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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know, I know......HF stuff is garbage, but for $90.00 for a 90 amp Mig welder, how can you go wrong?

So I havent REALLY welded in 25 years or so, and have been wanting to get a little 115 volt home welder. I'm not building frames or cages, so I dont need something big and I have a few "projects" that I want to get done and I need a welder. So I find this coupon for the HF welder for $90, what the hell, I bought one.

I have to say that I'm impressed by this little welder. I ran a pound of the wire that came with it (not that great of wire) and by the end of my first little project......not to bad. It feeds consistantly and the output is stable. The duty cycle kinda sucks, but if you take your time and dont push it, it will get the job done.....eventually. I was burning some 1/4" round stock together that was a grate for a material separator. It was woven together and I needed to make it so it couldnt come apart or shift.

At first I was starting to think it was a bad buy, but it was my crappy technique and my settings were wrong.....to say the least IT WAS UGLY!! As I got used to its limits and I started remembering how to weld it lays down some pretty good beads. Its not a Miller or a Lincoln, but it works pretty good for a hobby welder........just sayin!
 

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I bought a millermatic 210 off ebay for our 65... 'weldingsuppliesatioc' was the seller, great service/price...recieved it next day in the crate from miller, told folks at work about the guy, they bought a bunch of stuff thru him too...he had 100% and >10,000 feedback in 2004!

i shoulda got a HF one, this one just blows the prettiest little round holes in sheetmetal :)
even at lowest settings, the 210 is pretty hot for light sheetmetal - i have heard some of the little 110 deals actually do better on the thin stuff... I just gotta do really quick tacks...not pretty, but pretty beads on sheetmetal will probably be something never viewed thru my helmet :)
Tim
 

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Good for you!

I thought about trying out welding http://www.fordmuscleforums.com/galaxie-pages/501141-beginning-welder.html by picking one up at HF but after asking here got so many "DON'T DO ITs" and "Let a professional handle it" and "You can't start without a serious +$600 financial investment" etc, that I did not try. Looks like you avoided the negativity by just doing it, Wish I had, now.

Good luck
 

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I bought a mig135 from eastwood ,taught myself how to weld from reading/youtube/ and practice on scrap sheet metal i got from autobody shop.I believe lincoln makes it for them and it was 299 with free shipping,talked to alot of people before buying it and found out that for car sheet metal repairs i.e. floors to quarters you need a power setting that you can adjust between setting .I mean 3 maybe too low and 4 too high infinate adjusting gets the right setting and all those lower buy welders dont have it. Welding thicker metal like 16gauge or thicker is easier than 20 gauge body panels.Anything thicker you can use fluxcore wire with no gas .Steady hands most important I am not a professional welder but confident that i did floors/rear rails and now hanging quarters panels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Did a few more "projects" with it, still impressed. Of coarse I still need to do some serious skills building.....LOL. Havent tried it on sheet metal yet, I have some trim holes that I want to weld up on my Scout, that should be a good test for it on low power.

I've been toying with the idea of upgrading to the 220 volt/170 amp HF Mig. Its $100 more (its on sale right now), but has more settings and has the ability to run gas too. Would REALLY like to have both but I dont think my wife will put her blessing on that! ;)
 

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When it comes to sheet metal, the quality of the flux core wire matters and look to use the .030 diameter. I tried the HF .030" wire, but found that the Lincoln wire works better with my little 100amp mig. For stuff 1/8 and over, the .035" works better and I just stick with the Lincoln brand as I can get it cheaply in the big 10lb spools.
 

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When it comes to sheet metal, the quality of the flux core wire matters and look to use the .030 diameter. I tried the HF .030" wire, but found that the Lincoln wire works better with my little 100amp mig. For stuff 1/8 and over, the .035" works better and I just stick with the Lincoln brand as I can get it at a fair price in the big 10lb spools.
 

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ford4v429

Ive got a miller 210 and freeking love it ! I weld sheet metal no problem ! 18 gauge .30 wire ... heat 1 wire speed 30/35 or so and ZING . The welder chart recommends heat level 2 speed 18 but I find that I have to move to fast on 2..

I like the welder alot, I can weld in a patch panel and then weld a 1/2" thick plate ,then switch over to the pull gun and weld aluminum... mines the older style with the manual click heat and not digital. It has to be 8 years old by now and I have not stuck a penny in it for repairs !

I bring it to the races alot and run it off my generator and it does good.
 

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ford4v429

Ive got a miller 210 and freeking love it ! I weld sheet metal no problem ! 18 gauge .30 wire ... heat 1 wire speed 30/35 or so and ZING . The welder chart recommends heat level 2 speed 18 but I find that I have to move to fast on 2..

I like the welder alot, I can weld in a patch panel and then weld a 1/2" thick plate ,then switch over to the pull gun and weld aluminum... mines the older style with the manual click heat and not digital. It has to be 8 years old by now and I have not stuck a penny in it for repairs !

I bring it to the races alot and run it off my generator and it does good.
I like mine a lot too- being able to weld big stuff is nice...mines also non- digital, every digital welder theyve had at work have had electronic issues first...theyre still reliable, but seems always first to fail is stuff it doesnt need.

my problem is im not a welder... only way for me to weld 18ga is overlapping tacks...stuff like our 65s new frame (1/4 wall) was easy to get a decent looking weld and a lot of penetration, but the tin stuff just never 'looks nice' if i did it... would love to try tig someday, know its a lot more involved, but man can it lay a nice looking/distortion free bead, even on paper thin stuff- i had some thin stainless welded at work, didnt even have to grind it...other than color change you couldnt tell it was welded...some of the guys at work in the fab shop are artists for sure... not me :)

a buddy of mine had a little buzzbox, his welds looked pretty good on sheetmetal only, he tried mine and blew holes... the little ones i think use like a 025 wire (think theres a 025 tip available for ours too) and he could run a bead without melting thru- but that tends to distort severely compared to little tacks...I had my kids putting patches in my sons mark vii, they burned up a lot of scrap tin before getting the feel for it... just gotta be quick on thin stuff
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
OK, so the little welder ended up not having enough adjustability. It was just to hot on its lowes setting for any body panel stuff. So today I upgraded to there 240 volt 170 amp unit. Its able to use .023 solid wire and has a gas input for an Argon mix, which along with its ability to drop to 30 amp output makes it able to weld down to 22 guage sheet and its also able to weld stainless. Still under $250 for the welder and a 2 year exchange warranty......not bad.
 

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I just bought the Lincoln 216 mig unit and spool gun. I have used ESAB Miller and Hobart in the past and can tell you that the Lincoln wins hands down. I love this machine!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
No doubt that a Lincoln, Hobart, or Miller is a better machine, but my budget aint that high. Cant even touch a used one for the price I paid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Just did the "hotrod" mod to the HF welder......added a capacitor and a bleed resistor, with an on/off switch. It now has 8 heat settings ranging from 30 amps to 212 amps...............it welds MUCH better now. :D
 
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