Iron Fence - Mig Welder?


Old 04-19-04, 12:14 PM
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Unhappy Iron Fence - Harbor Freight Mig Welder?

1st I did research the forum but have not found an exact answer. I'm looking to fabricate about 60' of decorative railing around a raised patio. I of course being "ultra handy man" would like to do it myself. I'm thinking a 230v-120a mig (item #55075) would suit my "one time need" with an occasional boat trailer repair thereafter. I have no problems with a small duty cycle (e.g. I use a 12gal 4hp compressor when I spray my ceilings) . Is this stuff absolute trash to be avoided at all costs?
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Old 05-02-04, 09:03 PM
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I've been too embarrassed to ask virtually the same question, albeit a different project.
Old 05-04-04, 02:07 PM
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I think most people will recommend buying a brand name welder for parts and service reasons. For your fence, if it's being built on site you may want to consider using flux core wire because the wind doesn't affect the welding procedure and there's no need to drag around a gas cylinder, but if I had a choice I'd prefer to use gas shielding (mig). I feel that either a 240v or a 120v name brand would serve you well. One last thought, some of the cheaper wire welders are set up to use flux core only. To weld thin materials a mig kit must be bought seperately. Most better welders come equipped to weld either flux core or mig.
Old 05-05-04, 10:18 AM
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Lightbulb Mig

Even if your welder will see very limited use it is always a good idea to get a quality welder from a name brand. If would be a shame to buy a cheap-o welder and have it die two weeks from when you bought it with no parts or service avaible. If you have no way of fixing it will be like throwing money away. I agree that flux core will the way to go if you are going to be working outside. But using gas for a true MIG weld would produce a weld that has more quality, if you can do it where the conditions are right. And you will want to make sure the rig you buy can so both true MIG and flux core, with out buying any attachments.
Old 05-09-04, 03:28 PM
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I agree, some cheap tools work well but welding machines are not one of them. I am not a big fan of 120V machines. Something that would work well and have a long life and be useful is the Hobart HH175. Possibly the best machine of its type for the $
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