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  • New to welding

    Hi All,

    I have never welded anything before and I'm looking to jump in as a hobby to get me through the winter. I'm looking to build a hunting tree stand and have seen some cool ideas on the forums. Basically, I'm looking for info on what I would need in terms of the best welder and equipment to start messing around. Looking to spend less than $400. Also, what type of materials should I get to construct the stands out of and where would be a good place to buy such materials? I understand that it probably will take me quite some time to get good enough to actually make anything worth while, as I mentioned I'm just looking for a hobby. Please feel free to throw in any other info you think I may find helpful.

    Appreciate all the help I can get.

    Thanks.

  • #2
    Start with something that won't injure/kill you if it fails in use. Like a deer feeder or ATV cart.

    I've built a few stands, one was a tree-mounted unit which worked for several years until corrosion compromised it and we cut it down. Such is the problem, make it light with thin walled square tube and it will corrode fast. Or make it heavy and installation is a bear.

    $400? That is tough, only simple stick welders are in that range and welding thin stuff is tricky. Can be done with perfect fitting and lots of practice.

    Comment


    • #3
      Cost is your restriction by far here. But I first recomend looking at craiglist, a good deal can be had if you spend a little time researching what you find. Do you have any safety gear mostly a helmet and or gloves. if not i recomend tractor supply they carry hobart and have a packaged deal of gloves and helmet.

      And just as Keith stated you'll be looking at either a stick welder or a flux core. Both throw alot of heat. I think the flux core would be easier for you work with being that your new to welding. You can pick up a crummy flux core through harbor freight for 200 bucks but like i said its crummy. It'll get the job done if your not looking to make a living with the thing. I hope this reply helps you.

      Comment


      • #4
        yep! what was just posted, is your best advice, harbor freight is having a black friday sale, they also sell sawzalls for very short money, do you have a harbor freight retail store close to you, you can get alot of tools for 400 bucks there, as far as steel, your local hardware or box store can supply you, granted its terribly expensive compared to the local supplier but you can buy just what you need in small quantities.

        Comment


        • #5
          There is good advice to be had here

          Thought I'd chime in here since I am still somewhat of a newbie myself.

          About 4 years ago I picked up a Harbor Freight Mig and not only did it get me started, it got me hooked! I just sold that Mig a couple of days ago due to finding a smoking deal on an older Millermatic 200 and there really is a world of difference between the two. But just as was stated, the HF will get you started and can definitely stick two pieces of metal together.

          $400.00 will get you out the door with everything you need to start short of the steel you want to use. One thing I can tell you about those welders is that you will want to upgrade the work clamp, you'll see what I'm talking about when you open the box.

          BTW, when I said I am hooked, I now have the Miller, an AC/DC stick, a Lincoln Ranger 250 welder generator (wanted an emergency generator and got both for less than the price of either) and just picked up a Tig torch that I will be incorporating into my hobby soon.

          In any case, good luck with your new hobby and if you are anything like me, you will be looking for anything metal to melt together in no time!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by OhioDave View Post
            I just sold that Mig a couple of days ago due to finding a smoking deal on an older Millermatic 200 and there really is a world of difference between the two. But just as was stated, the HF will get you started and can definitely stick two pieces of metal together.
            Dave
            Congrats on the MM200... it is a true classic.. you will forever find me singing it's praises.... I keep mine and use it regularly... even after getting a MM350P w/25ft Alumapro ...... this is not a cut on the 350P, it is a phenomenal machine.... but rather an endorsement of the strengths of the MM200 after all these years...
            Enjoy....

