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Welder Thoughts?

S.T.Fanatic

5 year old buck +
Make sure the unit comes with a foot pedal or add it on if you are doing any TIG welding. Without it you won’t have any variable controls while welding tough metals and will burn up metals and tips.


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yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Make sure the unit comes with a foot pedal or add it on if you are doing any TIG welding. Without it you won’t have any variable controls while welding tough metals and will burn up metals and tips.


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Thanks. The 215 is "TIG-Ready". It requires a TIG kit. I won't buy that initially to keep the cost down. If I find a need for TIG in the future, I can add the kit including foot pedal.

Thanks,

Jack
 

thedoublejranch

A good 3 year old buck
Jack I'll give you my two cents. I cut my teeth on a Lincoln 225 stick welder as every shop had that stick welder. A stick welder is great if you use it frequently, if not, have a good grinder, brush, and chipping hammer by your side. When not stick welding frequently even striking an arc can be a challenge, especially when standing on your head or in some contorted position. When I was in the workforce I used stick welders and MIG welders. The ease of a MIG striking an arc and not having to change rods sold me om MIG.

I have two MIGs, a Miller 130 set up with flux core wire, and a Hobart 190 with solid wire and sheilding gas. The 190 will weld 5/16 + and is capable of doing much better than my capabilities. With sheilding gas you can leave your brush and chipping hammer in the tool box. Once you learn to weld with it you can put the grinder away also.

The MIG's have a quirk, and that is the ground lead must be about 2' +/- to where you are welding. Most come with a cheap, weak ground clamp that you need to replace. If you have a poor ground on a MIG you will catch hell with splattering and jerky wire movement. When you have it right there is nothing better than the squeal of a MIG when welding. I think the learning curve on MIG is shorter than stick welding.

With MIG you need an excellent auto darkening helmet, cheap just wont work because the arc of .035 wire is so much smaller than an 1/8" stick. I resisted spending the money to go to gas, then kicked myself for not doing it sooner. The difference in welding flux cored wire, or solid with gas is night and day difference. Solid with gas is easier, maybe faster, but certainly saves on cleanup time, because there is no slag or beads to grind before painting.

OK, thats my two cents, and I dont claim to be a professional welder, however I have stayed in a Holiday Inn.
What he said.
I have a 220V MIG with the shield gas, I use it all the time, repairs, fixing, making things that you cant buy. I build a nice cart for my Hypertherm Plasma cutter, had a pile of junk it came with. So with my welder and a few casters from Amazon, done.

I have build woodstoves, flatbed car hauler trailers and loads of stuff. I have basically a small fab shop (just a 2 car garage, but all the proper tools for metal fabbing. Metal fabbing has always been a passion of mine. Some pictures, first one you can see the welder I used in the background. Matco Tools, but its made by Century. It has a stitch and a spot timer, but cant be used with a spool gun, so look into that if you want to weld AL with it.
Plasma cutter roll cart, then the trailer I made. Trailer has built in under deck car ramps too.
 

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rocksnstumps

5 year old buck +
Real nice. Maybe a bit off the original topic but tell us more about the plasma cutter. Got a welder (or two) covered but if buckets of money falls from the sky I could see a new toy, err tool...
 

crowskee

5 year old buck +

thedoublejranch

A good 3 year old buck
Real nice. Maybe a bit off the original topic but tell us more about the plasma cutter. Got a welder (or two) covered but if buckets of money falls from the sky I could see a new toy, err tool...
I'm telling you, this is the neatest thing since sliced bread.

What is plasma? Its the 4th state of matter. We always thought there was only 3, IE solids, liquids and gasses.
Not so, you add heat to ice, you go from solid to liquid, add more heat, you go from liquid to gas, now add way more heat, you go from gas to plasma. The nozzle temps depending on my settings is between 20,000 to 40,000 degrees, I have the power of the sun at my fingertips. Trigger has a safety on it and for good reason.

Hypertherm is basically king of the hill, lots of cheap stuff out there with hard to obtain consumables. So beware.
Any of those welder mfg have good units, IE Miller, Lincoln etc and less money then the Hypertherm.

This one will burn through 1 1/4" thick steel, but that is just a separation cut. It cuts clean at 3/4" inch and under.
I have the "drag tip" which means I just drag the nozzle right on the metal and it cuts. No preheating or waiting for metal to puddle, you hold nozzle at edge, plugged in, hooked to compressor, then just pull trigger and the metal cuts like a hot knife through butter. Below is a 1" thick chunk of steel. Easy peasy.

