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  #1  
Old 09-05-2011, 10:44 PM
is thinning the herd
 
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Harbor Freight Welder

Does anyone have the el-cheapo harbor freight welder? You can buy them on ebay for like $150, or they are on sale at Harbor Freight for $120.

I am not restoring a Pagoda, or trying to build engine mounts, but in my MK2 I have all the interior out and someone drilled two holes in the floor for subwoofer wires, and on my fiero I need to patch a non structural part of sheet metal. I also find myself neededing to do non-stainless steel exhaust pipe welding.

Would this little welder do the job?

I know full well this welder won't lay jesse james "roll of nickels" welds and I won't be able to build a building, but can I do small jobs with it?

I know its a cheap one and not the best quality, but it'll be a hobby welder hardly something I'll be relying on for work anything like that.

I have used a rental, gas-less welder before and had great results, but that was a Lincoln, not a Harbor Freight. It costs $40 to rent the welder, for $120 I may as well own one if it works.

http://www.harborfreight.com/90-amp-flux-wire-welder-98871.html


There is also this one.

http://www.harborfreight.com/120-amp-230-volt-mig-and-flux-welder-97503.html

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  #2  
Old 09-05-2011, 10:49 PM
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I've got the first one and have been happy with it for the amount of welding I do.
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  #3  
Old 09-05-2011, 11:36 PM
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I've got the first one as well. It's served me well but I can only seem to make messy welds, however I am certainly a novice. It is actually not very good on thin metal, much better on thicker metal (22g and thicker, everything else will burn through unless you are VERY careful).
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  #4  
Old 09-06-2011, 12:16 AM
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A friend has the first one. He says that it's important to use a good quality wire. The HF stuff is rubbish. If you decide to buy it, look around as coupons can routinely be found for that welder for $89.
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  #5  
Old 09-06-2011, 12:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alabbasi View Post
A friend has the first one. He says that it's important to use a good quality wire. The HF stuff is rubbish. If you decide to buy it, look around as coupons can routinely be found for that welder for $89.
x2 on the wire, replace it with decent lincoln flux core (available at home depot). I got mine for $89 as well, they have it on sale constantly in my local store.
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  #6  
Old 09-06-2011, 12:23 AM
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Here you go.



The limit is only 5 per coupon so don't get too carried away
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  #7  
Old 09-06-2011, 03:10 AM
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I bought this guy last year for restoring my SD's and other misc projects..

A bit more expensive than the HF unit but it hasnt let me down yet.

I bought a small bottle for it too.

http://www.eastwood.com/mig-welder-110vac-135a-output.html
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  #8  
Old 09-06-2011, 04:53 AM
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I found a new Linclon 220V unit, the 175 HD from a guy on Craigslist for $400. I seriously doubt it was hot. The guy buys pallet fulls of odd lot merchandise - also sells Makita, etc., too much volume to be hot.

I'm challenged enough with my welding and I gather that it's more demanding with 110 so I guess I made the right choice. Oh well. It's a done deal.
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  #9  
Old 09-06-2011, 05:17 AM
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How does the wire feed on these units behave?

Has anyone had problems with that?
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  #10  
Old 09-06-2011, 03:07 PM
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One job I was on my bud had his pos harbour freight model mentioned above and I had my lincoln 110. A 20 yr professional welder was working with us and we had to put a piece of plate--an edge on a dozer bucket, The guy tried the HF and quickly disgarded it and did the job with my lincoln--he said he wouldn't even bother pissing on the HF.
He had to make three passes but secured 12" good enough to hold with the lincoln. I mainly use it on sheetmetal.
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  #11  
Old 09-06-2011, 03:13 PM
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I wouldn't weld anything to a dozer bucket with the HF welder either.
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  #12  
Old 09-06-2011, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panZZer View Post
One job I was on my bud had his pos harbour freight model mentioned above and I had my lincoln 110. A 20 yr professional welder was working with us and we had to put a piece of plate--an edge on a dozer bucket, The guy tried the HF and quickly disgarded it and did the job with my lincoln--he said he wouldn't even bother pissing on the HF.
He had to make three passes but secured 12" good enough to hold with the lincoln. I mainly use it on sheetmetal.
Kind of like bringing a knife to a gun fight.
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  #13  
Old 09-06-2011, 06:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesDean View Post
I bought this guy last year for restoring my SD's and other misc projects..

A bit more expensive than the HF unit but it hasnt let me down yet.

I bought a small bottle for it too.

http://www.eastwood.com/mig-welder-110vac-135a-output.html
That thing looks like an exact knock off of the Lincoln 135A welder. All the reviews are glowing. Where did you buy your small tank?
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  #14  
Old 09-06-2011, 07:07 PM
is thinning the herd
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Columbus, Ohio
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I bought the harbor freight one with the coupon, and went to lowes and bought a Lincoln helmet and spool of lincoln wire. Going to mess with it tonight.


Panzzer -
Quote:
hardly something I'll be relying on for work anything like that.
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  #15  
Old 09-06-2011, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DieselPaul View Post
I bought the harbor freight one with the coupon, and went to lowes and bought a Lincoln helmet and spool of lincoln wire. Going to mess with it tonight.


Panzzer -
Can't remember the quote I read in a welding book about cheap welders and duty cycles but it had something to do with smoke.

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