View Full Version : 110v welder from Sears? or HF

04-19-2013, 03:04 PM
The Craftsman welder http://www.sears.com/craftsman-arc-welder/p-00920566000P#desc has a better price and it comes with face mask and brush. The HF unit has some good reviews but lots of negative reviews as well. Anyone use the Craftsman WE6490 unit?

04-19-2013, 04:05 PM
Not sure of your welding experience. However I would not suggest either one. They are A/C welders which spits a spatters a lot. On top of that they use really thin electrodes which will give you issues when welding thicker material. The mask that comes with these welders is not a helmet. It is just a shield that you hang onto with one hand while using the stinger with the other. So that is not a real consideration when buying the welder. You might be better off checking your local Craigslist.com and check out the used welders. I got a flu core mig with grinder for $250.00 at a garage sale. It is a Lincoln weldpak 110v 110 amp dc. I added a gas flow accessory and turned it into a gas shielded mig which I have been very happy with. Now I am looking to upgrade to tig as I want to play aluminum. But that is a personal choice. Good luck and hope that helps.

04-19-2013, 08:46 PM
I have had some welding experience using ac welder as well as MIG. Can't spend to much but then buy cheap 2x buy expensive 1x

04-20-2013, 07:13 AM
You could do what I did.

I purchased the HF 90A flux core and add a rectifier to the output. Greatly reduced spatter, and made the arc much more controllable. After wire brushing the slag off the welds, you almost can't tell the difference between actual MIG and flux core. Look in the welding section of the forum for how I did it, and why.

The HF unit, while being cheaply built, actually DOES do a great job with the inclusion of the rectifier.

While I haven't posted any pics, there is one other mod I did to mine. I added a short fan shroud to the cooling fan. Made a difference in duty cycle. Instead of the 25% duty cycle at 90A setting, I'm guessing it is now into the 35% - 40% range. Before the shroud, I had tripped the thermal cut-off on relatively short welds. With the shroud, no problem with tripping it.

What I've found with MOST of the 110V units, no matter who makes them, you are basically buying the transformer. The rest of the components are done as cheaply as possible, so are essentially free, if you look at the cost of buying a similar transformer. Also, you need to be aware that in ALL the cheap units, the transformer windings are aluminum wire, so any changes such as adding the rectifier require dielectric grease on you connections.


04-20-2013, 12:20 PM
what about swapping out a microwave transformer???? All copper, etc etc

04-20-2013, 01:48 PM
If you use at least three identical microwave transformers wired in parallel, you will have enough amperage available for thin sheet welding. Wire size dictates how much you can draw before heat becomes a major issue.

If you try to weld even 16ga with MW xformers, you will NOT get decent penetration.

Yes, I've seen the instructables and youtube videos of people making welders out of these. I wouldn't trust my safety to those welds though!