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TRip
Trip Anthony

(162 posts)

Registered:
08/18/2009 01:16AM

Main British Car:
1980 TR7 performance 4 cyl

Lincoln Electric MIG-Pak 180 Wire Feed Welder - too much/little for beginner?
Posted by: TRip
Date: September 11, 2009 12:18AM

Okay, so I've been paying attention to what you've said in my previous posts and also doing a lot of research into welding options and equipment. I've been considering good quality used domestic brands ie: Linclon and Miller like you advised. I came across this Lincoln 180 but not sure if this is exactly what I should be looking for when ready to buy. It's new and approx $599.00
It looks like it uses only 230V though.

I believe a non-live trigger control is the way to go and this is a trigger.

There is a C version which is the industrial version. Appearantly has way better welds, amp control and feeder.

If you have a moment to spare, can you all take a look at these specs and share your wisdom with me? Is this too much/too little machine for just starting out and working/experimenting on TR7 sheet metal?

Hopefully this info will help others here too.

Trip.

Link to the Lincoln 180 page. [www.mylincolnelectric.com]

Link to the Lincoln 180c page. [www.mylincolnelectric.com]


180

lincoln 180 MIG-PAK.jpg

230V; 30-180A

Metal thickness: 24-gauge to

Duty-cycle: 30% at 130A

Wire feed speed: 50-500 inches per minute

MIG and Flux-core ready - includes everything needed to MIG or Flux-core weld

Heavy-duty wire drive motor; Built-in drive roll, nozzle and tip storage

No hassle tool-less design for wire spool mounting, wire drive service and polarity changes

Includes 10' welding gun and cable, 10' ground clamp and cable, three 0.025 MIG tips, three 0.035 Flux-core tips, MIG nozzle, Flux-core nozzle

Also includes spindle adapter for 8 spools of wire, spare drive rolls, gas regulator and hose, 2 lb. spool of 0.025 MIG wire, 1lb. spool of 0.035 Flux-core wire, handshield, instructional DVD and welders guide

Three-year manufacturer's warranty on parts and labour (90 days warranty on gun and cable)


74ls1tr6
Calvin Grannis
Elk Grove,CA
(1150 posts)

Registered:
11/10/2007 10:05AM

Main British Car:
74 TR6 / 71 MGB GT TR6/Ls1 71 MGB GT/Ls1

authors avatar
Re: Lincoln Electric MIG-Pak 180 Wire Feed Welder - too much/little for beginner?
Posted by: 74ls1tr6
Date: September 11, 2009 01:44AM

Trip,


I have a 150 mig cheap at Harbor Freight ( which I used to weld up my rotisserie, 3 pass flux core.030 weld), A 225 Arc stick welder and some other's. All my plug in welders use a 220 plug. I have even purchased a big core wire, made an exstension cord, pluged into my dryer 220 plug at one time until a deticated plug was installed.

I have found for myself, body panels at around 37 to 60 thousands thick, I would tack weld with Mig to hold panel in place,then finish off with my Miller Tig welder 165 diversion, with Argon gas at 15 to 20psi. With Mig and body panels, need to use the smallest diameter wire you can find.023. Had trouble blowing holes through the panels with mig trying to weld all at once. It had to be tack welded every so many inches, like 6" and then come back around with spacing to control heat until tacked like stiching.

With my Tig after tack welded in, I was able to start at one end and continue until the weld was done without blowing holes in the sheet metal. The Tig has very good heat control, so I did't have warpage in my panel when done. Mig is faster, Tig is slower but less clean up.

If you get a Mig machine, its a good idea to get one that can handle flux wire and can use a gas bottle. Gas will give you a cleaner weld over fllux core wire. There is all kinds of gas mixtures that you can get for different kinds of metals to weld. A local welding supply house can inform you on what to use. You can rent the gas bottles from them or buy one.

