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Welders for noobs

Discussion in 'Hobby Engineering' started by Archades, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. Archades

    Archades Member

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    Hi, I have a few projects which require welding up 2-3mm RHS and was wondering if something like this would be fine for a noob to use.

    http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ROSSI-130-MI...30490927589?pt=AU_Welding&hash=item1e61dd89e5

    It's pretty cheap from what I gather but if it does the job and won't be used that much would it be sufficient? Only alternative in that price range would be the supercheapauto 60buck welders I believe, or 3-400+ units.

    Thanks.
     
  2. scorpydude

    scorpydude Member

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    Gasless mig is horrible mate. The whole idea of mig is that you have the gas to remove the oxygen from the area near the weld so it makes rock hard, clean welds.

    I would go a $60 stick welder over a gasless mig anyday. A $60 welder is fine if your only going to use it a few times a year. Dont overpay for a welder... it's not like your welding up trucks or pipelines here man... your just making a damn workbench. Any guy with a cheap arse welder can do that.
     
  3. RussellK

    RussellK Member

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  4. Hive

    Hive Member

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    A few truck batterys and jumper cables should do :weirdo:
     
  5. RussellK

    RussellK Member

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    No it's not. I'm not sure where this (very common) belief came from, but it simply isn't true.

    At the point where I had to use MIG outdoors, gas was not an option due to wind. After all the claims of doom and disaster using flux-cored wire, I found that the reality is that it has more smoke and spatter than gas, there is a light coating of slag that can be brushed off, and you can make *very* good welds with flux-cored wire.

    When I think about it, I suspect this myth has come from people working on car panels, and it's true - very thin sections like car body are not suited to flux-core, and the spatter produced is also undesirable, however, the use of MIG is not *just* for car body repair.

    There is plenty of use of flux core in industry - if the sections are not too thin, and spatter is not an issue, it does the job fine.

    Finally, welding thin-walled sections in the range of 1.6 to 2mm is considerably harder than welding 4-10mm sections that you might find in heavier applications. Thus a good welder is going to provide considerable benefit for these thin-walled jobs.

    I'd agree, though, that a good stick welder is better than a cheap MIG that constantly plays up.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2011
  6. Bluterus

    Bluterus Member

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    I'd go mig with .9mm standard copper coated wire and just hire a small bottle of Argon 07.
    Or you could use the fluxcore and run some Argon 18.
     
  7. aXis

    aXis Member

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    Whilst it might work OK, what is the point of gasless MIG over stick anyway? Only thing I can tell is not having to change the stick.

    For a hobbyist, the price of the welder and consumables would significantly favour stick welders, and with some practice you can get very good welds. I've seen professional coded pipeline welders use stick, it just takes some care and time.
     
  8. bl4ck32

    bl4ck32 Member

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    Not likely with what hes wanting to use it for though. Used in the right application you said, they can be fine, but for the most part MOG welders have a crap reputation for a reason.

    Arc is a pain in the butt with cleaning and rods, but if its a once off then thats prob the cheapest bet. Stear clear of cheap mig welders.
     
  9. RussellK

    RussellK Member

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    I use both all the time - MIG (gasless or otherwise) is *much* easier for thin sections, particularly where you want good penetration into recessed joins, like you get with the curved corners of RHS. 1.6 -2mm square tube is commonly used by hobbyists, but some of the hardest stuff to stick weld unless you have considerable skill and experience.
     
  10. Odje

    Odje Member

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    I am trying to decide if I should get a welder and if so which type. I would bearly use it but I dont mind paying a few hundred to make the task of welding that little bit easier since I only have a few hours of welding under the belt. If I do get one, I want to use it on thin, 3mm, steel and aluminium. Since it would get very little use, I am gussing it will probably be better to go gasless since the cost of the bottle will add up.
     
  11. tylerplowright

    tylerplowright Member

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    aluminium requires a TIG welder and a fair bit of skill. Gasless is fine for the home handyman. If you're a pro welder/boilermaker then you will know what you want and that will probs be a gas one
     
  12. bl4ck32

    bl4ck32 Member

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    you can mig aluminum, you change the gun wire feed liner, gas and settings.

