decent mig/wire welder on a 300.00 budget?

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decent mig/wire welder on a 300.00 budget?

Post by fishhead on Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:22 pm

I need a wire welder to patch a hole in my S3 roof and some quarter panel patching on my 73.I don't have 220 available so its house current only.Anyone getting by with a cheapo that works decent? I don't want a POS but 300.00 max is my budget,new or used,just need some advice.What gauge is 73-77 sheet metal anyway? Thanx again.

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Re: decent mig/wire welder on a 300.00 budget?

Post by jerry46765 on Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:22 am

I have used Miller and Lincoln.
Lincoln has a low end one at Summit, but never used it: http://www.summitracing.com/parts/lcn-k2185-1/overview/

To stay in your range you may have to buy another brand.
Eastwood rebrands lots of their stuff. Here is one on sale and it has a 3 year warranty:
http://www.eastwood.com/mig-welder-110vac-135a-output.html

Harbor Freight has a number of them, but you get what you pay for there, a short use item.

A 20% duty cycle will be fine for welding sheet metal. A low end machine won't have a pulse/stitch mode for welding very thin metal so it will take some practice to get it going.

Keep in mind, you will need gas (buy or rent) bottle usually $100 for half cylinder mixed gas. Also need some tools for welding, a cart for welder & bottle mount, decent helmet, gloves, eye protection, slag hammer/wire brush, spools of wire, tip cleaner, tips, nozzles, a small grinder, clamps, magnets, braces, on and on.
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Re: decent mig/wire welder on a 300.00 budget?

Post by fishhead on Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:44 am

Thanks much,I see where most folks prefer the gas instead of flux core so I'll be checking on those with the gas option feature.I'll probably buy a used unit and cross my fingers,fortunately there is a welding supply store nearby so I can hit them up for advice also.I'm eager to get my rides patched up,it's going to be a fun Summer.

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Re: decent mig/wire welder on a 300.00 budget?

Post by jerry46765 on Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:25 am

You won't want flux core for thin sheet metal. Flux core is like stick welding with continuous feed. You'll need gas... so to speak...
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Re: decent mig/wire welder on a 300.00 budget?

Post by fishhead on Thu Apr 25, 2013 2:02 am

Yep.Doin' the research,thanks friend. Cool

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Re: decent mig/wire welder on a 300.00 budget?

Post by Limey SE on Thu Apr 25, 2013 8:37 am

jerry46765 wrote: You'll need gas... so to speak...


BWAAAAA HHAAA HHAAAA he said you need gas where's the clothespin for my nose !
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Re: decent mig/wire welder on a 300.00 budget?

Post by dragons_lair59 on Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:17 am

I've used Lincoln, Miller, and Hobart welders even had a Miller matic and all are fine machines. Sometimes you can get a good used one online at a good price. Also check with some of the local welding supply stores and see what they have that are on clearance for the new models. I've seen some of them trade in used ones cause some one needed a bigger one

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Re: decent mig/wire welder on a 300.00 budget?

Post by thatfnthing on Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:28 am

On a similar note, when considering a used one, what might be some of the things to watch out for? Any way to tell a good one from a bad one?
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Re: decent mig/wire welder on a 300.00 budget?

Post by dragons_lair59 on Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:01 am

Ask to run it aka demo if watch the two feed rollers if the feed smooth and don't spin and while no wire being fed if they do can just mean that they need adjusted worste case they need replaxed but not real spendy if wire feels like it is catching and jerking usually means liner is bad and they are kinda spendy and a major pain in the rear to do. You also wanna look at the condition of your leads and the gun and over all shape the machine is in. Also note if they used it for aluminum the liner is different then that of normal wire. If this is the case your better to get a second gun and lead as apposed to different liner so you can weld both. Wire comes in a few sizes most of the time your only need .035 but wire must match the little feed rollers and they are marked.


Last edited by dragons_lair59 on Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:11 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added info)

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Re: decent mig/wire welder on a 300.00 budget?

Post by thatfnthing on Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:55 am

cool, thanks!
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Re: decent mig/wire welder on a 300.00 budget?

Post by fishhead on Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:30 pm

What size wire works best for patching quarter panels and such when using gas with a 120v wire feed welder?

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Re: decent mig/wire welder on a 300.00 budget?

Post by jerry46765 on Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:10 pm

You'll probably use .025.

If you buy a used machine, just remember all the name brand models will have replacement parts; feed reels, hoses, drives, and whatever. Not usre you will find parts for a 10 year old harbor frieght mig.

Usually if a machine looks beat, it is beat.

I think Miller has a tech course on-line to go over basics.
http://www.millerwelds.com/resources/tech_tips/MIG_tips/
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Re: decent mig/wire welder on a 300.00 budget?

Post by fishhead on Thu Apr 25, 2013 2:12 pm

Is gas-shielded wire a good alternative to a gas feed system or not so good? This is my last question on this topic,honest!

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Re: decent mig/wire welder on a 300.00 budget?

Post by jerry46765 on Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:20 pm

Mig is shielded gas arc welding, and uses a gas to isolate the molten weld from impulites during the process. Flux core doesn't use a gas, it uses gel flux agent in the center of the wire which will shield the weld, and become slag on the exterior (which you chip away after). Similar results but processes are different. Typically flux core is used in similar situations to light-medium stick welding jobs. The FC wire sizes tyically wouldn't be used for light gauge material.
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Re: decent mig/wire welder on a 300.00 budget?

Post by jerry46765 on Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:22 pm

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Re: decent mig/wire welder on a 300.00 budget?

Post by thatfnthing on Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:31 pm

I had also read that flux core makes a bigger mess (more splatter) than gas-shielded, so there's more cleanup afterward.
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Re: decent mig/wire welder on a 300.00 budget?

Post by jerry46765 on Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:35 pm

Gas shielded has no slag to clean off like FC.
Flux core is like stick welding only it comes on a wire spool.

Mess is a loose term when welding.
You'll have the grinder out already so probably not that big an issue.
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Re: decent mig/wire welder on a 300.00 budget?

Post by fishhead on Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:56 pm

Got it. Thanks for your help.

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Re: decent mig/wire welder on a 300.00 budget?

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