Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 22
  1. #1
    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 Welding advice

    I'm interested in suggestions on welding equipment from those of you with experience. I've done gas welding in the past but never Arc welding, but I'm considering getting a small Arc or Mig welder and am looking for advice. I'd be doing small jobs like welding hooks to buckets, ends and brackets on hydraulic cylinders for a Top and Tilt (I'm hooked on getting one too) and various tractor gadgets.

    My biggest question is whether a small welder, where small is something that runs on 120V, 20A max will do these types of jobs. My place in Vermont only has 120V power (solar house) so if I need 220V I'll probably pass. I also don't want to spend more that $500.

    I've looked at the various 120V welders in Northern Tools catalog and they claim to be able to weld up to 3/16", or maybe 1/4" in a single pass. I'm thinking I can do most of what I want with that, but don't know if the claims are exagerated.

    I also don't know if I should look for straight ARC welders, wire feed welders, with or without gas.

    Any advice is welcome - thanks

    Peter


  2. #2
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Posts
    36,983
    Location
    Texas

    Default Re: Welding advice

    Peter, I have a cheap little Miller 120v Arc welder (stick welder) that does nearly anything I want to do. You probably do need a 30 amp circuit to plug it into. The Mig welders are probably even better. My brother has one and likes it better, but I haven't used it enough to get the hang of it yet, since I'm accustomed to the old fashioned one.

    Bird

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Posts
    167
    Location
    Cabot, Arkansas
    Tractor
    Kubota L2600DT

    Default Re: Welding advice

    Hi Peter...

    I recently purchased a Hobart Handler 135 MIG welder and can tell you that it will handle most any welding job you'll want to do on your tractor. It's a 120V 20amp welder and I use it on a 20amp ground-fault circuit and have never had the circuit trip. I shopped for welders for a long time before buying, and actually found this one being advertised on eBay by a welding supply company. The price was much better than any I had found ($395) and it was shipped directly from Hobart (Miller actually owns Hobart) factory new. I'm truly impressed with the little fella [img]/w3tcompact/icons/wink.gif[/img]. I have also had comments made by several welding veterans that the Hobart is the most dependable and well-built of all the small 120V welders on the market.

    I started out using flux-core wire, which eliminates the need for shielding gas, but have recently purchased an 80cf tank and run a tri-mix shielding gas. The tri-mix (75% Argon, 23% CO2, and 2% Oxygen) does a much cleaner weld than the flux-core, and the 2% Oxygen gives you a little hotter arc. Most everything I've welded thus far has been 3/16" mild steel and I get excellent penetration with single-pass welding using .035 ER70S6 wire. I have no doubt that it will handle 1/4" equally well. I highly recommend this unit for most all welding work you'll find to do on small equipment. This unit is also capable of welding stainless and aluminum by simply changing wire and shielding gas.

    FarmerBob


  4. #4

    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: Welding advice

    I'm sure guys like richfrompa or TraderMark could give you a better response as to what is best, but I'd like to comment.
    I have a 240v stick welder that will weld any thickness of metal that I would ever need in my shop. But, the key is not necessarily in the weld, but rather in the melding of the two metals together. In other words, you want to be able to heat the materials to such a degree, so that the weld actually penetrates the two metals.
    My father-in-law has a 120v wire feed (which is incredibly easy to use), but I'd be reluctant to to use it on the thicker pieces of metal for the simple fact that it does not penetrate the metal as effectively. Some will say that you can strengthen the weld by making several passes, but from what I have gathered, you will not get the same degree of strength.
    Having said all of that...the quality of my weld using a wire feed is much better than my welds using a stick - so which is actually stronger?
    In your case, I'd go with the 120v wire feed. You'll love it.


  5. #5
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Posts
    6,514

    Default Re: Welding advice

    Peter,

    You have gotten some good advise so far. I agree completely, go with the MIG welder. But, don't use the flux core wire. I use C02 gas, as it is about as cheap as I am, but it works harder! I bought one of the Italian welders from Harbor Tools about 12 years ago and used it with good success on thin metal (1/8" to 3/16) and never went above ~5% duty cycle. It was real good for that. BUT, when I started welding thicker metal (3/8 to 1/4) it just couldn't do more than a couple 12" passes without overheating and losing penetration or popping the 20A breaker.

    I have heard from several of my friends that Miller and Lincoln both have good welders in the 90A to 110A range that run on 20A 120V and do a much better job than my old cheapie. Moral of the story: Cheap works, but in the long run, it pays to spend a little bit more. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    I sold my little welder to a buddy and bought a Lincoln SP255. Now, I can weld 3/8 steel all day long and get good solid welds! With your power limitations, you can't go overboard like that, but look into the other units people talked about and you won't be sorry! Oh, don't forget to budget for the gas tank lease and the regulator purchase in with the welder.

