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I have decided to buy a mig welder to install my floor pans, quarter panels, etc on my 65 myself. I took a welding course years ago and have be an oxy acetylene setup already. Looking for recommendations for something that will suit for just light panels like this? I see some models say 115 VAC and 140 amp. Assume this will be adequate. Of course i will practice on scraps. What voltage, current range for this welding.

Andy
 

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you could always buy a dual voltage machine. I had until recently a Lincoln weld pack 100 w/ gas, great for sheet metal. I also have a HF Vulcan migmax 215, also a great machine.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have already spent a lot of $s just getting the parts for this rebuild/overhaul so just want a basic machine that will do the job.
 

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I've had a Hobart Handler 110 machine for 25 years, they just work. Get gas, you won't be sorry once you learn to turn teh valve off every time you turn the power off. Otherwise next time you go to use it, the tank is empty. SUCKS! Having a welder is game changing, making tools and fixtures and pretty things. Its just completely game changing! for literally pennies on the dollar once you get good. ALso buy a 4-41/2" grinder with grinding adn cutoff wheels. Cures all sins!
 

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I have a Hobart Handler 140 bought it used works great , Did floors,Torque boxes, Subframe Connectors, ect.
 

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67 coupe, 69 Sportsroof, 86 hatchback
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I have a low buck 110V Mig that I used with flux core. The welds were a bit messy because of the flux but it welded almost all the restoration of my '67. I recently upgraded it to finally use gas after 20 years. It's OK, welds are a bit tighter and cleanup is easier. I'm actually considering buying another one to use with gas and putting the old one back on flux core. The ones I've been looking at are on eBay and are basically the same thing as what Harbor Freight sells. I have three old Mustangs, two older trucks, some machine tools like a lathe and a mill and still don't really think I do enough welding to warrant a high dollar name brand welder.
 

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You could think about getting one based on inverter technology. They are much lighter. If I had the time and spare cash to play with right now I'd get one myself just to see how I like it. This is probably the two I would consider for me:

Flux only: Forney Easy Weld 261, 140 FC-i MIG Welder, 120V, Green - - Amazon.com
Notice it only weighs 19 lbs

Flux and Gas: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QQ4WGRB/ref=psdc_13400531_t2_B07CP9CDVQ
This is also an inverter welder

I would recommend you research these looking at reviews and videos before buying a traditional heavy welder.
 

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For sheet metal something like this will work just fine: Flux 125 Welder when you get to thicker metal this isn't as good but I have welded 3/8" plate for art projects. For structural welds on thick metal you want more power.

Oh and since I got welder I want to weld everything! I found out it doesn't work nearly as well on wood, eh, what are you gonna do!
 

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I have a Lincoln 140 that is pretty decent. It's 110VAC only. The only thing I DON'T like is that it has just 4 power positions on a rotary knob... A, B, C and D. Gets the jobs done for me, but after using my buddy's Miller 211, which is 110/220VAC with infinite power settings.... on 220 it just welds so much SMOOTHER.
 

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I have a HTP 120 volt, 140 amp MIG welder at home. It's a higher end. I can set on and off time. I can set it for stich welding where after it stops welding the gas will continue to flow to cool the weld and keep the metal from warping. Polarity can be reversed. I'm just giving you some ideas to features you can get.

My last job I had a Lincoln 120 volt, 140 amp. Far less features but still a great little welder. I had it set up for flux core since any welding I would use it for was outdoor. Breezes will blow away the gas. I think this one would really fit your requirements. My only complaint was the flux core wire was a little bigger and stiffer. I had to make sure my lead was as straight as possible or the drive rollers would slip.

The new line HF welders get very good reviews. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend one of them. A HF employee was telling me when you buy something like this, get the extended warranty. Not that you need it but if you do, they give you a brand new replacement, not refurbished. The other thing, no questions asked. He said even if there's nothing wrong but tell them it's not working right, they'll exchange it. Even if it's a cosmetic flaw. Now on the replacement you can get a extended warranty!

The only real problem with a 120 volt welder is voltage drop or loss on the house circuit. Have a dedicated circuit if possible, keep it as short as you can and use at least #12. Go to #10 if possible. On #12 wire running 20 amps, running 240 volts the circuit can be four times longer then on 120 volts to put things in perspective. For 120 volts to have the same power as 240 volts, the amperage needs to be doubled.
 

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The only real problem with a 120 volt welder is voltage drop or loss on the house circuit. Have a dedicated circuit if possible, keep it as short as you can and use at least #12. Go to #10 if possible. On #12 wire running 20 amps, running 240 volts the circuit can be four times longer then on 120 volts to put things in perspective. For 120 volts to have the same power as 240 volts, the amperage needs to be doubled.
Is that still true with an inverter welder?
 

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I have a Hobart 135. Can do good work with it. Would have rather had it’s better brother the miller with infinite heat range adjustment. Best thing I did was use 0.025 wire and co2/argon gas mix. Can weld pretty thin.

I think U need gas and thin wire to do the best job on sheet metal
 

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Is that still true with an inverter welder?

The voltage drop or loss on the circuit isn't going to change. That means the welder will see less power or wattage. I know on my 120 volt welder with a transformer it effects it. On a inverter welder it may be able to compensate for the lower input voltage and still weld fine on thin material only is my thought.
 

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I have a Miller Autoset 140 MIG that welds phenomenally. It's smooth, sets the wire speed automatically, and has infinite heat settings. It's a breeze to setup because I keep Autoset (auto wire speed) enabled and only adjust the voltage (heat) from low to high based on the gauge of the metal I'm welding. If I'm welding a thinner piece to a thicker piece, I'll drill the plug weld holes in the thinner material and set the welder based on the thickness of the thicker base metal, or sometime a little lower if the top metal is a bit on the thin side. I keep a sheet metal thickness gauge on the front shelf of my welder cart and it's the key tool I use every time when I set the welder up. With the autoset enabled, there's only the heat(thickness) dial to adjust. Last weekend when I was welding on the front end (frame rails, torque boxes, fender aprons, shock towers, kick panels), I probably used 5 or 6 different settings, adjusting quickly as I jumped to a new part. I had a Lincoln flux MIG 110V way back in high school that only had a few settings and it wasn't all that great welding up everything on my pickup, but it was passable. That said, my welding experience level has increased dramatically so maybe it wasn't just the machine but nicer machines with fancy controls and gas can't hurt.

I've also found the thicker wire (0.030" as opposed to 0.023") works better for quick plug welds because the wire speed is slower which keeps the initial "hit" smoother. What I like about this is that I get a really quick starting and smooth weld that helps me get in and out very quickly, completing plug welds on lighter gauge metal less than 2 seconds. That helps keep the distortion down and as you're going around a part, it keeps the overall heat down. I've found that for thinner sheet metal, I really don't need to wait for the metal to cool, since there's minimal weld time and often I pause between welds to reposition clamps so the next weld has flush metal. I think the autoset also ramps up the wire speed upon hitting the trigger, which also helps smoothness.

The Autoset is a bit expensive new but I was lucky enough to find it used for $300 and came with a bottle and welding gloves.

TIP: To get welds started as quick as possible, I almost always have my welding pliers in my other hand and always cut the wire to start with a fresh clean wire surface on the next weld. The heat from welding will cause the left over wire still attached to the gun to transform and not be as conductive, so the next weld is usually compromised.
 
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