think it thru, don,t do stupid stuff, get & decent equipment


Staff member
BTW, if your looking to buy a welder ID strongly advise taking a course on welding FIRST so you understand what your looking at and what to expect and so you have a good feel for what your looking to do and what equipment is necessary, and you darn well need the correct protective equipment,. like a face shield, long sleeve jacket gloves apron, shoes etc. If you have a local miller or lincoln welding dealer you may want to stop by and ask for advice, on both the correct welder best matching your intended uses and any auxiliary equipment or accessories and the type of gases, wire and settings that best match your application.
you might also want to ask if theres welding classes available locally,
yeah! Im always amazed at the number of guys that don,t think of the potential consequences,
vs the cost laid out , and select better quality over lower price,
and how spending a bit more on better quality,has advantages, in many
tools, or materials or safer working conditions, might prevent MAJOR injury
example, jack stands , floor jacks, fire extinguishers,exhaust fans, lighting in the shop,
car lifts , mechanics creepers, ratchet wrenches,and a few hundred other times when,
the less expensive options are far more likely to result in injury

keep in mind your clothing your wearing and use of a face shield DO MATTER, don,t make the mistake of learning the hard way thru burns all electric welding gives off some radiation and your very likely to get a sun burn or eye damage or worse without at least a decent face shield, (the better self darkening designs with adjustable shading are preferred, and use prescription sun glasses not contact lens,under the self darkening hood, when welding if you need corrective lenses) and use long pants and a long sleeve shirt, and two layers of something semi substantial like denim or leather are better than a single layer, but even then a leather apron and shirt , over those under-layers helps prevent radiation burns obviously some clothing is superior to others, in protection, and resistance to burning, so don,t take your new welder home and start welding without proper protection.

don,t forget to buy a decent self darkening helmet, welders jacket and gloves, fire extinguisher
yes theres a reason tanks need to be tested every few years, a failure can be LETHAL

wear long sleeves, and high collar, (of thick material like leather, denim ,canvas and leather or canvas gloves, the radiation will cause surface burns on exposed skin,and yes you need a face shield


weldsa3.jpg ... 91214.html

yes the HF self darkening hoods work, but there are far better quality hoods available


BTW if your looking for a light duty mig that will weld up to 3/16" millers got this on sale
and it will do about 80% of the automotive welding that most guys get into,
but keep in mind, when you purchase a MIG welder you still need a shield gas tank ,gauges , mig wire, a face shield etc, with any welder so that price of the welder alone is not all inclusive
120 volt feed $549

I know a couple guys who bought these lincoln mig welders and they find they have zero complaints, but then , keep in mind I find that, its almost universal, that unless you do a good bit of welding on a nearly constant basis, with several different welders, and know what your looking at when the welds are done, youll tend to think darn near any welder you own is doing a decent job regardless of reality, simply because youve got little to use as a comparison.
230 volt feed $878

yes I admit Im a tool junky but after using a buddies 252 miller I saved up for over a year to get one, yes I rarely use it to near its max capacity but keep in mind duty cycle limitations are nearly something you can ignore on most welding
230 volt feed $2450

normally $59.99 for $39.99 limit 1
AZ Light Speed said:
Something else to consider with auto darkening helmets is, how many and where are the sensors located.
Over my 30 years as a TIG welder I have use several different auto darkening helmets. A lot of the welding would be classified as out of position welding. The placement of the sensors is more important, because it doesn't matter how fast the lens reacts if the sensor keep getting blocked by your hand, the torch, clamps or anything else and it keeps turn on and off while your welding.
The helmets that have more sensors are better, you want at least four sensors one at each corner of the lens, so it wont matter if your looking up or down, or left or right. Was flashed more times with helmets with only two sensors than any thing else. I use a Miller Elite. Money well spent as you only get one set of eyes.

