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View Full Version : Will this welder butt weld 1/4" steel?



Benjamin Borowsky
10-03-2005, 06:05 PM
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=40388

It says it will, and I understand that there is a learning curve (as opposed to a mig welder) but my need is infrequent, and my cash nearly non-existant...

If you think it won't, can you please suggest a low cost alternative? Thanks in advance.

Ben

[This message has been edited by Benjamin Borowsky (edited 10-03-2005).]

Tin Falcon
10-03-2005, 07:47 PM
Ben:
Just did some quick research. The specs on the machine in question state "Duty cycle 230V: 6% @ 95 amps" That in laymans terms means that in a 10 minute period you can weld for about 35 seconds without the welder overheating. That is @95 amps pluged into 230v ac. Now looking into my Lincoln welding manual using E6011 on 16 ga steel(.060) requires 100 amps with the welder set on AC. So to answer your quesion is I do'nt think so.
Jim

jkoper
10-03-2005, 08:39 PM
In my opinion those little welders are useless, might be able to make a decient batery charger out of one. The best thing to do is look for a used welder. Look for a local paper where thing are put up for sale, in my area there is a trader that comes out every week with local things for sale. There are usualy a few old welders in there every week. Those old Lincon 225 welders seem to live forever and you can usualy find an old one for a pretty good price.

Jim

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Jim Koper
J&R Machining

wato
10-03-2005, 09:41 PM
From my experience those small welders with alum cores can have a melt down if put to moderately heavey use. I'd second the sugestion of looking for an older s/hand machine.I would also suggest that the recomendation of 100amps to weld 16ga is way over the top. I use closer to 65-70 amps for that thin material. Do you already have a mig if so why not use that?
Cheers.

hoffman
10-03-2005, 10:38 PM
A buddy of mine just sold a Lincoln Tombstone (225 I think) for $55. There are some deals out there from guys who have bought MIGs and the sticks are gathering dust. Maybe check Ebay for one locally.

I buy stuff from HF but that don't look too good.

6% dudy cycle http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//eek.gif

[This message has been edited by hoffman (edited 10-03-2005).]

Forrest Addy
10-03-2005, 10:54 PM
I you're gonna weld 1/4" on a regular basis and cost of entry is a consideration you probably should get a plain vanilla buzz box. Stick welding is more tolerant of mediochre fit-up, scale, and rust than MIG. And good buzz boxes (translation - buzz box: basic AC welder like the Lincoln 225 or 180) come on the market all the time with people moving on to MIG.

Here's another tip. Good strong welds are much more of a product of good joint prep, clean procedure, and unhurried puddle manipulation than expensive equipment. Weld over rust and paint and your weld quality will show it by breaking off at the fusion line. I seen it happen many times. Loudly and expensively heppen.

I made more money with my Lincoln buzz box in 11 years than I have with my zillion dollar machine shop since. Use 6013 or 7013 Fleetweld 37 for general structural welding and you'll do nearly as well as the guy with the fancy schmancy gear.

[This message has been edited by Forrest Addy (edited 10-04-2005).]

HTRN
10-03-2005, 10:58 PM
Better to spend some real money and get something that will work right, rather than waste your money on that POS that will melt down the first time you use it.

Hell, I paid $150 for My AC/DC Lincoln "tombstone", and it looked practically new. Look around - they are out there.


HTRN

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This Old Shed (http://thisoldshed.tripod.com)

CCWKen
10-03-2005, 11:03 PM
Yikes! The duty cycle on that thing is the pits. You might be able to tack-weld with it but laying down a couple of inches of weld will probably have the thing going up in smoke.

Save your money and get something with a minimum of 30% duty cycle. The more, the better.

DaveInMI
10-04-2005, 06:50 AM
I bought a 110v welder advertised to weld up to 3/16". Duty cycle was 15-20% at highest setting. I lived in a rental overseas and didn't have 220v available. I welded up a trailer hitch with good welds but the technique was "weld and wait" because of the duty cycle. It welded thin stuff really well. That welder served me well for those circumstances. My attention span wouldn't allow waiting 94% of the time.

bob308
10-04-2005, 07:22 AM
that welder is a pos. not worth the time to takeit out of the box. also dont use 6013 use 6011.

torker
10-04-2005, 08:22 AM
I can't believe they would even make a welder with such pitiful specs. I've used some of the older low power welders like this and they are horrid. With todays technology there is no excuse for that POS.
You can get ol' buzzboxes for almost nothing. Most people get rid of them because they don't take the time to get at least a bit of proper instruction on how to stick weld.(hint, hint)
Russ

Benjamin Borowsky
10-04-2005, 09:49 AM
Thanks all... I suspected as much, but I wanted to be sure. I appreciate the $$ save.

Better no tool at all than a crappy tool. I'll look on ebay...

3 Phase Lightbulb
10-04-2005, 12:17 PM
Ben,

This was my first "real" welder and it certainly has the power to do what you want:

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=4028

It's got a nice heavy duty power cord, a build in 50A combo Switch/Circuit breaker, good quality welding cables, and very good amp control... The price with $8 shipping is great too.

It's only an A/C machine, but I think it was a wonderful first "Real" welder. I had a ton of fun using mine.

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/photos/04000-04099/04028.gif


-Adrian


[This message has been edited by 3 Phase Lightbulb (edited 10-04-2005).]

