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General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: glort on May 11, 2019, 08:16:35 AM

Title: MIG Welder, what to look for?
Post by: glort on May 11, 2019, 08:16:35 AM

For the first time in 3.5 years, I got enough motivation today to build a new burner.

 I love welding but the old machine has spat the dummy on the wire feed side and the erratic delivery of the wire had everything looking like Bird shit.
I could not get it right and I know the gun and the feed mechanism is buggered so not surprised.
Mrs came home unbeknown and heard and saw my frustration and has insisted i buy a new machine before I really loose the plot.

Just wondering what the knowledgeable here recommend as features to look for?
I don't need a big machine, most of what I do is light  but I want something decent, gasless and with a torch i can easy get parts for like tips.

I also saw on flea bay they have spool guns which look like I could hook them up to my old machine. It has the hard wired rather than the bayonet connections for the torch. Given it just seems all the wire feed side is stuffed but the rest is OK on my old one, I was wondering if I could just get one of those and resurrect the old girl?

I still want a better new machine, I bought this one cheap about 25 years ago as a get me by and i couldn't count how much welding I have done with it. I wouldn't think 100 spools  of 1Kg wire was out of place. I usually keep 2 in the cupboard cause when I use it, I use it a lot. 

The other question is would a TIG be worth it?  I know I'd have to buy gas which would be a pain and I have had no trouble with gasless welding but any great advantage I might use with a TIG?  No plans to do ally in the foreseeable future.
Title: Re: MIG Welder, what to look for?
Post by: ajaffa1 on May 11, 2019, 09:37:17 AM
Hi Glort, my only advice is to bit the bullet and pay good money for a welder that will do everything you want it to do. I regularly borrow a welder from one of my neighbors, I`m too mean and poor to buy my own.  :laugh:

The machine he has will do stick welding, Mig welding and Tig welding to around 180 amps, I should be seeing him tomorrow and will ask him for the make and model.

Bob
Title: Re: MIG Welder, what to look for?
Post by: LowGear on May 11, 2019, 01:16:30 PM
Hi glort,

I don't know squat about welders but I do know a great neighbor when I hear about one.  You might consider moving closer to Bob.  I hope his neighbor enjoys the complimentary lunches or getting his lawn mowed.

Welders and wire rust beyond belief here in Hawaii.  There are few things that feel better than running a good bead.  And few things that can cause the pistol to go off faster than an erratic piece of crap welder screwing with that near Zen flow of energy.

I'm with Bob on spending a couple of extra bucks and getting the unit you want and will use.  You'd being doing your partner a favor - really!  Not quite a "I'm doing this for you, Honey" but still a favor.

Aloha,
Title: Re: MIG Welder, what to look for?
Post by: glort on May 11, 2019, 01:26:21 PM

As much as a tight arse as I am, I'm not going to skimp on this buy.  You are right Casey, running a good bead is very satisfying and i can do it well on my fathers machine and I could on this one but today was disappointing and frustrating. Just too many things wrong now for it to work right.

Just wondering if there are particular things I should look for?
One thing I might pay attention to is a dial for power settings. The old one has 3 switches with 2 settings on each one and it's often frustrating to find the right setting for power. Of course every time you change them you have to change the wire speed again. That's always been a drawback with this machine.
You would think 6 settings would be enough and it is, just flipping the switch combos to find it isn't always easy or fast.  maybe I should have just rewired the panel with a rotary switch.

A friend of Mine has one of those multi Function machines. I think from memory it does TIG, MIG and Plasma Cutting. Might  do  stick as well. I did use in many years ago when it was pretty new for the plasma Function and it was VERY good.  He was using it for TIG but it didn't have a pedal which the time I tried to tig with it I found awkward.
Title: Re: MIG Welder, what to look for?
Post by: oldgoat on May 11, 2019, 01:46:28 PM
Putting a new liner might make all the difference to the feed problem. I have a Lincoln with the 6 settings as well as a lot of other bells and whistles and you still have to adjust the wire feed on every setting.
Title: Re: MIG Welder, what to look for?
Post by: glort on May 11, 2019, 02:54:20 PM

The liner has come out of the fitting in the gun which isn't good but the drive rollers are iffy as well.
always a dodgy setup I thought but it has worked but is a pain in the arse to thread new wire that's for sure.  Thats why I was wondering about a Spool gun,
Has everything that's dodgy on this welder built in and would just use the thing as the power supply.

I think I can get another cheapo regular Gun for about $0 which i'll try but I still want a new machine that has better power supply and frequency as well.
My fathers is a good unit and the difference in his and mine is chalk and cheese feed issues aside.

It's something I get enough use and pleasure out of to justify getting a decent machine I like using instead of the all I could afford at the time one I should have upgraded years ago.

Then again, I'll probably put a new Torch on the thing and love it.
Title: Re: MIG Welder, what to look for?
Post by: 38ac on May 11, 2019, 05:07:55 PM
 MIG and gassless is not possible, but appearantly you are one to call all wire fed processes MIG? The flux core process is. FCAW .  Technicalities aside I have never in my life seen cheap and good go together as pertaining to a welder. Realize that I made my living welding for 15 years and I am a bit of a nut about quality tools so my opinion of shop tools is very canted, especially welders. I have a Miller 252 in the shop for wire fed processes and. 300 amp Miller for stick,and TIG.  Parts and piexes for the torch and guns are everywhere and cheap. All that being said if you were satisfied all these years with a shitbox welder why go to any extra expense now? Buy another cheapo and be happy another 25?
Title: Re: MIG Welder, what to look for?
Post by: glort on May 11, 2019, 05:15:26 PM
MIG and gassless is not possible, but appearantly you are one to call all wire fed processes MIG?All that being said if you were satisfied all these years with a shitbox welder why go to any extra expense now? Buy another cheapo and be happy another 25?

