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Thinking about a MIG welder

Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Sep 28, 2015
38,136
Salem, Oregon
Those types of welders are out there but they tend to be prohibitively expensive, for the best all round I would stick with the Mig welder. As a qualified Arc welder I can tell you there is not much you cannot do with a decent Mig unit. Tig welding produces a beautiful product but it is also somewhat of an art and can be difficult to master.
Gotcha! Great advice. I’m assuming that with a good MIG welder, that would cover pretty much any of the little projects I would do on my Jeep?

Now I need to start looking at them. I want one that will be good for learning, but also last me for a long time to come, especially if I get more into it.

I’m hesitant to buy a HF welder for example.
 
OP
Rob5589

Rob5589

Certified video trained differential rebuilder
Supporting Member
Aug 29, 2016
6,297
W Sacramento, Kalifornia
Jim, is there decent mig unit out there for Chris and others out here for sub $500?
I researched it a bunch and the Hobart 500599 always came up as a great choice. It is right at 500. There were a few others cheaper but the didn't have the capability to use shielding gas or weld anything more than maybe 3/16".
 

TJ4Jim

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Dec 9, 2015
1,305
Brookings, Oregon
The Hobart Handler 140 is what I have been using for 10 years, great 110V mig welder and a good unit for all around work. I always thought that starting out with a 220V unit was at minimum but the 140 has done everything I have asked of it. If I was to upgrade it would be the base 220V Miller MIG.
 
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Jerry Bransford

TJ Guru
Supporting Member
Nov 9, 2015
10,965
Escondido California
Is it possible to buy a welder that can do MIG, but also do TIG, stick, and gas?
Miller just announced one, it's only $2999. :shocked: https://www.millerwelds.com/equipment/welders/multiprocess/multimatic-220-ac-dc-multiprocess-welder-m30190

Rob5589, I went through this maybe 12-13 years ago. I bought a Hobart 110 volt 135 amp MIG welder and it was great quality and did most of what I needed it to. The problem was when it didn't have the amperage capacity for anything larger on my Jeep like welding on skid plates, the frame, or big bumpers. Like trying to fry bacon with the heat from a match. I ended up selling that Hobart and replacing it with a 220v 180 amp MIG Autoset welder from Miller. For general purpose welding a 110 volt welder is usually ok but for a Jeep I'd recommend nothing smaller than a 180 amp MIG welder which requires a 220v outlet. You may think you will only want to weld smaller items but with Jeeps, you'll very likely have the need to weld on larger pieces that a 110v welder just doesn't have the heating capacity for.
 

Jerry Bransford

TJ Guru
Supporting Member
Nov 9, 2015
10,965
Escondido California
Interesting! Everyone I talk to keeps telling me 220V!
They're making that recommendation based on experience, not what they read on some forum. 110v welders can do a lot of good welding, I used my 110v welder with good results (usually) but once I needed to weld on some bigger pieces like my skidplate, it wasn't up to the job. For a Jeep? Go with a 220v MIG if you want to be able to weld anything on the Jeep. And yes MIG is the way to go. Hobart, Miller, and Lincoln are all great brands, any would be fine. I'd steer clear of any of Harbor Freight's welders. A 220V 180 amp MIG is up to anything on the Jeep.

I don't see the need to spend extra for a dual-voltage MIG welder unless you want to take it over to your buddy's house to help him out. For me, my 220v is all I need.
 

EBW

Member
Supporting Member
Dec 1, 2018
54
CA
Great info in this thread. I will add what little I know.

For the OP asking what additional items to add to the Hobart unit, it was mentioned before, is having gas. It makes a big difference on your weld and welding experience. I use 80/20 mix, but some use 75/25 mix.

Hobart is a great product. I have heard from many that they are older model Miller units that are repackaged for a much lesser price than the Miller brand.
I have a Millermatic 212 220v MIG that I absolutely LOVE. It has the autoset feature for when a person is still learning, but can be set any which way once you get the hang of it. Its not cheap, but I have found that during the Christmas shopping season, CYBERWELD.com has some really great deals. I guess folks aren't buying welders around Christmas.

Like others have stated, Practice on scrap. It really is satisfying when you can build, repair, fabricate your own parts with the help of a good welder.

I was taught by an old welder to use a Cursive "C" pattern when doing a weld pattern. There are many factors to this, IE: gauge of material, wire gauge, Arc settings, gas settings, etc that determine how fast your pass is. But the idea is you do Cursive CCCCCCCCC s across your area watching the flow of the material making sure it flows and isn't too hot ( blow out ) and not too cold ( bad penetration ). Only doing this and practicing will get the results you want.
Sheet metal is a different animal and again takes a different approach. But overall, having a good welder is half the battle.

