welder for first project 'wrought iron' fencing

I am looking to buy a welder for my first welding project. i have a
ton of begineer welding books coming from amazon.com so i know i
already have a ton of reading to do. but i figured i would ask the
group for a push in the right direction.
the project is the welding of a 'wrought iron' fence. i would be
welding 1/2" solid steel bar pickets to a punched flat rail.
my core concern is having something that is begineer friendly and will
work on 120 current as that is all i have at the house where i will
have to make the final welds. i may weld some other fences in the
future as i have two other houses that need new fences but i dont need
anything that could weld anything beyond this steel fencing.
any suggestions would be helpful
Reply to
tdmailbox
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Have you considered renting a welder for a weekend to work on your project?
You can rent a 120V MIG unit from many home centers and rental stores for under $50 (including the price of a roll of fluxcore wire).
You will at least learn what you can do with a 120V welder and can then decide whether it meets your needs before spending $500+. Also, there are rental places like Sunbelt rentals that rent inverter-based arc welders (Miller Maxstar 150s) for reasonable prices.
Just my two cents.
Reply to
akushner
wrote: (clip) any suggestions would be helpful ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ A neighbor had some "wrought iron" fencing installed by professionals--they used a small MIG that ran on 120v, with flux-core wire. On the strength of that, I went out and bought a Lincoln 135, and I am very happy with it.
Reply to
Leo Lichtman
Lincoln 110vt mig SP-135. Get the Plus version if you wish to weld with gas, which for fencing..I would do, rather than dealing with the slag from flux core welding. I would get a tank of CO2 and use it rather than argon.. its much cheaper, lasts longer, gives better penetration. About $550 List
Millermatic 135. Use CO2 About $550 list
Hobart Handler 140, CO2 again, about $480 list
DanMig 140, CO2, again, about
Gunner
"Pax Americana is a philosophy. Hardly an empire. Making sure other people play nice and dont kill each other (and us) off in job lots is hardly empire building, particularly when you give them self determination under "play nice" rules.
Think of it as having your older brother knock the shit out of you for torturing the cat." Gunner
Reply to
Gunner
I second that. For me, I have the Lincoln 175SP+, which is the 220 model. I have a long extension cord that I can plug into dryer outlets or range plugs at most houses. I will be buying a 135 soon for a small shop at a remote cabin where 220 is a problem.
Definitely, a 135 will give you enough oomph to do wrought iron with 110, and it is a great machine. Definitely get the one with the gas solenoid so you can use it with or without gas. There will be too many small welding things you will want to do where flux core will be too hot, and the gas gives MUCH prettier welds. Flux core will cover you for some heavier welding, but will have its limitations because of the 110 power supply.
I wouldn't fool with anything but a Lincoln or Miller, but then, I have been welding now for 31 years, and have built up some strong opinions. El cheapos are hard to fix or get fixed or to get parts for. Price don't matter if it don't work every time you want to use it.
Use the argon/CO2 mixed gas. You CAN use straight CO2, and it will be cheaper.
As for not needing anything that will do more than fencing, that is NOW. If you start welding, you may soon outgrow the 110 machine and wish you had bought bigger. But in that case, you might want to burn larger rod, and want to get a good stick welder. If you don't buy a name brand machine, expect that it will be worth 50% of what you paid after you use it the first time. And then it will depreciate rapidly after that. Spend the money and get a name brand for reliability and resale.
Warning: welding can be addictive. Once you get started, there's no stopping.
Steve
Reply to
SteveB
Btw...the biggest DanMig is dual voltage. 110 or 220. You have to change a single jumper inside. Its 140 amps at 110, 200 amps on 22o with a respectable cycle time. They are made in Denmark, imported to a dealer in California, and are sold primarily to autobody shops., because they do small wire marvelously well. Ive an older one..about 20 yrs old. Parts are still available, board repair, etc etc.
A decent and well made machine.
