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viking
01-29-2012, 10:59 PM
Anybody have a welder from harbor freight? Are they crap?
Haven't put a bead down in probably 20 years but would like to have one here in my shop.
Need to put an exhaust kit on my truck and want to tach on my exhaust tip (so need it to work with Stainless steel). Also need to weld part of my boat trailer fender when my flat tire tore it apart :( those are just a couple little jobs on my list.

Also looking at getting a decent drill press. Hows about this:
http://www.harborfreight.com/16-speed-floor-drill-press-43378.html

Or do I ignore HF for these items and go name brand?

wolfeman131
01-29-2012, 11:18 PM
HF always seems to be hit or miss for folks. Whatever I purchase from there, I consider it disposable.

Hoopskier
01-30-2012, 02:17 AM
No experience with HF/Chicago line. I have a Hobart MIG welder (built by Miller). I have been happy with it. It can run on flux core wire or solid wire with seperate tank of shieldling gas. Shielding gas is more user friendly in my opinion. Runs on standard 110v.

My dad has a cheap drill press from Menards. It physically works for what we use it for, but I could not recomend it. It has low power, spins to fast, and arbor seams to be sloppy. But it doesnt get used to often.

chawk610
01-30-2012, 08:00 AM
I had a Chicago Electric angle grinder once... that worked ONCE.

I wouldn't trust a welder from them. If you can, I would get a Lincoln or at least a Hobart.

Suprahunter
01-30-2012, 08:55 AM
Chicago Electric is pretty much junk. Check craigslist for a good brand used unit . You may be able to get a few technique pointers from the seller when you test the welder.

newty
01-30-2012, 09:12 AM
Buy the lifetime warranty for it for $30 bucks then you never have to worry about it.

bergermaister
01-30-2012, 12:17 PM
I own the little light duty $90 wire feed welder from HF. I've ran at least 5 spools of wire through it with no issues. It will do up to 1/4" pretty well. Just need to do a little adjusting of the feeder and clean the tip every once in a while. I'm no welder but I built an 8ft utility trailer using it. I didn't opt for the warranty though. Figured if I could get a few years of light use out of it I'm good.

parrothd
01-30-2012, 12:59 PM
I bought this Mig the other day when it was on sale when it was closer to $300, works great. The harbor freight one only does flux core wire, not sure if they sell stainless with flux core..

http://www.amazon.com/Lincoln-Electric-K2185-1-Handy-Welder/dp/B000QFNZ74

Forgot to mention get the auto darkening helmet, well worth it...

viking
01-30-2012, 07:48 PM
thanks guys. I think i'll start shopping around for a hobart, lincoln, miller or the like. Not a pro by any stretch of the imagination so don't need anything fancy. But I do like things to work when I tie into something. Reliability is a must for me.......that's why I Moomba :)

chawk610
01-30-2012, 08:40 PM
Are you thinking a wire fed or an actual mig?

viking
01-30-2012, 11:11 PM
I was thinking wire fed for pure simplicity. One that will take gas or no gas.
If I remember Stick Arc welding works better for a professional looking bead and the metal has to be really clean? Can usually handle thicker metals.
Wire-fed Mig machines are more convenient but welds take a little more work to be cosmetically attractive and less durable for thicker/bigger jobs?
Like I said.........it's been awhile so might not remember correctly? I'm sure somebody can chime in on the technical definitions.

As I shop around it looks like the price jumps quite a bit to find a machine capable of handling 1/2in.

Here's one that looks to do both wire and stick. How is that?
http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200441250_200441250

parrothd
01-31-2012, 10:54 AM
I was thinking wire fed for pure simplicity. One that will take gas or no gas.
If I remember Stick Arc welding works better for a professional looking bead and the metal has to be really clean? Can usually handle thicker metals.
Wire-fed Mig machines are more convenient but welds take a little more work to be cosmetically attractive and less durable for thicker/bigger jobs?
Like I said.........it's been awhile so might not remember correctly? I'm sure somebody can chime in on the technical definitions.

As I shop around it looks like the price jumps quite a bit to find a machine capable of handling 1/2in.

Here's one that looks to do both wire and stick. How is that?
http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200441250_200441250


Stick welding? Does anyone even do that anymore?!?!.. :)

Do you have 220v available?

I like my 110v because I can use it anywhere, the metal has to be clean for any welding, and just takes practice to get the weld looking nice, cursive e's over and over..I've stick welded a few times a long time ago, Mig is far easier/faster/better(Plus Gas). How often do you really need to weld 1/2 in one pass? I just make several passes...

If you haven't welded in a while this is the best thing...

http://www.amazon.com/Neiko-Solar-Powered-Darkening-Welding-Approved/dp/B000HZNWHQ/ref=sr_1_sc_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1328024688&sr=8-3-spell

viking
01-31-2012, 09:42 PM
yea definitely need a autodimming shield.
I think I found the one to get.

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200479230_200479230

parrothd
01-31-2012, 10:34 PM
Nice....Now you just need a plasma cutter..(on my wish list)...

rc5695
02-07-2012, 12:05 PM
bought me a little wire feed welder a few years ago to supplement the Lincoln stick welder (which can NOT be beat for thick, dirty jobs). Here's my input:

Bought a Harbor Freight, returned it after laying 1 bead because it wouldn't work... Same thing happened with the exchanged unit! Got my money back.

Shopped Miller & Hobart, but just couldn't chell out the extra coin at the time for the Miller. Wish I would've. The Hobart was too close in price to the Miller to not just buy the Miller and be done with it. You KNOW you're getting a great product with Miller...

Bought a Northern Tool wire-feed welder, and have been very happy with it. I'm sure a Miller would've been a little better, but the Northern Tool one does the job well. I'd recommend it.



Drill press: I have the next one up from what you listed. Other than the super cheap switch I've replaced a couple of times, it works well, espcially for all I've put it through. For the garage do-it-yourselfer who uses it occasionally, I'd say you'll be OK. You could always shop craigslist for an old Bridgeport or something though...doens't hurt to look...

rc5695
02-07-2012, 12:08 PM
here's the welder I have...
http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200332691_200332691

Oh, you had a post above a little backwards... Stick welding is kind of difficult, especially to get a bveautiful weld, but it will weld really thick stuff and does not have to be super clean (it is hot and will burn through junk).

wirefeed is not as hot and is great for welding thinner stuff. makes gorgeous welds when using gas. Flux core is OK too for thinner metal, but i use it as little as possible.