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  1. #1
    Senior Member elime's Avatar
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    Welders

    Does anyone know anything about this welder? Harbor Freight had it on sale for $60 and sales person said they were selling fast.
    P7150043.JPG
    I have an arc welder for heavy things but was looking for something for smaller, thinner pieces of metal that the arc welder blows holes in.

    I can be a real sucker for a seemingly good deal. I guess time will tell how this works out.
    Last edited by elime; 01-21-2018 at 09:54 AM.
    Long live the internal combustion engine!

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    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    I have one of those, very basic. It helps if you have previous welding experience with thinner material. With only two amperage settings it is easy to put too much heat too quickly thus blowing holes. Variable flux wire feed rate can overcome some of this but experience and Youtube videos can help. Have been watching Full Custom Garage show on TV where fabricator Ian Roussel does amazing things stitching the sheet metal bodywork together with a wire feed. Quick pulses followed by a cool down pause seems to be the key to success.
    Last edited by Fred; 01-21-2018 at 11:53 PM.
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    Senior Member Joemama's Avatar
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    I prefer to use shielding gas over flux core because of less spatter. With mig it is very important to have clean metal. Find something to practice on before you start a project. Make it sound like bacon Sizzling!!
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    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    So Joe, you are in the know: How important is having quality flux wire? Have heard anecdotes that those cheap Harbor Freight welders benefit from upgrading wire from that which comes with the Harbor Freight unit...Trying to save elime from spending much more than $60 on the welder. I do like their auto-darkening helmet.
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    Mel
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    Senior Member Mel's Avatar
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    A lot of the inexpensive flux core wire will have very small gapes in the flux thus causing a real problem in continuous welding of very thin materials, which are the most difficult to weld. The best you can buy is the best practice.
    Mel
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    Senior Member Gulfrider's Avatar
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    I have a harbor freight welder and can verify the wire it comes with suxs. Get Lincoln flux core wire much better. Yes gas is better but more $$ and you need a tank, then get gas, oh crap ran out in middle of project. Darn now I want 2 tanks more $$ lol. I use pam spray to help splatter not stick so much. Yep, clean... metal is very important.
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    Senior Member Joemama's Avatar
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    My use of flux core is minimal. After a little experimenting with flux core, I made the switch to shielding gas. Much happier. I don't weld enough to worry about the tank running out quickly. I am careful to make sure the valve is off when the job is finished. Been several years in the same tank of gas. I am very happy with my setup.
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    Senior Member elime's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the advice. I will do as suggested and get Lincoln wire and Pam spray when I finally get around to using it. I have an arc welder for the big clunky things so I have some welding experience but I am far from being good at it. As often as not I grind a weld off and do it again.

    I agree, gas would be better but for 60 bucks how can I go wrong? (Ha ha, famous last words.)
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    I've got one. I like it quite a bit for small jobs. Nice to be able to carry it pretty mcuh anywhere and plug it into 110 and go to work. I will also suggest replacing the wire that comes with it with some name brand quality wire. That by itself will help get good welds out of it. You aren't going to be building battleships with it but it will do a surprising number of jobs around the house.
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    Member Commandog's Avatar
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    elime:

    If you have been using an stick welder you will really like using a "squirt gun" welder. Can't give any experience with the HF. I use a Hobart 210 MVP (gas shleld) for the last couple years to mod my Jeep and build it's cage. Love it but it has voltage taps instead of continuous adjustment like the 210 Miller. One thing a flux-core is better at than gas shield is outdoor welding in a breeze when your shielding gas gets blown away! Like the others said, get the best wire you can. Clean metal is key. Flap discs and acetone are your friend. Weld as much and as often as you can, other than having and experienced welder by your side, get into a CC class or watch a lot of videos. I love watching this guy Jody on weldingtipsandtricks dot com.

    Mike
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