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tuna55 Reader
8/8/09 8:42 p.m.

Hobart 130, love it.

ignorant SuperDork
8/9/09 6:20 a.m.

what about grm advertiser htp? anyone use them?

Per Schroeder
Per Schroeder Technical Editor/Advertising Director
8/9/09 6:29 a.m.

Tim has HTP's 220v home welder. It's good. I've got a Daytona MIG 110 that was made by Cebora in Italy. It's been great.

Toyman01 HalfDork
8/9/09 11:49 a.m.

I have been using a Campbell Hausfeld 110V for about 8-10 years with no problems. It was $250 at Lowes back then. Has gas capability, but have never used it. It has welded everything from auto body to structural steel for houses with no problems. Parts haven't been a problem because it has never needed any. Even after falling out of the back of a friends truck at 40mph, I welded the handle back on, straightened the case and it has worked flawlessly ever since.

I would have to say, buy what you can afford and use it. Practice a lot, any welder will put down a nice bead with practice.

curtis73 GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
8/9/09 11:55 a.m.

I had a Century 135 that was fair at best. I think I paid $328 for it way back in the 90s. I personally won't do another 110v. Some are fine, but I do enough heavier welding that I need the amperage available from a 220v.

This is a great thread, though. There are good 110v welders. I know miller makes a Millermatic that can do either 110v or 220v

Junkyard_Dog Reader
8/9/09 6:06 p.m.
curtis73 wrote: I had a Century 135 that was fair at best. I think I paid $328 for it way back in the 90s. I personally won't do another 110v. Some are fine, but I do enough heavier welding that I need the amperage available from a 220v. This is a great thread, though. There are good 110v welders. I know miller makes a Millermatic that can do either 110v or 220v

I've had both 110v and 220v Millers (not the one that can do both ). Both have their pluses and minuses. The 220v was a great "shop" welder and thats where I kept it. The 110v is a great "home" rig and I bought another for myself when I got out of the business. As stated by others the main problem with 220v is lack of available outlets everywhere you might need it. If you're not going to need it to be portable AT ALL then buy the 220v. If you MIGHT SOMEDAY drag it to a friends house, the track, to work, etc. then stick with the 110v since theres way more 110v outlets in the world. And they all have the same pattern. I can't tell you how many welding plugs I've rewired or made adapter cords for when I had to borrow various 220s when I was welderless.

spitfirebill Dork
8/10/09 1:43 p.m.

I have a Lincoln SP100 I believe. Its been great but I mostly use it for sheet metal. I shopped for a welder for a long time and it was between the Lincoln, Miller and Hobart. Finally went with the Lincoln because the dealer was local.

footinmouth New Reader
8/10/09 8:49 p.m.

Best place to get parts ? local shop or online ?

motomoron Reader
8/10/09 9:08 p.m.

Welder #1 was a Daytona Mig "Turbo 130" - 110V machine w/ a little bottle of co2. I learned to weld with it, put a teflon liner in it, and kept it running for years. I recall I paid about $300 for it used but in very clean shape.

About 3 years ago I was compressor shopping. I'd gone to look at about 1/2 dozen 60 and 80 gallon verticals from Craigslist over about a year period when I finally found "the one"; a like new US made 220V 60 gallon Speedair w/ a 2 stage 4 cylinder cast iron pump. I offered $250, and the seller replied "no, no, no...is too low. I have to get $400" so we settled on $350. I wrote a check and said I'd be back with a strong friend and cash in an hour. Then he said:

"You like-a welding macheem?"

"I like welding macheem very much, my fiend. What do you have?"

He took me to the back of the shop where a like-new Millermatic 185 w/ an 80 cu/ft bottle of C25 from our local gas dealer was parked. I ended up striking a deal for the compressor AND the welder for $700. The next day I went to his other shop he was closing where they had converted vans to disabled transport buses and completely filled my truck with steel, hardware, wiring, a huge vise, movers dollies, and all sorts of great stuff

I sold the little daytona Mig for $300 on Craigslist a week later and love the Millermatic 185 so much I got a Millermatic 251 for the prototype shop at work.

If you play your cards right and can wait you can probably get into a real pro-quality machine for 4 bills.

andrave Reader
8/11/09 11:19 a.m.

I didn't read the whole thread. at work and don't have time. But I have a hobart handler 140 mig with the kit to convert to gas.

How I got this welder: 1) needed to use 110. I planned on using this at different peoples houses and didn't want to be limited to trying to find a 220 outlet and the right plug near what I wanted to weld.

2) needed to be powerful enough to weld considerably thick metal as I was using it to build a trailer with some thick steel crossmembers.

3) wanted to be able to convert to gas in case I want to weld something that requires it (hobart includes the gas kit at no additional cost).

I looked at lots of welders. I realized that a welder is a "lifetime" type of purchase. its an expensive tool that will require lots of replacement parts and nozzles and guns and such over its life. So my first decision was that I wanted to choose a manufacturer that would be around in a couple decades when I need parts. I also wanted to make sure the parts would be available no matter where in the US I ended up. I can't count on being next to a harbor freight, even if they turn out to still be around and making the same welders in 10 years.

This limited my choices to lincoln, hobart, miller, etc, the bigger "name brands."

Of the big brands, hobart had the best value. They are made in canada and appear to be very robustly constructed. They have a great reputation and warranty. They are sold at every tractor supply (which are everywhere around here) with lots of parts available. They have been around for a long time.

The miller and lincoln welders were significantly more expensive and didn't appear to offer a better value for the cost.