Gunner
"Pax Americana is a philosophy. Hardly an empire. Making sure other people play nice and dont kill each other (and us) off in job lots is hardly empire building, particularly when you give them self determination under "play nice" rules.
Think of it as having your older brother knock the shit out of you for torturing the cat." Gunner
Reply to
Gunner Asch
I have a lincoln 135 plus on order. what size flux core wire might I use for this? I will mainly be welding 1/2" square solid pickets to 3/8" thick flat punch rail but will also be welding the 3/8" thick rail to 1 1/4" solid square bar at the end of each section..
Reply to
tdmailbox
I'll probably get my ass flamed off here, but I really think you should have considered a larger welder.
Reply to
rastus
well the order is still cancelable.. i would rather find out now that i am off base then when i have this welder
by larger i assume you mean a 240v welder? i dont have any 240 circuits at the house so i was hoping for a 120v welder but that doesnt make it right..
is it not reasonible to use flux core wire to weld this fencing?
rastus wrote:
Reply to
tdmailbox
I used just this setup on the last gate I made - worked fine. Go ahead, especially if you don't have 220v convenient...
Reply to
Emmo
You live where there is no 220, or you just have no 220 circuits wired? Don't you have a dryer or electric stove?
It would not be rocket surgery to wire a 220v plug off your panel provided you have adequate service.
I am a proponent of buying ahead and buying more than you need.
But if 110 is all you got, yes, the fluxcore 110 wire will weld what you want to weld. You will just have more clean up, more spatter, and less welding time because of the duty cycle. That means, you can only weld so many minutes out of ten because the wiring heats up to the point one of the circuit breakers kicks out. That is one of the main reasons in jumping to a 220v. machine. You will hit the limits of a 110 machine quickly, either by reaching the duty cycle, or by the limits of fusion that can be produced by 110v.
And yes, one CAN make considerably strong welds with a 110 v. machine. Both the experienced and inexperienced. But when you really need to smoke something, it just isn't possible to do so. You have to run multipass welds, and then you run into lack of fusion or cold lapping.
If you are considering this for the long run, I would check out a 220 v. machine and 220v. wiring. If your service allows, a drop off the box would cost about $100, and that would include wiring, a good box, conduit, a good plug, and all incidentals. That would not provide any money for hooking it up. But if you know how, it is very simple. Perhaps you know someone who is qualified to do it. I have wired many, and they ain't rocket surgery.
Steve
Reply to
SteveB
.035 flux core will work fine for this.
Gunner
"Pax Americana is a philosophy. Hardly an empire. Making sure other people play nice and dont kill each other (and us) off in job lots is hardly empire building, particularly when you give them self determination under "play nice" rules.
Think of it as having your older brother knock the shit out of you for torturing the cat." Gunner
Reply to
Gunner
That little 120-volt welder should be right at it's limits when doing larger stuff like fence pickets, but it'll do it, I've seen people using them for that - even though sometimes they have to take multiple passes.
Remember the little welders have a short duty cycle, in this case 20% - you have to stop and wait roughly 3 minutes for it to cool down for each roughly 30 seconds of welding. If you do each weld as you go along, that's not a problem. If you tack it together and expect to go back and do the final welds all at once boom boom boom, this is going to be a problem.
Use the biggest wire it will take, .030 or .035, it should come with a small sample roll of wire. If you have the choice, get the gas kit now - there are some jobs where fluxcore is not the best choice, and you will want to switch the polarity and use solid wire and shielding gas.
According to their site -
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comes with 2 pounds of .025 gas-shield wire, and the tips for .025 and .030 wire. It will handle .035 wire, but you have to buy the contact tips and the drive rollers separately, And it comes with the gas kit already.
. And for gas-shield wire, you'll need a cylinder of straight CO2 or 75/25 Argon/CO2 blend. Get two bottles, so when one runs out you can finish out the day with the spare - no panic runs into town.
