I bought my welding gear
for a variety of projects including my hot rod project and my smoker project.
I expect to get a lot of use out of it, although so far, I have been focused
on learning to weld at the local community college. I am pleased to report
I'm getting the hang of it. What that means to you is that you can too
because I am not especially talented in this area!
Welder : Miller Synchrowave 180
I purchased my Tig Welder
on eBay and hid it for a year without using it. I'd wanted one to assist
in my hot rod project as well as for other things, but I needed to go
take a welding course before I would know what I was doing. After I got
tired of looking at the darned thing I finally got enrolled in a community
college Tig course and have really enjoyed it. Welding is a lot harder
than it looks (especially Tig welding), but once you get the hang of it, it is really a fun sense
of accomplishment and gives you a lot of newfound capabilities for the
shop. My welder was non-functional when it first arrived, and you can
bet I took that seller's name in vain. After I opened up the machine I
saw that the cable that connects to the torch had broken its terminal
and was no longer making contact. Talk about a big on/off switch in the
Now I'll bet that seller
thought he was getting the better of me, but it was an easy fix and the
welder has worked fabulously well ever since. I'll bet the guy never even
knew what was wrong and feared an expensive repair bill.
My Tig welder...
I chose Tig because its
what the hot rod guys all envy. Tig produces the nicest looking welds,
has the most flexibility (and delicate touch), and can weld more kinds
of metal than any other process. The downside of Tig, which I didn't know
at the time, is that it is probably the hardest method to learn because
of the need to coordinate two hands and your foot (on the pedal). This
just takes time and practice, and is very doable. I recommend learning
to gas weld first because it is slightly simpler and develops some of
the same two-handed skills.
Frankly, if you're just looking to do some basic fab, it's far easier to Mig weld. You may still want to take a Tig and Gas Welding course (gas is still my favorite process--it just seems so much friendlier). Once you can Tig, Mig seems easy by comparison. As it stands, I will purchase a Mig welder at some point just because I can lay down some bead so much faster with one on a big fabrication project.
ESAB Powercut 1500
is a very cool unit that is probably far beyond my real needs (can cut
1 1/2" steel!?!!), but I lucked out on an eBay auction and got it
for a real steal. New, these units cost about $3200. Mine was a demo and
I got it for less than half that. It appears to have very little mileage
on it. I had a little Hobart 25 unit that disappointed me. It just wasn't
powerful enough to cut much more than sheet metal. This new machine ought
to do the trick!
I would really like to build a CNC plasma table for this torch. It's capabilities
are well matched to the needs of such an application, and it would be
so cool to have it tirelessly churning out complex designs from CAD drawings.
My brother tries out the plasma cutter...
Welder: Millermatic 25x
trying Mig in my community college blacksmithing class I just had to have
one. They are so quick and easy. This is the same unit we used in the class. I think it will do me
fine for any foreseeable project I may be tackling, so I'll be on the lookout for one.
Millermatic is definitely used...
had an oxy rig for years and never used it to weld. I bought it to heat
up stubborn parts that wouldn't come apart. Now that I can actually weld
and braze with it, I might fire it up a little more often. It sat in my
storage unit for many years, but is back in the shop again now that I have more room.
As I mentioned up above, I really enjoy gas welding.
is an indispensable skill when working around metal. It will come in very
handy for my Hot Rod passion, for making
various fixtures for my shop, but perhaps the most welding-oriented project
I have and the reason I got involved with welding is my Tejas
had my Industrial Hobbies mill sitting on its shipping palette for too
long and decided it was time to build a stand for it. Rectangular tubing
and 1/4" steel plate were the ideal targets for me to unleash my
Tig welder's arc and polish my skills a bit before tackling the smoker.
The Mill Table...
Just a gleam in my eye
one is just a gleam in my eye. I'm searching for a project to get my young
son off the video games and into learning to work with his hands. This
sort of project ought to do it I would think!
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