Basic welding skills - anyone got pointers or know courses?

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whizzo
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Re: Basic welding skills - anyone got pointers or know cours

Unread post by whizzo » March 9th, 2013, 12:15 pm

mickkk wrote:I got a welding question which I will tack on here (get it)

I am also wanting to learn to weld, but my question is more about welders.

What welder would you get if you were just starting out.
I have a few requirements tho,

Single phase
Ideally something to weld alloy too
Some what portable
Be able to weld gas-less (may help the portability)

Money is not real issue, I would happily pay $10k for a welder that would make me a pro welder, just point and shoot :twisted: But they still have not made one yet haha. And I also dont want to buy something that I will be wanting to upgrade in a few years. In saying that I still want value for money, and it will not be seeing a huge work load.
Have a look at this welder http://www.tradetools.com/products/NB160X this same machine is available painted several different colours and with several different brands on it......On "respected brand" IS the same unit but is 50% dearer than the supplier linked.
I have one and a couple of mates with them.......they are a great little thing......still reasonably priced but a big step up from the $300 cheapies...they give you MIG, TIG and STICK.


As far as ideas of welding both steel and alloy.
The idea is attractive but the realities are a bit more expensive and harder.
The machine I linked above will do both as many others will, but ya talking about different gasses and having to change liners and stuff for the different metals.
AND welding steel with a good machine is an absolute doddle...anybody with moderate natural trade ability and an ability to learn should pick up steel welding pretty fast......good aluminium welding takes some significant skill and some technical knoweledge..and lots of practice.

AND you need a hell of a lot more current to weld aluminium than steel......so welding heavy aluminium becomes a much more expensive concern involving a heavy power supply requirement.

As has been said...gasless may seem attractive.......but it aint cheap if you are doing any sort of volume and ya not getting the big advantage of MIG ..and that is a clean slag free job and the ability to immediately weld back over.

cheers

shamrock4life01
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Re: Basic welding skills - anyone got pointers or know cours

Unread post by shamrock4life01 » March 11th, 2013, 7:57 am

Any feed back on MARS 200 brand mig welders?
"if u cant find it, GRIND IT"
1985 landcruiser bundera. 1kz-te engine in her. work in progress =)

DJR96
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Re: Basic welding skills - anyone got pointers or know cours

Unread post by DJR96 » March 11th, 2013, 9:16 am

Just going by what I see in the eBay listings for them, they shouldn't be considered any better than the cheapie 130amp models. 200amp is a stretch. Specs say 185amp +-15%. So you might get 200amps. Might only get 158amps too! No replaceable hand-piece lead. Light weight cabling. And only a 15% duty cycle, which means if you weld for a minute you'll need to wait another 7 minutes for it to cool down enough to continue. The wire feed unit is only plastic bodied so it's performance and reliability is doubtful. By performance I mean precise continuous control of wire feed rate. It might be ok for a panel beater doing sheet metal, but even then it's lower voltage and wire speed control is doubtful.

In a word, no. Stay clear. You get what you pay for....

If you want a "compact" machine, get a WIA 150 or 175amp or one of these:-
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/LINCOLN-POWE ... 3f206e2b00

Here's some others to consider:-
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/mig-welder-/ ... 2328e232e4
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Cigweld-Weld ... 257adefa0f
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Licoln-Elect ... 1e782472da
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Uni-Mig-240- ... 3ccc02cb21
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/NEW-UNIQUE-I ... 3ccfb42a0c
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/UNIMIG-MIG-W ... 20d0152853
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Esab-LKA-180 ... 1e780a2762

Can even get multi-mode machines for good value (if you want to try TIG later):-
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Cigweld-Tran ... 416f632c70

If you've got 3-phase power, use it!
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/MIG-WELDER-/ ... 3ccf9f39ff
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/MIG-WELDER-/ ... 3ccf9f2af9

And if you haven't, get a dedicated 15amp socket installed just for your welder. Avoid using power points that are sharing circuits with other things. You'll be surprised how much better things run when it gets all the power it needs.

And keep your consumables clean and dry. Especially if only occasionally used. Remove your wire spool and seal in plastic bag with some rice if storing longer term. You don't want rusty wire with it's dust rubbing off inside the liner.
Cheers, Dave.
RCV Supertourer build:- [url]http://www.4wdaction.com.au/forum/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=36370[/url]

whizzo
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Re: Basic welding skills - anyone got pointers or know cours

Unread post by whizzo » March 11th, 2013, 10:10 pm

One thing you definitely want in a mig welder, is the ability to take a standard easily replacable hand piece that uses commonly available consumables.

The unit I have comes with a Binzel hand piece, I can get consumables for it at any welding shop

I looked at both the small WIA and the small Lincon.......and they are both nice machines but both are too expensive for what they are.... did not like the look of the hand piece on the lincon.

There is also the issue with the larger machines.......one mate of mine has a fairly large trade tools mig...had it for years works it hard....but it goes thru gass like there is no tomorrow because of the size of the hand piece.....a compact hand piece with a smaller nozzle will use a hell of a lot less gas.....AND that is a major cost factor....he has a cheaper small machine for little jobs.....he recons he easily saves the cost of the smaller machine in gas.

