Welders


Information, ideas, experiences and help with camping, pulling a trailer and roughing it on your Goldwing
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OldZX11Rider
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Welders

Post by OldZX11Rider »



I've had an urge to build my own trailer for a while now and I keep putting it off.

A few days ago, I was at the local Harbor Freight store and I saw they have a 90 amp (I think that's right) flux wire feed welder for about $110.

I know it won't weld aluminum but it should be okay on square tubing and angle iron. My question is would this be a good machine to learn to weld on?
Anyone here have first hand experience with this 110 volt Chicago Electric thing from Harbor Freight?

Thanks in advance. Lunch time now. :D


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ekvh
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Re: Welders

Post by ekvh »

I have the HF TIG cheapy, $200. It works fine. Just don't go over duty-cycle recommendations. If you can weld with acetylene, you can TIG and you get good clean welds.

Figure the cost differences of flux wire vs TIG rod and you get out cheaper pretty fast. Gas however is more expensive than you'd think.

It's also a lot slower than wire feed.
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OldZX11Rider
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Re: Welders

Post by OldZX11Rider »

I can't weld at all. I'm basically a newbie. I played around with a welder back in my teens/early 20's, but anything I might have known back then is long gone.

What attracted me to the HF flux welder was that it worked on regular 110 volt house current. That's all I've got out in the shop. No 220. Does the TIG welder work on 110 house current?
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ekvh
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Re: Welders

Post by ekvh »

No, it's 220 but only 30 amps.
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Re: Welders

Post by RoadRogue »

110volt Flux core wire feed welders are only for light welding say up to 3/16 steel. There is a lot of splatter that goes with them, making for lots of grinding to clean up the welded area. If you can afford it buy a wire feed welder that takes a bottle of shielding gas. I have a Miller 110v wire feed at home that I use CO2 for my shielding gas. Makes good welds up to 1/4" steel, almost no splatter, good penetration . Bonus is if I run out of shielding gas I can change over the spool to flux core until I can get another bottle.
I haven't tried yet put it is possible to change the type of gas and change the liner for the gun and weld aluminium with it as well. So for a few more bucks you will get a more versatile machine. The higher the duty cycle the better the machine.
I also have a 220v stick welder for the heavy stuff that absolutely must hold together. Hope this helps, let the sparks fly. 8-)
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Re: Welders

Post by FM-USA »

RoadRogue wrote:110volt Flux core wire feed welders are ...
Hope this helps, let the sparks fly. 8-)
I'm considering a low cost Aluminum welder for an Alum trailer.
Which one for 1-1/6 to 1/4 material?
Is there a Harbor F. one that's any good? Asking about HF since it's nearby.
I have Oxy-Ac and (a really old) 90A stick welder.
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OldZX11Rider
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Re: Welders

Post by OldZX11Rider »

Thanks for the replay. RoadRogue, I'll look into that and see what I might be able to find used in the local area.
Also, on a homemade trailer, is there anything I'll need to weld that would be thicker than 3/16 or 1/4 inch? I don't think so but I've never built one either! :lol:
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Re: Welders

Post by HALBUDD »

I have the wire feed welder from H.F. and it is a lot better to weld with then a stick. If you have never welded before its a lot of fun striking an arc with out sticking the stick to what your welding. I also have a stick welder from sears it works better for thicker steel. They both have there good and bad points I like the wire feed better, and as was said if you can find a good wire feed that has a gas shield go for it.---------------------------Hal
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OldZX11Rider
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Re: Welders

Post by OldZX11Rider »

Everything I found in the local area, in my price range, was either 220, needed parts, looked like junk or unknown if it works or not.
So this morning we were at HF again. Of course I went over and looked at the welder and the price of the flux wire and their auto welding masks. The wife says if you want it get it. So I did, except the mask. Saw those online a bit cheaper.
Now I've just got to teach myself how to use it. :lol:
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Re: Welders

Post by Mh434 »

You'll find that the MIG is dirt simple to use. Literally, after 5 minutes of practice on some scrap steel, you'll be making great welds. As others have said, though, there will be a fair bit of clean up, as gasless MIG tends to make lots of spatter (it's a little smokey, too).

You will also find that once you're used to using it, you'll see LOTS of things that "need welding". It's like the old saying: "To someone holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail!"

Assuming the above, at some point you'll want to move up to a +gas MIG. Clean, shiny welds, no smoke. They're available in both 220V and 110V machines. I built an entire car using my old, beater Italian 110V machine. It's slower than 220V, but it still made great welds.
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Re: Welders

Post by OldZX11Rider »

I've been reading the manual and I've read the Miller FCAW on the internet. There's a lot of good information, but one of the best things, for me anyhow, was on YouTube.
Watching and listening to how it's supposed to sound. I'm kind of anxious to find a couple pieces of scrap and get started. But with the addiction to the house going on right now (and possibly a broken left hand) I'll have to wait a bit. In the meantime, there's a mask to get, gloves, welder tips, but at least I've got it!
:P
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Re: Welders

Post by Mh434 »

Do yourself a favour on the helmet issue - get a solar-charged (the arc helps to power it) auto-darkening one, with replaceable betteries. My buddy swore by his extremely-expensive Optrel one...until its internal non-replaceable battery died, and he had to buy an entire new helmet.