    Cheap welders are shit, due to the quality of components used and their design. Wire feed and voltage control are compromised on these cheap machines to save money meaning you will end up with a mig welder you cant 100% control how hot or how fast you want it to run which is why people think them supercrap ones are crap. They are not worth the money.

    To get ANY welder worth doing something on you would be looking to start spending about 1k on a 200A as a minimum. Commercial use ones start around 250A and can mig anything up to 10-12mm steel, aluminum, etc.
     
  13. ywn

    ywn Member

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    i thought u can weld alloy with a mig ( providing it is gas and has the alloy wire ) but i may be wrong as i dont know much about welding .
     
  14. Odje

    Odje Member

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    You can MIG alum with right wire/gas. I am planning on getting 2-3 hour crash course in TIG next week.
     
  15. RussellK

    RussellK Member

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    Yup, you can weld aluminium with the correct wire and argon gas (MIG gas for welding steel is a different mix of argon/CO2). As the wire is much softer than used for steel, you often need to replace the liner to reduce friction, otherwise the wire will jam and you'll get a birds-nest forming in front of the feed roller in the machine.

    The other option for ally welding on a MIG is a spool gun that has a small roll of the alloy wire right on the gun itself. The newer generations of some MIGs have a special socket for this (UniMIG comes to mind).

    That said, the world is full of welding snobs. You can weld ally with a correctly set up MIG, but the weld is not as nice as TIG, so a TIG welder will declare you can't weld ally with MIG. Just the same as those who say you can't do a decent weld with flux-cored (gasless) wire.
     
  16. Life_Essence

    Life_Essence Member

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    Get someone to teach you how to weld if you can. Also weld on scrap pieces before you weld the actual piece your working on to get wire speed/heat etc all right.
     
  17. 2_stroke

    2_stroke Member

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    IMO buy a second hand mig, why waste coin on a cheap peice of shit that may fail within minutes or just be a bitch with feed ect. As a noob i use the 2 migs @ work now again tacking up projects like storm grates (I can't weld for shit) and they are piss easy to use and dail in on every type of metal once you have a play and get the feel. Arc welding i can do okish but i'am screwed when it comes to thin metal as i just always burn straight through the shit and never have any luck getting a nice weld on low juice.

    You could also hire a mig or get a freind to knock it up for you if your not going to take up welding as a hobby. A arc/stick would be the way to go over a cheap mig, just take some time to play and practice with a sample of what your working with before welding up your project. Just because i'am shit with the arc and thin metal dosent mean you will be, i just like the mig because its more idiot proff when you dont have time to dic around setting up the right juice.
     
  18. supernom

    supernom Member

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    I was thinking of buying a welder so I can make a frame to mount my g25 wheel and pedals.
    I have done a couple hours of welding when i did my automotive pre-apprenticeship, we mainly did oxy-acetylene welding though. Only 1 or 2 sessions of mig.

    I was thinking of just getting a cheap gasless mig welder as I would probably only use it once to make the racing thing. Doesn't really matter how structurally sound or clean it is so I think gasless would be ok. Seems like the easiest option anyway.

    A gas mig welder would be awesome but it just seems like a lot of hassle for a one time use thing.
     
  19. RussellK

    RussellK Member

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    I'm curious (honestly) about what applications, apart from car panels, flux-core MIG isn't suited to? Obviously my limited experience doesn't speak for the wide range of welding tasks, but I can say that I've welded a heap of 1.6mm wall gal SHS and the flux-core wire has been excellent.

    For sections over 4mm I do tend to go to stick as it's easy welding with a high degree of confidence in the structural quality of the weld, and I like the choice of welding result that different rods give me, but I suspect with the right settings I'd be getting good welds with the MIG and flux-core wire.
     
  20. Ch4iS

    Ch4iS Member

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    I tried gasless mig wire a few months back and at first thought it was good (went through about 6x 0.5kg rolls) but after going back to gas, my welds are 1000x better and the time saved cleaning the welds is well worth paying for the gas
    (Or it could also be due to my inexperience)

    2-3mm box I would go with an arc welder.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2011

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