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    1. #1
      Join Date
      Aug 2004
      Posts
      4

      Home Mig Welder (110V vs. 220V)

      Any of you welders out there have any advice on a decent mig welder for the home shop? I have always taken my stuff to work to weld w/ the full size welders and do not know anything about the small ones. Miller 135, Hobert 180 , Firepower, Clarke. Are some of the ones that I have been looking at. Do I need a 220v, or will a 110 work OK? I was thinking I would like at least 130 amps. Thanks for any input.

      Last edited by [email protected]; 10-28-2004 at 11:58 AM. Reason: Clarified title


    2. #2
      Join Date
      Nov 2003
      Location
      Maine
      Posts
      1,076

      welder

      let us know what you want to do with it, i would suggest a lincoln sp175 or a miller 175, something thats 230 volt,175 amp will do anything you need to on a muscle car, the 110 volt ones are okay but you are limited to sheetmetal, etc,if money is a concern i would much rather have a used 175 than a new 100 or 135 welder, let us know
      jake

    3. #3
      Join Date
      Aug 2004
      Posts
      4

      Home welder

      Thanks Jake, the welding i would do at home would be stuff like exhaust work, little things around the house like a braket that broke on my log splitter last week, side rails on my trailer. Nothing heaver than .25". I am thinking about doing a mini tub on the camaro this winter. Would use it to tack up the 9" rear once i decide on on how wide to make it, but would take it in to work to finish weld w/ larger welder.
      Kent

    4. #4
      Join Date
      Nov 2003
      Location
      Paradise, Ca
      Posts
      1,411
      For 1/4" mild steel you're looking at atleast a 175/180 class MIG. I'm a big Miller fan, but tested the new Hobart 180 before it came out. It's an excellent machine for what you're wanting to do with it. (It's 220)

      Any 110v machine will not do 1/4" mild steel correctly.
      -Matt

      Welders: The only people that think a co-worker catching on fire is funny.

    5. #5
      Join Date
      Oct 2004
      Location
      NJ
      Posts
      765
      Country Flag: United States

      1/4 inch steel

      i have a 110v miller and used it to weld in my chassis to my camaro, some of the plates that the chassis is tied into is almost 1/4 inch and it welds it fine with .030 wire , if it does not weld 1/4 do two passes it will work.

    6. #6
      Join Date
      Nov 2003
      Location
      Paradise, Ca
      Posts
      1,411
      Almost 1/4". What does that mean? And what thickness were you welding them to?

      Can you please tell me why two passes is better than one? On what type of joint?

      and it welds it fine with .030 wire
      Have you done any destructive testing to verify this?
      -Matt

      Welders: The only people that think a co-worker catching on fire is funny.

    7. #7
      Join Date
      Oct 2004
      Location
      NJ
      Posts
      765
      Country Flag: United States

      weld

      i was wrong it was 3/16 plate but it still welded fine with .030. you do not need to spend the money on a big welder if you are doing anything 1/4 and smaller. if the big welder does not have a fine setting sheet metal work will be hard. as for destructive testing i will let you know when the car is done, 600hp if it does not crack or break the welds i will be happy. and about two passes on a weld, i have done it on occasion, my buddy is a certified welder and told me to do it if needed.

    8. #8
      Join Date
      Aug 2003
      Location
      Orlando, FL
      Posts
      8,749

      two passes

      Actually mulitple passes are often required in certified weldings. The amphibious buses we build are US Coast Guard certified vessels, and have to be inspected through the fit up, then the welding process, amoung other things. There are specific requirments and procedures for various welding task. One example, with 1/4" butt welds, they material has to be camfered, gaped, and welded with 3 passes for full penetration.
      Multiple passes of heavy material is common place.
      As far as welders, I have only Esab's migs in my shop, but they are a bit pricy for a hobbist. I have never used a 110 mig I was happy with. I hate using a welder at full capacity on heavy stuff. A good quality 220, 175 amp or up welder from Miller, Lincoln, Esab, etc, will have good steady current for thin sheetmeal, to any heavy gauge you would use on a auto project.

    9. #9
      Join Date
      Sep 2004
      Location
      Orange Park, FL
      Posts
      40
      I just bought a Lincoln 175 off of Ebay; I will report back when I get it and have a chance to mess around with it a bit. I have a large Miller TIG at home, but I really wanted a MIG for those places under the car so I can stop trying to lay on the pedal, hold myself up with one hand, the filler rod in my teeth...
      Kendall Frederick
      Orange Park, FL
      various cars, some running
      SecondHand Six Racing

    10. #10
      Join Date
      Nov 2003
      Location
      Paradise, Ca
      Posts
      1,411
      Kendall, #'s 4, 5 & 6 down from the top.

      Re: multiple pass MIG hard wire welds. On that 1/4" butt weld, you'll note that none of the passes are directly on top of each other. One is a root pass...that fills the "gap", or open root of the joint, and is where the full penetration comes from. The second pass is to fill in one side of the joint, and the third to fill in the other side, consequently making a convex weld profile. The welds you referenced are only visually inspected...if they were to be X-ray'd or radiographically tested, they'd grind each pass down to bare, solid metal before the consequent passes. Outside corners are the same.

      Multiple pass fillet welds on thicker sections serves only two purposes, and those are to 1) create a larger gusset effect, and 2) to tie more of the two pieces into each other. #2 should not be misinterpreted as more penetration.

      If you were to run a fillet or lap weld on, let's say, a tube to plate joint, then run another pass directly over the first, you would be gaining NOTHING. All you're doing is piling up more filler material, with no further penetration.

