MIG Welder Recommendations Please...

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CitroJim
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MIG Welder Recommendations Please...

Post by CitroJim »

As I was saying in my blog before it got invaded and overrun by off-topic dieselly stuff I'm wanting to get my Ka welding done...

Firstly I need to procure a MIG rig to do the job...

Grateful for recommendations on which one to get... I'm not keen to spend a fortune on an all singing, all dancing one one but would like to get a good, basic, adequate, workmanlike one that'll do the job well...

eGay seems to have loads but I question their quality and integrity...

Also grateful for helmet recommendations as I'd like one of these automatic self-darkening ones...

Thanks all :)

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Re: MIG Welder Recommendations Please...

Post by RichardW »

Jim

I've got a Clarke (Machine mart) 135TE model, which does the job, and usually comes out OK in test. 135A is about the most you can run from a 13A socket, but it will weld 3-4mm steel in one pass. Best to get a fan cooled model as otherwise the duty cycle is pretty poor when welding thicker stuff. In the practical classics tests they usually end up recommending SIP mate stuff - although http://www.uksaabs.co.uk/UKS/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=88576 casts doubt on their long term usability! Auto dimming masks are available every where now, just get one that is CE marked. If you can afford it, better to get an Argon gas set up as well - it makes for better / easier welds.

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Re: MIG Welder Recommendations Please...

Post by RichardW »

Here you go: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Clarke-MIG-1 ... SwhQtao~bZ That looks like an earlier version, but it will probably do the business. Doubt you will get it for £20 though.... and it's missing the side door that covers the spool.

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Re: MIG Welder Recommendations Please...

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CitroJim
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Re: MIG Welder Recommendations Please...

Post by CitroJim »

Thanks Richard :)

That last one in Towcester is worth a punt as it's fairly local to me and easy for collection :)

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Re: MIG Welder Recommendations Please...

Post by Gibbo2286 »

I've got this sitting unused in my workshop for at least the last two years, it can go for £25 if someone wants it and can arrange collection.
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CitroJim
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Re: MIG Welder Recommendations Please...

Post by CitroJim »

A shame it's so far away from me Gibbo... I never get that far over the country although I will be in deepest East Somerset this weekend...

If it was nearer I'd have it in an instant...

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Re: MIG Welder Recommendations Please...

Post by lexi »

Clarke 150 /151. They are always around s/h. Take your time and you will get one. If it looks well used, you want it cheap.
You'l find in reality that a 150 will work on a 13 amp socket, less you are welding canal boats. You can always wire in a 16 amp anyway.
I wouldn't go near the budget SIP stuff. If a Sealey machine came up in a 150 amp version, that is an option as well. Those machines are made by Telwin in Italy. An old Snap On machine might fit price wise. They are made by Ceborra which is really good.
Any cheap auto helmet does for Mig. A better one is needed for Tig.
I feel 150 amps is about right all round for what you are doing.

Edit: That machine of Gibbo's would get you started.....................nice.

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Re: MIG Welder Recommendations Please...

Post by Michel »

CitroJim wrote:
14 Mar 2018, 10:51
A shame it's so far away from me Gibbo... I never get that far over the country although I will be in deepest East Somerset this weekend...

If it was nearer I'd have it in an instant...


I've got plenty of time on my hands and fancy a run out. Pay for fuel for the C1 and I'll collect it for you Jim. Lovely driving out near Gibbo.

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Re: MIG Welder Recommendations Please...

Post by CitroJim »

Michel wrote:
14 Mar 2018, 11:05
CitroJim wrote:
14 Mar 2018, 10:51
A shame it's so far away from me Gibbo... I never get that far over the country although I will be in deepest East Somerset this weekend...

If it was nearer I'd have it in an instant...


I've got plenty of time on my hands and fancy a run out. Pay for fuel for the C1 and I'll collect it for you Jim. Lovely driving out near Gibbo.


Mike, That would be brilliant! Thanks :D Go for it but drive slowly to minimise my fuel bill :lol:

Gibbo, consider it sold!

Thanks all :D

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Re: MIG Welder Recommendations Please...

Post by Gibbo2286 »

I'd better get the polish out then. :-D

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Re: MIG Welder Recommendations Please...

Post by CitroJim »

Gibbo2286 wrote:
14 Mar 2018, 11:23
I'd better get the polish out then. :-D


No need, as long as it works that's all that matters Gibbo!

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Re: MIG Welder Recommendations Please...

Post by Pug_XUD_KeenAmateur »

you got there before me Mike, I was also going to offer, Jim knows my location and its kind of 'reasonable' for the task. 'Shout' by PM if there's any change Jim.

I'd be snapping that fella's hand off in Towcester if anyone else wants a welder and can get the Clarke in Richard's post anywhere near that starting price. I paid more than 3x that for my similar machine about 3 years ago, which I think was 'about right'.

...never worked out what the purpose of the handle on the top is supposed to be and took it off long ago (its safe). Anyone know?

There are, of course, Charlatans on Ebay Jim, but there's a lot of good people too :-D . I don't really 'do' shopping and a majority of non-grocery stuff that I buy comes from the bay.

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Re: MIG Welder Recommendations Please...

Post by CitroJim »

Pug_XUD_KeenAmateur wrote:
14 Mar 2018, 12:40
you got there before me Mike, I was also going to offer, Jim knows my location and its kind of 'reasonable' for the task. 'Shout' by PM if there's any change Jim.


Magical, that's so appreciated :D let me know about the phono preamp too... I've not seen if you have yet ;)

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Re: MIG Welder Recommendations Please...

Post by RichardW »

Nice one!

Then you've got to work out how to use it....

Set the gas rate - turn the reg to about 5, put the torch near your ear and gently pull the trigger to start the gas, you should just about be able to hear it. Turn up the reg till you can.
Feed the wire in - put the spool on, and the wire between the rollers (with the correct size roller set for the wire) and into the torch cable. Stretch out the torch, remove the shroud and tip (unscrews) then pull the trigger and allow the machine to feed the wire in till it comes out. Fit a new tip (they wear, and give unreliable contact!), and shroud. Snip the wire off to about 1" long.
Test the roller load - in theory you should be able to put your finger over the end and hold the wire with the trigger depressed, this helps stop the machine balling the wire up between the rollers and the liner if it gets stuck for some reason. Back off the spring load till it feeds normally but slips when you want.
Set the power - will need some experiment - that machine has 4 positions Min 1 / 2 and Max 1 / 2 same as mine, and I find they roughly equate to 1-4mm thickness material, going up one setting when doing a lap or corner joint weld.
Set the wire speed - on mine somewhere between 5 and 9, related to the power setting.
Set up a test piece to lay a bead down on a straight piece of metal, clamp the earth on, set the torch at about 60deg to weld in a forehand manner, then see what it will do. I always use 2 hands, easier that way!

If the power is too high it will just melt; if too low, the weld will sit on the top with no penetration.
If the wire speed is too high it will be a bit intermittent, and tend to push your hand back off the work; if too low it will sputter ( and probably weld the wire to the tip!). It should give a nice continuous crackle - often likened to bacon frying.

Experiment different weld speeds; you should be able to see the pool develop, and then push it along to get the fusion.