I am the definition of a newbie to the welding world. I'm trying to get signed up at the local vo-tech school (30+ people on a waiting list for the eveing classes) and I'm checking out the equipment available. I'm not looking to do this as a career. It would just be for fun and some projects around the house. Maybe a utility trailer, a grill, some shelving, maybe later some stainless steel welding for some boat things.
My question is regarding the quality of Clarke welders. I'm pretty sure most of you will tell me that they are on a second tier below the Lincoln, Miller, and Hobart equipment. Here's my question: Have any of you used a Clarke welder? What did you think? Is the lower quality something I'd see in a finished weld? Is there something about the wire feeder or gas delivery or current flow that affects weld quality? Or, is it more an issue of reliability, parts availability, etc. Do you think these welders are better than the Chicago Electric stuff available at Harbor Freight? I've ruled those out - I'm just trying to figure out where the Clarke equipment fits on the quality scale.
Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me. Maybe I'll be able to return the favor sometime after I know at least one thing about welding.
Thx, Chris I. Clearwater, FL