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Are these good choices for new guy?

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  • Are these good choices for new guy?

    I have done lets say very minimal amount. maybe two hour worth of welding. I would like to someday be able to do things like fix some of my 3pt tractor attachments and even build some light duty implements for around the farm. I have been looking at the hobart Stickmate® LX 235 AC and the Lincoln AC-225C 230V they are both right around the price range I can afford. I have seen the DC models of both but wonder If I would even know the differance with out DC. The wildest plans I have to weld (if I can get good enough) would be a maple syrup evaporator pan so I don't even know if that would be possible with only a AC stick or DC or if a differnt type of welder would be needed. Well anyway just wondering if my thoughts are on the right track with the first two and the rest. Thanks

  • #2
    Let me put it this way, I started with a Lincoln toumbstone AC machine 45 years ago, and learned to weld with it. I can still go overhead with that (I still own it) and most other AC machines.
    Today, I own 2 gas drive rigs, 5 Lincoln verticle DC machines, 3 P&H heliarc machines, MIGs, probably 20 torches, and well, you get the point.
    From my viewpoint, the best way to learn is on an AC stick machine. Too many guys believe the weld is in the machine, and put tons of birdcrap on metal calling it welds. Around here we swear we can teach a monkey to weld with a MIG machine in under an hour, and under 10 minutes if you only want to use it as a hot glue gun.
    DC has plenty of advantages, but is it necessary for a guy just starting ut? I don't think so.
    I can teach you all you need to weld in 10 minutes flat, but it will still take you years to learn to weld.
    Go to a welding equipment dealer and test drive both machines. Your first passes on AC won't be pretty, but if you spend a few hours, they will get a lot better.
    DC will give a new guy a lot of self confidence quick, but his welds won't pass the floordrop test, just look pretty.
    Lets not even talk about new guys with MIG machines.

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    • #3
      Their is a lot of truth in what Franz has to say!

      Walt

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      • #4
        The Lincolns have been around awhile and are dependable, but I would rather have a little more flexibility in amp adjustment with the Hobart or Miller.

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        • #5
          Lets not even talk about new guys with MIG machines.
          Hey. I resemble that remark!

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          • #6
            Is it safe to say that Franz is opinionated (and possibly biased against MIG) ??

            Allen T.

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            • #7
              Not MIGs, not new guys but new guys with MIGs!

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              • #8
                Actually, FRANZ owns MIG machines, and pumps a lot of wire thru MIG machines.
                There is a place for MIG machines, but, it isn't in the hands of a guy who bought it at a box store and is just starting.
                Too many MIG welds are hot glue deposits, and not welds.
                Just because it looks like a weld doesn't make it a weld.
                Franz is definitely an opinionated old *******, but he's got 45 years of experience to back up the opinions. He also watched the trailer come loose from the truck because Mr I got it from Home Depot "welded" an equalizer block to a 2x2 Reese plugin with his home MIG machine.
                If you think Franz is opinionated, you ought to meet his blacksmith buddy.
                Yup, Franz can write in the third person.

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                • #9
                  Nothing wrong with being opinionated, especially about certain things. I happen to be a new welder (no "O" yet) with a MIG machine, but it didn't come from a box store, it came from one of the distributors in town. I also did months of research before I bought what I did. To me this is all a "learning process" at this point, I only weld for me and NOTHING critical. I have also been considered to be a perfectionist by some. Practice is the name of the game right now. Don't get me started on hitches, etc. I RVed for enough years that I find it very disturbing to see the way some of those things are "hitched up", regardless of what kind of welds were involved. Good hitch people are becoming a rare breed. Too much "bolt on" without enough knowledge.

                  Allen T.

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                  • #10
                    It's been my experence that a poor weld can be made with stick welder and mig welder. I have seen trailer come apart that was welder with lincoln tombstone stick welder. It's the knowledge and skill of the weldor doing many things right that makes great welds not the welding machine.

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                    • #11
                      I'm a hobby weldor, learned on AC. My first machine was a Linc AC/DC tombstone - still have it. To me, it's a great value. It was not a lot more money than the AC-only version, and it gives the extra versatility of DC. I've used it both ways.
                      My second machine is a Hobart Handler 135. Because of my experience with stick, I was able to weld well with the HH135 ALMOST immediately. I think I welded on evey piece of scrap I had on hand, and I'm a packrat so I had lots of scrap! Did a lot of experimenting and destructive (grunt, grunt, grunt) testing, found what works for me - and what only LOOKS good.
                      The majority of my welding is light-duty, .125 wall and thinner. The HH135 excels at this. It's quick, clean and easy. When I'm welding something heavier, the tombstone gets the nod. Some projects utilize both. When I'm doing something that may cause serious injury, death or property damage if it fails and can't be safely tested - I hire a pro!
                      Trent
                      Building my wife's fortune - one machine at a time!
                      Bobcat 250, MM210 w/3545 spoolgun, HH135, Miller Dialarc 250 AC/DC w/HF251, Red AC/DC tombstone, Victor SRII

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                      • #12
                        thanks to all your help

                        I did some looking and found a Hobart LX 235 AC at Tractor supply for 199.00 I have priced many that seemed to be afair price. I thought for the price and the info with AC/DC I could get buy right now without DC. I just couldn't spend the extra 125-200 dollars right now. I figured for what I will be doing, hobby welding I would just get good with the AC and if somthing down the road came along maybe then up grade. Thanks for the info

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                        • #13
                          greenthumb

                          Sounds like a good idea, its a good price for an AC welder. Just make sure to use the recomended AC electrode (sticks). I started that way also.

                          If you find you like welding, you can save up the big bucks and get your dream welder later. In the mean time you will learn a lot and post a lot of pictures of your projects!
                          It's not an optical illusion...it just looks like one

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Roger
                            It's been my experence that a poor weld can be made with stick welder and mig welder. I have seen trailer come apart that was welder with lincoln tombstone stick welder. It's the knowledge and skill of the weldor doing many things right that makes great welds not the welding machine.
                            I agree and Im sure that the point that was trying to be made is that a mig welder can give a new welder false hopes. I have seen mig welds that looked like glass. Would not hold worth a hoot. Atleast with a stick welder if its a poor weld once you clean the slag off you can pretty much tell if its a good, fair, poor, crap weld. We have started to teach a new guy at the plant to weld. we have a miller poster of welds on the wall. He has been practicing and knows to look at his stuff and the poster and can tell if hes getting better or not.

                            I also agree that everyone should start stick. its a bit harder to get the hang off but will teach you better. Once you have stick down then you can move on to mig. I still have my Old lincon Stick. and I pull it out on thick stuff. I have the H175 for floors, body work, or the quick fix on somehting around here. I would look in the papers for a used welder. I know around here thay go for about 100 bucks. most of the time there peopel that bought them and never really used them. could not get the hang of them so got tired of it takeing up space and put it up for sale.

                            But that just my oppion I could be wrong.

                            OMS
                            Last edited by Old Man Stick; 02-27-2003, 11:12 AM.
                            OMS
                            HH175
                            Red Tomstone W/ HF for TIG
                            Old Miller Engine Driven 225 Amp AC Stick Welder
                            Smith O/A X 2
                            Harris O/A
                            BridgePort
                            MSC cut off BandSaw 6X12"
                            And more!
                            Shop Mechanic for Brinks Coin

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                            • #15
                              GREEN THUMB..............WELCOME ABOARD...........WELL WHAT DID YOU BUY AND WHY.......WAS IT PRICE OR CONVENIENCE JUST BEING AROUND THE CORNER/.............ROCK
                              [email protected]

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