Thanks for that very helpful post Butch even though I seem to have caught you at the wrong time of the month.
Title: Re: MIG Welder, what to look for?
Post by: 38ac on May 11, 2019, 06:31:38 PM
 I don't get the reason for your sarcasm?  A MIG welder is not a intershield wire welder that is simply a fact that you or anyone esle can fact check with an internet search or a trip to a real welding supply shop. Helps when shopping to use the right name but suit yourself
 The other statement is my way of saying why change at this stage of the game when you have been satisfied using low quality machinery for this long until it became unusable?

I am no challanger to your kingmanship here I could give a rats rear about it.
Go check your own sheets for blood spots.
Title: Re: MIG Welder, what to look for?
Post by: mikenash on May 11, 2019, 07:15:40 PM
Google "BOC"

I think they're Australian anyway.  They'll have a branch in every decent-sized city

Buy a medium quality wire-feed MIG with auto gas-feed/wire feed combined adjustment

Put up with a bit of annoyance while you learn to use it

Consumables like liners, tips, sheilds are on the shelf at BOC & are cheap

I have a $2400 one at work does everything from light stuff to 12mm wall pipe

For out-in-the-paddock or funny-metal stuff I have one of their 180A portable stick welders - will run 4mm OK.  Cost about $500

Got about ten years out of the last stick welder and have had the MIG for maybe six so far without problems.  Biggest issue with it is stopping the "boys" at work adjusting things and buggering it up

Just be aware the MIG won't put up with welding galvanised stuff as the stick will - you'll have to get it really clean

Buy an aerosol can of anti-spatter while you are there

My $0.02
Title: Re: MIG Welder, what to look for?
Post by: Johndoh on May 11, 2019, 09:08:01 PM
We have BOC in Ireland as well its British oxygen company
Title: Re: MIG Welder, what to look for?
Post by: 38ac on May 11, 2019, 09:44:27 PM
 BOC used to be in the states also. Then Linde either purchased BOC or the other way around and all what used to be BOC here was renamed Linde. As you said BOC/Linde keeps consumables around for whatever they sell.  Miller makes some very low priced wire feeders and they use pretty much the same wear parts as all the others, that means the buyer will always be able,to keep it going either with OEM parts or China knock off parts on EBay.
Title: Re: MIG Welder, what to look for?
Post by: ajaffa1 on May 11, 2019, 11:43:42 PM
One of the biggest problems with all welding equipment is the rental contract on the gas bottles, oxygen, acetylene and argon. Here in Grafton the only supplier is BOC so they can charge what they like. In an effort to avoid these costs I have experimented with gasless mig where the welding wire contains a flux. Takes a bit of getting used to but gives good results and you are never going to run out of gas again.

GasWeld used to sell welding equipment with small gas bottles you could buy rather than hire. These could be swapped out when empty just as you would with the LPG bottle on your barbecue. Might be worth a look if there is a GasWeld near you.

Bob
Title: Re: MIG Welder, what to look for?
Post by: 38ac on May 11, 2019, 11:59:44 PM
That's a fact in most places here also Bob, locally we have a bit of competition here and we have the option of owning the tanks.  What has gotten real high is acetylene gas. Next time I run out I am switching to propane.
Title: Re: MIG Welder, what to look for?
Post by: mikenash on May 12, 2019, 12:28:38 AM
Yeah, I have LPG/oxy in the cutting plant at work - heaps cheaper

BOC is expensive for the gas hire if you don't use it much?  In response to that the local NZ Safety engineering place here does an own-your-own bottle system.  I guess you'll find one anywhere for shield gas
Title: Re: MIG Welder, what to look for?
Post by: glort on May 12, 2019, 05:22:51 AM
One of the biggest problems with all welding equipment is the rental contract on the gas bottles, oxygen, acetylene and argon.

I have a couple of good oxy sets up the back I doubt I'll ever use again.  Bottles can be purchased now and refilled a lot cheaper than the BOC extortion prices but still not that cheap and still a pain in the arse really.
I have a plasma cutter and the Mig will weld anything I want.  I also have an LPG set but haven't had much occasion to use it.  Still needs the Oxygen  from a specialist supplier rather than teh local servo for the gas.

I did make up my own torch some years ago that ran on compressed air and LPG. It worked but was more of a brute force thing to get to brazing temps for yellow tip than outright heat. I was kinda wondering about  TIG because to me that's like electric gas welding... much as that analogy will no doubt send the purists into another hissy fit.


Quote
In an effort to avoid these costs I have experimented with gasless mig where the welding wire contains a flux. Takes a bit of getting used to but gives good results and you are never going to run out of gas again.

