Thread: buying a welder
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Old January 6th, 2004, 10:02 PM   #23
notched
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Medford, Oregon
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Hey Crack,

This is the welder that I have:



It's a SP-135 Plus by Lincoln.

I've been very happy with it for light duty welding. It's welded every part on my Squareback that I've needed it to. It's very portable, and will plug into any 110v outlet.

I'm not sure if you saw my recent post, but I've recently purchased Lincoln's Aluminium Welding Kit, and it works great! So that is a plus. I'm not sure if the other brands offer that.

I've welded mild steel, stainless and aluminium with this one welder.

The only drawback is that It won't weld steel that is thicker than 5/16" thick -- "Capabilities include welding 24 gauge through 5/16" mild steel plate." So, if you want to weld any thing thicker than that, you'll need a different welder.

If you jump up to a 220v welder, the drawback is that you'll have to wire your garage/shop for 220v, if it isn't. And you'll be limited to one outlet. Not as portable.

My cousin has a 220v Hobart that I borrow for thicker metal, and it welds 1/4" much, much smoother. The extra power makes a big difference.

Also, as stated before, you'll have to buy a tank. I can't remember what tank I bought at first, but it was small, and I ran out of gas quickly. I purchased the next tank up. They credited me for the small one. It's about 2' tall and 10" in diameter. 40#, I think. $75 for the tank filled. If I remember correctly. I actually ended up buying a second tank with 100% Argon for stainless/aluminium. The tank for mild steel is 75%/25% CO2/Argon (or Argon/CO2). [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/blink.gif[/img]

Refills are only $19 for my tank size.

I tried the 100% CO2 at first, and I don't think it works as well as the mixed gas.

I actually bought a cart recently. Never had time to build one. Plus I didn't have the capabilities of bending plate. I ended up getting this one:



Except it's black. I figured for $50, I couldn't buy the wheels and metal, and have the metal formed. Plus, building a cart didn't seem too exciting.

The cart was an excellent purchase. I wish I had one when I first bought the welder (5 years ago).

I'd highly recommend a good brand name: Lincoln, Hobart, Miller, etc. If you purchase an off brand, unless it's rebranded by a good brand, you may have a tough time getting one. And watchout for anything made in China. I guarantee they will break, or malfunction.

Hope this helps.
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