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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am wanting to learn to weld aluminum to rig up a boat to bowfish. Does anyone have any suggestions on a welder to buy for a beginner? I have an older Miller that I have and taught myself to weld steel on. I am looking to MIG weld with a spool gun and I want a welder that is 110/220. I don't want anything too expensive, and I won't be welding anything too thick. I would like to be able to have a welder that would help me modify a boat to my needs. What are some options and your experiences? I've heard good things about Eastwood, Lincoln, and Miller. I just really don't want to spend an arm and a leg.

Thanks in advance!
 

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Miller 211 sounds like what you need. The guys that like Eastwood will argue, but buyer beware. I've got Miller MIG welders and a Lincoln TIG, and I'm happy with all of them.
 

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Ive been running a Lincoln 200 with a tweco spool gun. works pretty alright for me. plus I can throw a switch and stick weld, throw another switch and use the lead already loaded with steel wire. never have to unhook anything besides gas.

Good luck
 

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I recently bought a Miller 211 with the Spoolmate 150. With the rebates available you can get it at a good price. I have no complaints about it.
 

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Miller 211 with the 150 will do everything you need. Including building boats from scratch.
 

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I bought the Eastwood with spoolgun to learn aluminum welding. Works good for tree stands, fixing a pontoon boat and a new deck on my bowfishing rig
 

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I bought a Lincoln 140 HD at have built two bowfishing decks with it. It only does 110 volt so the duty cycle is low and it will cut off after welding aluminum for few minutes. The Lincoln spool gun works good for the most part but a 220 capable machine is a must. In regards of learning how to weld aluminum with a mig/spool gun I went through a whole roll of wire before I could lay a decent bead down. I'd recommend finding a lot of scrap aluminum and just trying it. I taught myself how to weld like you did.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I bought a Lincoln 140 HD at have built two bowfishing decks with it. It only does 110 volt so the duty cycle is low and it will cut off after welding aluminum for few minutes. The Lincoln spool gun works good for the most part but a 220 capable machine is a must. In regards of learning how to weld aluminum with a mig/spool gun I went through a whole roll of wire before I could lay a decent bead down. I'd recommend finding a lot of scrap aluminum and just trying it. I taught myself how to weld like you did.
Thanks for the info, I will keep that in mind. I've got a small aluminum john boat that was destroyed from a large pine tree. I plan on cutting it up and using it for scrap to practice on. I should have different thicknesses and angles to weld from the scrap hull.
 

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Miller 211 with a 150 will run you around 1400$ ish.
 
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