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I want to get a cheap MIG welder

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Old 12-09-2010, 05:37 PM   #1
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Default I want to get a cheap MIG welder

Can anyone lead me in the right direction. I want a hobby MIG welder that I can use to do things such as welding on my sfcs, a cage, exhaust work, and some rearend work.

This is just for hobbies and won't be used professionally.

I want to go as cheap as possible and keep the unit relatively small.

Can anyone lead me in the right direction. I wouldnt mind buying used, ive seen plenty on craigslist, but I don't know what makes a good unit vs. a bad unit.

What all will I need to obtain besides the mig welder and an auto-darkening mask?
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Old 12-09-2010, 08:01 PM   #2
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HF if you want cheap and don't really care about quality.
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Old 12-10-2010, 02:32 AM   #3
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Hmmm, wondering if that would be a good idea. They have a 120amp mig/flux welder for 200 bucks and 140 amp for 350$. Anyone want to talk me into/out of getting the 120 amp version. Will that work to do some minor work here and there?

Hopefully one day I can afford a nice unit but its not really practical at this time.
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Old 12-10-2010, 08:51 AM   #4
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Jon, I am getting the Eastwood 135 mig over break. I'll let you know how I like it, it looks awesome the price is very reasonable!

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Old 12-10-2010, 10:23 AM   #5
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I was also curious how the eastwood 135 mig performs. Ive heard good things about it though.

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Old 12-10-2010, 05:29 PM   #6
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I have the Hobart 192 (220V) with gas. Works great! Think I bought it on sale @ $480.00.
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Old 12-10-2010, 11:35 PM   #7
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If your talking about the dual mig 151 http://www.harborfreight.com/welding...der-97503.html. I have 2, they are decent welders....but there are a couple issues.

It does everything I want, lays down nice beads on anything from sheetmetal to single pass on 1/4" plate.

The biggest issue is the handle/umbilical. It has a very soft rubber protective shield over the wires/gas line......the covering will rip. The liner for the mig wire is fairly soft plastic which will wear through...They do not offer this as a replacement piece, only a whole new umbilical....which is just as flimsy.
The fix is to either spend the $$ to get a new universal umbilical from a welding store, or hit up mcmaster carr and replace the mig wire liner with a piece of hard nylon tubing (Kinda like the stuff they use for airshocks). And replace the outer covering with suitable hose/or flexible liquid tight electrical wire covering. I had to rebuild my umbilical after about 2 years use.

The 2nd issue is ordering parts. I had a rectifier board go bad after probably 4 years use and it takes forever to order parts.....like 6-12 weeks. It was only like $14 for the part, but I was without a welder for 2 months......hence why I have the 2nd one, picked it up for ~ $120 when they were on sale.

Overall its a good welder, sure not a miller, but for a $150 welder its worth it.
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"possible" is a relative term around here... anything is possible. It's "possible" to put a whole K3500 4x4 dually truck rolling chassis under a brand new Mini body. Is it reasonable? No. Does it make sense? No. Is it possible? Yes.
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