Never welded before, but a new trailer axle needs these pesky spring spacers welded, so off I go to Tractor Supply, where I skip past the campbelll hausfeld machines and see the Hobart 125EZ.
319.00 later I'm out the door. I get home, open the box, read the whole manual, and go for a couple of practice welds. I set the welder to the highest setting, given the material, and made a pretty good job of welding a scrap trailer shackle to the old axle, and even managed to smoothly weld my initials into the old axle with little spatter.
So, I feel pretty good about my ability to do the repairs that have piled up - my 4 way wedge for the log splitter needs the hold down tacked back together and a bead run along the front, my lawnmower deck needs a brackett reattached, the tongue on my garden trailer needs some gussets where it is cracked.
THEN I read all the stuff in this forum and realize how little I know about all this, and I immediately wonder if I didn't make a mistake by not buying the 140 ( which is the top of my price range at around $469). TSC has a 30 day no hassle return policy so....
I wonder if any of you would be kind enough to share some knowlegde:
1) If I have mild steel material that is thicker than the rated capacity of the 125 what happens?
e.g. If I want to weld a 1/4 inch bracket to a four foot thick steel block will it? or what about a very short weld on two pieces of 1/2 inch thick steel? How does this whole capacity thing really work - It's clear that if the max capacity that the 125 is listed for is 3/16 then its not likely to completely fail at 7/32 - but just what will happen is my question?
2) I don't see myself ever welding stainless, and my jobs will alway's be "outdoors" wind-wise. I envision working on a rusty old pickup, both galvanized and steel trailers and all sorts of lawn tools, along with the odd piece of aluminum lawn furniture. Since aluminum is outside the capabiilty of the 125, are there other options that I should have considered? will the 140 handle aluminum, and what must I buy in addiotion to the machine ( and what does the stuff cost?)
3) For what I have to do, do I really care about not being alble to set the voltage and wire speed independently?
Thanks for any information in advance
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