face1.jpg ... 46526.html

any time your working around power tools especially cutting tools a face shield is a good idea, cutting discs on die grinders and similar tools can shatter UN-expectedly with painful results ... ueryType=1
a few suggestions ... fr1025.htm ... -Bib/H7435 ... hide-apron ... t-XL/H9888 ... 46092.html ... 41054.html ... ORM=CMSMEE

then after your at least familiar with what your looking at and for, stop by a few large welding shops and ask the owner if hes ever considered upgrading his equipment? stop by a few welder dealers and ask about trade ins.?
most will jump at the chance to unload older equipment if given a reasonable offer, the TRICK is knowing EXACTLY what your looking at, having a good idea as to age and condition and value and getting a DEAL, Id generally avoid anything priced higher than 1/2-1/3 of current retail.
thats one great reason , on an endless list of reasons to own,
and know how to use a a decent quality MIG or TIG welder,
I don,t see how anyone in this hobby can function,
without a decent welder , drill press and a decent tool chest

youll gain a great deal of experience and skill with the welder as you practice,
and youll eventually find a die grinder and carbide cut-off wheel handy for removing ,
the minor welds in that progress youll have made.




we have a whole welding section


check with your local welding supply store

but be fair! include all the accessories in your bid!
look around your local area for the guy or guys that do welder repairs, they can very often get you a decent deal on a used welder or point you to someone whos looking to upgrade their current equipment that you might be able to make a good deal for on their older equipment.
just stick to name brands , and ID STRONGLY ADVISE STICKING TO WELDERS that REQUIRE a 220volt single phase electrical feed
because having access to parts and service and manuals is MANDATORY
if you do buy equipment that's USED ask for a demonstration on BOTH the thin sheet metal like patching a fender and exhaust pipes and thicker 1/4-3/8" thick stuff
A good welder can USUALLY get the job done using cheap equipment. A bad welder will screw it up using the best equipment money can buy. BUT Good equipment helps and its a bigger help to the inexperienced then to the journeyman.
THAT'S VERY TRUE UP to a point, and that point is reached when the amps are not available to drive the heat fast and deep enough to get the job done correctly, you can,t just go over and over a spot and get a good result.
YOU don,t need to spend a ton of cash either, but YOU DO NEED to know the differences and advantages and characteristics of welders so ID strongly advise taking a welding course at a local college or night school a trade school etc. before spending your cash as its sure to pay off in much better choices being made.

MILLER 252 ... gory_Code=
(about $1100) ... ode=130831

DON,t forget the welder requires a MATCHED electrical feed in your garage and it may require a tank of shield gas and may require accessories or longer cords, and consumables like wire for MIG units or sticks of filler rod for stick or tig welders, all those things add up fast!
every application has its ideal tool and you'll be better off taking a welding class at some college or trade school or finding some friends who have experience and welders to play with BEFORE making a choice than just blindly buying ANY welder

BUT LIKE I SUGGESTED THE SMART ROUTE is to take a class at a local trade school or college and know what your doing and what you want BEFORE buying a welder

YOU DON,T NEED SOMETHING LIKE THIS BUT ITS GREAT TO PLAY WITHI think youll be much happier with a name brand 220 volt 180-210 amp mig for your shop in the long run,


