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Thread: MIG weld basics - spares, useful shit to have, resources

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    MIG weld basics - spares, useful shit to have, resources

    Morning gents.

    Decided it was time I learnt how to weld so finally pulled the trigger and got my hands on a cheapy MIG to play with at home to do basic shit with at home. Tried doing a google and quick read through the threads here but didnt really find answers to all my questions hence the new post. Apologies if this is all obvious to the more experienced operators so be nice to me Mig is a 150A Gas/Gasless Bunnings special, im under no disillusions about the machines capabilities because lets face it ill be the limiting factor here. Anyway, its intended use should be fine, im not exactly welding steel beams here. What I need to know is the following:

    -"Variable" shade electric helmets - is this a fancy way of saying auto darkening or a cunts way of sucking in the un-learned like me into thinking it is and plonking down cash?

    -Gas and Gasless wire; is there actually a difference between the two or is it another way of milking money out of idiots? My understanding is that the gas wire can be used gasless, but will make more of a mess with splatter and require more grinding. Actually, lets face it, regardless of what I do ill probably need to do a lot of grinding but thats a different story

    -Anti-spatter sprays; do they actually work?

    -Accessories/spare parts - what SHOULD i actually get and have on hand? Magnets and copper spoons are an obvious one as well as copious flap and grinding discs, but what about stuff like tips or nozzles? What the fuck is Nozzle dip gel and is it actually something or just snake oil?

    -Should i waste my time with the 2.3kg disposable Argon/C02 bottles, or is it a yeah youll get 15mins of welding and thats it type of deal? Keep in mind its not like im fabricating the sydney harbour bridge so use will be quite light

    -Any links to resources for wire speeds/amperage vs material being welded?

    Downloaded a whole heap of how-to-basics vids but anything else you deem worthy of me knowing or viewing, please link here.

    Cheers

    N-

  2. #2
    Bannered takai's Avatar
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    Variable shade allow you to adjust how dark the shield goes to compensate for lighting/arc brightness.

    Gasless wire has flux core in it, dont use it with gas. Gas has no flux core, its crap to weld without gas.

    If you are just welding at home then splash on the Bunnings trade bottles. Its like a $200 deposit, but then only $99 for gas and no rental fee.

    Practice a hell of a lot, and get some spare nozzles as they will often be the first thing to go as you are learning.
    Chris
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    Cheap electric helmets are terrible, unless you are getting a Miller or Speedglass don't waste your money (ask me how I know....)
    Gas wire is essentially solid and won't work without gas, gasless is flux cored and is great for fixing farm gates and stuff you don't really care about
    Buy a gas bottle from TT or similar if you are going to do a decent project
    Spatter spray works, but I never use it
    My tip is, clean it before you weld. That blue powder coating on steel does technically burn off, but things are so much easier when you start with clean metal
    There's heaps of stuff around on amps vs wire speed, a couple of hours on YouTube should have you pretty close to stick stuff together.

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    Bannered takai's Avatar
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    These are the hotness over the TT gas bottles for home use:
    https://www.bunnings.com.au/coregas-...g-gas_p5910386

    Pay slightly more for gas, but not locked in to a single supplier and full refund on eventual bottle return
    Chris
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    That's a pretty sweet deal, and the gas is actually the same price as TT just a pity they don't do E bottles

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    Bannered takai's Avatar
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    Yeah. I find the D size pretty good for home use though, about the right size.
    Chris
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    Thanks for the help/answers fellas. Appreciate it.

    Bit confused regarding the gas bottles though; bunnings one is $99 for 2.1L plus $200 deposit, TT is $69 for 2.3L and fully disposable bottle/no deposit. Am I missing something? Or is the bottle im looking at completly wrong?

    https://www.totaltools.com.au/weldin...bar-disposable

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    Unregistered User Permit Roadsailing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by F3ARED View Post
    Thanks for the help/answers fellas. Appreciate it.

    Bit confused regarding the gas bottles though; bunnings one is $99 for 2.1L plus $200 deposit, TT is $69 for 2.3L and fully disposable bottle/no deposit. Am I missing something? Or is the bottle im looking at completly wrong?

    https://www.totaltools.com.au/weldin...bar-disposable
    TT bottle has 242 Litres (expanded gas volume) of gas

    Bunnings bottle has 2100 Litres (expanded gas volume) of gas
    Last edited by Roadsailing; 18-04-18 at 02:00 PM.

