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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    12

    Default I havent welded since 1984

    ...and a lot has changed! All i used on the job was an acetylene torch for cutting and a lincoln arc welder.

    I would like to get back into it to shore up my skillz.

    I was at harbor freight and they had an arc welder for 79 bucks about the size of a lunchbox! to me thats like going to 1955 and showing someone a cell phone.

    where would you start if youre essentially a beginner again?

    i'll probably be willing to spend the extra money to avoid cheap chinese crap so i guess lincoln or miller would be the way to go....but what kind? the multiprocess models like the multimatic look attractive so I could practice with each type.

    Im not really sure about what fields of use MIG and TIG are best suited for....and why stick/mig/tig for whatever application. (assuming mild steel)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Wa
    Posts
    557

    Default

    It really depends what you intend to do. Lots of guys go with the 211 mig since it's dual voltage and relatively portable. Others like the real light weight and multiprocess the multimatic offers. Then others really swear by their dynasty's. Others run a small mig then use a maxstar for stick work.

    So, what do you plan on doing with a welder? Do you have access to 220v? Do you need it portable?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    270

    Default

    Where would I start?

    - Get an old Lincoln or Miller AC "buzz box" stick welder off local Craigslst for $50 - $150. If you just want to play, the little Harbor Freight inverter "toaster" 80A welder is cute.

    - Get an AC/DC version of same stick welder for $150 - $250. I have even seen 250 Amp Idealarcs and Dialarcs going for as low as $150 - $250. if you have the power to run them.

    There are deals for old/odd brands that are OK, like Sears, Wards, Century (made them for Sears & Wards), Marquette, Mid-States, etc. $50 - $100.

    I bought a Thermal Arc 85 Dragster inverter welder in beautiful shape for $50. Got a pristine Clarke 130EN MIG with a nice 5-pound CO2 tank and flow gauge and about 5 spools of wire (with a cool storage case) for $85.

    MIG and TIG, with inert gas, are a bit more spendy.
    Miller stuff:
    Dialarc 250 (1974)
    Syncrowave 250 (1992)
    Spot welder (Dayton badged)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    12

    Default

    thank you for your responses. I guess more properly phrased is stick welding used anymore compared to mig and tig? i can get a cheapo stick welder and for slightly more a mig welder capable of fluxcore or gas and of course tig is going to cost a lot more.

    is mig/fluxcore a 1 to 1 replacement for stick?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    East Tenn
    Posts
    148

    Default I havent welded since 1984

    With GMAW(mig) you have a shielding gas. Usually 25/75 co2/ argon. The gas is blown onto the puddle so you need to be in a shop with no wind or possibly outside with no wind( rare). FCAW(flux) is a hollow wire with shielding properties built into it. No worries about wind, like stick. Both processes have higher deposition rates vs. stick. I use both processes just depends on the situation,material, etc. etc.
    Hope you have fun gettin back into it. This place is filled with good knowledge so good choice in coming here to converse.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    54

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by echinacea View Post
    ...and a lot has changed! All i used on the job was an acetylene torch for cutting and a lincoln arc welder.
    I was in a similar boat. Hadn't welded since 1984, but withdrawls got to me sooner that they did you. I picked up a Miller Thunderbolt AC/DC (stick) and oxy/acet bottles in the early '90s. I had kept my OA torch setup. Did a few projects around the home. A few years ago, I needed to rebuild the wear shoes on the snowblower and was really struggling. About ready to give up on the whole welding thing. Then a brain storm. Put my reading glasses on under the hood. I discovered that one can't weld if he can't see! Since, I have rediscovered that I really enjoy welding and go out of my way to look for things to weld.

    So if your eyesight is anything like mine, the best advice I can offer is to use reading glasses, a cheater lens in the hood, whatever it takes to see the puddle.

    Good luck to you and hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Medford MA
    Posts
    542

    Default

    It really depends on what you want to do.

    One way to get a good, broad, view of processes and capabilities is to look around for an adult ed. course (or similar) in welding. That's how I learned --- we got to play with O/A, stick, FC, MIG, and TIG. From that little bit of experience I was able to make a fairly well-informed choice...

    As a result, I have a MM140 and a Lincoln tombstone. For the level of stuff I do, this is all fine. Though, now, I'd probably have bought something like the MM211 because of the dual-plug arrangement (just to have the ability to do heavier work -- though I've never needed it :-)

    And welcome to the forum

    Frank

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pin2hot View Post
    I was in a similar boat. Hadn't welded since 1984, but withdrawls got to me sooner that they did you. I picked up a Miller Thunderbolt AC/DC (stick) and oxy/acet bottles in the early '90s. I had kept my OA torch setup. Did a few projects around the home. A few years ago, I needed to rebuild the wear shoes on the snowblower and was really struggling. About ready to give up on the whole welding thing. Then a brain storm. Put my reading glasses on under the hood. I discovered that one can't weld if he can't see! Since, I have rediscovered that I really enjoy welding and go out of my way to look for things to weld.

    So if your eyesight is anything like mine, the best advice I can offer is to use reading glasses, a cheater lens in the hood, whatever it takes to see the puddle.

    Good luck to you and hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
    this is really weird, it was a "plate of shrimp" moment as my friends say (in reference to a scene from the movie Repo Man) because just before going to bed, i was thinking how am I going to weld with glasses on? my eyesight is a lot worse now than it was when i was 18. i can wear contacts but i cant see very well within arms reach. if i have glasses then i take them on and off a lot. so before going to bed, i was checking what kind of goggles (for acetylene) and helmets are available that can fit around glasses without fogging them up bad. I just figured i would cross that bridge when i get there and in worst case just not wear glasses, i do my best detail work up close with glasses off.

    then i checked for followup posts and this saw your post about vision and welding.

    thanks for the input!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fjk View Post
    It really depends on what you want to do.

    One way to get a good, broad, view of processes and capabilities is to look around for an adult ed. course (or similar) in welding. That's how I learned --- we got to play with O/A, stick, FC, MIG, and TIG. From that little bit of experience I was able to make a fairly well-informed choice...

    As a result, I have a MM140 and a Lincoln tombstone. For the level of stuff I do, this is all fine. Though, now, I'd probably have bought something like the MM211 because of the dual-plug arrangement (just to have the ability to do heavier work -- though I've never needed it :-)

    And welcome to the forum

    Frank

    thats a good idea. a co-worker mentioned the same thing because at a community college i would be able to access much more equipment than i could ever have on my own.

    so far ive downloaded a few full length instructional videos off the internet and varios e-books. that along with youtube postings and learning from people like you guys on forums can get a lot of info in your head....but along with info comes questions and only hands on learning can answer that.

    my vision may be too bad or my hands too unsteady for welding....i;ll just have to practice and see.

    thanks for reply

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    2,861

    Default

    What type of projects do you have in mind?


    You really can't beat a wire feeder mig machine like the MM211 for home/hobby stuff.

    Where are you located? I heard that Farm & Fleet is having a sale on the Hobart handlers 190 and 210


    If you have the coin the Multimatic is a nice machine but quite the $ for a home machine.





    ... Nice Repo Man reference
    Ed Conley
    http://www.screamingbroccoli.net/
    MM252
    MM211
    Passport Plus w/Spool Gun
    TA185
    Miller 125c Plasma 120v
    O/A set
    SO 2020 Bender
    You can call me Bacchus

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