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Need help choosing a non-gas welder for 6mm steel

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RickJoW

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Hi

As I am sure you all know finding a decent welder is a bit of a minefield, so I am hoping someone here has suffered that pain and can recommend one that will, in my case, weld 8mm threaded to 6mm knife stock.

I am utterly new to welding and there is a lot of confusing info and what seems to be substandard kit out there. I would stretch to about 200 quid but no more really. Im jsut really confused as to what to get.

If anyone can help I would be grateful, as would im sure someone else in a similar situation.
 

LJM

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For that money I would get a used industrial unit. I picked up a Newarc for £150. They’re good quality and can be repaired if needed.
 

marcros

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I was looking the other night and the small inverter one from rtech gets a good review. Think it was £175.

Used can be a good buy on many things, but if you don't know what you are looking at it is hard to judge. I do respect the knowledge of r tech.
 

Ttrees

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That's not much of a task for any arc welder to heat a wee bit of threadbar to a bit of small plate.
I presume you might have been reading some posts, and some folk might have recommended so and so, is necessary for say 5mm stock...
This is an example of where my wee £40 pound 80 amp bog standard arc welder struggles, butt welding 4 or 5mm thick tubing to some 5mm angle.
Could have made a nicer job with a bit of grinding and using dry rods.
The huge 240amp at the folks would do a better job with 3.2 rods keeping the heat up, as the large amount of material present will suck the heat away, compared to a wee knife,
and penetrating better into the material and depositing the rod into a flatter bead which fills in any pockets more readily.

The wee welder done everything else perfectly in this case.

SAM_4093.JPG


The real question might be, what rods are best for the job of welding tool steel or what the material is to presumably stainless thread.

Not recalling rods which Steve Bleile recommends and bearing in mind that was some time ago when those videos were produced..
Is there a rod which is best suited for the application?
Presuming you could buy these rods in 2.5 mm?

Just asking as the "all weld" rods I've bought locally, thicker ones were the only ones stocked .

Thanks
Tom
 

LJM

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I agree with Ttrees; the type of rod makes a big difference to the weld. Not that brand (though of course there are good, bad and indifferent) but the chemistry of them. I mostly weld underwater so I don’t have enough dry experience to explain or recommend more (the choice of wet welding rod is much narrower, and I’m never buying them anyway), but no doubt others here can talk at length about it.
 

Spectric

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so I am hoping someone here has suffered that pain and can recommend one that will, in my case, weld 8mm threaded to 6mm knife stock.
Not fully knowing what this is for I would suggest that you could easily braze or maybe bronze weld this using a plumbers torch and Map gas, rather than try and learn to weld and buying equipment you may not use that often. If you want to get more serious then get some training and gain some understanding and then buying the gear will be easier. For me I started on gas and MMA, never liked mig but once into Tig that was it, maybe not the fastest process but certainly allows you to produce welds on anything that is weldable.
 

chaoticbob

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Having used only cheapo 'buzz-box' (transformer) stick welders before, I went for a Parweld Xti 160A inverter a couple of years ago. Night and day compared with the old buzz boxes - much friendlier for an occasional and inexpert welder like me. The latest version can be had for £176.50 from eBay.

I'm not sure that brazing is an option here - the OP mentions knife stock, so is presumably going to heat-treat after welding. That will involve soaking the work at somewhere near 800C.
Bob.
 

Spectric

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the OP mentions knife stock
Yes need more info, details about what is being made. I was taught MMA using the old oil cooled Ac welders and positional welding such as vertical up and overhead were a real challenge, with the newer DC welders you now have the option of rod positive or rod negative which would make positional welding easier, you may also now have the option of percentage of positive to negative o give increased flexability. With TIG you can weld 2mm steel to 10mm steel and get a good fillet with penetration quiet easily, much more difficult with MMA, but then you do have a very precise concentrated heat source of over 3000°C at the end of your tungsten.
 

TRITON

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One of the probs i see with arc is the length of the rods. I dont think it would be easy to hold steady enough, given all movement is amplified.
 

