View Full Version : Welders

Andrew Boatman
12-27-2004, 09:57 AM
In searching the archives I did not find a lot on welders. What do you all use and recomend? Planning for light usage around the shop. Putting together some display type things.
Looked at the Miller/Hobart 135 units. The Lincoln is available at Lowes too.

Steve Stadelman
12-27-2004, 10:33 AM
Well, what's kind of crazy is that if you buy a 120v wire welder, You need to spend 7-800 dollars to make it what you want to use. If you go ahead and spend $1100-$1200 on a nice Miller 210 or something like that you will have a serious tool that will last 20 years.

If you are just going to get a stick welder go ahead and buy something that runs on 240v so you can get things done.

I have both 120 and 240v wire welders and while the 120 is viable for field work, for anything else it is really just annoying.

Dave Bross
12-27-2004, 10:33 AM
The old red Lincoln "jukebox" welder is probably one of the best general light duty stick welders for the money. You really don't need DC, just AC, and that makes it much more economical. They're not what they used to be (aluminum windings instead of copper...I think?) but still very good. You won't be using it at anywhere near its maximum capacity. Best bet is if you can find an older unit or better yet an older unit of any brand that has a crank wheel on top for infinite adjustment of heat.

I don't know how much you know about stick welding but I would suggest using 7014 or 7018 rods. Much easier to weld with and stronger than the traditional 6011 or 6013. Use a rod at least one size under 1/8" (can't remember the actual size)for most of what you'll probably be doing, and even smaller for your display work. If you need more weld area, multiple passes actually anneal the passes before them, and the tiny stuff will weld better with the smaller rods.

Get yourself a chop saw. You'll be ready to conquer the world, or at least weld it together on a small scale. I haven't cut anything with a torch since I gave up the scrap metal business. The torch cuts have to be ground after cutting, hence one advantage of the chop saw. Not to mention the expense and hassle of having available bottled oxy/acetylene or propane. One pass and done with the chop saw. Mitering (angles)capabilities with the chop saw too. I won't even go into all my non-OSHA approved behaviors with the chop saw, but let's just say it has amazing versatility on a number of fronts. Eye protection mandatory. If the chop saw wheel blows apart from some marginal operator behavior or just from a flaw (it happens)you'll be glad your eyes were covered.

Pete VanderLaan
12-27-2004, 10:42 AM
I still have my miller thunderbolt that I bought in 1969 for 75 bucks. I have had to replace the cables. Do not bother will a 115 volt welder unless you are punishing cows.

Alexander Adams
12-27-2004, 10:42 AM
I wouldn't buy a welder from a Big Box Store. Nobody at Lowes or Home Depot will be able to answer future tech questions (if you can even find a sales person) and chances are they will never have the best prices on consumables, gloves, goop to keep the nozzle clean, and other related items. Even if you have to spend a few bucks more at a Welding Supply Store, the purchase will be worth it and in some cases will let you test drive the machines. They will have an easier time getting machines repaired and back into service than the dunces at Lowes. Develope a relationship with a welding supply store and you will be rewarded.

I wouldn't spend a lot on a the least expensive mig welder because for just a little more money you should be able to find a lightly used, higher amped unit at a Welding Supply Store, Ebay or Pawn Shop. As more and more people "Crack Out" or venture further into debt, Pawn Shops and Used Tool Stores will be brimming with treasures. Make sure that you wont be stuck with a flux core only situation or you might as well buy a stick welder.

The only thing I wouldn't suggest buying at a Welding Supply Store are the 90/45 degree magnets. Buy those at Harbor Freight when they are on sale for $2. Do, however, spring for the expensive 90 degree clamps at the Welding Supplier if you need them. The Chinese only seem to make crappy 87 and 93 degree clamps for $10 and they aren't any help at all.


Steve Stadelman
12-27-2004, 10:45 AM
87 and 93 degree, that's pretty funny!

Pete VanderLaan
12-27-2004, 10:45 AM
The chinese clamps are only useful for throwing at the cows once the've been cornered. Otherwise Vise Grip name brand only.

