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Welder recommendation

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by Atlas Knife Company, Nov 21, 2014.

  1. Mecha

    Mecha Madscienceforge.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 27, 2013
    3/32" 7018 stick electrode, at around 90 amps will make you a nice 1/4" weld.
  2. H2Oknife

    H2Oknife Waterjet Service Provider Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 23, 2010
    Perfect for OP application
    3/32 or 1/8 7018 DCEP for the WIN
    Welded tons of #8 rebar in the rod bustin days with 6010 & 7018
    Just make sure you have polarity Electrode Positive
    Seen plenty of so called welders screw up there.
    Great to see so much interest in welding around here.
  3. Will52100


    Dec 4, 2001
    Duty cycle is and isn't that important with a stick machine. I've managed to exceed the cycle on a lincoln cracker box, or maybe I was just working it to death. Rod after rod, steady welding up a big goose neck trailer and started tripping the breaker till I got to the point I just had to let the machine cool down. However that's not real common, and really needed a better machine for a big job like that. Something like that's where a mig really shines.

    Forget about metal thickness, it's all about the rod size. If your machine can only weld 3/32" rod I can still weld 2" plate together, it'll just take a few more passes. Most common rods I use no mater the machine are 3/32", 1/8", and 5/32", with 1/8" doing the lion's share of the work.
  4. SinePari


    Oct 24, 2013
    It's the roadmap to making more new toys!!!

    Imagine the poor souls that undertake that "No Weld Grinder" project the hard way...without a welder... uphill both ways... in the snow....

    :D :D :D
  5. coldsteelburns


    Aug 2, 2010
    I would be one of those poor souls :( ---------> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNMuKGMcqlc&list=UU2rJM5fwM7F-Fy9E74-fYSQ :D

    And yea man, I wanna make some toys n jigs and other things as well! I could do plenty of this stuff I'd "need" to do I'm sure with my 90 amp HF welder, at least when it comes to making jigs or w/e, but now I'm really wanting a stick welder and am thinking bout possibly getting one of those those stick welders fromthose two links that were shared.

    First, the one that Willie posted a link to: http://www.longevity-inc.com/stick-welders/stickweld-140

    It sounds like it would work great, and I can use it with 110V until I am able to make a 220V cord and figure out how I'd plug it in with my washer and dryer and stove always in use and hard to move. And then it can be used as a 220V once (if) I get a cord.. The reviews are good, but one guy mentioned that using it in 110V mode in a normal household outlet will blow a circuit anyway..? :thumbdn: However, my 90 amp HF welder never blew a circut in my house, only when using a powerstrip with an overload safty has it shut off... But since I know nothing about welders, I don't know if that's a good deal or if I should get a different 110V stick welder for cheaper one or better brand from CraigsList or somewhere else.. :confused:

    And the link JSM11 posted has this one: http://store.cyberweld.com/tharcstwe95s.html

    This one is only 115V and is about as much as I'd want to pay for a welder at this point in my life, but the reviews are good on this one as well. But again, don't know anything or even how it compairs with the dozens of other brands of stick welders out there..

    So yea, that's where I'm stuck at for the moment.. :foot:

    My YT Channel Lsubslimed
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2014
  6. Bo T

    Bo T

    Feb 12, 2011
    Checked the local CL and the only good deal on a stick welder was a Shumacher AC/DC 240V unit. Given the newer inverter machines What kind of an advantage do the older transformer based machines have? There were half a dozen or so Miller and Lincoln machines but with a new 225 AC unit at $300 a used price of $250 isn't very appealing.

    Also, is it difficult to set up a stick machine for TIG?
  7. 12345678910


    Jul 13, 2009
    They call it scratch start tig- you need DC so try to start with a DC welder

    But you have no foot pedal control

  8. Will52100


    Dec 4, 2001
    The thing about the new inverter welders is they seem to have cleaner current. Or at least that's what everybody tells me and I've seen from test and such. Never used one myself, that's the reason I've got one coming is to try it out. All cracker boxes I've used have never had very good DC current, you've got 120 AC input and it's going through a rectifier. I'm hoping the inverter with all the electronic controls smooths the power fluctuations out.

