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I'm looking to pick up a mig welder, probably used. I've welded mig a couple times with cheapy flux core machines, have stick welded a few times before and made some decent welds. Just welded up some brackets and basic stuff. Haven't had much opportunity to practice. I want to learn to weld in body panels so I can patch up my trucks rust spots and if I do well on that my Galaxie as well. Also will be used for general fab work, crossmembers, mounts, etc. Nothing crazy thick. Have an HVLP gun I've paintes some bikes with and came out fairly good. Hoping that will carry to the truck too. :)

I have 220v single phase available, which I use for my compressor. 3 phase is not an option. Will have to wire a new breaker for a welder probably. My compressor is on a 20 amp circuit and I imagine most decent welders will pull more than that. I have 60 amps into my garage. What machines would you guys recommend, preferably in the $500-$600 range to pick up in decent used condition? Not limited to that range but I've seen a few machines locally on Craigslist around $500 that look decent. Saw a Lincoln Pro MIG 175 I was considering, but sold. Also a Miller 175 machine is for sale locally. There are some higher amp units for not much more, but are 3 phase which is unavailable for me.
 

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Welders

You can get good 110 welders that are made by lincoln (good),Hobart(better) and Miller(best) these will all weld sheet metal fine. I use my Miller 210 to put quarter panels on at it's lowest setting and it works fine as well.

Dan
 

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Definetly get the Highest Amp Machine you can find and 220v is a must too if your going to do any type of Structural Welding of any kind the 120v machines just don't have the penetration for any heavy welding.

IMO Miller makes a nice Machine, I have a 140 but wish I would have gotten a 220V one.

The 140 and Small Machines are nice for Sheet Metal and Such.
 

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I don't think you are going to find a 220v machine in that price range, but anything is possible. You will probably be able to get a 110v in that price range. The 220v stuff is selling for $1500+ here depending on what condition it is in, and more if like new. Remember you are going to need a bottle to go with it too, and that is a large added expense.:)
 

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I would look at the non-gas driven stick welders... you can buy them at sears for about $400... their stick only, but you can buy a Tig torch and hose kit(argon)... The stinger lead just clamps on the hose kit and you then have a stick/tig rig. about $100 more for the tig stuff...plus when you want you can put a wire feeder with it that clamps on just like the tig rig then you have a mig setup..all comes out to about $700... remember to put the machine on DCEN when your tig welding
 

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Some stuff available locally:

http://delaware.craigslist.org/tls/1049753240.html

http://newjersey.craigslist.org/tls/1029436341.html

Sounds like a nice machine but I have no 3 phase:
http://newjersey.craigslist.org/tls/1029436341.html

http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/tls/1024680802.html

http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/tls/1018358599.htm

These are what I came up with a quick 5 min local CL search. I'd prefer ot keep in the $500-$600 range but can go up to about $1000 max. I imagine I'll get a lot of use out of a welder so I'd rather get something that'll serve my needs the first time around.
 

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You can buy a new Lincoln or Hobart 180/187 for $600-700. Why not add another $100 to your budget and get a warranty?
http://store.cyberweld.com/hoha187migwe.html
I ordered my Hobart from these guys. Free shipping. Definatly get a 220v welder. You will have more than enough to weld anything you need. With a 110v welder, if you ever have to weld something like a roll cage, you will wish you got the 220v.
My first mig was a little Lincoln 100. I used the hell out of that welder. Never had any problems with it over the 7 years I used it before I got my Hobart. Again, it was enough as long as I didnt need to weld anything like a roll cage/frame. You can find those in your price range, but be aware they DO NOT come ready for gas welding. The add on kit is another $100+, the 220v welders I mentioned already have them and are ready for gas.
You can either buy a small bottle($150), or you can lease Large one. The bottle lease is usually 5 years and doesnt really cost much. I own my bottle, but am thinking about leasing a larger one.
 

