Thread: buying a welder
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Old January 6th, 2004, 04:33 AM   #5
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Surrey, BC (Canada)
Posts: 7,648

Harbor Freight has helmets for around $80 ($5 shipping). Get a couple clamps from them while you're at it. I have a bunch of more magnets you can have so you don't need to buy those. Get a welding blanket there too, kinda cheap from them (cheaper then ebay actually).

Buying the gas bottle at first is a little pricey, expect about $150 at first then $40 for the refills (give or take). I wouldn't get the small ass bottles, the one I used is the 2.5' high bottle but that wasn't big enough for me so I upgraded to the 3.5' high bottles. I spent an extra $80 to trade up to that bottle, or could've spent an extra $25 in the beginning instead so if you can afford it get the bigger bottle that you can affford (or want to afford).

Budget, you can easily double your $400 budget for a complete setup after tools, etc. My welder's a Campbell Hausfeld, their welders have the gas hookup kit already so you don't have to spend the extra $$ on that.
Mine's the 85 amp WG300000AJ $329 model, add like $80 for shippping I think. Having wheels help alot especially since you don't want to lug around the gas bottle and keep connecting the two together (or build a cart, good first practice project with a welder). For $100 more you can get their 135 amp model. Pretty much IMO get a good welder now that may cost a little more that you wanted, it'll save you alot more $$ in the long run from upgradeing to a better one sooner.

Also tools to get, a good (not one of those $5 flea market ones, only lasts a day on average) angle grinder....I prefer the electric ones, a face shield, metal cutoff discs and a flap jack attachment.

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