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 So what's out there for good welders?

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Ironfistdog



Posts : 2124
Join date : 2011-01-11
Age : 35
Location : Warren, MA

PostSubject: So what's out there for good welders?   Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:00 am

Since im taking on a bigger project and cant sneak the parts I need to weld into my work, I'm looking to buy a quality welder that I can use in the garage.

I'm looking for a mig welder that uses actual sheilding gas
NOT a flux core wire cheap hi/lo button unit.

Someone at work mentioned a millermatic 140. Anyone use this?

Only needed for frame/sheet metal/automotive use, maybe for home improvement use too, I'm not gonna be welding girders or anything lol,
Just looking for the best quality at the best price.
Name brands?
Models?
Where to buy?
What to avoid?
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sdstick



Posts : 4277
Join date : 2009-03-20
Location : Revere, MA

PostSubject: Re: So what's out there for good welders?   Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:56 am

Wish I could help but know nothing about portables.
There must be a welding forum...no?

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96BBB 28K 3.42 Bolt-ons
95BBB 100K 3.73 383 New DD...already broke fixt the 4L60E twice
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Whine..eee...Silver LS6
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Cadet57



Posts : 4475
Join date : 2010-03-14
Age : 29
Location : Chicopee, MA

PostSubject: Re: So what's out there for good welders?   Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:16 pm

The Hobart we got is a nice rig. The next model up from ours is gas ready, ie: just need a tank. Check out Tractor Supply, thats where we got ours.
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Ironfistdog



Posts : 2124
Join date : 2011-01-11
Age : 35
Location : Warren, MA

PostSubject: Re: So what's out there for good welders?   Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:30 pm

Whats the voltage and amps?
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bfurches



Posts : 1061
Join date : 2010-04-20
Age : 29
Location : Springfield, MA

PostSubject: Re: So what's out there for good welders?   Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:31 pm

Call Ivey Industries in Springfield MA. The guys at the counter are great, and they can walk you through the pros and cons of the different types of units. Lincoln and Miller are pretty much the best imo.
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Ironfistdog



Posts : 2124
Join date : 2011-01-11
Age : 35
Location : Warren, MA

PostSubject: Re: So what's out there for good welders?   Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:59 pm

Any preference to which is better?
I can get a Lincoln at home depot and charge it instead of coming up with cash is all. But I don't wanna waste time with something that won't do what I need.
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Matt Trakker



Posts : 5067
Join date : 2009-07-30
Age : 35
Location : Reading, MA

PostSubject: Re: So what's out there for good welders?   Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:21 pm

I'm obviously no expert and couldn't even tell you how to weld, but I've heard the same that Brandon said, Lincoln and Miller are the best, after being around different forums and stuff and hearing chatter about them. I guess I'd say it seems that Lincoln is kind of the old school tough welding brand, and the parts are easier to find and cheaper if something breaks, while Miller is a more modern/advanced unit...and both brands have their following like the Ford vs. Chevy debate I guess...

I think I'd start out with a Lincoln brand but I dunno, I remember some kid I went to school with who built race cars saying that Lincolns had some kind of crap inside them you had to clean out of all the lines before you used the unit, clearly I have no clue what he meant... Laughing
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bfurches



Posts : 1061
Join date : 2010-04-20
Age : 29
Location : Springfield, MA

PostSubject: Re: So what's out there for good welders?   Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:14 pm

Ironfistdog wrote:
Any preference to which is better?
I can get a Lincoln at home depot and charge it instead of coming up with cash is all. But I don't wanna waste time with something that won't do what I need.

