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TheWiggman

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I recently bought a welder so I know the situation you're in. I also used to be employed as a welder in a former life but used big industrial stuff with a 425A BOC unit. I can arc no worries, but there's more to it than simply MIGS are easier and arcs are cheaper (btw they call it MMAW, FCAW various other confusing acronyms nowadays...).

With an arc /MMAW, you can get cheap inverter units that are insanely light and perform well. Some will do TIG (stainless only) but I'd stay clear of that unless you want to do it. The extra cost probably won't be worth it for the amount you'll use it. Arc also has the advantage of being able to get whatever rod you want to suit the material you're welding. It might save you once, but you'll be cheering when it does.
Gasless MIG / FCAW these days are fashionable. You don't need gas and they are simpler to weld. Reels cost a mint but you probably won't use much to care. IGNORE thickness measurements quoted - this is advice only and in reality you can weld whatever you want. Ask the salesman about duty cycles. This is much more important than the xxxA stamped on the side when it comes to quality. Also, as a rule of thumb - the heavier the better.
As Ducatistu said, you can get dedicated gasless units. This is probably suited for you, specifically in terms of price. My limited experience with 0.8 gasless wire though is it's shit and I can't wait to get a cylinder. Mind you I'm used to the best. Both my old $6k welder and a $400 gasless will join 8mm plate though, so the job still gets done.
My advice - get a gasless MIG that's the heaviest and most expensive you can afford. If you can weld, go an inverter arc until you want to commit to a 15A mig. Avoid Unimig, try to stick to Lincoln or Bossweld, or something US or European.
Or ignore all advice and get a cheap eBay job which will, in all honesty, probably do all you want it to. I like buying from my local welding store though so that when I need a tip or mask cover, there's more of a chance he'll be there.
 

Ducatiboy stu

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Duty cycle is a killer. Nothing like doing a weld then having to sit and wait for the unit to cool down. Got a few mates who are welders and they also reckon gasless migs are shit. At least these days you can buy small (Soda sream bottle size ) mig gas bottles which saves on bottle rental.

Also...try pawn/2nd hand shops. You might find a bargin.
 

Phoney

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Ducatiboy stu said:
8mm is going to get rather heavy...
Bloody oath, By my calculations 44.88kgs, and that's just for the steel legs. SWMBO will refuse to help me move it for sure.



wide eyed and legless said:
I don't think there is a 8 mm thick I'm pretty sure it goes 3 mm / 6 mm / 10 mm
Their full range can be found here, but yes it seems like overkill in terms of weight doesnt it.

Thanks the Wiggman, that's all very helpful advice!
 

wide eyed and legless

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If you aren't to bothered about the rustic look of hot rolled solid steel use a 50 mm x 12 mm tube x 1.6 or 2 mm wall thickness as metal is priced on weight it will be cheaper and easier for a cheaper welder to penetrate the metal.
 

Dave70

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I'd suggest you just hire a 415v rated gen/welder combo and be done with it, unless you plan on taking up welding as a hobby.
Certainly don't learn to tig weld.
There's a reason they call them 'mates' welders.
Especially you have a mate with an aluminum boat he's keen on pimping.
 

Ducatiboy stu

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Strange that the blokes I know who are welders have....for some strange reason..memory lapse when it comes to the question of if its possible to weld up stainless or aluminium easly

But...then again..when I get asked if I can wire something up that I dont really/not for free/ to ******* difficult.. I do suffer the same problem
 

matho

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If your going gasless mig then make sure you can weld in a workshop or garage, any smallest breeze will make your welds look like crap. I have a stick, mig and tig welders, I hardly use the stick welder any more, the mig is good for quick jobs up to 5mm (160 amp unit) and the TIG is a cheap HF start unit with a 60% duty at 200 amps, I had to modify it by adding an adjustable gas off delay and a foot pedal control for TIG welding chrome moly tubing. The TIG unit can be used as a stick welder, in this mode I have welded 6mm plate steel with no problems and it is the easiest stick welding I have ever done, the unit holds a nice steady arc with minimal splatter. The best thing you can do for a cheap welder is get a good set of welding leads.

cheers steve
 

TheWiggman

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matho said:
If your going gasless mig then make sure you can weld in a workshop or garage, any smallest breeze will make your welds look like crap.
Really? I know this is the case with a gas MIG, as the wind blows away your inert gas zone and it's porosity city. But I thought this was the major benefit with flux cored?
 

pk.sax

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I bet the gas less wire is turning into the smallest supply of gas to shield the weld pool with. Continuous gas will obviously be more effective.
 

Camo6

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No shielded/ inert gas welding likes a breeze,
I don't expect to get a spatter free weld with a gasless MIG but that has more to do with settings, wire quality, tip cleanliness and surface prep. The beads are usually clean and easy to lay regardless of environment.
Arc is a breeze once you get the hell of it. You can weld anywhere, in any position as long as you prep well and have dry rods and a good technique.
I've only ever MIGed in a workshop so have always been relatively sheltered and never had a problem.
My TIG setup though is in a semi open environment. Excessive inert gas flow can create its own issues but insufficient gas flow and the slightest snuff of wind turns a nice bead of stainless to shit.

For the kind of work the OP's looking for I'd take it to a welder. If you're looking at building more mild steel furniture, invest in a cheap ARC. Want to do the odd piece of thin mild steel as well then go gasless MIG. If you plan to fluff around and have some fun welding mild, stainless or aluminum while at the same time making it look pretty, go ac/dc TIG, with a bottle of Argon, and laugh at the mineral world.
 

TheWiggman

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On the topic of spatter, I've found the gasless wire is hopeless for it. It's particularly difficult when welding into a tight corner as it tends to throw a lot of the flux/slag forwards and will build up. Once the arc gets to it, the wire tends to build up on it and doesn't really sink into the parent metal. I've never had this issue with standard arc or GMAW.
 

spog

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When fixing the railway sleepers in place make sure you drill the correct sized hole to suit the coach screws used and use plenty of lubricant ,soap will do. ( sleepers are bloody hard ) practice on so e off cuts.
Don't use an impact driver as this basically hammers things into place and the bolts WILL get hot/over stressed and snap.
Clean the holes out,start screwing the fixings in then back them off and start again,if you have to use too much grunt to get them to tighten up something is wrong.
Cheers...spog...
 

Ducatiboy stu

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Grew up working with hardwood....

Pre-drill and soap your nails....
 

Ducatiboy stu

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Actually...worked today on a mates house...60yr old... Hardwood...old mate had issues with 3" nail gun...sounded like a .22 ....**** that timber was hard..I was swearing just doing cable clips
 

Phoney

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Thanks for all of the tips fellas. So what I've organized is: SWMBO put a call out on facebook, and low and behold a mate of ours who is a builder is coming over with his MIG welder and will do the job for us. I'll be watching over his shoulder taking notes.

Additionally, I am getting a sparky mate to come around and install a 15A outlet in the meter box out the front, and I will soon be investing in a decent quality inverter arc (possibly one that can do mig or tig also) for any other projects. I've always had a dream to make garden wall art & sculptures out of steel and let them rust away in the garden or even sell them for if they're good enough... but that's another story.

I'll post up some photo's in the next few weeks to show off, if anyone cares. :)
 

Ducatiboy stu

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You might find its better to buy a seperate arc and mig/tig. Could end up cheaper and better.
 

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