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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am always working on various projects, and there are so many more things that I could do if I knew how to weld. Unfortunately, welding looks like a very expensive and complex craft that one would not casually pick up. Was looking at classes, and everything I am seeing is pretty expensive.

I have always done soldering, though more small electronics repairs, rather than larger things like a plumber might tackle.

A friend suggested that brazing can work for a lot of things that would seem to require welding (smaller stuff- no quarter inch steel plates). Looking into books on brazing / soldering to learn a little more.

I would love to be able to expand my range, but would prefer to keep my investment in the hundreds (rather than thousands) of dollars. Does anyone here do brazing (or welding), and can you offer any thoughts on this?
 

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I was in a similar boat recently. I grabbed one of those cheap flux core welders (< $90) from HF...more to break the ice & learn. A MIG (which can do both flux-core or solid-core + gas) just wasn't in the budget this year. If $$$ was no object, I would've gotten a Miller or Hobart MIG. With that said, with some practice, the HF flux core machine did some decent welds that helped get my 824 straightened-out.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Dumb question (120v arc welding home wiring)

I was in a similar boat recently. I grabbed one of those cheap flux core welders (< $90) from HF...more to break the ice & learn. A MIG (which can do both flux-core or solid-core + gas) just wasn't in the budget this year. If $$$ was no object, I would've gotten a Miller or Hobart MIG. With that said, with some practice, the HF flux core machine did some decent welds that helped get my o824 straightened-out.
They have a 90 amp flux core welder on sale at HF really cheap.. Something like $81.84. Not sure if they'll accept the 20% coupon on top of the sale price, but that would make it under $70 with tax (plus helmet, misc accessories and supplies, etc). Tempting as a way to play around with lightweight stuff and start to learn. Ino 120v would limit me to lightweight stuff, but thinking it would be better to cut my teeth on something cheap and wait for pricier quality gear, until i better understand my actual needs, and what equipment would be suitable

The question that i have is regarding the 90 amp rating. Some say this welding rig is usable on regular household wiring. Does this actually draw 90 amps? (I don't have a whole lot of 100 amp circuits available.) Assuming this is probably probably pretty basic stuff, but can anyone help clarify how i would be able to use this at home?
 

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They have a 90 amp flux core welder on sale at HF really cheap.. Something like $81.84. Not sure if they'll accept the 20% coupon on top of the sale price, but that would make it under $70 with tax (plus helmet, misc accessories and supplies, etc). Tempting as a way to play around with lightweight stuff and start to learn. Ino 120v would limit me to lightweight stuff, but thinking it would be better to cut my teeth on something cheap and wait for pricier quality gear, until i better understand my actual needs, and what equipment would be suitable

The question that i have is regarding the 90 amp rating. Some say this welding rig is usable on regular household wiring. Does this actually draw 90 amps? (I don't have a whole lot of 100 amp circuits available.) Assuming this is probably probably pretty basic stuff, but can anyone help clarify how i would be able to use this at home?
That's 90A output. A standard 120V outlet is all you need for supply. I've seen somewhere that a dedicated 20A circuit is recommended. Nice unit to cut teeth on.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That's 90A output. A standard 120V outlet is all you need for supply. I've seen somewhere that a dedicated 20A circuit is recommended. Nice unit to cut teeth on.
That makes more sense.. I figured i was misinterpreting the 90 amp rating and was hoping a 20a circuit would suffice. Did read some reviews about cheaper arc welding rigs not lasting long, but, but hoping it would at least last thru a tinkering and learning stage.
 

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I would avoid a chinese $80 welder. The minimum you should consider would be the Hobart : Hobart Handler® 140 MIG Welder - Tractor Supply Co..

You would quickly tire of that cheap machine and it would just be money thrown away.
I started with something similar to the Hobart from Lincoln and learned on it. The 140 is pretty versatile and would handle most of your repair needs.

Its really not hard to learn to weld if you are just doing mild steel. You just run a bead similar to caulking. Just takes a little practice to get the amps and wire speed dialed in.

Now I have a Miller 211 that does gorgeous welds.
 

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I'm using a Mastercraft WG2063 from Canadian Tire. It's a 40-70 amp welder. It comes equipped with a .035 flux core wire set-up which I figure needs the 4th (highest) heat setting and a 20A outlet to use. The first three heat settings only require a 15A outlet, but forget trying to use it with .035 flux core wire. Set it up with .030 flux core wire and this little welder is amazing on any of the three lower heat settings. Use an electrical outlet closet to your electrical panel for best performance (shortest electrical wire length). If you need to use an extension cord, make sure you use a 14 guage or even a 12 guage depending on length of extension. If I plug into an outlet with a long run of wire, I certainly notice the difference in performance. Using the .030 flux core wire makes all the difference in weldability with this welder and I expect with other brands as well as far as welding thinner materials and being able to use a 15A outlet. Also shield your welding from the wind. I've been welding for 40+ years and this welder is amazing for home repairs. It has gas set-up capability, but will stick with the flux core as it keeps it more portable and cheaper, and just does an amazing job the way it is.
 

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I almost signed up for a welding class this Spring, we have numerous county run "adult classes" programs, and one was welding for hobbyists, not the "professional, certifying" level, just for tinkering. It was fairly inexpensive, participants were required to purchase a helmet and gloves however. I believe it was 16 sessions long and my schedule was a bit full.
 

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MIG welder is the way to go. It is fairly simple to learn, but you will need to practice, practice and practice. Watch youtube videos for tips and procedures.
 

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I almost signed up for a welding class this Spring, we have numerous county run "adult classes" programs, and one was welding for hobbyists, not the "professional, certifying" level, just for tinkering. It was fairly inexpensive, participants were required to purchase a helmet and gloves however. I believe it was 16 sessions long and my schedule was a bit full.
My school district offers the same, but as a high school teacher (social studies) I go over to the various labs that weld, to learn from the students. They like nothing better than to show me up, teach me, and I prefer it that way. It gives them the ability to feel that we are all human, and that learning is a constant thing.
 

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They have a 90 amp flux core welder on sale at HF really cheap.. Something like $81.84. Not sure if they'll accept the 20% coupon on top of the sale price, but that would make it under $70 with tax (plus helmet, misc accessories and supplies, etc). Tempting as a way to play around with lightweight stuff and start to learn. Ino 120v would limit me to lightweight stuff, but thinking it would be better to cut my teeth on something cheap and wait for pricier quality gear, until i better understand my actual needs, and what equipment would be suitable

The question that i have is regarding the 90 amp rating. Some say this welding rig is usable on regular household wiring. Does this actually draw 90 amps? (I don't have a whole lot of 100 amp circuits available.) Assuming this is probably probably pretty basic stuff, but can anyone help clarify how i would be able to use this at home?
HF has always accepted the "coupon" on SALE items, but will NOT allow you to use it with a "couponed item" My experience only.
 
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