The weather got a bit better a few weeks ago, for a day, so I dragged the frame outside to weld it up. It started out okay but the free welder started having hiccups. Bad enough that my nice pretty welds started to look like tumors.
I dug into the welder and found a myriad of minor issues, in of themselves, were not much. Add them up together, though, and it was a wonder it worked at all. I should mention that the welder is a 20 year old Lincoln Weld-Pak 100. A 110VAC MIG capable flux core unit. I've been using flux core for forever but I am not a fan of it for thin gauge steel welding. Works great if I'm framing up something with 1/8" thick steel. Anyway, I dealt with the problems with the welder and decided to look into what it would take to convert it to MIG. The Lincoln kit was breath sucking $400US. I did some digging and found that I could do the conversion myself for a heck of a lot less. If I paired my Hilton Hotel points with my Amazon account, I could, except for the gas, do it for damn near nothing.
So, I bought a couple of consumables kits; .035, .030, .023 contact tips, gas nozzles, and gas diffusers, prior to pairing the accounts. That was just to tune up the welder, so I had to get it no matter what. After pairing the accounts, I got the pressure/flow regulator, hose, and 110VAC gas solenoid for zero dollars. I have $15 in fittings and hardware because I had to see what was going to fit where and get those locally. That was a good excuse for an ice cream ride.
Sadly, the initial purchase of the gas and bottle is going to be north of $200, but that was expected. Still, having only $15 in the conversion instead of $400 makes it a bit more palatable. Mrs. Cheest was a bit miffed about the price of the gas and bottle but I told her that I'd now be able to do all those artsy fartsy projects she keeps asking me about. I have no intentions of doing said artsy fartsy projects, but that's how I sold it.