Rick Sherbert
12-27-2004, 10:48 AM
Dudley Giberson told me when I was learning, "The first thing you need to know to be a glassblower is how to weld" And he taught us.

I bought my first stick welder for $100 at a flea market. The old Lincoln tombstone served me well. I now have a Miller MIG (don't know the model # off hand) that I bought new for about $1200. It's always ready to go and a beginner (my studio assistant) can produce passable welds with only an hour's practice. The Miller has paid for itself over the years.

It's like blowpipes, everyone has their favorite. But most of what I see now on pro trucks is Miller.

Make friends at your local welding supply shop, mine occasionally has deals or used equipment.

Steve Stadelman
12-27-2004, 10:57 AM
It sound like you probably have a Miller really close to my 210 Rick. Like I said earlier, it just pays to buy a good one upfront, even if it seems expensive upfront, over the long term it will be so worth it.

R. Scott Johnson
12-27-2004, 10:59 AM
Don't forget that every good shop needs and wants a plasma cutter. Chopsaws are fine for straight cuts but the plasma cutter is pure heaven!

Steve Stadelman
12-27-2004, 11:59 AM
I use the crap out of my plasma cutter but for someone putting a shop together it is really about 95% want 5% need.

I would just buy a good name brand 240v wire feed to start with. Dave Bross is right about the stick welding stuff but he obviously knows how to weld with one. It is really alot of time and energy to learn how to correctly weld stick although it is a lot cheaper on the outlay.

When I was looking for my whole suite of equipment the used stuff was just as expensive as new and e-bay was more expensive than my local welding supplier.

Ben Rosenfield
12-27-2004, 12:06 PM
Lots of old timers recommend something like this Hobart (http://hobartwelders.com/products/StickmateLX_AC-DC.html). It does AC and DC stick for greater versatility. Plus you can upgrade it to use the DC side for TIG welding later on. That model can be had new at places like Tractor Supply for less than $400.

Alexander Adams
12-27-2004, 01:10 PM
Steve, have you seen the circle cutting rig for the Hypertherm Plasma Cutters? If you find yourself needing to cut out verious sized holes, it's well worth it.


Glenn Randle
12-27-2004, 02:50 PM
I picked up an auto darkening helmet at Harbor Frt for $40 a few weeks ago. Haven't welded with it yet but it passed the 100 watt light bulb test. I'm sure my welding will be much easier with it, flipping the old one up & down was a hassle.

PS Too bad we aren't all neighbors. We could all share tools and drink beer together. It seems like I've collected almost every tool you could want and most of them have a very thick layer of dust between uses. Pete, I wish your tractor wasn't 2000 miles away, my driveway is almost a 4x4 only road. And I'd change everyone's motor oil for free! I'd probably get in trouble for teaching everybody's kids to cuss, spit, and smoke!


Steve Stadelman
12-27-2004, 03:01 PM
Sorry Glen, I just cannot trust Harbor Freight for anything safety related, I don't put anything under thier chainfall hoists, I won't buy one of their welding helmets.

Glenn Randle
12-27-2004, 03:04 PM
It's obvious that the Chinese don't even know how to make good condoms yet!

Steve Stadelman
12-27-2004, 03:09 PM
Alex, I have seen those but don't need one yet. Glen, spitting and cussing are O.K. but the smoking is right out.

Donovan Brooke
12-27-2004, 05:26 PM
Well, I'm in need of a metal chop saw as well as something that would cut "ends" off of potentially delicate glass (vessels and such).

This may be another futile attempt at trying to kill two birds with one stone (to try and save some $), but is there a saw out there that I could use for both metal and glass? (changing blades of course)

...or will I just need to bit the bullet?


Steve Stadelman
12-27-2004, 05:40 PM
Sorry Dude, get out a musket ball, this is gonna hurt.

Jeff Hoover
12-27-2004, 05:41 PM
Originally posted by Donovan Brooke
Well, I'm in need of a metal chop saw as well as something that would cut "ends" off of potentially delicate glass (vessels and such).

This may be another futile attempt at trying to kill two birds with one stone (to try and save some $), but is there a saw out there that I could use for both metal and glass? (changing blades of course)

...or will I just need to bit the bullet?