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I bought my Hobart Mig NEW from Tractor Supply for under 700 dollars 220 volt 150 amps gas kit installed bought a smaller tank from airgas for 75 dollars. I can weld sheet metal on lowest setting and up to 3/8 structal iron with no problems
 

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I agree, get as big a machine as you can afford.I have the Lincoln Pro 175 like you were talking about and like it real well. I use the Miller 251 at work and they can handle anything you could throw at them as far as car chassis construction, IMO. Lincoln, Hobart, Miller 220v 170-180 amp rigs are a good value.
 

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I am running the Hobart handler 187, can run flux core out of the box but everything is there including regulators to switch to gas you just have to buy the bottle and hook it up (which I did immediately) I can weld pretty much anything with it from sheet metal to structural and have even welded roll cages with it (yes I know tig is the current hot thing for cages)
 

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I bought a lincoln pro mig 135 and its 120v and i use the gas argon/co2 mix for mild steel (not chrome moly) and it welds anything you need to weld on a car i,ve done roll cages/bars sub frames and sheet metal a 130 to 140 amp will weld up to 3/16 or 1/4 inch i dont think anything on a car is thicker than 3/16 the only thing with the 120v welders like mine is a lower duty cycle mine is 20% so i can weld for two minutes straight and it has to cool for 10 minutes but i never welded anything for two minutes straight thats a lot of weld the bigger machines will weld thicker and the duty cycle is more a while back i made motor mounts for my buddys e-350 4x4 van and yes its 460 powered its been a year so far so good. I bought mine at lowes for a little over 400 and love it i always use the gas its like nite and day from flux core wire.
 

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I owned a cheapo 110 mig and I use a Century brand 250 amp mig now. I have also used friends/relatives Miller migs and I will tell you straight out that there is a big difference in quality. One thing I learned is that a good welder can make up for a poor machine and a good machine can help make up for a poor welder. Miller/Lincoln and Hobart are like a Ford vs chevy thing. They all have their followers. I would at least get a 175 amp though. You will need at least a 40 amp breaker with a prefered 50 amp. IIRC my 250 amp specs 44 amps of current.
 

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Miller/Lincoln and Hobart are like a Ford vs chevy thing. They all have their followers.

F.Y.I.

Miller owns Hobart. They bought them several years ago. The welders are basicly the same.

FWIW,...... I have a 220v (sing. phase) Hobart Handler 175 that I've had for a few years and I love it.
It'll weld 5/16" mild steel no problem. I have welded a couple of peices of 3/8" with it, but they were small.
 

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For hobby welding/Fab and small repairs I'd go with the hobart 140 with your budjet, They are made by Miller, If you look at hobarts, the gun is miller, says right on it, the transformer is miller, the only thing thats Hobart is the case, Yes it's a lower line but still a miller. For $475 you can be burning with gas!

My 140 working it's *** off burning 1/4".
 

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If you have a local wedlding supply go by there and see what brands they keep parts for. Then go from there. You will be happiest with a name brand like Lincoln, Hobart or Miller and parts are easier to get for these. I have a Hobart Handler 220V that I've had for over ten years and it has worked great.
The flux core wire is expensive and messy to use. For close to the same money you can lease a small bottle of 75/25 and use solid wire. The solid wire makes ALOT better looking weld.

Dennis
 

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My vote would be Miller. I've got the 210 . A good quality helmet helps alot.
x2 on the helmet, get a decent auto darkening helmet and it will make a ton of difference trust me. You should be able to get a good one for under $100 and it's money very well spent.
 

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x2 on the helmet, get a decent auto darkening helmet and it will make a ton of difference trust me. You should be able to get a good one for under $100 and it's money very well spent.
The auto darking is great, my wife got me one for Xmas, the only thing is after welding with the old style helmets for years and years, I still have the habit of raising my helmet everytime.:confused: I guess it's true, you can't teach an old dog new tricks!:rolleyes: But, they are nice when welding in a tight spot, and you don't have to nod your head to flip down the helmet.
 
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