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Which Arc welder?

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lostminute

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Has anyone had experience of one of the 'cheapo' Arc welders ie between £75 - £100. ...any advice and/or comments would be appreciated.

Thanks
Gerry
 

Ttrees

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Hello
Are you referring to the basic 180 amp stick ones.

I don't have one of those, as I don't have the space, but imagine you could get away with using 3.2mm rods?

For comparison, I can give some insight into my wee shoe box sized parkside 40 pounds in lidl, will overheat fairly rapidly using those, would likely damage it doing so constantly, and would have to wait until thermal switch turns it on again in five minutes.
(Its only rated for 2.5 electrodes.)

For me, fixing small things regularly, it gets me by.
It will still do a big job if you can wait.
Say you wish to make something from 2" angle iron, 5mm thick, AKA (50x50x5) so likely as hefty as anyone might need,
Pushing it a bit with my wee 80a welder without cooling device.
You've got about half an hour making progress with 2.5mm rods before that happens.
Enough to get a few good tacks in and just about a start, and in to the house for two big cups of tea.
3.2 rods would be more suitable for the 5mm, but the wee welder will make you better using the 2.5mm rods.
I was using the 240 amp welder at the folks recently, forgot how heavy the leads are.
The wee one is very nifty in comparison, and I even like the wee shield compared to the heavier one, never liked not having a counter balance in me other hand.

I think the 180a ones have a fan, so presumably thermal cut out, is not an issue?
Only seen one going for the same price recently as my wee thing, although I haven't the space.
Electrode gun and glass for shield together should only be about 5 or 6 pounds at the local agri/home place which is likely the cheapest place to buy rods.


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Just about enough power for an unintentional melt through.
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Spectric

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Buy a second hand Oxford oil cooled, there are also other old oil cooled but not a modern invertor type as they are just a good solid machine that will stand years of abuse, forget cheapo welders as they will just frustrate you and make you think you will never learn to weld.
 

powertools

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Has anyone had experience of one of the 'cheapo' Arc welders ie between £75 - £100. ...any advice and/or comments would be appreciated.

Thanks
Gerry
I think you need to give us much more information about what you want to do with it.
 

bourbon

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If you have never welded before, Be prepared to budget for your PPE. Throw away the hand held masks they come with. even a cheap Leopard auto darkening mask off e-bay is better than them. Also welding gloves and an apron. Don't weld with bare arms, even in this weather
 

Phil Pascoe

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Buy a second hand Oxford oil cooled, there are also other old oil cooled but not a modern invertor type as they are just a good solid machine that will stand years of abuse, forget cheapo welders as they will just frustrate you and make you think you will never learn to weld.
One on evilbay in Somerset.
 

Fergie 307

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Look at the recent thread about tools from Lidl 6th June. Loads in there about the Parkside flux core machine. Looks pretty good judging by the results. £79, although they will all have gone by now !
 

heimlaga

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Learning to weld with a too cheaply made welder is one of the most efficient ways there are to convince yourself that you lack ability to learn.
A secondhand welder of good quality is usually a way better buy though it may need some repairs.

As others have said you need a good welding mask and a cotton overall and a leather apron and a pair of leather gloves. Those help you set your clothes on fire only once or twice a year instead of doing it several times a day.

Personally I want a stick welder to have reasonable intermittence at 150 amperes. Then one can use 3,2mm rods which are needed whenever welding materials of any significant thickness.
Direct currenmt welders are the only ones with buying. AC stick welding is for good reasons quickly fading into the past.

Myself I have a 200A Unitor rectifyer manufactured in Norway probably in the 1960-ies. Runs on 3 phase 400volt. A very high end professional grade machine in it's day. Produces great welds and did not cost much. I think I paid 90 euros for it some 15 years ago. We have had to do quite a bit of repair work to it though but I have used it a lot in those years. I will never sell it as long as it can be repaired. I have later bought another similar welder for 50 euros just in case.
 
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Ttrees

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I find the grinding is what does the damage.
Still looking around for an old sofa so I can make an apron that will hang on the back of the door.

Good to know that the 180 amp ones have the juice for 3.2mm.
If I ever need one, there's always one for sale used going for 50quid/£40.

Everyone suggests staying away from those cheap wire flux ones,
although what else can you get the money...
Presume you'd have to double it to get something just good enough?
Might be worth a punt if one was used, what would that be for a £79 welder, to accompany a cheap arc?

To me..rods aren't expensive enough to justify needing a good arc welder,
so eager to see if its often the same deal with the flux core ones.
I've never priced rolls, nor have an idea how fast they get used.
Are there any folks happy with theirs?
 

Fergie 307

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Have to say I would have agreed with avoiding cheap flux core machines. The ones I used some 15 years ago were awful. However things move on and if you look at the thread about Lidl tools 6th June there is a lot about their £79 flux core machine. The welds achieved by someone with no previous experience are pretty impressive. Certainly worth a look of you just want something for occasional use on fairly small stuff, up to about 4-5mm. And that was using the wire that came with it, probably not the greatest, so put some good wire in it and it ought to be even better.
 
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