View Full Version : Setting Up Shop

10-25-2007, 09:47 PM
I am attempted to set up a home shop in my garage for servicing, modifying, and repairing mine and my sons' bikes (they are dirt-rats) by accumulating the English and metric tools, Handy pneumatic lift, and a Lincoln-Electric AC225 arc welder (I don't have any experience with acetylene or other welding types).

My immediate problem is the LE arc welder. It's 220 volts and I don't have an outlet. My older brother said to just run an extension through the walls and floor to the basement to the electric dryer outlet. I am no electrician, yet do not want to pay an electrician to wire the garage for 220 access. I went to Home Depot to ask what was involved and they said it would be illegal for me to wire it myself. And I can't find a 220 extension the the correct mail-female terminators for the electric dryer option (to say nothing of putting an access hole the large in my floor).

How have you do-it-yourself fabricator types solved this problem. Or am I completely lost on the technology here?


10-25-2007, 10:16 PM
hey bud-

most dryers use a 30A circuit. most stick welders require a 50A circuit. from that perspective- no can do.

my advice? ditch the stick welder (or keep it- i have two collecting dust) and look at a good 120v mig. they can be used either with or without gas (flux core wire needed without). the operation is basically the same as stick welding. look at the ones from lincoln, hobart, or miller.


10-25-2007, 10:27 PM
Thanks for the advice, Junior! I bought the stick welder because that was what I was taught to use in high school shop (35 years ago). I did a google on "120V MIG" and found a wealth of information. Looks like I can pick a Craftsman model up at Sears. Is this a competent tool, or should I look at other brands?

10-25-2007, 11:16 PM
craftsman tools are OK, but check duty cycles and tip operation. most low cost migs are "hot tip" meaning the wire is charged all the time. "cold tip" models (like mentioned above) do not energize the wire until the trigger is pulled. this makes for easier starts and stops and allows you to get the tip into hard to reach areas without arcing...also- you should have better than a 20% duty cycle at 75% output.


10-26-2007, 03:22 AM
Sounds like junior has you pointed in another (the right) direction, but back to your original question - -
You also need to be concerned with the size of the wiring - the correct size would take into account the length (from the breaker to the welding outlet) and the maximum rated amperage. It is very possible that your existing wiring may not be the correct size in addition to the breaker as mentioned by junior.
It is not difficult to figure it all out, but it is also easy to overlook, and the end result/worse case is the house burns down.

10-26-2007, 03:49 AM
thanks, bean....exactly....

simply swapping a 50A in place of the 30A is totally a no-no unless the existing in-house wiring is properly sized (unlikely)......


10-27-2007, 05:30 AM
Also MIG welding is a much cooler welding process than the old arc welding process. Depending on how thick the gauge of metal you'll be working should also be considered in your purchase plans.

10-27-2007, 06:22 AM
i have the hobart handler 140 and it can weld from sheet metal to 3/16" easily- 1/4" with mutiple passes. that is enough for most bike-related work.


10-27-2007, 07:08 AM
I have a lincoln 110 mig, and its performed every function I have needed as far as motorcyles go. I have welded exhaust pipes up, frame steel, fender brackets, blah blah blah. Best piece of equipment I have ever bought. 2nd best would be my 4" cutting wheel. Yeehaw. Whack it and stack it, then put it together again. Jazda)):