ALL have decent examples
Id ask several welding shops in YOUR area for advice as to the BRAND and DEALERS who supply the best SUPPORT in YOUR AREA
...YES you do generally get what you pay for in features and quality, so look into features, duty cycles and warranty's, service/support
BTW HAVE A GOOD FIRE EXTINGUISHER HANDY, and it helps to have a buddy with you to hold stuff, get stuff and put out minor fires you don,t see instantly with a hood on, and while most of this is OBVIOUS to the more experienced guys, try not to weld where its wet, or you near anything that can easily burn, and youll need to wear the correct gear and use common sense while welding
at a minimum wear a NON-SYNTHETIC ,(many synthetics melt instantly or are very flammable) VS (cotton, denim, and leather don,t generally flare or burn instantly ), wear long DENIM sleeve shirts, long leg slacks and sturdy leather boots,(cleated thick rubber soles that insulate helps) with the DENIM slacks OVER the boots not tucked loosely into open tops like cowboy boots and a use self darkening helmet, and wearing leather welders gloves and a reversed cotton baseball cap sure won,t hurt if your doing a good deal of welding, simply because YOU WILL EVENTUALLY get radiation burns (fairly quickly from the arc/flash of welding if you don,t ) on exposed skin,
(think of this as a bad sun burn, OR WORSE, that can happen in minutes in some cases) and repeated exposure too radiation burns is never a good idea.
and welders tend to create HEAT, sparks and falling bits of red hot metallic crud that makes sandals, short sleeve shirts and shorts a very dumb idea in most cases. keep a DECENT SIZE CO2 fire extinguisher handy, and a water hose with a spray nozzle that pressurized kept near by is a good idea.

never weld over your head if you can move the part to where you can weld at bench ;level, yeah! it takes longer to remove and install the parts like exhausts or mufflers and yeah! its not always practical, but both safety and weld quality benefit, so if you have the option weld on a bench vs the car!
THINK! before welding, HOT stuff falling on tender bits of your anatomy or starting the car on fires seldom FUN, and clamps, use of a barrier for shielding the stuff near the weld location with a wet towel or sheet of galvanized metal , use a GREAT GROUND, or in rare cases flowing water , it is only common sense, but be aware that you can also get ELECTROCUTED if your REALLY DUMB, SO THINK IT THRU BEFORE you start, have a buddy help, and know what your doing, before you get in over your skill/knowledge level

if your using an oxy-acetylene torch, make DAMN SURE the tanks are turned off before putting them away,and the fittings are tight and nothings leaking before use,and be sure local laws don,t prohibit you from home use of a oxy-acetylene welder

41652_H_SH315_MW355.jpg pants&adVariation=6&gclid=CN7B8IuV0o0CFQyPYAodPEEPZA

BTW at this point you might be wondering if the time effort and expense is worth it in acquiring and learning to use a welder ,,,I have yet to meet a dedicated & experienced HOT RODDER who doesn,t think his welder is almost a mandatory part of the shop, they will easily pay for themselves in most shops in under a year, and some times in MUCH less time....
Ive seen guys fabricate custom exhaust systems from 3" stainless that would easily cost $2000 plus at most muffler shops for under $700 in parts , Ive built custom transmission mounts for $45 that listed for over $200 in catalogs, etc.
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Staff member
Re: think it thru, don,t do stupid stuff, get & decent equip

MARTINSR posted this info ... tion/papr/

"I have long been wearing a respirator when welding. If someone is welding anywhere near by me I will put my respirator on. This is SERIOUS stuff guys!

A little basics:

If you are welding ANY metal on late model cars, you are welding "galvanized" metal. The galvanizing process is where the metal is coated with a "sacrificial" metal. This sacrificial metal is designed to fail, instead of the metal it is protecting.

Galvanizing uses Zinc as it's sacrificial metal. Weld thru primer is 90+ ZINC!

do NOT wear contact lens eye correction with any welding equipment, swap to good quality corrective sun glasses AND the self darkening face shield or appropriate darkened face shield, as the ultra violet radiation can cause nasty burns and permanent eye damage with contacts

well worth reading thru, yes you'll need to actually read thru the info!, but failing to do so could KILL YOU, so take the effort

Think about this, welding "Fumes" are airborne particles of METAL! When you are welding, you aren't breathing in harmless "smoke", you are taking into your lungs METAL.

The helmet I prefer has little room for a respirator so I have used a 3M disposable vareity for years. They cost about $22 each. But I recently found that they have one available for only about $13.49 available at your local ACE hardware stores part number 8515.

PLEASE guys, pick yourself up one of these masks and when not in use put it in a zip lock bag. And don't get it mixed up with a simple dust mask, it looks pretty similar. Don't be thinking that a regular old dust mask is going to do the job, spend the bucks and get the real thing."


