Welder for a beginner

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by ateamer, Oct 21, 2010.

  1. ateamer

    ateamer NRA4EVR

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    I've been wanting to get a welder to just learn some basics, build a couple basic pieces of gym equipment and just kind of fart around with. Harbor Freight has reconditioned flux-core wire feed welders, 240 volt/160 amp, on sale for $63. It seems like for that price, I couldn't go too wrong. Is this something that will work well enough for what will probably total up to an hour of use in a year?
     
  2. Cubdriver

    Cubdriver

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    For $63 it's probably worth a shot. Can they be configured to do MIG also (in other words, can you get a gas kit for it too?) If so, that could potentially greatly increase its usefulness.

    -Pat
     

  3. simmy952

    simmy952

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    That is not a bad price if just wanting to mess around. Flux cored wire does not weld heavy guage metal very good. If it is possible to add a gas kit then I would spend the extra and get the gas kit also. I have a Miller 135 with a bottle kit and I am happy I spent the extra and got what I paid for.
     
  4. woodasptim

    woodasptim

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    The biggest problem with super cheap tools and a beginner is that you can't tell if the failure is on the part of the equipment or the user. Will someone be teaching you? or will this just be a trial and error type of learning?
     
  5. OGW

    OGW SAF

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    This. Take some instruction (adult ed class, whatever is available to you), then you'll know what equipment you want.
     
  6. ateamer

    ateamer NRA4EVR

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    One of my workout partners is an experienced welder - certified, I believe. He taught me some basics with a stick welder and can coach me.
     
  7. CCO

    CCO Wandering CLM

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  8. Gareth68

    Gareth68

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    While I would never recommended going cheap on a welder, at that price it may be worth a shot. Harbor freight has a pretty good return policy (at least our local store does), and worse case how much cheaper than that could it possibly sell for used on craigs list?

    I'd say buy it and invite your welder friend over the next day. Be sure to have some scrap metal on hand and of various thicknesses and give it a shot. If it proves to be a big steaming pile of chinese crap, which is a distinct and likely possibility, take it straight back to the store and get your money back.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2010