I have a gouging tip also, so it works for gouging out an old weld if you are taking something apart by cutting he welds out.
It has a constant pilot arc option too so I can blow through grating or expanded metal. Normally, the pilot arc shuts off when the cutting starts, but as you go across metal with holes in it, it will need to restart after it reaches a hole, , this can be done by just flipping the pilot arc to full on to expanded metal. This will wear out the tip faster, same with starting and stopping.

I can also just pierce metal, easily at even 1/4" thick. The cut happens so fast, its not long after, you can pick the metal up with your hands which torch cut stuff remains hot for a long time. The plasma cutters leaves a very narrow kerf, if you use a straight edge, follow with drag tip, the cut is so clean, you hardly even need to grind. Note those triangles in front of the trailer fenders, I cut those with the plasma and a straight edge.

This is the Powermax 1000 G3 series, it retails for $2800.
Cheap chinese units, you can get around $500 and under, these are slow to cut thinner metals, may not have a drag tip and consumables are proprietary.

Below, 1" cut with plasma
 

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Turkey Creek

5 year old buck +
There is no doubt the stick welder could do the job for farm stuff....The question becomes, whether I could develop the skills necessary with a stick welder given the fact that my farm welding would likely be infrequent. My thinking was that I was able to pick up wire welding enough to get by in a weekend but without someone to teach me, it would take much more time and practice. A multi-process would let me have some functionality soon with wire, giving me time to learn with sticks. The other reason is that some things, like the boom on the welder are thinner that 3/16".

Or do you guys think I could pick up stick welding pretty quickly? Don't get me wrong, my skills with wire are marginal at best. I would not weld anything yet that could cause bodily harm if the weld failed.

Thanks,

Jack
Yes you can learn the skills necessary. Find some old scrap pieces and make some art work! LOL Most of us probably learned by trial and error. As the guy told me that showed me how to weld, "You weld like a gorilla .... ugly but strong!"
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Well, I have several welding projects that have been sitting waiting during hunting season. I made the final decision to go with a Millermatic 215 multi-process welder. For years, they offered rebates each quarter. Because of COVID, the last rebate they offered was the first quarter of 2020. I was hoping they would start up again with the first quarter of 2021 but every year, Jan 15th was the start. I could wait no longer, so I pulled the trigger today. I also ordered a Miller Digital Infinity helmet.

I hope to fix my sprayer boom when it comes in. I also found the seat in my tractor broke. The insert for the bolt pulled out of the seat bracket. Looks like another job for the welder. Then, of course, I'll need to make a welding cart... :emoji_smile:
 

thedoublejranch

A good 3 year old buck
Well, I have several welding projects that have been sitting waiting during hunting season. I made the final decision to go with a Millermatic 215 multi-process welder. For years, they offered rebates each quarter. Because of COVID, the last rebate they offered was the first quarter of 2020. I was hoping they would start up again with the first quarter of 2021 but every year, Jan 15th was the start. I could wait no longer, so I pulled the trigger today. I also ordered a Miller Digital Infinity helmet.

I hope to fix my sprayer boom when it comes in. I also found the seat in my tractor broke. The insert for the bolt pulled out of the seat bracket. Looks like another job for the welder. Then, of course, I'll need to make a welding cart... :emoji_smile:
Get the cart that elevates the welder, in fact, harbor tools sells a decent one, one thta would be hard to make at a better price. And then the taller cart, if you decide to swap out the flux core for the sheild gas set up, the taller bottle fits nicely.

Miller, Hobart, Lincoln, all rock solid units.
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Get the cart that elevates the welder, in fact, harbor tools sells a decent one, one thta would be hard to make at a better price. And then the taller cart, if you decide to swap out the flux core for the sheild gas set up, the taller bottle fits nicely.

Miller, Hobart, Lincoln, all rock solid units.

I've looked at some of the carts. I'm a novice at welding. I was thinking that building a welding cart would be a good training project. I'm sure I can't do it as cheaply, but I could customize it for my needs. I was thinking of a cart with a small welding table above the welder. I'm still playing with ideas.
 

thedoublejranch

A good 3 year old buck
I've looked at some of the carts. I'm a novice at welding. I was thinking that building a welding cart would be a good training project. I'm sure I can't do it as cheaply, but I could customize it for my needs. I was thinking of a cart with a small welding table above the welder. I'm still playing with ideas.
Yeah, but for $35, you cant make one, you will spend close to that on just the good quality casters.

weldingcart.jpg
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Yeah, but for $35, you cant make one, you will spend close to that on just the good quality casters.

View attachment 33263

You are absolutely right and for $35 bucks, it may be worth getting one for temporary use. I have a number of HF carts for other tools. It may take me some time to understand exactly what I want in the long run. Buying one of these would certainly be useful in the mean time. I'm sure I'd find a use for it after I do build something.