And get air movement, pickup a box fan that you can set near where you are working to make some air movement. You don't want the fan blowing on your work, that will blow away the shielding gas. Just setting it on the floor blowing "by" the work area will do wonders.

This is not for "comfort", this is serious business and your health may be at risk if you don't follow the simple rules of keeping air movement and wearing protection! PLEASE, you don't want to jeopardize your future health on some stupid car! You become an old man faster than you can imagine! Don't be stupid when you are young and feel invincible.
Edit: I want to make something clear. I presented this as a "future" health sort of thing because so many young guys think they are invincible and will abuse themselves thinking "old age" is something a million years away. This in no means makes zinc fumes like asbestos and not harmful without years of exposure. Zinc fumes can KILL YOU in ONE exposure!!! ONE time welding up a floor inside an enclosed car in a garage and your loved one could find you knocked out and near death with damaged lungs that will NEVER repair! THIS IS SERIOUS STUFF!!!
Brian '' ... e_id=60352

heres a good basic link, but theres dozens more instructional links in the welding section on the site





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Staff member
Re: think it thru, don,t do stupid stuff, get & decent equip

YEAH! I CAN HEAR IT NOW......SEVERAL GUYS ARE SAYING....Have you been peeking in my shop?"

BTW getting back to the subject at hand ...SAFETY


theres a good chance of getting radiation burns from any electric welding process if you don,t wear the correct protective clothing, gloves, face shield ,long sleeve shirts and long slacks an boots
don,t think your not damaging your exposed skin if you don,t get burns in the first few minutes, the damage is cumulative, and the distance, reflective surfaces and AMP settings plus the type of weld process effect the potential rates of radiation exposure, but wearing a tee shirt under a long sleeve COTTON shirt, denim jeans, high top shoes/boots socks a face shield and a set of leather gloves is a good start.
Ill rat my self out here, The first time I tested my new 330 amp tig, I sat a couple sections of aluminum pipe on the garage floor , on a couple milk crates and sat on my mechanics roller chair, I was wearing a set of shorts and sandals and no socks, I had the self darkening helmet but no gloves ,I figured I was only going to weld one bead as a test, so whats the harm,
well BEING DUMB IS OBVIOUS LATER, I welded for about 10-15 minutes, and made sure the TIG WELDER worked correctly, and that night I had a very obvious V shape sun burn on my neck where the shirt was open and both lower legs were burned and blistering from radiation burn damage like Id spent many hours in the sun, my lower legs were about 12-18" from that welders torch, I knew better but got rushed/stupid I usually weld in a long sleeve denim shirt and slacks, engineer boots ,gloves and a leather welders apron and a face shield and cap, and don,t have problems, but like always if you get stupid you better be tough
sometimes you just need a refresher course in what not to do to remember why you need to think things thru before just jumping into something

read this thread
no! but I was YOUNG and DUMB at one time (40 years ago) and HAVING LEARNED THE HARD WAY.... like most guys, DO! I still remember doing that DUMB STUFF, and suffering the results. the TRICK is I still TRY TOO remember and try to AVOID repeating my former mistakes, and hopefully preventing others from making similar mistakes




having instant access too a 5 gallon bucket with a sopping wet soapy towel in it, near by and a running hose can do wonders at suppressing a fire, while its still small, and any time your welding or working on fuel lines its not a bad idea


