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Discussion Starter #1
considering buyng a welder for the shop, have some things on the car that need welding, and in its present state of disassembly is not practical to move. being in landscape business theres always something that needs fixing too. my only experience is with wire welders and not much at that, so any recomendations. dont want to over or under purchase, and ease of operation is important, thanks merry christmas
 

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For car work, I've always found that a wire feed MIG welder worked the best.
I have a Lincoln 220v Wire Feed. I use AIRGAS for my tank swapouts. My welder was $550 new (OTD), plus $200 for the tank (filled, of course). I already had a bunch of welding supplies (like gloves and blankets and hood), so I didn't have too much cost beyond that.
For thicker metals (which is what I do most of the time) I use a rather large Lincoln Arc Welder. I do have the suitcase for it, but I found that I like using my little 220 WAY better and I seem to get a more consitant bead, especially at the start of a weld.
Now, I've used 110 welders, and for body work (where the metal is super thin) they seem to work really good, but when you get into some thicker metal, they struggle. So, for C3 frame work, I would recommend a 220 welder with infinite wire feed and arc controls. By infinite, I mean that the dial is like a rheostat.
 

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I have a Miller 180 auto-set. It can handle anything I can throw at automotive related. You do need 220 Volts for this model. If 220V. is a problem, the Miller 140 auto-set will do fine, just a little less duty cycle. I think mine was about $725 delivered.
 

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If you're doing general automotive plus heavier stuff like making heavy racks and generally working with 1/4" steel, go for the 220v.

If you're doing general automotive plus sheetmetal repair, go for the 120v units. They're enough to do heavier tasks like build a trailer or heavy racks, but are slower as they require more cleanliness and sometimes more passes. The lower settings shine for thin stuff and 120V portability can be super-handy if you're the type who helps out friends and family all over town.

I use a 120v lincoln SP135+ and love it to death. There are times it would be nice to have a larger welder, but this one's built a couple trailers and everything else we've asked of it....so it gets tough to justify more. And the portability really is superb, but don't cheap out and get a menards welder. Spend for the models sold at your local welding stores, they can often be talked into making you a deal if you're also buying a cart, bottle, and wire for both modes of operation

A 4 inch angle grinder is the tool to use for weld prep. May as well leash it to the welder. :thumbsup: happy weldin!
 

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I went ahead and moved this to the General Automotive & Shop section :thumbsup:
 

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youll want to think about WHAT you want to WELD, if its only steel a miller 180 amp mig is a good selection, but if it includes aluminum, you may want to go to a TIG welder as a decent TIG will produce much stronger welds if used in experienced hands and can weld both thinner and more delicate steel and aluminum
Ive got 5 welders in the shop as each has a different area its BEST used for, ,MIG,.........TIG,.......ARC,......OXY-ACETYLENE and ..... flux core,, the flux core and ARC welders are NOT mandatory as the other three can do 99% of that they do

IF you were local I could let you try both a MILLER 252 MIG and a miller 330 AMP TIG welder so you could see the advantages each has.
ID strongly suggest you find a local trade school that has a 6-8 week welding class as its WELL worth the time and effort as youll learn a great deal and get a good feel for what type of welders best suit your needs, it sure beats spending $600-$4500 on a welder and then finding out you could have a better welder that better suited their needs and spent less to get it. or found the welder you thought was a bargain is a total piece of S$%%^^ like many of my freinds found out

http://forum.grumpysperformance.com/viewtopic.php?f=60&t=77


http://forum.grumpysperformance.com/viewtopic.php?f=60&t=1594

http://forum.grumpysperformance.com/viewtopic.php?f=60&t=72

THESE COMPANY MAKE SEVERAL GOOD TYPES of EQUIPMENT

http://www.htpweld.com/

http://www.millerwelds.com/products/

http://www.lincolnelectric.com/product.asp
 

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In my shop we use mostly Miller welders.
We have a couple Esab's, but they came with the business.

Last year I bought a Miller TIG setup from a place called weldfabulous.com .
The local guys couldn't get close to their price.
My gas supplier had no issues with me buying from another source. He said he makes most of his money on supplies anyway.

One thing to check on before buying is your available voltage and if you have enough capacity in your breaker box to add the proper circuit.
If you are thinking of buying used, make sure you don't get a 3 phase only machine.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
thanks for all the input, alot of info to digest, and i had thought before about taking a welding class at our local tech school ill have to look into that again
 
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