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cheap stick welders

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by dogdaysunrise, Aug 31, 2005.

  1. dogdaysunrise

    dogdaysunrise 1/2 ton status

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    What sort of experiences have people had with the cheaper stick welders? Im looking at a couple of diffrent ones, there are the real cheap 70 amp 10% duty cycle. I am also looking at spending a bit more on one, its about 350 cad its a 230v 40-220a stick welder. All I really want it for is just basic welding nothing heavy like frame work or anything. Mostly for doing exhaust and fixing stuff.

    Thanks,

    Mike
     
  2. camiswelding

    camiswelding 1/2 ton status

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    lincolns cheap ac buzz box works well for what it is,,, use of low hydrogen or other special rods can make decent quality welds... the low duty cycle isnt really a problem..I doubt you would ever be welding that long in one sequence.
    They are not good for sheet metal... and require alot of skill for lighter guage... and would be difficult for "exhaust work"

    A much better choice would be a mig welder... a small 220v gas welder such as miller/lincoln would be well worth the investment... ask the guys on here that use them...my stuff is all bigger

    cam
     
  3. dhcomp

    dhcomp 3/4 ton status Premium Member

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    whats the difference between stick and mig?

    I thought they were teh same.... :doah:
     
  4. jekquistk5

    jekquistk5 Weld nekid Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    look arround there are used ones out there that you can pick up for cheap. My buddy picked up a lincoln "coffin" welder with rods for arround 70 bux. Its a good welder too.
     
  5. uglyangelracing

    uglyangelracing 1/2 ton status

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    Arc - Stick
    Mig - Wire Feed
     
  6. dogdaysunrise

    dogdaysunrise 1/2 ton status

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    what about the cheaper wire feeds? Would it be wiser to spend the extra $$ and get one that runs gas? We have some around here that don't use it. Im looking around for used ones also, but there doesnt seem to be much luck.

    Thanks,
    Mike
     
  7. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

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    I bought a Lincoln Power Mig 135 from the local Lowes. Lincoln was recomended to me by a prof. welder and their plant is in OHio too. I've been really happy with it and they run about $457US.... COmes with fluxcore wire and a spool of mig wire. Plus it comes with the regulater for running mig wire, you just need to supply the bottle and gas.

    I also have a Lincoln AC buzz box as the others are talking about. I started out welding on this machine and it used to give me fits and trouble(sticks sticking and such). I was just inexperienced. The mig welder was pretty easy to get the hang of and use.... Caught on quickly with it and didn't use the buzz box for years. Well just pulled the buzz box out last Friday to weld up a 14ff spiderball... I can actually weld better iwth it now than I could before since I have got the hang of the mig.

    Just my experience! :thumb:

    Both are nice welders for the $$....
     
  8. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Cheap welders suck!...

    I had a 50 amp "Montgomery Ward" welder--it had an on off switch,and a ground clamp,and a cheap rod holder..I cursed it from day one--I never could get an arc started half the time,it only worked with thieir special toothpick size rods,and if you DID get an arc going,it would either blow a hol in the metal or lay a bird tird weld on top that didn't penatrate!..I only bought it because it was 20 bucks at a flea market,and I figured a low amp welder would work good on rocker panels and floor patches..I learned my lesson.. :doah:

    I then bought a huge 220V P&H arc welder that went up to 295 amps!..It welded great,but was not very good on thin sheet metal--I could "spot" weld in floor patches with it,but you could not turn it down enough to run a continuous bead..I got pretty good with it--I could weld exhaust pipes good with it,but sheet metal was tricky..you CAN do sheet metal work with the right rods and considerable skill,but I never mastered it--didn't do enough of it to get practiced at it..a Mig is much better suited to patch panels than an arc welder..arc is best for frames and heavy steel...

    Those Mig welders for less than 200 bucks suck too--dont waste your money!--buy a bigger Mig or Arc welder used,you wont regret it--even the 125-135 amp ones are not strong enough to weld a trailer hitch or frame in most cases--and a 220V one is a lot better than the 110V ones,both in performance,and longevity,in my opinion... :crazy:
     
  9. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

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    220v would be ideal, but for those on a budget the bigger 110v machines work well. My Lincoln is rated for up to 5/16" in a single pass with flux-core.
     
  10. dogdaysunrise

    dogdaysunrise 1/2 ton status

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    I found a Lincoln AC-225-s Arc Welder in the local Buy & Sell. Im waiting for him to call me back, but this looks like it is a good welder for what I want it for. I really have no plans of doing real thin stuff. I am by no means a good body man so i cant see much sheet metal being done with it.

    What do you think?
     
  11. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

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    Sounds like the same buzz box as I have. How much are they asking? They are $249US new at Lowes.
    They work well and are a very popular welder!
     
  12. dogdaysunrise

    dogdaysunrise 1/2 ton status

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    $200OBO cad so thats like what 5bucks US? :D

    Buzz Boxes from what i have read seem to be the ones to go with. am i correct?
     
  13. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

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    According to an online convertor, $200CAD is about $169.26US....

    And $257US converts to $303.68CAD...


    :thumb:
     
  14. dogdaysunrise

    dogdaysunrise 1/2 ton status

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    wekk i hope that he calls me back

    From your experience would this welder be adiquate for welding stock and making racks?

    Apperciate all the help.

    I am on a very tight budget so im trying to get the best bang for my buck
     
  15. RootBreaker

    RootBreaker 3/4 ton status Premium Member

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    I have a lincoln ac/dc 240 and love it... stick welder.. but my first... was cheap too.. well too cheap.... FREE!!!!! with 20lbs of different size/type of rods...
    works great
    arc doesnt do as well of a clean weld as mig.. however my father swears by arc.
     
  16. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

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    For racks and stock it will work out great. For lighter gauge(under 1/4") material you may want to practice some to get it to work well. And also use thin rods.

    I was using some 1/8" 7018 over the weekend and even at 90amps it liked eating through the thick stuff.. :thumb:
     
  17. dogdaysunrise

    dogdaysunrise 1/2 ton status

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    Well this thing sounds like a sure thing. Im sold, now I just hope this guy agree's :o

    if he has it im gonna go pick it up tomorrow, store it in my buddy's basement until I get my house i October.

    Again thanks for all the help guys.

    Mike
     
  18. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Lincoln "Tombstone" welders are good!

    If its an older Lincoln welder that looks like a tombstone,they are the best--the older ones had 100% copper windings--not a must for someone who wont be using it commercially,but they will outlast the newer ones that have aluminum or aluminum/copper windings in the transformer..

    Once you get good at running a bead on heavier stock,you will probably be able to turn it down to 20-30 amps and use 3/32 or 1/8 6011 or 6013 rods on thin metal without burning thru too badly--like I said before,I can weld sheet metal by "spot" welding it,but a continuous bead takes an experienced welder--but all my floor patches and body panels haven't come off yet..all the factory uses is spot welds,anything more is overkill anyway!..for some reason I can weld 16 ga exhaust pipe as good as a mig,but I blow holes in similar gauge sheet metal every time if I try running a bead.. :doah: :crazy:
     
  19. dogdaysunrise

    dogdaysunrise 1/2 ton status

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    Im going to look at it on sunday. From the sounds of it, it was bairly used, he bought a mig instead. :D
     
  20. jekquistk5

    jekquistk5 Weld nekid Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    my buddy struggled to make an arc, and kept sticking the rod. I layed a nice bead down my first try, with the same rod, same settings etc. Practice helps alot! find a whole bunch of scrap and start weldin.
     

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