Staff member
Re: think it thru, don,t do stupid stuff, get & decent equip

one of my less than smart buddies comes over and I notice hes limping slightly, I ask whats wrong, figuring he twisted an ankle or stubbed a toe, seems he was wearing sneakers and synthetic socks while welding on his car and a bit of molten crap dropped on his sneaker , it burned right thru the fabric instantly and wedged between his big toe and the one next to it and started cooking the surrounding areas, naturally my buddies noticed the process and has started, cussing & hopping around on one foot while trying to remove melted rubber, burning fabric and cooked toes from his damaged sneaker. he finally resorted to hopping over to the sink in the shop and turning on the tap then needed to cut the sneaker off as the cooled molten slag made it really painful to try to remove his foot as it was entangled with now cooled but recently molten plastic and the combo had locked together trapping his toes in the damaged sneaker.
now Im not about to B.S. you guys Ive welded wearing sandals once or twice, so I get dumb at times also, but taking the time to wear a leather apron and engineering boots , and a heavy denim shirt, and keeping a garden hose with a nozzle turned on, near by and a fire extinguisher handy sure seems to be a decent precaution, if you saw my buddies foot you probably would never weld unless you were standing in a 55 gallon drum filled with cold water

all that could be prevented with some cheap,semi-decent safety equipment


41652_H_SH315_MW355.jpg ... Red-/H3145
h3145-0e46a535b49cfa5ac6dcc7871ad33f39.jpg ... t-XL/H9888
h9888-fb1556453343cc5005bdbb4e4b09dff1.jpg ... -Bib/H7435

h7435-dbb19a0f99050552cf05d1c701f5b14f.jpg ... mber=46092 ... fr1025.htm ... ueryType=1

one of the VERY RARE... GOOD VALUES harbor freight, (above)
I had a 15% off coupon in a sales flier, I bought a second auto dark helmet from them for $44 ,I had the old one for several years with no problems yet, how can you beat a basically throw away price on an auto darkening helmet that works for that price//
Ive got $360 miller auto darkening helmets that are only marginally better

theres some better quality helmets available at most welding shops

viewtopic.php?f=28&t=5313 ... 796&sr=1-4

BTW while were talking about glasses, ID point out that you should ALWAYS wear corrective lens sun glasses not contact lenses under any welding helmet ,when welding under your self darkening welding helmet as they offer far more protection during the very brief arc flash that darkens the self darkening helmet, over time that repeated flash you can,t see can damage vision .. and the radiation from some types of arc welding CAN damage contact lenses.

these cheap helmets work surprisingly well for the low cost,
but they are not nearly as good quality as the professional helmets
heres a cheap but functional weld helmet ... 46092.html
The auto darkening lens on this solar powered welding helmet darkens in 1/20,000 of a second as soon as you begin welding! Featuring a custom fit made possible by a ratcheting headband and padded interior, you can arc, MIG or TIG weld in comfort. The solar powered welding helmet gives you a full view of your welding area as well as complete UV/IR protection.
one Arc Sensor
Darkens in 1/20,000 of a second (clear #4 to dark state)
Variable shade control - shades #9 to #13
High/low light-sensitivity adjustment
UV/IR protection

but its really not comparable to better helmets ... ets/elite/
$355.00 Arch Armor Welding Protection


2 Year Warranty

Viewing Area - 3.85 x 2.38 in/ 9.22 sq in (97 x 60 mm)
Features Variable Shades #8 - 13 and Light State #3
Four Arc Sensors - 1/20,000 sec lens speed
Sensitivity and Delay Control - .10 - 1.0 sec
TIG rating - 5 Amps
Auto-On/Auto-Off power control and Grind Mode
Weighs only 18 oz (510 g)
Replacement lithium batteries (2) 3,000 hours with solar assist
Convenient Magnifying Lens holder
Includes $25 Accessory Package: 5 outside and 2 inside cover lenses, helmet bag, comfort cushion
Meets ANSI Z87.1-2003 (High Impact) standard
Hard Hat Adapter accessory available (#222 003)
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Staff member
don,t forget the shield gas tank and the self darkening helmet, and remember, mig welding IS NOT FLUX CORE WELDING
most of us are consistently on fairly limited budgets and thats a real P.I.T,A, because the better quality welders DO make welding easier and they do have additional features.
every once in awhile I get some spare cash and it usually goes into new tools.
what I,m trying to say, here is that youll rarely regret buying better quality tools and in many cases youll try them, out and wonder why you struggled so long with the old cheap crap after buying them.
MIG done correctly is generally neater, and stronger and looks better
ID strongly suggest sticking to a name brand, in the 180-210 amp range for the most versatile welder, welders are EXPENSIVE and you don,t want to find out you need to upgrade, or can,t get replacement parts in a few months, get a decent welder and it will last DECADES, and easily pay for it self over and over again, get a piece of cheap crap and you'll get frustrated, and make yourself crazy thinking you can,t learn to weld when its not YOU but the equipment that's easily most of the problem, yes the up front cost looks high, it is on decent equipment but a decent welder could last you 20-30 years under home use, and do hundreds of projects, its a TRUE BARGAIN, costing pennies on the dollar compared to farming out weld related work, plus your FAR more likely to get things done YOUR WAY rather than done 1/2 assed



