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I Forge Iron

Question about cutting torch...

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From Lincoln Electric

AC Stick Welder
List Price:396.00 (USD)
K1170 AC-225 230/1/60

The AC-225 compact stick welder has a broad welding amperage range of 40-225 amps. It produces an extremely smooth AC arc for welding a wide variety of materials including carbon, low alloy, and stainless steels as well as cast iron. Metals 16 gauge and heavier can be easily arc welded with the AC-225.

If buying a new unit:
Lincoln has a "3 year warranty on parts and labor" warranty listed on their web site. Sears warranty and the "Craftsman" warranty may or may not apply to this product if purchased through Sears.

Look at the other big box stores as they may have sales, or additional items packaged with the welders.

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Can't beat the old tombstone. Been using one at work for over 30 yrs (and it was there before me). Learned to weld on it. It has burned over a ton (literally) of rod doing fab and repairs and many, many, many personal projects. It has gotten a little tired and we may have to turn it up a notch or two higher than in the old days but you can't kill these things. They held at $94 or so from the 70's wel into the 80's I think, surprising what they are getting for them now. Still a good deal. Their only (slight) shortcoming is the direct connect leads, but you can always get inside and put some longer ones on.

That said, I would be looking at farm auctions for a used welder. Lincoln, Marquette, Forney, a lot of brands. At an auction you will probalby get a helmet, maybe some rod and even some clamps thrown in. You may even get an AC/DC welder for way less than new price for a new tombstone AC (they also have an AC/DC model). AC will do most anything. DC makes some things easier and can do a few things AC will not. I have a Miller 250 MIG that I use most of the time. I also have a Forney 240 AC/DC stick welder (they don't make these anymore) that sees plenty of use. As mentioned above when I want something absotively posolutely stuck with 100% penetration for critical welds I go to stick. I also use it when welding up tooling/dies with dissimilar metals and tool steels.

At an auction you can easily get a welder as good (or better) than that new Lincoln (including a used Lincoln), maybe some "freebies" with it and who knows what else at that same auction and save 100's of $.

For my torch I burn oxy/propane and have an acetylene tank for the occasional welding or brazing. Haven't had to fill the acetylene tank for years.

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Hi, Bsing.
It was said on here that you can cut, or more correctly gouge steel w/a stick welder. While this is true, it is a process more suited to demolition than say cutting stock, or tracing out a design.
While it is possible to gouge w/a welding rod, it takes a bit of skill. Generally it is done with an airarc which is a seperate attatchment you buy to plug into your welder. They cost anywhere from say $20.00 used up to about 220.00 new. They also require a compressor to supply air to the tip,and the ones I have used need to be run on DC which the welder shown above won't do.
The carbon arc torch, (for heating ,brazing,etc). is also a seperate attatchment you must buy. I don't know if they still sell them or not. However I see them on ebay sometimes . They are never very expensive.

In short, If you mainly want to cut, but also need to weld something once in a while then you probably should go with the torch.
If you primarily want a welder, go with the lincoln, or something like it
and find other ways to cut.

By the way, I noticed tonite someone listed an older version of the welder above,and a small set of oxygen and acetylene tanks all together for fifty bucks on the local craigslist.

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The local welding shops will not refill Oxygen or Acetylene or Ar/Co2 without proof of rental on those tanks, usually through their store. Then there is the structural tank testing that has to be current for them to refill the tanks.

You can purchase your own tanks, which are about half size to the common "industrial" size tanks. Cost of refilling the tanks is based on the volume of gas put into the tank.

Contact you local dealer and make friends. We were low on gas with a upcoming long holiday weekend. He loaned me a 2nd set of full tanks to use. Sure enough we ran out of gas and switched the tanks. First thing Tuesday morning we returned the empty tanks, a full box of donuts, and paid for the new gas.

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Hi Glenn.
Most of the blacksmiths,and fabricators I know around here, including me. Use a local place called Buckeye welding supply because the big outfits U.S welding ,etc. Have become so hard to deal with if you don't run a large industrial account with them.
Buckeye on the otherhand could quite frankly care less whose tanks you bring in to get filled. They have also hot filled an argon tank for me that was out of hydro, When they didn;t have another to swap out.
Which is nice, because around here you can usually find cheap tanks at the flea market etc. Both the small ones, and full size .

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