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Author Topic: Welding Question: 120v mig welder, what is it good for ?  (Read 16749 times)

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Offline chainsaw_louie

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Welding Question: 120v mig welder, what is it good for ?
« on: February 11, 2010, 10:31:38 PM »
Hi ,

Several years ago I bought a Lincoln sp 135 mig welder, it runs on 120v.
The literature said
     "Wide 30-140 amp welding output range.
     "MIG weld 24 gauge up to 10 gauge (.135") sheet metal in a single pass.
     "Weld up to 5/16" steel using self-shielded Lincoln Innershield wire

I never got a pro to show me how to use this, I just read the manual and started.
Compared to stick welding, the results were disappointing because the welding didn't
melt into the steel being welded like a stick welder does.  Now I am comparing a 30A
220v stick welder to this little 120v 15A guy.   But still for a weld to be strong , it seems
to me that there has to be melting of the base metal (penetration) and most of my
welds are more like the bead sits on the surface...even when the juice is turned up
all the way.  From what the marketing materials say, I should be able to weld
up to 5/16" with this but from what I have seen it would not be a very strong weld.

So, is this a toy or am I doing something wrong?  I'm ready to sell it and get
a 220v machine.

Thanks,

Tim

Offline stonebroke

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Re: Welding Question: 120v mig welder, what is it good for ?
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2010, 10:33:49 PM »
Good for sheet metal, Stick with a stick for heavy stuff.

Stonebroke

Offline Mark K

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Re: Welding Question: 120v mig welder, what is it good for ?
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2010, 10:46:36 PM »
Got the same welder, good for tin and body work. I have a lincoln ranger 8 for my heavy work.
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Offline mrcaptainbob

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Re: Welding Question: 120v mig welder, what is it good for ?
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2010, 11:52:36 PM »
I have a Hobart Handler 135 that welds well into 1/4" metal. Is the polarity correct for the wire you're using? Flux requirement is different than solid. What wire diameter are you using?

Offline Chuck White

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Re: Welding Question: 120v mig welder, what is it good for ?
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2010, 05:37:42 AM »
Yup, as said, good for sheet metal.

Really useful when repairing cracks on your tractor fenders, hood, etc.
Weld it up, then grind it smooth!
~Chuck~
Retired USAF 1989, Retired School Bus Driver 2012, now semi-retired Mobile Sawyer
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Basic mechanical skills are all that's required to maintain a Wood-Mizer

Offline isawlogs

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Re: Welding Question: 120v mig welder, what is it good for ?
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2010, 07:53:37 AM »

 One question comes to mind , are you using core flux or gas with the mig ???  That will be a big outcome on the weld with the little migs.
 Another thing that will affect the weld is the wire you use , the size of the wire also .
 I have bought some imported wire ( read China ) and it was good to use as electric fence for the goats ( read - no dam good )

  I have a small mig and have core flux and gas for it . Core flux , use a tip that is .oo5" bigger then the wire , it wont jam in the tip as it goes through the rollers . This causes the wire to squish a little and flatten out causing it to be a pain in the butt at times .
 
 With the right wire and clean metal they do a good job , not an excellent job   :)
A man does not always grow wise as he grows old , but he always grows old as he grows wise .

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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Welding Question: 120v mig welder, what is it good for ?
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2010, 08:12:14 AM »
I use to have a mig that ran on 110,got one now that runs on 220.What a difference.Probaly stick is better,been tossed back and forth on past threads.I use the flux core,because most of my welding is out side.Just like a lot of literature that is included with the product,it's a little on the seller side.  ::)
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Offline moonhill

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Re: Welding Question: 120v mig welder, what is it good for ?
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2010, 08:14:18 AM »
I am not aware of the ability to change the polarity on those small machines.  I know I don't like the flux wire, gas is better.  Just fool with the wire speed and heat setting and wire size.  It is a small unit, don't expect it to do thicker stock, as said sheet metal it should be ok.  I can turn the heat up on my wire feeder and melt 3/8" stock like it was sheet metal, even 1/2" will burn through if it is set to hot.  I just have to get all the tunings right.  

Keep it for the thin stuff and get a real welder.  Do you have a stick welder?  If so you can adapt this to it in 3 minutes and wire feed too.  It cost about the same as a mid line wire feed welder you are looking at but can do far more work, and it can be tuned down to do the thinest stock as well.  If aluminum is ever an issue it will do that as well, something the little box welder can't.  It also only uses one tip size, so every time you want to change  wire you don't have to mess with tips.

https://weldingsupply.securesites.com/Profax01.pdf

Tim

This is a test, please stand by...

Offline John Bartley

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Re: Welding Question: 120v mig welder, what is it good for ?
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2010, 08:38:37 AM »
I have an older one of these : http://www.millerwelds.com/products/mig/millermatic_140_autoset/ , only mine is rebadged under the Canox name. I have also had a Miller 200amp stick welder and it worked very well also.

Except for the heaviest work, I prefer the little MIG welder. All the way up to 1/4" I would rather use the MIG. I have tried the non-gas (flux core) wire, and it sucks compared to a gas shield. The gas shielding gives a very smooth, clean, spatter-free weld, and the penetration is far better with the gas. The only other comment I would make about welding capacity with the MIG is that for thicker material the preparation has to be done properly. That includes proper cleaning and surface grinding of the surfaces to be joined. A heavier welder can burn through the crap to get the job done, but the smaller unit needs a bit of help.

Just my $0.02 worth.

cheers

John
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Offline Chris Burchfield

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Re: Welding Question: 120v mig welder, what is it good for ?
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2010, 09:23:10 AM »
I had a Century brand 70/100 amp 110V that I chased with CO2. It was good up to 1/4."  I already had a Lincon 220 AC.  I've welded some pretty heavy stuff with it using multiple passes chipping and brushing the flux.  I later bought an Esab Model 215 220V unit that is a much heavier unit than the 110V.  I've enjoyed it and had no problems.
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Offline Qweaver

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Re: Welding Question: 120v mig welder, what is it good for ?
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2010, 09:45:26 AM »
Pre-heating with a rosebud can help get better fusion if you are at the upper end of the range for your welder.  Cold laps are the most common defect with MIG welding.  So do not try to carry too much metal.  Multiple hot passes will help reduce cold lapping.  MIG welding can be a good welding method but I hate to buy anything MIG welded unless I know that the proper technique has been used...and that is hard to tell by just looking at the weld.
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Offline ErikC

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Re: Welding Question: 120v mig welder, what is it good for ?
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2010, 11:08:58 AM »
 I use a little lincoln 110 for quick repairs on little things, and projects where the steel is about a 1/4" or less. Anything else gets the stick welder. But the little guy does alright, and sure is convenient. I use an oxyacetylene torch instead on some projects where I have thin metal, and don't want splatter. Using the flux core wire the little mig splatters a lot.
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