Another mate baught a large remote feed CIG unit....got it in realy good nick out of the trading post....it just takes up so much space & is a bastard to move around a small workshop.

I've seen and partisipated in quite a few mic welder discussions......all the pro welders push the expensive brands and the larger machines.
Truth is they simply are not a good choice for small workshops and occasional users.

A lot of pro welders, particularly older ones will push the old brand names..poo pooing, the cheaper units and the generic brands.
Truth here too in most of them have never used or owned one of the better low priced welders.

If ya looking at a cheap welder....there are two big give aways for the quality and the same two things will frustrate the hell out of you if they are nasty......look for a good handset and look for a good wire feed system with steel rollers.....if they cant be bothered to do those two things right the rest of the machine will be rubbish too.

cheers

Reaper_247
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Re: Basic welding skills - anyone got pointers or know cours

Unread post by Reaper_247 » March 11th, 2013, 11:06 pm

I agree with what both Dave and Whizzo have said.
I would just add as pointed out earlier duty cycle, duty cycle, duty cycle.

There is nothing worse than doing a large job and waiting for the welder to cool down.

The trade tools one looks OK but while a 35% duty cycle is Ok it does not tell at what amperage it is running at.
It could be 35% duty cycle @ 90A but crank it up to 140A and the cycle could drop off to 15%.

The better quality welders will always give you a voltage/duty cycle rating so you know what you are getting.

If you do not do really large jobs and are just welding things up for 30 seconds or so here and there then you may get away with a cheaper welder.

I ended up getting one of these:

Weldmaster 182P

This or something like it will serve you well and do pretty much anything and everything you could want to do around the home, vehicle etc (maybe Dave (DJR96) might be excluded from this). ;)
When you are dead, you don't know that your dead, it is difficult only for the others - It is the same when you are stupid!

whizzo
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Re: Basic welding skills - anyone got pointers or know cours

Unread post by whizzo » March 12th, 2013, 6:38 pm

Just as a matter of interest.

The NB180 and its different coloured relatives has a duty cycle of

Stick welding 35% @ 145 amps, 100% @80 amps
MIG welding 35% @ 160 amps, 100% @95 amps.
Maximum rated current for MIG and STICK is 165 amps
No time period is specified for the duty cycle.

SO its pretty close to 35% at full rated.
I've never run a stick welder over 100 amps, and I have not found the need to run the MIG higher than 2/3 on the voltage dial.

I recon you have to be trying realy hard to approach 100% duty cycle on any stick welder...just because of the fiddle of changing rods.

AND 95 amps does a lot of welding with a MIG especially if you have Veed ya welds properly on thicker material.

I tell ya I get far far more reliable penetration out of the mig than I every did with the old stick welder.

cheers

Reaper_247
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Re: Basic welding skills - anyone got pointers or know cours

Unread post by Reaper_247 » March 12th, 2013, 7:43 pm

Hey Whizzo,

The duty cycle is a percentage of 10 minutes.
10% = 1 minute.

A duty cycle of 35% means weld for 3.5 minutes and cool down for 6.5 minutes.
Some welders do have a thermal protection so if they get too hot they will stop, some don't.

So it can mean the welder will weld past it's rated duty cycle but it will severely shorten the lifespan of the welder.
It is really the person welding who is responsible in observing the duty cycle to give the welder every chance to last for a long time rather than fail prematurely.
That is why in large engineering and welding shops they spend big dollars to buy equipment with a 100% duty cycle at max amps.

I agree with you though that most times you should not need to crank it up to 11 so to speak. ;)
When you are dead, you don't know that your dead, it is difficult only for the others - It is the same when you are stupid!

whizzo
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Re: Basic welding skills - anyone got pointers or know cours

Unread post by whizzo » March 12th, 2013, 10:05 pm

Yeh I'm used to duty cycles being properly specified......so when there is no time period with the figures I am suspicious.

OH...and at what temperature....I would assume 25C......bump the air temp up to 35C....reasonable in this climate and the duty cycle will suffer...drop it down to 15C like in winter and it may be in reality better.

Some machines ( not welders) I have dealt with have cycle lengths as short as 2 minutes others I have seen can be very long.

It basicly comes down to the machines ability to absorb heat and then disipate it.

100% duty cycle at 2/3 output and 35% a close to full schnaps is not shabby for an occasional use machine.

cheers

DJR96
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Re: Basic welding skills - anyone got pointers or know cours

Unread post by DJR96 » March 13th, 2013, 8:51 am

Whizzo you're quite right about a duty cycle spec needing a time and temperature figure to be meaningful. I think it is usually 10 minutes and 40 degrees.
Big industrial machines, certainly older ones anyway, would be rated at what they could do at 100% duty cycle. Like my old Hobart RC300, it's rated at 300 amps @ 100% but can actually push nearly 400amps. Not that I've got any need to push that hard.
My old man had his old stick welder in for repairs. A heavy ComPak 140amp unit. It just needed it's axle and wheels replaced and the choke lock/adjustment fixed. It kept dropping down with it's own vibration. He lashed out and bought a cheapie in the meantime. Although it had enough grunt it couldn't even use a whole 2.5mm rod without tripping it's thermal overload. That's just near useless......

