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Old 26 August 2009, 09:39   #1
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Cheap Arc welder, which one?

I'm looking at getting an Arc welder, it'll be used for doing bits of welding on Land Rovers and light projects at home.
Any one recommend one?
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Old 26 August 2009, 09:54   #2
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Dont bother! get a MIG welder. I used to struggle with an arc welder for allsorts, they are perfectly useable for some jobs if your good at welding, however to be good you need to be doing it every day.

IMO Mig is far easier to use, neater weld and more versatile. I Have a 160 amp sealey one which was cheap and OK for most stuff up to around 5-6mm thick when used with 0.6mm wire. You must use argoshield or cougarshield gas though CO2 is a total waste of time, the weld goes in cold and lumpy with poor penetration.
you can even weld some cast irons with a mig, and you can get brazing wire too, also stainless and aluminium with pure argon.
I dont think i have used my arc welder in the last 5 years!
You can get high pressure disposable argoshield cylinders now too which last a hell of a lot longer than the small low pressure disposable ones you used to get.
Best option is a hookey full size cylinder with no rental if you can get one of a geezer, the big L size will last me literally 10 years!
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Old 26 August 2009, 09:59   #3
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Unless you have a 3 phase electrical supply then I would forget Arc welding.
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Old 26 August 2009, 10:15   #4
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Any links for a MIG welder then?
I did want a MIG but then I was told Arc was easier.
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Old 26 August 2009, 11:56   #5
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I did want a MIG but then I was told Arc was easier.
Chewy, whoever told you than can't have tried both.

The Mig will be more expensive, but not a lot these days.

I use a Clarke 150A Mig from MachineMart for welding MS, and SS.
For the price it's a great machine, but you couldn't expect to use it every day for too long.

One tip is to junk the small gas bottles and get yourself set up with the larger 'Pub Size' bottle after building yourself a trolley. (I'll post a pic of what I built later).

I'm trying to get my hands on a TIG set next, but a full AC/DC set to weld Ali, not an inverter.

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Old 26 August 2009, 12:11   #6
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Terrible quality pictures of the trolley that will make life so much easier.

They also show the size of CO2 bottle you should move up to.
I currently still use the small bottles of Argon for welding SS and swap the feed pipe over.

Note my 150A is an EN version that was originally intended to use flux cored wire, and Not Gas, but I got it really cheap and converted it to use Gas.

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Old 26 August 2009, 12:31   #7
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Any links for a MIG welder then?
Machine Mart good back up and normaly hold stock of the bits and bobs you need

Quote:
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I did want a MIG but then I was told Arc was easier.
only if you are welding big stuff like scafolding poles etc. MIG you can be acceptable good at in an afternoon… ARC is a whole other skill set.
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Old 26 August 2009, 12:34   #8
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Terrible quality pictures of the trolley that will make life so much easier.


Nasher
I would have expected to see a trolly made from metal, showing off your welding skills!
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Old 26 August 2009, 12:38   #9
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I would have expected to see a trolly made from metal, showing off your welding skills!
Very true, but I had the ply in the garage and was being lazy not wanting to have to paint steel to stop it rusting.

Plus I quite like working with wood, makes a change.

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Old 26 August 2009, 13:04   #10
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Machine Mart good back up and normaly hold stock of the bits and bobs you need


only if you are welding big stuff like scafolding poles etc. MIG you can be acceptable good at in an afternoon… ARC is a whole other skill set.
That will be why, he's only used it for relatively heavy stuff. I always thought MIG was the better of the two.

How do you find the co2 Si, is it ok or do I need the special gas that DG suggested?

Whats your name again DG, its bugging me now!
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Old 26 August 2009, 13:42   #11
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The argon shield is the way to go, cocking about with CO2 from the local pub is just putting another obstacle in your way of doing a half decent job. If you are going to be doing any sort of volume of welding then the conversion kits to the bigger BOC bottles makes a lot of sense. However if you are doing that level of work then a bigger bit of kit would be the way to go. From your first post it sounds like a small fan cooled (aka trubo) MIG is the way to go and the small argon shield at least until you know which way is up, so to speak.

http://www.machinemart.co.uk/shop/ra...iy-mig-welders

you can get MIG’s that run with out gas as they have a flux in the wire which provides a gas, apparently they are better if you are using it outside with a wind as the gas dose not get blown away from the work. Have never used one of these gas less ones mind so the above is hear say.
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Old 26 August 2009, 13:53   #12
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All the welding would be done outside so the gasless one might be better.
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Old 26 August 2009, 14:15   #13
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If you go to a bigger machine mart they have a section at the back where they have returned goods. Some of the stuff is old and scruffy as hell but very expensive. However some of the stuff is totally unused and a good bargain.

I bought my big MIG from them - 225amp or whatever. All the was wrong with it was a bit of the plastic trim around the front had broken off - £140 off normal price!!!

I bought a decent welding torch from a proper welding supplies which makes a hell of a difference.

I agree with the gas. I have a bottle of CO2 pub gas at the moment. It does the job - just. Life is a lot easier with argoshield but it ain't easy to get.

Get a good auto welding helmet - much easier for beginners.
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Old 26 August 2009, 14:57   #14
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Been looking on here and it has loads of info.

http://www.mig-welding.co.uk/

Gas mig it is.

Still not sure what current I should be looking at for welding Land Rover chassis?
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Old 26 August 2009, 15:02   #15
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Chewy,

You have probably seen this forum but lots of useful info.

IIRC there is a guy that can get Clarke welders cheaper than Machinemart.

http://www.mig-welding.co.uk/
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Old 26 August 2009, 16:40   #16
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I've never had a problem MIG welding MS with Co2.
But I do get my bottles from a welding supplier not the brewery.

The No Gas sets are OK, but the fluxed wire is very expensive and not as readily available as normal wire in 0.6 or 0.8mm.

Codprawn, thats exactly where my current MIG came from, the returned goods section at the back of Machine Mart in Portsmouth. It had been used, but was hardly marked and was @60% of list price.

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Old 26 August 2009, 18:12   #17
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The No Gas sets are OK, but the fluxed wire is very expensive and not as readily available as normal wire in 0.6 or 0.8mm.
Don't be sucked in by the cheaper flux cored wire either-it's awful and the flux can be intermittent. You'll only get a good weld from one if it's using the most expensive stuff which makes it cheaper to buy a gas one and pay the extra.
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Old 26 August 2009, 18:53   #18
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Been looking on here and it has loads of info.

http://www.mig-welding.co.uk/

Gas mig it is.

Still not sure what current I should be looking at for welding Land Rover chassis?
I would look at 180A and above but pay attention to the duty cycle of a machine when comparing models. A mig may be rated for 180A but at 10% duty, ie for every minute of welding it needs 9 minutes of cooling down.
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Old 27 August 2009, 01:41   #19
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So I've got it down to 180A gas Mig so far.

Watched the videos on the other site of gas and gas less and that made my mind up.
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Old 27 August 2009, 04:14   #20
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Watched the videos on the other site of gas and gas less and that made my mind up.
Hope you had a mask on when watching the video... Arc eye is nasty
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