I prefer Miller

The issue with purchasing at places like the Depot and Lowes is the quality of the units they sell. The units available to the general retailers at big box stores is actually a lower grade then say if you were to purchase at a welding supply/ tool truck and etc. For instance, my Matco dealer was telling me Lowes sells the same Makita drills he does, but with plastic bushings vs the brass in his units. Take it for what it is...
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Matt Trakker



Posts : 5067
Join date : 2009-07-30
Age : 35
Location : Reading, MA

PostSubject: Re: So what's out there for good welders?   Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:44 pm

bfurches wrote:
Ironfistdog wrote:
Any preference to which is better?
I can get a Lincoln at home depot and charge it instead of coming up with cash is all. But I don't wanna waste time with something that won't do what I need.

I prefer Miller

The issue with purchasing at places like the Depot and Lowes is the quality of the units they sell. The units available to the general retailers at big box stores is actually a lower grade then say if you were to purchase at a welding supply/ tool truck and etc. For instance, my Matco dealer was telling me Lowes sells the same Makita drills he does, but with plastic bushings vs the brass in his units. Take it for what it is...

That is entirely true. Big box home centers sell lower grade items a lot, partly because manufacturers have to bid low to get them to buy their products. Lowe's was selling Laticrete brand tile mortar and grout. Even though the SKU# was the same, the products sold at Lowe's did not have the same additives as stuff sold by an actual tile distributors. It's the same with the tile itself. Home Depot and Lowe's sell what we call "B-grade" tile. It's crap. Too thin, cheaply made, printed crappy, the sizes are off by like 1/16" from tile to tile so your whole floor layout may go off course, made in China too. No good tile is made in China. None. When you cut the "marble" tiles sold at Home Depot it makes you want to puke and smells like someone just dumped home heating oil on your face.

A few years ago HD was selling Ariens snowblowers that were more cheaply made than stuff you could get at an Ariens dealer. Now I guess all of the Ariens ones are the same and have weak linkages and internals, making them throwaway machines. Just had my '78 Ariens gone through and picked it up today!

Sometimes you can benefit though, I forget where I read it but I believe at one point Snap On (I think) was making the Kobalt hand tools for Lowe's. Could be an old wives tale. Then again I've seen Blue Point tools made in China...
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bfurches



Posts : 1061
Join date : 2010-04-20
Age : 29
Location : Springfield, MA

PostSubject: Re: So what's out there for good welders?   Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:00 pm

Matt Trakker wrote:
bfurches wrote:
Ironfistdog wrote:
Any preference to which is better?
I can get a Lincoln at home depot and charge it instead of coming up with cash is all. But I don't wanna waste time with something that won't do what I need.

I prefer Miller

The issue with purchasing at places like the Depot and Lowes is the quality of the units they sell. The units available to the general retailers at big box stores is actually a lower grade then say if you were to purchase at a welding supply/ tool truck and etc. For instance, my Matco dealer was telling me Lowes sells the same Makita drills he does, but with plastic bushings vs the brass in his units. Take it for what it is...

That is entirely true. Big box home centers sell lower grade items a lot, partly because manufacturers have to bid low to get them to buy their products. Lowe's was selling Laticrete brand tile mortar and grout. Even though the SKU# was the same, the products sold at Lowe's did not have the same additives as stuff sold by an actual tile distributors. It's the same with the tile itself. Home Depot and Lowe's sell what we call "B-grade" tile. It's crap. Too thin, cheaply made, printed crappy, the sizes are off by like 1/16" from tile to tile so your whole floor layout may go off course, made in China too. No good tile is made in China. None. When you cut the "marble" tiles sold at Home Depot it makes you want to puke and smells like someone just dumped home heating oil on your face.

A few years ago HD was selling Ariens snowblowers that were more cheaply made than stuff you could get at an Ariens dealer. Now I guess all of the Ariens ones are the same and have weak linkages and internals, making them throwaway machines. Just had my '78 Ariens gone through and picked it up today!

Sometimes you can benefit though, I forget where I read it but I believe at one point Snap On (I think) was making the Kobalt hand tools for Lowe's. Could be an old wives tale. Then again I've seen Blue Point tools made in China...

