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Harbor Freight 180 Amp MIG Flux Wire Feed Welder 68886 review

Harbor Freight MIG Welder

180 Amp MIG/Flux Wire Feed Welder - 24 volts @ 140 amps

Chicago Electric Welding Systems - item #68886

180 Amp MIG Flux Wire Feed Welder 68886

Review:

I love this welder!

However, you will need to read and follow the manual before using the welder. Do not try to run it without reading this article and the manual.

This is what I have found was necessary during initial set-up:

1. Get the extended warranty, and save the receipt.

2. The "starting" spool included is a non-standard size. It is a 0.023" wire. Therefore, if you choose to use this spool you will need to flip the feed wheel for the wire given.

3. I recommend purchasing a 0.030" spool at the same time. This size is a good compromise. I purchased the 0.035" wire spool first, but that was a mistake because this wire is for plate, and not sheet metal.

4. Check that you have the right kind of 240V outlet before you plan to be using the welder same day.

5. Do not purchase either the CO2 or Argon Harbor Freight cylinder. During my research I discovered that neither of the two gases on their own are best for MIG welding. Also, I found the flux-core wire to be best, since I will be welding outside (my closed basement would kill me with the fumes). Shielding gas would be blown away by the wind outside, and flux-core wire is the only choice appropriate for outdoor welding.

Also, do not buy any gas or cylinders for shielded welding before you consult with your local welding gas supply. They may require you to rent or buy their own cylinders and / or mixes.

6. Keep in mind that the spool supply panel falls shut. Nothing supports it up in the open position.

7. Unlike what the manual says, there is no multi-tool given.

8. Unlike what the manual says, do not pull off handle, but unscrew instead.

9. Also, the default nozzle tip installed is for 0.030" wire (unlike the starter spool supplied). If you use the starter spool, change to a 0.023" nozzle tip.



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Page last modified 06-Jan-13 20:18:19 EST
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