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Thread: Welders

  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger! Ross's Avatar
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    Default Welders

    Im sick of borrowing/hiring welders for all these french car rebuilds.

    Ive had a look at a number of different types:

    Migs
    Tigs
    Arch
    Inverters
    Rectifiers
    Gas
    Etc
    Etc

    Getting pretty confused, although there seems to be one consistant theme coming through, If you can afford a tig welder go for it as they are the best.

    The main criteria is ability to weld panel steel obviously but I wouldnt mind something that also welds aluminium.

    Im looking at a second hand one at the moment that is an arch welder with a seperate rectifier unit on top with tig torch and gas gauges. Is that type any good?

    What say all of you?

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    Ross

  2. #2
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    I haven't tried anything except arc welding (what a mess), oxy welding/bronzing (okish). However MIG welders are bloody brilliant.

    The biggest drawback is you have no choice but to rent a gas bottle. MIG welders a VERY ordinary with gasless wire, but bloody brilliant and easy to use with gas.

    I have a Ryobi 150amp gas/gasless MIG. It produces very nice welds, but don't buy Ryobi, they are absolute garbage quality wise.

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  3. #3
    1000+ Posts CHRI'S16's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ross
    Im sick of borrowing/hiring welders for all these french car rebuilds.

    Ive had a look at a number of different types:

    Migs
    Tigs
    Arch
    Inverters
    Rectifiers
    Gas
    Etc
    Etc

    Getting pretty confused, although there seems to be one consistant theme coming through, If you can afford a tig welder go for it as they are the best.

    The main criteria is ability to weld panel steel obviously but I wouldnt mind something that also welds aluminium.

    Im looking at a second hand one at the moment that is an arch welder with a seperate rectifier unit on top with tig torch and gas gauges. Is that type any good?

    What say all of you?

    Ross
    Ross
    What sort of work are you doing? Sheetmetal, thick RSJ, car panels, copper pipe?? If its for work on cars bodies a tig is best. But an adjustable gas&reel MIG is good too. - Chris
    ... ptui!

  4. #4
    1000+ Posts cruiserman's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ross
    Im sick of borrowing/hiring welders for all these french car rebuilds.

    Ive had a look at a number of different types:

    Migs
    Tigs
    Arch
    Inverters
    Rectifiers
    Gas
    Etc
    Etc

    Getting pretty confused, although there seems to be one consistant theme coming through, If you can afford a tig welder go for it as they are the best.

    The main criteria is ability to weld panel steel obviously but I wouldnt mind something that also welds aluminium.

    Im looking at a second hand one at the moment that is an arch welder with a seperate rectifier unit on top with tig torch and gas gauges. Is that type any good?

    What say all of you?

    Ross
    I have used quite extensively those units arc/tig units. They are bloody amazing. Tig, or GTAW as it is now known Mig is GMAW god only knows why they changed the arconyms, rules, the control of oxy with the speed of electric, if you can afford it get it. It will weld alu just reverse the polarity and the electrons smash the oxide off making it much easier. Mig is also good for alu. If you are going to use Tig you will need a green grinding wheel to reshape the tungsten electrode each time you slip and touch it with the filler rod.
    Neil
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  5. #5
    Fellow Frogger! DRD180's Avatar
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    Default

    It depends on what you want and how much you want to spend. Our latest addition is ac/dc 10A watercooled tig tourch from cig, it has the facilities for ferrous and non ferrous metals and underneath it can be fitted out with a mig if required, I think we paid $5k for this one but i think the next one down without cooling is around $3k $3.5k and as usual it still has the arc fittings

  6. #6
    Fellow Frogger! DRD180's Avatar
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    for second hand welders, keep an eye out for lincon welders, they are usually bullet proof but a real pain if they ever need repairs

  7. #7
    Fellow Frogger
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    The SIP MIG I bought in 1984 has provided great value for me and one or two of my friends over the last two decades. One of my friends presently has custody and uses it regularly for all sorts of projects. It's a very heavy large box on wheels - the newer ones are small enough to carry like a portable sewing machine. If you get one, get one that takes a large spool and an industrial gas cylinder from BOC because it will save a lot of hassle getting frequent replacements.

