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welding

Discussion in 'Hobby Engineering' started by flinchy, Mar 1, 2016.

  1. flinchy

    flinchy Member

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    Hope welding fits in here

    Looking for a beginner TIG setup, never laid a bead before but wanting to learn, stainless and ally.

    I want something that'll grow with me as I get better, but doesn't break the bank.

    So the easier to use the better really.
     
  2. oculi

    oculi Member

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    you will need AC/DC, pretty much anything AC will have all the features you need. BOC stores have fairly cheap ones and being B&M you can demand warranty support and even get them to show you the basics in-store.

    or you can get one from ebay, which are usually pretty good from most accounts.
     
  3. AgB deano

    AgB deano Member

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    So you've never used a welder before at all or not a TIG?

    What welding equipment do you already own?

    Is this something you'll do for one off jobs or somewhat regularly?

    What is your budget with that in mind?
     
  4. hobbymods

    hobbymods New Member

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    TIG's no walk in the park for a beginner, especially will stainless and ally.

    You could get a good MIG welder at BOC for around a grand with a mask and gloves.

    I'd practice with some flux cored (gasless) wire on mild steel first and work your way up.

    MIG's about the easiest (IMO) to use straight up.
     
  5. AgB deano

    AgB deano Member

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    You're not wrong on the TIG. I would argue that DC arc on mild steel is a lot cheaper and easier to setup and learn from, especially with the excellent youtube tutorials out there. MIG is easy enough but only if you know what settings to use, what wire to use and how to read the welds to know what you're fucking up and honestly, $1k for a MIG setup for a beginner is a bit much unless they are dedicated to learning the skill but if they did go for that welder, at least they could step up to gas mig when they are ready to get better welds.

    It is very rare I fab with either metal. The last time I needed to fix something Al, I went to the mens shed in my area and used their tig. The only reason I don't own one is because I refuse to pay the extortionist rates BOC charges for gas hire. Bastards. If only bunnings had bottles of argon!

    That said, I'm waiting to see the experience this person has before making recommendations.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2016
  6. 2xCPU

    2xCPU Member

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    Have to agree with the comments above - TIG is not the tool to 'start from scratch' (no pun intended), and certainly not with aluminium.

    MIG can be used gas-less (not as nice welds), but TIG can't.

    Manual stick welder will do a really good job on stainless, but the rods are a bit pricey. In fact, it's hard(er) to do a bad weld with stainless rods.

    2.
     
  7. RobRoySyd

    RobRoySyd Member

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  8. AgB deano

    AgB deano Member

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    I've seen those little bottles before, I couldn't justify it, especially when it is stupidly overpriced.

    The bottles I was referring to are these;

    http://www.bunnings.com.au/coregas-trade-n-go-size-d-oxygen-gas_p5910224

    They rolled out a Size D swap program for oxy and acetylene bottles. No rent, buy the bottle (which you can refund for full price), $69 to swap oxy, $99 to swap acetylene. It is still in a pilot stage but from what I hear, some sort of mig mix as well as pure argon will be added eventually.

    That said, that deal you linked on ebay is incredibly tempting, a damn shame it is NSW. What really pisses me off is that even if I bought that registered argon bottle, there is nowhere in bendigo I could get it refilled as they will not refill competitors bottles. I would be stuck having to wastefully send the damn thing away to get refilled every time i run out, which knowing my luck would be in the middle of a project. I'll just skip having my own TIG for now.


    Absolutely correct, learned it in trade school but I wasn't that good at it, didn't practice enough back then. Done a few bodge repairs since then with a DC stick - they are pretty enough! The other trick is to not use the shitty branded rods and only use fresh or dry rods. The few I do have left from jobs over the years have always been resealed with silicon in the containers with some of that moisture absorbing silica crap, not as good as fresh rods but good enough for the hobbyist like me, especially if I bake them for a while before I have to use one.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2016
  9. hobbymods

    hobbymods New Member

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    The MIG machine I got from BOC had a chart on the side that showed metal type/thickness vs settings for amps/feedrate.

    Worked really well.

    Much easier to use than stick once you've got the hang of it, I've done a bit on both.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    flinchy

    flinchy Member

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    very small amount of stick. Just some rubbish looks don't matter welds that just needed to hold lol

    No gear at all, mix of one-off and regular, but not industrial volume or anything.


    Budget is.. idk I'd like to be ready to weld for say 1000-1500? With wiggle room if needed. Much more to me just seems like it's out of 'brand new hobby' spend.

    Edit: more stainless than ally too, just in reading welding forums etc it seemed tig was more the way I wanted

    Also I plan on doing some night classes at a trade school learn to weld thing when I get into it.

    I'm a decent believer of jumping in the deep end when learning things too haha

    Edit: the stuff on boc's site seems pretty exxy to start with? May as well get that trade tools one over it :/. Will have to check what decent China stuff there is on ebay

    It seems kinda like there's really basic manual ones for cheap or relatively expensive fancy ones with no in between
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2016
  11. dr_deathy

    dr_deathy Member

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  12. AgB deano

    AgB deano Member

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    Well, I just typed out a big massive list, then deleted it as I don't know what you've got, what you already know.. Too many variables, I don't even know where to start! lol

    It's funny that when it comes to engineering and everything else in life, you will never know everything, hobbyist or professional alike. What can make a huge difference in the long run though, is establishing a firm foundation of learning to work from.

