Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
RB30X

What MIG do I buy for working on the Z

Recommended Posts

when i had lessons i was  taught to use the less amp setting possible to reduce heat

i havnt had to turn my little bugger up full yet  ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ive inherited my old mans 170amp mig thats approx 15years old.

 

use argoshiled light for the gas. do have different size rollers, inner sheet for 0.6, 0.8, 0.9 and 1mm

 

also welded stainless steel with it and fairly thick plates. look for Duty cycle % to be higher if going to be doing prolonged welding ie making your front fence or a gate. most are around 20% to 35% for non heavy industrial models.

 

mine is bulky unit but for car and around the home its good enough. though showing its age now im looking at upgrading soon. most prob will go for cigweld around 200A. personaly gasless are useless and i will never buy one. i guess going from gas to gasless needs some getting used to but so much easier with gas.

 

gas bottle rental is around 170 per year for E size bottle from BOC with 1 full charge for the first year. recharge is around $70-80.  should last you a fair bit depending on welding.

 

i use mine fairly regualarly one bottle is fine per year, but some years i did get up to to three refills.

 

also auto darkening visors are to me a MUST. makes the whole thing so much easier expecialy if u novice. not to say it will save your eyes.1 flash is all that is needed to have a very very sleepless and painfull nite.

 

it feels like somone filled your eyes with sand and rubbed it in. when u close eye lids feels like u running sandpaper accross them constantly. so if in for a torcher or have a third arm dont get one  8)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Mick, using least amps possible is a good option for welding thin sections such as panels, but for good penetration on thicker materials more amps the better. You can tell when you've got it right when the weld becomes part of the two surfaces being joined, instead of sitting on top. I try to aim for the most amps possible without blowing holes, as this gives a stronger weld, that requires a lot less grinding to prep for paint. when I'm in the zone there is often no grinding to be done at all, mind you I spend at least 6 hours welding per week, sometimes a lot more. But as long as the job is getting done and is working for you theres not much point debating the pro's and con's of how to set up your welder.

Cheers.

Pete.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thought I might drop into this thread.

 

Im doing a welding/machining/fitting (pretty much everything) course  (Trying to get out of mining) and at the moment im focusing on mig. Ive tried both gas and gasless and I would agree with most of the guys in this thread, gasless seem tedious and harder to perfect.

 

I would also have to agree with the auto darkening sheilds, after the first 3 days of welding with the normal helmet I cracked it and went and bought myself a auto darkening sheild. However I bought a cheap ebay model...... big mistake (what can i say, im a cheapskate). Pain ensued that night and a great deal of swearing! So the day after I went all out and bought myself an expensive one from BOC. Much better!

 

Anyways I would also have to agree with zzzzed on the less amps the better on car panels, my teachers and my fiances cousin both couldn't stress that enough to me. Then when I had a go on some cut up car panels it was ever so apparent when I went all maverick and tried to crank up the amps just to see what happened. HELLO! Even with tacks and clamps it warped to the crapper. So I suppose if you only want to weld up car panels and just the odd thing or two then a small cig transmig or something like that would do the job. Even if you wanted to do thicker gauge steel you can still bevel the edges and do multi passes?

 

I've had a play with arc and oxy welding and I reckon that if you tried that on a thin car panel without considerable experience you would mangle the panel and more than likely just keep blowing the metal away.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One last say and then I'll retreat as a gentleman from this conversation.  The guys who say a gasless Mig will not do the job probably haven't used one at any length or don't know how to weld.  By all means use gas if it's helping with your welding however to say that it is imperative to get a full penetration weld is at best erroneous information.

Rev.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gas sheilded welds certainly look better straight after, but if all you're doing is welding in a floor pan and you don't mind cleaning it up with a flap disc (best invention the world!) than painting over it then surely a gasless would do the job providing you're getting the penetration req.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to follow reverendzed's lead and retreat.  Gas vs gasless has been discussed with some heat in many other forums as well.  I think universally professionals and anyone who regularly welds will go with gas and will consider gasless as useless. 

 

I'm not a professional and I do a few hours every 6 months or so doing nothing more than patching panels on my Z.  My gasless mig is adequate for the job and I don't mind having to clean up the mess.  It also cost me peanuts to get started with and make my own decision on which way to go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gas vs gasless has been discussed with some heat in many other forums

 

I've done a tafe corse in arc welding, but I'd never own or run one, there horrid things

 

As for the gas and Mig's, with out the Argon bottle turned on I can't weld

It just doesn't work and makes a huge mess.

 

but reverendzed is right in saying that I'm one of thoes guys that's never used a gasless mig.

 

I'm sure they work great other wise they wouldn't make them. But saying that, they make Arc welders and I think there usless

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One last say and then I'll retreat as a gentleman from this conversation.  The guys who say a gasless Mig will not do the job probably haven't used one at any length or don't know how to weld.  By all means use gas if it's helping with your welding however to say that it is imperative to get a full penetration weld is at best erroneous information.

Rev.

 

Im going to change my last post to reflect this. They do the job but in comparison to gas they just seem tedious and are easy to make mistakes with. As far as I know and have seen when using them at my course you have a far greater chance of getting contaminanation into your weld (leading to rust), especially if your a novice like me :P t. On the other hand they are much cheaper :) Anyways im going to stop spouting crap as they both have there place.

 

I've done a tafe corse in arc welding, but I'd never own or run one, there horrid things

 

As for the gas and Mig's, with out the Argon bottle turned on I can't weld

It just doesn't work and makes a huge mess.

 

but reverendzed is right in saying that I'm one of thoes guys that's never used a gasless mig.

 

I'm sure they work great other wise they wouldn't make them. But saying that, they make Arc welders and I think there usless

 

Did the mig have gasless wire in it? The way you wrote that it seemed like you were talking about using a mig without gasless wire in it, in which case your weld would just about always be wrecked no?!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welding with the bottle turned off on a gas MIG is absolutely nothing like using a gasless MIG.  Gas MIGs use solid wire (incidentally its the same material as used in TIG filler rods, and can be used as such in a pinch!), and the gas flows out of the nozzle around the wire.  The wire used in gasless migs has a flux core, which acts somewhat like the coating on an electrode for arc welding (yes, that coating takes the place of gas in arc welding).  Hence you end up with the slag on top of the weld similar to arc welding, as instead of a smooth flow of gas around the arc and metal pool, the shielding elements are actually being thrown out from in the pool as the wire melts.  

 

Arc welding will do a fine job in the right hands and conditions, generally pretty clumsy for thin stuff as noted although it CAN be used.  More often used in serious construction work and shipbuilding.

 

A gasless mig will do fine for what you want to do, a little more cleanup than gas, but hey, the weld needs to be ground smooth in this situation anyway, right?

 

PERSONALLY, (having just spent bloody ages on the watch till I found my TIG welder), I'd be scouring classifieds and Ebay looking for a good brand secondhand gas unit, and running the little disposable bottles if you want to avoid gas bottle rental.  Out of what is currently on ebay, this http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Mig-Procraft-Welder-240_W0QQitemZ270427003392QQcmdZViewItemQQptZAU_BnI_Woodworking_Metalworking?hash=item3ef6b49a00&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=65%3A1|66%3A2|39%3A1|293%3A1|294%3A50 would be my first choice - I have used one a fair bit, and its a pretty decent unit which would cost twice as much to buy new.  Probably at the high end of what you want to spend (although it's around the 3 you posted earlier on), but right at the moment there actually isn't much else on there - last week there was a couple of extremely high quality MIGs up for stupidly low prices (and that's what I'd be waiting for).  I think from memory one was a Kemppi unit for under $800?  Don't be afraid to pick up an older unit if its from one of the good brands (Miller, Lincoln, Kemppi, Fronius, ESAB, BOC, and one or two others), as they will still weld smoother than a lot of the new cheapies.

 

Take for example my (estimated) ten year old Kemppi AC/DC TIG welder.  A fabricator mate came over to have a go, turned it on and flicked one or two switches to set it to AC, pumped the amps up a little, and laid down a perfect bead on a piece of aluminum plate.  First thing he said - "I love this welder.  Took me 3/4 of the day to set up my bloody chinese made inverter TIG to weld this smoothly."  

 

Freight isn't too bad either if you buy something interstate - I paid $105 from Sydney to Melbourne for mine, which I dimensioned as 100cm x 100cm x 40cm and 200kg.  Was actually a bit less than those dimension in the end (particularly weight, its more like 140kg).  That was using www.transdirect.com.au.

 

And while on the subject of TIG, converting your arc welder to run as one is not such a silly idea.... After all, with car panels you tend to only do little spots all round your patch, then let it cool and go again - its a pretty slow process anyhow, it wouldn't really be any slower with a TIG?  There was a conversion unit on Ebay last week for about $100....

