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Gas welding outfit at Harbor Freight

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  • Gas welding outfit at Harbor Freight

    Does anyone have any experience with the portable gas outfit they sell at Harbor Freight? It costs a bit over $300. I'd mainly be using it for welding sheet metal and light cutting. Thanks.

  • #2
    I've heard good things about it. I have the electric MIG from them that does well.


    • Dan Kurth
      Dan Kurth commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks, Beaufort. Rock Hill Will told me I should weld my panels with gas. Since that man has more talent in one eyelash than I have in my entire body, at least I'm smart enough to take good advice.

    • pAAt
      pAAt commented
      Editing a comment
      Dan, I hope Will meant Gas and not flux core wire. You need to weld with a Mig welder, with gas, flux core makes it impossible to do a nice job. Welding with Oxy/Acet and a coat hanger, he could do, but I don't believe he'd send you down that road yet !! Maybe he'd make me do it that way, while he was sitting on the Mig/tig welder P.S. This comment is totally wrong and gas torch is the way to go !!!
      Last edited by pAAt; 05-14-2018, 05:41 PM.

  • #3
    I almost bought the same unit for $125 at the Studebaker swap meet in South Bend last week. I thought about it for too long, and someone else snapped up the deal. I would have no problem with buying the H/F outfit. Then see if you can get an old door or fender from a junk yard to practice on, knowing they will get it back after the practice.


    • #4
      You may want to check the reviews re: the hoses cracking. They may have a couple of grades. The separate welding cart is a pretty good deal . Not sure what tanks you have but we like the 40 cft. acet. and 57cft. oxy. or smaller. Very portable and can last forever for light use. You also may want to check Amazon or others on line for Victor, Miller or Ameriflame light duty sets. They are a good benchmark for quality and probably US made.We have older US made Victors that are indestructible..


      • #5
        Does the HF include the tanks? If so will any supplier fill them? If not you will still have to buy or lease the tanks from a local dealer. Check out TSC they have a good deal on a complete outfit.


        • #6
          OK are we talking Oxy/acet or a 110 mig welder/ gas ? You say light cutting, so I'd say O/A, but you're going to be wore out welding with O/A and a coat hanger. If I were you Dan, I'd get a 110 mig with a lease on a tank. You can still light cut by cranking the heat up and just pulling the trigger. It's nice to have the O/A also, and they sell those tanks in a carry container, but I'd just lease some medium or large tanks an get yourself a nice Victor or smith cutting/brazing set. ( See P.S. in my statement below )
          Last edited by pAAt; 05-14-2018, 05:45 PM.


          • #7
            Dan, here are some options, so I can figure out what you want to do. First pic is $120 on eBay and you could use an #100 lp tank, or less, and lease the oxygen tank (you would need to buy lp tips for the torch) #2 is $250 and you would need to lease a medium mig gas tank (would make welding a happy time) #3 is $400 and you would have to find a place to fill or replace the tanks. I would try to go with #1 and #2. Dan, these are real prices on Ebay, but I haven't checked into the quality of mig welder #2 and you could find a used one cheaper, I'm sure. Take care my friend and enjoy yourself. Pat P.S. ( Go with the torch like Will said and forget this comment )
            Last edited by pAAt; 05-14-2018, 05:43 PM.


            • #8
              Why would you lease a tank? I did that one time, the lease was the same price as buying the tank and at the end of the lease you have nothing. I've bought my last four tanks and when there empty I just take them in and get a full one, no problem.
              Last edited by Bob C; 05-14-2018, 05:02 PM.


              • Mitch
                Mitch commented
                Editing a comment
                same here

            • #9
              Same as Bob; we've had our owned tanks refilled though there is a recommended service life on the tanks.
              Our local HF is not allowed to sell charged tanks, not even propane.
              Last edited by plyfor; 05-14-2018, 01:50 PM.


              • #10
                My advice from the last few years of learning about the art of gas welding is this: DON"T take shortcuts!!! Here is a website of the most proficient gas welder that I have ever come across. He is a member of a site that I am an administrator on. ( He has built and gas welded aluminum bodies on airplanes, and is a much sought after instructor. He attended my Redneck Roundup here last month. Take the time to review this website of his:

                He has spent many years developing his methods and travels the entire US doing consulting work on gas welding, soldering and brazing. Take the time to study what he says, read what he has to offer. Chances are VERY good that you will want to acquire one of his Meco torches and related accessories. Gas welding is absolutely the best way to attach sheet metal panels that will need to be subsequently formed by use of an English wheel, planishing hammer or the simple hammer and stump methods.

                I am willing to share the fact that I am an inveterate tool collector, and have purchased every know piece of welding equipment and used them, and have just recently acquired my second Meco torch. One for use here at the shop and one for my 'travel' bag.

                The more you learn about gas welding, the better you will feel about making that your sheet metal welder of choice.

                Here is Kent's section of his website dealing with the Meco torch.

                Last edited by RockHillWill; 05-14-2018, 04:36 PM.


                • pAAt
                  pAAt commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Will, I guess I was very wrong and I'll be checking that site out. I have a lot to learn and sorry for stepping on your toes. Pat ... Checked out that site and I see I'm in the dark ages and I don't need to buy a TIG !! Thanks Will
                  Last edited by pAAt; 05-14-2018, 05:09 PM.

              • #11
                Do check out TSC. Complete set up including tanks and cart. You can exchange tanks there so no worry about testing. And yes you own the tanks.


                • #12
                  I am far from an expert on gas welding. But I found out the hard way of how not to do it on my hood. I had a hole in my hood that I made a few years ago while in high school. I needed to patch it when I built my huckster. I started with gas using a rod to try to patch the hole. Well the hood at that point get bent out of shape because of the heat. Then I found that brazing did a much better job because of the lower heat. Just my experience the hard way!


                  • #13
                    Gotta have the right size tip for the job...and a good neutral flame. That will get you a long way.