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I was looking at some inexpensive MIG welders that run off of 110v and wondered how difficult it is to pick up. Fair to say I've seen many examples of really pretty welding and not-so-pretty, and for what I'm wanting to accomplish looks mean nothing.

Here's one I was looking at...the videos make it look pretty easy   Wink

MIG Welder 110VAC/ 135A Output
I have a similar small MIG welder (a Sears made by Lincoln).  It is good for welding thinner material; says up to 1/4", which might be pushing it.  For anything thicker than 1/8" I use a 220V stick welder.  20% duty cycle is OK for home use.

The key to a good weld is a steady hand and lots of practice.  A good looking weld usually means a stronger weld (more consistent heating, better penetration).  I get much better welds using inert gas.

 -- Spiff
mig welding is supper easy. watch some youtube vids and practice. there are some accredited courses on youtube. I have never used an Eastwood. but those Lincolns they sell at Home Depot work just fine and can weld 1/4 inch with multiple passes. highdesertranger
When you weld, are you melting the two pieces together so they become one, or are you more gluing them together with the melted wire? Or does it depend on the type of welder you're using..
Welding is fusing two pieces of metal together, usually along with adding filler material of the same metal.  Brazing and soldering are 'glueing' two pieces of metal together with a second different metal.  The difference is the temperature of the process.  Welding is done above the melting temperature of the metal, brazing and soldering below the melting temperature of the two metals being bonded and above the melting temperature of the 'glue' metal.  Welding can also be done on some thermoplastics.

 -- Spiff
I taught myself and it was fairly easy to get a reasonable weld. For starting off and simple projects you could probably get by with flux core welding. It's the same as MIG and uses that same welder only you don't need to get the air canister. It's a little messy is all.

Wire, replacement tips, and all the other basic components can be found at any big hardware store or harbor freight.

Just make sure there is no flammable material anywhere nearby! Have a fire extinguisher handy.
The way to set power and feed is by the sound. It should sound like frying eggs. With a 120 volt welder unless you are working sheet metal, the power will be set near max. Adjust the feed to get a nice even sound. When first starting a weld I will often go for the first inch fairly quick so as not to leave much metal. Then I will backtrack and start the run over. With a low power welder getting the start of the weld hot enough is a challenge. by preheating the metal with the false start the weld comes out much nicer.
Lots of Youtube videos on welding.

I use flux core more often than not. These are portable welders, and there is nothing portable about dragging a gas cylinder around. Just make sure the liner for the welding hose and nozzle are the right size. Also the polarity will be different between flux core and MIG. The wires are easily switched near the beginning of the welding hose. Using the wrong polarity will give an ugly weld.
flux core is for outdoor welding. if you are welding outside and there is any kind of breeze or wind you can not use shielding gas you must use flux core. flux core leaves more residue. so if you can use shielding gas it's much cleaner. most of my welding is done with flux core wire because I am outside most of the time. but shielding gas leaves a much cleaner weld. highdesertranger
(09-04-2016, 10:36 PM)DannyB1954 Wrote: [ -> ]I use flux core more often than not. These are portable welders, and there is nothing portable about dragging a gas cylinder around.

The tank for my welder is 12" X 5".  It fits in a holder attached to the welder.  Other than adding some weight and changing the balance of the welder, it is just as portable with the tank as without.  That small tank lasts a long time.  And Home Depot exchanges full tanks.

I tried the flux core wire once; got a crappy weld.  Haven't tried it again.

Thanks for the tip on preheating, DannyB1954.

 -- Spiff
So where is all this "cheap Chinese steel" I heard about for decades growing up in Pittsburgh? There seems to be many types of steel, so perhaps I'm looking at the wrong things...

Found what appears to be a comprehensive online supplier...god knows what shipping might be for enough to make a 32" x 18" x 12" box with flange, but need to know if I'm even looking at the right product:

1/4" A-36 Hot Rolled Steel Plate

Full site list

I was also looking at the pre-made underbody truck boxes with thought of modifying one. They're reasonable, $200+ ish, but couldn't find any specs that say material thickness...probably 1/8" steel? Maybe 1/8" is plenty for my purposes?
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