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Advice on buying a welder

Discussion in 'Gear and Equipment' started by breakbeer, 10/9/16.

 

  1. breakbeer

    Well-Known Member

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    Posted 10/9/16
    I need some advice before I purchase a welder.
    My father in law & I are just about to start learning how to weld & also go halves in buying a welder.

    For my own needs & wants I'd like to learn how to weld mild steel (for work purposes as well as various hobby type projects) but also the ability to weld stainless (for brewery related projects)

    The guy who is going to teach us has recommended this model: WIA Weldmatic 200i

    In my small amount of research it seems pretty good, but not 100% sure it can do stainless welding?

    Can anyone please give me any advice on this? Any negative aspects? Will it do what I want it to etc

    Cheers
     
  2. Ducatiboy stu

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    Posted 10/9/16
    It might be cheaper to buy a little inverter stick welder and a seperate MIG/TIG, and if your going to share it then you can still use the other one

    An all-in-one can be a compromise
     
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  3. homebrewkid

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    Posted 10/9/16
    If you want to weld both mild steel and stainless, buy the best gas mig you can afford
     
  4. Ducatiboy stu

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    Posted 10/9/16
    as long as your purchase stainless wire/rods you can. You could even do Alluminium ( I tried ally once......A welder I most definatly am not )
     
  5. wide eyed and legless

    Pro Pro

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  6. scooterism

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    Posted 10/9/16
    What's your budget?
     
  7. breakbeer

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    Posted 10/9/16
  8. breakbeer

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    Posted 10/9/16
    The one I posted is under a grand, so preferably the same if not less than that
     
  9. Ducatiboy stu

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    Posted 10/9/16
  10. wide eyed and legless

    Pro Pro

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    Posted 10/9/16
    There are cheaper gasless on the market, the Kemppi you could throw off the top of a building and it will live, CIG or BOC whatever they call themselves now may have something cheaper to suit your needs.
     
  11. Batz

    Batz Brewery...Hand crafted beers from the 'Batcav

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    Posted 10/9/16
    The one you linked will do the job well.

    700fdcdfef87109c6aae0489cc18263d3d5140ea680329610141ff7fe1ec8afe.jpg
     
  12. manticle

    Standing up for the Aussie Bottler

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    Posted 10/9/16
    I'm far from expert but recently set up our workshop including the welding bay.

    There are so many options-

    What you're welding (touched on)
    Budget (touched on)
    Required mobility - workshop? Mobile?

    Stick welder advantages from my experience - can do everything, doesn't require gas.

    Disadvantages are that it's a bit clunky and requires cleaning as well as continual electrode replacement. Also requires skill acquired through practice and cheaper machines have frustratingly low duty cycles.

    Mig is the easiest and quickest process to use and the right machine can do a multitude of metals but may require different gases and wire changes. Good machines are north of your suggested budget and hefty. Also may need cleaning depending on settings but cleaner than stick.

    Tig is neat, requires practice and skill, one gas type to do multiple metal types and some machines can switch easily to do stick if required. Smaller machines (mobile), no wire change* and my current favourite. Skilled tig can be neat enough to need no cleaning post weld (pre is another story but that goes for all).

    Last thing from me is power source -3 phase? 15A? 10A? Limits your choices a bit.

    So - I reckon get into the course before you invest.
    And never go to BOC in Moonah. The manager is about as smart as a box of $2 hammers and his underlings are less smart.

    Also welding forums are even nerdier than brewing forums and just as scathing and contradictory.

    *Electrode, hood and collet changes and electrode sharpening required so a grinder is a must and possible other outlay.
     
  13. lost at sea

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    Posted 10/9/16
    if you are not a boiley then do not get gasless if you want better welds, gas might sound more difficult, but it really isnt, all the gas does it create a contaminate free atmosphere around the weld when it is being produced which in turn creates a much better join.
     
  14. Ducatiboy stu

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    Posted 10/9/16
    At the end of the day...yes it will

    At the end of the day, the best welder money can buy wont make you a good welder

    Its a bit like brewing
     
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  15. Camo6

    Relax? Don't worry?? It's not just an internet for

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    Posted 10/9/16
    Lots of useful info in the posts above.

    If I was to add anything I'd suggest you keep researching and consider what welding you'll focus on most. If you want to weld stainless in the brewery then you'll want to be able to do sanitary welds. For that you'll want a DC tig. Sure you can weld stainless with the right rods or wire but they'll never have the purity or control that a tig welder offers. A dc tig will also weld mild steel with ease. If you want to weld aluminium then you'll need ac but that'll cost you 3x as much. There's a bit of a learning curve with tig but no more than arc or mig. The level of control with tig will have you marvelling at the ability to control a pool of molten steel. Especially when it's stainless!
    Most dc tigs will have arc function if you want to dabble with stick.
    Weldless migs have their place but dealing with spatter rules them out for clean stainless welding.
    The welder you mention looks like a good entry level model but bear in mind that if you want to weld mig or tig you'll want to hire or buy a bottle of argoshield or pure argon plus regulator. Also it'll likely just come with an arc lead or mig torch so you'll have to buy a tig torch on top of it.
    Another thing to add with tig and, to an extent mig, is that they are sensitive to wind and best suited to sheltered locations.
    The Kemppi weal linked is a quality unit. My mate has a kempi ac/dc tig. The size of a lunch box and welds like a boss. But at $7k it's not that practical for the home handyman.
    I'm probably in the market for a new tig myself. Unless I can repair my old esseti I'll probably just go for an economical dc tig with hf start.

    TLDR: Buy a TIG!
     
  16. Lyrebird_Cycles

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    Posted 10/9/16
    Truer words were never spoken.
     
  17. TheWiggman

    Haters' gonna hate

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    Posted 10/9/16
    To qualify, I used to be employed as a welder. MIG welder on mild steel, but did aluminium MIG (very hard). I tried TIG and as an experienced welder it was straightforward.
    I swore I would only ever own a 15A minimum with a remote spool and spend minimum $3k and Argoshield if I were to buy a welder. I used to do it for a living, how could I settle for anything but the best? I bought a welder a few years ago and after a lot of soul searching went for a gasless 15A Bossweld. I want the do-it-all unit (say Lincoln or CIGweld) in case I needed TIG but did a bit of thinking. Why buy something that does a few jobs ok when I could buy something that does the job right? I use the MIG far more often so it made more sense. $750 later I've got everything I need to get going (including safety gear) and as much as I hate gasless, I can't justify the extra money for the better welds.
    That said if you have the cash the unit you linked looks the goods. Unfortunately your question is along the lines of "I'm interested in driving. I'd like something for economy on the highway but also four wheel driving" and there is no clear cut answer.
     
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  18. superstock

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    Posted 10/9/16
    If you buy a gas MIG you can use your CO2 brewgas when welding mild steel. Means you only have to have argon for everything else.
     
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  19. Brownsworthy

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    Posted 10/9/16
    I've got a unimig 190 inverter it does tig, mig, alloy, stick it does the job cost around $1600 with the spool gun for alloy and all the other bits for either mig, tig or stick.
     
  20. abyss

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    Posted 10/9/16
    I've got a cigweld 170amp inverter stick welder and love it. Simple to use with either stainless or mild steel rods.
    I've made several boat trailers as well as welding stainless stuff to kegs etc.
    You can buy them for around $400 but you will need a 15amp outlet, otherwise there is a 140amp model.

    image.jpg
     
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