(Pre-)n00b welding question
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    (Pre-)n00b welding question

    I recently had a detached garage built. I'm having 100A service run to the garage so that I can put in a 220V/50A circuit for a welder. While I'd like to learn this skill, whether or not I'll have time to in the near future is another question. But since I have the capacity, I want to provide the outet(s) for myself or perhaps someone down the road to take advantage of.

    Which leads to my question...I've seen various opinions on welding inside a shop/garage vs outside. This makes me question the best place to position the outlet(s). Does it make more sense to position one near where I plan to have the "work area" in the rear of the garage, or should I position one near the overhead door (or even on an outside wall) to facilitate welding outside if welding inside is generally frowned upon?

    I don't mind installing multiple outlets, but #6 or #8 wire is pricey and IMHO will be a lot harder to work with than even #10, so trying to not to be too over-ambitious (for once). What do you think?

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    .....depends on the type of welder.....

    if its a arc/stick welder......put the outlet where practical ..........just get long leads...

    if its a roll around mig/wire welder .....put the outlet where practical........and build a heavy extension cord to roll the unit around


    point is no matter where you put it ...it will be wrong...so put it where convenient.....personally i prefer the least run from the breaker box ..some people prefer the most central location to limit lead lengths
    Last edited by ttazzman; 06-27-2019 at 01:49 PM.
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    Welding inside the garage is not really a problem as long as you have a concrete floor, decent ventilation and there aren't any flammable materials in the general vicinity of your welding area. In fact, if you are using shielding gas it is usually best to weld indoors as any wind can blow away your shielding gas.

    Also, you can purchase a good quality 25-foot 8-gauge 50-amp extension cord from places like Cyber Weld for around $77 (50-foot is around $140). I have a 25-foot one and use it all the time with my welder.

    That would allow you to have your fixed outlet in the back of the garage and use an extension if for some reason you need to work outside.
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    How big is the garage, and where is the panel?

    I just have one outlet in my garage and one in my pole barn attached directly to the panel. I changed the cord on my welder to a 25' one using a length of "SO" cord, so this work for me. I also bought a 25' extension cord with molded ends just in case I need more, and to use with my plasma cutter.

    You can see the outlet in this picture under the panel.
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    I mounted my outlet on the small section of wall between my 2 garage doors. It's ~10 ft from my garage breaker panel and I can use my welder either inside or out in the driveway. As others have already said, a decent extension cord will get electricity to where you want to use it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by atebit View Post
    I recently had a detached garage built. I'm having 100A service run to the garage so that I can put in a 220V/50A circuit for a welder. While I'd like to learn this skill, whether or not I'll have time to in the near future is another question. But since I have the capacity, I want to provide the outet(s) for myself or perhaps someone down the road to take advantage of.

    Which leads to my question...I've seen various opinions on welding inside a shop/garage vs outside. This makes me question the best place to position the outlet(s). Does it make more sense to position one near where I plan to have the "work area" in the rear of the garage, or should I position one near the overhead door (or even on an outside wall) to facilitate welding outside if welding inside is generally frowned upon?

