So I want to get started on welding, should I buy the 150A thingy or the 250A thingy? Whats the practical difference? Also looking for advice and tips on general welding.
With the 150A one you can use electrodes up to 3,2mm. With the 250 one up to 4mm maybe 5 if they dont have a thick flux. It also depends on the type and brand what amperage they need to be run on. You will be more limited with the 150A, but if thats good enough for what you want to weld, then get the 150 one and save some money.
Are they DC or AC?. I prefer AC runs smoother, no arc-blow,
check the duty-cyle. The 250 will probably have a higher one. meaning you can weld for a longer period of time with a higher amperage. Without the machine overheating.
That's what I did, and I went with cheap. If I break it, I didn't spend much. I could always step up later. If I don't break it, and do get a nicer machine, I could always give the cheap one to my kid. The look on his face the first time he got to see me weld through a mask was priceless. I'm sure he'll want it.
A duty-cycle of 10% means you can weld for 1 minute with full power 150A/250A. You could ask the manufactuur. I think its a DC. Because they marked the leads with a symbool for electrode holder and clamp. with an AC it doesnt matter on witch lead you place the holder or clamp. But cant be sure.
To specify, you can weld the dutycycle% out of 10min. 10% duty cycle means 1 minute of welding, 9minutes of waaaaaaaiting. There is probably several levels in the specs (or rather there HOPEFULLY is several levels) meaning that a more important percentage is one where you get longer wld times, a duty cycle of 40% is already something you actually can use. I run my compressor always too long as the duty cycle is shit, thankfully I don't have that same problem on the welder as it would piss me off. The welder is a 400V professional welder which I bought new. I recommend buying good gear used, especially shit like welders as a shit welder pisses you off.
If your planning on teaching yourself get the 150A, a welding book and start off with 3/32 6013 or 7018 rods. SMAW is a good starting point if your serious about learning to weld. If you want a "once in a blue moon" hobby just get a MIG welder like every other faggot. They are basically the glue guns of welding and a chimpanzee can operate one and lay down a decent weld.
I have same as one on the right just different brand name, didn't had any problems with it.
I started with youtube videos and playing with scrap metal.
start with 6013 rods and keep them in dry area.
Also nobody told me, but if you keep getting shit wields but everything how youtube tells you and start thinking that you just shit at wielding. All you need is just proper size rods. difference day and night.
pic related, after few youtube videos and playing with scrap and using incorrect size rod 1.6 mm or 1.8 mm
Later got 3.2 mm and finished wielding, looks a lot better, but don't have pictures.
Visit and STUDY the Miller website (great forum, free training videos) and Weldingweb (forum). Welding is a fairly complex subject and knowledge is power. I don't know your location (why don't people post that?) but the migwelding.uk forums are outstanding for those not in the US since they deal with brands available worldwide. You need to put in lots of hours practicing to get good. You'll need an angle grinder (I like Metabo and Makita but any well-rated unit will do) of at least SIX inch nominal capacity so you can run the 6" cutting discs which you will love using. You can also run common 4.5" grinding stones and (my preference) flap discs.
If you have the money, buy the best COMMERCIAL welding machine you can afford because they last decades and parts availability is superior to shit brands. Shitty welding machine are often annoying to use and maintain, while good welders are a joy for life. Every mechanic and gearhead should have at least one welding machine.
Used industrial stick welding machines are worth getting because there isn't a bunch of moving parts to fuck up as there are on used MIGs. (Used MIGs aren't too bad to repair but you want to weld, not troubeshoot.)
I live in Brazil, stuff here is pretty expensive (particularly power tools) and I'm also a student so I can't afford the nicest of the welding machines. I have a standard 4.5" 820W angle grinder (black&decker) and it suits me well.
How decent can one expect to get just hobby welding? Or will you always look like a fool to a professional?
Curious because it kinda seems pointless if its like "dedicate your life to this, or you may as well get a professional to do it because if you try yourself you will fuck up your project."
It's like riding a bike. Short of a serious head injury, you'll never forget how to do it. You might get a little rusty if it's been a while, but a little practice and you're back up to snuff.
I did almost exactly what you're doing, but I started super cheap, 80A DC machine. It seems to handle 3/32 (2mm ish) electrodes well, but 1/8 (3.2mm) it runs a bit cool.
