Hi Neal, Welcome to the semi complex world of: metallurgy, electronics, auto mechanics, photography, wood processing, public speaking, & wood gasification. LOL
You have probably mastered several of these already, and we are here to help with the rest. I used this welder
for everything except the heavy heat sinks, and yesterdays repairs.
A stick welder is handy for those. The main thing I think, for maximum flexability is the ability to vary HEAT & WIRE FEED. You see two knobs that provide variables. The variety of thickness we weld is so diverse I think this option is essential. This is a knock-off of an Eastwood found here on sale!
Most hardwares have replacement consumable parts for this style. I did have to make one electronic repair inside it for a bad connection earlier this year. see here: