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Welders for noobs

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

  1. bl4ck32

    bl4ck32 Member

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    In my experiences the biggest problem is that they are usually used in these cheap nasty welders, which suffer from the two problems i mentioned before. Irregular wire speed control and inaccurate voltage settings mean a poor setup for trying to get any decent weld out of them. The settings / controls on the MOG welders have to be pretty accurate to get a good weld, more so than regualr mig. They are prone to porosity, if the flux isnt burnt off before the weld cools. But i guess this once again stems from cheap shitty welders we see on ebay etc.
     
  2. RussellK

    RussellK Member

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    Fair enough - I've been using it with a UniMIG 165 inverter. The main criticism I've heard of these cheap-ish Chinese inverters is poor voltage regulation at low voltages, making them inferior to more expensive units for, as mentioned, that critical, sub-1mm car panel work.

    I have experienced porosity while using flux-cored wire, but that's been solved by tweaking the voltage/wire speed, which is the basic skill you need to learn using a MIG of any setup.

    I guess the conclusion is that the "flux-core is crap" comes down more to "cheap-arsed MIGs are crap" plus the fact that they usually run flux-cored wire.

    The initial version of that - "gassless is crap" - is not particularly helpful for those that have a half-decent unit and need to do a lot of work outside in windy conditions, or aren't keen on paying the ongoing bottle rental for what is a hobby.

    I have a couple of 1,000 litre fuel tanks which I've noticed, from the bead profile and spatter, were obviously fabricated with flux-cored wire. The tanks are sound, and the manufacturer must have provided hundreds of these to the surrounding region yet maintains and excellent reputation for his fuel tanks. I kind of wish that those who actually should know better would explain the real issues with flux-core rather than writing it off as inferior.
     
  3. scorpydude

    scorpydude Member

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    TIG > MIG > STICK > GASLESS MIG

    That is all.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Archades

    Archades Member

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    Thanks heaps guys, I might try my luck with cheapie stick and force myself to get good lol. Or if I'm lucky find a nice decent 2nd hand gas mig. I'll definitely try stick to thicker-wall rhs/shs though.
     
  5. bl4ck32

    bl4ck32 Member

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    Yep, the blame for the bad rep comes purely down to the resin core wire being supplied with these cheap machines. People cant get good welds out of them so they think its the fact there is no gas. If gasless was so bad, then arc welding would never have taken off.

    Make sure you get the right rods for the job, and clean as you go. Its a hassle to learn, but should provide you with a better weld than a cheap mig in the end.
     
  6. Bluterus

    Bluterus Member

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    Just thought I'd add instead of using anti spatter or if you weren't going to use any at all.
    Detergent is a good enough substitute for M/S.

    Just buy a $1 bottle from Woolies or some you got laying around the house mix it with a bit of water in a spray bottle and u'll be surprised how well it works.
    Then just clean it down with some thinners and paint.
     
  7. TERRA Operative

    TERRA Operative Member

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    Archades, where are you located? If you are in Brisbane and can get to the southside, I can work out a good price for a decent welder through work (we sell and repair welders).

    We can tell you what the go is with different brands (DO NOT buy the current generation of BOC welders whatever you do, they are no better than Chinese ebay rubbish etc. I'm fixing one almost every single day of the week).
    We can sell you a good welder for a reasonable price or a cheap welder for a better price. We sell Weldstar welders which are our own cheap Chinese brand, but come with an 18 month (or so) replacement warranty, just walk in with a stuffed unit and walk out with a new one. We sell stuff from cheap Chinese to WIA welders, UNI-MIG etc, all the way to Lincoln Electric, ESAB, Kemppi, Cigweld etc.

    I won't post in this thread where I work as I'm not making an endorsement, but PM me if you're interested and we can work something out.
    You will receive the benefit of a local repair and support network and local warranty.
     
  8. jamesbond

    jamesbond Member

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    Anyone know about Argoshield gas / bottles / prices etc ??

    I was given a 190 Amp Mig Welder with empty gas bottle. Looking to fire it up soon. The bottle there now is Argoshield Light and bottle size is E.

    After doing some searching, if I take this bottle to be re-filled, I may be charged back-rent from when it was last filled. It has a BOC tag on it, but I will also be giving SupaGas a call tomorrow. Can the bottle be re-filled without paying rent ??
     
  9. Ch4iS

    Ch4iS Member

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    I wouldnt bother trying to bring it back, I have a feeling they wont refill the bottle for you and if its BOC property they will take it, and if they do swap it over I highly doubt they will waive the rental costs.


