Stick vs. MIG/TIG for hobby project


I am in the need to do some welding for a hobby project. All i have to weld is "a couple" of 1.5"x1.5" A-500 steel tubes (i am building a space-frame for CNC router).

A "long" time ago, in college, i took a Stick welding course and i recall being quite good at it. Now that i need to weld again, i would like to get some advice on what technique to use.

Unfortunately i don't currently own a wleding device so i will need to either rent or purchase one. I am kind of biassed towards Stick since i have done that before but i don't have 220V in my shop (only 110).

so here are some questions:

  • do 110V Stick welders actually work reasonably well for a small,
1-time hobby project? if yes, any suggestions on make and model?
  • how hard is it to learn MIG/TIG if someone has done Stick before? any suggestions on devices there?

any help is welcome. thanks a lot in advance.


Reply to
Rene Limberger
Loading thread data ...

My first welding rig was a small, 110V stick welder. Its a Shumacker Mighty Mite and it works great for sheetmetal and thin stock. You didn't state how thick your 1.5 x 1.5 tubing is, so I don't know if this will work. However, I have welded up to 1/4" flat bar with the Mighty Mite using the smallest diameter rod at Home Depot and the highest current setting (70 Amps).

Stick is cheaper, by far, but a little more difficult to do well. MIG is cake, once the current, voltage, and wire feed settings are correct. For a beginner, these settings are the hardest to learn. Sometimes, it just takes trial and error to find the correct settings. TIG takes expensive equipment and a certain degree of skill, but I can't say for certain since I've only tried TIG once at a buddy's shop.

I recommend picking up a cheap 110V stick welder. I bought mine for $85 on Ebay and a pack of 20 rods is less than $10. Also, make sure you plug that little puppy into a receptacle running to a 20 Amp breaker at least. 30 would be better. Anything less, and you'd trip it everytime your welding rod stuck to the workpiece.

Reply to

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.