youll be amazed at the projects you can do, that you might not of even thought about before once you gain some experience, and it won,t take long to make the cost of the welder back if you do side work on custom exhausts

if you get a chance at getting some experienced welder to give you some tips and hands on training JUMP ON THE CHANCE!
Ive always felt that the brand name welder manufacturers should have made short ,very low cost classes on how to use their equipment available, at most dealers when you buy their equipment, because nothing sells welders as fast as having a buddy show you how well his new welder works.
and the one thing that keeps guys from BUYING a decent welder is not the cost because we all know that if you want something badly enough and its cost is less than a months pay, you'll eventually find a way to afford it!,with most guys Ive talked with, its the idea that you'll spend the money and not be able to use the equipment, or use it often enough to justify its cost, but once they get some quality instruction it opens up a whole new world, and projects you've never dreamed of doing before start to look possible.
before you own a welder, you buy things like car trailers, welding tables,accessory brackets,oil pans,traction bars,exhaust systems, fence gates, etc. but once you own one you buy steel, aluminum,axles and detailed construction plans, and BUILD stuff better than you could buy,and to YOUR specifications
almost every guy I know that owns a welder bought that welder only after a buddy showed him how easy his welder was to use and how making things was not MAGIC but something almost anyone can do!
besides, theres a great deal of satisfaction in building your own custom oil pans,exhaust systems, accessory brackets or suspension components
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Staff member
when I suggest anyone think thru a welder purchase and avoid the cheaper non-name brand welders its due to experience, look Im not rich, and Ive been on a strict budget most of my adult life, both my kids make far more than I EVER did per hour already and their both still in college.
the reason I suggest saving up and buying the more expensive welders, is that the more expensive welder have far more adjust-ability, and in most cases have far more dependable wire feeds, consistent amps
Ive beat my head on the wall, trying to get decent welds using my friends cheap welders , and some I bought in the past,enough to know the difference)
theres not much that makes you realize the difference like use of two similar rated welders , and finding out that as an example,use of a miller or Lincoln, welder makes your welds look good, but your attempts with a harbor freight welder look like crap and your basically using the same skills, and that its not your lack of skill but the equipment thats the difference, now IM not saying cheap welders won,t produce decent welds, because if your application fall within the range of their preset (hi/low),or (A,B,C,D,E)range in wire speed,and amps you may be able to produce acceptable welds, but your chances increase dramatically when you control all the factors,individually with a rotary dial in the weld process


Staff member
Re: think it thru, don,t do stupid stuff, get & decent equip

youll find many welding schools and college trade schools etc. use LINCOLN welders, not MILLER

theres NOTHING WRONG WITH EITHER BRAND, BOTH, BRANDS have some good designs, BUT ID bet the schools getting a HEALTHY VOLUME discount on the price of the machines because the welding machine manufacturers KNOW that a high percentage of the weld school graduates tend to go out and buy the exact machine they were trained with has a great deal to do with the schools choice in machines
a bit of related reference material helps, and youll certainly find dozens of instructional books and videos on the internet to use for instructional help.






