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Discussion Starter #1
I'm getting really itchy to buy a welder to do my own sheetmetal repair.

From all I've read it seems the obvious choice is to get a MIG welder with gas capability.

I'm a student renting an apartment so I'm not really interested in installing 220V in the garage. So I'm restricted to 110V welders.

Anyone have recommendations? I see some cheap 110V welders (clarke?) for under $250 bucks. I'm assuming you get what you pay for. What should I be looking for at a minimum to do my own patch panels etc?
 

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Millermatic 135
 

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After a lot of research, I bought a Millermatic 135. I never welded anything before buying it; I read as much as I could and bought a pretty good DVD on Mig welding and then practiced on some scraps. I'm 100% satisfied with my Miller but there are some other good units out there that are less expensive. When you are pricing your system, don't forget about the tank, helmet, gloves, etc.
 

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Ditto on the Miller units. I have the 175 and it works great...seems to be good quality for the money. You will probably want a cart to put the unit on as well as the gas bottle etc.
 

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A cart is a great first project to get you into the groove of welding.
 

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I have 4 different gas bottles and I got them all on a lifetime lease so I don't own them but don't have to maintain them either. Welders Supply gave the these leases for less than $100. a bottle. Might be a option to consider. My first mig welder was a Century 100 which was a 110 Amp 120 volt unit. It worked fine on metal up to 1/8 inch thick and I gave it to my son in law and he still uses it today. Both my present welders are Lincolns and I love them. Got a 175 Mig and a 185 Precision Tig. RM
 

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Well I took the dive and bought a Lincoln SP135 T and the Hornell Speedglass helmet. It is a step above the one listed above.

I have no issues with either. Actually love the helmet.

Still need to practice the welding skill, but getting it done with out much hassle.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for all the suggestions guys!:)

My plan is to sell my 73 hatchback and use the money to buy a welder to finish my 71 project. Looks like it is a tie between the Miller and Lincoln. I'll have to look into bottles/helmets/ etc. Sounds like those are almost equal important investments and must haves before I weld!

Thanks for the advice. - Nate
 

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I have a Hobart 135 and am real happy with it.
Hobart is owned by Miller and if you put the 2 side by side you will find them very similar, many of the parts are the same (even came in Miller boxes). The Miller is the Cadillac or deluxe model of the two. My Hobart only has 4 heat range settings, the Miller has infinate. There are a few pieces on the Hobart that are plastic and on the Miller they are metal. Lincoln, Miller and Hobart are all good welders and have replacment parts available from welding supply shops. I would recomend any of these 3 brands.

An auto darkening helmet is well worth the investment.

 

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Millermatic 135, I have had one ten years my dads had one for about 11 never a minutes trouble with either one. I won't bad mouth Lincoln, but if you open one up and look at all the plastic parts you probably won't be as impressed. The other issue is replacement parts; they sell most stuff as a unit. You can buy all the Miller parts indivdually. The Lincolns have aluminium windings and the Millers are copper.
 

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I have a Millermatic and like it, but I would look at Lincoln because Home Depot carries them. When I need a part for my Miller, I have to go to a welding shop and they have bankers hours. With the Lincoln, you can go pretty much anytime to get replacements, helps with those weekend projects.
 
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