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advice on a wire welder

Wed Nov 10, 2010 1:50 pm

I have found a Century (by Lincoln) 140a wire feed welder with guages & hose & cart for $350, free shipping. Same thing in Hobart but no cart is $140(with taxes) more locally, Miller or Lincoln are at least $100 more than the Hobart.
So, is the Century a worthy tool or something to be avoided?
I am not a welder, but would like to have the ability for light duty fabbing.

Wed Nov 10, 2010 2:10 pm

For light duty fab work I have been told that there are really two things to look for (since structural penetration is not part of the picture), is it from a quality manufacturer & is there a service center near by that is authorized to work on it. So just make sure you have access to a qualified tech for future maint/repair of whichever you end up buying & have at it.

$0.02 from a guy also researching getting into welding.


Tue Dec 14, 2010 10:02 pm

i have a 220v Miller 150 and LOVE it. granted it was 1200.00 delivered EIGHT years ago, but it does everything from 20ga to as thick as 3/8" on a single pass. Lincoln is a very good welder, but remember the best price isnt always the best deal...i say go for it for light fab work.

Thu Dec 23, 2010 11:21 pm

Not sure about the new ones, but they used to be a pretty decent welder. Not as good as the Miller's and Lincoln's, but more that capable for occasional welding.

Fri Feb 18, 2011 4:10 pm

I am also in the market for a firat time wire feed/ mig and after reading many many.reviews ive decided on the hobart 140.. I kniw tsc has them for 479 or about right now woth free shipping good luck .


Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:00 pm

Dude I paid 150 for my 220 dual mig from HF and love it.

Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:48 pm

Hobart and Miller are the same. Hobart is the econo line of Miller. They are good welders, and miller doesnt cheap out on important parts, but from what I've read, if you weld everyday miller would be a better choice. I've only looked into Millers and Hobart so thats all I can speak of. I have a Hobart 140 mig welder and it's pretty good. I weld with CO2 and get great results. I'm saving up for a Hobart 210 at the moment.

Tue May 03, 2011 1:02 am

MOUNTAINEERISUZU1 wrote:Dude I paid 150 for my 220 dual mig from HF and love it.

I had one of the cheap harbor freight stick welders (well,it wasnt from HF,but it was the same one,juts a different sticker). I was ready to fix my frame,bought a box of welding rod,and got ready to start welding,and it didn't work. It would not hold an arc. I spent a few hours troubleshooting then gave up and broke out the acetylene. In my opinion nothing beats acetylene. About 200 dollars will hook you up with a decent sized tanks from Praxair (don't buy the tiny ones,they are worthless I use a plumbers tank for acetylene and a Q tank for O2. I'm planning on upgrading the plumbers tank to the next larger size. My local Praxair dealer lets me upgrade for the difference in purchase price of the tank. You can pick up a used set of regulators for a less than 100 bucks. Stay away from the HF junk. Get a set of relatively modern Victors,even if they dont work. (pay less if they dont work of course).You need a good handle. Choose a good brand. Victors are a good choice. If they don't work you can get them rebuilt for about 50 bucks a piece. Tips ranging from 0 through 4 will be good for metal up to 3/8". (Thicker metal is no problem with the right tips) You can also get a cutting attachment. (You heat the metal up,then press the lever which turns on an oxygen flow that actually burns the creating massive amounts of heat and cutting the metal)

I think Im done with the arc welders for now,although I would like a TIG welder for aluminum. Then again,I can do it with the right flux if I have to.

In any event,my preference is oxy/fuel welding but whatever type you choose,mig,oxyfuel,smaw,etc,make sure you start with good quality equipment,and then practice alot on scrap metal. When you think you have a good joint,bend it. For instance,clamp it in a vice and bend it or bend it by pounding it with hammer. The weld should bend,not break. Thats how we used to test them at Caltrans. They would take a 12" thick piece of steel used to build bridges,weld it to another,put it in a giant hydraulic press then cut it on a band-saw to look for cracks and inspect weld penetration. Keep practice your welds until you get them right. Thatas the difference between someone who bubbafies their vehicle and someone who does a proper repair job

. Bubba takes that stick welder,starts a seam,and then realizes that its a total mess,has zero penetration and is a bunch of porous globs stuck to the surface intermixed with the slag. He then grabs a beer,and another welding rod (of the wrong type) ,and keeps welding.

The guy that does a good job starts out exactly the same way. Hopefully he starts on scrap metal though,but even if he starts on his truck (or BBQ or whatever) he immediately realizes that hes not doing it right,gets some scrap metal and starts practicing. he keeps practicing,looking up how to fix the problems that occur,or asking someone who knows until he can get decent welds. Only when he can do it right on scrap does he go and do the job right.

Wed May 04, 2011 12:24 am

I might point out that occasionally a working welder can be found off of Craigslist for a steal.

Just sayin'
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