Farmhand Mig/flux core welder for thin welds?
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  1. #1
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    Farmhand Mig/flux core welder for thin welds?

    Just a hobby welder here...
    Can anyone comment on the Tractor Supply Farmhand Mig/flux core welder-the Farmhand 115? I primarily need a unit that I can weld muffler and exhaust with. It doesn't need to have a high duty cycle,since most of the welds are very short for that work,so as to avoid excessive heating. Its other use would be for small tack welding and repair of thin sheet metal work (decorative metal work). I don't have much more than $300 in my budget,which is why I'm not considering the usual red or blue machines.
    I've already got a 220 stick welder from C-H. It's a great unit,but since it's a buzzbox I can't weld steel under about 1/8" with it without getting burn through. It's great for heavy steel,stainless and cast iron, and provides loads of penetration and heat when I need them.
    So I don't need MIG for heavy fabrication-since I prefer my existing SMAW for heavy duty work.
    Will this small unit work for my limited needs? I noticed some earlier threads on it,but they all seem to focus on it's inability to weld thicker metal,which is not what I need it to do.
    thanks in advance,folks

  2. #2
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    Re: Farmhand Mig/flux core welder for thin welds?

    Not sure about the welder you're looking at, but I welded some 16g just fine with my H140 @ 115V w/.030 wire
    Hobart 140 Handler w/ gas
    HyperTherm Powermax 380 Plasma
    oxy/acetylene

  3. #3
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    Re: Farmhand Mig/flux core welder for thin welds?

    It's a small lower output welder than your Hobart. Most of those do 135A output,IIRC? However I think that's a bit more overlap than I need,since I can already use the buzzbox down to 1/8" with few problems,even with my mediocre skills. The Farmhand/CH also has the virtue of being about $150 cheaper than anything Hobart sells.
    For you experienced welders: How much amperage will I need for the thin jobs? Can I get away with a box that does 40-70A output with only 4 heat settings,if I'm only sticking to jobs under 1/8"? This will probably be used as a flux core welder,until I can spring for a bottle. 90% of the use will be on mild steel from 18ga-1/8".

  4. #4
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    Re: Farmhand Mig/flux core welder for thin welds?

    I don't know that welder but the specs are similar to some smaller Lincolns (like I have) so I think it will probably cover the thinner metal just fine to 1/8th inch, perhaps a bit more. When you get down to 20 gauge the flux-core will probably require a chill plate so you don't burn holes in the metal. Using gas (C25) and solid wire should fix that and maybe let you go as thin as 24 gauge.

    You can get more bang for your buck with a Lincoln Weld Pak 100 HD K2189-1 (not the Weld Pak HD K2188-1) at Home Depot for $340 and add a MIG kit later if you want ($75-100). A hair more power (up to 1/4" multi-pass), stainless and aluminum capable, excellent support, 3-year warranty, standard parts so a local welding supply can probably service it should the need arise, 8" spool capacity, electrically cold until the trigger is pressed, and better resale should you decide to get something else later.

    http://content.lincolnelectric.com/p...ture/e7350.pdf

    There's also the used market and craigslist.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by Visorblue; 01-24-2007 at 09:07 PM.


    Warning: I have been wrong before!

    New small workshop, small MIG, oxyacetylene set with a DHC-2000 that I'm learning to use and really like. Life is good!

    Typos are there for those that look for them. I try to do something for everybody.


  5. #5
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    Re: Farmhand Mig/flux core welder for thin welds?

    A little more pracitise and you can weld exhaust pipe with that stick. I done it for years until I got my mig's. I didn't say it was fun laying under a car trying to stick it but with a little finesse it can look nice.
    Dewayne
    Dixieland Welding

    MM350P
    Lincoln 100
    Some torches
    Other misc. tools

  6. #6
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    Re: Farmhand Mig/flux core welder for thin welds?

    Quote Originally Posted by littlefuzz
    A little more pracitise and you can weld exhaust pipe with that stick. I done it for years until I got my mig's. I didn't say it was fun laying under a car trying to stick it but with a little finesse it can look nice.
    How did you do it?
    I've tried 1/16" 7014 welding vertical down, or as close to it as I can get on a piece of tubing, and still couldn't pull it off without instant burn through on the pipe. I can barely strike an arc when the welder's cranked down as far as it will go with that tiny rod. I haven't tried a backer plate yet,so maybe that would help if I can get one to fit in the pipe.

