View Full Version : New Hobart Handler 140, I'm Pumped!
12-07-2006, 11:46 AM
After a lot of internet/forum research and price shopping, I ordered a new Hobart Handler 140 from Northern Tool. $449+free Mig cart+free freight+no tax.:blob4: I wanted a name brand and heard good things about the 140. Its due to get here on Monday. Despite some bias against 115v welders I feel I made the right decision. I already have a Lincoln 220v AC/DC arc buzzbox that will handle the thick stuff. I'm new to welding, and I think I'm doing pretty good with the Lincoln on anything over about 1/8". My problem is I'm doing a car project and I have given up on welding thin sheetmetal with it. My friend down the street can weld sheetmetal with a stick, but he has many years experience as a professional welder. He has done some work for me but its got to the point that I think I'm taking advantage of him and I need to learn to do these things myself. I even tried buying Eastwood's Stitch Welder for AC arc, unfortunately I can't see it is much use, at least for me. Due to the fact I have 220 arc capacity, and I need the Mig for sheetmetal, I thought the 140 was a good choice as it can go down to 25 amps. I also wanted a 115v so that I could load it and plug it in anywhere. This leads to my question: I'm kind of tapped out on funds right now, so I think I'll start with a 40cf bottle of C25. My local supply has these for $100. My thinking is I can get started with this size bottle. Again I want my setup to be portable, the 80cf bottles are too much to grab and go. I also want my cart to be lightweight when I roll it around the shop. I don't have any idea how much gas I will go through, but I plan to buy a 150cf and refill my 40cf myself if the need arises. I do like the 150cf for long term as the welding supply charges the same to refill a 150 as a 40. Do any of you other guys refill your own bottles and is this a sound plan? And please don't suggest I use the flux core wire for off site jobs. A few years ago I had a small cheap POS 115v flux core only welder. It sputtered and smoked, I hated it. I'm sure it being a cheap welder didn't help the cause but I understand that gas is the only way to go.
12-07-2006, 05:45 PM
Good choice. Despite what others say, you'll be able to do some decent size material plus if you bevel, you'll be safe. I weld 3/8th to 16 gauge pipe on a daily basis and it's good.
12-07-2006, 11:02 PM
I made he same choice with the 140. I like it alot for my light duty stuff. I bought the small bottle for gas but found that because I work outdoors where there is sometimes wind, I have had better luck with flux core wire and a can of non-stick spray stuff. If I were in a shop and doing something I actually needed to look really good, I would be using the bottle more.
12-08-2006, 09:34 AM
Yeah, I forgot about wind. I guess I could use flux core for outside, which probably won't be too often.
12-08-2006, 10:30 AM
So have you gotten it yet?
I used a millermatic 135 for some auto sheetmetal, I think you'll really find mig is really easy after a little bit of a learning curve.
I also had one of those 40cf bottles, and on my mig it seemed to last quite a while. On my tig I seem to blow through it much faster, maybe I'm just doing more welding with it.
Congrats on a new toy!
12-08-2006, 02:21 PM
John, I get the Mig Monday. I ordered a 40cf from IOC on eBay. They have new ones for $94 shipped. That $6.00 less than the local supplier, which is not a big deal, but add that to the city sales tax and it becomes an issue. The welding supply I talked to didn't seem to mind filling any bottle this size, so I won't have to worry about them only filling their bottles. I'm really excited to try the Mig on sheetmetal, my attempt with the arc welder was a disaster. I can dial the DC on my buzzbox down to 25a, but then I didn't have enough arc, and when I dialed it up I started blowing holes. My buddy makes it look easy, you can't beat experience. I also believe that the Mig will produce nicer looking welds which is a bonus on the welding that will show under the hood.
12-08-2006, 03:38 PM
I did some 18g for a dual-battery box cover for my trailer with my Hobart 140 and I was really suprised how easy it was. I was expecting to blow holes, but it ran as smooth as could be first try. ;)
12-08-2006, 04:09 PM
Thats what I needed to hear Rick. The bottle will be here Tuesday, then hopefully I'll have it filled by the end of the week. Then its Xmas holiday vacation so practice, practice and practice.:cool:
12-08-2006, 04:30 PM
You'll be amazed how easy it is, with very little practice. I recently bought a tig, and am blowing holes with that compared to my mig. I can't imagine doing sheet metal with stick.