I just got a tile saw. It's water lubricated and has a diamond blade. I'll be trying it out soon on glass and can let you know how it does. I don't expect it's OK for metal, but it's not bad ($129)

Glenn Randle
12-27-2004, 05:46 PM
You can cut glass up to about 1" thick with a tile saw, the little table saw style ones are about $60 at Lowes or HD. I think I paid about $150 for my import metal chop saw from Northern back in 92' , it's been a good one. Harbor Frt sells them for $59 but I wouldn't buy one unless there's a Hbr Ftr store nearby, it might be junk.
I don't think it would be wothwhile trying to cut glass and metal with the same tool. You could do it if your life depended on it, or for a million bucks, or for a dog-double-dare.
There are band saw blades for glass and also blades for metal but you wouldn't chop angle iron on the type of band saw that would work well with glass.

Buy a chop saw for the metal then build a glass saw. You can do anything with a chop saw, a welder, and a pile of metal.....well almost anything.

Richard Huntrods
12-27-2004, 10:45 PM
Yee-Haw! Got me a big-ol' Lincoln-Bubba 240V wire welder (it's got a big ol' Nascar sticker on the side) a year ago when I started out. It was on sale at Crappy Tire for $650, and has the fittings for gas.

It was recommended by a welder buddy of Randy's, and has turned out to be just great. I built everything I needed out of it (furnace, annealer, glory hole add-ons, etc) - after learning to weld, of course.


p.s. One thing I learned the hard way... don't weld in shorts. The arc can cause some serious sunburn! (I never did get burned by spatter or anything - just the nasty sunburn).

Douglas Terry
12-27-2004, 10:57 PM
I bought my Lincoln 220 volt tombstone type welder in 1968. I have no idea of how many hundred pounds of welding rod it has used but many. It cost $119 from the Alden's catalog and it still works as good today as it did then.

When your ship comes in, a good plasma cutter is a wonderful thing to have and a decent wire feed welder is very nice, but you can build anything you can imagine with a decent new or used 220 volt stick welder. Doug Terry

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Dave Bross
[B]The old red Lincoln "jukebox" welder is probably one of the best general light duty stick welders for the money. You really don't need DC, just AC, and that makes it much more economical. They're not what they used to be (aluminum windings instead of

TC Robertson
12-28-2004, 12:25 AM
I have to admit only owning a welder for a short time. I have worked on and built studios for 25 years, and it was always a loaner or the school's. The one I currently "borrow" is a Miller thunderbolt, oldy but a goody. The guy it belongs to recieved several hundred $ in lampshades so it may be a permanent loan.
I got a little Sears wire rig and the gas setup was missing, that flux core wire sucks! I imagine it will be good for thin sheet.

Oh, I did get one those Harbor Fright self darkeners, done several thousand (we used rebar in our product) welds with no problem. Once an assistant let it fill with H2O, still fine after it dried out. A little foggy for a while.

I swear welders have been $75 used for eternity, seems to be a very common price.

The welders sunburn is a real concern, and it may cause wrinkles.

Later, TC :D

Dave Bross
12-28-2004, 11:05 AM
Amen Doug!

Using a wire welder is just like putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, so quite good for first timers.

If you want to try a stick welder, be sure to try with the rod numbers I mentioned above (7014 or 7018). Those rods are referred to as "drag rods" in that you don't have to be precise in holding your arc length. You can actually just drag them along and wiggle them side to side a bit . If you can get the arc struck you will produce something resembling a weld on your first try. Most encouraging.

Pete VanderLaan
12-28-2004, 04:50 PM
Actually, If I didn't have one anyway, I would get an oxy acetylene unit way before getting a stick welder or anything else. Learning gas welding is an important skill. It may be slow but it really is not an item one can substitute for.

...and get a big one at a real welding supply house.

Jay Holden
12-29-2004, 03:29 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Donovan Brooke
[B]Well, I'm in need of a metal chop saw

Donovan, I just bought a Craftsman 14" chop saw off ebay brand new for $91.00. It's great. There are a lot of chop saws and tile saws on ebay for sale. I also have a Craftsman Mig welder and an airgas torch. Yes, I can gas weld. I used to weld gas lines for Corning when I was a pipefitter there. I don't have the certification any more though.

