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What welder to buy?

 
 
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FSARoyster
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Joined: 29 Jul 2013
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 6:36 am    Post subject: What welder to buy? Reply with quote

Morning folks,

Just a quick post, hopefully not been asked too many times already. I've never welded in my life, but want to learn. Now I have a Fourtrak, and as can be expected it has rusty/soft sills, rear arches are a bit rough too, so being able to weld will be a big help, and a very useful skill to have.

So any suggestions as to what to get, models, places to buy, etc?

I've borrowed a mates Clarke 105EN mig welder, gas/no gas. Want to grab a bit of metal from local breakers and have a play.

I've not got a workshop/garage so will be welding out side, so maybe no gas is my only option? Love the idea of getting into fabricating bumpers, belly pans, etc...

I've started trawling through Parrots build thread, and his bumpers, belly pans, arches, etc have really inspired me, so if you're out there Parrot, any tips, advice, would be really appreciated.

Thanks in advance folks.

Rog

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Last edited by FSARoyster on Tue Sep 03, 2013 12:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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(pete)
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Practice practice practice ans just when you think you have got it change the metal thickness and start over LOL

I would not use gasless its horrid. But that's me I'm a welder by trade and prefer the gas shield.

Look for somthing that you can drop the amps down for body work and still has aBout 150amps for heavier welding

Cheers
Pete

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RichardD
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've moved your thread to where it might more replies.

I started off with a Clark/B&Q special but it wasn't until years later I realised how hard it was to use properly compared to a decent one, which was not that much more expensive. I got mine from www.r-techwelding.co.uk/ who are really nice guys and loads of help.

I've got a really nice Mig/arc welder with remote spool torch (the wire is in the handle not the machine - less wastage) and because I don;t weld that often I use gasless. It is messier but with care and practice you get perfectly good welds.

We often recommend www.mig-welding.co.uk/forum/index.php which is a very useful resource.

Best advice I was given ... preparation is everything! good clean metal, make sure it is held securely whilst you weld and top of the purchase list - a good quality auto-darkening helmet.

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FSARoyster
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheers for the replies guys, food for thought. I have to admit I'm leaning more towards gasless, mainly due to working outside, I get the impresiion gas outside could be a bit tricky.

Sorry for posting originally in the Fourtrak section, I was hoping Parrot or one of the other main Fourtrak guys would have some input, probably turn out that he/they are welders by trade and use some £2K machine and been welding since birth, but there's that hope that there able to produce the results they do using some £2-300 welder I can pickup locally or maybe 2nd hand off the net somewhere...

Thanks again

Rog

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Tractor Stig
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really wouldn't go down the gasless route, horrible horrible welding, spitter and spatter, yucky mess, get a second hand half decent mig unit that runs up to 180amps, get a huge roll of 1 mm mild steel wire or 0.8 and appropriate nozzles and then look to purchase the hobby gas refill bottle systems that are around these days, the reason I suggest buying a good quality s/hand welder is that it wont cost the earth but you'll be able to doo so much more with it than a ****** little one as the years go on, those little ones are only really aimed at bodywork thickness steel, so wouldnt be able to build something say a solid hd bumper or alike etc.
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Tractor Stig
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ps, I'll get parrot on the phone and get him on here for you.
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RichardD
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The purist will look down on gasless but just remember that any good mig welder will be able to do both.

I have used only gasless for years for convenience (I don't do much welding) and properly prepped I do not get horribly spattered welds or even slightly spattered ones. They need cleaning up before painting for sure but the quality of the welds have been tested in the most traditional way.

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(pete)
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its each to there own I don't like gasless personly.... Could get a cheap wind brake thing from a camping shop and still use gas
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cynic-al
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't like gas less, especially as you can get decent sized contract free argon shield now for a fair price, however I accept your point about working outside. Why not get one that can do both so you have the option for gas later on.

I have a mate 170p, will take 0.6 or 0.8 or 1.0 wire. I've welded all sorts with it. Controls aren't the most obvious and the wire feed could be better but it does
The job!

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parrotveasey81
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

im a welder by trade but my home welder was only around £300 when new

gasless is ok but not as good as gas and that will show when you try welding for yourself and as others have said co2/argon mix gas is not too dear now-a-days

if you will just be doing body work then fine get a welder and start playing

but if you want to do bumpers,roll cage,recovery points then atleast get yourself on a welding coarse so you know how and why with welding

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FSARoyster
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheers for all the replies guys, really appreciate the input.

Are there any specific makes/models you'd recommend, or even suggest I avoid?

I love the idea of being able to do bumpers and blts, but sounds like it might be a bit beyond a beginner, even so, I think if I can find the right welder for a reasonable price, I'd rather have it available so that as I hopefully get better with practice, I'll already have the gear for the future, rather than having to fork out again 12 months or so down the road.

When it comes to the gas (co2/argon) does it need to be stored in any special way, or is in the garden, say under a tarpaulin or similar OK, or should it be locked away?

Thanks again

Rog

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cynic-al
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's inert so there's no risk of fire. They are heavy and fall over easily so don't leave them stood near kids or pets might knock them on theirselves or where the valve might get knocked off. They're stored outside at the
Depot.. Hobby weld and Adams gas do them for around a £50 deposit and £35 fill up.