I have used the gasless  fluxed MIG wire for years and never had a problem with it.  Never had a weld break but i have had a bit of metal tear on the non welded sections. in any case I'm not welding boilers or critical stressed components Holding Bridges together so no use going overkill. The gasless MIG system has never been the problem, just the machinery to apply it is now worn out.

I will probably stick to the gasless MIG as it's never left me wanting for anything more unlike the machine.
Had a look at some today and they are hard to dicern one from another. I did see one Little 100A Inverter machine. I thought it was a stick at first but it was actually a MIG. I think it was gasless only but it was tiny.

There are a stack of welding places around here as i discovered when looking for tips for the plasma..... None of which any of them  had but I found on the net for a fraction of the price and had them here in 2 days. So many differnt brands and Models within each brand. I suspect some of them are exactly the same with a different colour paint and control layout.

The Plasma is a UniMig which is Italian. The distributor is not far from me and last time I rang them with a problem with the plasma, the guy could not have been more helpful. Treated me like a dear mate rather than a customer. Fixed the problem while I waited and wouldn't take any money. Said it as a machine fault even though the machine is about 10 yo and called it warranty.  the things are at the upper end of the price scale but service like that goes a long way.

Still hard to work out what a decent machine is and one that's no better and probably price inflated.  Pretty sure the  CIG/ BOC one I looked at was made in china as well. 
Title: Re: MIG Welder, what to look for?
Post by: glort on May 12, 2019, 05:33:59 AM
Yeah, I have LPG/oxy in the cutting plant at work - heaps cheaper


Last time I used mine I wasn't that sure of the economy although it was a while back before the price of the bottled gas went nuts.
The LPG was noticeably weaker in cutting although I didn't find much difference with brazing/ welding  and because the oxy rate is twice as fast as with acetylene, you go thought that a lot faster.

The fuel gas is cheap but I got the impression you made up for it with the oxidiser.

In any case, Since I got the plasma I haven't had need or want for the gas axe.  I have cut copper and aluminium with the Plasma and the Only thing I found it Did not like was a Rusty car Body a friend wanted Chopped. I got around that by using a clean steel guide Piece I grounded to the earth cable and ran the head along that. Sustained the arc and worked OK.

I do see there are Hydrogen/ oxygen torches now that break the water down to produce a very hot gas.
I have seen them on chinese websites and Fleabay But i can't find any from mainstream manufacturers so i'm not sure how trustworthy they are or if they meet reasonable safety standards of the west.

Some I saw seemed to deliver the gas in one tube which seems very iffy and the others had the gases separated to the torch  which would seem logical.
Title: Re: MIG Welder, what to look for?
Post by: mike90045 on May 12, 2019, 06:21:26 AM
.....
I do see there are Hydrogen/ oxygen torches now that break the water down to produce a very hot gas.
I have seen them on chinese websites and Fleabay But i can't find any from mainstream manufacturers so i'm not sure how trustworthy they are or if they meet reasonable safety standards of the west.

Some I saw seemed to deliver the gas in one tube which seems very iffy and the others had the gases separated to the torch  which would seem logical.

It takes a while to generate enough "Browns Gas" to have enough stock to weld with, and I'd always go with the 2 hose system otherwise, you are just waiting for it to have an excuse to "recombine" the whole thing
Title: Re: MIG Welder, what to look for?
Post by: ajaffa1 on May 12, 2019, 09:28:38 AM
I used to do a lot of TIG welding when I was in the RAF, the equipment we had back then would handle a over 500 Amps using a 3/16" tungsten electrode! Had to suit up to use it, any exposed skin would get terrible arc burn, don`t ask me how I know!  :laugh:

I actually agree with you that TIG welding has a lot in common with gas welding in that you have the heat source in your right hand, while manually feeding the filler rod using your left. The difference is that you have a foot pedal with which to adjust the heat as you go. I would not recommend buying any TIG welder that did not come with a foot pedal, if that is what you are familiar with.

Make sure that the place you purchase from carries a good stock of ceramic shields, there is nothing worse than having all the equipment and not being able to use it because a shield has a crack in it. I remember putting in a military requisition for 6 ceramic shields, a month later we still had not received them. A couple of weeks later we took delivery of 6 new TIG welding plants, someone had got the wrong part number! It wasn`t me, honest. What worried me at the time was that I could order equipment valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars without anyone ever questioning it!

Bob
Title: Re: MIG Welder, what to look for?
Post by: glort on May 12, 2019, 10:54:54 AM

It takes a while to generate enough "Browns Gas" to have enough stock to weld with, and I'd always go with the 2 hose system otherwise, you are just waiting for it to have an excuse to "recombine" the whole thing

I see all these " Brave" People on YT making up these torches that use a single Cell to produce the gas where the fuel and Oxidiser are together and send it as one to a torch.

I think I'm pretty brave with a lot of things I do but I also think there is a line where the risk in brave crosses into questions of self preservation.
These people take great pride and put great effort into being able to generate upwards of 5-10 L a Min of Boom gas. There are some good Vids of these thing going Pop as well.

I lit off 100-150Ml of hydrogen in a plastic sandwich bag with some air ( let alone Oxygen)  a few months ago and that was enough to tell me it was not something I wanted to be playing around with. If I do want to depart this world and make sure the wife and daughter can collect the life insurance, I can easy do something that will only need the job doing once.  Until that time, I'll stick to 600V generators.  MUCH safer for me.

