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 Post subject: Harbor Freight Welders
PostPosted: January 4, 2018, 3:05 pm 
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Joined: December 6, 2017, 2:20 pm
Posts: 69
Location: San Jose, California
I couldnt find any information, but what do people think about these welders?

The Vulcan 215 welder looks pretty good. 110v/240v. Youtube videos also look pretty good. Price is really good too.

The other 110v/240 welders I can find from lincoln/miller start atleast 1K. At that price, I could by 2 of the HF ones.


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PostPosted: January 4, 2018, 3:59 pm 
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Joined: October 19, 2012, 9:25 pm
Posts: 2718
Location: Summerville, SC
I have a Horrible Fright MIG welder. Runs happily on 240V. I've probably put 100 lbs of wire through it over the past few years. Flux core pretty much sucks. Look on Craigslist and buy a gas bottle.

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http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=17496

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PostPosted: January 5, 2018, 12:32 pm 
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Joined: October 24, 2008, 2:13 pm
Posts: 3648
Location: Carlsbad, California, USA
I looked more at reviews of their TIG welders around Christmas time and found the reviews were surprisingly good (about B to B+ grades, generally) for their new, Vulcan line of TIG machines. I did not check on their MIG welders, however.

Starting with online reviews is a good place to go. There are often video reviews on YouTube as well. On YouTube you have to put a little time into evaluating the experience level and background of the reviewers. Sometimes they are people who are definitely qualified, and sometimes not.

I took a cursory look at the HF website for the MIG 215. It has all the basics you'll need for our level of MIG welding: 120/240V; multiple wire sizes; wire speed control; voltage control; and material thickness settings. You can do 90% of the work needed on a Locost at 120V, but 220V is nice for thicker materials now and again. The material thickness settings are good a lot of the time, but you will find situations where you have to set the wire speed and voltage settings to get the weld quality you want.

It would certainly be worth investigating. I would not bother with flux core for Locost welding, but it can be useful for infrastructure projects around your home shop like making things out of 1/8" thick angle iron, fab'ing welding tables, etc., so if they give you flux core wire with the product, don't throw it away.

Cheers,

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Damn! That front slip angle is way too large and the Ackerman is just a muddle.

Build Log: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=5886


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PostPosted: January 5, 2018, 3:04 pm 
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Joined: July 17, 2008, 9:11 am
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Location: West Chicago,IL
Lonnie-S wrote:
I looked more at reviews of their TIG welders around Christmas time and found the reviews were surprisingly good (about B to B+ grades, generally) for their new, Vulcan line of TIG machines. I did not check on their MIG welders, however.

Starting with online reviews is a good place to go. There are often video reviews on YouTube as well. On YouTube you have to put a little time into evaluating the experience level and background of the reviewers. Sometimes they are people who are definitely qualified, and sometimes not.

I took a cursory look at the HF website for the MIG 215. It has all the basics you'll need for our level of MIG welding: 120/240V; multiple wire sizes; wire speed control; voltage control; and material thickness settings. You can do 90% of the work needed on a Locost at 120V, but 220V is nice for thicker materials now and again. The material thickness settings are good a lot of the time, but you will find situations where you have to set the wire speed and voltage settings to get the weld quality you want.

It would certainly be worth investigating. I would not bother with flux core for Locost welding, but it can be useful for infrastructure projects around your home shop like making things out of 1/8" thick angle iron, fab'ing welding tables, etc., so if they give you flux core wire with the product, don't throw it away.

Cheers,


I did 100% of my Locost welding with a 120V MIG, even my halfshaft shortening welds. I never had a problem. It is the same mfgr/model as Ron Champion shows in "The Book" although his was naturally 220V/50Hz. I recently bought an AlphaTIG 200X for teaching myself TIG. It is 115/230V. I will keep the 120V MIG too.

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Visit my active Cushman Truckster resurrection log: over HERE
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PostPosted: January 5, 2018, 3:21 pm 
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Joined: April 1, 2010, 10:26 am
Posts: 348
I had a AlphaTIG 200X, worked very well, built my stainless steel exhaust system with it. Sold it when I moved to Maryland, but I kept the Lincoln MIG welder.

I know a couple of people with the Eastman MIG units and they have been very happy, one came with an Aluminum spool gun that has proved to be very useful.

Graham


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