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September 19, 2020, 02:15:11 PM

MIG set up for an absolute beginner!

This is a discussion for the topic MIG set up for an absolute beginner! on the board Beach Buggy General Help.

Author Topic: MIG set up for an absolute beginner!  (Read 998 times)

this user is offline neilpop

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on: July 29, 2020, 03:07:54 PM
Hi, I'm keen to teach myself to weld and believe that MIG is the way to go to cover the vast majority of my needs.

That being the case can anyone recommend a good set up / kit to get me started?

There appear to be hundreds to chose from and being an absolute beginner (only knowing what I've seen on YouTube) I hoped someone on here may steer me in the right direction to a good bit of kit to get me started.

Appreciate your guidance,

Neil


this user is offline Manxdavid

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Reply #1 on: July 29, 2020, 03:52:38 PM
I'll be following this as I've been hard core oxy/acetylene and stick arc man for the past 45 years but can no longer get my bottles filled.

I've recently bought one of these after personal recommendation and after a few trial runs it seems fine. Time will tell though.

https://youtu.be/3zuDJqQOO9o
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this user is offline Hugh

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Reply #2 on: July 29, 2020, 04:28:57 PM
My money is on Dave DND being a fountain of info on this topic as a couple of years ago I recall he took up welding and became an advocate. He did a course so that may be the first route to both get basic experience but also try out the different techniques.
Hugh


this user is offline Dave DND

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Reply #3 on: July 29, 2020, 04:32:50 PM
My advice would be to buy as big a MIG as your garage electrics will power - running  big one at low power certainly helped me to learn instead of running a baby one flat out.

Richstorm on here is the one to talk with - he used to teach it, and the advice he gave me down the phone was awesome.

I played for many weeks with reasonable success, and eventually found an evening course at my local college which was so much fun.

I have now got a TIG welder that I am trying to learn with as I well and truly have the welding bug now
01803-391680
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this user is offline PhillipM

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Reply #4 on: July 29, 2020, 04:41:21 PM
It's really gonna depend on your budget - and don't forget your welding gas will have rental attached to the bottle that can add up quick too.
One of them mucky ones. Sorry.


this user is offline simon-dubman

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Reply #5 on: July 29, 2020, 05:18:23 PM
Machine mart will do an 180 amp unit.. Ideal for working on cars. I seem to remember the highest you will get is 210 Amp for a 240V single phase electrical system.
Avoid the flux cored gasless set ups as they are a waste of time.

CO2 or CO2 with argon for gas is what you will need for regular steel. Argon if you are wanting to weld Stainless.

Welding is all about ensuring the workpieces are clean and you can get into a comfortable position. I am a Time Served plater/welder so have plenty of experience in the field. 


this user is offline Doon L001

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Reply #6 on: July 29, 2020, 05:49:16 PM
Depends how much welding you want to do

I have a Machine Mart kit and have made a couple of stainless bits for the buggy and repaired a few garden tools

I am still more of a grinder than a welder but the more I do the better I get
Dave - Doon LWB 1st one made  ;-)up Name "Weather Permitting"


this user is offline Dave DND

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Reply #7 on: July 29, 2020, 05:59:50 PM
Avoid the flux cored gasless set ups as they are a waste of time.

That was worth repeating  ;-)up
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this user is offline Bealzebug01

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Reply #8 on: July 29, 2020, 06:17:43 PM
I agree with all the above comments. Avoid gas less. Gasless flux cored wire is expensive, gives off noxious gases and has a poor shelf life, not to mention doesn’t provide a v good weld. That said if you are looking at a gas/ no gas set up, the fluxcored wire can get you out of a hole when you run out of gas.
Personally I would Look to buy the largest 240v single phase unit you can afford. 180 amp is perfect, but 160 will do. Check out the duty cycle of the mig, you don’t want a unit with a low duty cycle as welding for 10 minutes and then having to cool the machine for 1 hour is frustrating. Depending on budget generally the more expensive the unit the better and easier you’ll find it to weld with. I would seriously look at 2nd hand over buying a Clarke or SIP entry level unit. Millar, Esab, Migatronic, Kemppi all make some excellent stuff.

