Total newbie help
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  1. #1

    Total newbie help

    Hey guys
    I have to weld a 1/4" plate to a 1" plate. Will the harbor freight 90 amp welder get the job done?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Sonoma County
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    620

    Re: Total newbie help

    No, it won't.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Re: Total newbie help

    From HF's product description:

    "Welding capacities: 18 gauge to 3/16 in. thick (0.047 in. to 0.187 in.)"

    Based on having one for five years: 3/16" is real optimistic. Bedframe angle iron and similar are what this is suitable for. Heavier material soaks up heat and this doesn't have the heat for penetration in anything heavier. A pro welder might make it do more, but no pro welder would buy one.

    An example I've used before: Think of the cheap furniture at Target and Walmart with bad-looking welds underneath. I suspect the reason this model exists is because it is used all over China to assemble that stuff.

    I replaced mine with a similar-spec AC/DC Century welder. That model was specifically marketed for body shop sheet metal. It makes cleaner welds, even using flux core, than this HF AC-only welder.

    If you haven't already bought it - spend the same or a little more for a used AC/DC mig welder rated for that thickness. Or for the heavy weld project you described, a 'buzzbox', AC stick welder of 140 amps or more, would do the job. Those appear on Craigslist in the $50~150 price range. Ancient is fine, there's nothing inside but a real heavy transformer and a (replaceable) fan. So if the seller demos that it works, it's as good as buying new.

  4. #4

    Re: Total newbie help

    No it won't. Not 90 amps from HF
    Paul Butler
    Solar 250 amp ac/dc welder
    PowrKraft 230 amp ac welder converted to dc
    Lincoln 180 pro mig welder
    Miller 350

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Bossier Parish La.
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    Re: Total newbie help

    Quote Originally Posted by Omar157 View Post
    Hey guys
    I have to weld a 1/4" plate to a 1" plate. Will the harbor freight 90 amp welder get the job done?
    You MIGHT be able to stick those two pieces together, but I don't think the bond will really be any stronger than what a couple of pieces of duct tape would provide . For the price of one of those rigs you could get quite a few rolls of duct tape. As long as it's NOT Harbor Freight duct tape.

  6. #6

    Re: Total newbie help

    Quote Originally Posted by Bistineau View Post
    You MIGHT be able to stick those two pieces together, but I don't think the bond will really be any stronger than what a couple of pieces of duct tape would provide . For the price of one of those rigs you could get quite a few rolls of duct tape. As long as it's NOT Harbor Freight duct tape.
    Hahaha so will the duct tape hold. Thanks guys. I just ran it over to a welding shop and they had it done within 20 min. It's heavy as all hell but it's done thank the lord. So what should I actually buy as a novice. I want to make furniture and will most likey never weld over 1/4" material but would like a machine that can handle a wee bit heavier material. Thanks guys

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Sonoma County
    Posts
    620

    Re: Total newbie help

    Really, the HF 90 amp AC-only flux welder isn't suitable for a beginner in my opinion. Been There Done That. And near anyone who posts in this HF forum will tell you the same thing.

    1) its AC so it splatters like crazy. Your work will always look like you don't know what you're doing.

    2) It essentially has only one heat output (or two if you count 'this isn't right' and 'this isn't right either'. ) For production work a pro could use it in a narrow range of repeated production welds. For amateur work you need to change settings to match your various projects.

    3) some problems with the prior model, I don't know if they are better now: weak wire feed motor so the wire is fed to the weld at uneven speed. Expect to lose the arc all the time as you attempt to weld. And it comes with crummy wire.

    4) orphan, NO parts or support from HF. Consider the replacement warranty as part of your cost of ownership for two years.

    After a few successful projects within its capabilities and several that didn't turn out well, I bought an ancient 230 amp stick welder for $50. That was a night to day improvement, applying some learning and effort with that gave me the quality of welds that were impossible with the HF. I suggest buy something like this instead to begin with. (And 240 volts, since the few quality 110v welders are real expensive).

  8. #8

    Re: Total newbie help

    Quote Originally Posted by California View Post
    Really, the HF 90 amp AC-only flux welder isn't suitable for a beginner in my opinion. Been There Done That. And near anyone who posts in this HF forum will tell you the same thing.

    1) its AC so it splatters like crazy. Your work will always look like you don't know what you're doing.

    2) It essentially has only one heat output (or two if you count 'this isn't right' and 'this isn't right either'. ) For production work a pro could use it in a narrow range of repeated production welds. For amateur work you need to change settings to match your various projects.

    3) some problems with the prior model, I don't know if they are better now: weak wire feed motor so the wire is fed to the weld at uneven speed. Expect to lose the arc all the time as you attempt to weld. And it comes with crummy wire.

    4) orphan, NO parts or support from HF. Consider the replacement warranty as part of your cost of ownership for two years.

    After a few successful projects within its capabilities and several that didn't turn out well, I bought an ancient 230 amp stick welder for $50. That was a night to day improvement, applying some learning and effort with that gave me the quality of welds that were impossible with the HF. I suggest buy something like this instead to begin with. (And 240 volts, since the few quality 110v welders are real expensive).

    Ty for info. My buddy owns a body shop and has agreed to let me practice with his machines to see how I do. If all goes well and I enjoy welding then he updates his equipment every few years with his tool supplier and that time is coming up. The supplier usually leaves behind one of the current machines as a backup and it never gets used so he will let me take it home to play with. I know his welders are a bit large for my shop but hey free is for me even if it's more like a loaner

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Bossier Parish La.
    Posts
    5,006

    Re: Total newbie help

    Quote Originally Posted by Omar157 View Post
    Hahaha so will the duct tape hold. Thanks guys. Thanks guys
    It will hold at least as good as a weld from that little 90 amp Harbor Freight machine, on that size material. Maybe even better. It's good that you were able to get someone with a decent machine, with the knowledge how to use it to make the weld for you. No point in trying to use under powered equipment to do something like this.

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