    I don't mind installing multiple outlets, but #6 or #8 wire is pricey and IMHO will be a lot harder to work with than even #10, so trying to not to be too over-ambitious (for once). What do you think?
    At this point have you selected a welder yet? I'm more or less in the same boat as you. I will be getting my first welder. I decided on a Lincoln 140 which will run on dedicated 110 V circuit. I can always ad in 50A later for bigger unit. But since I don't see myself welding anything more than 1/4 inch with the Lincoln mig welder for now I can set up anywhere in my new barn.
    I agree running #6 or 8 is pricey & so is the equipment. So why worry about it at all. When you have your equipment, that will determine what you need on the power side. Just my way of solving the energy problem. I think learning to weld will be fun & useful too. You can always ad in more outlets as your needs dictate.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maddog View Post
    At this point have you selected a welder yet? I'm more or less in the same boat as you. I will be getting my first welder. I decided on a Lincoln 140 which will run on dedicated 110 V circuit. I can always ad in 50A later for bigger unit. But since I don't see myself welding anything more than 1/4 inch with the Lincoln mig welder for now I can set up anywhere in my new barn.
    I agree running #6 or 8 is pricey & so is the equipment. So why worry about it at all. When you have your equipment, that will determine what you need on the power side. Just my way of solving the energy problem. I think learning to weld will be fun & useful too. You can always ad in more outlets as your needs dictate.
    I was in the exact same situation as you and made the same decision. While the Handler 140 worked great, it was a big mistake. I too thought I would never need to weld thicker than 1/4 inch. I later installed a 220 line and regretted limiting myself to a 110 volt machine. Do yourself a favor and get a dual voltage machine with the quick change plugs that can run on 110 or 220. You will be glad you did.
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    You might also consider where your going to put the 220v 80 gallon 5hp air compressor in the future. I put 3 60 amp outlets in. 1 is never used. The other 2, 1 is within 10’ of a front overhead, 1 10’ from the rear side overhead, I have a fused switch that plugs into that for my compressor or I can use it for the welder or for a generator if needed. That way if what I am welding something to big I can get it close to the door.
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    Quote Originally Posted by atebit View Post
    I recently had a detached garage built. I'm having 100A service run to the garage so that I can put in a 220V/50A circuit for a welder. While I'd like to learn this skill, whether or not I'll have time to in the near future is another question. But since I have the capacity, I want to provide the outet(s) for myself or perhaps someone down the road to take advantage of.
    If it's not too late to change this; I'd go 200amps.
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    We are building a new attached garage and upgraded the power to the house to 400A and I have 200A going to the new garage which also feeds my shop.

    You may be thinking welding right now but what is the use of this space? You only mentioned it is a detached garage. It kind of sounds like it is work space but is it also parking? I ask because it is easier to plan for an electric vehicle or two out there now than it is later. That is why I went with 200A for my garage. While you can charge an electric vehicle on 110V it is much better on 240. Depending on location you could use the same outlet for charging at some point as you do for welding.

    As for location, I would consider charging points for the future more than welding points. As others mentioned get a welder cart and an extension cord. Really the only reason I weld outside is if I can't physically get the project into my shop. I have both an Arc Stick welder and a MIG. The MIG is by far my first choice as it is so much easier to weld with but there are more variables. Gas flow, is there too much wind and such and it is a little more fussy in wanting clean steel. That is the problem with MIG outdoors. If it is too big to fit in the door it is probably too rusty to MIG weld anyhow so I go to Arc welding.

    Welding on cement is fine. You won't hurt the cement. However if you go with an epoxy floor, you will likely damage the floor so you would want a mat of some sort to lay on the ground. Preferably not something flammable. You can get a few welding blankets pretty cheap.

    I don't know that I would mess with a straight 110V welder. You can't do enough with them. I have a Hobart 190 and wouldn't go below that. It is a 240V only welder. The only real reason to go with a small welder is portability if doing really light weight stuff. It is kind of nice to be able to weld from any outlet and if all you are doing is really thin metal then I guess it is fine but you are handicapping yourself. Hobart and other brands typically make a multi voltage welder. I want to say with Hobart that is the 230. It is around that size where it is a little bigger than the one I went with. I was going to go with the 230 but they didn't have any and the 190 was on sale for a price I had a hard time passing up on. I would look at staying around the 200A for a hobby welder.

    As far as Miller/Hobart/Lincoln/other brands. You always have those that will follow one brand and that is fine. They will all weld and all have advantages. For instance why spend big money for a high end Miller that has a 100% duty cycle when all you are going to do for welding is tack a few things here and there. I would recommend finding a local welding shop. Buying your stuff there and going with one of the brands they stock. Your life will be better when you notice your last welding tip is shot on a Saturday and you could have just run to the local shop and picked one up but the ones they stock won't fit your welder. Now you are stuck ordering something and waiting for it to come in.
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