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Arnold9801

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Could anyone advise me on what’s would be a good starter mig welder pleas in the £100-£200 price range either brand new or second hand in good condition/little used.

Have been meaning to start to learn for a long time as I have come up against numerous situations that need welding and to have my own would be ideal.

If anyone has one they would consider selling also please get in touch. Although I live in West Cornwall, I will be coming up to South Wales quite soon in terms of possible pay & collect.

Thank you
 

Lazurus

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Have a look at the R-Tech range I use the MIG, TIG and plasma cutter, very stuff and excellent customer service. If you are looking at gassless Clarke seem popular entry level but I have no personal experience
 

Sideways

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Having recently done a 25 hour welding course, i'll just chip in that our instructor - a skilled chap with 20+ years of solid experience - was absolutely dismissive of gassless migs.
The vital statistic for a welder is the duty cycle at whatever current you need to use.
More current = ability to weld thicker plate.
Welding a bench out of 6mm angle needs a lot more current than fixing car body panels.
Either way:
20% duty cycle means you can weld for 2 minutes in every 10, and have to spend the other 8 letting the innards of the welder cool down.
40% means 4 minutes welding, 6 minutes waiting, etc.
Don't expect to get much for £100 to £200.
 

deema

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I was also on the course with Sideways, I would add, that although I had a MIG welder, and had been around MIG welding most of my working life, I didn’t actually know how to do it practically. The course was brilliant, Arc, MIG and an intro to TIG & Brazing. From that course not only can I now make a weld that will hold together but I also know what to look for when buying welding sets. I would highly recommend you first get yourself on a course to save both money and a lot of frustrating hours fiddling around.

If you’ve got 3ph, you can often find industrial sets that will weld anything being given away for free........which is how I came to have mine.
 

novocaine

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zero point buying a gasless, they are not worth it. you can run a MIG on flux core without gas, means swapping the polarity over but that's it. only real benefit is the size of the box (no gas is smaller as it's missing half the stuff)
200 quid is going to be something like a clarke 125/145, not great, but usable enough with a bit of practice. you'll need to be sticking another 100 notes on there for a decent mask, gloves, apron/jacket as well as consumables (tips, wire, etc.).
both are something like a 40%-60% duty, both are fan cooled.
145 amps will let you burn a hole in 2mm plate with a bit of time. welding thicker stuff is possible if you know how to grind a fillet and do multiple passes. I've been happy enough to use similar on car bodies and done some fairly thick work with my little equivalent of it (kennedy, same thing with a different badge) that now lives with fluxcore in it all the time as I've got the big Kemppi for everything else).

I'd agree that a course is well worth the investment, yes you can learn for yourself but it's an up hill battle to get to the bottom of the curve never mind to a point on the curve that you'd be considered competent (10,000 hours to master any skill).
 

Arnold9801

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Thank you for your replies and advice. Sadly it's a case of buying the best you can afford although I know the limitations of my budget!

Will keep on looking for a little used second hand mig (not gasless!)

Arnold9801
 

novocaine

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does it have to be MIG?
if it's thick stuff (+2mm) then you might find you can use arc (. a cheap inverter with a crapish duty cycle but it's less than anything else. a cheap transformer unit will be cheaper for a better duty cycle.
it will also teach you how to weld for real instead of jumping to the dumbstick.
:lol:
 

Arnold9801

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Ok...I’ve been able to up my budget to £300.00 so am keeping my eyes open for a little used second hand as well.

It’s funny, whenever you’re desperate for something, enough is never enough!

Arnold9801
 

TFrench

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The bulk of my welding has been MIG. Self taught mainly, but in the last couple of years I've watched a lot of weldingtipsandtricks on youtube which has improved my welding immensely.
 

TFrench

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We've got a 180amp single phase lincoln machine at work. It must be nearly 20 years old now and its been super reliable. Getting set up certainly isn't cheap, but most of it is one time purchases. Decent hood and gloves are a must. Hobbygas sell argon to DIY'ers without the expense of a bottle contract. Be very careful with the sparks - they can travel a long way! If I could find somewhere local that did tuition I'd definitely do it.
 

