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Which welder?

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  • Which welder?

    First let me admit to gross ignorance in the field of welding, that said, here is my question. I would like to be able the have the capability to weld aluminum, carbon steel and the usual type of stuff that come thru the door. Which type of welder should I get? I can't afford a $1500 rig, just something small. Experince is not a problem as I will be expermenting on the in-law's stuff until I become confident enough to work on my own projects.
    Non, je ne regrette rien.

  • #2
    Chief,
    I would go with the small Lincoln Weld Pak 100 MIG unit, it runs on 110vac. You can get wire for carbon steel, Stainless and aluminum. I do highly recommend that you get the GMAW kit for it. You need a bottle of the argon mix for Stainless and I use CO2 for everything else. You can buy small spools of the wire, as well as the large ones. You don't have to buy the heavy duty shop size of gas for this.
    Mine has been a main tool for "everyday" projects in my shop for more than 5 years.

    Jerry

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    • #3
      I forgot, mine came with a video tape. I recommend watching it, and then talk to somebody who does MIG work.

      You will have the expense of good helmet, I have a good auto darken one, as well standard one. Leathers, gloves, gaunlet, apron.

      Get a pair of shop boots of some kind. I have a pair of Amish ones. A few summers ago I wore my sandels, never again.

      Jerry

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      • #4
        Jerry
        wassa matter? Don't like the smell of burning toe-hair? Besides, welding in sandles will make you step faster at the barn dances man!:P

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        • #5
          Chief,
          I'm not sure what types of stuff you weld on, but here are some suggestions. First, buy a 220 volt welder (if you have the hook up in your shop or are willing to do some wiring). The 110 ones don't produce high enough current for thicker pieces. If your price range is somewhere under $500 look at ac/dc stick welders. These things are very tough and can be found at auctions from time to time. Electrodes for carbon steels, stainless steels, alumninum, and cast iron welding can be found at most welding supply stores. The aluminum and cast iron ones are pretty expensive though. If your price range could make it to ~$1200 go for a tig/stick welder. With one of these you could weld thin sheet metal and thick plate. For tig, like mig, welding carbon steel CO2 or Ar can be used, but for everything else Ar (or in a few special cases He or He/Ar mixes) are to be used. I wouldn't recomend a mig welder unless you plan to do a lot of continuous welding. If you do choose to buy a mig unit make sure it will handle aluminum wire(some do not). Also buy one which you can use gas with(some will only accept gasless wire, or need an adaptor kit).

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