Viewing 32 posts - 1 through 32 (of 32 total)
  • First mig welder
  • Mowgli
    Free Member

    I have some welding work needing doing, and the prices I’m getting are substantially more than the materials plus welding kit would cost me, so seems like a good opportunity to learn a new skill. It is essentially some 50x50x3 box section with end plates – nothing fancy. The end plates are 8mm thick, so not sure if I need a welder capable of 8mm, or if it goes on the thinner material.

    I’d sort of settled on the Clarke 151TE as a decent option, but have missed a couple of ebay auctions this week and had really hoped to get stuck in this weekend. I’d get a 6kg CO2 bottle for it – no intention to use no-gas. Does anyone have any tips or suggestions for a first machine for this sort of budget? Ideally secondhand, but I might just bite the bullet with a new one if I can’t find a suitable one in good time.

    Cheers!

    benpinnick
    Full Member
    benpinnick
    Full Member

    My research suggests if you want a rent free gas bottle then Adams Gas is the cheapest option.

    sv
    Full Member

    MMA/TIG and just use it in stick mode?

    alric
    Free Member

    you could get a pub co2 gas bottle cheap or free off facebook and a friendly landlord to fill it up for a few quid

    scruffythefirst
    Free Member

    Don’t start with plain CO2, much easier with argoshield. Good machine though, taught myself on one.  Should do 8mm plate into box if you’ve prepared the joints properly.

    revs1972
    Free Member

    How many pieces are you after if that costs more than a welder ?

    scruffythefirst
    Free Member

    How many pieces are you after if that costs more than a welder ?

    Shhh, don’t break the man maths. N=1 is a sufficient number when you consider all the potential other projects that may or may not happen that would offset the cost ten times over.

    jonm81
    Full Member

    you could get a pub CO2 gas bottle cheap or free off facebook and a friendly landlord to fill it up for a few quid

    You could but you can’t weld with it. There have been additives (nitrogen I think) in pub gas for years specifically to stop people using it for welding.

    If the parts are load bearing or will be unsafe if they fail pay a welder to do it.

    alric
    Free Member

    There have been additives (nitrogen I think) in pub gas for years specifically to stop people using it for weldin

    id no idea- what miserable sod’s idea wsa it to do that?

    Mowgli
    Free Member

    How many pieces are you after if that costs more than a welder ?

    Six. 2.2m box with end plates and a couple of simple brackets. Quoted £800+vat, would you believe. Includes galvanizing but that’s only £75. Have asked a bunch of others too who’ve not bothered to quote it which makes me think they’re not interested.

    FB-ATB
    Full Member

    id no idea- what miserable sod’s idea wsa it to do that?

    BOC’s probably!

    revs1972
    Free Member

    £45 x 3 = £135 Box section
    £40 ish plates

    £45 x 8 = £360 1 hour per unit

    £75 Galvanising

    Costs = £610
    Markup on cost 20% = £120

    Yes, can see where they get to £810 + VAT

    As said above, if it’s not structural then fill your boots. Don’t forget to put vent holes either in the box or in the plates on the ends. It needs to be vented.

    Where abouts in the country are you ?

    Mowgli
    Free Member

    Sheffield. I design stuff like this for a living. It’ll be nice to have a go at making it for once! Got a big pile of scrap for practice first.

    tillydog
    Free Member

    >you could get a pub CO2 gas bottle cheap or free off facebook and a friendly landlord to fill it up for a few >quid

    You could but you can’t weld with it. There have been additives (nitrogen I think) in pub gas for years specifically to stop people using it for welding.

    You need to get the right pub gas – Many are a nitrogen/CO2 mix to control the ‘liveliness’ of the beverage (nothing to do with stopping people using it for welding) – If you’ve ever seen Guinness after someone has used a gas mix with too much CO2 you’ll know why!

    Pure CO2 is still widely used (e.g. for post-mix soft drink dispensers) and you can definitely use it for MIG welding, but argon/CO2 mix is much nicer to use and gives neater welds.

    Mowgli
    Free Member

    Here’s some pigeon excretia for your entertainment! A combination of insufficient power, wire speed, gas, surface prep and poor torch control 🙂

    I started getting some better welds on flat plate after some fiddling about, but fillets are still hard.

