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post #1 of 29 Old 12-18-2014, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
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welder options, what would u pick

In the market for a welder, now that i have a garage i can work in again. I may or may not have 220 access already so lets not make that a decidng factor. heres what i found, what do you guys think?




uses will be be some framework (truck is already notched, five linked, etc so the bulk is done, but shock mounts and stuff still need to happen.) sheetmetal, some motorcycle stuff, and lots and lots and lots of practice time. this is what i found




Used LINCOLN 3200HD MIG WELDER $350, includes cart but no bottle for $350

Used Hobart Handler 180 MIG Welder for $450, includes bottle regulator but no bottle or cart

New Lincoln welder 180hd $500 no bottle or cart


if theres somewhere else i should be looking for good deals, let me know.

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post #2 of 29 Old 12-20-2014, 10:13 PM
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Re: welder options, what would u pick

i currently have the 3200hd, and owned the handler 140 for about 3 years, about 7 years ago.

the lincoln with flux core is awesome, theres not much you cant weld. with mig it doesnt have the balls for really thick stuff. this isnt the welders faulty but rather the voltage. does fine with 1/4" plate, just slow. duty cycle is great as ill trip a breaker or something in the house before the welder goes into thermal protection, the internal fan does its job well. my only complaint is the 4 position power setting. i want infinitely adjustable, as i find often im in between settings and have to compensate with wire speed or speed up/slow down the torch, not a huge deal, more of an annoyance.

i honestly dont remember much about the hobart other than it always worked and had 0 complaints about it. the 140 is a 110v, the 180 would be a 220, so thats not fair.

both welders have had many pounds of wire fed through them with no issues. all 3 of your options are great choices.

in either case, a 110v welder is not comparable to a 220v welder. the 220 is win if you have the outlets to use it, but at the same time not entirely necessary if you not welding 1/2"+plate all the time.

the 3200 at $350 is steep retail for a used one. i got mine for $250 with a regulator, but no cart- i made one for about $20. the hobart is a steal at that price.

no comment on the 180.

IMO i think the hobarts are slightly better quality than the lincolns.

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post #3 of 29 Old 12-20-2014, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
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Re: welder options, what would u pick

I had been told actually to shy away from the 110 welders but I thought the 3200 was a good deal, thanks for the heads up - I doubt I'll ever be welding 1/2" plate, I don't have anything on my truck or bike that thick lol

But I think I can run 220 to the garage without costing a arm and leg. so I'm leaning towards that route. If not I'll check out a Hobart 140.



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post #4 of 29 Old 12-20-2014, 11:26 PM Thread Starter
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Re: welder options, what would u pick

Found a 140 with full tank, cart and Hobart self darkening helmet for 600, looks new, newish. Sears has them new for $500, no tank.



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post #5 of 29 Old 12-21-2014, 12:42 AM
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Re: welder options, what would u pick

I bought a new Lincoln 180 a while back, yet to use it. It was $600 (cad) new, no tank, just the machine. Even though I don't plan on needing to weld anything over 1/4", I only wanted a 220 machine. I wouldn't personally consider a 110 machine, as a little extra capability with the 220 is nice to have if needed. I still need to get 220 into my garage but luckily for me it's not going to be too hard. I picked up an 8g 50' extension cord to give more flexibility on where I can use the machine.

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post #6 of 29 Old 12-21-2014, 01:39 AM Thread Starter
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Re: welder options, what would u pick

I just found out there's no power to the garage at all, so I'm going to see what it'll cost to get 220 put in



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post #7 of 29 Old 12-22-2014, 01:39 AM
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Re: welder options, what would u pick

If I had time, I'd let you take my Miller 211 home for a bit and try it on both 110 and 220. 220v all the way!

Whatever your choice is, your first project should be a welding cart.
My 1st welder was a Lincoln Weld-pak 100hd from Home Depot. I didn't know shit about welding when I bought it. After a year and a class of welding, I decided to buy the Miller211 and use it on 220v. Holy crap, night and day difference going from the weld-pak 110v to the 211 on 220v.

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post #8 of 29 Old 12-22-2014, 08:46 AM
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Re: welder options, what would u pick

I'll add that a 220 will make better welds, easier.
A 110 will make you a better welder, a 220 will make better welds.

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post #9 of 29 Old 12-22-2014, 10:26 AM Thread Starter
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Re: welder options, what would u pick

Tsayyote-thanks for the sorta offer lol, I'm still running those arms I got from you, how's your truck coming along?

Hi I'm Sean-I see what you're getting at. Unfortunately those three options I mentioned were all sold I guess bcuz the sellers never got back to me. I'm gonna keep searching.

I hate to buy a new one because I know there's tons of welders collecting dust, I just have to find em. However-If u guys went to Sears and bought a new one, what would be the preferred 110 option and the 220 option with say a $600-700 budget?