How some of these people doing Hohoho gas are still around to be doing vids after 3 years shows they are a Lot braver and luckier than I could ever be.
Title: Re: MIG Welder, what to look for?
Post by: ajaffa1 on May 12, 2019, 12:13:13 PM
Browns gas is a very dangerous product, it can however be diluted with regular air to a point where you can use it as a replacement for LPG on a cooker top. I`m not stupid enough to try that particular experiment!  :laugh:

Bob
Title: Re: MIG Welder, what to look for?
Post by: Johndoh on May 12, 2019, 09:58:34 PM
It's almost impossible to get oxygen and acetylene in Ireland. You need to be a professional user like a car body shop, welding company etc. I have a small 10 year old arc welder I got in Lidl it's fine for the sort of stuff I weld and it should have died years ago. cost 59 new.
Title: Re: MIG Welder, what to look for?
Post by: glort on May 12, 2019, 10:07:29 PM
It's almost impossible to get oxygen and acetylene in Ireland. You need to be a professional user like a car body shop, welding company etc.

Is that Due to " security" Concerns or some other reason?
Title: Re: MIG Welder, what to look for?
Post by: mikenash on May 13, 2019, 08:24:00 AM
It's almost impossible to get oxygen and acetylene in Ireland. You need to be a professional user like a car body shop, welding company etc. I have a small 10 year old arc welder I got in Lidl it's fine for the sort of stuff I weld and it should have died years ago. cost 59 new.

Most (almost all?  All?) of the stuff we now do with the MIG we did with the arc-welder 20 years ago.  The MIG has just made it fast, easy & cheap.  When it stops being cheap we can go back to the old single-phase plug-in machine

Years and years ago when I did my ticket, my instructor at the Polytech said "Use low-hydrogen rods.  They'll do a better job & they'll make you a better welder"  To do a job good enough for industrial repairs on crucial-ish machinery, you have to be able to understand the weld pool and think about what you're doing.  In later life, when introduced to the MIG, those skills are good to have.  But if you "learn" to weld with the MIG you may never, arguably, pick up those skills

I suspect there's life in the old arc-welder yet
Title: Re: MIG Welder, what to look for?
Post by: carlb23 on May 13, 2019, 01:34:46 PM
i have a lincoln sp170t mig/wire feed welder that i have been using for the last 15 years or so.  Its a nice welder and has never given me a problem.

I recently attached a spool gun to do aluminum welding using argon gas.  I now use the Lincoln mainly as a wire feed machine for steel or spool gun for aluminum since i only keep i bottle of gas and it is argon.

For nicer welds i use a TIG welder.
Title: Re: MIG Welder, what to look for?
Post by: Johndoh on May 13, 2019, 02:09:12 PM
It's almost impossible to get oxygen and acetylene in Ireland. You need to be a professional user like a car body shop, welding company etc.

Is that Due to " security" Concerns or some other reason?
Im not sure Glort I tried to buy it years ago and was refused.
Title: Re: MIG Welder, what to look for?
Post by: glort on May 13, 2019, 04:34:43 PM
Im not sure Glort I tried to buy it years ago and was refused.
[/quote]

Interesting.

I was mucking round years ago and filled a paper sandwich bag with acetylene and Oxygen.  Put it under a inverted bucked with a thin bit of newspaper for a wick.
I was amazed the police didn't show up and windows were not broken. I was standing 30 Ft away and got hit by a shock wave.  I never tried that party trick again nor did I find any trace of that plastic bucket bar the wire handle.

If one wanted to make a large " fire Cracker"  That would certainly be the way to do it.  Weld a spark Plug in an empty LPG bottle, Pressurise it a few pounds equally of acet and oxy and you would have a very powerful firework indeed. I think you could make one hell of a mess of a car with something like that.

Hydrogen and air is impressive but acetylene and oxy is something else again.
Title: Re: MIG Welder, what to look for?
Post by: AdeV on May 13, 2019, 05:46:06 PM
Acetylene is evil stuff. Anything over a few PSI and it becomes spontaneously combustive. Acetylene bottles are full of some stuff (I can't remember what it is...) which the acetylene is dissolved/contained in, to stabilise it. Even so... if you knock a full bottle of acetylene over... be prepared to RLF (run like feck), as there's an excellent chance it'll set itself alight in the bottle. Whenever there's a fire in a welding supply warehouse (you'd be surprised how often...) they close roads for 1/2 mile (~1km) around for a couple of days, because of the danger of the bottles going up. Nasty, nasty stuff.... but REALLY good for gas welding  ;D

Back to the topic at hand.... I've got both a MIG and TIG welder. The main advantage of TIG over MIG, is it's relatively easy to weld different metals (in particular, aluminium); and you can braze with it too. Most TIG welders will also do stick (arc) welding, so a ready supply of pure argon isn't totally necessary to use them. Yes, you can weld Al with MIG, but I'm told it's quite hard to do well, and of course you need the proper wire.

This Old Tony (search for him on YouTube) has done some nice videos about the merits of TIG welding; there's also some reviews by a chap called Doubleboost which are packed with information too. BTW, if you do get into ToT's videos, be prepared to lose a few days... he's really good at them.