    There is a company in NSW which lets you buy bottles and refills them for you but I dont think there are any outlets in SA
    http://www.atomicgas.com.au/

    They posted up on a forum I visit often and I was looking to buy one of their small bottles for Aluminium/stainless welding
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2011
  10. jamesbond

    jamesbond Member

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    Just checked their website, they are only in NSW :mad:

    Will try calling around tomorrow to see what I can get.
     
  11. Mjölnir

    Mjölnir Member

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    Dad bought an SIP gasless MIG for $300 a while back. I've used it extensively for 1.2 to 2.0mm RHS welding and can't fault it as a handy tool for around his farm. Simple to use and produces good welds using a 0.9 tip and 0.8 wire. Easy to control too. Granted gas is a better option for heavier steel, but for what we use it for, it's paid itself off in spades.
     
  12. Goth

    Goth Grumpy Member

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    Isn't gasless flux core wire significantly more expensive than normal wire for use with gas?

    You should factor that into it before you decide that gas is too expensive.

    Personally, I wouldn't buy a gasless MIG, I would spend a little extra and get a welder that is a little better, and is not gasless-only.

    Now, if you've got a normal MIG welder which has a gas hose on it, you can still run it gasless. Just put flux core wire in it, and you don't need to put the argon regulator and cylinder on it at all. (You can just leave the gas feed hose hanging off the unit.)

    So, I suppose you can go and buy a MIG, and get a little spool of flux core wire, but don't get the argon regulator and argon cylinder rental... and just spend those extra few bucks on getting a welder with better electronics.

    Now... use the gasless wire, and see how you like it. If you don't like it, you've got the capacity there to go back later and swap it out for normal wire, and add the gas cylinder and regulator for normal gas-shielded MIG operation.
     
  13. jamesbond

    jamesbond Member

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    My local welding shop has standard 0.9mm mig wire at $25 for a 5kg roll, where the flux cored is around $90 per 5kg roll.

    Quoted Argoshield prices I got today were for an 'E' sized bottle:
    SupaGas = $79 refill + $15.45 per month -- free delivery
    BOC = $73.15+gst refill + 156.96+gst bottle rental per 12 months -- 11.76+gst for hand bill / pickup from depot or $49 delivery.
    So prices are very close.
     
  14. RussellK

    RussellK Member

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    The ongoing yearly cost of about $170-$180 a year in rental plus refills is pretty close to what I'm facing in Canberra for an E size bottle - the smallest anyone seems to deal in around here.

    For casual use, flux-cored wire is clearly the cheapest option, but depending on what kind of work you're doing (and how much of it), some might be willing to cough up the ongoing cost for gas.
     
  15. Odje

    Odje Member

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  16. crazyau

    crazyau Member

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    For 2-3 mm, just stick weld it, easy and cheap.
    gasless is good to weld outside or dirty material, but the welds are more tensile and when tacking up will not give as much before snapping when adjusting.
    Anything thicker than car panels is ok with gasless, welding hotdipped galvanise is one place where it excels.

    My cheap antispatter tip is to go into the kitchen and grab some cooking oil spray. Worst thing with it is it does make you hungry :)
     
  17. LostBenji

    LostBenji Member

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    There is the statement of a "Pro"
    MIG does just fine.


    No one has even really asked the other half of the question, if the OP needs to ask the question of MIG Vs. Arc or Gas Vs. Gas-less then there is more than enough hint that the OP can't weld and the end result is likely to be a mess. The OP hasn't returned in a while either, but that maybe either due to the thread being rather old or badly derailed from all the boiler-makers with E-pinions......
     
  18. OP
    OP
    Archades

    Archades Member

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    Zero welding experience:p The thread made me want a mig but no cash for that atm lol. Might try basic stick n force myself to get good or die!
     
  19. jamesbond

    jamesbond Member

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    If doing ARC welding, please do buy some quality rods. Cheap rods are sh!te. I have great results with CIG Satincraft 2.5mm or their BOC equivalent. I always have heaps of trouble using the CIG General Purpose rods :thumbdn:
     
  20. Tas_Dean

    Tas_Dean Member

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    Quick, someone please call Bob Clifford at INCAT and get him to recall all the aluminium cats they've built. Since they are all MIG welded! You're right regarding the need for skill, but dead wrong about aluminium requiring TIG.
     

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