Wal-mart welders

Hey guys, Since i was a little kid i been fascinated by the art of welding. I been thinking of learning how to weld. Today i went to walmart
and noticed they had three choices of welders for sale, and arc ($99), a wire feed ($199), mig wire feed (regular $299, on sale $199 now).
I want to learn to weld and the projects i want to do are things like building go carts, maybe some auto-body work.
Which welder you recommend i buy to start learning to weld?
Thanks!
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I would say take a course at your local community college/vocational school first, if that's an option where you live. Otherwise, for sheet metal work, I like MIG. I'm not sure what you're going to get for $199, though. Do a Google Groups search, this discussion has been done about a million times.
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Im going to go out on a limb here, and get flamed like the dickens (doning Nomex suit), but if you are just starting, just wanting to dabble, and if you find you dont like welding and want to get most or some of your money back....the Lincoln SP 135T mig welder. Or the SP 135Plus
http://www.welders-direct.com/merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=WD&Product_Code=K1873-1 http://www.mylincolnelectric.com/Catalog/equipmentdatasheet.asp?pp82
It runs 110vts, so you can run it from a 15 amp cicuit breaker in your garage, its capable of running flux core or gas shielded wire, stainless steel, regular steel. Its supposed to be able to weld 1/8" aluminum. Ive not tried. Shrug..
The SP 135Plus is a bit more powerful for more some more money.
I would also buy a Harbor Freight auto darkening welders mask http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber‘212 in particular..a pair of their welding gloves
A right angle grinder from the same place..... http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber‘223 (often on sale for $19)
along with a box of their grinding disks and a wire cup wheel http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumberE651
(though you would be better served later buying your wire cup wheels from one of the posters here, Tom Gardner..Ohio Brush..good shit Maynard)
And..and here comes the flame part..a tank of CO2 gas instead of the argon/co2 mix. Ive recently started using CO2 instead of Argon/Co2 mix..and while the weld is not as "pretty", its hot, burns deep, burns through rust very well, gives good penetration and is exceptionally cheap to use. Its not recommended for thin sheet metal though. Burns a bit too hot unless you downsize to a much smaller wire. Shrug.
On the other hand.....You can do very good work with the above welder using flux core wire when starting out. The welder is capable of up to 1/4" steel welds with the proper technique. Its also very capable of using .030 wire, which means you can spend less time building up your weldments, but is also capable of using the smaller wires for doing delicate sheet metal work.
I used one of the Harbor Freight Mig welders, and it was a decent machine for its type, but its not the machine that the Lincoln is, nor does it have the same ratio for resale value if you ever want to sell it. Shrug... http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber‘124
Its not a bad machine, even for a biginner. Others will flame me over this <G>
If you are able to spend in the $600-700 range..this is probably one of the finest machines you will find http://www.weldingmart.com/Qstore/p000029.htm
The Miller 175, but it does take a 220 volt circuit to run it. A marvelous machine.
Stick welders are common, can be purchased new or used quite reasonably..but for a newby..I personally think MIG is easier to use/learn and stick is harder to use with sheetmetal.
I have commercial grade stick, and mig and tig machines. Shrug...I use them all for the application most suited to each of them, but the MIGs get the most use for "utility" usage. Hell, I even have a plasma welder..but thats exotic stuff you will never use...chuckle.
Im not a "welder". Im whats called in the oil patch..a dauber. <G> but I tend to make things that pass the BFH test, if not the Pretty Test.
Just my .02USD worth, and on discount tonight only <G>
Btw...check your local welding dealers for trade ins and used machines. You can often pick them up for far less than half the new price, when someone upgrades as their skill set or needs increase.
You can often find older commercial grade machines quite cheaply. But they typically require 220vt power. (becareful they dont sell you a 3phase machine..unless you live in Europe and have 3phase at your home.)
Again..its hard to beat the Lincoln. Support is good, the design is good, consumables are available everywhere, and you can often find them in the Big Box stores or heavily discounted on the internet.
Its NOT a commercial grade machine, but then...do you really need a commercial grade machine?
Gunner
Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats. H. L. Mencken
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On Mon, 21 Mar 2005 07:10:44 GMT, the inscrutable Gunner

Yeah, classes are good.