Beanwood

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Sideways":eukrgwzc said:
Having recently done a 25 hour welding course....

More current = ability to weld thicker plate.


.
Didn't your instructor tell you welding output is measured in volts, not current :wink:
 

Trevanion

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I've got an old Pickhill arc welder, yah it's a bit crude and it definitely isn't the most portable thing in the world (Small unit but must weigh over 50kgs!) but it gets the job done quite well provided you've got decent technique with the stick!

They can be had for peanuts secondhand and they're built to last practically ad infinitum.
 

hawkeyefxr

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Have spent many years welding all sorts of metals using all types of welding machines, mainly big stuff like 400amps.
There are plenty of replies about types of welders (give gas less a complete miss)

If you get a mig remember when your actually welding it should sound like frying bacon (don't try to eat it though).

When you get your welder or before, find a sheet metal fabrication place and ask to speak to a manager as you will need their permission. Ask if you can raid their scrap skip, they may say no but just say you want to practice and will bering back all the bits you stick together. They get a lot of money for scrap these days, we virtually gave it away in my day.

The thinner the work piece the harder it is, just do little tack type welds till they are jointed up. Thicker metal 3mm and about is quite easy.
 

pcb1962

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Just a warning about practising on scrap - make sure it's not galvanised (google how to tell). If you weld galvanised without the correct PPE the the zinc fumes will make you very unwell. If you need to weld galvanised you can remove the zinc with hydrochloric acid - I use Everbuild Brick Cleaner.
 

Sideways

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Beanwood":2nk47x1i said:
Sideways":2nk47x1i said:
Having recently done a 25 hour welding course....

More current = ability to weld thicker plate.


.
Didn't your instructor tell you welding output is measured in volts, not current :wink:
No.

"Output" can be defined in many ways in many contexts. If defining it in Volts is a convention in welding, I've never come across it.

Ohms Law tells you that Voltage and current are just different sides of the same coin.

On the seven grand Miller's that we got to play with, we dialled the output in in Amps. The machine varies the Voltage up or down automatically to deliver whatever current we set.

Ever noticed how everyone advertises welding sets as 160, 200, 300 Amps though some do give output Voltages in the spec's too :)
 

Arnold9801

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By “hook and by crook” I’ve e got my budget up to £500 and am certain I’m going for the Lincoln Bester 190c. This was a close shave with the R Tech 180.

Arnold9801
 

Beanwood

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Sideways":1urriizz said:
Beanwood":1urriizz said:
Sideways":1urriizz said:
Having recently done a 25 hour welding course....

More current = ability to weld thicker plate.


.
Didn't your instructor tell you welding output is measured in volts, not current :wink:
No.

"Output" can be defined in many ways in many contexts. If defining it in Volts is a convention in welding, I've never come across it.

Ohms Law tells you that Voltage and current are just different sides of the same coin.
Perhaps you should get a refund :mrgreen:

It's just a trivial point really, and I only know as I was corrected having made the same assertion myself (My instructor a BS inspector was qualified by too many years as a boilermaker) Ohms law actually involves resistance, so things like diameter of the wire, cleanliness of the surface, earth points all make a difference, (it was 40+ years ago but V=IR) but I'm just teasing.

Others are far more eloquent than me, but if you're actually interested, this may help:
https://www.mig-welding.co.uk/forum/thr ... age.33095/
Or from Lincoln: https://www.lincolnelectric.com/en-gb/s ... utput.aspx

In the end, I apologise, I wrote the original post when I was in a bad mood - it's all academic in my eyes- you put out more, or less, power to suit the job in hand.

Wood is in many ways easier.
 

Beanwood

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Arnold9801":5uaxmqk4 said:
By “hook and by crook” I’ve e got my budget up to £500 and am certain I’m going for the Lincoln Bester 190c. This was a close shave with the R Tech 180.

Arnold9801
Lincoln are a good brand so well done. My Rtech 180 suits me well, and as I bought it preowned, was a bit of a bargain.
Have you gone for auto dimming head shield? Makes things a bit easier. I also find wearing my reading glasses makes a vast improvement to my welding as I can better see the molten pool.
 
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