    Murray
    Full Member

    I’d sort out surface prep – angle grinder with a flapper wheel will get that nice and shiny. Once you’ve got a good looking joint, cut it in half and see how much it’s penetrated- probably not as much as you think.

    revs1972
    Free Member

    and get a few tins of anti-spatter whilst you are at it 😉

    Mowgli
    Free Member

    and get a few tins of anti-spatter whilst you are at it 😉

    I thought you were having me on, a la striped paint and left handed screwdrivers. Sounds handy!

    revs1972
    Free Member

    😂😂😂😂

    scruffythefirst
    Free Member

    If that’s a clarke 150 then turn it up full on that material. You might also want to chamfer the plates. Slow down until you blow a hole in the workpiece.  Then speed up slightly.

    As others have said, clean the rust and scale off the parts.

    BruiseWillies
    Free Member

    Is the 151 the one with the 16a supply or a 13a supply? I had a Clarke 135 with a 13a and I always struggled to do much over 2mm.

    8mm plates you could always heat up with a MAPP torch first?

    Get flat sanding discs for your grinder, get rid of any scale and prep the joints and you should be OK.

    scruffywelder
    Free Member

    For technique: find a comfy chair and break out lots of coffee and biscuits and go through the basic MIG videos from Jody at Welding tips and tricks on YouTube.

    For the welding set: get an R-Tech or Oxford. The chaiwanese sets are pants!

    alric
    Free Member

    try some thinner metal, 2or3mm, to start, dial in the settings there,improve technique, before doing thicker stuff.
    chamfer the edges on thicker steel for better penetration

    trail_rat
    Free Member

    151 is a 16amp supply for Max power you’ll eat 13 amp fuses for breakfast.

    scruffythefirst
    Free Member

    151 is a 16amp supply for Max power you’ll eat 13 amp fuses for breakfast

    Not if you’ve done the sensible thing and wired it up to a 16a socket on it’s own breaker in the garage fuse box.

    trail_rat
    Free Member

    It’s fine on a 13amp on all but the top setting to be fair . I have 16amp in my garage but I visit other locations to weld and have never had 16amp out and about so its not quite that simple.

    But the first thing you should do with your 151 before fitting 16 amp sockets and that is .

    Upgrade the earth wire and clamp @ like night and day when changing from the high resistance supplied unit.

    Mowgli
    Free Member

    I’ve been using it on full power on a 13A plug with no problems so far. Easy enough to put it on it’s own circuit if it does start eating fuses I guess.

    Yeah the earth clamp does seem pretty crap!

    World of difference after I ground the mill scale off:

    tillydog
    Free Member

    Be careful – that doesn’t look welded to me.

    Try some fillets on straight sections of scrap and then hammer them over to see when the weld breaks.  Keep practicing until you can bend the metal over without the weld breaking.

    I think you need to be much hotter to than the weld in the picture to properly fuse into the parent material.

    Mowgli
    Free Member

    Yeah, I don’t think there’s enough penetration into the box section. It’s on max power already, but the flat bar there is about 10mm thick, so probably a bit beyond what it can handle. I have been belting everything I’ve tried with a hammer – think I’m going to need a bigger hammer as I’ve not managed to crack anything yet. Bear in mind I’ve done about half an hour of welding in total so far.

    tillydog
    Free Member

    Bear in mind I’ve done about half an hour of welding in total so far.

    That’s why I’m pointing it out 🙂

    This is what you should be aiming for (6mm plate @ 125 amps – not one of mine, I hasten to add! From here )

    FWIW: I would suggest practising  running beads on a flat plate some more and fine tuning your travel speed & torch angle until you can consistently run welds that are fully fused to the parent metal (rather than sitting on top like the proverbial pigeon sh1t 😉 ).

    (Oh – and sign up on the MIG welding forum where much better people that me will offer constructive advice.)

    VanHalen
    Full Member

    the problem with advice on a forum is they 90% of teh time they are working in a workshop with loads of space and clean metal and a really expensive, highly adjustable machine.

    when you start welding on a vehicle, laying in a road, upside down, with lots of rust, limited access to teh bit you are aiming for, and the reality of what you are aiming for may change! haha!

    10mm is mega thick metal. the thickest on my van chassis was 2mm!

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