Wire Feed Welder

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Old 02-25-05, 02:47 PM
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Thumbs up Wire Feed Welder

Ok, I've been reading alot of info. on here! Lots of great advice! Ok, I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on a decent, somewhat inexpensive, wire feed welder? Will be mostly for welding sheetmetal on cars and cycles. My brother said something like that I would want a gas one. He said something about them working better cuz of the wire or something??? Thanks, Jack
 
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Old 02-25-05, 03:51 PM
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Jack,
He said something about them working better cuz of the wire or something???
If you don't have any idea about even the terminology I would suggest that you read through at least the last three months of posts.
Almost every fourth post is about "which welder should I buy".

What you could pay attention to is the fact that there are two types of electric welders that a beginner would consider.
A stick machine which burns stick electrodes and a mig unit which burns wire on a spool that is fed to a gun where a shielding gas protects the weld from oxygen.
Also look for info on duty cycle.
Do some research to at least find out if you are even interested in persuing welding.
Read up on at least what kind of machines are out there.
 
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Old 02-26-05, 05:58 AM
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Exclamation Wire Feed Wlder

I'm sorry I don't know more about welding. I'm a mental health professional and my degree is in Human Services. I'm not familiar with your terminolgy just as you probably wouldn't be with mine. I came here to LEARN about welding not to be critisized for my lack of knowledge on the subject. I realize welding is a complex trade that requires much knowledge and even greater skill. Therefore, I thought someone with a greater knowledge than I could or would recommend a wire feed welder that could serve my purpose of welding automotive sheet metal. BTW, when did welders become snobs???
 
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Old 02-26-05, 06:28 AM
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Learning or buying

I work in data processing and went through the learning curve about 10 years ago. Let's cut to the chase.

Buying: You want a 110 volt wire feed machine from either Miller or Lincoln that is already set up for gas shielding (rather than just self-shielding where the flux is in the wire core). Do NOT get it from a home center; go to an actual welding retailer who can answer your questions later.
While you're there, pick up an auto-darkening helmet, gloves and the rest of the safety equipment.

Learning: Welding is about 10% reading and 90% practice. Find the nearest scrap metal yard or steel supply and get a few feet of 1/8" thick angle iron or bed frame material. You want to learn on thick stuff that won't burn through as easily as sheet metal. Don't get thicker than 1/8" since the welder won't penetrate the metal.

Find someone who can SHOW you how to weld with your machine. Much better than reading all the available books. Remember the guy you bought the machine from? Go back to him and have him demonstrate what the machine will do. Maybe even do this BEFORE you buy.
The guy in the home center will not know how to do this and the store isn't going to let him fire it up in the store.

If you don't already know, you will discover that you need ways to CUT and GRIND metal in preparation for welding. There are several methods. Talk to the owner of a auto body repair shop for recommendations.
 
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Old 02-26-05, 06:48 AM
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Hmm,

unclejack,

Snobs? Sorry if I offended you.
I was offering you the tools to be able to at least have a basic understanding of the terminology. There is more to know than what can be offered in a couple of posts.

A recomendation then:

Click image:
<img src="http://www.millerwelds.com/images/products/millermatic135.jpg">
Image credit:millerwelds,com

I would seriously recommend you bypass the inexpensive makes and purchase a name brand unit. Miller and Hobart are two brands where you can't go wrong.
A unit that comes equipped with the regulator and gas solenoid will allow you to use shielding gas right away or try the unit with flux cored wire that doesn't require gas.
Also, these units regularly need replacement parts. If you buy from an established welding supplier, you will not have to be standing there listening to a clerk in a box store trying to figure out what you are asking for.
Also, if you were to find that you outgrow this small machine, which you will if you get hooked, good used name brand units are in demand.

Keep in mind that 120 volt units require a dedicated 20 amp circuit that you may have to wire in. If you purchase this small size on the expectation it can plug in anywhere you may want to consider upsizing to a 220 volt machine.
 
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Old 02-26-05, 10:41 AM
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Find the washing machine

I have had the Lincoln SP-100 for a number of years now.
When you look for an outlet to drive it, find the washing machine and borrow that outlet while welding. It will usually be a dedicated circuit. If the arc keeps dropping out after it's started, there is probably another appliance like a toaster or something that is causing excessive voltage drop. Keep the extension cord (if used) short (like 50' or less) and ensure that it is at least 12 guage wire.
 
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Old 02-26-05, 10:56 AM
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Vocabulary is necessary

Unclejack,
A review of prior posts in this topic will assist greatly in reducing confusion. Over the years, multiple terms apply to the same thing and original definitions have drifted.
For instance, MIG, GMAW, FCAW and SAW are all Constant Voltage (CV) processes. They differ greatly in how the atmosphere is excluded from the weld puddle.
In order to ensure that you are getting what you need, the vocabulary needs to be acquired along with the equipment. It will take quite a while learning one term at a time as you encounter them.
 
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Old 02-26-05, 03:02 PM
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Thumbs up Wire Feed Wlder

Thanks for the info! That was pretty much my thinking! Buy a welder and practice! I have welded in the past but that was when I attended a vo-tech school while I attended high school 15 years ago! Best way for me to learn is just to practice!
 
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Old 02-26-05, 03:07 PM
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Crafsmen Wire feed welder

what do u think about one of these. I t can be used either with gas or without! I can get it on credit! It's about $300. If I had the $700-$800 I just might buy a Miller or Hobart.
 
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