Jump to content

Harbor Freight MIG Welder.....help


Paul Bruchal
 Share

Recommended Posts

don't get it. go to a pawn shop or surf craigslist for a lincoln or miller. i have a miller 135 that i got from my boss, that got it from a pawnshop for around $200. it works fine for thin stuff using argon (up to 1/8 with gas/ 3/16 with flux). it has the wire speed, and voltage settings that your can adjust. ive been doing a few patch panels on my mj, for how thin the metal is i had a much easier time welding with the argon, compared to doing the same panel with my neighbors lincoln and flux core.

 

i believe that harbor freight has wire speed but for the voltage you choose between low/high, much like an old crafsman my buddy had the was a pos in my opnion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You get the gas already mixed in a bottle. Anything pertaining to welding equipment is "you get what you pay for." I have used those Harbor Freight Machines and they actually do work ok. Yes probably good enough for some body work. But it COULD only last you one project...I vote Hobart or Miller 110 volt machine..I have a Lincoln, they are expensive and not worth the premium price IMO (bought it used from my uncle)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lincoln... you are paying for a name and the oversized bonuses they hand out to employees.

 

I actually have that HF machine... realize what it is and what it isn't and you will be alot happier with your decision.

 

First.. the HF wire SUCKS.... get better wire, makes a world of difference with it.

Second... cleanliness of your work pieces matter. With only two voltage settings(and flux core wire) you need the work pieces as clean as possible to get good welds. Flux core likes to splatter and with only two voltage settings sometimes it can be a bit tough to keep the heat under control.

 

I have welded 2x2x.25 square tubing with the welder. BUT... it had to completely clean and make more than one pass with it to get decent penetration. I have also welded as thin as 18 gauge and lots of exhaust tubing. Anything thinner is really a challenge, even the low setting on the machine has you either leaving huge splatter and crap welds, or blowing through the material. Having gas and using solid wire would make a big difference.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It doesn't make any difference what you get, if you don't know how to use it, it ain't gonna work. In 1952 I bought a Craftsman 225 Amp buzz box for $79.95. On sale, hood, pick hammer, leads and a 5lb box of 5/32 6013 included. I have a Millermatic wire feed and a Lincoln Ranger LN8. I still have that Craftsman and I probably do 95% of my welding with it. A couple years ago I got a HF wire feed. It was worth exactly what I paid for it. With a little practice and getting used to it a fella could turn out some acceptable welds. I gave it to a kid that comes around and helps me. A craftsman is no better than his tools and and a tool is no better than the man using it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lincoln... you are paying for a name and the oversized bonuses they hand out to employees.

 

What about the shiny red paint job? In my opinion they deserve a big bonus, because my Lincoln is amazing.

 

You get what you pay for.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lincoln... you are paying for a name and the oversized bonuses they hand out to employees.

 

What about the shiny red paint job? In my opinion they deserve a big bonus, because my Lincoln is amazing.

 

You get what you pay for.

 

 

is that like what you get when you buy a john deer? cause i've never owned a good one, and those things are expensive....

 

 

and like an expensive hooker, too? it doesn't matter how good she was when you still get aids...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

and like an expensive hooker, too? it doesn't matter how good she was when you still get aids...

 

You don't get AIDS from a female hooker. And an expensive hooker is always better than the cheap one.

 

You get what you pay for.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

a tool is no better than the man using it.

so when i went to HF and bought some cheap tubing wrenches that fit nothing (standard/metric was too loose/tight for any fitting without stripping it), thoes cheap wrenches were no better then me on the other end of them?? :fs1: that wrench set got tossed in the garbage can. :D i partly agree, you can have the nicest welder made, but if you don't know how to use it you will weld like crap, on the other hand sure some people might be able to learn how to weld good with a cheap piece of junk, but why not spend and extra $100 or $200 and get a decent little machine with a proven name that has real adjustments, not high/low. like darren said, you get what you pay for