Donovan Brooke
12-29-2004, 03:33 PM
thanks. :)


12-29-2004, 07:16 PM
Dave is absolutely right about the 7014 and 7018 rods. Somehow 6013 became the legendary rod of choice but there is no comparison to ease or success in making beautiful strong welds. The one thing I would add to this is that horizontal band saws are quiet, easy to use, make beautiful angled cuts ready to weld. They are not too expensive and with a good bimetal blade, will cut a huge amount of steel. You can do other things while the cut is being made and no ear plugs are necessary. I really dislike the chop saws for sparks and noise. My Delta band saw is now six years old and only changing blades has been needed.

Steve Stadelman
12-29-2004, 08:00 PM
Hugh, all my shop teachers (and I took a LOT of shop!) explained that 6013 got a lot better penetration and therefore made better welds.

These days I just turn down the wire feed speed.:D

Charlie Holden
12-29-2004, 10:44 PM
From the aluminum hats department, has anybody ever played around with a Brown's Gas torch? There are some very strange claims made for this stuff:

It heats different materials to different temperatures. It will vaporize tungsten but barely heat water.

The flame is a series of implosions instead of explosions.

Cut through scale or rust on iron with no spitting.

The flame will glaze a brick.

It is a mixture, from electrolized water, of hydrogen and oxygen that has never been seperated. The two gasses are collected together. I think it is somehow electrolized differently than the classic high school physics method, but I couldn't tell you how. Some people say it is mon-atomic hydrogen and oxygen but others say that is impossible. One guy says it is electrically expanded water, whatever that is.

Anyway, it seems like it would be fun to play around with.




Steve Stadelman
12-29-2004, 10:58 PM
Well, that pegs my bullshittometer.

TC Robertson
12-30-2004, 12:04 AM
I just saw a website that gives plans to run your car on that stuff, you know, water. The only catch I saw was, you had have the pistons and valves coated with ceramic. Sounds pricey. I am going to look into building one for cutting, experimenting. I know jewelers who use those micro-torchs, and they seem to work fine.
I like the treated water that acts like coffee, without the side effects, like going to the bathroom often? Later, TC ;)

Dave Bross
12-30-2004, 10:54 AM
The hydrogen/Brown's gas stuff is for real.

The problem for useage at scales above jewelry torches is storing and pressurizing the gas.

Pete is quite right about the benefits of learning to oxy acetylene/propane weld first if you can afford the time. It will make everything afterwards a breeze, and you will use it a lot on small stuff. It does take quite a bit of practice to get it right, or my memory is that it did for me.

Steve is right about the greater penetration on 6013 rods, but, you've got to be highly skilled to get even a passable weld. For most folks you get a weaker weld with the 60 series rods if your skills aren't top notch. There was always some comment among welders that the union pipe welders insisted on the 60 series rods (and the skill required to use them)being held as the standard of the industry as sort of a job protection strategy.

My current gas welding setup is the gang of three used medical oxygen concentrators I usually use for my lampworking torch with propane. Enough pressure to weld but not to cut. No bottles to lug or run out at a critical moment late at night.

Pete VanderLaan
12-30-2004, 11:19 AM
I believe in the torch because a lot of metal cuts simply aren't straight in furnace building, It's the notched stuff that a chop saw just won't handle. I have both types of welders but it you can only have one, I would go gas. I suppose I would like a wire feed unit too but frankly I don't weld enough to justify the expense.

I used to have a horizontal hacksaw and vastly preferred it to the chopsaw for the same reasons Hugh gave. After 20 years, it gave up the last ghost and I sold it off. I'd love another one.

TC Robertson
12-30-2004, 01:19 PM
I too have loved the band saw for many years. But, after getting my 2nd from Harbor Fright I was dissapointed by the thing srewing up way too much,( I know, go American), and we got a chop saw. For speed its the deal, we hack oodles of copper pipe and not so much steel so we grin and bear it. A nice Delta or other US brand is in my future though. I must build a new furnace now, so budget is limited for new tools. Later, TC :p

Pete VanderLaan
12-30-2004, 02:24 PM
check out the soft brick prices at Hi temp. $1.80 for 2600F IFB.