As you can imagine, transformers generate heat from all of it's windings, but cooling down again is only by radiating heat from the outer surface. The inside can only conduct it's heat to the outer windings. A very inefficient heat transfer. An overloaded transformer can heat up quite quickly but takes a while to cool down again. Yes a fan helps a lot, but the inside still has to conduct outwards.

And if you're having trouble getting good quality welds with stick welding, simply turning up the amps will usually improve penetration and float out impurities to leave a nice weld. Don't be shy of using 120 amps or more with 2.5mm rods. I've had the rods near red hot in use. The flux on some cheap rods don't like that much, but Satincraft thrive on it. That's where it's worth paying the bit extra for them.

With MIG, 0.9mm wire is probably the most commonly used. It's big enough to crank up to 220-250amps and do a nice fat weld on decent thick material, yet small enough to slow right down for sheet metal work. So you would only go a bigger wire if only doing heavy work and want the extra amps and deposition rate to do the job a bit quicker. And you would only go smaller if only doing sheet metal work. And 150-180amps is fairly typical usage.
Cheers, Dave.
RCV Supertourer build:- [url]http://www.4wdaction.com.au/forum/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=36370[/url]

shamrock4life01
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Re: Basic welding skills - anyone got pointers or know cours

Unread post by shamrock4life01 » March 14th, 2013, 1:37 pm

Im stoked i started this thread, picked up that much info. it might hurt you guys to hear this but i picked up the mars 200 unit. it was 100 bucks so we will either regret it and know better next time or it might hold up.
"if u cant find it, GRIND IT"
1985 landcruiser bundera. 1kz-te engine in her. work in progress =)

DJR96
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Re: Basic welding skills - anyone got pointers or know cours

Unread post by DJR96 » March 14th, 2013, 1:59 pm

At least $100 won't hurt too much if you do regret it later. In the meantime I'm sure you'll improve your skills a heap with it. Work on getting nice quality runs of weld and you'll go far.
Good to see you having a go and learning something from this. Hopefully others will too. Always a great sense of achievement in accomplishing such skills and the jobs you'll turn out with them.
Cheers, Dave.
RCV Supertourer build:- [url]http://www.4wdaction.com.au/forum/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=36370[/url]

FuzzyM
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Re: Basic welding skills - anyone got pointers or know cours

Unread post by FuzzyM » April 24th, 2013, 9:53 am

Im saving up for one of these:

http://www.unimig.com.au/catalogue_prod ... category=1

Sell for about $400

Tempted by the ebay cheapies, but a store front is good, spare parts, warranty etc. Apparently euro connection for the torch is a good thing to have?

Plan on building a tray and a slip on canopy/camper. Shouldnt be welding thicker than 4mm i imagine. I realise the duty cycle is low, but im pretty slow at welding :lol:
1998 Dual Cab Hilux 2.7

mickkk
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Re: Basic welding skills - anyone got pointers or know cours

Unread post by mickkk » May 8th, 2013, 11:31 pm

Well, been looking around for a 2nd hand one on DJR advice.

This come up local, tried to google it but couldn't find much info.

Any one know anything about the blow machine. Would it be massively over kill??? Is he asking to much??

http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/humpty-d ... 1016684536

DJR96
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Re: Basic welding skills - anyone got pointers or know cours

Unread post by DJR96 » May 9th, 2013, 9:20 am

No such thing as overkill is there??! :D

Actually, some really big machines may not be able to be turned down low enough for thin sheet metal work. But even then you can just stitch weld.

That machine looks like it's been converted to remote wire feed. It may still have a wire feeder in the main unit. Or it crapped out and was the reason for conversion. But that's ok. Means the main unit can be plugged in to a dedicated power socket close to your switch/sub-board and you can still reach a good area of workshop. Much like mine. Give it good power and it should be a solid performer.

$1k is perhaps a little dear, but your choices up there are a bit more limited. If that set-up suits your workshop and you can envisage enough use for it, then it's not a bad deal at all.
Cheers, Dave.
RCV Supertourer build:- [url]http://www.4wdaction.com.au/forum/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=36370[/url]

whizzo
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Re: Basic welding skills - anyone got pointers or know cours

Unread post by whizzo » May 9th, 2013, 9:12 pm

Yeh...there are a couple of problems with larger machines.

1. the buggers are large and you have to have the spece to keep them and they don't move arround as easy.

2. you have to have a power supply capable of supporting them.

3. the larger machines with larger hand pieces can be very expensive on gas.

One of my mates who dose a hell of a lot of welding..as well as having a huge old dynosour TIG...has two migs...a large and a small machine......he fires the large machine up as little as possible because it is so damn hungry on gass.....and that is ya major expense in mig welding.

cheers

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