Smoker build Welder under $500??

Discussion in 'Reverse Flow' started by travisty, Aug 23, 2017.

  1. travisty

    travisty Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Hey guys, I'm gonna start building an RF rig, and probably will build a few after that over time. I'm looking for something that can plug in to 110V that can still get the job done (even if its not ideal). Have no preference for stick/mig

    ​Otherwise am I way off base and need to get an extension cord to run into the laundry room outlet to get 220v?

    +other details:

    *My current rig is a smaller 100 gallon tank

    *Most builds I do are UDS type, but would like some flexibility

    *Other small household type projects.

    *I know almost nothing about welding, but I am handy at all other things, and have welded before
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2017
  2. travisty

    travisty Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

  3. Thats only going to have you weld up to 1/8" steel. What are your plans on material for your project, thats going to be your deciding choice.
  4. kam59

    kam59 Smoking Fanatic

    Northern Tool has the Hobart 140 on sale for 489.00. It will work but expect to make multiple passes on the thicker metal.

    You could also look into a stick machine but make sure it is AC/DC or straight DC. To get the amps you may need to step up to 240v. instead of the 120v.
  5. bgingras

    bgingras Fire Starter

    I have a Lincoln 180 that I picked up at Lowes. It runs on 220V. I have 100Ft of extension cord for it that I use to run from my dryer outlet to my work area. Got the cords off of amazon a while back. They are Heavy duty RV cords with new ends added. I don't feel a 120V unit will work that great for some of the thicker parts of the smoker.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2017
  6. travisty

    travisty Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Thanks for all the info thus far guys!

    ​So my smoker chamber is a compressor tank and not too thick at all. I'm planning to do a braced 1/8 inch steel plate for the RF plate and coat it in refactory cement rather than going full 1/4 inch on that, so the only thing on the project that will be 1/4 inch will be the fire box, but I may even just have a fab shop a buddy works at make that for me.

    ​So possible a stick welder will be able to do better for the price then? I don't have any bias as to which type I get, just have a max budget of a few hundred. Also keeping an eye on a local classifieds site for used ones. Check this one out and tell me what you think:
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2017
  7. travisty

    travisty Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

  8. socalcooker

    socalcooker Meat Mopper

    Don't waste your time with a 110 welder. If necessary save the money for a good machine that will last you for years.

  9. kam59

    kam59 Smoking Fanatic

    The Lowes is AC only it will only upset you trying to use it.

    The older Lincoln would be a steal if it were running. Before I dropped 350.00 on it I would want to hear it run and weld with it.
  10. travisty

    travisty Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    ​Looks like Home depot has a similar unit that is AC or DC for $550. Think that would be a better way to go?
  11. travisty

    travisty Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

  12. kam59

    kam59 Smoking Fanatic

    Yes an AC/DC 225 welder will do anything you want. I use a Miller 225 AC/DC at home for everything I build. Put the machine on DC reverse and dont look back. :)
  13. kam59

    kam59 Smoking Fanatic

    I have zero knowledge of the lotos.
  14. socalcooker

    socalcooker Meat Mopper

    I'd stay away from combination machines. If your welder breaks your down the welder. If a three in one combo unit breaks your out all 3. And I haven't heard much good about those type of machines. Stick to what you need for the job at hand.

    What type of welding experience do you have? Stick welding at least for me was the hardest to learn and I'm still learning it. If this is your first welder wire feed might be a better option.

    ahumadora likes this.
  15. ahumadora

    ahumadora Smoking Fanatic

    Good info from socal cooker.  

    3 n1 are crap.   Buy something semi decent and it will last for years or you can resell it after the job.

    Here I done a quick search for you  

    a little small but will still work and is a great machine.

    Y'all have nothing to cry about as tools and welders are 300% more expensive here in Argentina.
  16. There is a youtube video comparing the Lincoln to the Harbor Freight, side by side there was very little difference except for the $400 extra the Lincoln would cost
  17. bgingras

    bgingras Fire Starter

    I ran a harbor freight MIG when I built my original smoker. It worked ok. The torch liner stated to go towards the end causing the feed to become erratic. I replaced it with my new Lincoln MIG 180 from Lowes and could not be happier. The lack of easily replaced parts for the Harbor Freight, like the torch and liner, caused me to shy away from buying another one. It really depends on how much you plan to use your welder after you build your smoker. I ended up building an entire mobile kitchen after and really needs a good quality welder.
  18. travisty

    travisty Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Wow, thanks for all the help guys! very helpful info. I'm having a hard time finding what you mean by a harbor freight unit. None of the units appear to be that brand, just found their site, but lots of units on there and not sure which I would need for a job like this.

    Do you think this Lincoln unit would work or too small?:

    It sounds like a flux cord welder might be the most convenient but for the price am I gonna be able to find something that is gonna work for building smokers, or should I just resign myself to a stick welder and learn that?
  19. bgingras

    bgingras Fire Starter

    Harbor freight would be the store or online site...Chicago electric is the brand.
  20. ahumadora

    ahumadora Smoking Fanatic

    Stay away from flux core wire.

    You will end up with splatter and birdshit welds.

    take a few welding classes.   

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