My hobart's been cranking away for about a year now and I've had no problems. My trailer turned out great, and its paid for itself several times over already by fixing parts that would otherwise have been ruined.

andrave Reader
8/11/09 11:26 a.m.

ok I read through the thread more.. a few additional comments:

1) I only use flux core wire, so far. I've found that properly prepping the objects to be welded by grinding/cleaning down to bare metal, ensuring a proper ground, and using nozzle gel on your nozzle significantly helps keep spatter down. My hobart welds with a lot less spatter than my brother's small craftsman... but I keep my welds very clean and I use lots of nozzle gel and I think that makes a huge difference.

2) Mine is a 110volt, 140 amp welder, and I've yet to find something I couldn't weld with it. Any welder will weld just about anything... it just depends on how much you have to bevel it and how many passes you have to make. I recently welded a winch mount with very thick steel (like 1/4") and my 140 was able to handle it pretty easily and I was getting solid penetration on some sample pieces I welded and tested by striking with a sledge hammer in vise before welding the final piece. I don't know what other people are welding but unless you routinely had to weld things thicker than that, you'll be fine on a 110 volt welder.

Brust Reader
8/11/09 8:07 p.m.

I've had the Lincoln SP-135+ and now the newer SP-140+ (or whatever- the infinite variable voltage model). Someone decided they needed the 135 more than I did, so the insurance bought the 140. Nice, quality welders which I have had no problem with. I understand that Lincoln has a better wire feed system than the MIllers (this is all hearsay from welding forums), so I went with lincoln. I didn't have a 220 outlet in the garage, hence the 135/140. If I had that, I'd search for a 220 machine. I'll buy another welder, but it'll be the Miller Diversion 165 tig machine. I think that tig is an easier process for a beginner- Mig is often like shooting a gatling gun, while with tig it's far easier to see what you're doing. They each have their place, and it doesn't sound like your budget is going to allow the tig. +1 on the auto-dark helmet- I have both a big-window standard helmet, and an auto-dark small window. Again, they each have their place- but if HF made a big window auto dark, there would be one helmet for me.

JoeyM New Reader
8/11/09 8:14 p.m.
Brust wrote: if HF made a big window auto dark, there would be one helmet for me.

I use this helmet from harbor freight, and I like it

ww SuperDork
8/12/09 4:13 p.m.

Yup, I've got 2 HF auto-dark helmets and set them to highest sensitivity and darkest setting and then I used to just blink right as I hit the trigger on my MIG to reduce the flash delay on the helmet.

I won a new Miller auto-dark helmet at their SEMA show booth drawing last year and it is much faster but also 6x more expensive than the HF...

The HF's are for "visitors" that come over and want to watch when I'm welding.

As far as what I've got equipment wise: Miller 175 220v w/"big" C25 gas cylinder and aluminum spool gun, Miller EconoTIG, HyperTherm 380 plasma torch.

I also have made "adapter" plugs for almost every possible 220v hookup I've encountered in my "travels". The most important one was the adapter to connect it to my 220v portable generator. Worst case, I take the generator with the MIG and run my MIG from "unleaded power"!

andrave Reader
8/13/09 9:01 a.m.

I have two auto darks, one I bought at northern tools for $70 bucks or so a few years ago and is still working great. The other is one I bought off ebay that has a flaming skull face on it... it doesn't have as great a battery as the other one and needs to be charged before you can use it.

Never had a problem actually using either one though. My eyes felt fine using the northern tools one after welding for several hours. I haven't really had a project where I need to weld all day. For most hobbyists I think a cheap one would suffice.

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess SuperDork
8/13/09 10:19 a.m.

I have a HF 110V MIG, but mine is now about 15 years old and was made in Italy. It has held up fine. The only trouble I've ever had with it was when I moved it I got a birdcage and one nut vibrated loose inside. I also added a muffin fan to it and never had another thermal cutout.

I used a Hobart Handler once, and it has nothing on my HF. I prefer my HF. The 110V is really handy for dragging the welder to the work with some flux wire versus dragging the work to the welder.

8/20/09 11:11 p.m.

Older Century 160 here (which I understand is made by Lincoln.) Have run about 200 pounds of various size wire from .023 to and including .035 (which it is not recommended to use). The only problem I have experienced was when after putting 15 foot hose (which is also not recommended) the .035 wire did, upon occasion, "surge" if hose was not perfectly straight to "work." In other words, the drive rollers had difficulty pushing that length of wire until arc smoothed out. Reason for the 15' hose, I was building 2 story workshop and had to "git up high" on occasion. FWIW, I always checked behind the exhaust fan when stopping to check if unit was being taxed. It (transformer) never ran warm. I gave out first. Yeah, flux core sucks and is nasty business.

Now going to change out to teflon liner on short hose and try to do some aluminum MIG'n. I have done most fe and non fe metals with TIG,but not MIG. TLS

scopx New Reader
8/20/09 11:21 p.m.

Something else guys!! This is probably addressed in the threads, but will bring up again. There are 2 types of cylinders, one that is owned by the company that provides the gas for you-and the other is an"Owner" cylinder(YOU). AND some of the gas companies will try and switch out YOUR bottle with one of theirs. The difference is, owner cylinders have "slick" ring around neck, and gas company cylinder has their name there. The next time you bring it in for filling, they will want to charge you rent on their bottle!!


ferric_oxide New Reader
8/20/09 11:53 p.m.

In reply to andrave:

For a 110 welder, you can get some really good ones for sheet metal for not too much money, just make sure you can get a regulator for it or it will limit you on thin sheet. If you want to weld 1/4 plate single pass, you really need to go 230 ($$) or grab a second welder.

My current cart has a 230v Lincoln tombstone and a thermal arc fabricator 130 w/co2 (essentially the same animal as a Hobart 135). It's a little on the heavy side with the co2 bottle, but I can cover anything from 26ga up to1/2" plate and it mostly lives in the garage anyway.

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