I wish I had a bench this nice and as soon as funds allow I WILL GET ONE
HERES MY ARC WELDER, I bought as its also an emergency shop generator, and easily converts to TIG with an accessory kit

welding rods usually 36" long so 37" pipe with one end glued is not a bad idea



I bought a ANCIENT 1980s TIG 330 amp welder used for a bit less than $1000 with a liquid cooled torch and accessories , it may be old but it welds just fine

TIG torches on most cheap machines are air cooled, this can and frequently does limit the duration between cool down periods required at higher amp levels
a liquid cooled torch requires an additional coolant pump and reservoir of coolant (generally radiator fluid) generally a separate 110 volt pump in reservoir of coolant, and requires a TIG TORCH designed to be fluid cooled, most commercial coolant pumps run on a 110 volt pump with about a 2 gallon fluid capacity and generally are designed to sit on a welding car next too or under or over the TIG WELDER
BTW the idiot in the video says you need to strictly limit coolant flow, thats basically WRONG, you want to limit PRESSURE but increases in volume at reasonable pressure helps increase cooling efficiency





btw one bit of advice, I've yet to meet or talk to anyone who really regrets buying any welder with too many features, too high of amperage, or duty cycle or too many different accessories, but I regularly talk to guys who tell me they should have spent a bit more cash to get a bit better or higher quality welder or should have spent the cost required to get ,better quality accessories. I know I spent a bit more than I really needed to but I don,t regret it one bit, because I never have the least problem using the welders purchased to do anything I've tried to do with them.
in fact I'm saving up to purchase a rather expensive spool gun so I can mig weld aluminum.
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Staff member
Re: think it thru, don,t do stupid stuff, get & decent equip

I constantly get guys asking about some cheap welder they see advertized,and most guys are only looking to do minor sheet metal repairs that a 140 amp 110 volt welder could do, yes your limited, and a 220 volt 180 amp welder will tend to do far more, but I fully understand most of us are low on cash,and a welder is a long term investment and a crappy tool is just that, a P.O.S. that only makes you wish you never bought it, spend a bit more and youll never regret it as the welder will tend to be far more useable and less likely to break or have you find parts are no longer available, once you have a decent welder in your shop and know how to use it youll wonder how you ever got along without one for so long!, Ive got several and each has an area of welding its best used for but I could get by with the TIG welder and the ox-acetolene torch , if forced to but both the MIG and ARC welder have also proven very useful, frequently.obviously what you weld and how you need it to be once welded plays a significant factor in the choice of tool used
yes the low price is really attractive, but its a total waste of money, MIG welders require a gas shield to function correctly and all the off brands cost less for a reason,they usually are far less durable, and cheap imports.

If your really bucks down, id look for a good used lincoln or miller mig listed locally in the bargain trader or craigs list, etc. so you can test it before you spend cash,

heres a cheap import but is at least got a guarantee, ... utput.html

you certainly don,t need a top of the line welder but get decent equipment you can get replacement parts for. ... ry_Code=MW ... elder.aspx ... elder.aspx





Staff member
Re: think it thru, don,t do stupid stuff, get & decent equip ... pt=us_bn8#

BTW..those look like they were propane tanks like a bar-b-que uses,not acetylene like a welder uses,, acetylene tanks look very different , but in any case you generally don,t transport any flammable compressed or liquid gas in a passenger vehicle or closed trunk or passenger compartment, and then leave them in the vehicle, un attended, especially over nite or in the hot sun, thats just asking for problems, he could easily of had a similar result with a 5 gallon can of regular gas/fuel in a hot car with a leaking tank in the trunk or interior if left over a period of time

also its a good idea to have at least two good fire extinguishers in your shop and home, cost is minimal compared to what could result if you don,t have easy access