The Lincoln 180 would work well for you. Looks like it can use all the wire sizes and use Gas. I highly recommend getting a good auto darkening welding helmet, don't go cheap in this area as we only have two eyes. Today when I was at my local welding supply house, spent the $$$ to even get a better welding helmet than I had.


I really like this machine here. Beter control with heat, can repair other welds with it, worked on header flanges, SS exahust pipe etc.

I started with Arc 225, Then went to Mig, and Tig after that. I can do my best welds with the TIg. Tig is pricey, paid in the 1150.00 range.

I'm sure others will chim in!

This is my Tig welder, an awesome small garage welder DC & AC. It can't do Arc stick welding. In the photo shows SS welding rod, mild steel rod , and aliminum rod. With Tig you use only Argon gas for all welding. A green label tungsten tip for aliminum and a red label tip for steel.

Good luck!

You are doing it right, research what you need and feel comfortable with each step of your journey. It's about the journey, when your done you will want another journey!

I'm on my second one now!
Feb_09_018.jpg


Calvin


TRip
Trip Anthony

(162 posts)

Registered:
08/18/2009 01:16AM

Main British Car:
1980 TR7 performance 4 cyl

Re: Lincoln Electric MIG-Pak 180 Wire Feed Welder - too much/little for beginner?
Posted by: TRip
Date: September 11, 2009 03:55AM

Hi Calvin,

Thank you for taking the time to explain the various uses of equipment and for the helmet advice.

Like you, I don't see it as a battle between MIG and TIG. Or, of trying to decide which is the better option and forget the other. From what you and others have said, both types have their place and do some things better than the other. I can see at some point learning and owning a variety of rigs. Like your quote Calvin...

"You are doing it right, research what you need and feel comfortable with each step of your journey. It's about the journey, when your done you will want another journey!" Soooo true!!!!

It is a journey and I have to start somewhere... MIG seems to be the easier of the two and covers my basic needs to weld metal - although it seems like it puts holes where you may not want holes. That for me is where the great debate begins. That and should I buy a more capable (weld quality) used rig or less capable new?

Calvin, I've never heard of Harbour freight. Is it a made in the USA brand?

Thanks again,

Trip



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/11/2009 06:12AM by TRip.


Bill Young
Bill Young
Kansas City, MO
(1337 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 09:23AM

Main British Car:
'73 MG Midget V6 , '59 MGA I6 2.8 GM, 4.0 Jeep

authors avatar
Re: Lincoln Electric MIG-Pak 180 Wire Feed Welder - too much/little for beginner?
Posted by: Bill Young
Date: September 11, 2009 08:16AM

Trip, you really can't get too much machine, but it's easy to get too little. That Lincoln looks like a pretty good machine for the hobbiest. A good brand with great support in both parts and service if it's ever needed. As for the voltage, go ahead and step up to the 230v machine if you can, rewire your shop as necessary. It will open the door to so many other electrical options such as decent sized air compressors, TIG welders, ovens, a whole variety of stuff. The higher input voltage just allows the unit to put out a higher amperage output without drawing too much input amperage and overloading your circuits. You could get a smaller unit that would work just as well for sheet metal, but in the end you'll like the more powerful unit because it will allow you to build handy items from heavier materials such as perhaps a rotisserie or other tools for your shop. I've built a rotisserie, welding cart, stands for my planishing hammer, shrinker stretcher, and shot bag and saved quite a few bucks as well as having the fun of building those
As for Harbor Freight, that's a national chain of discount tool stores as well as mail order that sells mostly Chinese made items at very low prices. I have some of their tools and they aren't bad, but I stay away from most of their electrical tools and welders because they are lightly built and are somewhat failure prone from what I've seen and read. The place that most discount bulders save money on electrical items is in the copper windings of the transformers and motors. With lighter weight windings they tend to overheat easier which causes the insulating coatings to break down and internal shorts to develope which kills the tool. I'd rather pay a bit more for more reliability. Their pneumatic tools are pretty good though for limited hobby use, and their shop tools such as jack stands and such are good values as well.


