Hobart Handler 140

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SeenRed
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Hobart Handler 140

Post by SeenRed » March 22nd, 2017, 4:26 pm

Howdy Gents,

First off, full disclosure. I've dabbled with a stick welder a little (poorly), but I've never used, nor know much about about, wire-feed welders. I've got it in mind to acquire an entry-level mig welder and learn as I go. I'd like something that's not only easy on the bank account, but that's pretty easy for beginners to set up and use...as close to idiot-proof as I can buy on a budget.

Anyway, I get emails from Northern Tool...and they have a Hobart Handler 140 Flux Core/Mig on sale right now for $479, plus free shipping. So I'm asking all you welders: Is this machine big enough to handle all the welds in a double pan GF smoker build? According to their website, this machine is supposed to be able to weld anything from 24 gauge up to 1/4" plate. The coal chute/fire box on the GF build would probably be the thickest steel I'd ever weld with this machine. But I read in another thread someone recommended at least a 200 amp machine...do I really need that much machine for what I'm planning, or would this Hobart 140 do what I'll need it to do?

I'm also open to buying a used rig...I check CL regularly. But my main concern is finding a beginner-friendly rig that isn't complicated to set up and use.

I'd sure appreciate your thoughts and advice.

Red



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Re: Hobart Handler 140

Post by pr0wlunwoof » March 22nd, 2017, 5:22 pm

Howdy. I am by no means a pro when it comes to welding, but I have recently faced the same decision you are. I fortunately have a good friend who has a vast experience in the fabrication/manufacturing world and he helped me make what I think is the best decision I could have. While flux core will get you welding it is in my opinion not good enough. For what you will spend on flux core wire vs solid your better off buying a unit that will do both in hopes you can afford a shielding gas tank in the near future. Welding with solid core and shielding gas is easily 5x easier and more productive. I ended up with a Lincoln 140 which will do both flux and solid. I still have a starter spool of flux which came with the unit, but I never plan on using it. I bought mine lightly used off eBay and lucked out as the individual who owned it before me never got it running because of a jam in the mig gun which was easily cleared. I have used flux on my friends unit and I can tell u the duty cycle is much much lower meaning if you welding for 5 minutes expect to break for 10 to 15. With solid core I welding pretty much continuously without hitting the duty cycle. I am not sure the cause of this, but it has been my experience.

If you have a set budget and don't foresee a future investment in a welding tank I would probably get a good stick welder as you will get about the same use at a much lower price for materials.

That's my two cents worth.

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Re: Hobart Handler 140

Post by Rodcrafter » March 22nd, 2017, 5:48 pm

I'm not familiar with the particular machine. I do agree with woof that the solid wire is by far the best way to go in a mig welder. I have a 200 Miller so it would be hard to beat but I don't think you have to have 200 amps to do a good job on a smoker.


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Re: Hobart Handler 140

Post by SeenRed » March 22nd, 2017, 6:15 pm

Thanks for the replies fellas. Just to clarify, the Hobart 140 I'm talking about will do both flux core and solid wire welding. Your advice that solid wire mig welding is preferable to flux core is noted...it's not the first time I've heard that.

Any others with opinions and/or advice about a 140 amp machine's capabilities?

Red



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Re: Hobart Handler 140

Post by Weldun » March 22nd, 2017, 7:39 pm

I have a Millermatic 200 and A MILLER 304XMT, I have never used a Hobart 140 but a man I work with borrowed one from his friend and said he was pleasantly surprised at its performance for a 115volt machine.
One thing I can tell you is that once you own a welding machine you'll find that you'll use it more than you think, I've had welders in my garage for the last 30 years and can't imagine being without them.


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Re: Hobart Handler 140

Post by Squiggle » March 23rd, 2017, 3:33 am

I'm definitely no expert but built my mini GF with a Unimig175 & I also have a 120amp stick welder (which I used on the FB assembly) & they are well over what is needed. I think the 140 might be enough for all but the FB assembly as everything else is pretty much 1.6mm(16ga) :kewl:


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Re: Hobart Handler 140

Post by Rodcrafter » March 23rd, 2017, 11:06 am

In my experience, I have bought machines that were commercial rated even if I was going to use it at home. It is so much easier to use a larger capacity machine than to try to get a under rated machine to operate in another class.


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Re: Hobart Handler 140

Post by pr0wlunwoof » March 23rd, 2017, 2:39 pm

I have used a Hobart. I think they are now made by miller if I remember correctly. I think you will be happy with that machine with solid core and shielding gas.



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Re: Hobart Handler 140

Post by mp4 » March 23rd, 2017, 6:16 pm

Hobart welders are good welders. If the one you are considering is a 110v machine then I would say it is a fuzz undersized for welding 1/4" for any length of time. Look for a small 220 machine and you'll be happier.



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Re: Hobart Handler 140

Post by JohnBFryJr » March 23rd, 2017, 7:45 pm

I have the 140 cause it was what I could afford. I run Flux core because it's what I can afford. In my opinion a pit is not structural. Clean beveled edges will take you a long ways. If your paranoid pre heat. It will not run like a Cadillac but it will do the job. It's just a pit.

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Re: Hobart Handler 140

Post by JohnBFryJr » March 23rd, 2017, 7:48 pm

Image

Turned all the way up.

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Re: Hobart Handler 140

Post by SeenRed » March 23rd, 2017, 9:45 pm

Good feedback guys...thanks.

Red



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