            Comment


            • #7
              Hold out for a good used one

              since you are asking for advice i will give you mine .a hobbyist myself i am on my second welder as of a few months ago they have both been Millers (the best in my opinion ) i bought both of them used the one i currently have a MM 252 was almost brand new when i got it "very little use " got it off craigslist for about an $800.00 discount of what a brand new one would cost . i don't recommend getting a HF welder yes they will stick things together but anyone who has ever had one i have noticed usually always ends up getting rid of it and replaces it with one of the brand name welders and you never hear them say "i sure wish i had my old one back" instead they say" i can't believe how much better this thing welds " you will know what i am talking about once you learn more .so save yourself allot of heartache and try to find a good used Miller,Lincoln or Hobart ,they are out there you just have to be patient . i always see allot of Lincoln 110 v units on CL in your price range usually with all the accessories . and one thing i rarely ever see any one mention is resale value any one that knows welders will rarely buy a used HF migwelder there is a reason why .i had a MM35 that was about 22 yrs. old that i learned how to weld with and used for about 5 yrs . and sold it for what i gave for it and got many calls on it "i wish i had 5 more of them to sell " so hold out for a good used one . when you do finally get your feet wet in this hobby you are going to want to do bigger and better things so keep all this in mind.let us know what you get . good luck CHRIS

              Comment


              • #8
                Side note... I got a MM350p with the 25ft Alumapro whip also. Awesome machine! It welds military armor plate on pulse like a dream

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by H80N View Post
                  Dave
                  Congrats on the MM200... it is a true classic.. you will forever find me singing it's praises.... I keep mine and use it regularly... even after getting a MM350P w/25ft Alumapro ...... this is not a cut on the 350P, it is a phenomenal machine.... but rather an endorsement of the strengths of the MM200 after all these years...
                  Enjoy....
                  Couldn't believe that I got it! It is an '83 vintage but I am halfway through the second 10 lb spool. Picked up one and a half 33 lb .035 and one and a full 33 lb spool of .035 Bright Shield Esab off of CL too. Newest addition to the man cave is a CK17FV and can't wait to burn off one of my tanks so I can get some Argon and go to town on some Tig.

                  Already sourced some parts to build an HF starter for my AC/DC buzz box.

                  One thing is for sure, the MM200 aint going anywhere unless I'm taking it and bringing it back. Got a replacement gun for when the original goes south and taking real good care of it.

                  I'll be posting some pictures of the welding / fabrication table I have already built as well as a little project I am currently building for a friend.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by bulldog1999 View Post
                    I'm looking to build a hunting tree stand and have seen some cool ideas on the forums. Basically, I'm looking for info on what I would need in terms of the best welder and equipment to start messing around. Looking to spend less than $400. Also, what type of materials should I get to construct the stands out of and where would be a good place to buy such materials? I understand that it probably will take me quite some time to get good enough to actually make anything worth while, as I mentioned I'm just looking for a hobby. Please feel free to throw in any other info you think I may find helpful. .
                    Bulldog...
                    sounds like a MIG welder is a good place to start out.. on your budget I would scan the CL ads.. there are a lot of good deals out there if you take your time and really look and study....As a general rule I would stay away from 110volt welders, the majority of them have limited usefullness other than as a doorstop. I would look for a quality used 220volt machine, rather than a new low end machine.... Remember to factor in a decent autodark helmet into your expendature calculations.. ya gotta protect your eyes.. AND be able to see what you are welding..

                    on the subject of it taking time to get good enough... you are right... please make sure your skills are up to it and not be "practicing" when you build your tree stand... pretty easy to break your neck and get killed if welds fail and said stand and hunter fall from the tree..

                    Miller has a lot of info in the resources section that will speed your learning curve.. Take plenty of time to read and study the material.. the more you know and understand, the better decision that you will make in your purchase and use of a welder..

                    http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...ur-skills/mig/

                    On the subject of tree stands here is an interesting thread that you may find useful..

                    http://www.shopfloortalk.com/forums/...ad.php?t=31319

                    you will get lots of advice, some conflicting.. use commpn sense and good judgement.. free advice is worth what you pay for it..

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Take your $400 & buy a couple of tree stands, no welding experience & a $400 equipment budget is an accident waiting to happen.

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