WedgeWorks1
Mike Perkins
Ellicott City, Maryland
(460 posts)

Registered:
07/06/2008 08:07AM

Main British Car:
1980 Triumph TR8 3.5 Litre Rover V8

authors avatar
Re: Lincoln Electric MIG-Pak 180 Wire Feed Welder - too much/little for beginner?
Posted by: WedgeWorks1
Date: September 11, 2009 08:33AM

I hate to say it but "Gas" in this case is a good thing! Flux Core wire feed (FCAW) or MIG requires a lot of cleaning and it is really important to clean between passes at start/stops areas of the weld. The gas will leave a little bit of a coating every so often but not enought to be annoying. What is nice about the machine you are looking into is the unit is not likely to overheat from constant use when your welding. Some of the small units will do that when pushed to the limit for thickness will heat up and take a break! I hope you have the time....it is a lot of patience and technique to learn.


74ls1tr6
Calvin Grannis
Elk Grove,CA
(1150 posts)

Registered:
11/10/2007 10:05AM

Main British Car:
74 TR6 / 71 MGB GT TR6/Ls1 71 MGB GT/Ls1

authors avatar
Re: Lincoln Electric MIG-Pak 180 Wire Feed Welder - too much/little for beginner?
Posted by: 74ls1tr6
Date: September 11, 2009 09:54AM

[www.harborfreightusa.com]


Bill said it correctly about Harbor Freight tools and I agree about their welders. The Lincoln is a better way to go.


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(3807 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 11:32PM

Main British Car:
1979 MGB, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: Lincoln Electric MIG-Pak 180 Wire Feed Welder - too much/little for beginner?
Posted by: MGBV8
Date: September 11, 2009 01:45PM

Looks like a lot of welder for the money. Probably way more than you really need.

My rig is an HTP 160. I bought it so that someday I could build a trailer. Haven't used it for that, yet. It works for every thing else, though.

I'm with Mike, forget the flux wire. Get a bottle of CO2/Argon and have fun welding.



rficalora
Rob Ficalora
Willis, TX
(2642 posts)

Registered:
10/24/2007 02:46PM

Main British Car:
'76 MGB w/CB front, Sebring rear, early metal dash Ford 302

authors avatar
Re: Lincoln Electric MIG-Pak 180 Wire Feed Welder - too much/little for beginner?
Posted by: rficalora
Date: September 11, 2009 07:00PM

I'm the anomoly here. I have a harbor freight welder (dual 151). It may not be the best on the market, but it works fine & has served me well for 3 years now. The only problem I've had was my fault -- got frustrated one day & tried to force the wire through when re-loading rather than taking my time & figuring what it was catching on... damaged the wire feed tube. That cost me a week to order & get the part & then fix it. But, at about $200 for a refurbished unit, I can't complain at all.

I've never welded with a lincoln or hobart so maybe I'd wish I had one if i ever did; don't know.

I do know one of my other hobbies is woodworking & my tools big tools (table saw, planer, jointer, etc.) are Suntech, Grizzly,and similar imports & I've made beautiful furniture with them (if I do say so myself). I think it gets down to working with the tool & getting to know it.

I absolutely agree with the comments about GAS. I messed with flux core for about 3 nanoseconds before I got frustrated with the splatter & clean up. Plan for another $100 or so for a bottle & gas -- depending on where you live you can probably lease the bottle from the gas place & may save a few bucks -- or watch craigslist & buy a used one.

And, I'd love to have a TIG but can't afford one. With the MIG you have to weld slowly on sheet metal. For most work I do spot welds at about 4-6" apart & then go back & spot in the middle of the gap & keep doing that until all the gaps are gone & the weld is complete. I get minimal warping that way. Takes longer than continuous welding but doesn't ruin the piece & is still faster than TIG.


