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Gelcoat Driving Maniac!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let me start by saying that I have never welded a thing in my life. I keep seeing posts on here about spot welding the ball joint in place and cutting out a brace here and moving it over there and I'm thinking I need to look into some sort of a welder for small stuff.

I know HF sucks, but they have a cheap MIG on sale for even cheaper right now. Regular $200 on sale for $120. Would this be enough welder to tack the ball joints in place and to mount grounding studs to the frame, etc. I'm not looking to weld anything load bearing (like building my own LCA's) but I'd like to be able to modify the trunk braces to make the trunk bigger.

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=44567

Comments?
 

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FFCobra Fanatic
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7,022 Posts
I have that welder...

VERY CHEAP DON"T GET IT.....
Not worth wasting the money....
I had a freind of mine try welding with it and he had a very hard time, he is a certified welder...

John
 

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Junior Charter Member
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40 Posts
It would be fine if you are going to use it like you say. My guess is once you see how many uses you have for a welder you are going to want more power. Just baught one myself couple weeks ago (I think it is 120 amps). Find myself on max power most of the time. I would say 3/16" is about the thickest it can handle well. Lots of fun. hope this helps. Jeff
 

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Junior Charter Member
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Sorry, forgot to tell you that the brand I have is the Lincoln. My post made it sound like I had the HF. Jeff
 

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FFCobra Fanatic
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Lincoln is what I would get again.
My freind came over with his and it was like night and day difference campaired to mine...

John
 

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Gelcoat Driving Maniac!
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4,373 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Excellent. Good info, thanks everyone. I'll save my money for now.

The MillerMatic 140 runs about $800 so it's tough to justify that for such a small job, but we'll see as I get going on the kit. Maybe it will look like a better deal when I really need it.
 

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2 cents - get a low end stick welder.

Cheaper and will do what you neeed. It is easier to keep a cheap stick welder working that a cheap mig.

I have borrowed cheap and I have borrowed good. Good is better
Still planning to buy - it will be a good MIG with gas.

 

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FFCobra Craftsman
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6,103 Posts
I would look at the low end Miller or Hobart MIG welders. Definitely go gas shielded, not flux core wire!!!! You might try looking on Craigslist in your area. I would think you could find something for $500 or so.

A little better quality welder will give you stronger & better welds (especially if you are not experienced). Another thing I have learned, if you have a welder, you will amazingly find many uses for it. Also, for the typical DYI guy, a decent welder will last a lifetime (and holds its value pretty well).
 

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Runs with scissors!
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562 Posts
IMHO, get a Lincoln MIG welder. Either the SP135T or the SP175T. As others point out, once you start using it you will be amazed at how often you use it and you will want something that lasts. So, you can buy a cheap one now and buy a good one later....or you can save a few hundred bucks and just buy the good one now.

I was like you, never welded before I bought mine a few years ago, now I use it all the time.
 

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Premium Member
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18,135 Posts
I have a cheap Dual MIG welder that I bought at HF a few years back. It was on sale then for $95. Regular price is stil $130.

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=55250

I use that thing all the time. Make small brackets, fence brackets, welded in a drive shaft safety loop. Welded sub frame connectors on my '66. Welded ball joints. I'm now making an air splitter with it.

It's cheap, and the duty cycle is a little low. But for the price it's tough to beat.
 

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FFCobra Fanatic
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669 Posts
Check Craig's list. I just picked up a Hobart 175 that looks brand new for $300 with a cart. Guy selling it was having a hard time since not too many folks have a 220 outlet in their garages.

P.J.
 

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Premium Member
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9,698 Posts
I have a Miller 120V, 90 amp mig, that uses CO2 gas. I've had it for about 10 years now, and can't even count the times I've used it. I'm on my second spool of wire, and my third tank of CO2. Once you get one, you will think of all kinds of projects. And when your neighbors find out you have one, you will make all kinds of new friends ;) I sometimes wish I had gone ahead and bought the 220V model, so I could weld larger stuff, but for 95% of the projects I do, the 90Amp is fine.
 

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Gelcoat Driving Maniac!
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4,373 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I love this board. So many great opinions. I'll definitely check Craig's list. Seems like a welder would typically last pretty well unless abused.

Thanks again for all the advice.
 

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FFCobra Craftsman
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24,747 Posts
When we had our own shop we had gas, stick and tig. I'd give my left --- for a tig again but can't justify it. tried a couple time over the years w/ migs w/ little success.Rented a flux mig from HD and didn't like it at all. So i bought the little lincoln AC stick welder at HD. I'm quite happy w/ the results except when I try to weld on the car upside down.
 

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Gelcoat Driving Maniac!
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4,373 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·

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You'll find the MIG with gas is easier to use, does a better job with better finished welds, and can get into tight places easier (my favorite reason) than any stick welder. As long as you use the gas and hook up the leads properly for using gas with solid wire (no flux), you'll be welding fine in no time. I think Home Depot has the Miller 135 propak on sale quite often for around $350 and it will handle 90% of anybody's home welding projects. I bought mine off craigslist with a bottle for $275 and it works great now that I switched over to gas and quit fighting the flux core wire.

It's also a 120V machine, so no 220V receptacles necessary.

Bob
 

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Tool Collector
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6,608 Posts
For the money you can go with a Clarke 130EN from Northern Tool. I've used alot of welders TIG, MIG and Stick, and for the money this is the best all around entry to mid level mig/flux welder. Clarke also make welders for others. Craftsman for example. $399 for the welder,cart,mig kit and face sheild. You'll want an auto darkening lid but you can't beat the price. I've even seen them on sale for $349, 4 monthes after I bought mine. Don't forget welding gloves. Those you can buy at HF pretty cheap. Go to NorthernTool.com and check it out. You may even get free shipping.
 

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Why the big deal about gas MIGs?

I bought the Lincoln "Weld Pak 100" from Home Depot... I think it was pretty cheap, maybe around $200 or so?

Anyway, at first my welds were too cold and not strong.. then I was burning through the metal. Now I've got the hang of it and it is just right. It could use a little extra HP at times, but for stuff up to 3/16 thick it works fine.

One word of advice... Don't make your first job your car. Get plenty of spare tubing or whatever, and practice until your neighbors go blind.

-f-
 

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Tool Collector
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I second nm_shooter. Before you weld on the car, practice, practice, practice. Well worth the time. There are quite a few books you can buy on welding.Second hand books stores or thrift shops are a good place to find them. Frank
 
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