View Full Version : mig welder help

12-26-2006, 02:14 PM

I'm in need of a welder. A simple hobby welder will do, and everyone says that TIG is much better than MIG, but MIG is easier to use and learn with...given that, I have two questions...

1. Will MIG work for restoring/restomodding a car?

2. Given that MIG is easier to learn on...what are your thoughts on the link? It seems to be "idiot proof"

12-26-2006, 02:48 PM
If you have a welder plug in at your garage, get a lincoln or a miller 175. They are variable on both wire speed and heat. It will be all the mig you will ever need and it still has the smaller gun that is easier to use and you can put .024 wire in it and weld body panels just fine.

I have a Miller 250x and it is a killer welder especially for big stuff. It will weld just about anything. I have had great sucess welding sheet metal with it too. But the gun is kind of bulky and it doesn't feed .024 very well because the lead is so long. It causes feed issues with the small wire. I will probably chage the gun to the 175 style gun, but I wish I just had a Miller 175.

12-26-2006, 03:12 PM
Craftsman sells a welder for the same price but uses shielding gas insted of flux core wire. its a pretty good welder but i upgraded to something that is better in the long run. Millermatic DVI. that thing is tits.

David Pozzi
12-26-2006, 07:00 PM
The Miller has more metal in the feed roller assy than the Lincoln, - according to my local welding supply, which sells both.

12-27-2006, 03:25 AM
Thanks for the input...a couple of additional notes....

1. My wife says NO GAS! She is terrified that I'm going to blow up, so standard electric outlet will have to do.

2. $$. If I get too carried away with spending lots of money on tools, I'll blow my budget for parts! This is only $329.00 @ Northern Tool

3. I'm mainly going to be using it to replace panels (floor, trunk, tail, etc....)

Because I am very new to welding, this seemed to minimize the variables and ease the process. The single knob is used to set what guage metal you are working on.

Simplifying the wire speed, heat settings.

12-27-2006, 05:05 AM
Spend the extra money and get a machine that uses gas . Its a lot cleaner weld . Tell your wife that the gas doen't blow up . If it did do you think you would be welding with it .

Mike Holleman
12-27-2006, 05:40 AM
I started out with a cheap Campbell Hausfield mig and it did a lousey job. I stepped up to a small Miller and what a difference. Also the gas used with a MIG is non flammable. It creates a shield around the arc.
Mike Holleman

12-27-2006, 09:44 AM
Get the gas and don't look back. The flux core stuff is to messy and a PITA go get clean welds.

Do it right the first time and save yourself $$ in the long run. You'll be sorry if you use flux core instead of gas to put panels on.

12-27-2006, 01:08 PM
I've got a lincoln mig pak 100 plugs into 110v and I agree with the above posts GET THE GAS!!! the flux core is really messy it leaves little balls of weld all over the place. I've had my welder for 10 years now had a dozen or so 10lbs wire spools run thru it and never had a problem or a part to replace yet . Hope that helps!

12-27-2006, 01:48 PM
I agree with the above posts. Get the gas and also spend the money on a name brand(miller, lincoln, hobart). Don't be fooled by the one knob to weld a certain metal thickness. I have a cheap one and it's a pain in the rear because it does not have enough adjustment between heat settings. Mine has a selector switch(1-4) but there have been so many times that i need 3.5 or 2.5 for example. Spend the money and get a good welder you will be happier in the long run. Also you are going to weld more than panels, floors, trunks etc. Believe me, once you start welding you will come up with all kinds of projects to build, so buy one that is one step above what you think you will need.Just my .02

Camaro Zach
12-27-2006, 07:54 PM
First off the *Gas* everyone is referring to is an Argon/c25 mix (75/25 is most commonly used) As previously stated it is a non flamable gas and if the bottle is securely fastened to whatever you will not have any problems.

Really flux cored wire is ok aside from the added cleanup and fumes. The welds will be of about the same strength. However flux cored wire tends to burn hotter and can be a pita on thin metal < 16ga. steel. So if you plan on doing alot of body work on your car I higly suggest getting a unit which uses solid steel wire and shielding gas.

As for machines I am biased toward Miller but my first machine was a Lincoln pro core 100 (converted to a true "mig" to use shielding gas) And I must say it has been quite a good little machine. Actually burned through 3 lbs of wire today with it on a jobsite. Now i also own a MM 251 which is in a whole other spectrum as the lincoln and can easily burn through 40 lbs of wire in a day.

Anyways I would stick with the big three (miller lincoln and hobart) for a smaller 110v mig machine. Buy the biggest machine in your price range (most output) because you will always want to weld bigger and better things. But when picking out a machine pay attention to duty cycle (% of actual weld time within a 10 min period) as well as both wire speed and voltage adjustments.

David Pozzi
12-27-2006, 08:09 PM
Do a search of the old posts in the Tools section, lots of good info there on welders and welding.

01-19-2007, 09:46 PM
Ok while i cant knock the others units listed i got an ASTRO PNUEMATIC 110 mig and have had it on gas and flux core. The bad thing was it had a plastic wire liner but I found a different brand made from a spiral core like a choke cable and now it uses 035 flux core with ease.
It has the flip switches and I have never had any place ,so far, that I couldnt make it work.
NOW Termadyne has an awesome device called the Dragster 85 (http://www.thermadyne.com/evolution/brandProductSpecific.asp?mernbr=1&div=tai&catnbr=98&pdtnbr=553) which is a small 110 stick welder AND a scratch TIG.
THIS UNIT IS AWESOME and I will have one home this year as taxes come back.
You can also look into other things Thermadyne makes too but for panel repalcement TIG is best as it requires little or no clean up and if you fit parts good enough you dont even have to use a rod to mate panels, been ther and done that.
I do like Hobarts Handler line of MIGS to and like they said as for gas problems the only thing you have to do is get your self a good bottle cart as the falling bottle can break off the valve and then you get a nice rocket through the building IF IT BREAKS. In high school I busted a couple of guages on an Aceteleyne torch oxy bottle, it never broke off.
The big thing is make sure you have no flammables on the floor or exposed wood, paper,insulation,etc at edges of walls in garage. I personally like the idea of jhaving a metal base board around tthe garage anyway and metal inside panels make it safer if you do have problems.
my buddy pulled all of his base boardsand double wrapped them in the aluminum flashing available at LOWES/MENARDS/etc. and this made it "legal for his insurance.
OH and he also made an out side shed for his gas torch and simply ran one of the reel units available for on road service truck and a lot of hose, he slides open a metal hatch and reels out hose to reach and its handy as he has stands to keep them off the floor too so he never burns or runs over them. AND he built the wall side very sturdy out of steel fence posts and only enough bracing in wood to provide antitheft protection so if they would explode they should mostly blow away from the garage and he added and older comercially charged range extinguisher inside of there so it can keep them safe(he also got a big break on insurance and now its charge with Purple K over soda (soda is for grease fires the purple K comes out as foam AND he has a small hose he can direct into the shop too!
Check out the terhadyne stuff as they make a lot of parts other companies use to build thier units.
Good luck
Lee abel