Talk about all things Rat Rod Bikes.
Our good friend "Walker" has rekindled an idea I have tossed around for some time...a welder at home. I'm not looking to build a replica of the Eiffel tower, but I would like to be able to make minor repairs to things around the house instead of going out and buying new stuff. I know there's "tig" welders, and "mig" welders, and all that, but I want to find something that will give me the capability to make clean, confident welds that won't cost me the bank or force me to rewire the house (or rebuild it because I burned it down). 120v....suggestions?
How Come I'm Not In Charge?
Harbor freight has a few hobby welders that will do just fine and not break the bank. also home disaster does too, but a little more expensive. I have both the mig and acr and am happy with both for the basement projects, now if i really need something heavier duty I also have my bigger miller to do the job
I was chasing a dream,but tripped over reality and bust my head on the truth
By the way...A woman with tons of stuff is a hoarder. A man with tons of stuff is a collector.
X2 I have a Harbor Freight wire feed mig welder and it works great. Cost me a whole $89
It doesn't matter what I paid for it, it matters what it's WORTH. I never buy anything I will regret KEEPING.
Any wire feed with cover gas is the way to go, cleaner weld than flux core wire. I have a miller 110v unit using cover gas. With a welder you can fix so much stuff around the house and car and other stuff it will pay for its self in no time. I have replaced body panels on cars many times over at about $600 a pop from a body shop, turned 5 pickups into utility trailers, even fixed my attic ladder that would have cost me $80 for a new one. The list is endless.
Some people call me Macgyver
Boy, is that an understatement. Properly dialed in, GMAW is amazingly clean. Wire flux wire is like letting your 4 year old paint for you.
you can get a tig that runs off 110 or 240... for about 900 (not sure if thats braking the bank)
but you have great control of your weld. but if you go mig .. gas is far better.. less work in the end..
I love the smell of fresh barn finds in the morning
You did say "clean welds" that rules out wire feed, but I have a grinder for the spatter. I put a wanted ad on Craigslist years ago asking for a cheap welder, finally had someone offer me my Lincoln wire feed for less than I could buy a new one. Thought I'd just have it around for playing around but within the week I had already made repairs on a couple things in my shop.
I'm not opposed to gas welders, but I didn't want the added expense of refilling bottles. I've run probably 10 spools through my welder with no issues.
Check out my Build-Off bike: ☆ 1936 Off-Roadmaster Klunker ☆
i got one of the cheap harbor freight flux migs. i was kinda spoiled already by being able to to use a better gas mig at work, so i have a hard time with it. if i'm real deliberate with my technique though (such as it is) i can get some decent results. i still tend to take things to work when i want to be more sure of the weld or to reinforce what i've done at home though.
i have to say, i still like having it though. i think if i got one of those auto darkening face sheilds i'd be better with it. with the better one at work i can touch the wire to the work and it won't weld till i pull the trigger. the home one sparks if you do that, so i try to hold it steady, then flip my sheild down to start. i end up being off the mark a lot.
start where you are
use what you have
do what you can. arthur ashe
I would recommend getting a mig welder that can use gas. You can always use flux core wire to save a few bucks to start with, and buy a tank of gas later if money is tight. For bike work I have come to prefer brazing now that I have a good torch. To each his own.
One of the biggest regrets of my school days, was not being offered welding as a class option. If I could give any younger folks some advice....learn to weld, braze, and solder, it is worth the time spent.
If I wanted a Schwinn, I would have bought a Schwinn!
"You can criticize my methods all you want, but keep your snide remarks to yourself, and while you're at it, don't criticize my methods." — Rupert Giles
I have a Lincoln 225 AC/DC. Got it in a trade 15 years ago. Not sure what it cost, maybe $500. I love it. It is for stick / rods only but it does an awesome job.
When I was a teenager living at home, I had the same welder but it was not an AC/DC. Got it in a trade too. I think they are about $300.
The Lincoln 225 makes strong welds but the AC/DC version makes better looking welds.
Technical Caveat; The AC/DC version lets me weld with reverse polarity. Therefore I use a low hydrogen 7018 rod = very slick weld.
I like this advice. I have never owned a torch but would love it.
all i have is a stick welder, but it does what i need it to do. i wish i could afford a nice mig so i could really get down to business.
"The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it." woodrow wilson
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