    Visorblue: I've thought about the Lincoln WeldPaks,but they run about $200 more including the Mig kit.
    The Farmhand/CH would also work for aluminum and stainless,though only for light jobs of course. Since it's a rebranded Campbell Hausfeld unit, parts shouldn't be too bad to order,though locally obtained service might be a bear. I usually fix my own tools,so that's not too bad I suppose. It actually uses the same contact tips as Tweco/Binzel type guns,which appear to be fairly common.
    I'd like to get a used MIG like the Lincoln I learned with (borrowed),but I can't find any low-mid priced units for sale locally.

  7. #7
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    Re: Farmhand Mig/flux core welder for thin welds?

    There's also brazing, which may or may not be an option for you. Good luck!
    If you don't have the time to do it right, then you definitely don't have the time to do it over.

  8. #8
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    Re: Farmhand Mig/flux core welder for thin welds?

    Quote Originally Posted by Squirrel
    I've thought about the Lincoln WeldPaks,but they run about $200 more including the Mig kit.

    I'd like to get a used MIG like the Lincoln I learned with (borrowed),but I can't find any low-mid priced units for sale locally.
    Go borrow that one again, maybe they'll get tired of you having it and make you a deal. :-)

    I got mine off craigslist, there's also ebay. Have a look at the Clarke units while you're looking. I have no experience with the both other like them and there's a 10-year warranty on the transformer. Someone mentioned them in another thread:

    http://www.weldingweb.com/showthread.php?t=8879

    Good luck with whatever you get.


    Warning: I have been wrong before!

    New small workshop, small MIG, oxyacetylene set with a DHC-2000 that I'm learning to use and really like. Life is good!

    Typos are there for those that look for them. I try to do something for everybody.


  9. #9
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    Re: Farmhand Mig/flux core welder for thin welds?

    Quote Originally Posted by Squirrel
    Just a hobby welder here...
    Can anyone comment on the Tractor Supply Farmhand Mig/flux core welder-the Farmhand 115?
    I have one of these and it has already paid for itself. I bought this on the recommendation of a friend who bought one to use when rebuilding his Mustang and it's the first welder I bought after taking an adult ed course a few years ago.

    I first used it to repair the hoop on the end of my Wide Glide's kickstand after it broke off (0.035" flux core), followed by a Christmas gift for my daughter's boyfriend (a little nuts and bolt stick figure of him drumming on a stage).

    My first big job with it was back in December repairing a feeder that a friend of my wife's ran into a tree on his farm. I had to heat and bend a bunch of bent square-tube, then I boxed it in on two sides using new steel and my little Farmhand. I ran this puppy all day while in the middle of a pasture, powered by a generator, and it performed like a champ, especially after I ran out of the flux core wire it came with and put in a new spool of higher-quality wire. This job was where the machine paid for itself (I was paid well by the owner and he and his wife made another list that day of welding jobs they need around the farm).

    I haven't run it on MIG yet, but I have connected the regulator that comes with it to a C25 bottle I recently bought, and it seems to work fine (I was worried about the quality).

    For what the machine costs (I think I paid $269) it is, in my humble opinion, a hell of a deal. Sure, it isn't an all-powerful 220V Lincoln/Miller/Hobart, but it's been a good little machine for me. I don't think you'll be disappointed if your expectations of what the machine can do are realistic.

    Good luck.

    Dave

  10. #10
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    Re: Farmhand Mig/flux core welder for thin welds?

    [QUOTE=Squirrel]How did you do it?
    I've tried 1/16" 7014 welding vertical down, or as close to it as I can get on a piece of tubing, and still couldn't pull it off without instant burn through on the pipe. I can barely strike an arc when the welder's cranked down as far as it will go with that tiny rod. I haven't tried a backer plate yet,so maybe that would help if I can get one to fit in the pipe.

    1/8" 7018 between 70-90amp
    Dewayne
    Dixieland Welding

    MM350P
    Lincoln 100
    Some torches
    Other misc. tools

  11. #11
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    Re: Farmhand Mig/flux core welder for thin welds?

    [QUOTE=littlefuzz]
    Quote Originally Posted by Squirrel
    How did you do it?
    I've tried 1/16" 7014 welding vertical down, or as close to it as I can get on a piece of tubing, and still couldn't pull it off without instant burn through on the pipe. I can barely strike an arc when the welder's cranked down as far as it will go with that tiny rod. I haven't tried a backer plate yet,so maybe that would help if I can get one to fit in the pipe.

    1/8" 7018 between 70-90amp
    Try angling the torch more so the wire doens't hit and push through, swirl alot.
    ***************************************
    Lincoln AC225 stick welder
    Lincoln HD100 WeldPak flux core wire feed welder
    Three of the cheapest grinders money can buy

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