      This is also why it's extremely important to stay in the leading edge of the puddle. If your travel speed is too slow for the amperage you're running, the heat won't get a chance to get into the root of the joint and just pile filler metal on filler metal.

      So let's say you have a 110V 135 amp machine, and you weld some 1/2" plate together. You obviously will have too little penetration. Now, go ahead and run 15 more passes. It'll be insignificantly stronger, yes, but it will, in effect, just be a bigger weld with the same lack of penetration. Now, if you ran those same 15 passes directly on top of each other, you wouldn't even have the minute advantage of more surface area tied together.

      Multiple passes are NOT a means of making up for having a baby MIG. You need the correct amperage for the sections you're welding.
      Last edited by [email protected]; 10-23-2004 at 10:52 PM.
      -Matt

      Welders: The only people that think a co-worker catching on fire is funny.

    11. #11
      Join Date
      Jun 2002
      Location
      Oregon
      Posts
      1,387
      Country Flag: United States
      Hobart 180 :icon996:
      Tony

    12. #12
      Join Date
      Jun 2002
      Location
      Oregon
      Posts
      1,387
      Country Flag: United States
      After doing some research and talking to Matt I bought this one, it should do everything I need and I thought it was a good price especially since it came with the cart and free shipping. I get it Monday...can't wait!!!
      Tony

    13. #13
      Join Date
      Nov 2003
      Location
      Paradise, Ca
      Posts
      1,411
      Congrats, you'll love it. Now the next trick is wiring your garage for 220 without blowing the place up.
      -Matt

      Welders: The only people that think a co-worker catching on fire is funny.

    14. #14
      Join Date
      Jun 2002
      Location
      Oregon
      Posts
      1,387
      Country Flag: United States
      Thanks!!

      Actually wiring the 220 is the easy part...laying down a weld like yours is the tuff part!!

      Thanks again for all your help.
      Tony

    15. #15
      Join Date
      Oct 2004
      Location
      NJ
      Posts
      765
      Country Flag: United States

      welds

      Matt i think your getting way too technical for chassis mods. if any person knows how to weld correctly (and i am far from an expert) anything on the cars i work on can be welded with a (quality) 110v. if it were thicker than 1/4 inch it is way to heavy and probably overkill for even an all out race car. have you seen 1/4 to 1/4 plate or tube on a street car? like i said if my car falls apart i would be the first to admit i was wrong. worse off the car would be junk by that point.

    16. #16
      Join Date
      Oct 2004
      Location
      NJ
      Posts
      765
      Country Flag: United States

      weld

      that hobart looks nice good luck, and not much more money than a 110v. it looks like it has a fine setting for sheet metal, even if you need to weld thin stuff use a backer of copper , i have a spot weld clamp (eastwood) with a copper backer and it takes a higher setting with out blowing through.

    17. #17
      Join Date
      Nov 2003
      Location
      Maine
      Posts
      1,076

      175 class welder

      i would go no smaller than a 230 volt 175 amp welder, they are not to much more than a 135 and weld so much better, yeah 110's will do it but not like a 175, also most any mig welder below a 250 machine has low enough settings to weld any type of sheetemtal, we're not talking arc welding [email protected] on top of that keep using a high heat setting with a copper back plate and you will have warped mess on your hands

    18. #18
      Join Date
      Nov 2003
      Location
      Paradise, Ca
      Posts
      1,411
      Matt i think your getting way too technical for chassis mods.
      I'm a perfectionist. There is no such thing as 'too technical' to me. I put my opinions on this board for others to sift through and dig out what they think will benifit them. If something I say doesn't apply to you or your project, then ignore it.


      If any person knows how to weld correctly...
      That's a big 'if'. In giving public advice on welding, I have to assume that the person it's directed to, and the people that might read it, do NOT know how to weld correctly. Anything less would essentially be a disservice to those that, in fact, don't know how to weld correctly. And to be perfectly honest, my guess is that 95% of the time, if someone can't pick out the welder that will fit them best, they're not a professional weldor, and they're probably in need of some help to be proficient in the process.

      have you seen 1/4 to 1/4 plate or tube on a street car?
      Nope. However, I have seen a lot of 1/4" to 1/8" and 1/4" to .083", and to weld those joints correctly, you need to be running as if you were welding 1/4" to 1/4". Otherwise, you'll get even poorer penetration on the 1/4" member. Ofcourse it depends on what the bracket is suppose to do, but I think you get my drift.

      like i said if my car falls apart i would be the first to admit i was wrong.
      Why would you even take that risk in the first place???? Yes, driving fast cars is risky in and of itself, but you can minimize risk...and that usually isn't done with a 110v MIG welder when talking about chassis stuff.
      -Matt

      Welders: The only people that think a co-worker catching on fire is funny.

    19. #19
      Join Date
      Aug 2003
      Location
      Orlando, FL
      Posts
      8,749

      Matt, your hired!

      Excellent in depth answer. Probably more in depth then most here can injest, but excellent just the same.

    20. #20
      Join Date
      Dec 2004
      Location
      Atlanta, GA
      Posts
      10
      I just registered on this site: Been hearing about it from a close friend of mine for some time now. Lot of good info here.

      After reading this thread - I couldn't agree with Matt more, it makes little sense to say "that'll take care of it" when you are using equipment inadequate for the job to be completed with a high level of detail thus promoting a quality finished product.

      I haven't been around any metal shops or completed alot of things personally, but I do have a good standing of common sense.

      Especially if it comes a car and something traveling at a high rate of speed, it's not worth risking.

      IMO.

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