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Looking to buy a welder and learn how to weld

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  • Looking to buy a welder and learn how to weld

    Hello,

    I have been wanting to learn to weld for a pretty long time now and for one reason or another I never did.

    I have a few questions. I would someday like to be able to build a 6x10 utility trailer, but am no where expienced to do that now. So I guess my first question is, what would be a good welder to start with that would allow me to one day build a utility trailer?

    I am a carpenter by trade, with light electrical and plumbing experience, mainly installing kitchens and bathrooms. I do mostly finish carpentry now.

    I would really like to learn to weld, but i dont want to buy just a junko welder. I would like something I could kinda grow into but not over doing it. I have put some money aside to buy some equiptment for this. I have read some books, and watched countless how to videos.

    I have so many questions, and would really like to start asap.

    Should I start with a mig welder or just maybe an ac/dc stick welder?
    Should I look for a used welder as compared to a new one?

    Only thing about a used one, is since I dont know to much about it I would hate to buy junk. I do want to stay with a miller, or name brand.


    If someone would teach me I would even work for them for free just to gain the experience.


    Any info would be greatly appreciated.


    Thank you.
    Last edited by pmac; 12-11-2012, 02:58 PM.

  • #2
    I would look at the Hobart Stickmate AC/DC welder, or the Miller Thunderbolt . Mig is supposed to be easier to learn, but IMO, it's harder to do right. I would rather see you running stick for a large trailer.

    http://www.hobartwelders.com/product...lx235ac-160dc/

    http://www.millerwelds.com/products/...p?model=M16100

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    • #3
      Well That is the long term goal is the trailer. I dont plan on just starting out and doing a trailer I wish it was that easy LOL. But that is something I would like to build up to.


      But I just want to learn first like building a cart, welding table, maybe being able to do an exhaust on my truck etc but ultimatly something that will be able to do a trailer when I am good enough.

      So you think like ac/dc arc welder to start. I just dont want to buy a welder, then when i am better or actually able to weld have to buy a new one to do say a utility trailer?

      Something that I can learn on good.

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      • #4
        MM211

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        • #5
          Looking to buy a welder and learn how to weld

          ^^
          MM211
          Or the new Multimatic 200 ( lots more $$$ )
          Kevin

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          • #6
            Looking to buy a welder and learn how to weld

            Mig, MM211, go with new, will last until you upgrade. You can add a spoolgun later when you start on aluminum. Everyone always tries aluminum!! Also recommend a class at local community college, some have a condensed class for hobbyist. Good luck!!!

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            • #7
              Agreed,,, you are a poster child for a 211.

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              • #8
                Id either go dynasty 700 or a hobart 210/ mm211. Depending on how much growing into you want. Really though the 210/211 great for a first weld on up, and mvp is a nice feature to have.
                -steve

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                • #9
                  Forgive me for not recommending blue, but the TA fabricator multifunction machines may serve you well. They're quality machines at a decent price with a decent resale value (though not like Miller's).

                  They make a 181, 211 and 252 series. You can MIG, Stick or DC TIG with one machine.

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                  • #10
                    Looking to buy a welder and learn how to weld

                    What ever you want

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                    • #11
                      Try before you buy. Check with your local community college and see if they offer welding courses. That is a great way to learn and to use someone else's equipment and materials. Well, actually if you are a tax payer, it is YOUR equipment and materials

                      Ken

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                      • #12
                        pmac,

                        you resonate my situation - except that I posted something similar spring of this year - my local voc school has a hobby class as intro to welding - a workshop atmosphere where you can learn ANY method - I did MIG for one night - then Stick for a little more than about a 1/2 of the classes and have been working on TIG since with next week being my last class. Craigslist is your friend (along with THIS forum and the weldingtipsandtricks.com site). I bought a used Thunderbolt 225 AC/DC as a stick machine of CL and just recently acquired a MM211. My future goal is to get the stinger and another bottle set up for a scratch start TIG - point is - get into a hobby class with an instructor to start. Then use CL to get some equipment (or buy new if you have the $) - then as EVERYone states and states again and again for completely valid reasons - get time burning metal .....good luck.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by taylorkh View Post
                          Try before you buy. Check with your local community college and see if they offer welding courses. That is a great way to learn and to use someone else's equipment and materials. Well, actually if you are a tax payer, it is YOUR equipment and materials

                          Ken
                          ditto

                          Welding is as much an art as anything else
                          Having someone looking over your shoulder
                          say "not like that, like this" is a good thing

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                          • #14
                            MM211. I do a lot of trailer repairs and modifications with it. Pushed it passed the duty cycle last weekend with no problems. Decent price too.

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                            • #15
                              Thank You!

                              Thanks everyone! Got lots of good information.


                              I been pondering a community collage class. I guess in reality its alot different than computer science which i studied there. For that, it was best to actually learn at home on a computer. The teacher just basically told us what chapters to read, and then handed out tests. For those eager for that there was much more to learn on your own with your computer, with forums and such, back then youtube wasnt around, so that was kind of my hesitation. I figured I could read, watch practice, read practice practice and just keep on welding or practice welding on anything or ever piece of scrap i could find as well as a cart for a welder and nice table even a stand for a grinder. One thing I do have is fitting and using a tape measure very well being a finish carpenter. But it seems that maybe Its time to reconsider and take the class or even classes. I still need to get a welder to start toying with and practice practice practice, but with a class I would have instruction and someone to run things by to assure that what I am doing is actually right!

                              I really do appreciate all the input. Thank you to all that replied. That MM211 Sounds like an awesome machine and I was looking it over. I just wish it was a hair cheaper to get started. I want to get something asap. Just so I can start getting a feel for it.

                              Thank You again EVERYONE,


                              Pat M aka PMAC

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