I'd like to have a new Thruxton and make my bonnie look like yours.
I have some hardbags too, though they were cheap. $75 bucks on Craigslist, and I made the brackets out of $5 worth of steel with my MIG welder:
Ok, so they're leatherlykes and very pricey to buy new, also these are for the honda shadow ACE, not the bonnie so they're a little bigger. I stuck some emgo turn signals in the stock location to clear the bags. I hate the stud-n-tassel look so these may get blasted in spray on bedliner one day. Right now they're in the closet where they belong.
I have a Millermatic I sort of "borrowed" from my girlfriend's dad about 2 years ago. It has the capability to run gas, but I've been using flux-core for all my stuff.
It's a 115 volt, and welds anything up to 1/4'' or even 5/16'' just fine, all the way down to about 16 gauge without too many problems burning through. 18 gauge is tough without burning up the metal.
I would just get the 115 v if I were you, unless you really want to weld some steel beams or something. I made my bag brackets out of 1'' square tubing and 1/8'' plate, and some 3/4'' bolts I cut up. I could post a pic if you want.
The lil' 115v mig welders are pretty dang useful, for any project you may have.
We welded a big ass steel cage covered with expanded steel and a heavy steel gate inside my buddy's band's van so they can lock their equipment inside. The welder was running for 3 days straight working on the cage and never missed a beat. The cage is awesome, and totally iron-clad sturdy.
I'd also recommend getting a 4'' angle grinder, with the cut-off wheels/disks, and some grinding disks, and some of the sandpaper covered flapper disks. I have a Ryobi angle grinder that was less than 50 bucks and I've beat the hell out of it for 2 years and it works great. My favorite tool!
With a MIG welder and an angle grinder, and a good vise you can build almost anything.
I think the Lincoln welders are pretty good, and like you said are readily available at the big box stores.
I'd get the nicest 115 volt that can handle gas, or maybe the 240 if you have power available and just want to.
Really, after spending time with mine I wouldn't get a nicer one, I'd spend the big bucks and get a TIG. Santa???
I've always had mine plugged into the garage regular wall outlet. I don't think you're supposed to use an extension cord with them.
I wouldn't worry about running a new circuit/breaker unless you have problems with constant tripping, I'm sure what's in your garage will be fine.
They can make some really nice welds, I've gotten to where I can make some nice "row of coins" welds with mine, and it's just a cheapie flux-core.
I do run the .035, but it can run the .030 with different tips. I like the bigger .035 because it burns brighter and it's easier to see through my shield, which is an auto-darkening #11 lincoln shield from home depot.
Once you tune it right, meaning get the knobs adjusted for temperature, and wire speed, spatter shouldn't be a problem. If you have a lot of spatter then your wire is moving too fast for the temp you're welding.
Spatter really isn't an issue. They are a lot of fun too.
tools you'll need:
-angle grinder and a ton of cutting disks, and grinding/sanding disks
-drill (I have a stepped bit which wasn't cheap but it's great)
-big ass bench vise
-steel table sure is nice, but not necessary.
-big wire brush
-speed square, tape measure, etc
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