Getting Back Into Welding

Joined
Mar 30, 2015
Messages
9,695
Location
Lake Havasu City, Arizona
"Back in the day", when I was doing a lot of die cast mold work, I did a lot of Tig and Stick welding. Now that I'm retired I've come across a lot of little projects I've been putting off, that could use a small welder to accomplish. So I bought a nice small, compact Mig unit from Harbor Freight yesterday. This particular model was out of stock, so I had to drive up to Kingman to get it. (They only had 1 left, and the guy was nice enough to hold it for me until I got there).

If this thing works out, next on the list is a Plasma Cutter, then a nice Tig unit. Like most tools, these things can quickly become a big hole you throw money into. But it keeps me out of the bars, and away from TV that has nothing on it but crap now a days. The unit itself is nice, small and light for it's size. It gets real good reviews, and I watched a bunch of You Tube videos on it. It can weld up to 1/4" with no problem. Which for right now, is enough for me.

I have a nice 30 Amp RV plug at the back end of my property, that will run it with no problem. And it's far enough away from the house so the wife won't have to worry about me burning the place down. Or holding the dog, while she hides under the dining room table when I crank it up.

The upside is it's nice and light, with simple, easy to use controls. Downside is a short (30%) duty cycle.

I can live with that for what I'm going to need it for. I'm not going to be setting the keel on Destroyers. Now I have to get all the crap that goes with it. Consumables, (tips, wire, etc.), Gloves, welding mask, apron. It should be fun.

 

billt460

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Joined
Mar 30, 2015
Messages
9,695
Location
Lake Havasu City, Arizona
Only planning on using flux wire? Gas would be a nice option.

Eventually I'm going to get a gas, (Argon), Tig set up. But for now, from what I'm seeing, this flux wire set up will work satisfactorily for my needs. I can't weld Aluminum or Stainless with it, which is always a nice option. But I don't have any need to at the moment. Down the road, perhaps. For what I've got in this thing, I really can't go wrong.
 
Joined
Jun 19, 2020
Messages
1,370
Location
Iowa
It seems like a nice little welder, but I hate chipping flux... Personally, I would have spent ~$200 more and got the shielding gas model.

Just my $0.02
 
Joined
Jun 19, 2017
Messages
1,266
Location
New Hampshire USA
Have 3 different welders but no real talent. I can keep my farm machinery together but when a neighbor asked me to weld the frame on his F250 I declined. He got a little upset but the potential of liability was too great.
 

billt460

Thread starter
Joined
Mar 30, 2015
Messages
9,695
Location
Lake Havasu City, Arizona
I just purchased this Prime Weld 50 amp Plasma Cutter, 200 Amp Tig Welder, and 200 Amp Stick Welder combo to compliment my Titanium 125 Amp Flux Core Mig Welder I purchased a couple of weeks ago. It is set to arrive on Friday.

I'm anxious to get it. This unit gets good reviews, and will allow me to have a lot of welding options. Mig / Tig / Stick / as well as Plasma Cutting. I still will have to get an Argon bottle and regulator. And a foot pedal. But those are not too great of an expense. I'm looking forward to see what kind of trouble I can cause with all of it. :)

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B014ECTCB2?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2_dt_b_product_details
 
Joined
Jan 4, 2012
Messages
36
Location
Surf City, NJ
I bought the same HF mig unit to supplement my Lincoln AC stick welder (and soon to be retirement). I needed it to weld nuts on four broken exhaust manifold studs for extraction on my Ram 1500 hemi. Worked great and paid for itself with that one job. Splurged for an auto darkening helmet too. You'll like it the mig and I'll be looking at that Prime Weld unit you just ordered.
 

billt460

Thread starter
Joined
Mar 30, 2015
Messages
9,695
Location
Lake Havasu City, Arizona
I just got the Prime Weld unit yesterday. I'm very impressed with what they give you for the price. We'll see how she runs. It gets very good ratings, and Prime Weld is supposed to have excellent customer service.

The unit comes with a 50 Amp R14-50 plug attached, and an adapter cord that will allow use from a standard 120 volt outlet. This morning I went to Harbor Freight and bought a nice welding cart for it. They had it on sale. It's a nice solid cart with a 350 pound capacity. Far more than I'll ever burden it with.

It went together nice, with no problems. Took me about an hour, and everything fit together well. I should be able to fit my HF Mig unit on the bottom shelf, and the Prime Weld unit on top. Now I have to hunt around town for a bottle of Argon.

Harbor Freight has a 30% off everything under $10.00 coupon until Monday. So I'm going back tomorrow to pick up some welding rod and some consumables. It's all slowly coming together. Then, God only knows what damage I can cause. :)

 
Joined
Dec 8, 2006
Messages
9,739
Location
Illinois
As soon as this China virus thing is under control... whatever "under control" might end up being... I am going to take some welding classes at the local community college. Something I've never learned, but something that I do want to be able to do.

I wanted to learn in high school, but welding classes were limited to "ag" students... (i.e. the kids with daddies who were multi-millionaire farmers). I could take "shop" classes, but not "ag" classes.
 
Joined
Jan 4, 2012
Messages
36
Location
Surf City, NJ
Highly recommend you get structured instruction and possibly certification. Over 40 years ago I was working for a small construction company and was taught to weld. The projects progressed to more difficult and potentially dangerous consequence tasks, bumpers, hitches, crane jibs. Although competent, I was not comfortable risking others if something failed. I knew the basics so I took a night course at the local vo-tech and got ASWE certified. Burnt through way more than $50 worth of rod that the course cost me, learned a lot and am certified. Today it's just hobby stuff. Go for it.
 
Joined
May 30, 2010
Messages
15,405
Location
North Carolina
I just got the Prime Weld unit yesterday. I'm very impressed with what they give you for the price. We'll see how she runs. It gets very good ratings, and Prime Weld is supposed to have excellent customer service.

The unit comes with a 50 Amp R14-50 plug attached, and an adapter cord that will allow use from a standard 120 volt outlet. This morning I went to Harbor Freight and bought a nice welding cart for it. They had it on sale. It's a nice solid cart with a 350 pound capacity. Far more than I'll ever burden it with.

It went together nice, with no problems. Took me about an hour, and everything fit together well. I should be able to fit my HF Mig unit on the bottom shelf, and the Prime Weld unit on top. Now I have to hunt around town for a bottle of Argon.

Harbor Freight has a 30% off everything under $10.00 coupon until Monday. So I'm going back tomorrow to pick up some welding rod and some consumables. It's all slowly coming together. Then, God only knows what damage I can cause. :)

 
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