Anyone use supere cheap harbor freight type welders for their bikes??

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by borntofli, Sep 9, 2012.

  1. borntofli

    borntofli Member

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    Have any of you used the cheap 70-100 amp 110v stick welders for fabricating parts for your bikes??

    I just want it for making motor mounts, welding tabs for mounting....exhaust... Simple stuff......

    I know their junk, but for 75$ how can I go wrong...... Or can I...

    I am a good welder, used to rebuild boat props, make trailers........ I only have access to 110v current at my location......

    As usual, thanks guys for all info....

    (i've been "rescueing" all the junk bikes people are throwing away so have lots of parts to use)
     
  2. tooljunkie

    tooljunkie Member

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    fot the money,it might be worth trying.
    my opinion of welding is 5%welding rods,15%welder,80% skill.
    what im saying is if you have decent rods,a crappy welder,any man with
    some skill should be able to get by.

    thats why i have a mig.actually 2,one 110v one 220 volt.
    havent touched the 110 in three years.
     
  3. Bikeguy Joe

    Bikeguy Joe Godfather of Motorized Bicycles

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    Harbor Feight has 110v wire feed welders that are around 100 when on sale.

    I have a Clarke (cheapo from Sears) 110v stick welder. It works great with the right rod. It doesn't weld anything too heavy though. For bicycle use it would be fine.
     
  4. JonnyR

    JonnyR New Member

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    stick welding is almost all skill i suck at it and i know it so i use a mig
     
  5. tooljunkie

    tooljunkie Member

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    my 110v mig is a clarke.it served me very well for almost 20 years.

    at work,i have mig and stick,i forced myself to stick weld for almost a year,i didnt refill the gas so all i had was stick.
    i now arc weld much better now.
    i have a small 220 volt i use on service calls,with a generator.its a nuisance,but i get the job done.
    i find the 6013 rods the most user friendly,purchased from praxair.i believe they are compareable to esab,a very good quality manufacturer.

    work with small rods,and run on the lowest amperage you can.
    you can build up the heat by making slow passes.

    if you wanna get fancy http://www.zena.net/htdocs/welders/Rods/SpecialRods.shtml

    some welding rods to consider.
     
  6. donphantasmo

    donphantasmo New Member

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    I have the 240 volt one from HF.

    But, my buddy has that 110 volt one you're talking about. I'll tell you, for less then $100, they're great. The crappy wire you get with it is good for nothing but practice. Get a good Lincoln wire, and you're in business. My buddy build a motorcycle trailer from scratch using that welder. Then he took apart his boat trailer and put it back together using that welder. He was welding cold steal with it, too.

    Like other said, it's mostly skill, not just welder. And if you're not a certified welder, you're not going to notice a difference. I purchased mine for 200 bucks after tax, used it 3 times in the last 1.5 years of ownership. So, with that being said, who cares, just buy it and have fun...
     
  7. swaq muffin

    swaq muffin New Member

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    Yea I recently bought a similar stick welder on amazon for the soul purpose of modifying my bike. It works well, but take some time to learn how before you go welding your bike. I recommend it if you have the cash, but would recommend buying some accessories if your serious about it. I made a list.

    -safety equipment (gloves/helmet)
    -6011/6013 electrodes 1/16 & 3/32
    -steel tubing (non galvanized)
    -steel plates, bout 1/8
    -wire brush & slag hammer
    -wire wheel for angle grinder
    -auto darkening welding helmet

    All of these things can be purchased at Lowes with the exception of the helmet. They may have them there, but I find them to be overpriced so I bought this- http://www.amazon.com/Wel%2dBilt-We...sr=8-8&keywords=auto+darkening+welding+helmet Its a great helmet. great adjust-ability, and it has selectable shade lens that can be replaced. it auto darkens fine, I have never been flashed by it but make sure you have a good line of sight between the two sensors and the arc. Some people may say that an auto darkening helmet is not necessary, but I need it if any precision is required like that in a motor mount. the wire wheel can be found at Lowes but it took me three trips to Lowes to find it because i didn't know that it doesn't use the angle grinder sandwich clamp method but just screws on. as far a saftey equipment goes i just use jeans, a denim button down shirt, welding gloves and a helmet. the steel is for practicing, even after you learn how to weld its good to practice welding the specific position before you do your final weld.Your best bet is to go to northern tool and just take a look at their welding section. its quite large enough for DIY projects.
     
  8. tooljunkie

    tooljunkie Member

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    great advice,Swag.
    one thing i would like to add,i have a welding jacket,it was 40.00 if i recall,well worth the money,an apron might be more suitable if you do most of your welding while sitting.
    footwear is something else to consider,the sparks and blobs are really painful when they burn throught the top of your shoe.

    one serious burn and walking becomes a problem.

    i have lit up a flannel jacket on more than one occasion ,not realizing it as the electronic helmet doesent need to be flipped up to see the next spot to weld.
    i notice the funny smelling smoke and getting kinda warm.
    the welding jacket has saved me the cost of many bush jackets.
     
  9. borntofli

    borntofli Member

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    Thanks guys....I like stick welders cause their easier to weld in hard places... You can bend the rod to get into tight places.......
     
  10. CTripps

    CTripps Active Member

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    Saftey gear is very important.

    When I was in welding school, one of the guys had spatter land in the pocket of his flannel shirt.. the problem was he was working on a certification test piece, it had to be one continuous job so he couldn't stop and restart. He managed it, somehow. A few seconds to throw the jacket on would have saved him a shirt, pack of smokes and a lot of chest hair. At least his lighter was in his back pocket.
    We were shown a few pictures and safety vids the first day as well that didn't pull any punches when it came to showing what injuries could happen. Spatter or slag in shoes, regulator fragment damage, and so on.
     
  11. Bill in Oregon

    Bill in Oregon New Member

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    I have the HF wire welder after seeing its good and bad points on a bunch of Youtubes. I'm still using the Chinese wire, but everyone says once you switch to good American Lincoln wire, the weld quality really improves.
     
  12. JonnyR

    JonnyR New Member

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    i was forced to break out the stick welder this week to fix my frame and i was surprised how much difference a pack of new rods makes i was useing some from i dont know when and welding on the welders limits with them (can only take 3/32 rod and smaller) i only could get these rods from ace but they worked great and my frame looks great and is nice and strong. from what i learned bike frames need 1/16 rod but 3/32 works.
     
  13. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    Welding rod must be kept dry. If they aren't stored in a moisture proof container they will attract moisture and won't weld correctly because the flux is ruined. Professional welders keep their rods in a heated environment to keep them dry. There are ovens designed to heat rods for that purpose. Long term storage is not a good idea unless you have provisions to dry the rods.

    Tom
     
  14. JonnyR

    JonnyR New Member

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    i keep them on top of the oil burner
     
  15. maniac57

    maniac57 Old, Fat, and still faster than you

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    I have the same welder and it works well enough to fab bike frames if you know how to weld. You have to slow down but it makes decent looking welds if you practice. Running it on 220 helps a lot, but it works on 110 as well. If you're careful, it can get almost any bike welding done. I('ve been a welder/fabricator for over 35 years so I'm fairly hard to impress, but these welders are good value for the money.
     
  16. tooljunkie

    tooljunkie Member

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    a home made rod oven is easy to build,a mini fridge and a light bulb.keeps rods useable.

    there are big differences in welding wire.
    the copper coating for gas type welding can create a problem when it flakes off and plugs the liner and tip.the better quality doesent do this,makes for smoother feeding.

    as maniac said,slow down.was a bad habit for me when i first started arc welding.
     

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