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FSARoyster
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 5:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheers cynic-al, I'll store the bottle around the side of the shed, and see if I can rig something up so that I can "tie" them to the shed to keep the from falling over. Now I've just got to find a reasonable welder and go from there Smile

Thanks again

Rog

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Tractor Stig
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

if you find a half decent welder on wheels it will more than likely have a space on it for the bottle. Ive got a cebora mig 180 at home running on pure co2, a big one at work on proper argoshield and a little clarke 100 with the little co2 canisters, but tbh I always grab the bigger welders for any job, hate those little ones, have got oxford arc welders too but having problems with rods just lately- too much imported chinese crap and the weld is just awful, but mig is cheaper in the long run anyway.
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John yota
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RichardD wrote:
top of the purchase list - a good quality auto-darkening helmet.


Couldn't agree more, buying an auto darkening helmet helped me out more than anything else when I was learning to weld! Freeing up a hand and being able to position the welder without having to mess around with a mask made welding go from a chore to something I enjoy doing!

Good luck with it!

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FSARoyster
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Evening folks!

Thanks again for the replies. I've had look for Cebora mig unfortunately nothing all that close to home at the minute, but I'll keep searching and hopefully something will turn up sooner rather than later Smile

Thanks again,

Rog

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kalmac
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi. tbh i still use my dads old ark welder if it's right for the job.
i use a half decent mig for anything important.
try http://www.hss.com/g/55308/200amp-MIG-Welder.html
this took a couple hours and cost £5.

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Xpajun
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FSARoyster wrote:
Evening folks!

Thanks again for the replies. I've had look for Cebora mig unfortunately nothing all that close to home at the minute, but I'll keep searching and hopefully something will turn up sooner rather than later Smile

Thanks again,

Rog



Snap-on use Cebora - or used to anyway - the torches are useless on them - mine was always leaking gas - put another used one on and got the same problem... Then I converted it to EU setup

I just wished I'd done it years ago Rolling Eyes


Moral is either buy a mig with a EU torch or convert to one...



P.S. I hate gas-less as well Laughing
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FSARoyster
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks again for the input guys.

Someone at worked suggested hiring, but I think this would only help out people who can already weld and need a top of the range welder for a day or so. I've never welded in my life, closest I've come, if this counts, is I soldered a chip into my Wii to play hacked games years ago Smile

Hopefully this weekend I'll get a chance to play with my mates gas-less Clarke 105EN, at least I can see what its all about, plus I'll post a couple of pics of my efforts, which will hopefully get me even more advice from you guys in the way of pointers, corrections, etc.

I had a feeling choosing the right welder would be tricky, like everything really there's so much choice and variety, someone is always going to have something good or bad to say about one over the other.

Just had a look on Ebay for EU torches, and they come out around £100 on their own! This welding lark isn't the cheap sport I'd previously assumed it to be Smile

I'll have to see if I get lucky with someone selling a 2nd hand welder already with the EU torch, preferably gas and gas-less options, unless both gas options really cut down my choice or are more of a jack of all trades type thing, at which point I'll have to see how I get on with my mates welder...

Thanks again

Rog

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Tractor Stig
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, doesn't need to be expensive, you just got to know how to play the field for deals with patience, my 180 amp cebora ( with torch that doesn't Leak) cost me a whopping.....£25, because a friend was closing down his garden business, the wire - ebay 20kg roll I got for £20, my co2 gas, went to a vintage rally, guy selling it in pub bottles -£25, auto dark masks - ebay - £30....job done, its not instant equipment but its the best way to acquire good stuff cheap, I doo the same with tyres I shod all 4 corners of my truck with basically new bfg at tyres (31/10.5-15) for only £200, just patience and looking and asking around - if you dont ask you dont get. The other thing you may need to consider I had an electrician mate come and fit a separate trip and socket for welding as mine was too powerful and kept tripping original sockets, another £45 and I can only run briefly on full 180 or it'll blow a fuse after a short time. Vintage rallys, car shows, auto jumbles - always always have migs for sale at good prices.
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FSARoyster
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheers Stig - I appreciate that. I have to admit I quite enjoy the hunt as it were, so quite happy to take my time and keep an eye out for a potential bargain.

Up until recently I'm primarily a Toyota man, had a few Hilux pickups in the past, and last year I finally got myself a 3rd gen Surf, love it to bits. Anyway I only mention this as the Hilux Surf forum I spend most of my time on they guys on the whole a good bunch, I managed to bag an AT2 (General Grabber), for £20, it was barely used, I just wanted it so that my spare was matching the other 4, anyway it was way up North somewhere, collection only, turns out one of the guys lived local, I won the auction, fellow Surfer nipped round picked it up, wrapped it up and sent it down to me, I obviously paid the delivery, but couldn't be happier. I wonder if the folks on here are as happy to help, time will tell, I guess a post asking if someone is nearby X and prepared to collect something and post it is all it takes Smile

Thanks again

Rog

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parrotveasey81
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

this is similar to my home welder plus they are a good company
http://www.migtigarc.co.uk/MIG_Welder/Sealey_Su...uper_mig_180.html

getting started in welding is not cheap but you soon start to save when you do all your own welding Cool

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FSARoyster
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheers Parrot, turns out we have a place up the road that are Sealey approved dealers, so if I end up with Sealey they can provide all the bits n bobs, plus any problems I have with it I can take it straight to them by all accounts, so I think that certainly helps narrow down my search Smile

Thanks again

Rog

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EG-nath
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

whats your budget?

i think thats an important factor.

SIP and khempi are too brands ive used (and snap on but theyre silly money)

a khempi minarc would be a very nice portable welder. is what i have 150amp and will weld 12hours a day every day i fi wanted it to

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FSARoyster
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2013 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi there,

I'm thinking about £300. A friend of mine has his own business, so aiming to avoid VAT which will give me a bit more for my money...

In the mean time, I'm just watching EBay, and the other sites for anything decent to turn up within a sensible distance...

Thanks

Rog

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