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Senior Reader

Re: Which stick welder should I buy?

I hope you have not bought your welder yet.  I have welded in nearly every situation possible for the past 50 years.  During my Ag Engineering education at OK State Univ, I had the opportunity to use a Lincoln Idealarc 250 AC?DC welder in the Ag shop.  I looked for one for the next 35 years.  I now own 6 of them.  I use one for a portable welder with a 10Kw generator.  I have welded exhaust pipes back together with 1/16, 6011 rod while underneath the truck.   I have welded grader circles together with 3/16 in 7018 wuith the same welder.  I seem to collect welders, and have over 20 around the farm.  The Idealarc AC/DC is my GO TO welder.   I also have Mig welders, Miller, Airco, and Hobart.  If you decide to go with a mig, get a spoolgun with it and build at least 50 ft  cables with it.  I built my cabvle setup for my spoolguns with cable, hose, and trailer cable.  A spolgun uses high priced 2 lb spools of wire.  I got some wire spools from a fabricator, and wind my spools from a large roll on my lathe.  You have to be careful, but it pays off...


Look on Craigs list, Ebay, or the local penny saver pubs.  Try to find an Ideealarc 250 AC/DC and you will not be sorry.   If you are going to need more than 50 ft of cable,  go with AWG #1 or #0, has a sale on cables with clamps right now.  I prefer the older Tombstone style rather than the later square ones.  I should  say that I usually weld with reverse polarity, (electrode positive) this puts the heat in the rod.  The Idealarc has a polarity switch for DC and AC.  

  They are expensive, but worth every penny.  Your welder will pay for itself within the first year.

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