TRip
Trip Anthony

(162 posts)

Registered:
08/18/2009 01:16AM

Main British Car:
1980 TR7 performance 4 cyl

Re: Lincoln Electric MIG-Pak 180 Wire Feed Welder - too much/little for beginner?
Posted by: TRip
Date: September 11, 2009 07:39PM

Bill, Mike, Calvin, Carl and Rob,

OK, MIG is a good starter but avoid flx core... Got it. The 180 can use gas and comes with a regulator.... will have to find a used bottle that's certified. Also has an amp dial but I can't tell how fine the adjustments can be made.

230 good but I think I only have a "220" for stove and Dryer.

"I'm with Mike, forget the flux wire. Get a bottle of CO2/Argon and have fun welding."

I believe the combo is 80% argon 20% CO2, right?

Have a Praxair depot down the road. Wooo hooo!

Maybe I can find a good refurb unit for less $$$ and better quality/faster welds?

"I've made beautiful furniture with them (if I do say so myself). I think it gets down to working with the tool & getting to know it."

You're right about that, Rob. There's a saying "a bad carpenter always blames his tools".

Trip



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/12/2009 02:11PM by TRip.


TRip
Trip Anthony

(162 posts)

Registered:
08/18/2009 01:16AM

Main British Car:
1980 TR7 performance 4 cyl

Re: Lincoln Electric MIG-Pak 180 Wire Feed Welder - too much/little for beginner?
Posted by: TRip
Date: September 12, 2009 02:13PM

Rob had mentioned hobart welders.

How do they stack up to the Lincoln 180? Are they a quality brand?

Trip


motek
George Smathers
Spokane, WA
(118 posts)

Registered:
09/12/2009 02:45PM

Main British Car:
1967 Morris Minor (48 hp @ crank!), 1971 TR6 302

Re: Lincoln Electric MIG-Pak 180 Wire Feed Welder - too much/little for beginner?
Posted by: motek
Date: September 12, 2009 02:49PM

I have a Lincoln 180. It's my first welder so I have nothing to compare it to but I love it.

The only problem I have had is feeding the flux-core wire. I must be missing something because the wire will unspool if I tighten the wingnut too loose but it will not feed if too tight.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/12/2009 02:52PM by motek.


TRip
Trip Anthony

(162 posts)

Registered:
08/18/2009 01:16AM

Main British Car:
1980 TR7 performance 4 cyl

Re: Lincoln Electric MIG-Pak 180 Wire Feed Welder - too much/little for beginner?
Posted by: TRip
Date: September 12, 2009 03:05PM

Hello George,

Thanks for the first-hand insight. I've been hearing that same thing about the spool. I'm not sure if the wire is supposed to feed from the top or bottom? Maybe that has something to do with it???

Trip


motek
George Smathers
Spokane, WA
(118 posts)

Registered:
09/12/2009 02:45PM

Main British Car:
1967 Morris Minor (48 hp @ crank!), 1971 TR6 302

Re: Lincoln Electric MIG-Pak 180 Wire Feed Welder - too much/little for beginner?
Posted by: motek
Date: September 13, 2009 05:46PM

Huh, I'll try the top on my next roll. Thanks for the tip.

It does seem like the best price for a name brand welder on the market. I think I got mine at Lowes when they were having them on sale last year for $499 or $550. This is a key price point for me because under $500 my wife and I do not need to report our purchases to each other! :-)


TRip
Trip Anthony

(162 posts)

Registered:
08/18/2009 01:16AM

Main British Car:
1980 TR7 performance 4 cyl

Re: Lincoln Electric MIG-Pak 180 Wire Feed Welder - too much/little for beginner?
Posted by: TRip
Date: September 14, 2009 01:57PM

Hi George... Under $500? Sounds like you have a nice agreement! Some guys I know can't get away with $50 let alone $500!!!

The other thing I've heard while doing research on this rig is that the feed guides sometimes either get debris in the way or get damaged which causes the wire to hang up. Maybe give that a look too.

