More cheap welder questions.

  • So I'm getting to the limit of what my coal fire pit can do. Basically the ash and clinkers build up every 45 minutes, and have to be completely cleaned out, which makes me have to wait another 15 minutes or so for the fire to build up again. If I had a welder I can easily build myself a forge using scrap which has a dump for the ash and something to break up the clinkers at the same time. Hell, I could build a propane forge as well.



    I plan on buying a cheapo welder for my own use within days, and had my eye set on the cheap flux core welder from harbor freight when I saw this:


    https://www.tractorsupply.com/…75a-inverter-stick-welder $90 vs. $115 for the flux core welder.



    I'm not planning on going "pro" with this welder, and basically only using it for my own purposes. Should I pass on the stick welder?

  • What swampy said. I just picked up a 7" X 10" mini lathe there Christmas eve. had a 20% off coupon and bought the store warranty.


    Whatever you do buy the store warranty if you buy it at Harbor freight and even if it's still running good towards the end of the warranty take it back. They give you a brand new one with no questions asked.

    MNN on 6/18/19

    "chump will assuredly lose 2020 barring an event that cancels the election - he just cant keep his scummy yankee mouth shut"


    MNN on 6/24/19

    Chump is going to tote an ass kicking nov 2020

  • You could also buy several Chinese woks. Burn anthracite and keep on beating.


    Cut a hole in the side weld an 1-1/2" pipe and use a hair blower for a bellows.


    More than one way little fellow.

  • You could also buy several Chinese woks. Burn anthracite and keep on beating.


    Cut a hole in the side weld an 1-1/2" pipe and use a hair blower for a bellows.


    More than one way little fellow.


    That's basically what I have. I've got a pit in the ground lined with fire bricks, with a 1.5" pipe attached to a squirrel cage air blower. When I was just starting, I didn't know any better, and it heated up my 2" long pieces of mild-steel adequately.


    Now with the buildup of ash choking off the air, and the clinkers in the bottom soaking up the heat, I'm having trouble heating up pieces bigger than 4". (At least heating up whole sections larger than 4".) Like I said, I can dig out the ash and clinkers, but it forces me to rebuild the fire and wait ~15 minutes to get enough heat in it again to do anything important.


    With a welder, I can build a crude table with a brake drum forge plus a tuyere with something to break up the metal deposits, and a place to dump ash out of the bottom of the fire. Or, if I feel so inclined, I can weld up an angle-iron cage for fire bricks, build some propane burners, and build a propane forge. Better than buying one for $700 or $600, respectively.

  • I am no welder so maybe my advise is kinda sorta better? I am like you... a hobbyist. I used a cheap flux core for years. it taught me... when you get to stick welding there are LOTS of things to know and 120 volt just makes it harder to learn.


    Mig... flux or gas... .is childs play compared to anything else. You will make usable welds the first day. keep some scrap around... I still will take scrap of the thickness I will be welding and set up the mig welder and stick the chunks together... not enough penetration? go hotter.... burn through? go cooler. simplistic explanation but for us hobby guys? it works.. you will be learning too. Stick welder? too many variables to learn quickly.


    lazs

    "Don't let it end like this. Tell them I said something."



    Pancho Villa, last words (1877 - 1923)

  • I've had this one for several years:


    https://www.eastwood.com/eastw…5-amp-with-spool-gun.html


    It's Chinese junk of course. So as I often do when buying Chinese junk, I took it apart as soon as it came out of the box. Fixed some truly shitty wiring connections, tightened a bunch of loose screws, installed a couple of missing screws.


    It's worked great though. It's no Lincoln... probably wouldn't last long in a commercial application. But it's powerful enough for anything I could reasonably do in my garage. I use it with 75/25 mix because it's clean and I'm lazy. But it'll also do flux core and comes with a spool gun for aluminum. Never tried either of those though.

  • I think what lazer wants is something inexpensive in the 110 volt range.... good wire seems to help a lot in the little migs be they flux core or gas. My first one actually had a 'conversion' unit if I wanted to go from flux to gas but I never tried it.


    The one I got now is a 110 Hobart with gas. It does make some decent welds... good enough for the things I use it for. My daughter played with it for 20 minutes or so and said it worked pretty good. she turned down the gas cause she said I had it too high and was wasting gas.


    lazs

    "Don't let it end like this. Tell them I said something."



    Pancho Villa, last words (1877 - 1923)