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Beginner Welding Setup

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  • #218493

    What tools do you guys recommend as “must own” for somebody who is wanting to get into welding?

    John S

    #218505
    hgonzalez7
    Pro
    San Antonio, Texas

    I don’t know if there are any “must own” tools outside of safety gear. That said, a auto-darkening mask is very helpful.

    Bert

    #218507
    Sprokitz
    Pro
    Eastern shore of, Pa

    A variety of different grinders and wheels and discs to go with. Metal chop saw, burning/cutting outfit.

    #218508
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    A teacher LOL, Take a class at the nearest college. You won’t learn it from reading a book, And Practice practice practice

    #218511

    A teacher LOL, Take a class at the nearest college. You won’t learn it from reading a book, And Practice practice practice

    Sage words of advice Dabbs. Our local technical college has welding classes. Unless you do a lot of welding though it would seem to be cheaper to take something to someone and have them do it.

    #218512
    TimelessQuality
    Pro
    Central America, (Kansas)

    An Oxy-Acetylene rig will give you both cutting and ‘welding’ (braze) capability…

    A little hf flux-core mig will get you started for cheap..

    Ditto on the classes though.. it’s too much to pick up out of book

    --Steve

    #218518
    thedude306
    Moderator
    Foam Lake, SK

    I wish I would have listened years ago when I asked this question. Now can you get away with less?? Sure. I wouldn’t want to and since you asked for must haves not “what’s the minimum I need”

    Must haves:

    220v Mig welder on shielding gas with Al spool gun
    Tig welder for speciality metals
    Plasma cutter (that means larger air compressor)
    Grinder
    Proper PE
    $$$$$$ for all of the above.

    Nice to haves:

    Auto darkening helmet. I almost put this in the must have as they are cheap
    Welding jacket. LOVE mine
    Welding table
    More grinders.

    Brad T
    Self employed Pro since 2014!!

    #218526
    kurt@welkerhomes.com
    Moderator
    Owatonna, MN - Minnesota

    If I did not know how to weld I don’t think I would spend the money on the equipment. You can get started for the least cost with a good old fashioned stick welder. gloves, and a shield are a must. while the stick welder is basically only good for steel, it is an economical way to go. I know someone who welds a lot more would tell you a mig or wire feed is the way to go, but that will be more $$$.

    I have a wire feed but find myself using the sticks a lot more because that is what I learned on. The wire feed is nice but not a must have. some people say it is easier using a wire feed, but being used to a stick machine, I don’t see a lot of difference.

    In the end it all comes down to preference and budget.

    #218532
    DesertDeuces
    Pro
    Indio, CA

    A teacher LOL, Take a class at the nearest college. You won’t learn it from reading a book, And Practice practice practice

    Excellent advice! Every so often I check out the welding classes at the local college and never sign up. Still wishing. But, I’m thinking seriously about going back to take more automotive repair classes so I can use their lifts again.

    But, best advice on the welding classes, Dabbs.

    Pat

    #218590
    thedude306
    Moderator
    Foam Lake, SK

    I also learned on stick and my TIG is a stick machine. There are some things that you just need a stick for. Welding outside (easier then changing to flux core wire) welding cast, welding heavy plate (faster then MIG) and welding some carbide can only be done with stick.

    BUT, mig is the way to go these days. Better control, better versatility, easier to use, cleaner, better welds (for the beginner) etc.

    On the cheaper side of things, get a 110 gas MIG welder, you can do a LOT with that little machine. I have a preference but it doesn’t matter if it’s Red or Blue. Get what has the best service in your area.

    Brad T
    Self employed Pro since 2014!!

    #218591
    jponto07
    Moderator
    Bloomington, IN

    I’m in need of a welder actually. I’ve only used a super cheap wire feed and it didn’t go well…I played with it for about ten minutes and never got an arc…just more and more wire.

    I’d love a Miller 211, but I can’t justify dropping that kind of money…any suggestions for mild steel? Mostly thin stuff.

    Jon P.
    Timber Carpentry & Construction
    https://www.facebook.com/timbercarpentry/
    Instagram

    #218598
    thedude306
    Moderator
    Foam Lake, SK

    We have a miller 210 and 252. Love these machines.

    I would take a serious look at the Hobart 190. They often go on sale and are great serious hobby machine. Their duty cycle is a little lower but won’t be an issue for 99% of those that use them.

    Brad T
    Self employed Pro since 2014!!

    #218600
    ChadM
    Moderator
    East Palestine, Ohio

    I agree on taking classes – I taught myself to weld and it was a long, frustrating process.

