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Discussion Starter #1
I know SOMEONE here's gotta be a welder or had some experience.... I know you get what you pay for, so here's the deal.

I want to LEARN how to weld.... but I want a welder that will be good for something more than just a learning tool. 120V since I don't wanna rewire for 220.... And possibly be able to do aluminum in the future. Start with flux core and move on to MIG if I haven't killed myself. Mainly just need it for light duty stuff.... thin gauge sheet metal and hollow core steel tubing in particular. Not looking to do structural steel (truck frames).... yet. Just to give you an idea of the type of work, I'm a DIY'er Car audio enthusiast looking to weld framework for amp racks, actuated shelves, etc. Overall, steel is just a lot better for that kind of stuff than MDF/particlewood, durability-wise and weight.

I saw these two models, a Hobart Handler 140 and a Lincoln SP-135T.... I've heard they're pretty good names.... 4 voltage settings, adjustable wire feed, both have the plumbing to add gas.

http://www.mylincolnelectric.com/Catalog/equipmentdatasheet.asp?p=2515

http://www.hobartwelders.com/products/handler140.html

The Hobart goes about $510 and the Lincoln for about $550 via Sears mail order. Are these a little overboard for a learning tool? What features do I need to look for? Any other models I should consider?

Thanks for any input!!

-Brian
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Any time you see the "T" at the end of a lincoln model number it means that it has "Tapped" voltage and wire speed dials. That means that you can only set the dials at specific settings. Their other models have infinite levels for the dials and therefore better control over the temperature and wire speed. I would avoid those.

The Hobart machines have some other features that make them excellent welders for both the novice and expert, I would go with the Hobart.

I have a Lincoln SP 100 that I bought used and it works just fine. Check Craig's List for your area and often you can find one used with a bottle cheaper than a new one. You will be a lot happier if you go with gas and skip the whole flux-core thing.

Just my $.02

Ryan
 

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I know you said you didn't want to rewire for 220, but I really think you should reconsider. You said it yourself, you don't want to buy a "learning tool". Although I am a firm believer that the weldor is more important than the welder, I think you'll kick yourself a few years from now for not stepping up. When I bought my welder I was in the same boat as you but I went for the Miller 175 and It's been some of the best money I've ever spent.
 

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steveG said:
I know you said you didn't want to rewire for 220, but I really think you should reconsider.
Beat me to the punch, I was going to say the same thing. Trust me, the difference between the biggest 120v welder and the smalest 220v welder is HUGE. You'll be much happier in the long run if you go ahead and improve the power feed to your shop. I just got done running a new 220v subpanel into my shop just last week for the same purpose, definitely worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Reality is.... probably wouldnt be that hard to splice to the existing 220 in the laundry room and add one in the garage.... this is starting to sound expensive though.... lol!
 

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Dude I just wired 220 into my garage over christmas. I have very little household electrical experience outside Home Repairs merit badge in the boy scouts. I tapped into the dryer circuit breaker which was by itself, and I just dont run the dryer and air compressor at the same time.

The hardest part was physically running the wire through the conduit into the garage from the panel.

My first welder will be 220.
 

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RLKBOB said:
And it's very easy and pretty cheap to add a 220V outlet.
cost me like 250bucks in supplys to wire my garage right for 220
 

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I say go for it, either one is a GREAT welder. Though, if you can go 220V, thats gonna be your best bet. Miller, Lincoln, Hobart... any 1 of the 3, all else is garbage (Century, Clark, etc..).

Your better to buy MORE than what you think you need to start, then after you learn you will have what you will end up wanting! :thumbup

Im just glad your posting links to worthwhile welders. Im tired of the $250 MIG links, what a wast of time to even manufacture them.

Best of luck...
Andrew
 

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RLKBOB said:
And it's very easy and pretty cheap to add a 220V outlet.
most of the time, when my dad ran 220 to the garage we ran into the problem of passing the service of the house. we are going to have to have a higher amp service brought to the house to be able to accomodate the extra amps of a 220v circuit (will end up being over a thousand dollars). alot of houses (especially if they have been added on to) run closer than you might think to the amperage service.
 

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couchflambeau said:
I know SOMEONE here's gotta be a welder or had some experience.... I know you get what you pay for, so here's the deal.

I want to LEARN how to weld.... but I want a welder that will be good for something more than just a learning tool. 120V since I don't wanna rewire for 220.... And possibly be able to do aluminum in the future. Start with flux core and move on to MIG if I haven't killed myself. Mainly just need it for light duty stuff.... thin gauge sheet metal and hollow core steel tubing in particular. Not looking to do structural steel (truck frames).... yet. Just to give you an idea of the type of work, I'm a DIY'er Car audio enthusiast looking to weld framework for amp racks, actuated shelves, etc. Overall, steel is just a lot better for that kind of stuff than MDF/particlewood, durability-wise and weight.

I saw these two models, a Hobart Handler 140 and a Lincoln SP-135T.... I've heard they're pretty good names.... 4 voltage settings, adjustable wire feed, both have the plumbing to add gas.

http://www.mylincolnelectric.com/Catalog/equipmentdatasheet.asp?p=2515

http://www.hobartwelders.com/products/handler140.html

The Hobart goes about $510 and the Lincoln for about $550 via Sears mail order. Are these a little overboard for a learning tool? What features do I need to look for? Any other models I should consider?

Thanks for any input!!

-Brian
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Brian, you're on the right track, both units are nice. Couple things since I just "learned" to weld on my own by doing just what you are doing:

1) passing up the 210 because you don't want to rewire will bug you later if you use the welder a lot for thicker materials like 1/4". I got lucky here since my garage already had a 210 line, just the wrong outlet on the end, which was $12 at Lowes. So think about this.
2) Hobart, I don't think you'll find anymore but I also got lucky to be in the market for one about 16 months ago, which is when they were switching the hobart model from the 175 to the new 180, so I got the 175 for $11 less than what have you shown cost wise for your 140. Might wanna look around and see if anyone still has some of these 175's.
3) This unit makes learning extremely easy. Looking back, I think the 210's also help in the learning because you have a machine capable of laying down a good bead with plenty of power for penetration. So you are concentrating on proper welding and not struggling with a machine that lacks the power to give you a proper weld in the thicker materials.

Whatever you decide, have fun....the welder is surely my favorite tool by far.
 

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Shadofax said:
3) This unit makes learning extremely easy. Looking back, I think the 210's also help in the learning because you have a machine capable of laying down a good bead with plenty of power for penetration. So you are concentrating on proper welding and not struggling with a machine that lacks the power to give you a proper weld in the thicker materials.
I think there's a large degree of truth to that. It's much easier to lay a smooth bead w my 210 vs my 135.
 

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Lick my balls
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220 is way better, hands down.
 

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I think you all missed something. he isn't doing much of anything big. small frames for electricals. little stuff. coming from someone who has only ever touched a welder to get it outta my way, go with the hobart.
 

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He said "yet". I would definitely run the 220. It didn't cost us much to run it from the fuse box, but we just had to go almost straight up to get to the garage. Then after he ran it to the garage he put on a 10 ft. lead so that with the lead, the welder plug in and the gun cable I can weld anywhere in or out of the garage pretty much.

To answer the welder question I am very happy with my Lincoln. I got it off ebay for $100 less than anywhere else.

Cameron
 
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