It's been 30+ years since I've done any welding, but I tried my hand at it again yesterday. A few years ago I bought a buddy's Hobart Handler 140. I know it works since he'd done some welding with it for me while I watched. I finally got around to buying a gas bottle, welding mask, gloves, cart, etc so I thought I was ready to rock-n-roll!
I got set up, plugged it in, turned on the gas and thought I was ready to go to town on a couple pieces of scrap metal. I squeezed the trigger, the wire fed and I got an "arc". But I got NO penetration in the steel. The material just kind of puddled on the surfaces of the pieces but nothing held together. When I first tried it, the arc was kind of "popping" but turning down the feed stopped that and I got it to be more steady. I also tried different voltage settings on the machine, but still no penetration.
I'm wondering if I'm not getting enough power to my outlet for this. I have a detached garage that sits about 50 feet from the house. The previous owner (that built the garage) ran a piece of 10-3 Romex ** from a 240V breaker in my main panel out to a panel in the garage. I was plugged into an outlet at the far end of the garage from the breaker, so figure in another 90' of 12-2 from the panel to the outlet.
I had cleaned up the steel with the wire brush on my bench grinder, so I'm pretty sure I was getting good contact.
Should I try plugging the welder into the generator? I have a 7500 watt Generac that has a couple of 120V-20A outlets on it.
Any advice from you experienced welders would be appreciated. And, no - I don't want this to turn into a "you should have bought a 240V welder instead of a 120V welder" thread!
** NOTE: I'm pretty sure it was 10-3. I'd have to go out to the garage to double check. The PO used a 50 amp breaker in the panel. When I had my generator wired into the panel, the electrician said the breaker was too big for the wire and replaced that breaker with a 30 amp. The panel in the house is on the closest end of the house to the garage. The outlet wire in the garage runs along the perimeter in the garage, so 25' up each side and back and 40' along the rear of the garage - total of a 90' run.