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Getting into welding


beeiilll
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I want to get into welding so that I can make my own wireframes as well as structures and supports for display items.

I have for years made my own items out of Aluminum for computers and small projects by cutting and bolting aluminum stock together, but I feel that I need to get into using a welder to make items for this hobby since it would be too labor intensive and time consuming to try and mill things.

As well as using steel and stainless steel such as 1/4" rod for wireframes and flat and angle stock for mounting brackets and such will be much quicker and long term.

I have several ideas for large scale shooting stars and even an idea to make my house appear as a locomotive engine, hence the need to learn to weld.

Any of you veterans out there who do your own welding have any suggestions as to the type, size, and style of welder that would work good for this? I would need to be able to weld aluminum since I have a bunch of it available to me and the steel is not a problem since I have access to a somewhat local steel fabrication shop that sells anything I could possibly want.

I have seen that the basic welders most people recommend are Hobart, Lincoln, and Miller. I have been researching some welders and I am leaning towards a Millermatic 180 with the Auto Set feature and the Spoolgun option right now unless someone can point me to a better alternative.

I look forward to suggestions and the help (please).

Thanks

Bill

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SDembski wrote:

I prefer my Millermatic 140 though because it is more portable

I use the same one, great little machine that will weld anything a novice would want to do.
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Any Miller is a good choice.

The 180 is a good choice for small projects / wire frames, you won't have any regrets for that.

If for some reason you plan on welding larger items, items that can be operated and driven by people, structural things & continuous long periods of welding, don't mess around, get a quality 230v welder (I'm serious about this one). It will do the small stuff (very well) as well larger items.

Just remember, don't kink or tightly bend the cable that goes to the gun, it will throw fits down the road.

When you use the spool gun, really practice on scraps. It's more of an art than welding steel.

Have fun!

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  • 4 months later...

Some thoughts on welding. If you live in a rural area you need to check and see what type of welder brands are supported in your area.

I bought a 220 ac/dc unit. It does limit where I can weld. I have been thinking about getting a 110 unit so I can weld anywhere.

Having the dc to weld with has sure been nice. I have been doing enough welding that I am finally getting past always sticking my rod when I try and start a weld.

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