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Captain Cobalt
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I am wanting to teach myself to weld, so I can work on trucks myself. What kind of welder do I need to get? Mig, tig, gassless, gas???? Im lost. Wanting the ability to weld on the frame, C notches, boxing, bag mounts, you get the idea. Any help is appeciated.
 

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You will need a good mig welder with gas and enough amps to weld frames. It takes alot of practice.
 

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I use a Licon Mig pack 15 220 volts with the gas kit.

its a great lil welder and heavy enough to weld nothches on the frame.
its a great welder for te price i sujest it to anyone.


also practice i have redone alot of trucks that people bubble gum welds to gether and the welds are cold and tend to crack. looks for the color change in the steel for good penatration.
 

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Tig welding is by far the best but it's expensive to buy and takes a lot of practice to get it right. MIG welding is by far the best route to go. Inexpensive and a really easy learning curve with some practise. You can buy a flux core wire fed welder and convert it to gas, or in other words, a true MIG welder.

A wire fed welder is almost the same thing as a MIG welder with one difference. When welding, the weld itself needs some sort of sheilding gas to keep out any impurities in the weld. Wire fed, or flux core wire fed welders, have the sheilding gas build into the wire itself. When the wire burns the sheilding gas is released from the wire. When you begin to weld the gas is released because it's in the wire. It works fine but the welds tend to have more splatter or slag.

When you convert a wire fed welder to gas you use straight wire and the sheilding gas is now seperate, being fed to the weld by a bottle of regulated sheilding gas. Typically the sheilding gas is 75% Argon and 25% CO2. The straight wire, with the sheilding gas seperate, welds a lot cleaner with less splatter and slag.

When you buy a wire fed welder make sure to inquire if it can be converted to gas. Duty cycle of a welder is very important also. Generally, the higher the duty cycle the better quality the machine will be. Wire fed welders overheat and need a rest period. The higher the duty cycle the longer the welder will operate between needing a break to prevent from overheating. Get a welder with a 80% duty cycle at the minimum.

Lincoln and Miller are two of the best brands out there for welders although there are others. A 220volt welder will give you more heat(for thicker material) and temp settings compared to a 110volt model but isn't as portable. A 110volt can be plugged in anywhere. A 220 volt cannot. Number of heat settings is important as well. By having more of a range, you can weld thick material as well as thin like body panels.

Sorry for the long post but that will give you some things to think about. LOL
 

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Alta ,Made several good points some things he did not mention with mig welder the welds are easier to make the problem is. Many people starting to weld tend to put to much wire down and don't truely tie into the parent metal hence causing cold lapping. Basicily melting the wire and not penetrating the metal or making to large of a weld in one pass, your better off running multi pass welds for better tie in. And back to tig welders when starting to learn to weld tig welder is much better choice for several reasons you can watch the puddle alot easier you can contol heat input with great precision.You will also use a shelding gas but it will be 100% argon which shields the oxygen from reaching the molten metal to eliminate porosity. You can make a reasonable tig rig set by using a cheap ac/dc stick welding machine such as a Miller Thunderbolt tig torch rated for 125 amps a regulator and bottle of argon. For around $1,500.00 and if your looking for a good paying job in welding and we will teach in our in house welding school apply at Muellers.
 

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I just have a stick welder will this be sufficent? I will be welding my triangulated 4 link, notch, and possible z my frame
 

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It depends if it's AC / DC or both either way you can stick weld . Stick weld is old school to many. The welds are not as clean and is slower than many other means of welding, yet the welds can be very strong if done right. If it's DC you can tig weld.
 

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IMO MIG welding is the easiest to learn. I personally wouldn't recomend a gasless fluxcore welder for any type of frame work. Everyone has made some good valid points here. TIG welds are the most good looking welds with the big fillets when done correctly. MIG welds can look good too. As was already siad it's very easy to make a misleading MIG weld. I use a Lincoln welder at work that is a MIG and Tig welder. It's very expensive and more than the avg. person needs. I use it to weld up C02 compressors that have to be able to handle over 5000 psi. Stick welding can be very good, but it is messy. Personally I suck at it. I would go with a MIG gas welder right off the bat IMO.
Mike
 
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