Link to comment
Share on other sites

a tool is no better than the man using it.

so when i went to HF and bought some cheap tubing wrenches that fit nothing (standard/metric was too loose/tight for any fitting without stripping it), thoes cheap wrenches were no better then me on the other end of them?? :fs1: that wrench set got tossed in the garbage can. :D i partly agree, you can have the nicest welder made, but if you don't know how to use it you will weld like crap, on the other hand sure some people might be able to learn how to weld good with a cheap piece of junk, but why not spend and extra $100 or $200 and get a decent little machine with a proven name that has real adjustments, not high/low. like darren said, you get what you pay for

Thats where I'm coming from, I don't know anything about welding or body work. Thats why I was thinging about getting the cheapest one they got for sale. Who knows, I might be good at welding, just never knew it. I dough that tho :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

a tool is no better than the man using it.

so when i went to HF and bought some cheap tubing wrenches that fit nothing (standard/metric was too loose/tight for any fitting without stripping it), thoes cheap wrenches were no better then me on the other end of them?? :fs1: that wrench set got tossed in the garbage can. :D i partly agree, you can have the nicest welder made, but if you don't know how to use it you will weld like crap, on the other hand sure some people might be able to learn how to weld good with a cheap piece of junk, but why not spend and extra $100 or $200 and get a decent little machine with a proven name that has real adjustments, not high/low. like darren said, you get what you pay for

 

So you bought a set of those too,I heated mine up then forced a nut off the correct size through them so they fit now. So I guess Jims quote holds true,I was better then my wrenches.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

itll be alot easier to learn on a quality welder. i by no means call myself a welder because i work with a few guys that are great at it so i know what a good bead looks like, now i can lay a bead that looks decent (stick or mig) but I'm not up to par with my teachers. with that being said i have used garbage, and i have used $3000 welders. once you use something thats quality youll never want to touch that HF junk again. i have a ton of pawnshops around me that always have welders for pretty cheap. the person who sold mine to the pawnshop didnt know how to use it. i opened up the door and the wire was all tangled on the spool. within 2 mins i had it working fine. they had the polarity backwards for running flux core, and they had .035 wire trying to got thru a .030 tip. you will be much happier with a decent machine. i reccomend taking a little time to find a good deal rather then going out and spending $100 on sumthing down the road youll want to throw away.

 

So you bought a set of those too,I heated mine up then forced a nut off the correct size through them so they fit now. So I guess Jims quote holds true,I was better then my wrenches.

you can spend all day polishing a turd, but at the end of the day its still just a turd ;)

and I'm sure you know this but by heating them up to fit over the nut you just took even more strength out of the cheap wrenches

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I bought one to start out it does weld I am not a pro and had a rough time welding on a 4.0 exhaust Manifold for practice. My buddy tried it and knows how to weld and did make it work ok but he put some holes in it also. He tried some sheetmetal and could not do it as it just burned thru. He has a hobart he has close to $1000.00 that a dream but thats big money. If I had it to do again I would have bought one that would take the bottle and for all I will ever use it the HF that takes gas would have been fine. Buy what you can afford but do try to get one that will take the bottle. I do have my eye on a miller shopmaster that a local stoner up the road has and he has been selling everything he owns cheap to fund his new hobby. Looks like new if its under a grand I am going for it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I bought the Home Depot Lincoln (the Weld Pak 140, 120V) welder used on Craigslist from some random for $150. He bought it a while back, used it twice, and probably was never going to use it again. He also forgot how much he paid for it, so he listed it for $200 and I got him down to a buck fifty. Bought a cheap welding cart from HF for $40 and a gas conversion kit for about $100 and I've got a pretty capable little buzz box. I've been welding up a lot of 3/16" with it and it's been great, but I think that's about the limit. Thinnest I've done is 18Ga. and it did okay. I'm finally getting around to welding some thicker stuff and am contemplating getting a 220V unit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...