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Beginner welding equipment advice?

Posted by Skye 
Rolling Blunder
Ryan Bouffioux
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Re: Beginner welding equipment advice?
May 26, 2017 05:09PM
In my case it has been a good value; it's allowed me to get my feet wet welding with only a modest investment, and without being constrained by the machine (aside from the general physical constraints of a 120V/20A setup). Paid for itself fairly quickly, so if/when it kicks the bucket or I want to upgrade later, I've not really lost anything (aside from time).

As far as parts, gun is Tweco-compatible. That was handy when I dropped mine and the diffuser sheared right off. As for internals and other serviceability, I've no input.

Of course, if you can afford to wait, deals on the more reputable welders are out there and would probably be the best long-term investment, as others have noted.
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Pete
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Re: Beginner welding equipment advice?
May 26, 2017 08:16PM
A friend of mine has the Eastwood 135 and I'm really impressed with it, actually.



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Re: Beginner welding equipment advice?
May 26, 2017 09:36PM
Loved the Hobart Handler I used for 10 years--especially once i started using 030 wire and a homemade extention cord:
Hobart 500568 welder,20 P...
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$359.99 · Blain's Farm & Fleet
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$469.28 · Newegg.com



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Pete
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Re: Beginner welding equipment advice?
August 06, 2017 08:15PM
Just dropped the coin on an Eastwood 135 of my own. With tax and a $25 autodark helmet that I couldn't pass up, it came out to a hair under $350. Next is an argon tank, and WOW the price of those has gone up since the last time I bought one. A 20 cubic foot tank plus an initial fill was $80, now it's apparently about twice that...



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Re: Beginner welding equipment advice?
August 07, 2017 02:32AM
I think you'll like it, Pete. 75/25% Ar/CO2 (or 80/20, or 77.6448/22.3552, or whatever the Hell the supplier has as their Bitchin' Brand Totally Trick Magic-ass Gas For Boring Steel) will run very well for mild steel/sheet metal work. Welding sub-20 gauge thickness (i.e. modern body panels) will be a pain no matter what you run, that's just MIG.

You will burn through 20cf of gas stupidly fast. At 20 cf/h (a reasonable flow for mild steel work with 75/25), that's 1 hour of trigger time. Buy the biggest bottle you can reasonably afford and safely store, because a substantial chunk of fill cost is sunk setup/haz/batch/whatever fees, plus your own downtime etc. (which is a lot if you're relying on a 20cf bottle).

Have a friendly chat with a local welding supplier cuz they may be able to cut you a good deal on buying a bottle; being in Cleveland there should be plenty of shops to hit up. I most recently picked up a 90cf bottle with 10 year hydrostatic proof and tri-mix fill (fer stainless) for ~$200 with tax. Same for a brand new 10-year 60cf bottle with 75/25. Smaller city on the other side of the country, though, so it might vary for you.

Failing the LWS option, check out Cyberweld or WeldingSupply... a bit pricier for the bottle and/or gas, but if you factor in money saved on shipping and tax, it might be a better deal. From what I've read, some dealers might not fill a cylinder they did not sell or will charge a fee to do the hydrostatic test themselves, but I haven't personally had that issue. As long as my stamps are up-to-date, my LWS will fill it.

There's also the option of leasing a bottle, but I don't bother with or know about that.

Teflon tape all of your plumbing junctions upstream from the welder, and always shut off the bottle when you're done... nothing worse than stopping 90% of the way into a job because you ran out of gas due to (your own) negligence. Similarly, always have a few spare tips of whatever bores you use on hand.
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Pete
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Re: Beginner welding equipment advice?
August 07, 2017 08:31PM
I'm an artist with a MIG, I just needed a welder of my own instead of schlepping stuff to work or a friend's house. Bonus: The 135 is supposedly all ready for an aluminum spool gun, something I've been wanting to try for a while.

We use a 40cf at work and it generally lasts us a year or two unless someone leaves the tank open. But then we have it set to just barely more gas flow than absolutely necessary. Wastefulness isn't much of a virtue.



Pete Remner
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Rolling Blunder
Ryan Bouffioux
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Re: Beginner welding equipment advice?
August 08, 2017 12:06AM
I suppose I should have assumed you had some experience, but maybe OP will find my babbling useful.

I'd be interested to hear how a spool gun runs on a machine of this capacity.
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Re: Beginner welding equipment advice?
August 17, 2017 06:27AM
Just wanted to add some maybe useful info. If you have the patience to keep watching, Blain's Farm & Fleet does sales multiple times a year on the Hobart 210 MVP. I wanna say it's $150 below msrp/amazon. The kicker is free shipping and no tax (unless you're in their state). It's a smoking deal for a versatile machine when they're doing the sale.
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Re: Beginner welding equipment advice?
August 20, 2017 05:35PM
My shopmate Jon got a Lincon Weld Pak 180 so we're in the weld game now. We don't have gas hooked up yet.
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