Ttrees

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But you need to have a bit of wobble, be it circular motion or over and back, often this is easier done with a new rod, and the more the rod gets used, the more you have to move to drag the bead around...
more so with a smaller welder like mine using 2.5mm rods, you need to stay close and move, rather than using a larger unit and rod, being further away from the material, the larger arc being produced lends itself well to producing a nicer bead, i.e not having to move about quite as much.

The larger welder has a big heavy cable which tends to get hung up due to its weight, and a greater pull compared to
a smaller unit with more manageable weight of cable, which doesn't seem to snag from its own weight, so no bother being staying closer to the work and doing a few wee circles.

I keep a few half rods if I happen to stop, often changing to a new one if I see a clear run ahead, same with ones with an inch or two left
Handy for all sorts awkward locations and the smaller for a cosmetic at the end, which for the likes of that butt weld above might be handy instead of grinding loads of material away to get some sort shape.

If you fail getting the metal where you want, then grind it away along with any slag, and try again.

Still curious on what suggestions might be for the rods if the OP decides to buy an arc welder.
I would think that 2.5mm would be the most suitable for the job,
using the rule of thumb which probably goes something along the lines of... to get it as hot as you can without melting through the material.

Worth considering one like my wee thing if buying new and only wanting to do small jobs and are very tight of space.
I had a look on the bay and couldn't find anything in the same £40 price point, and those welders were on sale a few months ago, so likely a long wait?
Hopefully those wee blue cast iron vices come in September, wouldn't be surprised if they bring in some welders afterwards.
 

LJM

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One of the probs i see with arc is the length of the rods. I dont think it would be easy to hold steady enough, given all movement is amplified.
you guide the rod much like a snooker cue
 

RickJoW

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Thanks for all the replies fellas.

Ill be using it for welding threaded 8mm bar to 6mm 1095 stock (mostly) only a few of the reccomendations require a 16 amp (generator style) plug and I want to be using domestic power. I shant be spluging on a generator as welding will be a small and infrequent part of what I am doing. Any thoughts on one that will do that from a domestic power supply?
 

RickJoW

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I went ahead and got a Röhr SMINI-140NI - ARC Welder Inverter MMA 240 V / 140 Amp DC with 2.5 mm rods. Apparently it will do what I want..we shall see.

Thanks for all the help guys!
 

Ttrees

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Eager to see what rods will be the best for the job, unsure if 1095 is stainless, and presuming you would choose suitable rods which might be similar properties if it is.
Hopefully you can get them the size you want for your welder,
and for the job at hand, as it will need be turned down for the job.

I'd be wary I'd end up misusing one of those inverter type welders myself,
but heard that they start an arc with much more ease.

Good luck with it

Tom
 

Spectric

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One of the probs i see with arc is the length of the rods. I dont think it would be easy to hold steady enough, given all movement is amplified.
If using small diameter rods that are more difficult to keep steady then don't just hold the rod holder, you can also hold the rod until it is shorter so it is more controllable.

The larger welder has a big heavy cable which tends to get hung up due to its weight, and a greater pull
Not a problem if you wrap it around your arm, then it is supported. I also use this method with my TIG because you have a fair weight of cable, control wires, gas hose and coolant hoses.
 

TFrench

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Thanks for all the replies fellas.

Ill be using it for welding threaded 8mm bar to 6mm 1095 stock (mostly) only a few of the reccomendations require a 16 amp (generator style) plug and I want to be using domestic power. I shant be spluging on a generator as welding will be a small and infrequent part of what I am doing. Any thoughts on one that will do that from a domestic power supply?
I've recently upgraded our welder at work to a 16a plug. It's well worth the effort - gives a noticeably smoother arc at higher amps. Its something you can always do in future though.
 

hawkeyefxr

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Yes i go with the cabling be it Arc or Co2 to offset the weight, you can also droop it over your shoulder as well. No matter how light it feels after a few minutes it get heavy trying to control the weld point.
Positional welding is very satisfying, the spatter falling on you not so though.
 

Phil Pascoe

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Arc welding? Don't wear nylon socks. I have vivid recollections of blobs of molten slag running down the inside of my shoe, melting the sock to the skin. Standing on a 12" RSJ a hundred feet off the ground with no safety gear you get used to letting it burn and not trying to tear your shoes and socks off. :LOL:
 
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