    Have fun!

    John Bud.


  6. #6

    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Posts
    239
    Location
    Texas
    Tractor
    my 18 horse Sears doesn't even count as a tractor

    Default Re: Welding advice

    Hess is right about welding on thick materials, but one thing you can do when you need to weld on thick material with a small diameter electrode is preheat the part. The larger and thicker the material, the greater tendency to draw the heat away from the weld puddle. This makes the weld freeze fast and reduce the amount of weld penetration into thicker parts. Take a torch and preheat the thicker parts to about 200 to 300F and this will reduce the rapid freezing of the weld and also allow for better weld penetration. Happy welding![img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Randy


  7. #7
    New Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    0

    Default Re: Welding advice

    I have a Lincoln stick welder AC - DC straight or reverse polarity that will weld about anything that isn't too thin B U T my little Lincoln Weld Pak 100 runs on 15-20 amps at 120 volts and although it may require multiple passes will do most of what I need but may take a while due to lower power output. I use mostly innershield flux cored wire for mild steel but have the accessories for using gas. Usually I use gas for aluminum or stainless but CO2 is good with mild steel, cheap, and in some instances saves a lot of time cleaning/grinding during a multi-pass situation. Changing from steel to aluminum or stainless is N O T just a matter of changing the wire! You need to change the flexible feed tube (whatever the pro will call it) or you will get bad contamination in alum or stainless weld. This is a pain in the backside. So much that I threaten to buy another unit just to not have to do that. Oh, by the way, the stick welder requires a 50 amp 240 volt circuit. Probably not what someone off the grid would want. There is another way! Once upon a time in my consultant days I did some work for a small outfit that was developing a portable battery operated welder. It ran on two 100 AH 12 volt car batteries in series and could weld about 20 each 3/32 electrodes before needing a charge. It would weld with larger electrodes as it was good for about 125 amps but of course not 20 before a charge. In the field the typical setup was to have a 12 volt vehicle with two batteries. A switching arrangement allowed charging the batteries in parallel when not welding and using the batteries in series when welding. The one batt stayed wired into the vehicle in the normal way and the engine would be left running if a lot of welding was done to avoid running the batt down below starting requirements. I designed a mod that allowed this unit to TIG weld from about 3 amps (you might want to repair tin cans?) to about 100 amps.

    There are also special controllers to make an automotive alternator into a welder as well as small engine powered welders. It can be seriously wasteful of power but you can use a couple (or more) 12 volt batts in series with a resistive load to DC stick weld. Open circuit voltage is the series batt voltage, arc voltage depends on series resistive load and electrode size and position etc. Note: Series resistive load must have high power disapation capability. A series parallel bank of light bulbs has been used. You screw some lights out to reduce arc heat. I would experiment with toasters, waffle irons, clothes irons, electrick water heaters or whatever but nothing with any active electronics (solid state stuff) just pure resistive loads. An inductor with a sufficiently high current rating in series with the electrode holder will help start the arc when you scratch the rod on the workpiece. An inductor could be a transformer winding or wind a coil of sufficiently heavy wire around a bundle of annealed coathangers or something like that. You can anneal the coathangers by taking them up to max temp in your cooking oven and then bringing them back down slowly (consult appropriate engineering texts if you need E X A C T instructions). If you remove the varnish or paint from the coathangers prior to heating you will stay married or if single, not gas the cat.

    Don't be afraid to march to the beat of a different drum, however measured or far away.

    Patrick


  8. #8
    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: Welding advice

    I got the Hobart Handler 135. Nice machine. I welded the swivel ends on the first hydraulic cylinder for my TnT kit. Came out pretty well for a first try.

    Peter


  9. #9

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

    Default Re: Welding advice

    Happy Welding! Just don't pull the bone head move I did when I first got mine, and light your pants on fire! Lotta sparks there.

    SHF


  10. #10

    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Posts
    3,371
    Location
    California - S.F. East Bay & Sierra foothills
    Tractor
    Kubota L2500DT Standard Transmission

    Default Re: Welding advice

    <font color=blue>don't pull the bone head move I did when I first got mine, and light your pants on fire!</font color=blue>

    Hope you weren't injured when that happened, Steven! [img]/w3tcompact/icons/shocked.gif[/img]

    Now, having said that, I'd kill for a picture of that one. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif[/img][img]/w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif[/img][img]/w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif[/img]


Page 1 of 3 123 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
  •  
© 2013 TractorByNet.com. TractorByNet is a registered trademark of IMC Digital Universe, Inc. Other trademarks on this page are the property of their respective owners.