Auto Shop Equipment Essentials – Part 7
Welders and plasma cutters are vital for any auto body shop. You’ll need a good welder and plasma cutter from a quality manufacturer if you want to be able to handle all the jobs you’ll need to be able to handle. There are many fine manufacturers out there, We carry two of the biggest, Lincoln and Thermal Dynamics. You can’t go wrong with names like these.
So then it comes down to what type of welder to purchase. That will depend on the type of work you’re doing. For thicker material like frames, an affordable Arc Welder will get the job done just fine. It handles this type of work well, it is easy to master and can be quite affordable. For those more precise jobs where you need to handle thinner material, fine body work and such, you’ll want to use a Mig Welder. Mig welders are best for handling the thinner sheet metal jobs because they will cause less distortion, and you’ll get a cleaner weld. You have more control and precision giving you an end product that can be perfect once you’ve mastered the art.
Mig welding can be done with, or without shielding gas. If done with gas, you tend to get the finest results. When done without gas, you’ll need to get flux core welding wire, which provides the important ingredients to accomplish the proper weld. The end weld will be just as strong, but maybe not quite as pretty.
We bundle Plasma Cutters in with welders because they go together like peanut butter and jelly. If you’re performing body work, and fabricating, you’ll need a Plasma Cutter. Sure, the Oxy / Acetylene torch is fine for frame cuts, but for the thinner material, and where precision is required, nothing beats a good plasma cutter. Plasma cutters will provide you with the most perfect cuts, for when nothing else will suffice. We recommend a plasma cutter with an inverter instead of a transformer. The older transformer technology was fine in it’s day, but modern plasma cutters with state-of-the-art inverter technology offers better performance. It will run less hot, which means longer duty cycle, and greater longevity. It allows for a much smaller, lighter machine too, making it more portable.