Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 15
  1. #1
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    795
    Location
    New England...Central MA
    Tractor
    TC35D/16LA

    Default To Weld or Not to Weld ???

    Okay folks...I'm thinking of a small wire feed welder. I'm no pro, but I feel that with a few tons of srap steel, I'll get the hang of it.

    What I'm hoping to do is some light fabrication using angle and tube with nothing thicker than 3/8" ( sch 40 pipe ). Mostly just a hobby thing I guess.

    Will a small wire feed ( < $ 400, 80 amp ) do the job. I have no preference for voltage 120-240. My freind says by an AC stick and go with that.

    Thoughts, recommendations....maybe I'll stick to wood ?!

  2. #2
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    2,207
    Location
    Montana (Near Bozeman)
    Tractor
    PowerTrac 425 (September 2003)

    Default Re: To Weld or Not to Weld ???

    There have been many threads on this subject. Wroughtn Harv has done a number of explanations that are very good along with many others. I understand that Muhammad may start a thread on this subject to keep information on welding in one area.
    PJ

  3. #3
    Veteran Member hayden's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Posts
    1,709
    Location
    MA/VT
    Tractor
    Kubota L5740 cab + FEL, Cat D5G dozer, Kubota KX121 excavtor

    Default Re: To Weld or Not to Weld ???

    I got a Hobart wire feed mig welder and have been very happy with it. I haven't used the gas for real mig welding and instead just use it as a wire welder, but it still works well for my needs, which are similar to what you describe. It runs off 120V which I find convenient. It cost about $475 as I recall.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    116
    Location
    Frozen North, Michigan
    Tractor
    Several Antique Garden tractors

    Default Re: To Weld or Not to Weld ???

    3/8" steel with a small wire feed is awfully risky.
    Not enough heat to get the penetration you need in steel this thick. Even with multiple passes to make it "look" good the weld will have little strength.
    Go with the stick welder unless you are looking at at least 200 amps in the wire feed. Also the gas will be needed for this steel.

    Just my humble but well thought out opinion of course,
    Bill

  5. #5
    Platinum Member buppy69's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    788
    Location
    Western NC
    Tractor
    Hinomoto E2804, Hinomoto N239,

    Default Re: To Weld or Not to Weld ???

    I have a Miller 90 amp and have had no trouble up to 1/4". I use the gas all the time.

    Eugene

  6. #6

    Join Date
    May 2001
    Posts
    1,310
    Location
    Michigan
    Tractor
    Kubota L3650/AC B210

    Default Re: To Weld or Not to Weld ???

    I've used my little Century for stuff up to about 3/16, haven't had to tackle anything thicker. Jumping thicknesses, I'll usually swap out the wire to a larger or smaller size as needed.

    SHF

  7. #7
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    163
    Location
    Deep Creek Lake Maryland
    Tractor
    None In decision Mode

    Default Re: To Weld or Not to Weld ???

    I have a Century 220 amp Mig with gas and a Miller 220 amp AC DC stick welder.

    The Mig is easiest to use and you will pick it up fairly quickly. There is really little difference between using the gas (solid wire) or flux core wire as far as the ease of use. With a 120 amp Mig you can weld a lot of steel. I doubt you will be fabricating any implements for your tractor though since you just won't get the penetration.

    It really depends on what you want to build. The Mig is better IMO for lighter duty items but if you want to build some serious items for your tractor you will either need a good 220 amp mig or a stick welder.

    The stick takes some practice but really is not hard to learn.

    Don't forget you are going to need to pick up a 4 1/2 angle grinder and grinding disks, which ever welder you buy. Also a sawsall (reciprocating saw) at a minimum will be needed to cut steel. And a face shield or at least some good quality goggles, as well as your welding helmet.

    If you are going to fabricate heavier items you will need something heavier to cut steel. Chop saw, cutting torch etc.

    Good luck Mike

  8. #8
    Super Member
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    5,809
    Location
    Wylie, Texas
    Tractor
    JCB165HF

    Default Re: To Weld or Not to Weld ???

    Whatever way you go let me welcome you to the wonder world of making things with steel.

    I'm forever and again finding myself lost in fun with the molten stuff.

    Just the other day I was looking at making a weld and trying to figure out the quickest and easiest way to do that particular weld. At hand I had my Henrob torch so I used it. Now I've not used it before for steel welding steel. I've brazed with it and I've glued some aluminum together with it but I hadn't done steel.

    It took a minute to get the feathered flame right and then it was off into gaga land. There's just something about watching the steel go from black to flat red to red red to orangish red to orange. And then you see the surface liquify and you're feeding in a little filler rod and wondering why oh why did they ever get away from doing it this way.

    So for the last week I've played with that Henrob a bit and am slightly more than impressed with it.

    It don't matter what you use, forge, propane and oxy, acetylene and oxy, mig, tig, stick straight, stick reverse, a/c or d/c it's all about taking two or more and making into one.

    If you're one of these freaks that will hold a piece of wood and feel it's warmth then you're a weldor looking for a place to happen.

    I knew it all at twenty eight, smartest I've ever been before or since. I had a company with sixteen people and ran from before daylight until long after dark. And I'd hired me an older wrought iron fabricator and his seventeen year old son to do a job.

    I almost had a heart attack when I saw the seventeen year old grab a nine inch grinder and start to clean up a mig weld on on inch tubing. I stopped him and pointed out that we had some of the grinders with grinding discs and some with sanding discs. What he was going to do would be a disaster with a grinding disc so he'd had oughta better use a sander.

    He looked at me like I had a bugger about the size of Florida roach right between the eyes, shook his head, and sent me to school. He took that nine inch grinder and proceeded to take down the weld and then polish it out prettier than a bug in a rug.

    When he was done I was choking on crow which we all know is the toughtest bird to chew, especially raw. He then pointed out one of the best lessons I ever learned from anyone esle. He guided my eyes and hands over the steel and led me into that corner of the world where you understand that steel, like wood, has grain. And if you work with it things are easier and better.

    Now I know a lot of weldors that don't have a clue what I just talked about. I guess they're the lucky ones. But again, maybe they ain't.

  9. #9
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    795
    Location
    New England...Central MA
    Tractor
    TC35D/16LA

    Default Re: To Weld or Not to Weld ???

    micromike...thanks for the info. I already stock a grinder, sawsall, chopsaw, and have access to a shop with plasma cutter and a big-butt band saw. They have a welder, but I think a home tool for mental health would be fun.

    I'm leaning to a stick after talking to some freinds. Who knows ?!?!

    Harv, you remind me of my bud who used to race motorcyles in his younger days... he talked of the "wow-factor" of pulling himself out of disaster and how he appreciated each little moment of the event.

    Its not simply completing the act, it's the beauty of all the little actions coming together to form the completed task.

  10. #10
    Veteran Member gerard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    1,681
    Location
    Syracuse NY
    Tractor
    Kubota L2500DT w/FEL

    Default Re: To Weld or Not to Weld ???

    ok, here's a little input from someone who was just in your position - dilemma between stcik and mig purchase. I took a local welding course and got to use both kinds (big 400 amp 100% duty cycle units). Love the mig - much easier to use, better looking welds. BUT, more expensive, need to fool around with gas bottles, more moving parts, more things to go wrong. I opted for a lincoln 235AC stick. 220volts is a must if yout tractor. You may not think you'l ever weld more than 3/8 (which is too much for 110 volts anyway) but there are some pretty heavy welds on implements and if you ever want to modify things it's nice to have the option SOOOOOO, if you can go 220 or 110 it's a no brainer - 220volts. While the stick is a little harder to use than a mig, it's not to difficult to learn, you can get one for under $400 new, it should last you forever (really has no moving parts - just a big transformer). For occasional use the stick is great. If I welded a LOT I'd get a mig, no question.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
© 2014 TractorByNet.com. TractorByNet is a registered trademark of IMC Digital Universe, Inc. Other trademarks on this page are the property of their respective owners.