I've never TIGged with a foot pedal - my old Murex beast (Tradestig 180 AC/DC) has a crank handle on the front of it to change the amperage... I can't even remember if I can adjust the clean vs. weld part of the AC cycle. But if you get it on song, it can turn out some lovely welds, even in my deeply amateur hands. I did, for a couple of years, try to use a Chinese AC/DC TIG, but never had much luck with it. I suspect it was faulty... you'd get a few inches of decent weld, then bugger all else except pops and farts.

MIG is much easier: Get something which will take gasless wire, but can also cope with gas if you want. Welding with gas is IMHO cleaner (no slag to clean up if you need to run over a weld for a second time), but probably not worth the extra hassle if you're not doing a lot of welding. Again, I have an ancient and enormous Murex machine with a crank on the front to set the power level (a Tradesmig, funnily enough!), but it's like spreading butter welding with it. Only a bit hotter, and less edible...

Title: Re: MIG Welder, what to look for?
Post by: BruceM on May 13, 2019, 06:34:16 PM
All this welder talk makes me jealous. The things radiate so much EMI that I have to be back about 200 feet or I'm wrecked. 

I've even watched some 2 and 3 car battery welding vids- but wonder how continuous the arc really is; if it's interrupting regularly, it's not really DC, and will be broadcasting EMI. A spark is the perfect broad spectrum source, and connected to wires it makes a dandy transmitter of some serious power.  All the battery setup needs is 3 batteries and some linear regulation of current, which I could do, or perhaps 2-12V batteries and one 6 V.  36V is too much, 24 to little.

Title: Re: MIG Welder, what to look for?
Post by: AdeV on May 13, 2019, 07:31:36 PM
Bruce - are you sensitive to EMI anywhere, or is it (for lack of a more delicate term) all in your head? By which I mean... if you made yourself a Faraday cage welding helmet, would that enable you to weld without problems?

If it's an "anywhere on the body" thing, a suit of armour might be the solution (suitably grounded of course!)  ;D
Title: Re: MIG Welder, what to look for?
Post by: BruceM on May 13, 2019, 08:13:21 PM
My head is a significant target for strong magnetic fields (near field in EMC parlance) - so back before I learned that air tools would solve it, I used to try and use a drill keeping my head as far away as possible...it increased my working time but wasn't very practical.  For electric fields, it seems anywhere goes.  I've tried see through metalized fabrics and even an aluminum foil helmet with holes for eyes...they don't do much...too many openings and slits.

Some of the earliest reports of electrical sensitivity in Sweden were cell phone design engineers.  One of them had a full bee keeper's suit with metalized fabrics and silver thread fabrics.  Hardly conducive to an improved social life, but I understand the desperation. I haven't gone that route as I find the metalized synthetic fabrics stink bad enough to bother me, and can't imagine wearing it for a long time. 

My only interesting finding of late is that the blood thinners for my DVT have markedly improved my latency and decreased the severity of symptoms- which where always pressure headaches followed by cognitive impairment and eventually complex partial seizure or absence seizure.  Perhaps venous blood flow from the brain is being effected.
 
SPECT scans of people with electrical sensitivity look much like a closed head injury...only they didn't have the physical injury...just the identical pattern of areas not getting blood flow.

Title: Re: MIG Welder, what to look for?
Post by: glort on May 14, 2019, 12:18:03 AM

 The main advantage of TIG over MIG, is it's relatively easy to weld different metals (in particular, aluminium);

That was one thing I found handy with gas, You could braze dissimilar metals like Steel and Copper.... which I found good occasion for.  Since I haven't bothered with the gas, I haven't had need.

Funny you say about the acetylene.

My father rang me last night and we were talking. hHe said he went down the back of his property and found a large hole like a Bomb crater. He said it must have happened in the last 3 months or so as there were plants just starting to grow in it.  He said he was sitting in his ATV wondering what the hell could have done this. He said it would have taken someone several hours at least to dig it.

He said then he remembered many years back burying a couple of acetelyne bottles down there. His brother had them and when he passed away he took them but his brother must have had them in the open and they were rusty and the gas place wouldn't take them back and neither would the scrap metal yard so he took them down the back after they got more rusty laying round and buried them.

He said one or both must have gone off. I said but how would the gas Ignite buried in the ground? You'd need a spark to set it off? He said I don't know but when I did my welding ticket about 50 years ago they told us it was weird stuff back then and sometimes wasn't predictable and I have heard stories over the years from people I know weren't stupid where funny things have happened.

He reckons either one or more of the bottles have gone off or a space ship or meteor crashed in the back Paddock.  :laugh:

One thing I thought of after I spoke to him was a bad storm a while back and a tree down there that got hit by Lightening and got splintered about 15 Ft up. We went down after the storm and saw it as we heard the crack and the flash and was looking into the neighbours paddock and saw another one get hit that caused a small fire.

I don't know where this crater is Dad is talking about or how far from it the tree is but I guess it's not impossible the Lightning could have set it off especially if the acetylene had leaked or the bottle had rusted real thin.

I am very confused with the welder search. So many brands, so many different models, such widely varying price points.

Don't want to buy rubbish but I don't want to over pay for the level of quality I get either.
Might hit the welding shops tomorrow and see who can convince me of what to get.  Still wondering about TIG as well. Having Bottles is not a drawcard however.