Bzzzzzt! Beginners are good to go with $200 welders. ($120 in my case) I'd steer him toward a MIG or the $199 TIG at Harbor Freight instead of a $700 welder. If bought new, he'd instantly lose $400 minimum if he tried to resell it. The cheapie might easily resell for the same price he paid IF he didn't keep it as a backup.

Ditto both. I cannot believe how much better I can weld with that auto-darkening mask over the little handheld faceplate which came with my stick welder.

Chiwanese Acupuncturist FRAG GRENADE, aka "wire cup wheel"? Don your flak vests and double up on gloves and eye protection, guys!

The BFH test is where it's at. ;)
BTW, it was great talking with you the other day (despite your bloody cell phone flaking out half a dozen times.) I look forward to the trip down there in July to fill up my pickup bed. I don't DARE bring a trailer as I'm sure I'd fill it AND the bed. Ayup, maybe I'm glad I don't own a knuckle boom truck. <g>
--- After they make styrofoam, what do they ship it in? --Steven Wright http://diversify.com Comprehensive Website Development
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Larry Jaques wrote:

Agreed. I just sold my 90-amp 120V Crapsman for exactly what I paid new for it, 3 years ago. Looking for a new one, with more power, I find Hobart 120-amp welders for $250 on ebay stores, ButItNow
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What welding rod and settings would you guys suggest for a beginner, Im repairing a tractor bucket as my first project--3/16 thick probly A36, stick welding....I have a 400 amp welder cv cc......
--
SVL





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On Mon, 21 Mar 2005 06:25:52 -0800, Larry Jaques

A note..the SP 135T is often found on the net and in the big box stores for about $350. The Plus version for about $150 more. Which is why I suggested the T version first off.
You will also note I did include a semi-glowing comment and link to the HF machines <G>

<G>...indeed. I should note however..that Tom Gardners wire wheels are the finest Ive ever used and the stickers that I pull out of my hide are few and far between with his wheels. Absolutly freaking marvelous. and I use all sizes, including a big assed 5" on the big Milwaukee 9" grinder.
The wire wheels are pretty darned important if you are welding up "salveaged" metals...IE..rusty shit. You can get down to bare metal without grinding the snot out of it, or screwing up the surface finish.

Chuckle...indeed.
a moving vehicle traveling through the oil fields in all the dead spots.
I got all the machines moved. It took me 2 full days of moving not only my stuff, but helping the crew move all the race cars, welding trucks, engines, several hundred transmissions and so forth.
Not bad for a fellow who the day before had been in bed for 5 days..nearly unable to move.
Course..I can barely move today..hurt from head to toe...even my fingers hurt to type. Shrug...a man has to do what a man has to do.
Sisu.
Gunner, going back to bed shortly.
Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats. H. L. Mencken
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And just how would a lowly hobby type find these magik wheels? I found out a few years ago that there is a big price in pain for cheap wire wheels :) After paying the pain price for years I bought some quality wheels for the bench grinder and will never go back. I have a couple of vortec wheels for the hog but the little guys are stuck with the porcupine type. Glenn
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wrote:

www.ohiobrush.com
Good shit Maynard. Everything from push brooms to machine tool cleaning brushes.
Ive been using Toms stuff for years. It lasts about 4-1 over even the stuff from the good tools stores. The floor push brooms and the desk dusters are great too.
Gunner
Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats. H. L. Mencken
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Thanks Gunner, I had been to that website before but it looks like they only do case lots and there is no pricing or sales info for one off stuff. I was thinking they may have a retail outlet or someplaces that carry the brushes to sell to folk like me that wouldn't use a case of wire wheels in 10 lifetimes. Glenn
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wrote:

Pinging Tom Gardner.....
Gunner
Lathe Dementia. Recognized as one of the major sub-strains of the all-consuming virus, Packratitis. Usual symptoms easily recognized and normally is contracted for life. Can be very contagious. michael
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wrote:

Lathe Dementia. Recognized as one of the major sub-strains of the all-consuming virus, Packratitis. Usual symptoms easily recognized and normally is contracted for life. Can be very contagious. michael
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Hi. I got an e-mail from Glen and sugested he let me know what he wants and that I gladly Quote on 1 unit. I don't post prices 'cuz then I would have to maintain the site more than once every 10 years and I don't want to give away my pricing to my competition. I sell onesy-twosy all the time.