I treated myself to a Miller lid, and I love it. I keep my sight, and with cheap, coin-style batteries (they last 1-2 years) it should pretty much last forever.
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Re: Welders

Post by FM-USA »

OldZX11Rider wrote:I've been reading the manual and I've read the Miller FCAW on the internet. There's a lot of good information, but one of the best things, for me anyhow, was on YouTube.
Watching and listening to how it's supposed to sound. I'm kind of anxious to find a couple pieces of scrap and get started. But with the addiction to the house going on right now (and possibly a broken left hand) I'll have to wait a bit. In the meantime, there's a mask to get, gloves, welder tips, but at least I've got it!
:P
MAYBEEEeeeeee we all can send you some (ahem) samples to weld?
:twisted:

I was in a welding supply store last month, I seen the instant dark welding helmets, seems to be lowering in price. I remember them 10 years ago around $300.
The ones I seen were around $80... but I know nothing about their quality.
`
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OldZX11Rider
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Re: Welders

Post by OldZX11Rider »

Watching the video, it looks like it could be fun learning how to make a good weld.
This thing appears to be fairly simple with not a whole lot of adjustments, except on the wire feed speed. And there's plenty of photos showing bad welds, what was done wrong and how to improve the weld.
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Re: Welders

Post by RoadRogue »

When you start to make sparks make your adjustments on wire speed a little at a time,listen for that even frying bacon sound. Watch the puddle of molten steel as you weld while keeping an eye the line of the joint ahead. When you come up for air turn the weld over and see how much penetration the weld has. A good weld has penetration all the way through the material top to bottom.
The auto darkening helmet is the way to go. Clean steel is an absolute must for good welds. Paint,rust and general grudge will yield poor results. Buy a grinder and discs to grind the rust away till you find clean bare steel.like painting, prep is all important for strong clean welds.

Oh ya buy yourself an extra spool of wire. Nothing is more frustrating than running out of wire half way through a job and the store is closed till tomorrow......... 8-)
Ride safe, Todd
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OldZX11Rider
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Re: Welders

Post by OldZX11Rider »

There's a few "accessories" that I had not thought of. But now that I have the welder, I can start acquiring the other things.
I don't know if I can learn in 5 minutes or not, I thought it might take a couple months before I could start making good reliable welds.
Thanks for all the advice. My vision is not the greatest in the world right now, So I'll be sure to get a good, quality helmet. Don't want to lose what I've got left! :lol:
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Re: Welders

Post by RoadRogue »

Let the sparks fly 8-)
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ekvh
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Re: Welders

Post by ekvh »

Good site for info and videos: http://www.weldingtipsandtricks.com/
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Re: Welders

Post by WingAdmin »

Something I learned the hard way when I first started welding is that the intense UV light given off is not just damaging to your eyes!

It was summer, I was welding wearing a T-shirt and gloves, and my helmet. After an hour or so of working on a practice piece, I stopped for a rest and noticed the exposed skin on my arms was red and "sunburned" from the UV light exposure! Cover up your skin!
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Re: Welders

Post by FM-USA »

"...the exposed skin on my arms was red and "sunburned" from the UV light exposure!"
`
OR...
weld naked and get a tan. Use a mirror to get your backside.
:twisted:
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Re: Welders

Post by OldZX11Rider »

Get good helmet and cover bare skin. Check, got it. Got plenty of time to get those things now.
Went to the doctor this morning. X-rays confirmed the wife's suspicion I had broke my left hand. So, no using it for 6 to 8 weeks. Ahhhhh Shinola!
The good news,...I got an angle grinder for $17 at Wal-Mart. :lol:
You know, for $17 this has got to be a heavy duty, high quality piece of machinery! :lol:
Oh well, guess I got time now to look at all the trailers and draw up plans for something I'll like. :roll:
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Re: Welders

Post by FM-USA »

OldZX11Rider wrote:Get good helmet and cover bare skin. Check, got it. Got plenty of time to get those things now.
Went to the doctor this morning. X-rays confirmed the wife's suspicion I had broke my left hand. So, no using it for 6 to 8 weeks. Ahhhhh Shinola!
The good news,...I got an angle grinder for $17 at Wal-Mart. :lol:
You know, for $17 this has got to be a heavy duty, high quality piece of machinery! :lol:
Oh well, guess I got time now to look at all the trailers and draw up plans for something I'll like. :roll:
This


and this


will help size you to your dream trailer.
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OldZX11Rider
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Re: Welders

Post by OldZX11Rider »

Uh, okay. But I don't think I can find a piece of paper that big to draw a circle on. :lol:
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Re: Welders

Post by FM-USA »

OldZX11Rider wrote:Uh, okay. But I don't think I can find a piece of paper that big to draw a circle on. :lol:
With your broke hand, spoze you have a little time to learn to resize.

One of my MANY test drawrings... might help.


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OldZX11Rider
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Re: Welders

Post by OldZX11Rider »

Oh! No, no, no. I'm wanting to build a cargo trailer. Something that'll give me a few extra cubic feet of space to haul a few more items that'll make life on the road just a bit more comfy. :P
But I can't deny I haven't thought of something very much like your drawing.
Would be nice to park at the end of the day, cook a little something for supper, put a cover on the bike then crawl into the trailer for a good nights sleep. :P
Then come morning, boil up some coffee, maybe fry up some bacon & eggs, clean up, load up and off again for another days adventure. :D


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