110 volt mig welder - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 12, 12:36 PM Thread Starter
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110 volt mig welder

Do the 110 volt mig welders work good, or should I go ahead and pay more now for a 220 volt mig? Almost all of my welding will just be auto body sheet metal.

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 12, 2:13 PM
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Re: 110 volt mig welder

Originally Posted by crankitup View Post
Do the 110 volt mig welders work good, or should I go ahead and pay more now for a 220 volt mig? Almost all of my welding will just be auto body sheet metal.
For sheet metal they are perfect. If you have enough in your budget for a Miller or Lincoln you won't be disapointed. Just make sure you stay away from flux core welding and go with gas shielded.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 12, 2:19 PM
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Re: 110 volt mig welder

I just bought a Millermatic 140 It's awesome.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 12, 2:20 PM
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Re: 110 volt mig welder

I bought a Lincoln 110 flux core welder that I converted to gas, mainly because I have no 220 in the garage. It works fine for all the sheet metal replacement I'm doing on my 66, but I wouldn't use it for any frame work. If I had to do it again, I would get a 220 unit. They are much more versatile.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 12, 2:20 PM
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Re: 110 volt mig welder

Originally Posted by crankitup View Post
Do the 110 volt mig welders work good, or should I go ahead and pay more now for a 220 volt mig? Almost all of my welding will just be auto body sheet metal.
If all your going to do is sheetmetal work, then yes, the 110 would be perfect.


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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 12, 2:23 PM
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Re: 110 volt mig welder

Buy a 110 but a good one with a rheostat heat control. It's standard on better ones like Miller. I just came from Airgas. Miller is still made on this dirt, Lincoln will be primarily made in Mexico.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 12, 2:35 PM
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Re: 110 volt mig welder

My 110volt is a Miller 135 , works great. Use the argon/co mix gas, and get a flow meter, it has the little ball that floats, so people like me can see the flow amount. Hard to read the flow gauge dial type, for me.

Also using it at work on 16 gauge black iron with no problems. I've done 1/8" with it too.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 12, 2:42 PM
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Re: 110 volt mig welder

You can buy a used 110 on Craigslist from those trading up. Welders don't really wear out. A good used one is much cheaper than a new one. Buy your tank too, do not rent or lease.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 12, 2:44 PM
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Re: 110 volt mig welder

the answer depends on both the welder and the type of work, plus the operators skill level, but for what you stated a GOOD QUALITY 110 volt will be fine!
remember your wire size and shield gas and the regulator pressure and flow effect results

why not visit your local miller and lincoln dealers and ask LOTS OF questions, maybe ask for a demo and before you ask, FLUX CORE is NOT MIG WELDING AND GENERALLY RESULTS IN MUCH POORER RESULTS



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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 12, 3:12 PM
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Re: 110 volt mig welder

Stay away from flux core wire as it sucks for what you are wanting to do. I would step for the 220V as it gives you more power but I have seen the 110/120V units work well for light fabrication.

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 12, 9:01 PM
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Re: 110 volt mig welder

I spent near five years as a welder for a living, trained and certified by my state, doing mig, tungsten inert gas, sub-arc, stick, flux-core, as well as conventional brazing. In addition to that, I come from a welding family. My father was a career welder, and besides 27 years on the line, he also ran his own welding shop for another 15 years. I've burned a lot of rod in my time, and a lot of gas/wire and a heck of a lot of flux core too. I trained and worked on Lincoln, Hobart, and Miller equipment, and have used them all quite extensively. All good boxes back in the day. Today? Dunno - but Miller still looks like pretty good stuff to me.

I'm long out of the daily welding business, but having the above background, I'd say that my current 110 volt mig welder is decent for small around the shop ticky-tack stuff. I find the .030 wire to be about its max, but the .023 works better for sheet metal work. It seems perfectly o.k., IME for light duty sheet metal work...(but a buzz box is still quite handy for stick welding, if you need better penetration.) Just for reference, I used my 110VAC unit to weld on a pair of quarters recently, as well as floor pans, and a couple of trunks. It did o.k.

