The welder review video is out now! Go check it out!
Here are some thoughts I was not able to include:
- All-in, my complete welding setup (helmet, gloves, gas, welder, wire, grinder) cost roughly $700. In other words, the actual welder was only about half of my startup cost.
- If you can afford it, it is a very good idea to keep a spare gas bottle on hand. Harbor Freight will sell you a small (20 cubic feet) gas bottle for $80, and you can have it filled or exchanged at your local gas supply. This is your emergency gas supply when you need to finish a project and your main gas bottle turns out to be empty. At 5:01 pm. And the gas supply closed at 5:00. Crap.
- Check Craigslist near you for used gas cylinders. However, be aware that (at least around here) the bottle needs to be a high-pressure cylinder and it needs to have a hydro-test date stamp within the last 10 years. A CO2 bottle is not good enough to use for Argon/CO2 mix, at least according to the guys at the gas supply. (thanks for the tip, David Gagné!)
- Praxair has a student discount! Use it! It is 100% worthwhile.