Trip


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(3807 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 11:32PM

Main British Car:
1979 MGB, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: Lincoln Electric MIG-Pak 180 Wire Feed Welder - too much/little for beginner?
Posted by: MGBV8
Date: September 16, 2009 06:09PM

Quote:
I believe the combo is 80% argon 20% CO2, right?

That is the most common and would probably be the best starting point for mild steel.
Quote:
230 good but I think I only have a "220" for stove and Dryer.

220v or 230v is the same thing. Almost nobody has a spare 220 outlet. Your garage or shop will need one added. If you breaker panel has room for another 220 circuit breaker, you (or a friend that knows a bit about electricity) can easily add a dedicated outlet for you welder.



TRip
Trip Anthony

(162 posts)

Registered:
08/18/2009 01:16AM

Main British Car:
1980 TR7 performance 4 cyl

Re: Lincoln Electric MIG-Pak 180 Wire Feed Welder - too much/little for beginner?
Posted by: TRip
Date: September 16, 2009 06:38PM

Hello Carl,

Thank you for the clarification about gas combo.

220/230... Ah, I had thought I was missing something. Yes, that's sound advice. I'll definitely want to add a dedicated 220 outlet for the welder.

Thanks again Carl.

Trip


mgbreis
Ryan Reis
Beatrice, NE
(202 posts)

Registered:
07/16/2008 11:07AM

Main British Car:


Re: Lincoln Electric MIG-Pak 180 Wire Feed Welder - too much/little for beginner?
Posted by: mgbreis
Date: September 21, 2009 11:22AM

Let me put in a plug for the 130en Clarke welder. I bought mine at TSC about six years ago for $299.00 on sale, had to add a gas bottle for another $100.00. For me, it's perfect. I have used it a LOT, I would say it would fall into the heavy use category. Mostly on body rust repair but also for heavier fabrication up to 1/4" angle iron (built a trailer). Never had one problem with it (knock on wood). For body panel welding you'll be running at the lowest settings and pretty much doing only tack weld after tack weld to infinity. You can't just buzz in a long weld or you'll warp things terribly. You just don't need a heavy duty welder, but if you see other projects in your future where you'll be welding 1/2" plate or something then spend the money now. I still see the Clarke on sale for $299.00 every so often.


TRip
Trip Anthony

(162 posts)

Registered:
08/18/2009 01:16AM

Main British Car:
1980 TR7 performance 4 cyl

Re: Lincoln Electric MIG-Pak 180 Wire Feed Welder - too much/little for beginner?
Posted by: TRip
Date: September 21, 2009 02:22PM

Hello Ryan,

Thank you for letting me know about the Clarke. Until your post, I had never heard of Clarke. Yes, you're right, I won't need a heavy duty welder right now and I am thinking in the future to get into bigger projects. Since you're using yours a lot for "heavy duty use", that makes it an appealing unit.

Cheers,

Trip


TRip
Trip Anthony

(162 posts)

Registered:
08/18/2009 01:16AM

Main British Car:
1980 TR7 performance 4 cyl

Re: Lincoln Electric MIG-Pak 180 Wire Feed Welder - too much/little for beginner?
Posted by: TRip
Date: September 24, 2009 02:09PM

Does anyone know where Clarke welders are made? After Ryan posted about his Clarke welder, I've been researching but can't find the Co. website or where they are made.

Trip


rficalora
Rob Ficalora
Willis, TX
(2642 posts)

Registered:
10/24/2007 02:46PM

Main British Car:
'76 MGB w/CB front, Sebring rear, early metal dash Ford 302

authors avatar
Re: Lincoln Electric MIG-Pak 180 Wire Feed Welder - too much/little for beginner?
Posted by: rficalora
Date: September 24, 2009 09:00PM

Not much of a web site, but here's what I have. 800 customer service number so should be able to get the info you're after...
[www.clarkeusa.com]
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