    So this being said, I honestly highly recommend that you enrol in the short courses at tafe to learn welding that you mentioned, as it will be absolutely invaluable. It seems expensive at first but trust me, it's a cheap investment. You will quickly learn basics such safety equipment and clothing, you'll learn to use a full range of welders with a range of consumables and materials, you'll learn to use a huge range of equipment that you are likely to find in a workshop, you'll learn to choose what techniques and consumables to use for different metals (thickness, type, assessing strength or if reinforcement needed), different joining techniques, proper hand techniques, different weaves, layering, penetration, heat stress and how to use it or counter it.. the list goes on. I would recommend that you go in and inspect the facilities first, meet the shop teachers, get a feel for it, get their recommendations of where you should start your leaning and discuss what you aim to do. This will be the vest start the best part of the formal education - you gain positive and ongoing feedback. You learn where you're fucking up and with a 30 second fix, you'll correct a bad technique that you could otherwise use for a lifetime.

    Also through this learning you will be able work out exactly what you need and what you want for yourself without having to commit to any purchases. They'll teach you how to make a lot of the basic tools that make welding a lot easier. You'll also decide if you want to go mig or arc at the start, as it's too damn expensive to go both :)

    For example, I was writing a huge list and putting items that should be common sense, like proper welding gloves, full cotton full sleeve shirts and pants at all times, auto darkening helmets, ear and eye protection.. this is before I even get to the welding gear of what is essential and what is nice to have. Then there is other equipment like angle grinder, cup brush, flat brush, different disks.. I could type pages and still get nowhere lol. What I can better do is answer questions you have and point you in the right direction.

    My last two pieces of advice are this; if there is any one thing you want to learn with, it is a decent auto darkening welding helmet. If they don't supply them, buy one, thank me later.

    Secondly, supplement your learning with stuff like this. This guys videos are brilliant, there is a huge mix of material in there outside of that playlist from basic to highly advanced. Because of the way he has the camera and filter setup, you can see puddle and how he is manipulating it with stick welding and mig alike. I love his tig techniques, you'll see some perfect dimes. He explains exactly what he is doing and why. He's got videos in there that show the common errors made, with examples of him doing it so you learn to read your welds on the fly, listen to the arc, assess the aftermath, etc.

    Anyway, I hope this advice helps.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2016
  13. maldotcom2

    maldotcom2 Member

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    This. Especially for TIG. Seriously buy a nice one, it might cost a couple hundred but it's worth it.

    As far as gas, I bought my mig bottle outright from Gasweld. They do Argon too. I think it cost me ~$400 odd. I pay slightly more for the refills than when I rented, but of course I have no astronomical annual rental fee.

    For occasional or hobbyist welders who might not even use a bottle per year, rental is the main cost so owning the cylinder and paying for refills works out much cheaper. Rental is for businesses who's main cost is the gas.
     
  14. OP
    OP
    flinchy

    flinchy Member

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    Thanks for the long post!

    I understand hah, yeah for me personally I've read a lot and watched a lot of videos (already subbed to that channel, love his videos!), as with most things my shortfall is mainly in the actual physical doing, and more specific starting stuff.

    I've got basic stick/mig units coming up soon ish (I think) through my automotive apprenticeship TAFE stuff, and I've been considering a night course for TIG, but finding a place convenient enough to get to is more challenging. I'll look harder I think.

    I've already got or plan to get the safety gear and tools needed, things like grinders and various discs and cutting and cleaning etc and vice etc are already on the cards, but really welding specific stuff maybe I have less of an idea about. Proper safety gear like a good helmet seemed like a no brainer too, I'm all about retaining my eye sight.
     
  15. Azuras

    Azuras Member

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    I got myself a TIG to play with at home (am a truck/crane driver)

    can arc weld ok
    can tack with a mig but long welds look average
    can left and right hand TIG in most basic positions and orientation, most of my work is stainless.

    few things.
    get the biggest gas bottle you can (i scammed a G from work and rent it and fill it at our rates)
    dont skimp on your helmet, cheap ones can do some wierd shit.
    challenge yourself: no point endlessly practicing straight filit or butt joints if you want to weld round things, do the hard shit and when you get back to the easy shit it will be that much easier
    make friends with your welding supplier
    and get the best TIG machine you can afford or you will likely be buying it twice


    i love TIG
    playin with puddles as an adult
     
  16. 2xCPU

    2xCPU Member

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    Ain't that the truth!

    2.
     
  17. xlot

    xlot Member

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    I bought an E size gas bottle of argon/co2 mix (for mild steel MIG) from Speedgas - they're local to me.

    They sell various mixes or straight argon etc. and no stupid monthly stitch-up rental like BOC - refills they just swap the bottle out.

    Reminds me, I should arrange a refill -being tempted by pure Ar and a TIG lately :)
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2016
  18. havabeer

    havabeer Member

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    do you get them cheaper at the moment as well due to being a student... i would also look at claiming a course like that on tax. i did the stick welding + oxy cutting course at tafe. 4 hour night course of 8 weeks i think (was about 10 years ago)... hour or so of theory, a break and then its just sitting in a booth burning rods which is basically the only way your going to learn.

    i only weld half a dozen times a year now so i can barely put down a nice looking piece of bird shit. i find its one of those things you need to keep doing fairly regularly just to keep your eye in which i haven't done.


    great skill to learn, and i wish now i'd learnt to TIG weld but again don't expect to be putting down those pretty welds you see on the HD movies on youtube, it takes a fair bit of practice.

    the only other piece of safety gear i suggest you buy for your up coming courses other then the auto darkening helmet which is a definite is buy a welders hood. i was the only person in our short course that had one and the amount of people that went home with burnt heads and necks during the over head welds part was funny.
     
  19. dr_deathy

    dr_deathy Member

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    Finally got mine.

    ended up with an older model unitig for $500 less then the currant model, argon in G size from speedy (gasweld), lincoln viking helmet etc.

    G size was just so much cheaper to refill and i don't actually have a ute so less trips. Got a shit load of off cuts coming in to play with. :thumbup:
     
  20. terroristone

    terroristone Member

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    alltools also sell bottles and do the swap over thing.
     

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