5/5/2004: A Welder!

I’ve been planning on getting a decent MIG welder for ages. I wanted something that would hold up, and which would be flexible for me to do whatever repairs I needed to do.

I decided early on that I’d stick with one of the larger name brands, such as Hobart, Miller, or Lincoln. For a 115V welder, most of them offer fairly similar models, in terms of features and price, and I really think you can’t go wrong with any of them, especially if you avoid the low-end “economy” models. (Not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with them, but as a general rule I usually shoot for mid-range when i’m spending a bunch of money on something- i tend to feel better spending a few hundred more for something that I think is “good” than on something that’s a better deal- unless it’s cheap enough to be disposable.)

After looking around at prices and features, I finally settled on the Lincoln SP-135 Plus. In addition to all the usual goodies, the “plus” model includes an infinite adjustment on both voltage and wire speed, which I imagine would be helpful in dialing in the right settings for a particular job. (Instead of having just a few specific settings to choose from).

I ordered it with a cart, since I wasn’t really in the mood to build my own (I know, i know, what kind of person doesn’t build their own welding cart? :) I have to pick up shielding gas for it tomorrow, and then I can try it out. I read The Welder’s Handbook a while back, but this will be my first time actually welding something. I think some practicing is in order before I go near the car ;)