I use it to weld up to 1/4" steel pretty well. It's not up to code or anything but it's strong. I got a 5lb box of 7018 and just started burning five rods a day and watching hours of youtube until I got it like you see. Not pretty, but for the hours and cost, plenty strong.
sure, hobbyists can make welds to a professional standard.
skilled amateur welders fly under the radar completely, so the internet only gets it's teeth into the most amazingly awful examples. that's why you see such negativity.
Awesome thanks. I always hear shit about how being a good welder takes a life time of practice and that unless you do it all day every day you won't ever be anything special, baring super simple flat mig welds. I find welding super interesting and fun and cool, but It's not really viable for me to make it my profession. So I was really bummed thinking I'd never be good at it. I was afraid I'd end up like one of those oh so handy Dads that think they can fix everything who tries to do some plumbing and does such a shitty job that when they bring the real plumber in they get told to just call a professional right away next time. If you know what I mean.
I went through this eight years ago. If all you want to do is stick pieces of metal together then get your self a stick or wire welder. If you want to shape weld and create metal sculptures, weld on a car bumper, and just have a wide range of things to do then get a oxygen acetylene set. Its cheaper to use. You can heat and forge metal in smaller applications. You can collect wire coat hangers for rod on simple welds. You can solder, braze, do aluminum, nickel and other metals. But if its just sticking pieces of stuff together get a buzz box and limit your self to and electric outlet.
These are pretty good, right?
Pretty sure I used one of these in 8th grade shop class.
Also comes in a AC/DC verison.
Structural engineer here:
Only books you need. Watch youtube to learn how to weld.
A gas rig is definitely not cheaper, especially for someone who isn't doing it every day. Gas isn't as cheap as electricity, especially if you're buying it in small quantities. Tanks aren't cheap, either, nor is getting them recertified every couple of years.
At best, gas costs about the same as a MIG setup.
You can get decent. Practice makes perfect, after all. It's just that professionals have a lot of practice, so you shouldn't expect to be AS good as someone who does it for a living unless you also put in a LOT of time. But "good enough" works fine for a lot of DIY stuff. For example, farmers typically have a welder around for basic repairs. Their stuff usually doesn't have to be pretty, pressure-rated, or safety-critical. If yours doesn't either, go ahead.
This one is decent for the price if you can get it in your country.
How decent can one expect to get just hobby welding?
You have to remember that most hobby things don't need maximum strength. I wouldn't want you welding up a race car tube frame for me but most things are not that.
As far as looks of the weld go, you can always grind a bit down and go over it again until you're happy. Good Luck!
You can get a standard set of tanks around here with gages tips and cart for $400 off craigslist. $30 to fill oxy, and $45 to fill acetylene. You exchange the tanks so there is no cert charge. If you aren't welding rockets or building a submarine you can use coat hangers,fencing wire or just about any type of metal as a filler. Electric welders only weld thats all they will ever do. Gas allows more options.
You probably should have mentioned your price limit and where you live so we can make some actual realistic recommendations. I know what I can get for a good price where I live but if you live in North Korea you probably won't have the same selection.
No idea. A lot of the his methods are antiquated. I would love for someone to rewrite Design of Welded Structures, and Design of Weldments. As those books stand now, I reference 3 pages. That is it.
Also, some of his worked examples are difficult to follow. He skips steps, sometimes many lines worth of algebraic simplification.
Are you blind? I told Hume to go with the bigger machine. That 150 amp is a 110 unit, my friend had one. The 250 machine is a 220. It's easier to learn on a larger machine because beginners will learn how to start an arc better
the 90 amp harbor freight wire fed mig is a cheap way to get started. its enough for thin shit and costs 100 bucks.
i started learning with a 12 volt battery charger, a framing square and a fishhook when i was a kid 30 years ago.
I only have 110 outlets, how bad is my idea of getting a 220V 250A welding machine and running it from a transformer like this?
current generates heat
welders are low voltage, high current.
inside the welder is essentially a huge step down transformer
the reason they have 220v supply is not because of the voltage itself but because the power available is doubled.
transformers work as follows:
(voltage x current) in = (voltage x current) out
so at 110v you would need double the current
current dictates the thickness of the cables, 220 stepped up from 110 the cable carrying the 110 will need to be able to carry twice the current which costs money or burns your house down. its the same reason utility lines are really high voltage because it reduces heat loss from current.