One thing I have always loved about the gasless MIG is you can take the thing anywhere and not have to worry about humping a Bottle round.
Welds I have seen done with it are beautiful though and I was half a chance with gas ( for my amateur doings) even when I did use wire Coat hangers for rods.
Title: Re: MIG Welder, what to look for?
Post by: Johndoh on May 14, 2019, 12:19:43 AM
I have read mixed reviews on gasless mig welders  I'm curious as to the truth. I was looking at a few gasless welders and some inverter welders. I saw a guy doing what looked like magic with an inverter welder on a rusty exhaust now that's beyond my skill level ! Anyone with gasless or inverter that wants to add their 2/- Id be interested in reading it.
Title: Re: MIG Welder, what to look for?
Post by: glort on May 14, 2019, 12:51:08 AM
I hope this doesn't' come across the wrong way Bruce or sound condacending but as weird as it may sound, I often think of you when I'm playing with electrical stuff and think how incredibly difficult things must be for you with your condition.

I bemoan my own lethargy and lack of motivation which is caused by Diabetes and other mental issues ( yes I am a certified nut case) but I dopn't have anything like the issues you and so many other people do. Often makes me feel more depressed and Like a fraud because I see people all the time that would be glad to be in my shoes with everything working but they leave me for dead with much great handicaps. 

All I can say is you must have the right stuff inside to do what you do and overcome your health Challenges the way you do.  I know I couldn't do it, can't cope with what I have. I think I really need to go back to the docs and get motivated with my health but then I think  I have done that before and it didn't do anything really.Not keen to go down the same road to no where again. One very well qualified guy once told me that people like me don't come along very often in a career which I have translated to most of these Phycs just aren't trained handle someone as screwed up as I am.  Repeated experience and little progress would support that  theory!   :laugh:

I think I just need to take up heavy Drinking. Couldn't be any more expensive at least.

You write much about EMF and it's effects and it is very interesting and I certainly wonder if I am not somewhat affected.  tThe second thought with that is there is probably not a lot in MY circumstance I can do about it. Turning off the Wifi in the house is NOT an option with my wife and daughter. They would go into melt down and in fairness, can't have everything my way.  So many other things come down to modern living I guess one would say. Cordless phones, solar inverters all around, TV.s and lord knows what else I haven't recognised despite taking interest in your warnings and information.

I'll bet even my cameras throw off all sorts of radiation and they are pressed up against my melon for hours at a time. Some have wifi built in now and they have all had radio/ emissions certification stamps I have noticed on the things for years.  Every shopping centre I take my tablet into has 20 Wifi channels going, at least, and then there is the car, cooking appliances ( won't even mention the Microwave etc) that are just a part of modern life that are virtually impossible to avoid. Although I am well away from the city in a country town, there are still Mobile Phone antennas everywhere you look.
The metal roof on out house seems to sheild a lot of that as we have to go out on the verandah or into the yard for them to work so that might be one upside.

I have little doubt at all about what you say with the danger of this but the thing is, how much is it affecting me with everything else that's probably not good for anyone and could I remove myself from the life and family it surrounds?  I have strong suspicion my medication may be keeping me in the short term at the detriment of years off my life. Not too worried about that though. rather be relatively healthy for a shorter while than sick for years longer.

I have always laughed at the idea of eating healthy all the time and avoiding the " bad" foods which are what people enjoy the most.
For me I rather die at 70 ( if I make it that far) and have enjoyed myself than live to 80 and be torturing myself thinking "I'd really love some of that but I can't eat it because I want to live a long life and therefore spend more years regretting what I can't have" . 

I think you do extremely well Bruce with what you have to contend with and I'm Damn sure I wouldn't have had the smarts to survive the way you have in relative comfort.
Title: Re: MIG Welder, what to look for?
Post by: Johndoh on May 14, 2019, 01:03:40 AM
Years ago you could put a little carbide and water in a paint tin with a pin hole in the lid. give it a shake and then throw lighted matches at it. It made a very impressive bang. I haven't seen carbide in many years.
Title: Re: MIG Welder, what to look for?
Post by: glort on May 14, 2019, 01:49:35 AM
I have read mixed reviews on gasless mig welders  I'm curious as to the truth.

I have read endless put downs of gasless.  I have used it almost exclusively in my MIG and never had trouble with it.
There are 2 things that always turn into endless nit picking when discussed on the net.  Electrical and welding.  Both seems to have a mass of people involved that are pedantic and will argue anyway but the way they think is right is the wrong way and everyone seems to have a different way.

I'm sure that gasless has drawbacks and if you are welding critically stressed structures, pressure Vessels  etc it has shortcomings.
For me though, welding odd bits and pieces and the odd gate, trailer etc, I could not complain.
I remember doing a tank stand for a friend some years ago. He was a bit worried about it being gasless welding. As it was he made a mistake on the measurements and we had to re do it. I remember him cutting the ends off with a 9" grinder and confessing, there is no problem with the penetration and bonding on these welds.  Was a bitch to cut apart.  Stand is holding 10 Ton and still there 10 years later.

The only thing I could say and I'm not sure if it has anything to do with gasless MIG or would be the same with a Shield gas is I have a bit of trouble with real light gauge stuff but I suspect i'm more into TIG territory anyway.  I can just manage to weld to the side of a 44 gallon drum but it's right at the end of my abilities and I suspect the machines. Only other thing is It does seem to spatter a bit but a can of anti spatter or just some grease in small areas or soap in larger ones fixes that problem.

