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Welding equipment

Posted: Nov 1st, 2009 7:57 pm
by MaineVette
Hi All,

I'm often asked about my welding experience and the equipment I use on my restoration project.

Regarding my experience, I don't have any formal training when it comes to welding. I'm simply self taught through iternet research and lots of practice with pieces of scrap steel. I'm still no pro by any means, but I know enough to get by.

As for my equipment, for this project I decided to purchase a MIG welder. Most of my previous welding experience was with an ARC welder, but that process is a bit 'rough' for much of the work I anticipated on this project. Although ARC welders are cheaper than MIG welders, they don't handle thinner gauge metal components nearly as well as MIG welders.

So, after doing my share of research, I ended up purchasing a Hobart Handler 180 welder as a refurbished unit on E-Bay. I decided on this unit for a few reasons. First off, the refurbished unit came at a good price and a manufacturers warranty. Seconly, this is a 240 volt unit. Because of this, the unit is capable of putting out higher amperages and, therefore, welding thicker pieces of steel (up to 5/16"). Although I didn't expect to have to weld 5/16" thick steel pieces on this project, I wanted to have that option in the future for other non-Corvette related projects. And lastly, this model is capable of welding with either flux-cored or solid-cored wire with shielding gas.

To date, all of my welding on this project has been using solid-core wire with C25 shielding gas. Although flux cored welding would be perfectly adequate, I prefer using shielding gas since it yields much cleaner welds, virtually eliminates the need to clean your welds (no slag is generated), and ultimately increases your productivity. :thumbs:

Re: Welding equipment

Posted: Mar 20th, 2010 6:36 pm
by IndyVette
Being completely ignorant about welding, other than you need a mask (!), I found this as a place where I can at least get some information and training (books/DVDs):

https://www.welders-direct.com/merchant ... ry_Code=TT

They have welders and supplies. I didn't find one on eBay, yet, but I'll keep looking (dang).

I do see the Hobart 140 runs 125V and can weld up to 3/16". That'll do a frame repair, if you're not worried about other projects as Tim is. Less expensive ($500 new).

Re: Welding equipment

Posted: Mar 11th, 2011 2:40 pm
by JE Caudle
A good rule of thumb: Buy the largest welder you can afford.
The small (110V) welders have a very limited duty cycle.
(Weld for a short time, Rest for a long time.)

I have a Hobart handler 180 (220V) that has performed nicely
with out fail for years. I use solid wire and Argon gas as shielding.
Straight CO2 (Cheaper than Argon) can be use although I have
been told it tends to make your welds somewhat brittle.
A popular mix is 25% CO2 and 75% Argon

Oxy- Acetylene welding should not be ruled out! It takes some
skill but can produce a fine product. Just as good as TIG!
Every shop should be equipped with Acetylene welding equipment.
Never know when you may need to "Heat and Beat".

A weld that looks like bubble gum is not a good weld! :ack:
Good welding takes practice and a lot of it! Check out your local
night schools. They are sure to offer a welding course. Take the class,
it will be some of the best money you have ever spent.

The following would be very good places to hangout for a while:
http://www.lincolnelectric.com/en-us/ed ... rials.aspx
http://www.weldingtipsandtricks.com/

Re: Welding equipment

Posted: Dec 27th, 2015 11:45 am
by rbryce1
Well, I am now looking at a welding machine. I was a stick and TIG welder in the Navy, but it has been quite a while since I stuck an arc. Hope it is like riding a bike. :D

I have had my eye on the Eastwood MIG 175 for some time, and all the reviews are really good except for three recurring items. http://www.eastwood.com/mig-welders-175 ... l-gun.html

The machine is 220 volt, does up to 5/16" steel, sheet metal, gas or flux core shielding, 30% duty cycle, comes with a standard MIG torch and the flux wire spool gun, mainly for aluminum welding, has a 3 year warranty and a 60 day no questions asked return policy. Another nice feature is that both the wire speed and the current are infinitely adjustable, no fixed incremental settings on a snap switch. Polarity is easily reversible for changing to aluminum or flux core welding. It handles both the 2# and ten# reels of wire. It is currently on sale for $479, including the spool gun.

Again, I checked the reviews and there were three recurring items, which I checked into.

1. The housing that the torch wire connects which supplies the shield gas has been known to crack. In all cases, Eastwood replace the part with no issues right away. They indicate that practically every time the housing has broken, it was because the welding machine was being pulled by the welding cord, which puts an undo strain on the gas housing. I fault the operator, not the product in this case.

2. Drive motor failure in some cases. Again, Eastwood did replace the drive motor under warranty and the drive motor has been re-designed and there have been very few issues with it since.

3. Gas valve sometimes would stick open. Two variations of this problem. First, the gas continued to flow about 1-2 seconds after the trigger was released. Eastwood says this is correct as the gas helps cool the torch. That amount of gas is not what I would call consequential unless you have the really small 20 cf tanks. The second was a few instances of the solenoid valve failing, and again Eastwood replaced it immediately with no hassle.

Every instance of a problem indicated Eastwood responded favorably and rapidly and everyone gave their support department 5 stars.

If anyone knows this machine, feel free to respond.

Re: Welding equipment

Posted: Dec 29th, 2015 5:36 pm
by rbryce1
Having real second thoughts about Eastwood.

I talked with them yesterday and their salesman's attiude was not steller, which was a surprise. He said he didn't really care who I talked to before, the item was not priced that way, even though it was cheaper to buy the items seperately than in their package deal. I knew the welder didn't qualify for free shipping due to weight, but he also said they would not provide free shipping for the stand if bought seperately because it also was a heavy item. He said if it was over 25#, it didn't qualify, even though it was well over $50.00. I was also going to but a learher welding jacket, spare spools of wire, some clamps, spare tips, spare shields, and other welding consumables. Seems like that is how they get out of providing a lot of the Free Shippping offers, if the total quantity of your items is over 25#, which is not tht heavy, they call it overweight and charge for it.

It just rubbed me wrong at the time, so I canned the entire purchase.

Re: Welding equipment

Posted: Dec 30th, 2015 7:00 pm
by vito
Dang,

Fill out a comment card and submit.

Got any swap meets down there? Craigslist? Going out of businesses?

Re: Welding equipment

Posted: Jan 1st, 2016 12:33 pm
by MaineVette
Man, that sucks. Have you thought about calling back and trying another sales person? Maybe the person you talked to was just having a bad day.

My Hobart Handler has done me pretty well, I wish it was infinitely variable like the one you mentioned though. Mine only has 5 different settings which can be limiting.

Hopefully you find a good deal that suits your needs. :cheers: