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Ethan

Any MIG welders?
« on: October 23, 2014, 11:14:59 AM »
Do any of you guys have experience MIG welding?
I'm looking for a starter MIG welding machine--something good enough that I can learn with and grow into but hopefully won't break the bank. I mostly want to work with mild steel and aluminum.
Suggestions?
I am just the Web Geek here.


abbey road d enfer

Re: Any MIG welders?
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2014, 12:23:48 PM »
Do any of you guys have experience MIG welding?
I'm looking for a starter MIG welding machine--something good enough that I can learn with and grow into but hopefully won't break the bank. I mostly want to work with mild steel and aluminum.
Suggestions?
I have a Güde 120Amp; I don't know if it is available in the US. I paid less than 200 Euros four years ago. You have to add the mask and some accessories.
I had the choice between an 80 Amp and this one; after some discussion I took the larger one.
MIG welding is easy; there are good lessons on the web. It's necessary because it's somewhat different than arc welding (for which I had formal teaching in the last century).
Just like a musical instrument, you have to practice to get good.
I must admit I have no experience with aluminium.
Who's right or wrong is irrelevant. What matters is what's right or wrong.
"The important thing is not to convince, but to give pause for thought." (B. Werber)
Star ground is for electricians.

Mr. Snoid

Re: Any MIG welders?
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2014, 04:18:18 PM »
I have a small Miller (Baby Blue?) that runs on 110. Way better than the Harbor Freight crap. Here is a place it probably pays to spend a bit more and get a quality brand. You'll need a gas regulator/flow meter and a cheap cart (here you can buy Harbor Freight) and a tank of gas.  An auto dimming helmet is also highly recommended.

For mild steel, you can use a CO2/argon mix and get pretty good results on smaller gauge stuff like a chassis. Just remember that heat does some pretty crazy sh*t with sheet metal.  better to do many small passes than try to lay long beads. And the thinner the sheet, the more it warps.  Like anything worth doing right, it takes practice to get to good at it.

Tod
When the shepherd is weak, the wolf sh*ts wool.

abbey road d enfer

Re: Any MIG welders?
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2014, 05:17:25 PM »
I forgot to mention, mine is the non-gas type.
It allegedly is not as clean as gas-type, but I think the benefit of not having to deal with the gas bottles is considerable.
I would probably have a different perspective if I was using it intensively.
Who's right or wrong is irrelevant. What matters is what's right or wrong.
"The important thing is not to convince, but to give pause for thought." (B. Werber)
Star ground is for electricians.

The Kid

Re: Any MIG welders?
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2014, 01:14:07 AM »
Lincoln has good beginner sets, and you can get them almost everywhere.  They have a wire feed welder kit like abbey road has, that you can change to MIG later if you so desire.  The kit comes with the gauges and all the stuff to make it a true MIG machine (Metal Inert Gas).  They also come with videos.  And, as pointed out, it's all about practice, you can't learn welding by reading about it, it's hands on (literally).  Everybody always says MIG is easier, which is probably true for beginners, but personally, arc and gas (oxyacetylene) was easier for me.  That might be because when I learned it, they started us on gas, because (as we were told) once you master gas, the others are easy to pick up.  TIG is fun, too, but you have the foot pedal to deal with, along with both hands!   8)
I know enough to be dangerous

Mr. Snoid

Re: Any MIG welders?
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2014, 10:40:23 AM »
The kid is right.  The Lincoln line seems to be more affordable when I look at prices, and it is one of the founding companies in arc welding. If you use a good fluxcore wire there is no reason you can't get good results on steel sheet once you get the hang of it.

Good luck.
Tod
When the shepherd is weak, the wolf sh*ts wool.

Ethan

Re: Any MIG welders?
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2014, 11:58:00 AM »
Yeah, I've been watching several videos.  Practicing a new skill will be fun.

I saw a few lincolns that looked nice.  I was also looking at this Hobart:
http://www.amazon.com/Hobart-500559-Handler-Wire-Welder/dp/B009X43F38/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1414165559&sr=8-1&keywords=hobart+handler+140

The gas part has me worried a bit--not the actual handling part, but finding a place to get it locally (Baltimore, MD area).  I'm curious if they'll deliver to a residential area. 
This is exciting.  I just want to weld some metal together to make unusable bigger pieces of metal! 8)
I am just the Web Geek here.

Gold

Re: Any MIG welders?
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2014, 12:17:56 PM »
I have been meaning to try brazing. It's supposed to work on any metal but be especially good on soft metals. I know MIG is supposed to be good for dissimilar metals.

If you just need to work with aluminum have you considered brazing?

Sorry to clutter the thread.

JohnRoberts

Re: Any MIG welders?
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2014, 12:32:19 PM »
Welding will be a good paying job skill if this website thing doesn't work out.  ;D ;D .

 I did some arc welding in my teens using my older brother's (Sears) arc welder. He had a set of tanks and did gas welding too, but I mainly used the arc welder.  Gas welding and brazing seems like it should be easier as you can apply the heat more slowly. Arc welding only has two speeds, go and stop...

Back then MIG TIG welding was pretty exotic...   Heli-arc using an inert gas to prevent oxidation was around and used for welding aluminum but I never used one.

JR
John Roberts
http://circularscience.com
Tune it, or don't play it...

The Kid

Re: Any MIG welders?
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2014, 11:33:53 AM »

The gas part has me worried a bit--not the actual handling part, but finding a place to get it locally (Baltimore, MD area).  I'm curious if they'll deliver to a residential area. 
This is exciting.  I just want to weld some metal together to make unusable bigger pieces of metal! 8)

I'm trying to figure out the same thing, we have a lot of different places here, just trying to figure the cheapest way.  There's actually a place really close to me, but they're a little more expensive.  But you can get small bottles, too, so if you find a place, you don't have to worry about how to haul it.  Smaller bottles just mean less welding time, so depends on how much stuff you're gonna weld.  And then you get into buying the bottle outright, or leasing.  My oxyacet. setup, I originally bought 15 years ago in another town,  I just leased it.  That way, you just go in, and they swap bottles with you.  If you buy it outright, you just get it refilled.  Most of the stuff I weld is for car stuff, so I use C25, which is 25% CO2 & 75% argon.  It's good for general use, and also cast and stainless. 

The main difference between brazing (braze welding) and welding is brazing just joins the parts, like soldering, whereas welding (fusion) melts the parent metal.  It's great for stuff like copper and brass.  And aluminum is just tricky because it melts at a lower temp. than steel, so you have to be careful, or you'll blow right through whatever you're welding!   :o



And, yes, it is exciting, any time you can actually join steel together , it kinda makes you feel  "all powerful", heh-heh!   
I know enough to be dangerous


Ethan

Re: Any MIG welders?
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2014, 10:24:09 AM »
I have been meaning to try brazing. It's supposed to work on any metal but be especially good on soft metals. I know MIG is supposed to be good for dissimilar metals.

If you just need to work with aluminum have you considered brazing?

Sorry to clutter the thread.
I hadn't considered brazing (never heard of it until now!).  But I would like the versatility of MIG being able to work with a few different metals.
I am just the Web Geek here.

JohnRoberts

Re: Any MIG welders?
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2014, 12:13:21 PM »
I don't think brazing works with aluminum. (AFAIk you need the inert gas environment to prevent oxidation).

FWIW the modern aluminum trucks being built by Ford are using a lot of adhesives instead of welding to hold things together. I have difficulty imaging an aluminum chassis glued together but body metal nowadays is probably glued togehter.

JR
John Roberts
http://circularscience.com
Tune it, or don't play it...

Gold

Re: Any MIG welders?
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2014, 02:32:03 PM »
I don't think brazing works with aluminum. (AFAIk you need the inert gas environment to prevent oxidation).

It does. You use flux and a brazing alloy. You can braze any metal including stainless steel. It's not as strong as welding for steel. You only need a torch to braze so the cost of entry is very low.

Whoops

Re: Any MIG welders?
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2016, 06:12:45 PM »
Been looking into learning brazing lately and get also a starters setup for different metals and also aluminum,

This video shows something that might work for me, for small type jobs, what do you guys think?

Brazing aluminum with a propane torch and brazing rods:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtvOkI_pvMI





Re: Any MIG welders?
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2016, 07:37:26 PM »
Miller or Lincoln are the most popular in North America with good support and dealer networks.

Look at both and see which one feels the best....both are excellent.

The gas is easy to find at many stores.

As I recall welding aluminum requires that you change the feed line to the hand set so that the aluminum wire feed is not contaminated. 

If you are remotely serious about true Might welding buy the complete setup at the beginning as the cost of upgrading is the same or more.

Good videos on YouTube. 

Cheers and enjoy!
Mac

Timothytitus88

Re: Any MIG welders?
« Reply #15 on: June 21, 2016, 01:06:38 AM »

Hey.

Mig welding, Easy to at least get some weld down without too much practice. I have done plenty of very average MIG and cleaned away my sins with a grinder.

But always wanted to TIG, so finally I am going to night school later this year to learn.

I know with TIG, welding aluminium requires an AC welder, and most of the cheap ones are only DC. Aluminium welding is meant to be more difficult than steel and stainless, and uses things like pulsed current as well. Not sure if this applies to MIG, but check before you buy that the machine is capable of welding Ali.

Cheers,

T