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 Post subject: Quick welder question
PostPosted: December 5, 2016, 4:59 pm 
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I wasn't looking for an arc welder, but one has just come up on FB groups for $60.

Here's the pic. I'm presuming it's a 180 amp from the name, in the back of my head a little voice is saying that if I'm going 220V then I might as well go 225, but I haven't arc welded in a long time.

Would I be wasting my money?


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PostPosted: December 5, 2016, 5:17 pm 
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Check the duty cycle on it. If it's 50% or better at 125 amps it's well worth $60.

125 amps you can run 1/8" rods. 180 amps would barely keep a 3/16 rod burning. Probably a 6013 or 6014 would run pretty well. A 6010 would be a nightmare to keep the arc going.

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PostPosted: December 5, 2016, 8:30 pm 
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He got real cagey when asked specifics so I'll pass.

Like I said, I wasn't looking for one, but you know how that turns out so many times.

Thanx for the info. There is a marked down floor model at HD. A Lincoln 225 big red box that I hinted at to my wife for Christmas. But I don't need one.

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PostPosted: December 5, 2016, 9:15 pm 
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Stick welding a Locost chassis would not be fun.
Very messy, smokey, dirty process.
I have never tried stick welding with small rod.
I have only stick welded big stuff where appearance was not a significant concern.
Not that you cant make fair to good looking welds with a stick, I think it would be problematic on thin material.

For a Locost I would get a 110v MIG with gas (not the gasless fluxcore type).
Point and shoot welding, easy tacking you still get splatter but not as bad as stick.
Spatter spray will help.

For heavier welding a 220 powered MIG.

For surgical small clean welding a TIG

Some kind of rotisserie is also beneficial to get your work in a good position to weld.

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PostPosted: December 5, 2016, 11:18 pm 
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Bent Wrench wrote:
For a Locost I would get a 110v MIG with gas (not the gasless fluxcore type).
Point and shoot welding, easy tacking you still get splatter but not as bad as stick.
Spatter spray will help.

For heavier welding a 220 powered MIG.

For surgical small clean welding a TIG

Some kind of rotisserie is also beneficial to get your work in a good position to weld.

I have a 110V MIG (110 amp), and do NOT recommend it. Mine simply can't seem to get enough heat into a weld of thin-wall 1018 tubing to get proper penetration and fusion, so I am now looking at 220V MIGs and TIGs with which to replace it. YMMV, of course, but I would run an extension chord from the clothes dryer's 30 amp 220v circuit if needed, rather then try to use a 110V MIG.

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PostPosted: December 6, 2016, 12:39 am 
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I have 2 mig welders, this would have been a just in case welder. Also I have welded with small sticks before and didn't find them to be too challenging so they might be good for those hard to reach crevices. Of course that was many years ago and I might be mis remembering.

But for $60 I thought I might as well have a stick welder, but I wanted one to do heavier metals and if I bought this one I'd probably never get around to replacing it because "I've already got one".

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PostPosted: December 6, 2016, 9:38 am 
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I had the same problem as carguy. There is about 6 to 8 places on the frame that are hard to reach the crevices with a MIG gun. Had to Stick Weld those spots. Dave W


Last edited by davew on December 7, 2016, 9:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: December 6, 2016, 2:39 pm 
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Dauntless wrote:
I have a 110V MIG (110 amp), and do NOT recommend it. Mine simply can't seem to get enough heat into a weld of thin-wall 1018 tubing to get proper penetration and fusion, so I am now looking at 220V MIGs and TIGs with which to replace it. YMMV, of course, but I would run an extension chord from the clothes dryer's 30 amp 220v circuit if needed, rather then try to use a 110V MIG.


Something is wrong with your setup if a 110v MIG can't do thin wall. Which model do you have and what wire diameter are you using?

My Lincoln 140C will happily go up to 0.090" as long as it's properly prepped. It doesn't break a sweat doing 0.063" with no chamfering.

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PostPosted: December 6, 2016, 9:41 pm 
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a.moore wrote:
Dauntless wrote:
I have a 110V MIG (110 amp), and do NOT recommend it. Mine simply can't seem to get enough heat into a weld of thin-wall 1018 tubing to get proper penetration and fusion, so I am now looking at 220V MIGs and TIGs with which to replace it. YMMV, of course, but I would run an extension chord from the clothes dryer's 30 amp 220v circuit if needed, rather then try to use a 110V MIG.


Something is wrong with your setup if a 110v MIG can't do thin wall. Which model do you have and what wire diameter are you using?

