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Re: Welders

To: "''" <>
Subject: Re: Welders
From: Glenn Stauffer <>
Date: Tue, 10 Dec 1996 06:55:06 -0500
I just went through the process of getting a mig welder and have a few =
comments that might interest someone else thinking of doing this.

1)  Stay clear of the cheap welders.  Sure, you might only really intend =
to use it for that one restoration project, but not only will the better =
welders make it a lot easier to get good welds, but they will also have =
some value after the project is done if you intend to sell.  The cheap =
brands include Century, Harbor Freight's welder-of-the-month, and =
Daytona Mig and the like.
2)  For sheet metal, you should really weld with gas.  This option will =
cost you up to $150 extra for the gas bottle and regulator, but the =
welds are much cleaner and that will save you a lot of time grinding.  =
Your welder will also be more versatile as in able to weld thinner =
metals.  I bought a 60cft bottle and would do the same again - mig =
welders usually use about 20cft per hour.  If you expect to need gas for =
only one project, ask around at your local weld shops since some rent =
bottles and regulators.
3)  120 volt welders have the advantage of being more versatile - you =
can bring your welder to a friend's house where 220 isn't available.  =
220 welders will handle thicker metals (each of the welders listed below =
have a 220volt cousin), often offer better heat control, and are more =
4)  Three welders that came highly recommended to me:
Miller Millermatic 130
Lincoln SP120 (the SP series is different from the WeldPack line and is =
sold at  =20
                       weld shops.  Are the better?  No idea)
Hobart Handler 120

After doing considerable research, I opted for a Hobart Handler and =
couldn't be more pleased.  The overall quality, wire feed, and heat =
control is much better than the little Italian welder I used to have =
that originated from Harbor Freight.  I can actually weld and get decent =
results - something that I wasn't able to do with the other welder.  The =
three welders mentioned all come equipped with the gas solenoid and will =
run around $500 - $600.  They can all handle flux-core wire for gasless =
welds, but that may run you an additional $20 if you need to change the =
weld gun sleeve and tips to handle the thicker wire.  Several people =
recommended that I get a welder with a continuous range heat control (of =
the three only the Lincoln has this), but I didn't.  I have found that =
you can vary the heat output of the welder within the pre-set heat =
ranges (my welder has 4 settings) by varying the other factors: wire =
speed and wire stick-out.

Glenn Stauffer

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