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post #10 of 29 Old 12-22-2014, 05:03 PM
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Re: welder options, what would u pick

You're welcome, sorta, lol.

No progress on the truck since you saw it. I hired on with the railroad and it takes all +10% of my time.

I browsed CL for a little bit and there aint much on there right now compared to when I looked last year. The Hobart 180 is a good little machine. I think Beandip on here has one if I'm not mistaken if you are looking to buy new. A hair over your budget, but very well justified if you want a good welder now to use for a long time. Can be used on either 110v or 220v. http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...FegRMwodOzkA9w

Of course while I was looking through the CL ads, I come across this http://losangeles.craigslist.org/lgb...806539729.html and about bust a nut. I might have to sell my truck to buy this. The wife would love that

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post #11 of 29 Old 12-29-2014, 08:45 AM
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Re: welder options, what would u pick

I started out with a Lincoln pro mig 135. Had and used it for years. Very good little welder. Then I got a Hobart handler 175. No comparision. The amperage you get from a 220 welder is night and day.

Just like Sean said, if you can wled with a 110 then you can use about any mig welder.

I feel that the 220 is alot more forgiving. If you have no power to the garage then it would be easier/cheaper to run a 220 circuit now then later.
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post #12 of 29 Old 12-29-2014, 08:49 AM
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Re: welder options, what would u pick

1 other thing to mention. And this goes for everyone. The 1 most imortant upgrade I made to my welder was to change the cord. The Lincoln 135 was a real stickler for not using a extension cord. It killed the output of the welder. So I took a 10-3 extension cord that I had laying around and replaced the original welder power cord with it. Now I have a 20' built in cord that does not effect the welders output.
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post #13 of 29 Old 01-05-2015, 09:30 PM
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Re: welder options, what would u pick

I have a miller 210 and my son bought a Hobart 140 and we use them side by side,I'm a die hard miller fan but his Hobart works great I actually like the Hobart better for sheet metal because the gun is ALOT smaller than mine
He's had it for 3 years now with no problems plus it came with a 5 year warrenty that the miller dealer will service
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post #14 of 29 Old 01-06-2015, 08:55 PM
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Re: welder options, what would u pick

I have a craftsman SP 100 with the bottle / reg. and would like to use it to fab a set of V6 headers which would probably be 18-16 gauge mild steel. I had a basic course many years ago but plan on practicing until I have it down. Any tips,suggestions ?

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post #15 of 29 Old 01-07-2015, 09:23 AM
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Re: welder options, what would u pick

Use 16 ga, bolt the flange to an old head or something when welding. Back purge and tight fit up

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Re: welder options, what would u pick

I have a old ideal arc sp150 from Lincoln thats 220v and is as old as me and it works great welded my frame with no problem and will do sheet metal work too.

At work we use miller everything Tig/mig both brands are good.

Also know people with Hobart handler 175/180 I believe and they are nice too

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post #17 of 29 Old 05-15-2016, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
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So I just got a Hobart 140 (I know, two years later lol) anyway my dad gave me a huge tank but it's full of 100% argon. I know I need a co2 argon mix, anybody know if can they just release some argon and add some straight co2? Or will it need to be drained completely and refilled?
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post #18 of 29 Old 05-15-2016, 05:00 PM
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Re: welder options, what would u pick

You could try to call some local welding shops and see if they'd trade for the 75/25 tank. If you're still in So. Cal, I've had very good luck with tank exchanges at Mobile Industrial Welding in Anaheim. Talk to Frank if you call, super cool guy. Also dealt with Sims Welding and they were good too.

Also check the top neck of your tank for a date of its last hydro test. I believe it has to be within the last 10 years. If it's older, you'll have to pay a couple bucks when you turn in the tank.
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post #19 of 29 Old 05-17-2016, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
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Re: welder options, what would u pick

hey man whats up! I'm still in socal, all these welding places are closed after work so its a hassle, but i'll figure it out. i will give frank a call for sure

I practiced on some scrap metal, then tacked in the left tub with the flux core wire the welder came with, gonna keep tacking til i run out of wire, then switch over to gas and .023 and seal it all up

tack, scrape tack scrape tack scrape, pita....hows your truck?



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post #20 of 29 Old 05-17-2016, 03:23 PM
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Re: welder options, what would u pick

You can run straight Argon no problem.
It's only a shielding gas that's inert (Totally non reactive). It is used exclusively for TIG welding aluminum, stainless, magnesium, etc.
CO2 is considered a reactive gas since it has 2 components - Oxygen and carbon.
It is a lot less expensive than straight Argon.


Welding suppliers will not mix gasses in a straight Argon tank. You would have to exchange the tank for a mixed shielding gas.


I know of guys who use straight CO2 for crap MIG welding. It is inexpensive and works. You don't get as good a weld though.


