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Thread: Choosing right welder for beginner?

  1. #11
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    Mig Vs. Stick.

    If you get a Mig welder, you'll be able to weld anything you need to weld and with just a little practice it should look pretty.

    If you get a stick welder, you'll be able to weld anything you need to weld but will take considerably more practice to make it look pretty. But (in my opinion) you will have actually learned a skill, anybody can aim a gun and squeeze a trigger.

    If you are going to go with something new, I think a Lincoln will be far cheaper than a miller and just as good.

  2. #12
    LHBA Member loghousenut's Avatar
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    And if you are going new you will be spending roof money on a nice welder. No wrong choices... only options with plusses and minuses.

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  3. #13
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    Personally, I'm cheap, I'd look for a deal. I'm trying to remember what all was part of the deal I got on my current welder. I bought a bunch of things from a contractor going thru bankruptcy. A generator, husquvarna 455 rancher chainsaw, Lincoln mig welder, all new in box and about 250 2x4's were part of the deal. When everything was said and done, I figured I got my welder and chainsaw free of charge. If I recall correctly, the generator was traded for a Ford bronco that was traded for guns and ammo that was sold for more cash than I had in the deal to begin with. Something like that.

    I flat towed that bronco home. Was a Sunday morning and trying to hurry back. I put the automatic transmission and the transfer case in neutral and took off. The first red light I came to, the truck slammed into gear at about 30-40mph. I did a sweet burnout to drag it thru the intersection and work on the problem as small town church was letting out. A nice local who had not been to church is the only person who offered to help but I already had the driveshaft loose by then.
    Last edited by allen84; 02-15-2017 at 09:35 PM.

  4. #14
    LHBA Member mudflap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by allen84 View Post
    Mig Vs. Stick.

    If you get a Mig welder, you'll be able to weld anything you need to weld and with just a little practice it should look pretty.

    If you get a stick welder, you'll be able to weld anything you need to weld but will take considerably more practice to make it look pretty. But (in my opinion) you will have actually learned a skill, anybody can aim a gun and squeeze a trigger.

    If you are going to go with something new, I think a Lincoln will be far cheaper than a miller and just as good.
    My mechanic friend had a new MIG welder- tried it out last summer while making my log arch- took a ton of wire and lots of time to weld that thing!
    My neighbor across from my build (in his 80's), is a retired certified welding instructor. With a pacemaker. He has a stick welder. He can't come within 30 feet of the thing, but sits on his porch and listens while I screw up- err- weld. I'm getting better. Actually, he asked me to weld a new receiver on his log-splitting trailer, and said I did a really good job. I have no idea what brand his welder is- probably "old and good" brand. The rubber has completely worn off of the ground cable, which I'm sure violates multiple codes in all 50 states.

    From a guy that has about 4 months welding experience total: I'd go for a stick welder. And wear long sleeve shirts: took me two times to figure out where that sunburn on my arms was coming from....

    As far as the right hood: There was a new guy splicing fiber on one of the contractor's crews that we hired. He was working on splicing a 50-fiber cable, and each time he cut the fiber, he would look directly into the end of the fiber (I have no idea why). He was at the ER the next day, with permanent burns on his retina from the invisible laser he was looking for in the optical cable. Don't mess around with your eyes.

    Making it look pretty? yeah. about that.....
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  5. #15
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    Maybe mudflap is right... Someone elses welder is the perfect welder for a beginner! Haha, I'm sure that old man is tickled that someone is getting good use out of a tool he loved and can't use anymore. How do I know he loved it? He's a retired welding instructor and the jacket is wore of the ground cable (I'd be willing to bet that the lead cable has seen better days too). I wish I had gotten my certification (had the instruction just never went and took the test), but it would have lapsed by now because I'm not in a career that requires me to weld anymore.

  6. #16
    you can't go wrong with lincoln or miller great welders and great price,i've been looking at eastwoods mig 175 welder with a free spool gun to weld aluminum for under 500.00.It's got some good reviews on it and runs off 220 but i personally don't know about their welders quality but seems like a great deal.

  7. #17
    LHBA Member Nick's Avatar
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    I really like the millermatic 211, but I have to check the specs on my Honda 5k generator to see if it can run it. Looked into the combo gen/welder serious but too expensive and I also loan out my generator a ton. Lots of huge welders for sale used around me, but haven't ran across a lot of the smaller ones yet.

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  8. #18
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    From the Miller website about the millermatic 211...
    "It features Advanced Auto-Set, which eliminates the guesswork of setting voltage and wire feed speed for your MIG welding application."

    My question is, How do it know? ("how do it know?" is the punchline of a good joke. But really, How?)

  9. #19
    LHBA Member CrossingtheRubicon's Avatar
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    I personally started out with a Lincoln MIG welder and then moved on to a Miller MIG. I think it took me a few days to get decent welds with the Lincoln. I would say that MIG is the easiest to pick up so if you want to spend less time learning and more time getting things done a MIG isn't a bad way to go. To each his own of course.

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  10. #20
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    If I was going to try something new, I might look into some of the 3-in-1 machines that welds and plasma cuts. I don't know if any of the real reputable brands offer a machine that does all that tho.

    You're going to find 100 different opinions on each option. Pick one and go with it. With almost any approach you can get the same outcome.
    Last edited by allen84; 03-01-2017 at 05:29 PM.

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