core wire leaves so little residue.

TheKid
07-18-2008, 02:05 PM
Excellent. It's an easy welder to use, and you should get the hang of it in no time. I find there's a lot of spatter with flux core wire, so an anti spatter spray is good to have on hand also. It's only a few bucks from welding supply outlets. Use it sparingly. I bought 4 cans last year thinking I'd need a lot of it, but I haven't finished the second can yet. The only problem with those welders is that you have to use 1 or 2# spools, which can get expensive, or you could make a feeder to hold 10 lb. spools and rig it to the welding cart when you make one. Two pound spools generally cost $20, but 10# spools can be had for $70 with shipping for .030, and around $40 at Lowese for .035. It's something to look into once you get enough practice.

trikeman
07-18-2008, 02:11 PM
Excellent. It's an easy welder to use, and you should get the hang of it in no time. I find there's a lot of spatter with flux core wire, so an anti spatter spray is good to have on hand also. It's only a few bucks from welding supply outlets. Use it sparingly. I bought 4 cans last year thinking I'd need a lot of it, but I haven't finished the second can yet. The only problem with those welders is that you have to use 1 or 2# spools, which can get expensive, or you could make a feeder to hold 10 lb. spools and rig it to the welding cart when you make one. Two pound spools generally cost $20, but 10# spools can be had for $70 with shipping for .030, and around $40 at Lowese for .035. It's something to look into once you get enough practice.


I find the spatter pretty easy to knock off with a putty knife or my angle grinder with a worn out flap disc.