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Welding Setups


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Just wanted to start something for people to show off their welding setups to help give others an idea of ways to make their shop/garage space more useful.  I'll throw mine up there to start out.  It's not great, nor is it done, but it does work a lot better than the old wood bench I had been using.  Most items were purchased off craigslist while traveling so my family has gotten used to taking detours looking for equipment.

 

I've got a little 135 mig from eastwood, a lincoln idealarc 250 ac/dc, a vice, and a HF blasting cabinet with about 3lbs of sealant added.  The filing cabinet has a rack on the back for my gas bottle(s) and a chop saw.  

 

Shop_zpsuh3rwyyj.jpg

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I like it, XJ2CJ!  The MIG is flux core wire type, handy for many welding chores and body work.  Your traditional Lincoln AC/DC transformer SMAW (stick) welder is a real workhorse!  A blasting cabinet, even HF variety, is a must, we come to depend on blasting, and these machines pay for themselves quickly!

 

I'll do a "tour" of my welding area at the shop/studio after spring cleanup!  Will share my 220V approach for a small shop/home garage, the fabricated welding table, the HTP liquid cooled TIG  (GTAW plus stick/SMAW) and my trusty Hobart 170 Beta MIG wire feed with gas.  In addition to the welding table, I have a nifty workbench that cost less than $50 worth of metal scrap plus caster wheels.  The bench top is a dumpster side stamping, new steel that wound up in a metal scrap pile and sold by the pound.  I also bought square tubing legs at the same time and angle iron cross braces.  Total investment was under $100 in the mid-'nineties, including the iron caster wheels from salvage.  Taught our youngest son to MIG with that project, the first task for the Hobart Beta MIG 170, and the bench will easily support over a half-ton of weight.

 

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My versatile workbench built from a scrapped stamping of heavy-gauge sheet steel!  This is the ideal transmission or engine build bench and has served well for nearly two decades, including the photo and build backdrop in several Jeep book projects. (Click on photo to enlarge!)

 

Blasting cabinets are black holes for compressed air, as I'm sure you've discovered.  I wound up buying an ex-body shop compressor to handle the job.  Here's the link to that story:  http://www.4wdmechanix.com/Downsizing-and-Air-Compressors!.html.  This is a common scenario for those of us with a smaller shop or home garage/DIY workplace.

 

Looking forward to discussing our favorite welding processes and projects!  Welding is a wonderful skillset for 4x4 enthusiasts who do their own work.  Spdljohn has a new Lincoln MIG and will likely have a good deal to share!  Thanks for posting this topic, let's keep it going...

 

Moses

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I'm looking at adding scratch start tig to the lincoln.  It's on my list and may move up depending on my welding needs.  The Lincoln was an upgrade to the smaller AC/DC buzz box.  I have no complaints about the buzz box, I just wanted the infinite settings for tig welding.  The heavier duty doesn't hurt either.

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XJ2CJ...TIG would give more flexibility for niche chores and alloys...You've got a good foundation for a TIG add-on.  What kind of welding chores come up most often?  How would you set up the Lincoln for TIG?

 

Moses

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To get beyond steel and stainless steel I would need a high frequency box. Those are usually a couple hundred on their own. Then I need a tig torch, a gas flow meter, and a bottle of argon. To do just steel and stainless I need everything except for the high frequency box. I don't know if it will work for sheet metal but folks who've done scratch start tig says it is a great way to learn.

Depending on the cost of a bottle a decent torch a flow regulator can be had for under 200.00.

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I'm interested in the tig setup for stainless and welding on a gas tank where a solid weld with no pinholes is necessary. For heavier stuff I can see using it for plug welds.

 

These are the torch and regulator that I need to get started.

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/MILLER-WELDCRAFT-WP-17V-12-2-TIG-Torch-Kit-A-150V-12-1-2-ft-/221578060215?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item339714e1b7

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/140514184508?_trksid=p2060778.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

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XJ2CJ...This is a very affordable price of admission to TIG!  Scratch TIG is a time-honored process.  You'll quickly learn to pull-back the torch to avoid damaging your electrode tips.  I like to start with these "manual" processes.  If you decide later to get a TIG machine that arc starts "automatically", you'll be expert at preserving electrode points.

 

On that note, I really like the tip grinder offered by HTP America and others.  (See my coverage, this is not just a plug for HTP, pay attention to the equipment.)  I also taught students to grind valid, properly angled tips with a grinder.  We used ceriated and lanthanated electrodes to avoid handling the slightly radioactive thoriated electrodes.  I prefer ceriated and lanthanated tungstens, especially on inverter TIG machines, and do not have to be concerned about my grandkids fiddling with my shop equipment.  Many in the field say it's easier to strike an arc with the ceriated and lanthanated tungstens, which could be useful with your scratch arc.

 

Like scratch TIG, if you work with non-radioactive contemporary tungsten alternatives, you'll be adept at making them work.  This cuts back on concerns about designated grinders, careful pickup and vacuuming of grinder debris and all of that.  I taught young adults who were not particularly concerned about hazards (age-appropriate?) even when reminded repeatedly, and it was much easier to simply avoid the use of thoriated tungsten electrodes.

 

Keep us posted on your progress with the scratch TIG equipment.  You'll have no problem striking an arc since you're adept at SMAW/stick welding!

 

Moses

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