Welders

If your stick welding is poor an inverter will improve that , keeping sticks inside is ok but keeping them warm and airtight is more important , wrapped in glad wrap or as I do in pvc tubes with end caps on , easy to store and mark so you can find them easily.

My brother uses the gasless wire, not sure of the brand, to weld outside in windy areas 'cos the gas blows away.

I’ve used mine for stick welding, I can do a reasonable job with it.

Got a Uni-Mig 190 inverter. Only ever used gaseless wire. Using .9 now, was using .8.

Never used the stick as I have an older Peerless arc welder, but don’t think I have used it since I’ve had the mig.

Supposedly can tig weld with it as well, but having seen tig machines not sure that this info is correct.

Can recommend Uni-Mig, but if I was buying again would probably go bigger so could weld aluminium as well. Been told mine is probably a little light on for ally.

Thanks Geoff, hadn’t thought about aluminium but have considered fabricating some tractor ‘bits’ using sheet aluminium, welding could be a viable alternative to a pop rivet.
My knowledge of stick welding is rudimentary, MIG a bit better in theory only and TIG non existent.

Welding ally is a whole other ball game. For a start you need to change the liner in the gun from metal to plastic. Because the ally wire is so much softer than the steel wire it tends to crumple and jam up in the liner. Commercially they use a push/pull gun. The mig pushes the wire as per normal then the gun also has a motor which pulls the wire.

You can buy a “mini spool gun” which holds a tiny spool and has a motor to feed itself. You’ll also need shielding gas (no gasless here) and you need to clean the weld surfaces just prior to welding with a stainless steel wire buff that gets used for ally only. This is to clean off the aluminium oxide which is constantly forming and which is highly refractory. It’s similar to the stuff they make the heat proof tiles on the space shuttle from.

The other thing about welding ally is that you’ll muck around trying to get the settings right, but as you adjust them and trial weld, your workpiece heats up and you need less amps. It’s even worse when you use a bit of scrap to weld on and set your welder up as it heats up a lot more than the actual workpiece so that even though it might be the same thickness the “right” setting on your scrap will probably be too low for your workpiece. I had a few goes at it when I worked in an ally boat yard and found it pretty frustrating.

Got a inverter MMA/MIG/TIG machine at work recently so will give some steel TIG a go when I get some Argon gas. Can’t do ally TIG with a DC machine and I haven’t found an AC TIG under $1K but I figure if I can master TIG on mild steel it won’t be too much of a jump from there to Ally.

Just had a thought about duty cycles. I’ve never had a welder cut out the thermal overload due to exceeding the duty cycle. I have however had a mig torch fall to pieces after bits of it melted while I was building a tow bar for my truck. I noticed the smell of hot plastic or rubber the other day when I was welding up a heap of 35mm box section for shelving. I’m guessing that I was exceeding the torch duty cycle.

At some stage down the track I’ll probably need to buy a Binzel torch or similar. At least my $300 mig has a euro connector to make the change over easy. The old CIG transmig 130 twin that I paid $1300 for 25 years ago required extensive surgery to fit another torch.

Mick

pop rivets are looking good again but I see some MIG/TIG/MMA welders come with a gun for each.
I did read somewhere about the joys of welding aluminium and all the associated temperature problems.

Just ordered the W177 from Hafco, should be in later this week or early next week.
Looked at the next one up but that took a leap to $990, I could keep going but don’t have a 32a outlet and hard to justify after initially looking at a viper so decided that $737 is enough.
Project #1 is attaching some gal mesh to the carport uprights but I’ll have a practice on some scrap first.
In the mean time I have the mig with a hi-lo setting and speed control, it does not inspire confidence.
On another note can anyone tell me what the tips from china are like, they are quite cheap and ‘look’ the same as the local offerings.

@bunyip said in Welders:

can anyone tell me what the tips from china are like

I am fairly sure that was what mine came with & I have only changed the tip once.

I’ve also had to change the conical nozzle.

I have a Binzel gun & the consumables were available at the local hardware.

It would be pretty hard for the Chinese to stuff up a MIG tip, so you should be good.
As Cliff mentioned, they don’t often need replacing.

I did have a pack but SWMBO put them away along with my two soldering irons, disposable razors, other assorted tools, 18v LiIon charger for a drill kit.
It is the proverbial black hole as everything that goes there is never seen again.
The back seat in the ute seems to be the safest storage place around here when she is on a tidy up rampage.

I just hide/keep all my stuff in the shed … she rarely goes in there. :)

The worst thing is when you cark it and your misses sells your stuff for what you told her it cost …aagggg

bugger, been looking at plasma cutters…

Why would you cut plasma? :confused:

Aldi had one a week or two ago , looked reasonable

Only problem with some Aldi gear is consumables, I have their Mig welder which is sort of OK but only has a hi/low setting and if the gun buggers up I may as well throw it away as it is all part of the main unit, no connection, no burn back control and polarity is fixed.
It is very much a hit and miss unit and you can’t fine tune to get a good result, the feed speed is the only controllable feature.
Still waiting for the Unimig to arrive and the sparky to arrive to fit the 15a socket in the shed.

@cliff-rogers said in Welders:

… & I have only changed the tip once.

Yer not doing enough welding. Been through a few packets with my own welder. Went through a few tips a day at the boat yard.

Mick

Yup, I don’t do much welding.

@jmick said in Welders:

Went through a few tips a day at the boat yard.

You really shouldn’t use your welding gun as a hammer. :D

Seriously though, as long as you are not getting excessive burn back, tips should last for ages.

@joker said in Welders:

You really shouldn’t use your welding gun as a hammer. :D

You sound like a Sparky I know, tool kit consists of a pair of bull nosed pliers and a screwdriver, reckons he can do any installation with that kit, chase out brickwork included. He also had a voltmeter screwdriver, it was marked in volts along the shaft, and he said that you read the voltage by how much of the screwdriver disappeared when you shorted something out with it.

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