 

Just my opinion, not to be transcribed down on stone tablets and quoted every Sunday morning.  However, if you are interested in looking at secondhand units, I can pass on a few tips which may help you pick a good unit no-one else will bid on (out of time at the moment).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did the mig have gasless wire in it? The way you wrote that it seemed like you were talking about using a mig without gasless wire in it, in which case your weld would just about always be wrecked no?!

 

I have a BOC 200amp gas mig welder with normal wire and huge bottle of argon light shield.

If I forget to turn the bottle back on after taking a break or something it won't weld properly as expected and yes the weld would be "wrecked"

 

The gasless migs having a flux core wire means they should work perfectly fine

 

Thanks for the info too Zeddophile

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey reverendz,

tone down your remarks, your not retreating like a gentleman, your having a swipe. You should have been able to see from my post that I am an experienced welder. That is I have many years of experience brazing copper, brass, stainless and composites, welding thin, thick and heavy duty metals. And people pay me for my work. I wrote my reply to a guy who has little or no experience welding, a gasless mig for him will be a complete waste of time(that is, he will not get good welds, and it will be frustrating for some time). Nobody in the industry uses a gasless mig unless they have to, ie onsite welding in tricky situations. A good gasless mig for onsite welding is approx $4000. I have one which I use for welding reo bars in insitu-concrete walls at height, but always take my gas mig for the lower walls. Why would I recommend a gasless mig or an arc welder when I know that he is going to have a much better success with a good quality gas mig.

As for all the remarks on using the minimum amps - think about it. The idea of all welding is to match your amps and feed rate to the situation. If simply going for minimum amps then why not just buy a 1 amp mig. Because it wont do the job. You can call it the maximum or the minimum. Start high and adjust down until you get a good penetration without blowing holes - there you have your minumum. Start low and adjust up until you get good penetration - there you have your maximum. Same thing.

Does anyone have something intelligent to add, or does someone else want to test my knowledge of welding.

Peter.

BSc building technology.

BSc Toxicology.

Dip Horticulture.

Welding courses: Arc welding. Mig welding. Brazing, soldering.

12 years commercial experience.

I know all........(just kidding)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing that hasn't been noted yet is different brands of mig's have different amount of setting to control the power level (voltage).

 

When buying a mig welder for the first time all the buttons and nobs on the control panel mean nothing, untill someone explains what there all for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is anyone here actually qualified welder?

 

I anly only asked cause i'm a qualified 2nd Class welder with three Certs under my belt. Passed top of my class, but now i don't admit to cause i don't like doing it on a commercial scale. Welding is like cooking, the application of heat to produce the required results. If you can do it any way... anyway you do it that works... is a result. Personally, i've done panel repair with an arc. Refer to "Running On Empty"  as "it's all in the fingers, it's in the Blood" if you got the Motor Magic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey reverendz,

tone down your remarks, your not retreating like a gentleman, your having a swipe. You should have been able to see from my post that I am an experienced welder. That is I have many years of experience brazing copper, brass, stainless and composites, welding thin, thick and heavy duty metals. And people pay me for my work. I wrote my reply to a guy who has little or no experience welding, a gasless mig for him will be a complete waste of time(that is, he will not get good welds, and it will be frustrating for some time). Nobody in the industry uses a gasless mig unless they have to, ie onsite welding in tricky situations. A good gasless mig for onsite welding is approx $4000. I have one which I use for welding reo bars in insitu-concrete walls at height, but always take my gas mig for the lower walls. Why would I recommend a gasless mig or an arc welder when I know that he is going to have a much better success with a good quality gas mig.

As for all the remarks on using the minimum amps - think about it. The idea of all welding is to match your amps and feed rate to the situation. If simply going for minimum amps then why not just buy a 1 amp mig. Because it wont do the job. You can call it the maximum or the minimum. Start high and adjust down until you get a good penetration without blowing holes - there you have your minumum. Start low and adjust up until you get good penetration - there you have your maximum. Same thing.

Does anyone have something intelligent to add, or does someone else want to test my knowledge of welding.

Peter.

BSc building technology.

BSc Toxicology.

Dip Horticulture.

Welding courses: Arc welding. Mig welding. Brazing, soldering.

12 years commercial experience.

