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  • Stick Welder

    I was raised on stick welders. I worked in the shipyard in the 70's an then in machine shops. I have bought a millermatic 210 for around the house use. I have never liked mig. What would be a good trouble free stick welder for around the house use. I would want something with a good stable dc arc. Don't ever use anything over 1/8 6011 or 7018.

  • #2
    Hobart Stickmate is fine but these days I am a Maxstar 150 fan, for not all that much more money especially when one considers cords or leads and a freebie is it will run from 120V which is a super handy deal all its own.
    http://www.facebook.com/cary.urka.urkafarms

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    • #3
      Obviously on this site a Hobart Stickmate LX; mine runs real well. However,you really can't go wrong with a blue or red AC/DC welder in the 230 amp range, they're pretty old school, simple and trouble free.
      Blacksmith
      Stickmate LX AC/DC
      Big cheap (Chinese) Anvil
      Hand cranked coal forge
      Freon bottle propane forge
      HH 210 and bottle of C25

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      • #4
        I really like my Hobart Stickmate 235LX (AC/DC) - cheap at Northern Tool or Tractor Supply.
        Hobart LX235
        Victor OA Welding/Cutting Rig
        Bobcat 743DS
        qty 2: F-350, 4x4, Crew cab
        10K lb equipment trailer
        15KW Generator
        Outdoor Wood Furnace (10 cords/year)

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        • #5
          Transformer stick welders are plentiful and cheap on Craigslist. Not much to break and if the fan turns and it burns the rod it's a safe bet. You will leave your family (my kind of family ) an heirloom after you're gone. My AC/DC Lincoln tombstone has sufficient open-circuit voltage to keep any lo-hy stick lit I clamped in it's holder. After nearly 40 years (am I that old? ) it had one failure...the work clamp, replaced with a Tweco-style for $20. Still my best buddy for outdoor work.
          CanoeCruiser
          Harris dual-stage O/A
          Lincoln AC/DC buzzbox
          Hobart IronMan 210
          Lincoln PowerMig 135
          Miller 3035 spoolgun
          Thermal Arc 185
          Thermadyne Cutmaster 52
          Angle grinders, vicegrips, the usual suspects
          Two hands, tired body, not enough time...

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          • #6
            They are reliable but case will rust away when used as a tombstone.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Roger View Post
              They are reliable but case will rust away when used as a tombstone.
              Yep, but even then, it'll run one heck of an arc!

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              • #8
                Cheap Welder

                I picked up a Century 295 amp stick welder from a machine shop that had transitioned to MIG for $40. It has 3 taps for different output voltage ranges, tailor made for whatever rod you are using and 100% duty cycle for the lower current ranges. One of the nicest vintage machines i have ever used.

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                • #9
                  I have never liked mig.
                  In the shop if I can possibly mig weld it I do.
                  http://www.facebook.com/cary.urka.urkafarms

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                  • #10
                    I wonder if Mac still has his Maxstar? I was discussing this thread and the concepts/differences with one of my helpers. He is retired auto mechanic but has been around the block and a pretty fair welder in his own right, can run a stick. When I got a Max he ran a couple rods and was impressed, he tends to agree that if he was in the market for a new stick unit in this class it would be that. He says, so small, light weight and powerful that its a no brainer especially seeing how well it works.
                    I am not sure how long a guy could sit there and smoke 1/8 lo hi on it, 1/8 11 or 3/32 7018 I am sure you could work pretty much continuous, as fast as practical. I haven't tried a whole handful of 1/8 18 on it yet as hard as I could burn them, the book says 30% but I suspect you could run that and then some.
                    Different machine of course and I have good power but my red dc buzzer even on warm day has ran handful as fast as I could put them thru. A while back I welded a trailer out that was tacked up, took me a couple 3 hrs, maybe more and it was hot out. I was tempted to get the Max out and switch out machines a couple times but I take a break or 2. The machine warmed up a couple times, I know I was right about on the edge, let it cool, paced myself a bit. The Max probably has its own thermal? Would be interesting just to see how hard a guy could run one.
                    http://www.facebook.com/cary.urka.urkafarms

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                    • #11
                      It easily does my farm work, I don't have a lot of heavy heavy equipment and about 90% can be done small rod single pass, once in a while I will have to run another bead or pass over part of some structural component, usually vert anyway, takes a couple extra minutes maybe with a small rod/machine but not worth lugging anything heavier around for. If I was working for loggers, heavy equipment or mining etc obviously this is too light for a lot of the work but for general fab its almost flawless.
                      Took in my Dads basement the other day to weld bracket on wood furnace. So easy, used to have to pull out a portable or service truck, run leads thru window, fire up engine, controls out on the truck, etc. Now, carry it and bag in, set next to job, plug in, didn't even need ext cord.
                      I would have killed for one of these when I was a kid. Roaming around all the time, 4x4 stuff, general repair. Back then, tie up a truck or pull around SA200 to run a rod or 2 90% of the time. A while back I drove heavy service truck 40 miles to weld a bolt on a machine, carpenters had a small genset sitting right there, would have saved 50$ in an hour.
                      Last edited by Sberry; 11-15-2011, 10:32 AM.
                      http://www.facebook.com/cary.urka.urkafarms

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                      • #12
                        How well does inverters hold up? I am looking hard at them..

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                        • #13
                          They are pretty good but here is the thing and true with most tools. If you work them hard and wear them out you have depreciated it and got your moneys worth. A battery drill,,, yes, it wear out and break, usually after years and thousands of holes. A miller has 3 yr warranty, long time especially considering this warranty covers a machine that could be used hard and daily, if it is its has recouped its cost, saved hours,,made money, fully depreciated many many times over.
                          There are occasions a machine like this may pay for itself in couple jobs, weeks, etc, at the point its paid for it starts to multiply its rate of return. People buy similar junk every day without the same concern, 1K tv, all kinds of other garbage they don't seem to give much thought to but when it comes to tools it seems it can be a nerve racking deal,,, my straight up advice, if you got a need, run with the charge card if you have to and get this over with, give up the mental masturbation, just do it. ha
                          http://www.facebook.com/cary.urka.urkafarms

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                          • #14
                            Take it from another fence sitter - find a good deal and just do it! Any decent welder welds better than no welder. And I'll sit on the fence over anything. I've scheduled a hip replacement for after the holidays and I'm currently watching and waiting for a good deal on a new sofa and a big screen TV for my recuperation time.
                            Blacksmith
                            Stickmate LX AC/DC
                            Big cheap (Chinese) Anvil
                            Hand cranked coal forge
                            Freon bottle propane forge
                            HH 210 and bottle of C25

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                            • #15
                              Any decent welder welds better than no welder
                              I will second that, even a bottom of the box buzz box works. I haven't ran one but was wondering,,, via another forum,, if anyone had used the Northern dc buzzer, I think its list price is about 169 or so.If this is a venture with general work like equipment repair etc and a guy has to start out a used DC buzzer with some lead for a couple hundred or less is hard to beat. They just work so well. I got a half a dozen stick machines but my little DC buzzer is still my go to machine if I am within reaching distance of it. In this kind of work,,, well,,, a 4000$ machine ain't gonna help a guy one bit. Its been one of the most profitable machines I ever own. I bought it for 100 less than new, it was new never used. Paid like 220 for it with some extra leads and connectors, air arc head, some cheap band saw. Never ever had anything wrong with it.
                              I bought a Maxstar for portable work.
                              http://www.facebook.com/cary.urka.urkafarms

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