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Ive, got a little Miller and its only has High/Low and Wirespeed.. The welds look like Hemmorroids, and only occasionally do i get a nice looking weld. I know that i might need to use a diffrent wire, and that I need to take the time to adjust the tensioner and the drive.. But Im done with it and its my buddys on perpetual load anyway. I would love a $4000 dollar welder but its just not in my future.. Im headed towards one of the Home Depot MIG's with the gas bottle option... I dont have 220 in my garage, but if it makes a big diffrence I will have a 220 leg hooked up.

Words of wisdom appreciated.

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If i were you i would be looking at either 175 miller or lincoln. A 175 running 220v gives you the option to weld pretty much anything you would need to weld. 1/4" single pass is plenty big enough for automotive use in most cases. You can find either for right around $700. For a cheaper option you might look at the hobart 180 (knock off miller), ive never used one but heard nothing but good things about them. If your going to drop some change on a welder there is no point in buying a 110v welder, step up with the big boys and get a 220v.


I personally have a lincoln 175 pro and a millermatic 175, I love it. Big enough to to what i need, no so much that it costs an arm and a leg. Both are very comparable machines, but for some reason i like the lincoln a little more.

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Guest DatsuNoob

For the money, the home depot Miller MIG welders arent a bad way to go. They're usually the same as any you'll find at your local Hertz equipment rental store. I believe in staying away from flux-core wire because I don't really like how it turns out. I've also heard from the old-timers it tends not to have the same tensile strength. Buy a couple extra tips(sometimes they clog up, and you'll thank yourself later for saving you a trip to the hardware store in the middle of a job)and get a bottle of argon to go with which ever welder you choose, just make sure the one you pick will best suit the guage of metal you plan on working with the most. You dont necessarily need a 220 power source as long as you designate a breaker for the sole use of a welder. In other words dont have your beer fridge, stereo, compressor, and welder hooked up on the same circuit:D

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I bought a Lincoln 3200 mig welder from Home depot last year for $370. It has th e hook ups to run gas, all i need is the bottle. I can weld steel up to 5/16 thick but most of what im doing is frame or light bodywork/rust repair. Also it runs on a 110 circuit. Depending on what you want to weld shop around & find the best deal but....you always get what you pay for.

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I love my miller 175. Welds anything I put down, lays nice beads. The only thing I don't like is the size of my bottle, too small. I'll be exchanging it for a large bottle next time I go in for a fill-up.


Paid for itself in no time. ;)

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Got me a Lincoln 175 at home and a CV300 and Precision 275 at work. Night and day difference between all of the machines I use at work(Millermatic 255, Syncrowave 250, Wirematic 255) and everything but the digital crap welds like, well, crap. A buzz box, though, will weld beautifully every time, at a fraction of the price. Ain't nobody here ever hear of dual shielded action? Give it a try, you'll be AMA-zed. BTW we here in Alberta are booming(don't know if you heard) but our welders up here are easily getting 120/hr, 12 hr days, 7 days a week. From what I heard welders work half years(winter)and clear

$350 000/year. I was making $95 000/year as a green labourer.



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I picked up a used Powcon 250a ac/dc TIG welder last friday for $200. It only came with a stick welding electrode and ground clamp. I took it to the welding store (Quimby) and they set me up with an argon bottle, TIG torch, a few consumables and some rod. When I got it home, I couldn't get it to start an arc. It has both lift start and high frequency start. After some investigating, I found out it needs a switch on the torch to start the arc in either mode.


So, I ordered a CK rotary remote amperage control for the machine. It arrived today and I got to test the machine - it works. They actually sent me the wrong control, so I have to wait a few more days before I get to use the welder.


A few days before I bought it, I picked up a new Harris argon regulator and hose off CL for $25. So, all told I got a 250a ac/dc TIG welder with pulse and all new accessories for less than $1k!


So, I'll be modifying my own intercooler and maybe even radiator tanks!



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Tig is ultimately the way to go. But the price... ugh.


I used to have the Millermatic 175 and a Harbor Freight 110, but I decided to start playing around with some old-fashioned arc welders... and I'll tell you -- I'm not going back. I've got a craftsman AC 110 ($50) and a craftsman AC/DC 190/295 ($200), and I've gotten so I can weld pretty much anything. For smaller stuff, I've got an oxy-aceytlene rig set up, and I can weld automotive sheet metal together with it.


Here's some figurines I've made and sold using my oxy-acetylene rig:



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put a gas bottle on my chicago electric POS and then figured out that with mig welding you have to reverse the polarity for it to work.. actually I didnt know that till i watched the instructional video that came with my new Lincoln welder..;) so problem solved.. as for JOVIAL CYNICS FIGURINES... this one is one of my favorites... liked them alot.. especially the Ned Kelly and Just Passing Through.. and the Cat.. and the Wheelchair Guy and Girlfriend.. but this one I liked enough to post for ya all...


WHY GOD WHY is the title...


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  • 3 weeks later...

That looks nice, I need something like that for my welder, it takes forever to move mine.... no cart :(


Since this is the welder section..... What do you guys run your gas at? I run it at about 20psi with the trigger pulled. The tank runs out kinda fast though.

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I've been told no more than 20 psi... dude said something about it would create turbulance and screw up the bubble of atmosphere you are trying to create..


Experience has not bothered to teach me anything yet.

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I've been told no more than 20 psi... dude said something about it would create turbulance and screw up the bubble of atmosphere you are trying to create..


Experience has not bothered to teach me anything yet.


I want to know what the lowest I can go :D I used almost the full bottle on my 68 project and I have the 4' bottle!!! I did do tons of welding though.. :)

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I burn wire all day for a living and I try to run the lowest setting possible and still avoid porosity. Anything more is just a waste. The exception would be if you are outside or in a drafty location, might carry a bit more pressure to allow for the gust factor. Practice on a piece of scrap until you find the lowest setting that gives consistently good welds. I go through about two of the big bottles per 33 pound roll of wire. I'd assume that you're all running 75/25 and ER70S, probably .030?

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  • 2 years later...

I know this is an old thread but I wanted to show my welder off. It's nothing special (well to me it is, since it is the first one I have ever bought) It is a Lincoln electric Weld Pak HD FCAW (Flux Core Arc Welder) I know some of you guys don't like the Flux Core because of the beads it lays, but this one lays nice beads (even for a rookie like me) but I can't afford the Millermatic 251....yet (oh Im so close though). I was talking to my welding instructor about this welder and he said it was a good choice (and he is a miller man). Well here she is.



And on her harbor freight welding cart



And a single pass bead I ran on my engine stand to brace it up (it wobbled around too much for my liking) All I did was remove the paint from the weld joint and the place I put my work Clamp


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The little Lincolns do a good job, and one of the nice things about them, and flux core, is that you can just grab it and go. Even if you have a 220 machine that is fairly portable, chances are that the plug won't match the receptacle where you're going. I have three different types of 220 outlets in the shop, and they are different from our work ones. Kinda like air fittings, your tools never match your buddy's fittings.:P

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I have the cheese ball chicago electric mig from harbor freight that runs about 120 bucks. Its the only welder I have ever used, all I know is that it fuses metal good enough for me. It took a lot of fiddling with wire speed, but I can weld body panels and other thin stuff pretty good. Works for me.

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