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Old 10-04-2003, 12:28 PM
54Guy 54Guy is offline
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Question What's the BEST CHEAP welder under $130 ???

OK, I know everybody is gonna post I need a $400 to $600 welder. I DON'T have $600 to spend on a welder. Like most guys I can afford up to about $130. I have a '54 Ford pickup I want to weld up the rusty running board mounting-bolt holes in the rear stepside fenders. The rusted out areas on the fenders are about the size of a business card. I already have the patch panel, and now I need a welder to do the job. I've seen one at Wal-Mart for around $70-$80 or so. Says it will weld up to 1/8" thick. And Harbor Freight sells one that runs around $80 to $100 or so, that is either 115 OR 220 volts, depending on how you want to wire it, but has very little info available with it for a novice. Supposedly this one has the ability to weld up to 1/4" thick steel. They claim. But more info on it seems scarce to me.

Anyhow, I planned to us a panel flanger to crimp the edge of the patch panel and then weld it into place. Any equipment recommendations in that price range are welcome. Any out of that price range are pretty much a waste of time, as no more dough, and I ain't getting a loan for this. Thanks!
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Old 10-04-2003, 12:34 PM
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Harmening Harmening is offline
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If you're looking to only spend that much, then it doesn't matter what brand you buy. You're going to have a piece of crap. No offense, but they just don't make decent one's for that much.
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Old 10-04-2003, 12:55 PM
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I believe your only alternative is to rent one. You can probably get one for a week.
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Old 10-04-2003, 12:55 PM
54Guy 54Guy is offline
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Ok, what is the best "piece of crap" welder I can buy for under $130? Look, I live in California, and am SOOO tired of people (mostly yuppies with high payment Mercedes loans) who think only expensive stuff is "good"! I used my first set of wrenches for almost 20 years for car repairs, it cost under 10 bucks thanks very much and worked GREAT on all my cars during this time! My first electric drill DID cost ten bucks, was a BlacK & Decker and also lasted 20 years. And now I want a GOOD cheap welder! Let's hear some posts from some people who know how to shop around and get the most for their money! If you are rich, whattaya doin on this board? Take your car to the dealer! If you want to tell me all about expensive welders, PLEASE go start your own post, this one is for just cheap welders, OK? No offense, I have just heard that "get what you paid for" garbage all my life,never went with it before and did JUST fine! When you are raising 4 children you go cheap or not at all! When I buy a Chevy or Ford car, it depreciates a reasonable amount and has some reasonable resale value. If you buy a Mercedes, my value -seaching friends, you get a vehicle that depreciates almost beyond belief over 5 years and you lose a bucket of money! Do you get what you pay for there? So... bring on the cheap welders!! I got a job to do!
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Old 10-04-2003, 01:01 PM
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TheWiz427 TheWiz427 is offline
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Check pawn shops! I have seen and aquired good deals in pawn shops around my area.
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Old 10-04-2003, 01:03 PM
54Guy 54Guy is offline
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Well...Ever check ebay for welders? I think it's usually a terrible place to buy one, as they seem to sell for more used on there than you can get 'em new at Wal-Mart.

What's my point in making this statment? To show that if I rent a welder, after a week the money is gone and I have nothing to show for it. However, buy the equipment, I can easily sell it on ebay even if I don't like it! Now, PLEASE, can we have someone just tell which of the cheap welders are best? I DO NOT want an expensive one, so PLEASE keep the expensive welder posts off of here, OK? They are of zero help.
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Old 10-04-2003, 01:06 PM
54Guy 54Guy is offline
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Thanks

Thanks for the advice, Wiz427, I appreciate it, I'll watch the pawn shops. Good point.
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Old 10-04-2003, 01:07 PM
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54Guy, I WORK at a welding supply store! I live in Iowa! I drive a Ford truck! I live paycheck to paycheck! You want a GOOD welder for a cheap price. Figure it out, man, that's an oxymoron! Like I said, I wasn't trying to offend you! I've sold enough welders to know what you're going to get for your money. Believe it or not, I was trying to help!!!!(flip)
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Old 10-04-2003, 01:08 PM
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Now if you can put down $200, then Lincoln can help you.
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Old 10-04-2003, 02:05 PM
54Guy 54Guy is offline
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My brother has mucho $$. He bought a shirt to wear in his new Mercedes for $65 at the usual "Genlemen's Exclusive Clothiers"store he shops at. It was made in Madigascar. I liked it too, and wanted one to wear in my eight year old Dodge car. A couple weeks later, I bought the same shirt (SAME not just similar to it) for $7 at Factory 2 U store. Where there is a will, there is a way. I got the will. I'm just lookng for a way, even if I have to build my own dang welder! I am pretty stubborn and usually find a way! I've suported my family for almost 30 years without buckets of cash and I don't need it now. I can tell you this: There is ALWAYS a way!
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Old 10-04-2003, 02:05 PM
MunsterGarage MunsterGarage is offline
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check out ebay..might catch a deal...check the feedback though........later
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Old 10-04-2003, 02:15 PM
54Guy 54Guy is offline
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Anyone know SPECIFICALLY what is wrong with the so called "cheap" welders,other than a low duty cycle? Specifically?? Point by point? Facts? Seriously, thanks for any info!
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Old 10-04-2003, 02:27 PM
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Bad drive roll systems, hard to find consumables, lack of repair parts, warranty problems, no gas solenoid, just to name a few.
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Old 10-04-2003, 02:27 PM
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54Guy
I get what your saying. I think you should just opt for the wal-mart one they do run into junk everyonce in a while but for the money wal-mart offers a fair product. Look at it like this you use it you don't like it, take it back. They accept returns no matter what on most products so you may want to double check upon purchase but I am sure it is no different. For the money your looking to spend your gonna end up with a stick or arc welder not the greatest, due to lack of ease of use not necessarily quality of product, its like anything else the better equipment you get the easier it generally is to use, so just practice and practice some more and you should be fine. To make it a little easier for sheet metal you can get a stitch welder attachment for your arc welder that pulses the current to make the welds better and easier to lay down. There is also a spot welder attachment you can get pretty self explanatory, each run roughly $50 on top a your arc welder. Given the size of the repair needed seems as though you could spot weld the repair panel in and treat it with a rust inhibitior as you live in CA a little should go a long way, and throw some filler on it. Being it is a small spot to work, or turn the amp down on the welder and take your time and don't over heat filling the joint between the two. As you are aware, how long something last depends on how much you plan to use it and how you take care of it. Good luck, hope you find what your looking for
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Old 10-04-2003, 02:47 PM
54Guy 54Guy is offline
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Yeah, an arc welder is OK, I learned how to use it in HIgh School. Good idea about the Wal-Mat welder. THe rods are cheap and plentiful and available at any Wal- Mart, the standard return policy there is like 90 days, so if it works bad, back it goes and NO problems! I had kind of hoped for the Harbor Freight one as they said it could weld 1/4 inch thick steel. And a 15% to 20% duty cycle as opposed to a 10%. But who knows? What sort of user problems might I, as an igorant novice, run into? What ARE these parts that Harmening mentioned in his post on this page? Does an arc welder even HAVE a gas solenoid? What is wrong with using arc welders, we won the 2nd world war building ships and tanks with them...but I don't know. Is there a good book or web site somewhere that tells what to watch out for without trying to sell you stuff? I mean regarding welding?

Does anyone know what to do with one of those inexpensive welders that come as both a 115 volt OR 220 volt? How to set it up or hook up the cord etc? What the disadvantages or problems might be? (they come with the power cord not hooked up).
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Old 10-04-2003, 02:47 PM
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