I have been welding with an old Lincoln Tombstone welder forever. It is an AC only machine. I do quite well with it but it is needing repair and new cables so I am considering buying another machine.
Unfortunately I cannot afford most mig machines I have seen and I am not sure if the smaller 115V machines will do the trick for me.
I weld trailers and BBQ smokers. Most stuff is 1/4" or larger steel. I so far have not needed to weld aluminum or other materials.
I can get a brand new Lincoln ac/dc tombstone welder for $387 from Home Depot. I can get a new AC only machine for $287 from them also.
Since ALL of my welding history is with AC stick, I do not know how a DC machine will change things. I have always heard that AC is harder to learn but since I can already weld AC I would guess that DC would not be a huge challenge but since I do not know the benefits of DC+ or DC- I was hoping someone here could shed some light.
NOW, I am not against MIG and would like to buy MIG but cash is a crunch and I am not sure if the 115V machines will do the work I want. I weld a lot and the 115V machines just seem like they would not hold up. I was told a Miller 251 would work perfect for me but it is WAY oustide my price range.
How is DC- and DC+ different from AC welding? How would it change what I currently do?
What Mig machine would be a minimum for 2hours/day of active welding (the rest is setup and parts but 2hrs of actual arc time) on thick metal?
I know the Lincoln 225 wlil weld everything I would ever want to weld but DC and MIG are interesting to me.
Thanks for any help. I have been a one man show for a long, long time and finding a bunch of people that REALLY know welding is great.