Another thing I have found is the good name brand wire has been far less to my liking ( crap IMHO) than a lot of the cheap stuff I have got.
There was a welding place close to me at the old house and they guy brought in his own wire.  Guaranteed it,  said I'll give you the brand stuff if you are not happy with it for the same price.  Stuff was great. Used it for years.  Having moved I went to another place and they have their own branded wire. Tried that and it's very good as well and even cheaper than the other stuff.  I have had to get wire on occasion at the hardware that sells the BOC brand wire and it's crap.  I just can't weld near as well with it for whatever reason.  Just seems more finicky or something and harder to get a decent weld with.
Definitely last resort but I try, like many things now, to always keep good stock of everything I use regularly to avoid the problem of running out.   

I have no complaints about gasless and wouldn't consider a machine that can't do it.
Title: Re: MIG Welder, what to look for?
Post by: glort on May 14, 2019, 02:00:41 AM
Years ago you could put a little carbide and water in a paint tin with a pin hole in the lid. give it a shake and then throw lighted matches at it. It made a very impressive bang. I haven't seen carbide in many years.

I'd like to get hold of some carbide myself.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Abql2ExwG54 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Abql2ExwG54)
Title: Re: MIG Welder, what to look for?
Post by: AdeV on May 14, 2019, 06:56:15 AM
Years ago you could put a little carbide and water in a paint tin with a pin hole in the lid. give it a shake and then throw lighted matches at it. It made a very impressive bang. I haven't seen carbide in many years.

I'd like to get hold of some carbide myself.


Here in Europe, at least, it seems you can buy it on eBay!

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Calcium-carbide-lumps-CaC2-500-g/263817124663
Title: Re: MIG Welder, what to look for?
Post by: glort on May 14, 2019, 08:10:48 AM

I looked it up again on the local ebay. All references were to items on the UK site.
Price seemed OK. Unfortunately seem fleabay UK has adopted the US site Policy of absoloutly ridiculous and insulting postage charges.
Title: Re: MIG Welder, what to look for?
Post by: glort on May 14, 2019, 08:29:14 AM

Was reminded and justified in my " fear of overpaying for nothing exceptional today.

Last march I bought the Mrs a designer Kettle and toaster.  They were SMEG in a retro styling matching pair.
I thought the price was stupid at $199 EACH but you know, the $9 ones would be carp and and and the noise wasn't worth the hassle.

Been finding water on the bench for a bit ( and I have been getting in trouble for not wiping the bench down but today the kettle started puddling water.
14 Months old, supposedly a primo price and a primo brand and the thing is clearly crap.  Emptied it out and turned it over and I see a sticker on the bottom that says " Designed in Italy"  I thought BFD, where's the bastard made? Under the sticker embossed in the kettle is " Made in PRC"

So much for the Old " get what you pay for adage" .
Once again I have proven that is no longer a valid ideal.  Could have bought a load of kettles for between $20-50 and I would have expected them all to last 12 Months and could have taken them back if they didn't.

I wrote an email to SMEG saying I was dissapointed in that a product they say right on their website is a preimum quality has fallen over so quick and that now the toaster will have to be replaced because the kettle is no longer made and the toaster won't match with whatever I replace the kettle with.
Hopefully they will come good with a replacement or replacementS but still bloody poor in my book.

I think the kettle is a garbage design anyway. the window to see the water level is right under the handle so you can' see it straight on and you can't see the water mark from sideways with the the stepped window and the fact it's very narrow.  You have to open the thing to see how much water is in it as it's hard to tell just by the weight.

This is the concern with a welder.  Don't mind paying $1000 if I get $1000 quality but how can you tell if you are getting that or another cheap arse Chinese thing you could have paid $299 for in a no name brand. I also don't mind cheap chinese stuff . I have had an EXCELLENT run from what I have bought and some of it has been thrashed to the point if it fell over long ago i would have bought another saying I got my moneys worth from the first lot.
Thing is, If i'm buying Chinese gear I want to be paying Chinese NOT premium prices. That's the tradeoff for the risk you take.

Service and backup is important as well but the reason I stopped buying Dewalt tools was because you pay through the nose for stuff made in China that does not last any better and the warranty/ service/ standby from the company is crap.

Be interesting to see the warranties on the things as well.
I think the relevant questions that need to be asked go well beyond amps and duty cycle and all the rest of the numbers and probably applies to most other things as well.