 

I know all........(just kidding)

 

 

TOUCHE'  ;)

 

29 years....in trade

Fitter and Turner

BSc Mechanical and Automotive Engineering

Construction and Mining Industry

CAT, CUMMINS, KOMATSU, HITACHI

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

PS (Rev), my tongue is always in my cheek.

PPS, really a Rev? what denomination? lets talk religion and get a real fiery debate going!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where is lurches input into this? He is a boiler isnt he?! Oh well im sure when he see fit to drop in this will get all the more interesting :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This topic requires this smilie 1947.gif

 

That is all, continue...

 

good idea. its getting very fierce now. hihihihihihihih

 

 

i used both

if nothing better around ill use  gasless. its just messy and i know that i can do lot nicer and quicker job with gas one.

 

ive used few brands. CIGweld would be my preffered one than BOC. WIA be nice but very pricey. used some of the chinese ones once u get the settings right they work well.

i got cemig which is like 15+ yo italian made. had its few issues but still paid its self off countless times.

 

if u going to be doing this more than just on one car i still think u better invest in the gas one.

 

sure bottle rental can be exy but gasless wire aint cheap so u paying for it either way.

 

best option is if u know whos got either one of them go there have a play with both.have  welds and than decides which one u like better. end of story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ok, boys, settle,

 

quoting something from previous here

""Don't be afraid to pick up an older unit if its from one of the good brands (Miller, Lincoln, Kemppi, Fronius, ESAB, BOC, and one or two others), as they will still weld smoother than a lot of the new cheapies.""

 

what about a WIA???

i purchased one earlier this year, been using others cig transmigs that are clapped out and crap, because they are not looked after, I occasionally use wia cdt migs here when i need to.

 

My wia mig is only a single phase cost me about $1650, new but dont tell anyone as its worth far more ie 2.5 k plus.

WIA is made in australia (adelaide to be precise) and the reason they cost more is the quality of unit you do get, WIA is the australian counterpart of Miller anyhows. which i also have a miller tig / stick etc.

 

It seems the thead went a bit off topic previously, with the gas / gasless debate, but yes gasless is an need to use basis, as mentioned above re: onsite in and sito's you just cant use get a bottle with you. NO welding is done at my work with a gasless mig NONE. and never will be unless called up for by customer or welding specs.

 

Get yourself a unit that will do what you need to do plus more, you will never regret it.

The mig i have purchased with 1.2mm wire (I only use 0.9mm for panel heavy etc etc its all about technigq regardless of unit.)

with the 1.2mm wire i can single pase an 6-8mm fillet with extremely good pen'o.

my unit is a 200amp unit (even though assured it is a 225amp bu the manufacturers themselves)

 

I took the plunge to have a more workshop unit, but they make an awesome smaller one which is either 150 or 175 amp with or without trolley which has the same capacity as my workshop one but smaller wire spools. (if you wait both these models will be replaced with 1 unit with 185amps)

 

I find i am able to weld metal thin as about 0.55mm together in butt form with small round to oval tacks untill they blend in with each other for panel work, but this is tricky even for me, and i am capable of welding with tig to this thickness also.

 

BUT wia welders do cost a bit more than youre average chinese or other made.

 

other units I recommend are kempiis and fronius' but to get these units tserviced or repaired they have to go interstate and parts are ex OS. WIA's are local and can be repaired here in adelaide or melborne and even NSW from memory.

 

hope this helps with your decision, no more debate about the gas / gasless I beg you all!!!!

 

cheers chevZ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In reply to original question and nothing else.

 

Keep the your stick welder, and buy some TIG gear.

TIG is the best for body work, it adds the least heat so will not distort the panel, it is also the most forgiving for this kind of stuff, you will still need to rent a bottle, but you will be able to do a quality job. MIG is the easiest to use in general, but its not the best for THIS job. Don't be put off by people saying it is hard to use, it is just like stick but you use two hands so the transition is easy. A shat TIG job will be much better then a shat MIG job for this kind of stuff, likewise for a good job, so you can't lose. I would suggest that you spend a bit more and get a triggered arc though, it will cost a bit more but you will not have to strike it, very handy in tight spots and it means you can start exactly where you want to. Use the TIG you already have it and it is the proper thing, I know I might be upsetting alot of people as everyone seems to be loyal to there MIG, but comeon, it should have been TIG from the start.

 

As far as mild or stainless, try to stick with the parent metal all the time, so mild in your case.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×