You can weld an impressive amount of work with a simple AC transformer stick machine, though DC capability is highly desirable. Used transformer machines are often good deals, especially if they are large and heavy enough to intimidate casual hobbyists. (You don't have to wear the thing after you get it home, and the first thing many weldors make for themselve is a rolling dolly for their machine.)
The nice thing is that even simple machines retain their utility for many years. I still have my Lincoln AC/DC transformer "buzzbox" I bought thirty years ago. I own a variety of industrial machines but the little Lincoln has a pleasant arc and gets the job done.
Also consider oxy-actylene welding. It requires no outside power, you can cut with a cutting torch or attachment, and you can braze and solder too. You can cut and braze, but not weld, with propane fuel and oxygen. Gas welding teaches puddle control and you can even do aluminum though that take a lot of practice.
I love mine. They are a classic transformer machine and with the right rods are versatile. If you can afford the AC/DC version of any stick welder get it. Many of the early ones have outlived their original owners.
The Miller Thunderbolt and Hobart equivalent are also excellent. I have Lincoln, Miller, ESAB, Thermal Arc and Hobart equipment. No brand zealotry on my part.
Any of the smaller 220 stick machines will run off a 50A single phase outlet, but if you don't mind not being able to max out the amp output they will also run off a typical US 30A dryer or range outlet. I still have my dryer plug to welder receptacle pigtail I made many years ago for the purpose.
Keep an eye out for a suitable long heavy duty extension cord. I watch flea markets etc for such things since the cost of new three-wire heavy duty cord is steep.
Also consider that many community colleges offer extension and continuing education classes in various subject matters. My local college offers an intro to welding 4 week course, 2 days a week.
So 110 is one leg of 110 power.
220 is two legs of 110 and one ground
If you attempt to run a 220 machine on 110 you will single leg it. Aka it won't run right. Migs will run the wire and tip, but not the gas circuit or whatever, and run on like 30hz instead of 60
Miller equipment is excellent as is Lincoln. Fucking fanbois piss me off. Get lives. Each company has its strong points. Smart weldors buy by MODEL, not brand.
Lincoln is more common on the pipeline, Miller TIGs are industry standard.
start with a cheap stick/SMAW machine. you just need electricity and an outlet that accommodates and some electrodes and thats it. no gas to worry about. you can find some cheap machines on crags list and such sites.
check out chuckE2009 on you tube as well as weldingtipsandtricks. chuckE2009 is good for beginners and intermediate. weldingtipsandtricks is for anything after that.
my best advice is to learn from some one that knows what they are doing first hand. learning from some one right beside you is second to none. i've seen guys that have convinced themselves they are welders but really they are guys who weld.
big fucking difference
roll cages seem to attract the worst of the worst.
lazy idiots don't want to cut the roof off the car or make big holes in the floor and drop the cage through to make the joints accessible, so they weld blindly into the back side with six inches of stickout.
That's what I mean. If someone is hiring a welder they expect them to be able to weld regardless of what material or method.
Start by asking, what wire you going to do with it for yourself then build on it.
Not having a dig at you personally but there's this trend on /diy/ where people want to be able to do something, get somewhere and earn money from it without spending on the tools and training and time to learn.
I understand, and I'm not expecting to just learn a little and land a great job. But as there's different courses and I'm completely unexperienced, I have no clue which one will get me a job for sure, which type of welding is the most difficult, Which type contains the most basic skill/knowledge.
I don't have the luxury to go through 3-4 classes and learn them all and delaying my income.
Yeah using a transformer will. That's not what you said. You said you need a 220v socket implying a 110v welder isn't capable of what a 220v welder is. OP would be better off buying a capable 110v welder or even a petrol welder.
I think it bears repeating how important duty cycle is here. A 100% duty cycle machine might be too expensive, but you want the highest duty cycle you can possibly afford. Check out Everlast - they're an inexpensive brand, but they offer a lot for the price. If money was no object, I'd say go for a Miller Dynasty or something like that, but Everlast is pretty good for the majority of home users and self-learners.
It's also chaper to run 220 over 110. My 220 stick at pulls 14 amps running at 160 amps while my 100 amp 110 unit pulls 21 amps at 100 amps. If you do serious welding buy a 220, best bang for your buck
>which one will get me a job for sure
No such thing, and which one will LIKELY get you a job depends on local demand (or how far you're willing to travel). All have strong demand in certain places, but none have employability everywhere.
