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new to wire welding , need advice!

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  • new to wire welding , need advice!

    Hello all! Im in northeastern Tennessee and I have only used a Lincoln wire welder a time or two and one of the cambell hausfield, wal mart special a few times. I have taught myself to use a small 110 volt stick welder and am fair with it but im looking to buy a descent 110 volt wire feed welder. I cant afford alot which is why im asking this question. The smaller Lincoln i used seemed beginner friendly but a bit expensive and i think it was 220, the cambell hausfield seemed cheap and not very beginner friendly. By beginner friendly i mean it seemed like it would be an easy welder to learn to use. I wanna use it for nothing over 1 inch thick probably never anything over 1/4 inch thick anyway my question is, is their a good 110 volt wire welder thats good for beginners to learn on yet at the same time a keeper for later use for less than 200.00 US and if so what is it please? I will probably only use it as a wire only welder if thats a factor in decideing, i did read about the century brands and have found a few on ebay, but not real sure about the models. Any advice would be great. Thanks!
    Last edited by tazmaniac_37752; 03-21-2019, 01:10 PM.

  • #2
    Welcome Aboard....

    Personally I would recommend the HH 140... And its available in most places under $500....And its about the max for a 120V wire feed welder.... And thing less is well, less.... Sure you can buy el-cheepo brand but that is what you get...... Hobart, Miller (owned by same parent company as Hobart), Lincoln, ESAB and a couple of others all have good quality machines.... Just try to avoid some of the low end CHINESE made machines, BUT unfortunately those are most of what are in your $200 budget....

    As for materials, a 120 Volt machine of going to pretty well max out at 1/4 inch materials...IF you are going to consider 1 inch materials, I suggest you go to 240V stick.machine, and learn for prep joint correctly and proper procedures for multi-pass welds....

    Sure my comment is about getting the best, but I learned a long time ago the better the quality your tools the less time having to repair/adjust/modify them and the more time to devote to project.....Guess I am a tool snob.... I have had my HH140 for almost 6 years and have probably run 20+ pounds of wire through it and it has been absolutely problem free.....

    What to know about more about MIG welding...

    Last edited by Dale M.; 03-21-2019, 01:53 PM.
    "Fear The Government That Wants To Take Your Guns" - Thomas Jefferson..


    • #3
      I think a dead give-away on a cheap wire feed welder is the quality of the wire feed drive.


      • #4
        Few welding steps we should know these:

        Practice handling the gun without actually welding.
        Prepare the Metal
        Position the Pieces
        Tack Weld
        After you've tacked everything into place, lay down your final weld beads.


        • #5
          I agree about the Handler 140. I have one and its used extensively. I have use it many time on material thicker than 1/4. For the money its the best available. And I recommend using gas and a 30 lb setting. The best advice I can give You about actual welding is " stay in the puddle and practice, practice, practice". Buy the largest bottle you can afford. Those 60 size bottles go quick.


          • #6
            You need to stop and sit back and get realistic with your plans for the machine. 1" possibility? Even 1/4" is significant. More importantly is WHAT is being welding at those thicknesses. Trying to hold up a bridge? Car suspension? Or just a gate? Full penetration welding, or making it airtight?

            That said, the Hobart and Miller brands are as good as it gets for 120V machines, and are well worth the money over generic brands.

            At $200, you are better off buying a used stick welder (less to go wrong) and they are better suited to thicker materials anyway. A good weldor with a stick welder can do anything.


            • #7
              tazmaniac_37752, Welcome to the welding discussion board. Both Dale and MAC have given you great advice regarding machines. It will be less expensive to get into a used stick machine. Watch Craig's List; they are available, maybe even for the amount of money that you indicate that you have available. Stick welding requires a little more skill on the part of the operator. You have to maintain the arc length as well as control the application of the filler metal with welding angle and travel speed. That said, if you really want a 120 volt wire feeder, you won't go wrong with the HH 140. MIG and FluxCore welders maintain the arc length for you, but as with stick welding, you have to control the welding angle and travel speed. Hunter 55 also gave great advice. If you want to be able to do MIG in addition to FluxCore, you'll need a cylinder of gas. It will be less expensive in the long run if you buy the largest gas cylinder (filled with C-25) that your local gas supplier will sell to you and that you are physically capable of handling. That is either 125 cubic feet or 150 cubic feet depending on the supplier. You can get into the cylinder for less up-front money if you rent or lease the cylinder, but don't do it. That is just money down the rat-hole. (Now we're up a little more money: $500 for the HH 140 and maybe $350 for the cylinder and first fill-up.) As for thickness of material that the welding machine can weld, with proper skill, you can run multiple passes and with sufficient patience, you can weld any thickness that one can reasonably expect to find in the hobbyist's shop. Don't even THINK of welding trailer hitches and automotive suspension parts until you have a LOT of skill developed through experience and study. ~0le
              "If a problem can't be solved, enlarge it." (The 34th president of the United States)


              • #8
                Thats great tips for welding i will looking forward to it.


                • #9
                  I got a cousin scored a hh140, half way thru a 2# spool, 80 tank full,, hood, gloves tips for 150$. Ha


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sberry View Post
                    I got a cousin scored a hh140, half way thru a 2# spool, 80 tank full,, hood, gloves tips for 150$. Ha
                    Sometimes you get lucky....

                    "Fear The Government That Wants To Take Your Guns" - Thomas Jefferson..


                    • #11
                      He is an engineer and really good at that kind of thing. Its probably the only machine he will ever buy. Neat thing is it was not a basket case. It looked nice, the bottle alone was well enough deal and he didnt blink when the guy offered it up I guess. I was testing up a machine at the time and it was a step above it so he had asked me how much it all costs andmight have priced it too. He was aware of his limitations, a 140 at that price was the machine for him and he is not a compulsive junk collector or want to run a fab shop. Wants to fix a couple brackets and cracks.
                      I am a semi career welder and really could do a lot I do with a 140, probably most if I tried. I have wasted some dinking around but run it enuf and a size wire bigger is easier. Its a lot faster. Its faster on lighter work as well as it does heavier. The spool in it and the spare came with it will last him forever and cost of materials be nothing. Bottle was full.


                      • #12
                        I think the new inverters are super and wish They woulda had them when I was a kid or just starting out. The 200 Hobart Now will run a 5/32 for the power used to be for 1/8 and the smaller models can run 1/8 6011 and 3/32 7018 from 120V.
                        Half a nuke is built with 3/32. Its kind of small and you see on one of the other forums a guy using 6013 for those fussy but pipe welds but he using mostly 3/32 also. Small handrail and structural a guy can make that work even if its an extra rod or 2 once in a while. Small electrodes make for great out of position control sometimes for fussy work.
                        I knew a guy could weld well 7014 in his own right. I have seen some guys really grab on to 6013 just fine. Do work a guy wouldnt have any problem paying for. It was a bit different for a young guy as 6011 often had a crude finish and was all hard to manage with a buzzer and simple learnin but DC and a little welding school makes for a quite a bit of difference.


                        • #13
                          6013 and 7014 in 1/8 take a lot more power like a 7018 does compared to a 1/8 6011. There is a lot of rave for 13 for sheet metal but lots of it is really welded 6011. Freezes fast and so much lower current.