    The MIG weld is usually very hard and cannot be planished easily unlike oxy and TIG welds. It's great for quick jobs and tacks or where the weld appearance is not so important. You can weld stainless and alumunium alloys with the right spool and gas, but you will want the welder you buy to allow you to control the voltage, current and wire speed independently - not all will. Depositing a bead of metal with the MIG doesn't guarantee a good weld of course.

    My recent home welding jobs have been with an oxy-acetylene kit (Henrob). It is versatile, heats, cuts, brazes etc. and can give high quality welds with little distortion if you take the time to acquire the skills. I have welded stainless and aluminium with it, but you need the right flux and rods. It's not so easy welding larger al castings because of the rapid heat transfer. I've done a repair to a timing cover, but a TIG would have been easier. It's better to farm out the hard/heavier jobs to people with the right tools and skills.

    TIG is a good option if you can justify the expense and can support the input power requirements. Most of them will be 415V. I've not used one but you would undoubtedly find that a lot of practice is required to obtain good results. TIG is the most practical for larger al alloy castings.

    The MIG (just like a arc/stick welder) is always feeding wire into the pool unlike gas and TIG, where you have more control. You may have more grinding to do with MIG welds.

    It really depends on what you want to weld. You will want to use what is most suitable for the job at hand and that may not be a single item of kit!

    I am neither a frequent welder nor a professional welder, but I hope this might help you a little.

    David

  8. #8
    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    Default Bronze Welding/ Mig/oxy

    Quote Originally Posted by Ross
    Im sick of borrowing/hiring welders for all these french car rebuilds.

    Ive had a look at a number of different types:

    Migs
    Tigs
    Arch
    Inverters
    Rectifiers
    Gas
    Etc
    Etc

    Getting pretty confused, although there seems to be one consistant theme coming through, If you can afford a tig welder go for it as they are the best.

    The main criteria is ability to weld panel steel obviously but I wouldnt mind something that also welds aluminium.

    Im looking at a second hand one at the moment that is an arch welder with a seperate rectifier unit on top with tig torch and gas gauges. Is that type any good?

    What say all of you?

    Ross

    FYI BOC ( was CIG) have two units mig units on special at the moment -

    180 amp BOC MIG with wire feed $ 1200 plus

    170 amp LINCOLN MIG with wire feed $ 999 plus

    These are their low end professional and panel beater models.

    I have had mixed reports from professionals and amateurs alike about brazing/ gas welding and MIG.

    I am intending to try using oxy ACET and bronze welding before I race out and a buy a MIG.

    The one thing everyone agrees is on is that so called gasless migs are shit.
    Last edited by robmac; 10th December 2004 at 07:01 PM. Reason: forgot title

  9. #9
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Hi Guys,

    well I can't weld for sh!t. And MIG's the easiest by far out of any of them to use (plus it does do quite good welds).

    Plus you can buy them quite cheaply (you only need a really small MIG to weld body panels). It won't be much good for anything heavier though.

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    'Cit' homepage:
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    '63 ID19 http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/showthread.php?t=90325
    '72 DS21 ie 5spd pallas (last looked at ... about 15years ago)
    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


    Modern Junk:
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  10. #10
    Fellow Frogger
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    Oxy-acetylene is certainly the most versatile type of welding kit, but an electric welder can put so much more heat into a small spot in a short time that you can use one to weld a spot where gas would burn a lot of surrounding trim, paint and plastics. I like the gas kit but the MIG is a lot faster and easier in many situations. With some cars from the 80's onwards using high strength steel panels, you must use MIG/TIG on those parts anyhow as gas heating will ruin the strengthening heat treatment. Also, only one bottle to rent with MIG and that's about $100+ a year.

    You could braze using a BOC/CIG PortaColt or whatever they call them now, which uses an oxy cylinder and a BBQ gas cylinder. However, brazing will probably not be acceptable for structural repairs, the flame is nowhere near as hot and you use much more oxygen because of the stochiometry of the combustion reaction. Go straight to oxy-acetylene, but don't leave the acetylene cylinder in an enclosed space unless you want to risk a big bang - it's colourless and odourless gas!