And a can of anti-spatter, and a good automatic-darkening hood, and welding gloves, and a welding jacket and apron, and good leather boots, and a pair of MIG wire pliers, and a 4" grinder or two...
But the OP has to watch the voltage drop carefully - put a few hundred feet of undersized extension cord on that welder to reach the fence line and it won't weld for shit, especially if it's at the limits already. Get 10-gauge contractor duty extension cords or make your own, go to a heavy dedicated outlet wired straight to the power panel, and use as short a cord as you possibly can - if you are only going 25 feet don't use a 100-foot cord.
Those little toy welders do have a few advantages - they are light enough (54 Pounds) to toss in the trunk without three people or an engine hoist, and you can find a 20A 120V outlet almost anywhere. Not everyone has a dryer outlet or dedicated welder outlet to get 240V in their garage, and it's even chancier at a friends house.
(Unless you have the knowledge and cojones to tap straight in at the panel with a temporary breaker - "Kids, Don't Try This At Home!")
But if you have visions of doing larger things like trailer frames or hoisting rigs, then you need to buy a bigger welder.
I have the 240V Miller Challenger, and it'll do those fences without working up a sweat - but I have to use heavy custom 50A 240V extension cords to plug it into the garage outlet. Or I have to tow the big generator with me to the job. And getting the welder and cart into and out of the truck is an adventure.
Reply to
Bruce L. Bergman
I agree. The 135 Plus is too light for this work. Even if you can get a good weld you'll be running at 10% dutycycle, doing far more waiting than welding. You'll have much better results with a 220 volt MIG -- or stick.
Reply to
Don Foreman
Definitely. I have my Millermatic 135 on a dedicated circuit with 10ga going from the plug to the breaker box and use a 10ga 25' extension cord on it (I've got a 50' cord as well for when I'm in the field). It does a pretty good job up to 1/4" thick with 0.030" hard wire like this as long as you don't run it to long. However when I'm in the field and have to use a standard outlet I can barely weld 1/8" with it.
Which is the reason I got the 110 model when I got mine. I got it for field jobs like installing commercial rated vent hood duct which has to be 16ga and seal welded. My first job like that I used my old 220v cheapy which was my first wire welder. I was a pain getting hooked up to 220v on that job and took me 2-3 hours to get it done. Thus when my second job like that came along I bought the 110v welder. It was just barely up to the job on the circuits available to me but it did work.
Wayne Cook Shamrock, TX
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Reply to
Wayne Cook
I dont have any 220v circuits at my house but could easily wire one at my house. father in law is an electrican so not a big deal.
The idea however it I am rehabbing 3 houses all of which need a little fence work. the fence sections are too large not to make the final welds on site. So now I would have to modify the power at 3 sites to 220v to use a 220v welder. that is what I am trying to avoid.
I am not too concerned with the duty cycle as long as it is reasonable. I am using a punched bar for the picket rails. So the fence will have a lot of strength right off the bat becuase the pickects will go through the rails. I am just tacking it to keep the rails from falling out of the punches. So this should be relativly small welds. And after I do a few I then need to set up the next section fo fence giving the machine plenty of time to cool..
thanks though for the great info.. At some point I may go for a 220v for the home shop and 110v for when I need to do something at a job site that doesnt have 220v
Reply to
tdmailbox
Can you rent a 220 generator ? or buy one ? Martin Martin Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net NRA LOH, NRA Life NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:
Reply to
Martin H. Eastburn
My Lincoln Weld n Power had a 220 plug on it. It had a 16hp Onan engine. I think you can rent a 220 v. generator easily.
The first hit on Google:
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Buying one should not be a problem.
Steve
Reply to
SteveB
how bout getting a portable generator to run the welder and when an emergency comes up you'll be ready ,those things more useful than what alot of people thinks . It's better to have no worries then to say what am I going to do.
Reply to
badaztek

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