Welder Quality

Old 03-15-04, 12:05 PM
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Did i just buy a piece of trash?

Hey everyone... I dont really know anything about welders. I did it a few times in highschool but not since. I just went and ordered a Campbell Hausfeld 70 amp stick welder model RBWS090001 . was that a mistake? I couldnt find anything on it before i ordered it but since i ordered i was able to find some reviews that said this is a piece of trash? Has anyone had any experience with this welder? I bought it because i dont have alot of money and they had it on there website as a factory serviced model.. Now i am scared i bought a useless item. I want to weld a variety of things the biggest being a lumber rack for my truck with 1/8 steel tubbing.. Will this work?
Thanks for help...
Old 03-16-04, 10:01 AM
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Personally, I think they are useless and you will find that out,, not intended to burst your bubble,, its just,, well a fact. If your work is all flat you could get by with an
ac machine although I think the AC/DC models are a much better value due to the choice of electrodes available and for out of position work. Both Hobart and Lincoln make them. You will need a 240V circuit for them. The 120V stick machines are too limited by input power to be able to melt anything including warm butter. Hobart makes 2 Stickmate models.
Old 03-16-04, 09:04 PM
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I agree with sberry in that the 70 amp welder you have purchased will not do what we think you want it to.

I would be inclined to steer someone on a budget to the Lincoln 225 AC machine.
They are not as versatile as an ac/dc machine but can be had at some box stores for half the price and will do most jobs a beginner will ask of it.
Welding 1/8" tubing using 3/32-6013 would be a snap, especially if you can position the project to favor downhand welding untill you get the hang of it.
Search a ways back in this forum as there is a lot of discussion on this topic.

Image credit; lincolnelectric.com
Old 03-18-04, 09:05 PM
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I've never used one, basically because I am the son of a welder of 40+ yrs. He never used anything but a LINCOLN. And neither do I. Now if I can only remeber why. Was it the reasons lincoln was the best? or the threat of him breaking his foot off in my @$$ if I ever used soimething else. LOL. Try to get your money back. Good Luck.
Old 03-21-04, 06:32 AM
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Bill, if you can still cancel the order, do it. I have an 80AMP stick welder and it pretty much sucks. I am planning to get rid of it and get a 220v in the near future. You will spend more time screwing around trying to get it to work right then doing something constructive with it. I am still tossing around what i want to get, stick or wire for the next unit.
Old 03-21-04, 07:18 AM
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There are a couple of other considerations I didn't mention.

A gas feed mig welder is by far easier to use than a stick machine but there are some limitations.
One is that even though the advertised thickness of material a smaller unit is often within the range of what the "average" occasional will ever weld, the duty cycle of the smaller units at higher settings will prove to be extremely frustrating. Even when welding material as thin as 1/8", which every hobbiest should consider as a realistic material to work with, the smaller machine won't keep up.
A small, especially a 120 volt unit would only be suited to weld sheet metal or occasional tacks on thicker projects.
They are excellent for auto body or repairing chairs.
The frustration would come if a more ambitious project were to come along, like say building a small trailer.

Another issue with a mig is the short length of the cable.
For small bench projects it's ok but if you needed to do, again, a larger project you will find yourself carrying the thing around to position it nearer the workpiece.
Outdoors is also a problem with mig. You cannot use them in even the slightest of breeze as the shielding gas is blown away. Flux cored wire works better outside but is still somewhat sensitive to wind.
I'm not down on mig because I own a Miller 180 amp /240 volt mig, just that I've owned 250 amp a/c machine for quite some time and find it is better suited if bigger projects come around.

But, if money were not a consideration then a 250 amp mig would then do it all, but unfortunatly if I bought one there would be no money left for projects.

Just depends on what you are going to build or repair.

I will be building a trailer much like this in a couple of months and unless the fairy weld-mother finds me a deal on an ac/dc machine, will be built with my ac only unit.

Image credit:tuffindustries.com

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