I'll be asking where they are made that is for sure.
Title: Re: MIG Welder, what to look for?
Post by: cobbadog on May 17, 2019, 01:03:52 PM
With my MIG I initially set it up to run gasless. I agree with glort that penetration is not an issue as it does bite in. My issue was probably me. I simply could not get a flatter weld, it taught me how to grind off excess weld. Again I say the issue was possibly me and being a learner as I had never used a MIG before ever. Watched a lot of YouTube videos which were helpful but in the end I went to Bunnings and went with their idea of running gas and not having rental. So I switched the polarity over and connected the gas and away I have gone with pretty fair results just what I was expecting a clean weld and a flatter fillet.
My unit is a Lumig made where else but China but it is a little beauty. It can also be used as an arc welder and is an inverter for that purpose but never tried it. I have a separate arc welder which is an inverter and it has impressed me so much that I sold the other 2 welders with big heavy coils inside for others to learn on. Inverters are very easy to use as well and are easy to strike the arc to get you going.
I too have been using the unbranded coils of wire both gas and gasless and they seem to perform well. One day when I have run out of things to do I will once again reverse the polarity and put the gasless wire in and have another go at it. I am not writing it off in case it is as expected, operator error, plus it would be a big bonus to use gasless when welding the rust up on the "A" pillar of our Lorry as wind will play havoc with the gas.
Title: Re: MIG Welder, what to look for?
Post by: mikenash on May 17, 2019, 11:45:24 PM
i also don't mind cheap chinese stuff . I have had an EXCELLENT run from what I have bought and some of it has been thrashed to the point if it fell over long ago i would have bought another saying I got my moneys worth from the first lot.
Thing is, If i'm buying Chinese gear I want to be paying Chinese NOT premium prices. That's the tradeoff for the risk you take.

Service and backup is important as well but the reason I stopped buying Dewalt tools was because you pay through the nose for stuff made in China that does not last any better and the warranty/ service/ standby from the company is crap.

Be interesting to see the warranties on the things as well.
I think the relevant questions that need to be asked go well beyond amps and duty cycle and all the rest of the numbers and probably applies to most other things as well.



"Ozito"  is the word you are looking for

We have Ozito tools at work.  Not flash but big & solid & they work & work

We paid $130 eight or nine years ago for an Ozito hammer drill from Bunnings.  It has drilled many hundreds - more likely thousands - of deep 20 or 24mm holes in concrete for tru-bolts or chemset.  I drilled forty or fifty or sixty 20mm holes with it one afternoon.  I was knackered but it was still fresh

When it finally died late last year we just went to Bunings and paid $140 for another one

I have one of their routers and an electric planer - both cheap and good.  The $70 planer did all the work involved in true-ing up all the subfloor structure when I put a floor in a 70M2 shed last year - if I had thrown it away after that it would still have been a good deal

I'll be asking where they are made that is for sure.
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Title: Re: MIG Welder, what to look for?
Post by: ajaffa1 on May 18, 2019, 12:55:04 AM
Hi Guys, when I was on the tools in the UK, I would only buy Makita tools. The reason for this was that their spares department was second to none, same day dispatch with guaranteed delivery the following day. I don`t know if they sell any welding equipment but it might be worth a look.

Bob
Title: Re: MIG Welder, what to look for?
Post by: BruceM on May 18, 2019, 04:28:43 AM
I spent quite a bit of time researching direct battery powered DC welding.  Clean DC the way i like it; I'm a charter member of the Church of Edison.  ;)

Seems 2 good batteries plus a big DC choke does an acceptable job up to 1/4 steel at around 120 amps.  The choke, around 300 uH or better is essential as a current limiter/regulator and keeping the arc going.

A guy on a welding forum in 2007 did a lot of experimenting and documented his work pretty well.  Alas, he didn't have an electronics background and didn't realize that he was saturating his ferrite and other cores at his welding current of 90-125 amps, and his test values were  using with an LCR meter that only gives the unloaded inductance.  His choke weighed 40 lbs, largely from copper windings.

I may give it a shot, but it does mean unwinding and gapping a 1000w or bigger toroidal transformer core for the choke.  I'll have to crack some books to estimate the number of turns to avoid saturation at 140 amps. 



Title: Re: MIG Welder, what to look for?
Post by: glort on May 18, 2019, 09:10:45 AM

I have quite a few knockerd Solar inverters up the back with what look like big chokes.  bigger than my fist, 3 apiece.  I would have 9-12 of them.

How does one measure their value on a meter and what would one be aiming for?
Title: Re: MIG Welder, what to look for?
Post by: glort on May 18, 2019, 09:19:54 AM
Hi Guys, when I was on the tools in the UK, I would only buy Makita tools.

My mate that Does AC has a huge collection of makita. Used to use Dewalt but like a lot of other people I know gave them away.
He is very happy with them but far as I know are all battery units. The battery chainsaws he has are VERY good.

I have a whole big Kit of Makita tools.  Were bought, unpacked out their Boxes, put in the carry bag and have been untouched.  They sit in my office cupboard and that's where they are going to stay just as they are.

I spose buying a new toy would be exciting for most blokes. Just seems like a chore the way I'm feeling atm but I pushed myself today to do some things so I'll try to keep pushing  next week to find something. 
Title: Re: MIG Welder, what to look for?
Post by: BruceM on May 18, 2019, 04:01:48 PM
Thanks Glort, they will be relatively small values and not high enough current for welding.  a 3000 watt inverter with 230vac output will have filtering chokes for 15-30 amps. The needed 150amp or better for a 24vdc welder is going to make for big wire and a big core.  Expensive commercially because of size and weight in electrical steel and copper.  Since there will be a strong stray magentic field from an E-I core, with changes in current, I'll stick to the tedious gapped toroid, wound in two layers for better self cancelling.  If I ordered one to be made, I'd be out near $1000.  I can make it with a surplus core for about $70 worth of copper. I might be able to get a puny 250 uh without saturation at 150a.

I have doubts about the project- no telling if the welding fumes will be more than I can handle, or if the variations in welding current which the researcher noted are rapid and will cause substantial AC magnetic field.  I hate failed expensive projects, though often much more is learned.