Kinda sorry I sold the mig now, although it will give me an excuse to buy a 220 unit sometime in the future.
12-09-2006, 11:47 AM
Here's a pic of my dual battery box I mentioned. I made the base and the cutom cover to minimize the width from the two standard palstic lid/boxes side by side. It looks a lot cleaner, plus it can be locked because these batteries are about a $100 each. I designed it and had a sheet metal shop cut and bend it form 18g., then I welded the seams inside and finished it. I used the guide that came with it to make my initial settings for good clean welds.
12-15-2006, 11:10 AM
I've been using the handler 140 for about a year now. Great little welder. I just upgraded to an htp2400 but the 140 will be set up for sheet metal work. I love the 110v usability of the HH140. I think your going to really like that machine. Good luck
12-17-2006, 04:46 PM
Well its up and running! I had a delay on getting C25, but I just ran my first passes. I bought some .024 wire and some contact tips and its too easy. I expected to need a couple of hours of practice, but no brag, within five minutes I was making nice looking welds on 24ga sheetmetal. Unbelievable. After struggling for so long trying to use stick on sheetmetal, I'm kicking myself for waiting so long to go to MIG. I was kind of getting down on myself, as I'm pretty good with my hands and I had instruction from a pro, but I simply could not get the hang of welding sheetmetal with arc. And to be honest, due to lack of splatter and slag, my 3rd practice pass looked better than anything I've personally seen done with a stick. I was so excited I ran inside to show my wife my practice piece. She knows how frustrated I've been with the sheetmetal. And I give no credit to myself, as I'm just a rookie. Its the welder, not the weldor! I guess trying so long to weld sheetmetal with stick allowed me to get the hang of it quickly. I think I'm finally setup, and I have what I need for the thin stuff and if I need to weld a rusty trailer I'll pull out the buzzbox.
12-17-2006, 04:52 PM
Congrats, I told you it would be easy!
Now you have to buy a tig.... :)
12-18-2006, 11:26 AM
Hmmm..... maybe John, but I'll admit I've already got my eye on a low end plasma cutter. It never ends does it.
12-18-2006, 11:35 AM
No, I don't believe it ever does end. I'd like a plasma too but just can't talk myself into it yet. Emphasis on 'yet', of course.
I find it kinda ironic, that most work I do is making stands and accessories for tools I have bought.... accessories I wouldn't need had I not bought the tool in the first place.
Oh well I'm having fun and that's all that counts.
12-18-2006, 11:58 AM
Just as I had found. That little welder will make you a better weldor. One thing to pay attention too is changing the polarity when going to flux core wire. I got in a big hurry when I was changing over one time and forgot to change the polarity. I started welding and it was making a terrifc mess of things and I couldn't figure out why. It only takes a minute to change, and I will never forget that one again. :confused: Have fun!:blob4:
12-31-2006, 12:32 AM
I've had it a couple of weeks and I really like it. I learned to weld with it by welding up a new tranny tunnel for my car project. Not as pretty as I would like but its strong and will be covered up by carpet anyway. By the time I finished the tunnel I was confident enough to start doing some welding under the hood with areas that will show. Something I had dreaded before. Its turning out pretty good, I'm happy with the results and I'm fairly picky. The thing that was hardest for me to learn was to not be afraid of cranking it up some. I gues this was from burning so many holes with a stick. And I also learned to be a little more agressive with the wire feed rate. I also figured out in a hurry that the 40cf bottle isn't big enough. I've already filled it twice. Thats going to get expensive. I'm going to trade up this week for a 125cf. It costs $27 to fill the 125 and $20 to fill the small bottle. Do the math. :-) Welding now is something I look forward to doing. I'm sold on MIG!
12-31-2006, 02:13 AM
Now you have to get hooked on tig..... oh wait I already said that.
Congrats again on the mig, welding is way cool, isn't it? Something about melting metal, maybe it's a male power thing.
In any case I'm sharing your joy vicariously :)
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