Looking to buy a welder. - Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-17-2016, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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Looking to buy a welder.

With Father's Day right around the corner and some deals going on, I am thinking it may be time to pull the trigger on a new welding machine. I am strongly looking at the Hobart Ironman 230 with a spool gun for aluminum. I don't know how much I would use the spool gun, or if a tig machine would better serve my purpose. The reason for the purchase is that I am at a cross roads. I have 2 M416 trailers and I need to make a lid for one of them, or have a shop do it. I am not sure weather to build the lid out of steel or aluminum, or just start from scratch and build my own trailer. Should I just stick to steel? Or learn to MIG or TIG aluminum? So, to my question. For those of you who are experienced at welding. Which welder would you recommend? My budget is under $2,000.

P.S. I can weld mild steel with stick or MIG. Have not done much TIG.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-18-2016, 06:41 AM
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Re: Looking to buy a welder.

I am no expert as far as welding goes, but I just purchased this welder from Amazon. I got to use it on some scrap metal last weekend and it seemed to work fine. I based my purchase on the use its going to get by me and the fact it came with the spool gun for aluminum. The price was the main factor of course but it had very good reviews for that price.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-18-2016, 09:06 AM
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Re: Looking to buy a welder.

I have an Eastwood high frequency TIG 200 Amp I think, I really haven't used it yet but it has great reviews.

In case you don't want to go high frequency you could simply purchase the TIG rig for a regular welder and use it as a scratch TIG welder without the foot pedal, take a look at YouTube and you'll see what I'm talking about. I can buy that setup for about $200-$250 and all you need is shield gas to go with it and Shazam you have a TIG rig without the need for a $1500-$2000 machine. Btw you can still use your stick welder as a stick welder no problem.

Just something to ponder, good luck in the hunt. @Red Crow

Hey as an aside you can get the Eastwood TIG and high powered plasma cutter for about $1500 if you want to have a look. I can attest to the strength of the plasma, cuts through 1/2" steel like butter.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-18-2016, 04:05 PM
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Re: Looking to buy a welder.

I looked hard at the ESAB unit, multipurpose, MIG/TIG etc...

ESAB Rebel EMS 215ic MIG/Stick Package 0558102239
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-18-2016, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Looking to buy a welder.

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I looked hard at the ESAB unit, multipurpose, MIG/TIG etc...

ESAB Rebel EMS 215ic MIG/Stick Package 0558102239
I like the specs on that machine. Great price too. I am looking at the Hobart Ironman 230 with the spool gun for aluminum. Northern Tool has it on sale for $1,800, plus they will give you a $200 gift card, or without for $1,400 locally.

Even though I learned to stick weld on pipe, I don't currently own one. Thanks for all your advice.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-19-2016, 05:58 AM
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Re: Looking to buy a welder.

Take a look at a Lincoln SQUARE WAVEŽ TIG 200 TIG WELDER around $1300. You can weld AC/DC, stick, Tig and includes High Freq. for welding aluminum.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-19-2016, 09:59 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Looking to buy a welder.

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pop previously said: View Post
Take a look at a Lincoln SQUARE WAVEŽ TIG 200 TIG WELDER around $1300. You can weld AC/DC, stick, Tig and includes High Freq. for welding aluminum.
I can't seem to find it on Lincoln's website. Is the Invertec 160V comparable?
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-19-2016, 12:37 PM
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Re: Looking to buy a welder.

Take a look at the Duty Cycle on these machines before you buy them, the ESAB for example only has a 20% Duty Cycle at 130 Amps, that's terrible for an expensive machine.
(means you can only use it 20% of the time or 12 mins out of every 1 Hr, the rest of the time it has to cool down)

12 mins actual welding for each 1 hr is quite a long time but just be aware of it if you intend to use these machines on big projects.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-19-2016, 01:44 PM
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Re: Looking to buy a welder.

You get what you pay for. If you want 100 percent duty cycle and are going to be welding 1/4" or thicker aluminum for periods of time you will need a water cooled tig-rig and a lot bigger welder for alot more money. For home use and automotive repairs these machines in the 1500 to 2000 dollar range are fine and will weld anything you need.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-19-2016, 03:12 PM
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Re: Looking to buy a welder.

I used a lincoln 125 to build my m416 trailer and lid. Its not a large welder. I wouldn't even cakl it a medium sized. But Its versatile enough to, get most projects done. It never failed on me.
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