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Old 11-09-2011, 12:38 AM   #1
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Default Welding

After much deliberation about how to get myself a brew stand (hiring a welder, buying a new one, buying slotted prefab peaces etc.). I have decided to just learn to weld myself and possibly spend less while acquiring a new skill.

I need some advice however...obviously. My goal is to number one purchase only what I need and nothing more at this time to save money. Then obviously learn to weld. I have no idea where to start accept that I see several options for pretty cheap on craigslist. I will be building something alongnthe lines of a Brutus first.... Dumbed down of course due to my limited knowledge. For the time I have no intentions of building anything larger. What is the most cost effective welder I should consider for such a project? I have not decided on what materials to use yet so flexibility is probably necessary.

Can you guys give me some input on what kind of welder will meet the requirements? Space and power supply rare nonissue.

Also before you guys lose your hair about safety precautions and all, I have a friend who will teach me how to weld and intend to take every single step towards safety that I can...... I am a natural worrier.

Thanks for all the help fellas a, I'm actually really excited to learn something new!

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Old 11-09-2011, 12:49 AM   #2
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This thread help me when I had a similar question: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/weld...estion-242846/

I have a cheapo 220v 120amp harbor freight mig/flux welder, it throws a bit of slag but does everything I ask it to. A lot of guys want you to spend a couple thousand dollars on a welder and associated equipment....for what you and I are doing, I really don't think all that is necessary. Whatever welder you chose, do yourself a big favor and get an auto-darkening helmet! Good luck, welding is a blast!

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Old 11-09-2011, 01:41 AM   #3
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Thanks for the tip! Can the welder referenced also weld stainless steel later on if needed?

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Old 11-09-2011, 02:19 AM   #4
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you have to decide what type of welding you want to do. mig,stick,tig? each has its advantages and disadvantages.

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Old 11-09-2011, 02:22 AM   #5
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110v buzz box. You're not building a bridge.

MIG is the easiest to pick up, and it'll do what's needed for a steel stand. Possibly aluminum too depending on how thick you want it.

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Old 11-09-2011, 02:31 AM   #6
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just get a basic 110V mig that is set up for flux core. Miller & Lincoln both make a decent one. They call them the "great electric caulk gun" for good reason.

Couple of really basic tips:

1) clip the ball off of the end of the wire with a pair of snips between welds. Makes it much easier to start your next weld.

2) never under-estimate the connection of your ground clamp to your work piece. Clean the metal good, and try to keep the ground close to your point of work.

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Old 11-09-2011, 11:51 AM   #7
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+1 on the cheap Harbor Freight Flux Core welder. Some of the true Iron workers will turn their nose up to that welder but its been great for me, an amateur. $99 at Harbor freight. Like was said, get an auto-darkening hood, it will make you happy to not hold that stupid shield. Get some decent welding gloves from a farm supply store on the cheap as well. An angle grinder is indespensible for cleaning off the welds. If you can afford it, a rot-zip is another cool little tool you will get endless use of and the wire brides make everything look pretty as well as easily cleaning off the slag &I any surface material prior to paint. All said & done I think I paid a total of $300 or maybe a little more for all the toolsand no w I have them &I can learn to use them better on new projects! A man can never have too many tools. One note, throw the wire that comes with the flux corr AWAY. Its cheap shoddy material &I it sucks. Pick yourself up some Lincoln.35 wire. For the win! !!

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Old 11-09-2011, 01:47 PM   #8
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Keep in mind all the other consumables you'll need as well. Angle grinder, grinding wheels, flap wheels, Helmet, Gloves, Chop Saw, Chop Saw blades, zip discs, C-clamps, etc. All of this will add up too.

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Old 11-09-2011, 01:49 PM   #9
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Good info here-

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/weld...-build-164749/

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Old 11-09-2011, 02:09 PM   #10
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I got the harbor freight mig flux core with the optional gas connection. I tried flux core for a bit but man is it splattery/smoky. I hooked up my extra CO2 tank and put some solid core in the machine and it was a lot more enjoyable to work with.

Don't skimp on safety gear. I got the cheap HF welding gloves and the seam at the thumb opened up just big enough for a sparkler to jump in and burn me good right on the thumb web.

I would NEVER discourage someone from buying a MIG and learning how to stick metal together whether it's slightly less cost effective than hiring out or not.

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