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Welding machines #5275689 11/23/19 06:12 PM
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JHZR2 Offline OP
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Specifically small wire flux welders that you can find
Dirt cheap used a few times on Craigslist.

Situation: I have wrought (or some sort of) iron railings on my stairs into my home. We installed them in probably 2007.

One set and only one set of welds has failed, but it’s the “right” one to make the railing unusable.

Pictures are embedded below.

So I’m not looking to become a welder, or do a lot of welding. Just want to get enough cheap kit to do the one job - grind to bright metal, weld the item in position, and be done.

I see these wire flux welders with low duty cycle and capability to weld 3/16” plate from a 120v 20A circuit. I’d think that is about sufficient.

The challenge has been that nobody wants to do this small of a job... so DIY is in the cards.

Suggestions? Are these things worth it?


05AA87C8-90B6-4109-9C88-2EE4C179B3C4.jpeg32917CF7-CF65-4909-B696-7FED949BE31E.jpeg
Re: Welding machines [Re: JHZR2] #5275709 11/23/19 07:03 PM
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I looked at a couple on HF and the reviews are really good. I just had a couple of threaded bosses MIG welded into two 10 gauge axle covers. My friend who did it stated flatly he was not a welder, but they came out looking really nice.

I think you will be able to handle DIY welding with one of them.


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Re: Welding machines [Re: JHZR2] #5275718 11/23/19 07:18 PM
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Just bought the $90 HF welder.
Modded it with a bridge rectifier and capacitor. ($30)
Use non HF wire (Lincoln).
I'm new at it but it seems to do pretty well on the lighter stuff.

Here's a practice project.

myfish2.jpg20191117_121044.jpg

"If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace." --- Thomas Paine
Re: Welding machines [Re: JHZR2] #5275725 11/23/19 07:29 PM
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earlyre Online Sleepy
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Originally Posted by JHZR2
Specifically small wire flux welders that you can find
Dirt cheap used a few times on Craigslist.

Situation: I have wrought (or some sort of) iron railings on my stairs into my home. We installed them in probably 2007.

One set and only one set of welds has failed, but it’s the “right” one to make the railing unusable.

Pictures are embedded below.

So I’m not looking to become a welder, or do a lot of welding. Just want to get enough cheap kit to do the one job - grind to bright metal, weld the item in position, and be done.

I see these wire flux welders with low duty cycle and capability to weld 3/16” plate from a 120v 20A circuit. I’d think that is about sufficient.

The challenge has been that nobody wants to do this small of a job... so DIY is in the cards.

Suggestions? Are these things worth it?



Call a local Trade School, see if a student might tackle it?

and also remember the novice welder's Motto - " a Grinder and paint, makes me the welder I Ain't!"


Mine:
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Re: Welding machines [Re: JHZR2] #5275740 11/23/19 07:45 PM
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You're on the right track to "grind to shiny metal" before starting....I would do a few more common sense suggestions...Like is that cap real close to where you want to weld, is it painted black plastic or steel? A magnet would answer for you.

If you (had the railing installed in 2007) is there a snowball's chance in Hades of getting a couple of scraps from that company so you have some test pieces to play with before lighting up a destroying your (actual) piece? For a handrail, I would definitely use 70 series vs 60 series electrodes.

My final two cents worth to Ursatdx; no disrespect, but there's quite a difference between anything made by welding/soldering/brazing that simply hangs on a wall vs. a handrail which must meet local building codes and if it were OSHA, must withstand a 200 lb. side load without failure. I question if what is pictured could have done that when new.

Re: Welding machines [Re: JHZR2] #5275742 11/23/19 07:48 PM
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Read the reviews on the harbor freight units . You will need to grind both parts to completely get rind of that rust and paint. They will work just fine.

Re: Welding machines [Re: JHZR2] #5275768 11/23/19 08:30 PM
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Are you replacing the rail and need to weld it in place, or trying to patch weld whats there?

I have a Lincoln welder that has been good. I will say, welds are smoother with gas than flux wire. Flux wire is probably better in the wind and on less clean metal.

I personally would buy a decent Lincoln or hobart welder rather than and HF unit.

I have the lincolin 3200 HD, but i dont think its made anymore.

A lincolin 140 is around $550 and you have the option of gas.

Last edited by spasm3; 11/23/19 08:45 PM.

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Re: Welding machines [Re: spasm3] #5275788 11/23/19 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by spasm3
Are you replacing the rail and need to weld it in place, or trying to patch weld whats there?

I have a Lincoln welder that has been good. I will say, welds are smoother with gas than flux wire. Flux wire is probably better in the wind and on less clean metal.

I personally would buy a decent Lincoln or hobart welder rather than and HF unit.

I have the lincolin 3200 HD, but i dont think its made anymore.

A lincolin 140 is around $550 and you have the option of gas.


The railing welds broke off. I’d like to weld it back on. Nothing else.

Ive seen Lincoln units on Craigslist. What I buy would be the best deal nearby. I’m not sure I’m looking to spend $550 for something I’ll use once. But I hear ya on Lincoln. Don’t know much about Hobart but got it.

Re: Welding machines [Re: JHZR2] #5275818 11/23/19 09:41 PM
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The harbor freight flux core welder will do just fine for that tacking job.

Re: Welding machines [Re: JHZR2] #5275819 11/23/19 09:42 PM
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I am only recommending the Hf unit because you wanted super cheap and from what I read you may only use it this one time. I have never used one but the reviews look like it probably works ok.

Re: Welding machines [Re: P10crew] #5275838 11/23/19 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by JHZR2


The railing welds broke off. I’d like to weld it back on. Nothing else.

Ive seen Lincoln units on Craigslist. What I buy would be the best deal nearby. I’m not sure I’m looking to spend $550 for something I’ll use once. But I hear ya on Lincoln. Don’t know much about Hobart but got it.

Originally Posted by P10crew
I am only recommending the Hf unit because you wanted super cheap and from what I read you may only use it this one time. I have never used one but the reviews look like it probably works ok.


In that case I agree. For a one time project try an HF, but I'd at least look on Facebook marketplace to see what's available.


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Re: Welding machines [Re: JHZR2] #5275857 11/23/19 10:38 PM
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Instead of welding it back on........could you just bolt together?


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Re: Welding machines [Re: JHZR2] #5275916 11/24/19 03:17 AM
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I really like my Hobart 140 and its served me well and I have seen used ones on craiglist and marketplace often, mainly because ppl will buy them for a couple projects and then end up not using them again.



whenever you decide to tackle your job make sure you play with the welder a bit on some scrap pieces so you can get the settings dialed in etc.


I'd buy Callahan autoparts if I could.
Re: Welding machines [Re: JHZR2] #5275935 11/24/19 05:28 AM
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Wonder if someone you know might let you borrow their welder or do it for you. Ask around work, church other places you know people and they might help. You could. Definitely clean to bare metal before welding.


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Re: Welding machines [Re: JHZR2] #5275997 11/24/19 07:15 AM
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I have the HF flux wire 120 unit, also a Lincoln 240 stick.

I turn to the HF one for my exhaust work-- it's about perfect for the 17 gauge mild steel in exhaust pipes.

My question is, how thick is that railing? Hollow? I would worry about blowing through it.

"Wrought iron" is a style from back in the 1800s. Your railing is likely low grade steel, just shaped like days-gone-by.

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