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Welder Opinions

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  • Other: Welder Opinions

    I have done very little welding in the past. I have done about 10 inches of MIG welding on a panel. The results were not very satisfactory - the welder was a cheap no-name 110 volt unit.

    I just purchased a Princess Auto 110/220 volt combination MIG TIG ARC. Three year warranty. Perhaps I am now having second thoughts. Should I have bought a Miller or Lincoln MIG welder? (It cost about $1200 Cdn.)Click image for larger version

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  • #2
    Tell us the "duty cycle." Probably more than anything, it will tell how much actual welding vs resting between cycles you can do before the bead begins to lose penetration and performance suffers.
    John Clary
    Greer, SC

    SDC member since 1975

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    • #3
      Man... I just looked at the spec's... That's a nice looking welder!

      Do you have the gas attachment?
      Flux core MIG welders are fair to poor on sheet metal work.
      If you do have the gas attachment.....
      For sheet metal work... Get a 'mix' gas of C02 and Argon.
      Also... But good 'soft' wire from the welding store (not the cheap big box store stuff...It is real hard wire).
      Make double sure your tips match your wire size.

      Opinion: I like C25
      (25% Carbon Dioxide and 75% Argon)
      and .023" wire for sheet metal work (.023" ER70S-6 American Filler Metals Carbon Steel MIG Wire)

      An inexpensive welder is not automatically a bad welder.
      Pay attention to your duty cycle (as mentioned above).
      All that means is let your welder cool off...a lot.
      Last edited by DEEPNHOCK; 08-01-2018, 03:43 PM.
      HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

      Jeff


      Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain



      Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

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      • #4
        Thank you Jeff for your suggestions. John, I looks like it is a 25% duty cycle for .025 welding wire. Does that make sense? I blew up the specs and installation/ operation guide.
        Attached Files

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        • #5
          One thing to remember for any welder -

          When you are done welding...DO NOT turn the welder off right away. Let the fan run for a few minutes (5 + minutes) to cool everything inside the box so it doesn't heat soak.
          I went thru three welders before I learned that.

          Mike

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by DEEPNHOCK View Post
            ..
            Opinion: I like C25
            (25% Carbon Dioxide and 75% Argon)
            and .023" wire for sheet metal work (.023" ER70S-6 American Filler Metals Carbon Steel MIG Wire)
            Same here. Both my MIG machines are Lincoln, but the one I use on bodywork is an old SP125 I run as Jeff posted. I use larger wire in the big machine and various gasses depending on what I'm working on.
            sigpic

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            • #7
              If you are not using gas with your welder you will never get good results with sheetmetal. Gas makes even a bad welder look like a good welder....
              Mike Sal

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              • #8
                I like my Lincoln SP-125, but I wish my automatic dimming helmet would go lighter than the adjustable switch allows, which is #9. It's hard to see the weld to know exactly what's going on. The next time I go to the welding store I will ask if a lighter shade is available. I would never use flux core welding wire for anything. Also be sure your neck and shoulders are covered while welding. Last week I welded up a new mail box post and brackets, and I got a light sunburn on my shoulders.

                Comment


                • #9
                  There can be many reasons for bad results. And since "bad results" wasn't defined I'll throw a few reasons I've experienced.

                  1. The metal needs to be clean and rust free. Pock marked metal (from rust removal) varies in thickness and it is very easy to blow holes in.

                  2. Auto sheet metal is pretty thin. If the amperage was too high it will burn holes in the metal. If too low the metal will just pile up and not fuse the two pieces together.

                  3. Sheetmetal warps from the heat and as such gaps can form. These gaps tend to burn the edge of the metal rather than fuse the two pieces together.

                  4. One forgets to turn the gas on or uses flux core and doesn't realize it need to have scale removed afterwards.

                  5. Don't expect TIG welding results from a MIG welder. TIG welding is a selective addition of metal. MIG welding it a constant adding of metal.

                  6. Watch You Tube videos on the subject or take an Adult Ed class. I have about 15 years of occational, self taught MIG welding. My son took a course in community college. He welds a lot better than me. 10" of experience it not a lot. I can't say practice makes perfect, but it does make one better.

                  BTW, I didn't go CASO on a welder. It is just a small Lincoln MIG Pack 10, but it isn't a HF unit which my professional welder friend did not recommend..
                  '64 Lark Type, powered by '85 Corvette L-98 (carburetor), 700R4, - CASO to the Max.

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                  • #10
                    55s, an old welding inspector for Nuc Plants and aircraft speaking here. Copy Jeff's (DEEPNHOCK) comments and tape them to your welder, he's right on. Also, my 1st home mig unit was a Lincoln w/out gas, and they are probably good for something, but.... My current unit is a Snap-On I bought from a friend when he shut down his auto shop. It has the gas and makes the welds, what a difference ! Like another of the guys said, the brand may not make much of a difference, so many manufacturers make things for other companies. Good luck sir !