One issue people don't realize with 110 MIG welders... they run extension chords for machine power and don't realize that you have a voltage drop (although not huge) by resistance through the extension cord. Weld with an extension chord for a while and feel how warm it becomes...
A 110 MIG has a much lower duty cycle than most 220 units. You lessen that by using a chord, and the weld suffers slightly...


You can weld with a torch and get pretty much the same results, only with more heat transfer.


I have welded vehicle body panels with a Smith Bantam torch (very fine 00 torch tip), using a wet rag to cool the surface after a stretch of weld. It shrinks the metal and makes a super fine weld.

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post #21 of 29 Old 05-17-2016, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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Re: welder options, what would u pick

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You can run straight Argon no problem.
It's only a shielding gas that's inert (Totally non reactive). It is used exclusively for TIG welding aluminum, stainless, magnesium, etc.
CO2 is considered a reactive gas since it has 2 components - Oxygen and carbon.
It is a lot less expensive than straight Argon.


Welding suppliers will not mix gasses in a straight Argon tank. You would have to exchange the tank for a mixed shielding gas.


I know of guys who use straight CO2 for crap MIG welding. It is inexpensive and works. You don't get as good a weld though.


One issue people don't realize with 110 MIG welders... they run extension chords for machine power and don't realize that you have a voltage drop (although not huge) by resistance through the extension cord. Weld with an extension chord for a while and feel how warm it becomes...
A 110 MIG has a much lower duty cycle than most 220 units. You lessen that by using a chord, and the weld suffers slightly...


You can weld with a torch and get pretty much the same results, only with more heat transfer.


I have welded vehicle body panels with a Smith Bantam torch (very fine 00 torch tip), using a wet rag to cool the surface after a stretch of weld. It shrinks the metal and makes a super fine weld.
i thought i read straight argon was no good for mig welding steel... i have it so i guess i could give it a shot. just didnt want to waste it, or waste time setting it up for nothing.

i did use a decent size extension cord for the tub tacks, but since its thin sheetmetal its not making a difference, I'm nowhere near maxing the machine out. once i get to the thicker stuff i will get a 8x3 extension cord if i need it to be more mobile



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post #22 of 29 Old 05-17-2016, 05:22 PM
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Re: welder options, what would u pick

Hey man, no progress on my truck really since you saw it last. It's a shame that I don't get the time to work on it anymore. One day, though.... how big is the welding tank? When I first got into using gas, I had an empty helium tank that the stores used to fill balloons with. I got in touch with Frank at Mobile Industrial and he exchanged it for the next size down tank, with gas for free, then when that was empty, I exchanged it again for a smaller tank for free until I got to the size tank I liked.
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post #23 of 29 Old 05-17-2016, 08:33 PM Thread Starter
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Re: welder options, what would u pick

im just now getting started back on mine so i know how you feel-if u ever get around to finishing it, itll be pretty badass for sure tho!

the tank is almost 5 feet tall, i got franks number i'm going to call tomorrow-why did you keep going down in size, the gas doesnt "expire" right?



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post #24 of 29 Old 05-17-2016, 09:32 PM
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Re: welder options, what would u pick

No, but I built my own welding cart and no need for that size. The helium tank was like 300cu ft (5ft tall) and I wanted the 80cu ft (3ft tall) and eventually bought a second one with pure argon for aluminum welding with my spool attachment.

Heres what it looked like when I built it. 2x 80cu ft tanks

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Re: welder options, what would u pick

^^^ Nice work...

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Re: welder options, what would u pick

I need to make a cart, that's pretty sweet



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post #27 of 29 Old 06-02-2016, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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Re: welder options, what would u pick

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Hey man, no progress on my truck really since you saw it last. It's a shame that I don't get the time to work on it anymore. One day, though.... how big is the welding tank? When I first got into using gas, I had an empty helium tank that the stores used to fill balloons with. I got in touch with Frank at Mobile Industrial and he exchanged it for the next size down tank, with gas for free, then when that was empty, I exchanged it again for a smaller tank for free until I got to the size tank I liked.

I drove to mobile industrial, turns out they were closed for the holiday saturday. derp. shouldve called first.

went to gardena welding supply, they swapped me out for $45, i got some 023 wire for $10, and holy shit welding sheetmetal with gas vs flux core is like night and day, i shouldve done this to begin with!



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post #28 of 29 Old 06-02-2016, 11:49 PM
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Re: welder options, what would u pick

Glad it worked out for you. If you go from 110v to 220v it'll feel like night/day all over again.
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Re: welder options, what would u pick

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Glad it worked out for you. If you go from 110v to 220v it'll feel like night/day all over again.
That's a understatement, I borrowed a 220 and I feel like I can weld with my eyes closed lol

Now I want to sell the 140 and get the dual voltage 210



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