Benjamin Borowsky
10-04-2005, 02:27 PM
Adrian: I'm sure it would do it... but I'm limited to 110 - and don't have a best friend electician to help me out. Thanks, though, I appreciate it.

3 Phase Lightbulb
10-04-2005, 02:50 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Benjamin Borowsky:
Adrian: I'm sure it would do it... but I'm limited to 110 - and don't have a best friend electician to help me out. Thanks, though, I appreciate it.</font>


Electricians just cause problems, otherwise we wouldn't need a Code for them to follow http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//wink.gif

I'm just curious, where did you plan on using your welder? Is there a breaker panel near by? This is never recommended, but it's very easy to temporarily wire up a 230v welder right to your service panel with very little instruction and very safe (although I'm sure most would say otherwise). All you need is a spare 2-pole 50A breaker, a screw driver, some wire cutters/strippers, and about about 5 minutes of your time.

-Adrian

Benjamin Borowsky
10-04-2005, 03:11 PM
A:

I'm about 40 feet from the breaker box, and probably much more important, it scares the bejeezus out of me.

I had a taste of wall current when I was a teen. I don't need a second dose to make me sure I didn't like it.

B2

3 Phase Lightbulb
10-04-2005, 03:28 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Benjamin Borowsky:
A:

I'm about 40 feet from the breaker box, and probably much more important, it scares the bejeezus out of me.

I had a taste of wall current when I was a teen. I don't need a second dose to make me sure I didn't like it.

B2</font>


It's probably wise to learn a little about residential electricity before you start playing with welders anyway. Even before you go plugging in a 110v welder.

Your Old Dog
10-04-2005, 06:10 PM
Ben, if you're a little intimidated by residential electricity I'd like to be there when you strike your first arc !! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif It's all the sounds your body has been telling you to run from since you were born. I had no mentors to work with so I screwed up plenty. I never got anywhere with it till I mentioned it to a weldor one day that I had run across. He asked me if I liked fried eggs. I said sure. He said if you can remember how the eggs sound frying in the pan that is the same sound you want to hear when you are welding and you'll have things set up pretty well. He was right. The next best tip I received was some 15 years later here in this thread from Forrest Addy when he said "Here's another tip. Good strong welds are much more of a product of good joint prep, clean procedure, and unhurried puddle manipulation than expensive equipment." I waited 15 years to hear that advise!

If you ain't done it yet it's a real blast !! It's a lot of fun and very impowering. Good luck.



[This message has been edited by Your Old Dog (edited 10-04-2005).]

jkilroy
10-04-2005, 08:07 PM
I just picked up an HTP 2400 (see link)

http://www.htpweld.com/products/mig_welders/mig_2400.html

I got a fantastic deal straight from the factory. I paid less for it than Millers list price for there 160 and it came with a regulator. And though this is likely WAY more than you need the price was so good that I have to think there smaller units are a great buy. It is an American made machine, all copper transformer. Very well made, I can't imagine how in the world they are making money.

If anyone is interest the guy that I delt with was very nice and well informed, here is his contact info.

Jeff Noland
HTP America, Inc.
1-800-USA-WELD
www.usaweld.com (http://www.usaweld.com)
jnoland@htpweld.com


USUAL DISCLAIMER: In no way do I have a monetary interest in this company. I am only a very satisfied customer. Very nice folks, and a very well designed and made product put together in the USA.

Fasttrack
10-04-2005, 08:53 PM
100 amps for 16gauge is fine if you are using 6011! Its a stiff enough puddle it actually welds real nice on thinner material.
Yeah, dont go with the Harbor Freight one...that thing is a joke. I bought a craftsman welder (the components were made by Generac) and its duty cycle was 20% at 90amps. (this is a small one for 110v) Incredibly, this thing is a real workhorse... i regularly run at its maximum 140 amps pulling from a 30 amp breaker (installed after i always tripped the 20) and for long periods of time. Using 6013 and preparing the joint right i get complete penetration on 1/4 inch and up...I've had it for three years and still in great shape even though it is usually run outside of its recomended settings. The best part is: it only cost me 150 bucks!

Fasttrack
10-04-2005, 08:56 PM
P.S.
I've had heard alot of good about HTP America, but consider that when you need to buy replacement parts you have to buy HTP parts. I talked to some pro welders and they all said they'd never buy just on account of the fact simple parts, (more of a concern with MIG than stick) like nozzles, tips, insulators, etc all cost about three times what you can get miller or lincoln parts for...just something to consider. Like i said, thats not so much a concern with stick welders!

jkilroy
10-04-2005, 10:22 PM
The parts issue is simply not the case and a comment from somebody that is uninformed.
The HTP that I got uses a standard tweco style gun, which means standard tips, nozzels, liners all work fine. Hell, I can buy Miller or Lincoln parts (at Home Depot even)and they will work fine. Anyway, the machine came with so many spare parts that given how much I weld I won't be looking for a while.

JRouche
10-04-2005, 10:45 PM
""Will this welder butt weld 1/4" steel?""


It will do everything butt weld http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

Benjamin Borowsky
10-05-2005, 10:39 AM
"butt weld" LOL!

Yeah, I'm going to have to pass on a welder, now, and do the project like Rube Goldberg would. I'm used to it by now...

Thanks, all.