Hobarts are nice machines !
Good luck and have fun
 

Jerry Bransford

TJ Guru
Supporting Member
Nov 9, 2015
10,965
Escondido California
Hobart is a great product. I have heard from many that they are older model Miller units that are repackaged for a much lesser price than the Miller brand.
Not true, they are two completely separate companies owned by a third larger corporation. They share some minor components now but but Hobart is definitely not getting Miller's hand-me-downs or older designs. :)
 

Mike_H

Rust Belt Heavyweight
Supporting Member
Feb 28, 2017
4,437
Grand Rapids, MI, United States
If you have 220V outlet, get a 220V welder. You will want the power, esp if you are going to be using it to weld frame and suspension brackets. That is one area where you need to avoid a cold weld. You can also dial it back for thinner stuff. For instance, I did all my sheetmetal welding with a 220V Lincoln. I also used the same welder to weld a 3/16" bracket to my axle housing.
 

StG58

Backwoods Amateur
Supporting Member
Oct 29, 2015
6,205
Orygun, the wet side...
Those types of welders are out there but they tend to be prohibitively expensive, for the best all round I would stick with the Mig welder. As a qualified Arc welder I can tell you there is not much you cannot do with a decent Mig unit. Tig welding produces a beautiful product but it is also somewhat of an art and can be difficult to master.
E71 T1 dual shield can be a work of art. Love the stuff. I prefer Miller machines, personally, they don't seem to be as "harsh" as Lincoln machines.
 

Jerry Bransford

TJ Guru
Supporting Member
Nov 9, 2015
10,965
Escondido California
If you have 220V outlet, get a 220V welder.
If you don't have a 220v outlet, install one or have it installed. I moved my gas dryer's unused 220v outlet out to the garage solely to power my welder. Took a couple hours start to finish. 220v is also available at the panel, an electrician can add a 220v outlet without much effort if house wiring isn't your thing. :)
 
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Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Sep 28, 2015
38,136
Salem, Oregon
If you don't have a 220v outlet, install one or have it installed. I moved my gas dryer's unused 220v outlet out to the garage solely to power my welder. Took a couple hours start to finish. 220v is also available at the panel, an electrician can add a 220v outlet without much effort if house wiring isn't your thing. :)
Yes, we converted a 120V outlet in my kitchen to 220V, it was actually very easy to do just from watching YouTube videos.
 
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RubiconMike

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Oct 25, 2018
298
Santa Cruz, CA
Here's a question for you guys who weld, when looking at a welder like this one:
https://www.millerwelds.com/equipment/welders/mig-gmaw/millermatic-212-auto-set-mig-welder-m00456

I see that there's an option that is over $1000 more that includes a spool gun. What is the spool gun for, do I need one for MIG welding, and is it really worth over $1000 more?
If it's the same as the optional spool gun for my 211, it's for aluminium. I'd pass until you learn to weld steel, and have a need for welding aluminium.
 

Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Sep 28, 2015
38,136
Salem, Oregon
If it's the same as the optional spool gun for my 211, it's for aluminium. I'd pass until you learn to weld steel, and have a need for welding aluminium.
Ahh! I was under the impression that a TIG welder was used for aluminum and other alloys.
 

xackley

TJ Enthusiast
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B016R0FCSQ/?tag=wranglerorg-20
flux core welder, no snob appeal but it gets the job done. I have gone through a few rolls without problem. I bought it for mobility and thin stuff mostly. Long ago I picked up an old lincoln tombstone 225 ac stick welder I mostly use.

With MIG it is very important to have clean, shiny metal. Any rust, paint, dirt will result in a bad weld. Argon or CO gas is easier and prettier that flux core. 120v flux core is good for convenience. But I think the extra smoke and smaller puddle might make it harder to learn.

Last summer while riding my Guzzi, I spotted a piece of angle iron in the road. I stopped to throw it out of the way. It was laying in the road with hopes of cutting a tire, a tribute to very bad flux core weld application.

Get a bunch of scrap metal, grind it clean in the area you are about to weld, practice first just laying down a flat bead, then move onto a fillet, then v-groove.
Flat, horizontal, vertical, overhead. Then weld on a vehicle.

Don
 
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TJ4Jim

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Dec 9, 2015
1,305
Brookings, Oregon
Ahh! I was under the impression that a TIG welder was used for aluminum and other alloys.
One of the primary uses for TIG is welding Stainless piping for process piping (chemical process, food process and power piping) did a lot of that years ago at Maxwell House coffee. It's also popular for aluminum fabrication such as Marine applications. For food process the piping is capped on the ends and purged with Argon to prevent any interior weld contamination. One of the attributes of TIG is that it uses no fluxes of any kind hence the weld are very clean..