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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Brew Stands > What kind of welder and steel do I need for a brew stand?
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Old 03-09-2010, 11:45 PM   #1
ghart999
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Default What kind of welder and steel do I need for a brew stand?

I am looking to build a brew stand. Most likely a single tier stand with wheels. It would need to hold 3 keggles. I know nothing about welding, but will likely do some serious reading and playing before I start to build a stand. But first off I would like to know what kind of welder I need.

The challenge is the cheapest welder that will get the job done. Other requirement is it must be 110volt.

Obviously the material used is important, which is another question. I want to use the cheapest steel possible that will be sufficient in holding 3 keggles at one time. Should I use the stuff I can find at Lowes or do I need higher quality, thickness, etc.

I would love to find something used if possible. Build my rig and then sell it again. But if I can buy a new Harbour Freight $300 welder that would be sufficient that would be cool too.

Basically, tell me what features I need, etc and maybe even model numbers. Thanks all.

Gregg

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Old 03-10-2010, 12:00 AM   #2
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I can't really speak to what welder to get. I've been paying a welder by the hour to build my stand. I used (cheap) mild steel. 16 guage 1.5" square tube. I used about 40 feet in my design. Steel was about $55 at a local steel supplier. Same thing in stainless was about $150... and would have been tougher to weld. It was all MIG welded except the gas beam which was TIG welded. You can check the link in my sig for my 'new rig' to see where I'm at in the process.

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Old 03-10-2010, 12:23 AM   #3
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What material are you hoping to weld.

SST? MIG or TIG
Aluminum? TIG You could do MIG but you'll need a spool feeder.
Steel? Stick welder, gas torch, MIG or TIG

Wood and concrete? No welder at all.

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Old 03-10-2010, 02:24 AM   #4
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Would be welding milled steel. Probably similar to diatonic. Maybe 1.5" square tube.

Could I get by with a wire fed welder? The easier the better for me. BUt want to make sure it can do strong enough welds to hold 3 keggles too.

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Old 03-10-2010, 02:49 AM   #5
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you only need 16g to 1/8 on the heavy side for the tube thickness, any cheap mig will do but an investment in a lincon, or hobart/miller would be worth it if you planned on using it for other things and the consumables like tips and torches would be easier to find.

i have a hobart 120v mig and 120 plasma, the plasma broke and they honored the warranty no problem.

make sure to get a autodark helmet they are cheep at hd and lowes they even have welders for cheep.

any dirt cheep 120v will weld what you need and if you don't want to spend for a tank use .030 flux core, its a pit harder to use cause it smokes but it lay out nise when you get used to it.

you will also need a grinder to clean up after yourself and cut nicely

personaly i used 2" 16g tube and casters off an old craftsman tool box

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Old 03-10-2010, 03:52 AM   #6
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Cheapest possible?
My guess:
Harbor Freight has an entry level wire feed flux core only for $109. It comes with a 4" spool of wire and an extra tip. Get the auto-dark helmet for $49, wire brush $1.99, 3 pack of welding gloves $9.99. I would get at least the 3" poly casters w/brake $4.99 each. Total $189.94 + tax

I would buy the following to cut the steel in lengths. A 4 1/2" grinder for $19.99 and get an extra pack of wheels for $7.99 and a pack of cut off wheels for $7.99. If you don't have safety glasses $1.99, goggles $3.99 and ear plugs $1.99, get them while you're at Harbor Freight. Total $43.94 + tax

As mentioned before, get your steel from a steel supplier, not a harware store, they'll rape you. I would use 2" X 1/8" square tubing. There is more surface area for a novice to get a better weld and it's thick enough where it won't blow through as easily.

Now, you asked for the cheapest route. I'm pretty sure this is it. This should get you where you want to be. The welding machine will last long enough to get your frame welded. Even if it doesn't, you can take it back and get another one under warrenty. Ditto the grinder. I wouldn't risk the $7.99 grinder, you want to work for at least a couple of hours without stopping for tool replacement. I'm not being a smart a$$, we all have limits and constraints on what we can spend and do. You will not be able to make your keggles using this welding machine. In all honesty, you're probably better off paying/bartering a welder to make those when you're ready. Good luck, and let us know what you decide. - Dwain
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Old 03-10-2010, 04:44 AM   #7
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Thanks Dwain. I have a Dewalt angle grinder already. So I can use that for cuts? I thought I was going to need a chop saw or something. But great if the angle grinder will work.

Any advantage to spending $200-$250 on a wire fed welder from either Harbour Freight or elsewhere local such as Sears, HD, Lowes?

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Old 03-10-2010, 05:56 AM   #8
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The welder I used is listed in here. its a flux core welder. Cost less then $170
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/weld...-build-164749/

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Old 03-10-2010, 06:02 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthernYankee View Post
The welder I used is listed in here. its a flux core welder. Cost less then $170
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/weld...-build-164749/
Thanks for the link. This will likely be a good read for me. Did you think the 16 ga was thick enough for your needs?
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Old 03-10-2010, 06:07 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghart999 View Post
Thanks Dwain. I have a Dewalt angle grinder already. So I can use that for cuts? I thought I was going to need a chop saw or something. But great if the angle grinder will work.

Any advantage to spending $200-$250 on a wire fed welder from either Harbour Freight or elsewhere local such as Sears, HD, Lowes?
You could use a angle grinder with a cut off wheel. But the cuts wont be straight on the tubing. So when its time to line up the tubing and get everything square it will be very hard.
As indicated in my post above about welding. I spend know more then $175 out the door.
If you have a table saw you can buy a large cut off wheel made for metal from Lowes or HD.
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