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I tried a Century 120VAC unit first. Used it with flux core and gas and I never could get a descent weld on auto sheet metal. It did fine on thicker material. After a lot of frustration and wasted time I bought a Millermatic 180 Autoset. What a difference. All you do is tell it the size wire you are using and the thickness of metal you are welding. It figures out the heat and speed for you and gets you pretty close. Then I can fine tune the thickness setting dial up or down to get the kind of weld I want. Since I am by no means a professional welder, this thing figuring out most of the settings allows me to get pretty good results without really knowing what I am doing. Next to an Iwata paint gun, this is probably the best money I have spent on this crazy hobby.
                      Wayne
                      "Trying to shed my CASO ways"

                      sigpic‚Äč

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'll jump on the pile also. I've owned a Century 160A, 220V Gas MIG for close to 30 years and it has what you want in a home shop welder - A good duty cycle and clean power delivery. I'll start a bead and it will continue the same until I stop the arc. Century is now part of Hobart so I don't know much about them anymore but mine just soldiers on.

                        All the comments on brand, quality and disposables are correct. If I were to buy a new welder it would probably be one of the new automatics but I'm familiar enough with mine that I can usually just set the feed and power close and make fine adjustments.

                        Your's fits my opinion of what to look for in a welder, decent duty cycle and infinitely variable feed and power settings. I buy my wire from the local welding supply folks as I believe they will have consistent quality and that seems to have proven out over the years.

                        I also can't state enough the purchase of a decent auto darkening helmet. I paid a lot of money way back for a Speedglas unit that I still use today. There nothing like being able to see the work and tip of the wire in position prior to squeezing the trigger.

                        You'll also learn with experience that your combination of touch and welder settings will get to higher numbers as you become comfortable with using the unit. That will result in better penetration and stronger welds.

                        It does look like you have made an excellent purchase.

                        Bob
                        , ,

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by 55s View Post
                          I have done very little welding in the past. I have done about 10 inches of MIG welding on a panel. The results were not very satisfactory - the welder was a cheap no-name 110 volt unit.

                          I just purchased a Princess Auto 110/220 volt combination MIG TIG ARC. Three year warranty. Perhaps I am now having second thoughts. Should I have bought a Miller or Lincoln MIG welder? (It cost about $1200 Cdn.)[ATTACH=CONFIG]74231[/ATTACH]
                          You didn't mention an important part.. How did you wire up the machine?

                          220, using your dryer outlet or 110 using a regular wall outlet?

                          If 220, Id say no issue, but 110 using a regular wall outlet, you may have problems.

                          I've use the Miller wired at 110 with no problem, but the wiring from the panel to my 20amp wall outlet is 10ga, as is the cord for the machine, as is the extension cord if I needed distance.

                          Any use of wire less less than 10ga (ie 14ga) and you will not get the full effect of the controller in the welder because it is being choked off somewhere down the line.

                          Looks like a spiffy welder...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thank you all for your comments. I am keeping it.

                            220 volt plug just added to workshop so I can use either 110 or 220. It does have a thermostatic shut off that keeps the fan going if it gets too hot. I understand I don't turn off the unit until it decides to turn off. It does have an autoset to automatically adjust the speed and heat, similar to the Miller.

                            I am going to get the welding supplies suggested so I can start playing. I have an auto darkening helmet, but I still do have difficulty seeing what's going on. I also have different shades of glasses - perhaps what I have isn't good enough.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by 55s
                              <snip>
                              I have an auto darkening helmet, but I still do have difficulty seeing what's going on.
                              I also have different shades of glasses - perhaps what I have isn't good enough.
                              I feel your pain. As you get older, your eyes are less likely to adjust...and focus.
                              Have experimented with different stuff, mostly to see and focus better.
                              Couple things that I have tried/found out (But am all ears to other suggestions)..

                              Auto darkening helmets that use the weld arc light to turn on... Are not as adjustable as a battery powered auto darkening helmet*....
                              (* note: The first auto darkening helmets were battery powered. Nothing like the current ones..)
                              Before you spend big money on a new(er) auto darkening helmet.
                              (1) Get a 'beanie' welding skull cap. That cute little brim on it is great filler from your forehead to the inside of the helmet.
                              Blocks a lot of overhead light.
                              (2) Try an alternative light source. One thing I have (and use when it gets frustrating) is a torch LED light.
                              Clunky, but works very well.

                              https://www.amazon.com/Steck-Manufac.../dp/B002YKIM6S

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                              (3) Try to find a set of 'cheater' lenses for your helmet. Found these and was able to put them in my helmet behind the backside of the lens.
                              Kind of strange to use, because 'things appear closer than the really are'..But you get used to it fast.
                              (Available in different diopters...just like reading glasses).

                              https://www.amazon.com/Antra-Welding.../dp/B017IDJKL6

                              Sometimes I just wrap a shop rag up a bit and stuff it in between my forehead and the helmet.
                              Works ok, too.

                              Click image for larger version

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                              Last edited by DEEPNHOCK; 08-04-2018, 03:41 PM. Reason: spehlling
                              HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

                              Jeff


                              Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain



                              Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

                              Comment

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