Hope it helps.
Oh and there are plenty of hobby gas suppliers around now, they charge a one off rental fee indefinite duration, then  charge for refills, go with a decent sized bottle, none of the disposable or soda stream sized bottles as they are not cost effective.




this user is offline simon-dubman

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Reply #9 on: July 29, 2020, 08:04:01 PM
As Beezlebug says secondhand ones will be more cost effective. Miller and lincoln are generally the best you can buy.
Most car spares shops do hobby gas, think i paid £50 deposit on the bottle then depending on the gas you require it will be £40 / £50. An alternative is Pub CO2 bottles you can get a regulator off ebay/amazon.
I use Pure argon on my TIG set and CO2 mix for the MIG, i get my gas from a local gas supplier and pay a small rental fee.
MMA or Stick welding can be tricky with car body's and floor as you generally chase a hole from front to back.


this user is offline Speedy

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Reply #10 on: July 29, 2020, 09:40:10 PM
When I'm in the garage at home I use an 170 amp inverter mig welder nice and small plenty of power for welding vehicles runs 5kg wire roll so easy to carry on site if you want, it's also got stick weld facility if you want too. I'll add with everyone else avoid gasless. Just get lots of steel and practice practice push don't pull uphill not downhill etc  ;-)up
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this user is offline neilpop

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Reply #11 on: July 29, 2020, 11:09:27 PM
Hi guys, thanks for all the responses, loads to think about really appreciate your guidance.

A few of you have mentioned looking at second hand, is this a pretty straightforward thing to buy second hand, in that there's not a lot that would go wrong with one and I wouldn't have to know what I was looking for in a unit?

Thanks for the help on brands to look for too, that's really helpful and the gas, was looking initially at gas-less as it seemed one less thing to worry about.

I'll take a look around and definitely will have follow up questions, thanks again  ;-)up


this user is offline snoopy

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Reply #12 on: July 30, 2020, 07:07:25 AM
if you want to do thin stuff like body work look at the minimum amperage as some small machines do not go as low as larger ones. my old sip 150 got treated to a new torch and wire feed roller and now works fine after suffering erratic wire feed so spares
 availability is worth considering if buying second hand.


this user is offline IDA

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Reply #13 on: July 30, 2020, 08:24:02 AM
Lots of good Mig info in the posts .... My 2p..  If you do not do a lot or welding and have garage to work in... TIG the price has dropped in the last 20 years. You can buy a good ac/dc new for £800!! yes cost more than a mig. but resale is more. And you can weld magnesium etc . Sheet metal less heat less filler rod so less cleaning.. Cost Is more for gas! boc Y I pay £44!!! A refill .. Rods if steel I buy 1.2mm mig wire £15 for my last reel off ebay for 15kg.. And it not as had to pick up as some say...only down side it is a two handed job and pre cleaning..... Mig Flux is not as bad as a lot make out"  and is all in the set up. if only doing a bit of welding is the way to go!! But do buy one that will do gas as well.....
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this user is offline Paul1953

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Reply #14 on: July 30, 2020, 03:11:53 PM
MIG welding..... it`s important for your safety and that of the household that you ensure the 240v single phase supply you intend to use is suitable for the welder current drain. Cannot recall off the top of my head but around 150 up over you really should have a 16 AMP supply and legally the welder should be "hard wired"  using 16A socket and plug, (the blue variety. (This will be stated in the instruction sheets).  In the past I have seen the result of someone connecting the welder to a domestic cooker supply circuit.  The lads mam had cooker oven and hob on for sunday lunch. He tried welding and ...oh dear !!   Fuses\circuit breakers did them no good...  Stay safe and do it correctly.... ;-)up ;-)up