View Full Version : School me: Welders.

03-31-2007, 11:49 AM
I want to learn to weld. I want a welder that will be good to start with, AND will be able to carry me into whatever level I drift.

Do I need more than one welder?

What do I need? MIG, TIG, Heli-Arc, what?

Wiring the garage for 220 is not a problem - I don't want to limit myself to a 110 V welder.

Suggestions? Recommendations? I believe that spending the money to get GOOD tools is always well invested.

03-31-2007, 12:50 PM
I bought a good TIG and never looked back. Beautiful welds in any metal that can be welded. It was a steep learning curve but worth it in the end. TIG's are also stick welders.

I'm sure someone will now chime in and recomend MIG ;)

03-31-2007, 01:01 PM
spend the money and time on a class at emily griffiths. Then buy what you like best...

03-31-2007, 02:22 PM
spend the money and time on a class at emily griffiths. Then buy what you like best...

I'll second the classes at Emily Griffith. Some awesome teachers there.

03-31-2007, 04:46 PM
I got the Hobart 187, it is 220 v. It was voted as the best in class, it is a mig welder. For me the convenience of a mig was a selling point plus it has a small footprint, important in my small garage.

I do agree with going to a class, I plan on going to one pretty soon I hope. Bill Morgan came over and helped me weld the suspension on my 4Runner, I did not trust my welding skills to do that. One thing with a mig welder is that the learning curve is pretty quick.

If you want you can come over someday and try it out. I always like to try things before I buy something.

Jenny Cruiser
03-31-2007, 09:37 PM
Lincoln 100 is a good MIG. I'm looking for one right now. :)

04-02-2007, 10:23 AM
I have a POS 110. Homedepot special on sale for $250. Actually works pretty good for small projects. I took a class years ago. Definately recomend a class, not sure I'd recomend the 110v.

04-02-2007, 10:35 AM
Definatly go with the 220v and if you can practice and take some classes go with the TIG. If you just want to grab a welder and go, the learning curve on a MIG is your best bet. IMHO

04-02-2007, 01:19 PM
For me the convenience of a mig was a selling point plus it has a small footprint, important in my small garage.

I think this is a good point. However, Ian's TIG is smaller than your average tool box. It is just as small as any regular sized MIG, and it lays down some sweet looking welds. Just thought I would throw it out there.

It is all up to what you want to spend.


04-02-2007, 03:44 PM
Depends on what you want to weld. A 220 is great but personally I'd rather have a Miller 130 for what I work on. ( I guess they don't sell the 130 now? it's the 140?)

I'd love to learn to tig weld but I just don't weld enough. I haven't pulled my mig out in 2-3 years and I'd need alot of practice just to get back to beginner level.

If you want to buy me a miller 140 i'll give you my lincoln 220 mig :thumb:

04-03-2007, 01:15 PM
I don't personally own a welder. I own parts of Miller 140. I went in with a friend on it. He owns the welder, I have the tank and cart. He uses it during the week and I use it on weekends or long vacations. He also has a Miller 250. The salesperson at the welding store also sold Lincoln and Hobart 110s. He recommended the Miller for the 110s. He told us the big problem with the cheap 110s is the guns are junk and the Miller 110 came with a good gun. I found it to work well for building my bumper. I did do the frame mount welds down at his shop with the 250. But for 1/4" and under it works well. I've also used a Lincoln 135? and I didn't have good luck with it. It fed at different rates and sort of pulsed. Really hard for a beginner. The other welder I've had issues with was one of those fancy computer adjustable Lincolns. It does auto this and auto that. The constant change is hard for me to predict what I shoudl try to do if I see I'm doing something wrong.

The thing that I found to help me the most was investing in a good helmet. I now have an autodim helmet with an adjustable shade. For years I've tried using fixed shades and was never able to see. Either it was so bright I couldn't see or so dark I couldn't see. I have light sensitive eyes. So for years I paid people to do the welding for me. It wasn't until a friend of mine suggested I try welding with his autodim helmet that I had any success. I'm still not a pro but my bumper has taken some huge hits and I've never had a weld break.

Oh and I did take some classes but wasn't really successful in welding because I couldn't see. But I still remember the theories.

04-03-2007, 01:52 PM
For sheetmetal you need a 110V MIG - or a TIG.
For heavier metal a 220V MIG is easier - or a TIG.
For Aluminum you need a specially set up MIG - or a TIG.

Catch my drift? I just couldn't afford one...

04-03-2007, 01:54 PM
hijack....but what is best for the kinds of welding I will be doing mainly, which could be welding in sheet metal to fix rust? :)


04-03-2007, 01:55 PM
Miller 110V IMHO