    On the other hand, with a cracker box you've got the advantage of simplicity, just a big coil and a few settings and very little to go wrong. My old welder was a 45 year old Foney that had been outside for years, through a flood, ect and finally decided to give up after all that. I doubt that the new machines will last near that long or are anywhere near as rugged. And even if they weld for crap with DC, they do OK with AC.
  9. Bo T

    Bo T

    Feb 12, 2011
    Wow! That scratch start TIG looks a lot like the oxy-acetylene that I learned a little of, 40 years ago. Thanks for the info. :)
  10. Mecha

    Mecha Madscienceforge.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 27, 2013
    I bet you're gonna love the inverter machine, Will52100!

    The current is cleaner, because the IGBT steps up the input current's frequency from 60 hertz by many orders of magnitude, then spits it out as DC in the proper voltage range. So if it was the ocean, it takes the big crashing waves and turns them into a bunch of small even waves; the same amount of "water" does the same work but very smoothly. With a good inverter machine you can bury the electrode into the puddle and the arc won't even flinch. The DC output acts almost as if it's isolated from the fluctuations of the input.
  11. Will52100


    Dec 4, 2001
    Good to know, can't wait for mine to get here so I can play with it.
  12. Shaggy DA

    Shaggy DA

    Aug 16, 2014
    You're right, that weld wouldn't pass at any of the shops I've worked for. From the look of the weld, I'd say that the machine is running right. Just bad technique. Sorry, just trying to give some constructive criticism. From what I can tell you are 'dragging' the wire (you have the wire pointed directly into the puddle and you have your puddle chasing the wire. Drag Flux Core (Dual Shield) and push MIG (Hard Wire). Since that is hardwire (solid wire), you should push the puddle. Have the wire pointing onto the top of the puddle. It should look something like what walking a dog on a leash does, the wire should be the leash and puddle should be the puppy. If that makes sense...LoL

    What I do is do cursive e's and try to make them as uniform as possible. Shaky hands won't really hurt the outcome of the weld as long as you are consistent. They've actually got some pretty good stuff on YouTube about welding. His name is Jody Collier and he has a website called WeldingTipsandTricks.com Here is a link to his YouTube channel. https://www.youtube.com/user/weldingtipsandtricks
  13. Maelstrom78


    Sep 21, 2013
  14. 12345678910


    Jul 13, 2009
    I wouldn't buy a welder at a home depot
    They sell a model made for them, to a lower standard with a unique part number
    Higher price More plastic parts, less copper and so on.
    Welding stores operate like car dealers, price is what you bargin it to be.

    DC is better than AC - middle one is out

    Those have "tapped" adjustments at fixed points

    If you can find a used machine with infinite adjustment you have more flexibility to tune it in

    Thunderbolt® XL 225/150 AC/DC

    If you can find a used one of those, it will probably come with some lead wire too in the price you're looking at

    I've used a clone of the older version of that with the crank on the top

    Short of a flood, nothing to break on it besides a switch
  15. Maelstrom78


    Sep 21, 2013
  16. 12345678910


    Jul 13, 2009
    It looks like the first one is at a reseller with a lot of "no warranty " language and the second is sold by its owner

    I don't see the "mangled" but try asking the second ad owner if he can demonstrate that it works before you buy it.

    You can buy lead wire by the foot
    the longer it is, the bigger it should be

    figure out what your length has to be and add a little so you're comfortable
    download the manual and figure out the size you need

    $2 to $5 per foot here , try and buy it used

    You need two wires
  17. Maelstrom78


    Sep 21, 2013
    Thanks much!
  18. Atlas Knife Company

    Atlas Knife Company KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Basic Member

    Feb 16, 2010
    Just to post my solution to the thread, I ended up with a new Chicago 180 Mig, the new "black" welder sold by HF. With the exception of the occasional popping when I first start, I get almost zero popping when welding. Everything is cleaner and it liquefies .035" wire better than my old welder did .023". It welds cleaner and faster than my old welder, although not quite as nice as the giant Miller at a friends machine shop. Still, for only $285, I think it's a huge improvement over what I was using.

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