Steve Stadelman
12-30-2004, 05:15 PM
I went to my welding store this afternoon and a millermatic 175 was $695.00. A real nice price for a 240 volt portable.

I also purchased a miller variable shade autodarkening helmet for $210.00. I just can't do Harbor Freight for that. Lots of other stuff, not my eyes.

Steve Stadelman
12-30-2004, 05:17 PM
Originally posted by Pete VanderLaan
check out the soft brick prices at Hi temp. $1.80 for 2600F IFB.

That is a smokin' good price, I bet by the time I get them shipped here it's only $.35 more than buying them local!:D :D :D

Man oh man! motorfreight is wicked now!

Scott Dunahee
12-30-2004, 05:25 PM
Originally posted by Steve Stadelman

Man oh man! motorfreight is wicked now!

Ain't that true. We're set to recieve an order from Spruce Pine and the shipping is about $.10 per pound for 2 tons...


Pete VanderLaan
12-30-2004, 05:38 PM
Originally posted by Steve Stadelman
That is a smokin' good price, I bet by the time I get them shipped here it's only $.35 more than buying them local!:D :D :D

Man oh man! motorfreight is wicked now!

Maybe on your local. Have you checked your local prices this week? I'm curious.

Tom Whitehead
12-30-2004, 10:19 PM
Hi, Thought I'd jump in here and disagree with about everyone. I think you should get an older ac or dc machine, that you know is copper wound. It makes a big differance in arc stability. General rule is : he more it weighs, the better. My favorite is Lincoln. As far as rods go, I use 7018 sometimes and love it, but it leaves a hard glassy slag that can get in the way if your not careful, or can fall down if you're welding vertical down or overhead. Ypou have to keep it very dry or it'll splatter all over hell and gone. And even when you do keep it dry, it only lasts about 6 months once you open the can. 7014 is really a build-up rod good penetration, high slag, but only good welding flat. Lovely weld tho. 6013 is really a shallow penetration rod good for clean sheet metal and box tube as long as it's tightly fitted. I've welded with it to where it looks like I have the most beautiful weld in the world, then chipped the slag away only to find I had 2 beautiful welds, one on each side of the crack!! Still, if you turn up the amps, you can go like hell and get a nice flat bead too. So my fav is ( do I hear a chorus of groans?) 6011. Yup, the original splatter rod. I think of it as the Swiss Army knife of rods, you can weld anything with it in any position, no matter how old or rusty. And unlike 6013, what you see is what you get. If it looks like you're filling then you are. Plus if you have a really big gap to fill, you can chip the flux off one rod and use it, along with the rod you're burning to fill it. Kinda like welding with a gas torch. The only thing I use my gas rig for is brazing and welding mufflers,(only when I have to!) Don't worry about using a 70 rod for strength, regular steel is only 36,000 lbs tensile, so anything you use will be stronger then the steel it'self.
Good Luck, Tom:rolleyes:

Tom Whitehead
12-30-2004, 10:22 PM
Oh Yeah, I heard a roumor that if you ask at the welding shop, they can get you a new Lincoln 225 copper wound. Anybody know if that's true?

Andrew Brott
12-31-2004, 02:10 PM
As fate has it I was about to ask a similar question, but mine was this. Who has the best deal on 220v (and above) mig welder with gas hoses and regulator? Can I get a lincoln, miller, or hobart and not spend more than $850 out the door ? Should I even look @ a tig?
What about horizontal metal cutting band saws? How much do I need to spend to get a "decent" one? Delta? Has any recently purchased a set of rollers? I was looking @ these http://www.bossbendersusa.com/ringroller.htm any other suggestions?

I am over chop saws and stick welders, but will always need a oxy-acetylene rig and a belt/disk sander...
Warm Regards,
p.s. 6011 is for penetrating, 6013 is for filling, and mig does both...

Steve Stadelman
12-31-2004, 02:21 PM
Don't get a TIG until you need it, if you are just doing shop fab get something like the miller 175, like I posted, $695.00.