I was thinking about something like this:
except with 1x2 tubular steel spaced an inch or so apart for easy clamping.

Thanks,

Jack
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
It arrived today! I brought a couple pieces of scrap home to practice with, but It just dawned on me that I have no gas. I'm not sure what I was thinking. So, my practice will need to wait until I go back to the farm. I started to look at 75/25 (c25) in that area. They want $60 a year to rent 84 - 320 cf tanks plus the cost of the gas. I can buy a 60 cf tank for about $160. I don't have to worry about certification as they do tank swaps. The only want a couple bucks more to fill an 84cf than they do a 60cf, and the cost/cf drops from there for larger tanks.

I can't imagine I'll be welding enough to make renting a larger tank worthwhile, so I'll probably try a 60. I also go a Digital Infinity helmet. I haven't used it with an arc yet, but I'm impressed with the size of the viewing area.

So, it looks like I've got some fun coming up!

Thanks,

Jack
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
The welder is just sitting waiting for me to head to the farm next week, but I think I found a gem. I've been cleaning out the garage and taking stuff to the new barn. I came across this:

IMG_20210122_164056343.jpg

it is my old drafting table from Jr. High School. A few years after I hit high school, the got rid of Jr. High and went to the middle school format. When they did that, the converted the old Jr. High into an administrative building and auctioned off a bunch of stuff. My dad bought it for me. It has been just sitting in my garage for years. I removed the wooden top. You can see part of it on the floor.

I think I can cut down the legs and add weld on locking casters and convert it into a welding cart/table. This could reduce the cost substantially and be a great first fabrication project. Of course it will need to wait until I've done some practice and then done repairs on my tractor seat and boom sprayer.

The important thing is that when my wife says, "I don't know why you keep all that junk, you'll never use it", I now have a legitimate response. :emoji_smile:

Thanks,

Jack
 

Turtlesprings

5 year old buck +
Jack as you progress with the welder...i would and did get both a stick welder and a small mig welder for intricate projects. The Lincolns can be found, used for a $100. Then get a 110v mig for sheet metal projects. Just my .02
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Jack as you progress with the welder...i would and did get both a stick welder and a small mig welder for intricate projects. The Lincolns can be found, used for a $100. Then get a 110v mig for sheet metal projects. Just my .02

Are you saying that the 215, which is a multiprocess welder (Mig, Stick, Tig), is too powerful for sheet metal? The specs say it will go down to 24 gauge for Mig and Tig and 16 gauge for stick. What kind of projects would you envision that would use thinner sheet metal?

Thanks,

Jack
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
I'm moving forward slowly. I bought a tank of 75/25 today and started setting up the welder. I modified an old pressure sprayer stand to accept it temporarily until I can build a cart/table. I got it about 1/2 way setup for MIG. I still have not threaded the wire through. That is on tap for tomorrow. I also noticed I need a different outlet for the 240v. Hopefully I'll get some practice tomorrow!
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
I spent the morning working on the temporary cart. It was about 1400 when I finally finished setting up the welder for MIG. I was surprised at how ugly my practice welds were. I recall doing better the last time I played with a welder. But, I figured they were good enough to fix my tractor seat. I spent the rest of the day working on it. I blew through the sheet metal on the bottom of my seat in places, but I was eventually able to make a "good enough" fix.

As I was cleaning up, I noticed the regulator had frost on it. I started looking for a leak and could not find one, but I could hear hissing of gas. After scratching my head a while I started looking at things more closely. I realized that I had disconnected the gas from the welder when making some modification to the cart and forgot to reconnect it! How stupid. I was welding near the barn door but had to close it most of the way so my helmet would lighten properly when there was no arc. The gas hose had fallen outside. I had just emptied an entre tank of 75/25 outside and all my welding was done with no shielding gas. Live and learn! Looks like I'll be headed in form more gas tomorrow morning.

Thanks,

Jack
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
IMG_20210128_140409255.jpg

So, here is the welder with the temporary cart. It is just a cart from an old pressure washer. I took off the disc skids and put on front casters. I put a shelf on it to hold the welder fairly level. I then attached a small HF dolly for the cylinder. It will due until I can build a cart/table.

I got another canister of shielding gas and this time I connected it to the welder! Duhh.... What a dream. I did a couple practice welds and I was welding like a novice. They are pretty ugly, but good enough for repairing equipment.

IMG_20210128_140444605.jpg

Here is my first repair. Just a couple pieces of angle iron mending the break in my sprayer boom.

IMG_20210128_145707114_HDR.jpgHere is the finished center boom. I decided to make some other mods to the sprayer while I have it torn apart. Much of it will be welding.

Well, that was it for my first few days of welding.

Thanks,

Jack
 
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