I've been putting this off long enough, it's time I learn to weld. I've been reading a lot about it, I have some text books from a high school welding shop that I found in the basement when I was ins chool, and a couple other books. I think I'm just going to start playing around untill I can figure it out myself...
Now, I know I eventually want to be able to MIG weld because it seems to be the best all around welding for beginners. But, should I get a MIG welder and start with that, or would I be better off learning to stick weld first? I can borrow my Grandpa's Lincoln 225 amp ARC welder to do that, but I don't know if I should start off with that then learn MIG or just start with MIG? What would you guys reccomend? Or is TIG easier? I'm guessing MIG is a lot cheaper?
I know that an ARC welder like his would do some pretty thick stuff easily. But when it comes time to buy a MIG welder, how big do I need? I want to be able to do basically anything you'd do on a truck - weld bumpers, tubing, suspension stuff, etc. How big of a welder does everyone usually use for this?
And as far as brands, I know that the good stuff like Lincoln is VERY expensive. I know that Harbor Freight sells some pretty damn cheap Chicago Electric MIG welders. Would one of those be good for me to start with and good enough to get the stuff done that I want to do, or should I really try for something better like Lincoln, Miller, Hobart, etc.?
Voltage isn't really a problem. I do not have any 220 outlets right now, but I can wire in a dedicated welding outlet in my basement of I get a 220 welder, and my grandpa has some HUGE extension cords that are made for his welder so he can use it outside.
Sorry if all this stuff was already posted, which I'm sure it is, I just suck at searching and I want to make sure I make the right decisions here. Thanks.
Joined: Nov 2004
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mig will be the easiest to learn. arc welding is also nice to learn though. if you can practice on your grandpa's welder, why don't you get a mig to practice that at your place, then you can practice arc at your grandpa's place.
oh yeah....DO NOT BUY A HARBOR FREIGHT WELDER
spend the money and get a decent miller or lincoln
This is the order I took: gas, stick, then mig. I personally think its initially harder to pick up stick after using mig for awhile. With mig you get used to positioning the gun and maintaining the same distance from the work piece through the entire pass. With stick your consuming rod as you move along the pass and can forget to keep feeding the rod in to maintain that distance. As with anything practice makes perfect and it probably wont really make all that much of a difference in the long run.