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On Thu, 24 Mar 2005 15:53:09 GMT, "Tom Gardner"

Thanks Tom, I knew you did sell small quantities.
Perhaps if you wrote a post about your products and how to order other than case lots,and posted it once every couple months or so, I dont think anyone would bitch about spamming.
You manufacture/sell GOOD stuff, that would be invaluable to the folks here. While us hobby guys are not your bread and butter, perhaps as they find out just how good your stuff is, they can give their companies a heads up.
I gave a 5" knotted wheel cup brush to one of the local oil field welders to test, and so far he is in love with it. I suspect you will be getting more orders from my neck of the woods before long.
Gunner

Lathe Dementia. Recognized as one of the major sub-strains of the all-consuming virus, Packratitis. Usual symptoms easily recognized and normally is contracted for life. Can be very contagious. michael
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On Mon, 21 Mar 2005 19:01:15 GMT, the inscrutable Gunner

Checking www.weldingsupply.com and the 135T is $399, the 135+ is $505.

True. Oh, I was thinking that the Lincolns were going for $1,500 when I wrote that $400 instant loss figure. It's prolly under $200.

You did note that his wire wheels were superb already. I'll bet using a 5-incher on a 9" grinder is a fun thing. Kinda like a pistol-grip 30" power floor waxer, wot?

Yeah, I need to shop with Tom soon.

And that's Big Ford Hammah to you, suh. (Use Sawzalls on Chebbies.)

It's a deal!

And you should have been in bed still. Walking pneumonia can KILL you, ya know. Hey, after all that, wouldn't they let you leave your stuff there?

No doubt.

? (googling, googling, googling, got it from http://www.sisu.com/en/about
"The Meaning of SISU
As residents of one of the northern most countries in the world, the people of Finland have learned to survive and prosper by developing extraordinary inner strength, courage, stamina and stubborn determination. This wellspring of core qualities that allows Finns to meet the challenges of an often rough environment is called sisu. Our company is named SISU because our products are designed to bring out the ‘sisu’ in all those who take assertive, determined control of their health by taking our products. We package sisu in every bottle."

Bueno, bwana. Get well soon.
--

People will occasionally stumble over the truth, but
most of the time they'll pick themselves up and carry on.
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wrote:

It wants 20 amps from 115V at full load. I'll second the notion that these are very nice little boxes. They do a much better job than the imports. I've used both.
Hint with these machines: if it will be unused for a while, take the wire out, put it in a ziplock bag and backfill the bag with argon mix or CO2, whatever you're using. Welding gas is dry. My SP can be a fussy feeder. It works fine with clean wire, but even a slight film of rust on the wire can make it feed erratically. That drove me nuts until I figured it out. No problem since I started dry-storing the wire.
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Don't do it Please, Don't buy a welder from Wally World. Trust me you'll find that you like it. You'll want to go out and weld everything in sight. But seriously, I would go out and but a MIG welder, you can try the one at SEARS, which is what I did. I bought the gas no gas for around 400.00. Don't want to spend that much, you say. No problems, I am sure that others here also mentioned that Harbor Freight has them as well. Although I don't know the longevity of the HF models, they are cheap enough however to find out whether you like it. Think about the types of metal you may weld, as well as what you will be welding on.
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I use a Lincoln 135T, and I love it. You generally don't need the infinitely variable voltage, and one advantage of the step switch--you can go back to the same settings every time without fiddling.
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http://tinyurl.com/5x49l
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SVL



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