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I need a welder for some 1/4 - 3/8" stuff. Seen a lot of talk about welders, not much on the AC/DC Stick welders. So I'm asking which one would you recommand and why?

1st, I found a Lincoln- Light Duty AC/DC 225/125 at the local Mill's Fleet Farm for $320


2nd Craftsman 230/140 Arc Welder for $299


3rd Miller Thunderbolt XL AC/DC 230V 903-642 for $450


4th Miller Thunderbolt XL AC/DC 300/200 230V for $605
 

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hop this helps

I have had a thunderbolt in the shop for 10+ years and really like it ,,, most small buzz boxes start dropping amps when they get warm and the thunderbolt does not do that as bad as most ,,, set it and go... I ran a hobart that after 5 or 6 sticks you were turning the F***ing heat up and when you would go for a cold one you would have to turn it back down and start all over chasing the amps.

if your looking for a welder to use on your heap you might look at the miller 175 mig ,,, there cheap $650 or so and you can weld about anythang with them ,,, with a stick there nice for 1/4" thick and up.
Hop this helps
 

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Here is the deal..... Im a machinest.... I weld by night at home in my shop... A freind gave me later 50's early 60's Lincoln arc 225 amp, 220 volt stick arc welder a couple years ago... I love it.... It has copper windings and is the real deal... I cut the I-beam for my new house with it.. It rocks and builds me me crap all the time .....That's my 2 cents
 

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Mr.N said:

Ok, I ment anyone else.

So Larry, what's the thickest you've welded?
made some brackets for a stump grinder outta 1/2". gotta love 7018.
i use dc mostly,can you say smoooooth? when i ran out of gas on the torch i used the welder turned all the way up on AC to cut some 1/4" with 6011.
 

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I've also got the Lincoln above, and learned on a (similar) older model years ago. Have burned rod of all types from 5/64" to 3/16" on everything from body panels to 1/2" plate. It works great, I've got no complaints, and don't hesitate to recommend it for what you've described. As someone said above the Millers buy you duty cycle and more amps for bigger stuff (we've got 'em at work) but for home use I've never felt limited by the Lincoln - especially for 1/4-3/8" stuff.
 

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FWIW I run a Hobart Stickmate LX 235 AC, 160 DC.
http://fostertool.com/stickacdc.html

Waaay more stick welder than a home fabber needs IMO, but well worth it.

I have used it to build the outboard crap for my CJ, weld perches, weld up diffs,build bumpers, fix snowplows, cut stuff with cutting rods etc...no complaints.


Very versatile, DC makes some nice welds...I can do almost as well as my MIG with DC...

The millers are a step up, but for the money and amount of use it see, for me it was well worth it.

You can probably find a used box far cheaper, and it will work just as well.

MJ
 
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