Welder

Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
2,467
Location
Apple Valley, California, USA
Been there, done this

Choosing a welder is a personal choice thing.

It is much like the age old comparison between vehicle choices.
Ford vs Chevy vs Dodge, etc.
They're all good, but maybe not good for all.

You will find everyone has 'their opinion" and experience with their favorite type or brand of welder.
What is inexpensive to one, may be prohibitive to someone else.
They're all good, but maybe not good for all.

Then there is the choice of welding method.
What type welding, ie, Flux Core, Mig, Tig, Stick weld, etc.
They're all good, but maybe not good for all.

So while you will surely get valuable 'opinions', (mine included), I highly suggest that some research of the various types of welders.
You don't need to go take a welding course, but some time acquiring workable knowledge about the subject will serve you well.
Learn about the various welding methods. This will help to narrow down the welder choices. (YouTube video's is a great source for this)

Learn the specifications of each type welder and brand, so you can make an educated decision which type of welder and $$$$ amount is appropriate for your situation.

As a newbie to welding, I bought a 'inexpensive' welder from Harbor Freight.
All to quickly, I learned, that I should have learned more about welding, before I made my purchase.
When I decided to upgrade, I knew I had better learn more about the subject before putting good money after bad.

So I did exactly as I am now suggesting to you, and got online and scoured the internet for all things welding.(Still do)
Still watch YouTube videos on the subject.
It really, really helped to educate me, and I ended up with a welder that I am very happy with.

Here is the link to ...My Deciding Factors

By all means listen to the opinions of others, their experiences, and preferences.
It will educate you, so you can make a decision you won't regret.

Also check the Old AZ Forum Archives: https://www.forum.atomiczombie.com/....Forum: Welding Equipment and Tips

OK that's my 2 cents...well maybe a nickels worth.
Good luck in finding the welder that fits your needs.
 
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Joined
May 31, 2013
Messages
2,304
Location
South Benfleet, Essex, England, UK
Brad uses nothing but a simple stick welder and uses 1 type of rod and gets brilliant results (but he is a genius).
The rest of the AZ crew has a wide mix of "welders" from cheap Home Despot/Hateful-Fright boxes with some of them "upgraded" to DC working at one end of the scale to the best you can buy in gas shielded TIG/MIG from the top-flight suppliers at the other end.
I know which I prefer, but all I can suggest to you is do the research as Ed says and then if this hobby is not a 5-minute wonder/flash in the pan event for you then buy the very best you can reasonably afford because with price usually you get features & functionality. Here in the UK my R-Tech TIG was north of $1200 (its a re-badged Everlast I think) but I don't regret/begrudge a single cent of the spend.
Good Luck, happy building.
 

Radical Brad

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Mar 13, 1999
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Kakabeka Falls, Ontario, Canada
I use an department store AC buzz box and only 3/32 6013 rod.
Usually have the welder set for 65-70 amps for bike tubing, and 100-110 amps for heavier steel like 1/8" wall and up.
I love that rig!

Brad
 
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Jul 6, 2017
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Location
georgia usa
So if I plan on only the one trike is it worth it, price wise, in buying a welder or farming the welding out? I am leaning towards the Aurora.
 

Radical Brad

Garage Hacker!
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Messages
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Kakabeka Falls, Ontario, Canada
Every skill you learn is worth something for sure!
There is never just one welding project once you have the power.

Also, farming it out would cost you a lot more than buying a commercial trike.

Brad
 
Joined
Oct 19, 2012
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439
Location
Wakefield, UK
The trouble with farming it out is ensuring your choice of person appreciates any tolerances in the design. Also cutting the next piece perfectly without having attached the previous piece can be very difficult as the angles aren't set in stone until the previous piece is welded on. Much better to have a go yourself. If you buy a secondhand welder you can usually sell it on for a similar price if you decide never to weld again. I'd avoid an arc or stick welder. The job can be done with one but it is very easy for a novice or even moderately competent person to blow holes in such thin steel as a trike will use. Arc or stick welders are more suited to heavier work IMO. A MIG is a much better choice to start welding with and with only a few hours practice you should be happy to tackle the job. A TIG will almost certainly give the best results but is harder to use and learn than a MIG and more expensive. Don't get a gasless MIG, get a regular one that uses CO2 or Argon. Even the smallest output MIG will suffice for building a trike. Consumables will include tips, whole torches, shrouds as well as the obvious wire and gas though if you buy new you'll not need to replace a whole torch during a trike build but may need the odd tip and shroud. An auto-darkening mask is a very nice extra though not essential. I'd suggest that a hand held eye shield is not ideal though as a head mounted one allows that extra hand for holding the work.
 
Joined
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Location
Apple Valley, California, USA
OK here's another 2 cents to go with my previous 5 cents
All good thoughts from experienced folks.

You may be looking for a cut and dried answer, as to which welder is the best.
I believe the answers you are getting are the fairest and most appropriate.

We do not really know your experience, physical limitations, mechanical ability, or financial situation.

So if I plan on only the one trike is it worth it, price wise, in buying a welder or farming the welding out? I am leaning towards the Aurora.
Might you ask, yourself, ' why do I want to build this 'aurora''..or other?..".is it worth it?"(this can only be defined by yourself)
Is it for the pleasure, the fun, the learning experience, of creating and building? Or just to save some money?
If to save money, then the cost for the equipment, consumables, welding tanks, gauges, gas, gloves, helmet, grinder, discs, etc. must be taken into consideration.
These things will be a waste of money if never used again, or sold at a loss.
On the other hand, a good investment, if the practice of welding and making, ...and repairing things, is long term.

Why do I want to weld it myself ?
As Brad say's below, welding is a skill that may very well 'be worth it'...in ways you may not have even considered.
Do you know anyone (personal or business) that might allow you to experience what welding is all about, or even better, 'practice' a weld or two?
How is your eye sight? Especially in a darkened mode. One must know where the weld line is going, which requires seeing it.

Watch the welding videos online.

Kevin Caron..well known artist and metal working guru.

All who weld, know this,....it takes ....practice, practice, practice.

Every skill you learn is worth something for sure!
There is never just one welding project once you have the power.

Also, farming it out would cost you a lot more than buying a commercial trike.

Brad
I can attest to Brad's point here. When I was building my PVC car, (before buying a welder, and learning how to use it)
I had a local fabrication shop, weld up a set of double cranks. Total welded area, less than 12 inches.
(Cost me $200, and I swore, .. THAT ! ...will never happen again.


If you buy a secondhand welder you can usually sell it on for a similar price if you decide never to weld again.
Many have done this. There is certainly a lot of great deals out there, ...BUT !
I would caution, that you should know, what you are buying, and see it demonstrated.
Welding is somewhat a generic term, with many types, methods, equipment, etc. all rolled up into a neat, one word package.

Lastly, be patient, and thoroughly, understand what your need is, vs ' your desire', (then select your equipment).
Do your homework, and you will not regret it, and you will have more fun with it.

Desire vs need vs specifications, vs cost, will no doubt, give you the answer you seek, grasshopper !
 
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