Staff member
Re: think it thru, don,t do stupid stuff, get & decent equip

I get asked on a regular basis whats a good buy in a welder..obviously what you intend to do with the welder makes a difference in your logical choice.
for some reason re-reading thru this thread makes me think about a discussion I had with a cop friend that just retired,... he was a SWAT instructor that was given the task of finding out which bullet resistant vest the department should select for thousands of officers,
...he needed to find the best compromise between cost, effectiveness, comfort and durability,
after extensively testing dozens of vests over about two years, he selected two models that were excellent values....
remember he spent two years researching the best option and value,and verifying they actually stopped bullets,did not wear out rapidly ,and were comfortable to wear, the bean counters, looked at the info briefly and chose a vest , with a lower cost that he had rejected,that cost 15% less and was about 30% less effective,and was miserably hot to wear (keep in mind this is florida) he retired rather than put his name and reputation on the obviously inferior product......sometimes no matter what product is involved,or what you point out, in features,durability or quality, in the product,the price is the only factor that seems to get looked at, by the guys writing the checks, and then they are amazed later when they don,t get everything they want, in the product
I can,t help thinking that theres a very high percentage of welders being sold MOSTLY due to lower price level, rather that features,capability, durability and the ability to get parts easily should they need repair work.
you don,t necessarily need the top of the line welder , but at least do some research that extends further than the price tag



viewtopic.php?f=60&t=9745&p=36661&hilit=duty+cycle#p36661 ... 1455224176 ... ry_Code=MW ... ory_Code=M ... ry_Code=MW


The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer.
Staff member


it won,t take long to have radiation cause unprotected areas damaged so a leather welding jacket with high collar and a face shield are mandatory accessories


long heavy denim slacks , a leather apron,leather gloves and leather high top boots with the tops inside pant legs helps reduce burns from welding





yes the HF self darkening hoods work, but there are far better quality hoods available
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The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer.
Staff member


one of my neighbors was over last evening to have me use my MIG welder to repair one of his projects (a custom belt sander)
he was so impressed with how well the MILLER 252 mig worked , and the quality of the welds that he jokingly suggested I sell him the welder,
I said Id purchased mine several years ago for about $2100, I suggested he might want to look on line and but one, him self.
I looked up the cost of a new one, and found it was now $2525 on sale... and lists for $3100, that made me realize I had been wise to buy mine when I did back then.
this is hardly a surprise as damn near everything I bought in the way of tooling for the shop now costs more than it used too. or put a different way, it was and is a damn good investment in quality tooling.

btw one bit of advice, I've yet to meet or talk to anyone who really regrets buying any welder with too many features,
too high of amperage, or duty cycle or too many different accessories,
,but I regularly talk to guys who tell me they should have spent a bit more cash,
to get a bit better or higher quality welder or should have spent the cost required to get ,
better quality accessories. I know I spent a bit more than I really needed to but I don,t regret it one bit,
because I never have the least problem using the welders purchased to do anything I've tried to do with them.
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The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer.
Staff member

ARC, MIG, OR TIG, welders

I recently needed a replacement set of shaded goggles to use with my oxy acetylene torch,

as the ones I had for 23 years just broke,
I found these, goggles on the internet,
figuring at under $12 for two with shipping
I was not risking much so I ordered them,
to my amazement, they are of decent quality and worth more than the cost,
so just a tip, if you use a torch these are a bargain


these head / throat covers are not needed for radiation burns with gas torch welding
but they do help avoid issues with the electric welders
and are dirt cheap and well worth the cost, as is a leather apron,

decent leather boots, gloves, and anything else you need to safely weld
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Those head/neck covers are great and are indispensable for out of position welding,
even just laying on your side welding your new rocker panels.
I had my bride make me one out of Caribou leather.
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The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer.
Staff member
buying and using welding safety equipment and its proper use,
can and frequently does prevent some serious injurys
I don,t know many guys that weld that have not learned that leson,
through being stupid at some point,
the key is learning not to repeat the less than cautious actions
or ignoring the use of safety equipment