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I'm going to be buying a MIG welder in the next couple of weeks and I was wondering what everybody is running in their shops. I'm seriously considering the Millermatic 130XP mainly becuase it can handle body metal (24 gauge) all the way through 3/16" with a single pass. It also runs on 115 VAC instead of 220. Any thoughts would be appriciated.
 

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I'm not much of a welder but I have done a lot of bodywork, the only advice I can give you is if you plan on doing a lot of sheet metal welding such as auto resto's you want one that uses an argon tank and not a flux core system. It flows better and doesn't "slag" up as bad. You may also want to get one with "spot" capability. With spot you can take two clean pieces of sheet metal and overlap them about 3/8" or 1/2" and use a special tip that allows you to weld "through" the top layer to the one underneath with very little chance of burn through. Don't get me wrong, if you are planning on doing 1 major car resto and a few other projects a flux core wire feed welder will do fine, but if you plan on using the heck out of this thing and want to make a major investment go for at least these two options(will probably put you in the 220 volt range though). hope this helps.
Brett
 

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RE: I bought a Lincoln because of safety & $.

I bought a Lincoln and a Century because they were cheap and had good warrantees. I took the Century back over one important feature. It was live all the time that the machine was switched on, so you had to always be aware of what you are doing. the Lincoln Weld-pak 100 is only live when you pull the trigger. So you can have a brain fart with a little more safety. The Lincoln has served me well, as I have welded several projects over the last few months. You can add the bottle kit to make it a MIG welder as well as the Century (they are only wire-feed welders when using the unit without gas). The main thing about welders is amperage. If you use it on a standard construction extension cord you will get poor results. You have to use a heavy duty and short cord rated at the proper amperage to get good penetration. I paid 300 for the Linclon at Home Depot it was a little more than the Century, but the tigger live activation is worth the 25 or 35 dollars.
 
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