This is not quite the case. For a high production environment, like professional manufacturing, a high duty cycle means less downtime and more profit. For a DIY home situation, you're probably not going to need to weld continuously for very long, and taking breaks is of little consequence. And the only "100% duty cycle machines" I know of are large wirefeed welders made to weld for hours at full output in professional settings. Dynasties are very nice machines, but they're made for TIG, so they don't have a 100% duty cycle at max output. They're pretty good, though — I've never overheated one.
I doubt even Brazil is that shit. Comparing the probability that op doesn't understand split phase with the availability of 3 phase is wide as fuck but you knew that which is why you posted it.
You can run. 220 machine off to alternate phasing 11 outlets using two spliced commons, and the two right had vertical holes. Make sure they phase alternate so you don't single leg (example, breaker 1 and 3, not breaker 1 and two since 1 and 2 phase together wheareas 1 and 3 phase alternately)
Source, my father 30 years electrical experience and teaching me how to ghetto rig welders to work
You're confusing the amps that go into it with the amps that come out of it.
Something that *pulled in* 250A would be sinking 27kw, an amount you'd see in an electric vehicle charger or a conveyor dishwasher.
You need to look in the manual and find out how many amps it actually draws. Chances are it'll be drawing over 30A if it's outputting 250A, but go check, that way you'll know what size breaker you actually need.
This works because this is how American 220v outlets actually work.
220v comes in at your house, and is fed into a center-tapped transformer to create a common and two opposing 110v legs. 220v sockets just have no common and both legs.
The last time I had something welded at my house a guy just showed up with an arc welder and just plugged into one of my sockets
Now reading through this thread I don't know how possible this is.
220v and likely a 15a breaker
The transformer is also power-rated, and I'd bet a fair amout of money on the rating being too low for an arc welder. You're better off buying a 3 phase inverter than trying to push the kilowatts through that puny transformer.
Possible but unlikely.
This was about 5 years ago before we had any inverter machines on the island and he is the kind of guy to weld in sandals, shorts, a vest and instead of a visor he just closed his eyes.
So if my breakers are at 5 amps for lights and 15 amps for wall sockets at 220v then what welder can I run through them?
>what welder can I run through them?
(max output amps) = (supply Volts) x (supply amps) x (welder efficiency) / (operating welding Voltage)
So plugging in your supply, 60% efficiency for a basic transformer unit, and 20V for stick, that gives a welder with a 100% duty cycle at 99 amps. That's enough to run 3/32" rods well, as well as some of the hotter 1/8" types.
Some considerations: Your supply is NOMINALLY 220V, but what is it actually, at the socket, and is it stable under heavy load? Operating Voltage for stick varies by arc length, and 20V represents close but not unreasonable. A breaker can typically support significantly higher than its rated current for brief periods, and that would probably let you bump up the welder output to 120A or so (enough to run most 1/8" electrodes) and still have a reasonable weld time. For comparison, a 90% efficient inverter could put out 148.5A at 100% and 178.2A with a similar degree of overload.
>the kind of guy to weld in sandals, shorts, a vest
That reminds me of a saying to the extent that real men (TM) slow grinding stones to a stop on their Speedos, which is all they wear when fabricating.
>instead of a visor he just closed his eyes.
I do that sometimes for TIG if I just have to buzz something quick.
>what is actually at the socket
It fluctuates wildly. Voltage drops as you turn on anything that draws more than an amp. The mains power supply also has voltage drops hundreds of times a day.
Those are the breakers on the panel for my main "wing"
The plugs are on a 2 x 30's, a 20 and a 40 amp breakers
ffs... MIG is so fucking easy to use that to get shit like that its like you need to try to fail, lol
I quess many people just get a mig welder and start pokin it around until the two pieces stick together well enough and the result usually looks like this
Lol. I have an ancient MIG - a SIP 120. It was always a POS. My bro and mates had figured it was all due to wire feed or lack of power, once I had a look at it - the fucking SIP POS torch had been cut back so many times to about 1 meter and just couldn't carry the current.
I converted over to Eurotorch. Million times better. But go for the 3 meter torch and you will probably need a new (narrower 0.8mm) liner too.
I got a full apron and gauntlet from Aldi for £10 and a auto darkening helmet for about £20.