All blue-point stuff is china (it's Snap-Ons way of getting by the made in america since it is essentially another brand). Matco does the same thing with it's "Silver Eagle" line.

I never heard of the Kobalt tale....but I know that MAC owns Stanley....ughh.....what the hell is this country coming too.
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IMPALADAKID
Admin


Posts : 1504
Join date : 2009-01-17
Age : 48

PostSubject: Re: So what's out there for good welders?   Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:10 pm

I have had my flux core Lincoln Mig for 4 years. I purchased it from home depot , and I have done many heavy duty welding like building bumpers, and welds on frames. light sheet metal welding is a bit harder as apposed to argon, but not bad. There is an adapter for the wand to run gas that is available from Lincoln. It lays a nice bead. Not as nice or clean as argon, but still nice.

Lincoln Mig Welder


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jvette65



Posts : 111
Join date : 2010-02-16

PostSubject: I use a Lincoln SP-100T   Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:42 pm

I got my Lincoln SP-100T (NASCAR Edition) from Merrimack Valley Welders Supply
1274 Merrimack Ave, Dracut, MA about 2 years ago. I've always gone to that place to get Oxy/Acetylene and welding rods.
It used to be called Merriam Graves Welding supplies years ago.
Anyway, they had several "like-new" units that were supposedly demo units at the time, that carried full Mfg warranty, came with the original
packaging, instructions, and materials, basically a new unit, so I tried one.
The cost was $350 plus the Argon/CO2 bottle. I was ready to move up to a new unit, and planned on expanding my experience level,
and had a fair amount of work planned, that would need a really good unit.
It's a very nice smaller unit, that has seen a lot of sheet metal duty, which is probably the toughest work to master. I find the controls easy to dial in,
and the unit is very consistent, although I do try to adhere to the recommended duty cycles. It uses a shielding gas, or you can use flux core.
The unit is easy to set up and use. You can also upgrade with a new spool gun for aluminum. I have had zero problems with it -no wire feed jams
whatsoever, and always look forward to using it to "play with liquid metal" -Joe
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mp775



Posts : 746
Join date : 2011-08-24
Age : 37
Location : Pawtucket, RI / Woburn, MA

PostSubject: Re: So what's out there for good welders?   Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:41 am

bfurches wrote:
...but I know that MAC owns Stanley....ughh.....what the hell is this country coming too.

Other way around. Stanley bought MAC in 1980.
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Machine-De-Zine



Posts : 512
Join date : 2010-11-16
Age : 59
Location : Wrentham

PostSubject: Re: So what's out there for good welders?   Sat Dec 01, 2012 5:16 am

*
Listen to Brandon, his responses were spot-on.

It is recommended that you buy your unit from a reputable full service welding supply house that can also provide you with tanks, supplies, repairs and most importantly, good advice.

We have a brand new Millermatic 350P at the bus garage, but I don't particularly like mig welding - so being old school, its conventional stick & TIG for me.

In stead I usually just use the big old P-Tron plasma & stick machine while at work.

At the machine shop we have an older Miller Synchrowave 300, but it has to be gone through because Sandy, on her recent visit, had put it under salt water.

I've heard very good reports on the MillerMatic 140's quality, especially considering it's price point.

Hobart is owned by the same parent company as Miller, but is still a different machine, & Lincoln is usually also a fine welder, but a slightly "lesser brand", generally speaking.

I've gotten a lot of projects done with an old Lincoln 225 "buzz-box".

I heard that in China, the better manufacturers of welding machines intended for export to the USA depend on Millers at the factory for quality and reliability, and so does their government for important military and municipal welding requirements.

My next home welder/generator will be the Miller Trailmaster 325 #907512. It's 12K power generation is clean enough to run home computers, TVs and amplifiers, and not just refrigerators, power tools and light bulbs.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Miller-Trailblazer-325-907512-Just-released-by-Miller-fall-of-2012-/360493667105
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