    If you want a MIG welder, even an ancient one like my SIP150 would fit the bill. They are not complicated and don't have the modern inverter type electronics in them to go wrong. Being 20 years old and so heavy that it has wheels means it should be inexpensive now but still does the job admirably.

    David

  11. #11
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    I used a gasless SIP MIG to do some panels once and the main issue was that the wire feed was unreliable. In a Practical Classics magazine I read, they had a test on MIG's and they made the comment to check the quality of the wire feed mechanism.

    Incidentally, my father-in-law is qualified as a panel beater (used to do Rollers) and he does really good work with oxy/acetylene and mild steel welding wire, which I believe was the precursor to MIG in panel work. He's just very careful not to overheat the panel.

    Back to PC magazine; a novice journo was doing very good smooth welds in an hour (from never welding before) using a good gas MIG, so they must be OK if you know what you're doing. He had pro help to tell him how, though.

    Stuey


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    i had an SIP gasless - did'nt like it but it probably could have been OK with gas. Didn't like the wire feed much.
    Bought an inverter TIG wich is not A/C, so is not suitable for aluminium/alloys.
    It does a good job with my limited skills. It's an CIG. Have been told that others (some italian jobs spend a lot of time in repairs). Allegedly CIG, ESAB and perhaps some others are good.
    MIG's i'm to understand need a good wire feed, that is a seperate one with gas. This means more money of course.
    They only problem with gas bottles is the cost when you only do occasional welding.
    With skill O/A is the best compromise. You can weld anything
    JoBo

  13. #13
    1000+ Posts PeterT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ross

    The main criteria is ability to weld panel steel obviously but I wouldnt mind something that also welds aluminium.
    Do a one semester TAFE course. Then have a look at a MIG that will do 0.6mm/0.8mm wire.

    MIG welders can only do spray transfer for aluminum, on larger sections. So it has to be a beefy machine and the weld appearance wil be average.

    If you want to do nice aluminium work you'll have to buy a small TIG as well. A big TIG will do everything but is expensive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron
    Hi Guys,

    well I can't weld for sh!t. And MIG's the easiest by far out of any of them to use (plus it does do quite good welds).

    Plus you can buy them quite cheaply (you only need a really small MIG to weld body panels). It won't be much good for anything heavier though.

    seeya,
    Shane L.

    as a bloke that taught me how to weld once said

    a mig can make a fair welder look good but a stick can make a fair welder look bad

    mig's are fine for everyday household/car work

    tig's you really need to practice a lot to get it right

    stick i find is dead easy but i have done a lot of it and yes you can use a stick for cars but you need to get special rods and it's not worth the trouble when mig is so easy

    i'll agree don't use a gasless if you can get away with it as the welds aren't as good as the gas migs plus the wire goes off over time

    always remember though to keep the welder in a dry area to prevent the wire from going rusty

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  15. #15
    1000+ Posts alan moore's Avatar
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    I have a little toy SIP 100 (gas or gasless) that has been reliable and fine for the body panel work that I mostly do. Up to 4mm steel can be welded OK. As everyone else says gasless is hopeless. The little drive motor for the wire looks undersized, but has continued to work fine for the last eight years.

    0.6 wire is the one to use for panel work, and although my machine will take the large rolls, I buy small ones as the drive motor likes these more, and rust on the wire is less likely to cause problem as it might take 3 years of household use to use a large roll.
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  16. #16
    Fellow Frogger! Ross's Avatar
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    Thanks all for the advice

    I missed out on the Tig I was looking at. It was an arc welder with a recifier and tig torch, went for $750.

    So I will have to start looking again, maybe a good quality Mig with gas.

    Ross

  17. #17
    1000+ Posts Pugnut403's Avatar
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    I have not used a Tig, but I have used all the others. The Mig is the easiest to use on thin metal, and in my opinion the gas welder does the best job but is harder. I would not bother with arc on body steel.
    If you do go Tig, make sure you get one that does AC and DC or it will not weld aluminium properly.
    Our Mig is set up with gasless wire at the moment, although it runs gas wire too. The gasless wire is bloody hard to get a good weld on thin metal, go gas if you can.
    Pugs Rule!

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