Lotus Elan

Which Mig for general DIY?

PostPost by: vincereynard » Sat Mar 23, 2019 5:33 pm

I'm about to buy a MIG.

About £200, capable of Gas and Gasless, able to weld aluminium with correct wire and gas.

https://www.bestspy.co.uk/mig-welders

https://www?.amazon.co.uk/Sealey-SUPERM ... 40Amp-230V

Any suggestions?
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PostPost by: 69S4 » Sat Mar 23, 2019 11:26 pm

Very useful piece of kit. I don't think I could be without one now. Its not that I use it that often but there are times when there is no alternative. I recently needed a flywheel puller for one of my old motorcycles - it has to come off to change the points. I'd have preferred to buy one but it's an odd type and months of searching turned up nothing. £6 of raw materials from eBay, an hour with the welder and off it came.

Mine's an old (25yrs) SIP 130 and showing its age. I'd hope they've moved on in that time but what I've learnt over that period is that, like many things, you get what you pay for. Firstly, don't expect miracles. At the cheaper end they're fine if you're welding 1-3mm mild steel indoors using argon /CO2 gas, 0.6/0.8 wire (garden gates basically) and have a degree of experience to adjust the power settings / wire speed / work rate. Outside of those parameters the cheaper units are increasingly tricky to use. On the pro grade units I trained on you could get 'usable' welds over a wide range of settings - not optimal but often good enough. The consumer units are much more critical. Thin metal in particular is hard as they won't go low enough. I'm not a great fan of the little disposable gas bottles and 'upgraded' mine to a large (not full size) bottle + proper regulator years ago. Far more economical long term.

I can't do aluminium with mine as the wire is too soft to go through the liner without bunching so I've no experience about how new units cope. I learnt to tig weld aluminium and that's the only way I've done it - not now though as I don't have a tig set.

Top tip - buy one of the auto darkening helmets. £30 from Screwfix. A million times better than the hand held ones they chuck in with the welders.
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PostPost by: prezoom » Sun Mar 24, 2019 4:32 am

I have all 4 types of welders, oxy acetylene, arc, Mig and Tig. Each has its place in fabrication. Need something heated or rough cut, the oxy acetylene is the choice. Building a trailer for hauling the car, the arc/stick welder is my first choice. Working on sheet metal, the Mig is quick and dirty. Aluminum, stainless or mild steel including 4130, with a tidy weld, you cannot beat a Tig. If you want to do aluminum with a Mig, you need a spool gun with 100% argon gas, steel mix for mild steel and a regular wire feed gun.
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PostPost by: tdskip » Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:46 pm

If you haven't bought the MIG yet I'd;

1) encourage you to buy one, super handy to have around

2) buy a good one, cheap is a bad idea on this

3) make sure to run gas
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:37 pm

With a budget of £200 i'd be looking to buy a second hand unit, that sort of money new is entry level imho. I bought a Cebora Boxer 175 off ebay for £200 about a year ago for home use, there are deals to be had out there just as long as you make sure it's all working (don't forget to make sure it's single phase too) and don't mind traveling to pick up.

As above gas less has it's uses but gas beats it hands down for quality of weld (just be aware the gas is an extra expense and does tend to add up quick)

Also i wouldn't bother trying to Mig weld Aluminium, it can of course be done but it's surprisingly difficult and really falls in the realms of Tig welders.
Chris
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