It will be more once you get a tank, but that's all you will need because they sell them with regulator and hoses.

And I totally agree with Alexander, buy from a welding shop, Then you will have a face to deal with if you have problems, need advice or consumables.

A good TIG will start at $15-$1600.00 I would not even consider a scratch tig.

John Riepma
12-31-2004, 04:59 PM
[What about horizontal metal cutting band saws? How much do I need to spend to get a "decent" one? Delta? Has any recently purchased a set of rollers? I was looking @ these http://www.bossbendersusa.com/ringroller.htm any other suggestions?]

I think the most versatile thing out there for bandsaws is the Parma roll-in saw that Dake sells or something like it. http://www.dake-div-jsjcorp.com/bandsaws.html
It will do square notch-out cuts, which a horizontal won't, miters, cutoff which a conventional bandsaw won't beyond a short length, etc., and it power feeds with hydraulic damping. Not the cheapest, but it's used by a lot of the fab shops you see on TV building custom bikes & cars, etc. Of course, those guys seem to have access to lots o' cash.

Alexander Adams
12-31-2004, 06:51 PM
Enco has a wide variety of bandsaws that are usually priced well. www.use-enco.com

Todd Nelson
01-02-2005, 09:18 AM
After spending several years under a helmet a short explanation of rod numbers... the first 2 digits are the tensile strength of the the weld left behind, ie 6011 is 60,000psi and so forth. The next number is the position. 1 is for all positions and 2 is for horixontal only..and the forth nuber has someting to do with the flux on the rod...if you want to keep your rods fresh keep them in a warm, dry environment, like an old frig(with a light bulb on inside) or maybe in the corner of an annealer. You could take them out the day b/4 you need them and they won't have soaked up all that humidity!

Pete VanderLaan
01-02-2005, 12:01 PM
I will be moving this thread to antiques and classics when it plays out. Thanks to everyone for a ton of information on a neglected subject.

Allan Gott
01-02-2005, 03:23 PM
I have too many boxes of 70 series rod that have been sitting in dry, sometimes very cold, storage for quite a while now and being an auction buy I have no idea how old they really are. I'm OK with 60 series rods but I find the 70's difficult to use.

Could this be a storage problem and if so, would an experienced welder consider them unuseable? Can they be rescued?

Todd Nelson
01-02-2005, 05:35 PM
Allan; you didn't say what type of welder you have. If it's the lincoln tombstone it's an AC welder. 6011 rod will weld very nicely on this machine or any machine or polarity but 7018 is a DC reverse polarity rod and won't weld worth a crap. You can buy 7018 that will run on straight polarity and a DC machine. If your rod boxes are unopened and not rusted thru the rods are probably alright!

Ben Rosenfield
01-02-2005, 06:29 PM
Originally posted by Todd Nelson
.if you want to keep your rods fresh keep them in a warm, dry environment, like an old frig(with a light bulb on inside) or maybe in the corner of an annealer. You could take them out the day b/4 you need them and they won't have soaked up all that humidity! Along those lines, you could add one of these (http://dehumidify.com/ProdDisc.html) to the storage space. The 900-gram unit handles 66 cubic feet.

Allan Gott
01-02-2005, 07:29 PM
Well that could be the trouble right there Todd. Thanks. Who would use rod like that???

......and yes, Lincoln tombstone about 10 yrs new.

Scott Dunahee
01-02-2005, 08:56 PM
I have a Miller 130 (?) or 135 and I love it. It's easy to use with the gas and I get clean penetrating welds every time. It's really only good to about 3/16" for mild steel and I've never tried Stainless, but I'm told it'll do that, too.

I've built an entire hot shop with this little guy and he keeps going. If you're not going for portability, which was of concern to me, I'd go with a 220 unit though.


Rick Schneider
01-03-2005, 07:19 AM
I am glad Todd weighed in on the numbers of Sticks. Too often we think we can do something properly just because it happens to work. I have always been an advocate of taking a class at a community college. I was able to take Stick welding and a TIG MIG class for $95 each from professional welders. You will learn what all those stick numbers mean, what the uses for DC - /DC+/ AC are really for. Most of you probably set your welder on one of them and leave it forever not knowing which one will really do a better job. One of these settings will give you better penetration. Go find out. You will be the better for it.

