The objectives for this project are simple; to get a welding station set up in the make shop. However for this to happen, the project will need donations. Welding equipment and set up is fairly expensive. The benefits of having a welder in the shop for use on various projects of all kinds will be invaluable.
To start the welders up for consideration are mig welders. One welder is a Millermatic 140, and the other is a Lincoln SP-140T. MIG welding is probably one of the safest kinds of welding, and it is much quicker to pick up. The plan is to have a cart setup for use either right inside the large garage door or outside on the concrete. Having a cart set up is fantastic for large projects, having the welder/cart setup allows you to move the welder anywhere you need it without necessarily having to move what you are working on. The welder that has been found will be set up to feed flux core wire. The reason being that using a welder requires some sort of ventilation and a place where nothing flammable or combustible will be within reach of the sparks, and when using a welder outside (where wind will be) gas welding is pretty inefficient. The wind will blow the gas coming out with the wire away, leaving you with a bad weld. The great thing about the Lincoln and Miller welder's up for consideration are that you can, later if you want, set them up to use gas. Using the gas will be nice, eventually, because it creates much smoother beads. The only difference between the Lincoln and Miller welders are that the Lincoln would be refurbished with a 2 year warranty on parts and labor and the Miller would be brand new. Brand new but $240 more expensive. Both welders, with attachments, would be able to weld aluminum and arc weld (stick weld). These attachments run a couple hundred dollars, but these are things that can be added after the welding station has been set up and more specific needs are assessed.
- Both of these welders are Tap Control, which means there is no fine tuning when it comes to the heat and wire speed. There are only five or so set selections, and they must be on these settings. If we wanted to get a 140C online at the same web-site, we would still be looking at about a $640 welder cost. It depends on how much control you guys want, and how much welding the shop plans to do.
Along with a welder, specific safety equipment is required. Welding can be extremely difficult for a beginner and incredibly dangerous! Some of the safety equipment needed to use a welder are welding gloves (there are specific gloves to use with a mig welder/welder in general). It is also a good idea to have a welding apron, these aprons are suede and about floor length. It protects you and your clothes from sparks, and therefore, getting burned. In the sculpture studio, I have noticed one of the most common incidents is pants catching on fire and sparks melting holes in pants and then said person's skin! A welding apron will significantly lower the possibility of this happening. Next would be a welding helmet. A welding helmet is an absolute essential. It will protect your face from sparks and also keeps you from going blind. An auto-darkening helmet is best, because you do not have to work around having to continuously lift and put down the helmet. Also a welding hat is a good idea and inexpensive. You can use the railroad engineer hats, or you can get a welding hat from sexton welding (if you do not want to share). Lastly inexpensive jean jackets are the best way to protect your arms and still have good mobility.
For the safety of others (especially their eyes) and things that will be around the welder while it is in use, welding curtains will need to be purchased. These will come with stands and are for catching sparks and blocking the light that comes from the welder gun. It will ruin your eyes, even if you are looking from far away. These curtains are another essential, especially if other people are in the shop working at the same time.
Beyond safety equipment, either welder will come with some wire. It will only come with enough wire for you to make sure the wire actually feeds and the welder works. So we will need to invest in a couple spools of wire. We can go ahead and set up a tank, and it is a good idea to do so. Especially since the welder could be used inside the shop garage door and gas welding makes for better welds. So there is an initial tank cost, and then there is simply a much lower refill cost. Although replenishing the gas is a recurring cost, the wire used with gas is much less expensive than the flux core wire.
The welder will for welding steel, weldable steel. Welding galvanized or stainless is toxic and generally a really bad idea. There are a couple of steel places close to the make shop. They will deliver large quantities and large stock, and it will be cheaper than getting it from Lowe's. However if you want to work on a relatively small project, you can get some weldable steel and annealed wire (weldable) from Lowe's and Home Depot. For those who have not welded in some time, or those who have never welded before, I will teach you the basics of how to use a welder and weld steel. It might be a good idea to have a welding class stock of scrap steel. I have a little I could donate. Steel is expensive, so steel for the most part will be the responsibility of the person working on a project. I have some other suggestions for fun stuff to weld, stuff that is much less expensive than rebar and sheet steel. We could stock some of this for teaching welding at the make shop.
Start Up Costs
This is an email I got from Brandon about the supplies. Even though this includes the more expensive welder, they would drop all off this off at the make shop for us. And we are getting a discount on some of the supplies/items, because we would be getting all the start up supplies and welder from them.
I have all the items we talked about listed below. All items except the curtains are in stock. It usually takes a day to get the curtains in. If you have any questions please give me a call. Thanks
1.Mil907335..........miller matic 140.........$687.65ea.
3.ste52254...........4x5 curtain..............$74.25ea.+ freight
4.ste52246...........4x6 curtain..............$75.35ea.+ freight
5.til1250............blue welding gloves......$8.00ea.
6.til1450m...........yellow welding gloves....$12.00ea
9.cyl75/25125........125cft gas cylinder......$205.00ea.
10.cyl75/25336.......336cft gas cylinder......$350.00ea.
12.thwe71tge2........030 flux cored...........$20.00sp.
Thank you, Brandon Sexton Sexton Welding Supply Co., Inc. 3815 Governors Dr. SW Huntsville, AL 35805 256-539-7413 & 256-539-7464 fax
Links to Welding Helmet/Refurbished Welder
Refurbished Lincoln MIG Welder (140T)
Lincoln MIG Welder (140C)
- This is actually the welding helmet that I have. It works wonderfully, and is adjustable so everyone in the shop could use it. This about the best helmet you can get for the price and would be able to be bought at the Harbor Freight in town.