My Lincoln 140C will happily go up to 0.090" as long as it's properly prepped. It doesn't break a sweat doing 0.063" with no chamfering.


I agree, I use my 110V SIP branded MIG for everything, including up to 0.125" and more. Yeah, it may take more than a single pass, but it worked out just fine for me. I have welded my half-shafts and stretched the trailer axle using the 110V MIG with 0.023 wire. A beveled joint and sleeving was used in both cases.

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PostPosted: December 7, 2016, 9:01 am 
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Dauntless wrote:
Bent Wrench wrote:
For a Locost I would get a 110v MIG with gas (not the gasless fluxcore type).
Point and shoot welding, easy tacking you still get splatter but not as bad as stick.
Spatter spray will help.

For heavier welding a 220 powered MIG.

For surgical small clean welding a TIG

Some kind of rotisserie is also beneficial to get your work in a good position to weld.


I have a 110V MIG (110 amp), and do NOT recommend it. Mine simply can't seem to get enough heat into a weld of thin-wall 1018 tubing to get proper penetration and fusion, so I am now looking at 220V MIGs and TIGs with which to replace it. YMMV, of course, but I would run an extension chord from the clothes dryer's 30 amp 220v circuit if needed, rather then try to use a 110V MIG.


I have both a 110v and a 220v MIG, I can't remember the last time I even plugged in the 220v rig!
My 110v machine will blow holes in thin wall tubing.
Both are name brand machines (miller), I would suggest there is a problem with your machine, or power source.

Try making a 110V adapter for your 220v dryer outlet extension to run that welder on.

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PostPosted: December 12, 2016, 9:55 am 
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I have a 140 Hobart and using .030" wire I can easily do .063" tubing. Matter of fact most days my setting is on 3 so I can definitely do more. I bumped it up to 4 once and came really close to blowing a hole through the tubing.


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PostPosted: December 12, 2016, 12:02 pm 
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Dauntless said he had a 110A machine, so a 140 A would probably be a good amount stronger. There is also variation in the welders, if you have a Harbor Freight there are web pages that describe how to beef it up a bit by adding a capacitor that the Lincoln/Millers have that the HF unit does not.

The other thing is that the 110V-120V supply varies from house to house. I think the power going into the welder unit is a lot higher at 120V ( goes by the square of the difference), about %20 more at the arc, so that's a good difference too.

I was lucky and found a "refurb" unit at Home Depot. It was a 180A for half price. Looked pristine except for "refurb" scratched onto the cover somewhere. :rofl: It had a tragic flaw though - the spool of wire was badly made, I could barely get it off the machine. Like I considered using a bearing puller was how hard it was to get off the machine. After that it worked perfect!

Spend time going thru the machine looking for gas leaks. I did some practice a couple of weeks ago and forgot to turn it off, but it holds pressure in the line for a day even if I do turn it off, so I was glad for the effort I put into that.

If you go 110V I do think you want the larger ones and having good wiring is a big help.

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PostPosted: December 12, 2016, 1:53 pm 
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horizenjob wrote:
Dauntless said he had a 110A machine.....


Since he made such a general statement against all 110v MIGs, I was hoping he would answer my question so we'd have an idea about his setup. Oh well.

FWIW I'm pretty sure the machine I learned to weld on was 110A - it did fine for its intended purpose but it was also from a decent brand name and had a 20A+ circuit feeding it.

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PostPosted: January 17, 2017, 1:11 pm 
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A stick welder doesn't get much respect, but one will weld darned near anything. If you have a simpatico welding supply house, you can buy single rods in specific alloys for carbon or moly steel, for welding cast iron, for welding bronze, or even for welding copper.

There are also "gouging" rods, used for cutting, and special fluxed rods for burning out broken bolts, hard rods for laying Stellite on wear surfaces and cutting tools... all sorts of stuff.


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PostPosted: January 17, 2017, 4:11 pm 
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TRX wrote:
A stick welder doesn't get much respect, but one will weld darned near anything. If you have a simpatico welding supply house, you can buy single rods in specific alloys for carbon or moly steel, for welding cast iron, for welding bronze, or even for welding copper.

There are also "gouging" rods, used for cutting, and special fluxed rods for burning out broken bolts, hard rods for laying Stellite on wear surfaces and cutting tools... all sorts of stuff.


The fine points of stick welding, sort of a lost art used before all the production based welders sold now.

Like black smithing, this knowledge has slipped away for all but a few knife makers which is just a niche of the whole metal smithing thing.

It is up to us to pass it on but none of the grasshoppers in my neighborhood are interested.

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