Other thoughts:

Definitely buy your own bottle. Save money and hassle.
Ditto on the floating ball regulator - but whatever you get, make sure it works and is accurate. Gas costs money. (Yes, dad, I know...:-)
Forget the flux fore wire in a 110VAC unit, the 110 machines are just not robust enough to handle it.
Also, with their very low duty cycle, don't expect to spend hours of continuous welding with the typical cheapie welder either.

Some things to help what you get to work better.

Install a 10 gauge wire supplied 20 amp rated dedicated receptacle for your 110 volt welder. Home run the wire from your breaker box. You will get much better results than plugging into a typical wall receptacle.
Invest in a 15' 10 gauge extension cord, if you must use an extension.
Get a heavier ground cable than the one that comes on the cheapie welder... and double the length. You'll be glad you did.
Replace the cheapo power cord on the cheapie welder. It's too light duty.

Other welding tips
invest in some silicone anti-spatter spray for your tip and shield.
Get a welding multi-tool to cut and nip and clean tips.
DEFINITELY get an auto-darkening hood! Save you a ton of time and hassle.
I've liked Tweeco guns. Mine is 10 years old and still going strong on the original liner. They seem to hold up well and have minimal problems.
get a pair of welding gloves and a welding apron.
Keep your welder covered when not using it. A clean welder is a happy welder.
Finally, my father (God rest his soul) would FLOG me if I didn't put this. :-) Son, turn off your tanks anytime you're not using your welder!

Remember, a LOT of welding is in the hands of the operator, understanding what's going on in the puddle, noting the conditions, clean metal, good wire, controlling the airflow around you when gas/wire welding, proper wire feed speed, correct heat setting, quality grounding, and a host of other things you just learn by feel and experience.

Just my 2C

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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 12, 9:09 PM
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Re: 110 volt mig welder

I have had a Miller 140 for a few years now and I cannot think of anything it cannot do that your average car enthusiest would want to do. I have welded up 1" dia x 1" deep balance holes in steel crankshafts and it has never missed a lick or duty cycled out, and those were at full power and full wire speed. I have fixed my lawn mower, lawn furniture and welded some brackets for the cars etc. It does just fine.

I also tossed around the idea of the 220v one and it really would not have mattered because I have 220 in my garage but . . . . with the 110 you can put it in the back of your truck or even an suv and take it almost anywhere if you need to. I have already trucked it over to a friends house to weld some brackets on a street rod.

I will also agree with the others that you should try to get it from a local dealer if possible. You will probably need to buy your bottle there and have it filled and the technical help, if needed, will probably be a lot easier to get

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old Apr 17th, 12, 6:29 AM
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Re: 110 volt mig welder

I back halfed 2 cars and put full cages in them with a 110 welder.

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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old Apr 18th, 12, 4:24 PM
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Re: 110 volt mig welder

As a newb to welding when i bought mine i didn't want to go used as I would have no idea if something was wrong or just me. I went with Eastwoods little mig 135 and totally satisfied with it - yeah i know most of their stuff is knockoffs but i havent found another at this price new. I looked at some of the others on here people were talking about and the price was more than i wanted to spend as it was a hobby tool - 300 for eastwood vs 550 . It uses the gas for normal small stuff or you can take off the gas and use flux core 030 for heavy stuff like boxing a frame. I actually have never even got close to the 10 on the amps. Everyone is saying don't use flux core because its a mess so def not for body panels.
Factor in the price of a tank and gas 200 i think and absolutely positively get an auto darkening helmet as well as other safety equipment(100-150). soooo worth the money.

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old Apr 18th, 12, 9:30 PM
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Re: 110 volt mig welder

Have had an Eastwood (made by Century) for near 20 years. Used it as flux core until this year. It works well up to 1/4 in if needed with 030 flux core wire. I never could do sheetmetal under 16 gage with it. Mostly burned through. Did subframes on my Fox pretty well, overhead in the driveway on my back though.

Put gas on it this year and its an amazing improvement. I second the idea of a Miller unit. Eastwood long ago quit supporting my machine.

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