Before any of you say I do just fine and welding isn't that hard and my equipment is built tough, I want to say that welding is a pretty easy thing to just get the hang of, but for the cheap price of a CC class you will learn it right and it will be better. You will get more out of your $100 Welding class than you will out of a $1000+ summer glass class.

Andrew Brott
01-03-2005, 09:37 AM
Live in the swamplands; we save ours by putting them in a open soup can on top of a running day tank, or pipe warmer.
Does anybody have any experience with this machine: Delta 20-330 5" X 6" Horizontal Band Saw with Blade.... and it's cheap.

Alexander Adams
01-03-2005, 10:17 AM
You can get a very similar saw at Enco for $197.95+S&H actually it is on sale for $169.95. Or a similar saw at Grizzy Industrial for $287 S&H included. Harbour Freight has one listed for $169. McMaster-Carr has one listed for 271.95+S&H. These tool suppliers, even Delta, buy their tools from the same factories in Asia and we end up paying $100 extra dollars for a name brand sticker and special paint. Some tool suppliers will offer 3 identical tools but made in 3 different factories: China, Taiwan and North America, I came across this when I was shopping for a stomp shear. The Chinese Tool is the lowest priced and least reliable, Taiwan is better quality and a little more expensive, workmanship is increased i a place where one can be publically "caned" for vandalism. The tools in the made in the USA or Canada are twice as expensive and are sometimes the most reliable. If you do inquire where things were made, remember, "Made in the USA" and "Assembled in the USA" are two different things.

The Delta Model pictured on Toolking is okay. Depending on what you are cutting it can be loud and the blades often don't track straight when cutting several itmes at once. The other down side is the lack of a lube/coolant system and the belt drive can slip. It will be more accurate, smell better, safer and much more healthy to be around than an abrasive cut off saw.


Jon Myers
01-03-2005, 07:36 PM
what about a cold cut carbide saw? They are much faster than a bandsaw and much quieter than an abrasive saw and they have a stiff blade so the angles stay sharp (when you miter). I have been amazed by ours though the blades are expensive and don't cut stainless (knocks the teeth off). It cuts solid 1.5" as easy as our old cutoff abrasive cut 1/4" angle.

Parker Stafford
01-04-2005, 10:12 AM
I wouldn't own a stick welder. M.I.G. simply has greater flexibility and consistency. It is akin to going from a manual typewriter to a computer. I used to stick weld and I would never go back. I was in sculpture for ten years before I got side-swiped by glass. I would not get flux core but go with the gas unit. When I did stick weld, we used jet rod, the numbers for which I forget now, it has been so long ago.

For most welding around the hot shop you are not going to need a huge unit. I have a Lincoln SP-125 Plus, and it gives me all the penetration I need. You need to look closely at the specs and get a unit that is going to give you the penetration you think you are going to need and then get that. In eight years I have never once been in a situation where I was scratching my head and wishing I bought something heavier. I would buy from a welding shop with a fixed position in the physical universe.

Gas cutting in a ferrous situation is fine if you are making elaborate cuts, but most of my cuts are straight. But cutting is not welding, which is actually brazing, another animal, and one I would not use when I am joining ferrous with a MIG. I use a chop saw but wish I could get a well built band saw. The difference in the quality of the cut is noticable, but the chop saw I have is passable, and the price is right.

I'd love to hear from anyone who has a bandsaw that they love.

Parker S.

Steve Stadelman
01-04-2005, 10:24 AM
This will sound absolutely crazy but I have the $189.00 harbor freight bandsaw and it works great.

You need to understand how to adjust the followers and rollers along with blade tension and tracking, but once that is accomplished it works great.

One point that people never get is that new bandsaw blades need to be "broken in".

You can do this by keeping a piece of 2"-3" round stock maybe 6"-8" long handy. When you get a new blade slowly lower the blade into the cut until more than an inch of blade is engaged in the cut. After you cut a slice off of your round store it until next time.

During my machine shop days we kept a piece of 6" cold rolled for this and just sliced off a 1/8 inch wafer every time.