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    Registered User Shane001's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by takai View Post
    These are the hotness over the TT gas bottles for home use:
    https://www.bunnings.com.au/coregas-...g-gas_p5910386

    Pay slightly more for gas, but not locked in to a single supplier and full refund on eventual bottle return
    Thanks for this, need to get some gas soon.
    BOC also do (or did as recent as 2017) a D Plan Argoshield Light special where you pay around $100 a year which includes a full refill, plus the first refill free. So for the first year you essentially get 2 refills for your $100. No additional rental or deposit. Good option if you're using around a D bottle a year. They don't advertise it, you have to ask for it.

    New Bunnings offer above is simpler though. Anyone know what the gas mix is?

    D plan is good for home use if you're not doing a lot of welding. When I did my rollcage I went with an E size bottle as was going to be cheaper provided I returned the bottle asap. Would have used two D's for the cage so double the price (BOC). Ended up probably the same due to rental as it took me over 6mths to finish the cage lol!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roadsailing View Post
    TT bottle has 242 Litres (expanded gas volume) of gas

    Bunnings bottle has 2100 Litres (expanded gas volume) of gas
    Fuck me thats a huge difference.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shane001 View Post
    Thanks for this, need to get some gas soon.
    BOC also do (or did as recent as 2017) a D Plan Argoshield Light special where you pay around $100 a year which includes a full refill, plus the first refill free. So for the first year you essentially get 2 refills for your $100. No additional rental or deposit. Good option if you're using around a D bottle a year. They don't advertise it, you have to ask for it.

    New Bunnings offer above is simpler though. Anyone know what the gas mix is?

    D plan is good for home use if you're not doing a lot of welding. When I did my rollcage I went with an E size bottle as was going to be cheaper provided I returned the bottle asap. Would have used two D's for the cage so double the price (BOC). Ended up probably the same due to rental as it took me over 6mths to finish the cage lol!
    Any more details on this D plan business, like is it avail to joe blow or do you need an ABN/be trade customer to do that? $100 a year I can swallow even if the bottle is lieing around unused for most of the year. I take it 2nd year is then $100 fee + whatever your refill cost is?

    N-

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    Speedgas bottle via Total Tools is $299 including outright purchase of bottle and full gas fill, or same price as Bunnings. I think the deposit deal with Bunnings is a bit of a false economy; you still have technically tied up that $200. Lets face it, if you have committed to buying a Mig, you are probably going to want to have a bottle on hand. As the nopics pointed out, once its empty im going to want to replace it with another full bottle so that $200 is still sitting there.

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    Registered User Shane001's Avatar
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    No $100 a year including 1 refill. They set you up with an account but I didn't need an ABN for it.

    So you pay $100(ish) to get started, for that you get your bottle full of gas, in that first year you can get one refill free. So that's two full D bottles to use in first year. Perfect if you're starting off welding as you'll burn through a D bottle just learning how

    Start of second year you pay your $100 and you now have another free refill to use in that year.

    If at any point you need an extra refill you just pay the normal D bottle refill cost (think around $90).

    Can cancel at any point. Just remember to take your bottle back for your free refill before the end of the year even if you still have gas left, otherwise I think you forfeit your refill.

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    Quote Originally Posted by F3ARED View Post
    Speedgas bottle via Total Tools is $299 including outright purchase of bottle and full gas fill, or same price as Bunnings. I think the deposit deal with Bunnings is a bit of a false economy; you still have technically tied up that $200. Lets face it, if you have committed to buying a Mig, you are probably going to want to have a bottle on hand. As the nopics pointed out, once its empty im going to want to replace it with another full bottle so that $200 is still sitting there.
    For someone who doesn't do a lot of welding, more projects from time to time, I think the Bunnings option is better. I've been using gasless in between and finding that's fine for general stuff. I need to cut the spare wheel well out of the racecar and weld in a flat panel soon, for that I'll want gas. So for me, the Bunnings option is better as I'll only need the gas bottle for a month or so.

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    Registered User Shane001's Avatar
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    If you're starting out welding the BOC deal is the best imo. You get two D bottles of gas in the first year for $100 total.

    You can then decide what you want to do with it longer term.

    Fantastic we have so many cost effective options now though

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    Registered User Shane001's Avatar
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    Thinking about it the BOC option if still available is definitely the better way to go.

    $100 a year, no deposit, no rental and you get two D bottles of gas to use in the first year.

