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  #1  
Old 07-15-2007
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Welding Tools PLEASE HELP

Ok so I want to start custom fab my own items but I need to know what tools to buy. I have tried wikipedia to figure out some stuff but...

What is the cheapest Welding device I can buy?

I need something that will just weld stainless steel, steel, or just general metals you use to make stuff for a truck.

Please help.
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Old 07-15-2007
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I am guessing that you have never welded before. You are best going with a Mig welder. Get a good one though you want to be able to weld some thicker stuff if it is for a truck. Something that will weld 1/4". That will be pretty spendy but will be easiest to use and leave you with a nice looking weld. Getting a stick welder will be much cheaper but is a little more difficult and leaves an uglier weld.

You can go to lowes and buy the Lincoln(a good name brand) Electric stick welder and supplies to get you started for around $325. You will need the welder, welding sticks, a helmet (auto darkening is nice), a slag hammer, wire brush, and buy the book.

Get that stuff and start welding. The more you do it the better you will get.

The welder I mentioned will need a 220V line. You can't just plug the welder into a dryer outlet but you can make an attachment/extension cord. Don't skimp out on the gauge of wire though. If you are handy with electrical the best thing to do is add a 220V line to your electrical box and make it easy access for the welder to connect to. Sometimes it is best to make a big long extension cord for the welder so you can move it around.

the wiring depending on what you have now will prolly cost about $100. If you need to hire an electrician good luck there I don't know what they get paid now but I know it is alot.
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Old 07-15-2007
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ill have to look in my welding book, but if you want to weld stainless you are going to need special wire and gas for that.
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Old 07-15-2007
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are you sure andrew? I was thinking you could use Argon, just like when you mig with steel, just need the correct wire.
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Old 07-15-2007
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you should be using a argon Co2 mix for plain steel. its like a 25/75% mix.
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Old 07-15-2007
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really? it was my impression it was all argon. I know the tank list argon on it, nothing else. I told the guy when I went to refill I needed a new argon tank.

I'll have to ask my Dad about it.
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Old 07-15-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zabeard
really? it was my impression it was all argon. I know the tank list argon on it, nothing else. I told the guy when I went to refill I needed a new argon tank.

I'll have to ask my Dad about it.

the argon is hotter... the wire can sometimes melt too quickly

the mix is better for steel/mig combo
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Old 07-15-2007
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hey i do alot of welding for CAT and John deere,i would rather tig stainless,stainless warps easily, a welder with a 115v will be okey for nothing thicker than 5/16, you can do thicker stuff as long as its not like a shacklebracket or something thats going to be alot of tugging on. dont buy fluxcore, leaves an ugly weld most of the time, make sure it comes with a regulator to hook up some 75/25 and bottle will probably run you 120bucks and its like 30bucks to fill it up but it lasts along time. start making stuff for people and you will find out you can pay off that welder in no time!
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Old 07-15-2007
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I got a cheap welder probably like $170 or $200 or something for Christmas. It doesn't have gas or anything and has a min and max button for the power but its strong enough to welder spring perches onto my axle.
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  #10  
Old 07-15-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redranger4.0
ill have to look in my welding book, but if you want to weld stainless you are going to need special wire and gas for that.
you need to know the type of stainless, the type of wire and gas will vary. We have a 220v like said before at work and i do most of the welding stuff but when stainless needs to be welded we hire someone.
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Old 07-15-2007
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Welding is a science. i would suggest before anything taking a welding class at your local collage or votech school.

ive taken welding for 2 years now, i learned mostly stick welding, but i also did some tig,mig,flux core, gas welding. i will admit i do not know everything. it take hours of pratice to learn to lay a STRONG and preaty bead. the best welding machine is only as good as its user. anywhere you apply for a welding job thay have you weld 2 peices of metal togeather, they could care less how they look. first thign they do is a BFH (big F***IN hammer) test.

im not saying your going to go hire on somewhere but you want to know how to make a strong weld. dont want a spring hanger you weld on to your truck or anything important for that matter breakin off too easy.

anyrate heres some welding fourms i goto alot. tons of info!

http://www.weldingweb.com/index.php?
http://www.shopfloortalk.com/forums/index.php?
http://www.millermotorsports.com/mbo...isplay.php?f=3
http://www.hobartwelders.com/mboard/
http://www.millerwelds.com/education...isplay.php?f=2

Good luck!
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  #12  
Old 07-16-2007
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wow thanks guys! great help
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  #13  
Old 07-17-2007
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Also ask at your local welding supply store if anyone gives lessons. They usually have business cards.
I agree learn before you buy.
Also buy a respirator even for learning. Welding smoke stinks and ain't good for you.
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  #14  
Old 07-17-2007
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go tig or go home
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  #15  
Old 07-17-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Victory
Also ask at your local welding supply store if anyone gives lessons. They usually have business cards.
I agree learn before you buy.
Also buy a respirator even for learning. Welding smoke stinks and ain't good for you.

yes its not good for you but the idea is to keep your head out of the smoke.
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  #16  
Old 07-19-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBowtie
go tig or go home
word, ive used TIG for more than 80% of what ive done in the past, like brackets, mounts, suspension components, etc. Hard to learn but well worth it, I use MIG if i am welding up a jig, or something quick. I primarily have done sheetmetal interiors using the TIG process, It is a welding process that i prefer to use most of the time, but these guys are right, welding is a science, and an art. I only took 1 year at a votech school, learned ARC MIG TIG, i went in with knowledge in oxygen acetaline (sp) and plasma cutting.
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  #17  
Old 07-19-2007
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a class is going to be your best bet. I took one with one of the community colleges associated with Texas A&M and it was invaluable the information and experience I got there.

Stainless you use 100% Argon gas vs. a 75/25 Argon/CO2 mix for mild steel. If you're doing stainless though, you'll probably want to do TIG. It's the hardest to do, but is definitely the strongest and the best for stainless and aluminum.

I personally think people should start learning with stick and then progress to MIG/GMAW and then TIG and oxycetelyne. Get as nice a welder as you can afford, it will pay off by being able to weld thicker metals and it'll have a longer duty cycle on the thin stuff. Like I said, take a course and you'll have more than enough knowledge to get yourself started fabricating for your truck.
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