    As far as must haves :

    Auto dark helmet
    Welding gloves
    Welding jacket
    Grinder

    Brad is right, a beginner can pick up a decent welder cheap. You can pick up a 110v MIG for around $150 and a cheap 110v stick welder can be had for around $80.

    Chad

    A Working Pro since 1993

    Member since 12/07/2013

    #218616
    jponto07
    Moderator
    Bloomington, IN

    I agree on taking classes – I taught myself to weld and it was a long, frustrating process.

    As far as must haves :

    Auto dark helmet
    Welding gloves
    Welding jacket
    Grinder

    Brad is right, a beginner can pick up a decent welder cheap. You can pick up a 110v MIG for around $150 and a cheap 110v stick welder can be had for around $80.

    Would you ever recommend one of those cheap MIG units? Ive got some office chairs and desks that need repair, so nothing heavy.

    Jon P.
    Timber Carpentry & Construction
    https://www.facebook.com/timbercarpentry/
    Instagram

    #218619
    ChadM
    Moderator
    East Palestine, Ohio

    @jponto07 Yes, I would recommend the MIG units, especially if you are just going to be doing occasional, light work with it. I have one of these units from Tractor Suppy – it’s a decent little welder and should work great for repairing office chairs and desks.

    http://www.tractorsupply.com/en/store/jobsmartreg%3B-125-amp-mig-fluxcore-welder

    Chad

    A Working Pro since 1993

    Member since 12/07/2013

    #218620
    Dustincoc
    Pro
    Madrid, NY

    An Oxy-Acetylene rig will give you both cutting and ‘welding’ (braze) capability…

    A little hf flux-core mig will get you started for cheap..

    Ditto on the classes though.. it’s too much to pick up out of book

    I also learned on stick and my TIG is a stick machine. There are some things that you just need a stick for. Welding outside (easier then changing to flux core wire) welding cast, welding heavy plate (faster then MIG) and welding some carbide can only be done with stick.

    BUT, mig is the way to go these days. Better control, better versatility, easier to use, cleaner, better welds (for the beginner) etc.

    On the cheaper side of things, get a 110 gas MIG welder, you can do a LOT with that little machine. I have a preference but it doesn’t matter if it’s Red or Blue. Get what has the best service in your area.

    I’m going to say to go with a gas shielded MIG which is the easiest to learn on. Make sure to go with one of the big 3 name brabds(Hobart, Miller, or Lincoln). I have a cheapy flux-core(JobSmart 125 from Tractor Supply) and my father who welded for a living for 35 years can’t even get a decent weld out of the thing. I sometimes can but its sporatic. I originally learned on a gas-shielded mig(can’t remember the brand, but it was either red or blue) and once I got back in the hang of it(I only welded once every 2-3 months, if that often), laying a decent weld was easy.

    An auto-darkening helmet is also a near must-have. A grinder or 3 with a variety of metal wheels is also a necessity.

    Shop Blog: http://ravenbarsrepair.tumblr.com/
    Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCz498FKw9LF1awJsKIqhoxQ

    #218699

    This has been super helpful so far – thanks!

    Proper PE

    Sorry, what does this stand for?

    Any recommendations on brand for the auto darkening helmet, jacket, pants, gloves, etc…

    What about clamps?

    And I assume the best way to get a welding table is to make your own or get one off craigslist or something?

    And I have seen a lot of welding carts – those seem like a nice thing to have to move everything around and keep everything centrally located?

    John S

    #218708
    Dustincoc
    Pro
    Madrid, NY

    thedude306 wrote:

    Proper PE

    Sorry, what does this stand for?

    I think he meant PPE(personal protective equipment), at least that’s how I read it.

    One safety tip, make sure to wear long sleeves of some sort or you’ll end up with a pretty bad sunburn if you do more than a little welding.

    What about clamps?

    And I assume the best way to get a welding table is to make your own or get one off craigslist or something?

    And I have seen a lot of welding carts – those seem like a nice thing to have to move everything around and keep everything centrally located?

    A welding table it a bit more for advanced welders. Building a welding cart is a good project learn on.

    Shop Blog: http://ravenbarsrepair.tumblr.com/
    Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCz498FKw9LF1awJsKIqhoxQ

    #218730
    JackR
    Pro

    I’ve been thinking about getting a welder, not for the job but for my home garage. Every so often something breaks that can only be fixed properly with a quick weld. I have a little background but am no pro so I wonder , whats the best welding set up for this?

    #218737
    TimelessQuality
    Pro
    Central America, (Kansas)

    I’ve been thinking about getting a welder, not for the job but for my home garage. Every so often something breaks that can only be fixed properly with a quick weld. I have a little background but am no pro so I wonder , whats the best welding set up for this?

    I guess that depends on whet you have experience with.. Wire feed mig? Stick welding?

    --Steve

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