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    Gas Turbine enthusiast da9jeff's Avatar
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    Coregas (bunnings) is now doing e bottles. Bit of extra deposit but much more useful if welding regularly.

    Ps. DO NOT USE SHITTY DISPOSABLE BOTTLES!!!!



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    Quote Originally Posted by F3ARED View Post
    Speedgas bottle via Total Tools is $299 including outright purchase of bottle and full gas fill, or same price as Bunnings. I think the deposit deal with Bunnings is a bit of a false economy; you still have technically tied up that $200. Lets face it, if you have committed to buying a Mig, you are probably going to want to have a bottle on hand. As the nopics pointed out, once its empty im going to want to replace it with another full bottle so that $200 is still sitting there.
    She is right if you only do a little welding occasionally. However, if you have a big project on, you can get two bottles from Bunnings, so you don't run out mid job, then take one back and get the $200 refunded when your workload dies down. I'm in this situation currently. Also, if you need $200 in a hurry you can get it from Bunnings, which you can't do if you own the bottle.

    Those little disposable bottles need an adaptor, they don't fit the normal regulator. I think the adaptor is about $50. I'm thinking about getting one to take the TIG to the track for emergency repairs.

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    Bannered takai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shane001 View Post
    Thanks for this, need to get some gas soon.
    BOC also do (or did as recent as 2017) a D Plan Argoshield Light special where you pay around $100 a year which includes a full refill, plus the first refill free. So for the first year you essentially get 2 refills for your $100. No additional rental or deposit. Good option if you're using around a D bottle a year. They don't advertise it, you have to ask for it.

    New Bunnings offer above is simpler though. Anyone know what the gas mix is?

    D plan is good for home use if you're not doing a lot of welding. When I did my rollcage I went with an E size bottle as was going to be cheaper provided I returned the bottle asap. Would have used two D's for the cage so double the price (BOC). Ended up probably the same due to rental as it took me over 6mths to finish the cage lol!
    I had an E2 from BOC for ages, but barely used it past the first bottle or so. Probably paid $400 in rental fees over the years for not using it.

    Quote Originally Posted by F3ARED View Post
    Speedgas bottle via Total Tools is $299 including outright purchase of bottle and full gas fill, or same price as Bunnings. I think the deposit deal with Bunnings is a bit of a false economy; you still have technically tied up that $200. Lets face it, if you have committed to buying a Mig, you are probably going to want to have a bottle on hand. As the nopics pointed out, once its empty im going to want to replace it with another full bottle so that $200 is still sitting there.
    Nah, not particularly. The big advantage to Bunnings is that its a swap and go, and when they can't refill you just give it back. Total Tools requires you to purchase the bottle, and then when it goes out of date get it pressure tested etc etc.

    The BOC $100 deal is a false economy too for a home/light user as above.
    Chris
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    https://www.tarrantsgas.com/page/bocpricing

    BOC pricing for their "no hire" plans is in the link above. Available from all BOC agents. They also do G sized ones if you want to use plenty of gas...

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    https://www.tradetools.com/product-r...welding-helmet

    Is a very nice helmet without breaking the bank. 4 sensors, large area. Will do low voltage tig too, not that its going to matter much for you. I've used mine a few times a week for the last year and it's still going fine. They pop up on special from time to time for about the $150 mark, check ebay too.

    Starting out, get a couple of nozzles because you're going to fill it full of slag. Get a pack of welding tips in the right size, 0.8mm or 0.9mm depending on which wire you are using. Id probably just stick with 0.9mm, will make it a little more stable when starting out. Probably won't need to worry about tip holders unless you way over tighten the tip or burn everything up with too much heat. Likewise You don't really need to worry about gas diffusers, they normally only break if you have a bad habit of tapping the nozzle on the bench to free it of slag. They are usually only a couple bucks each anyway.

    Stick with 5kg spools of wire too. Don't go right for the 15kg ones. Unless you are doing a lot of welding, you can run into issues with surface rust forming on the wire due to humidity. Stick with regular (ER70S-6) mild steel gas wire and argoshield or 5/2 mix like people above, it'll cover most of your general purpose welding.

    Spray is ok if you are working in tight areas you can't dress later. Nozzle gel just stops slag build up inside the nozzle, especially when you start welding as you'll probably be too close or too far from the work piece, so you'll have a bit of slag popping and flying off. Different torches have different components (consumables), but to give you an idea of how the pieces go together; here's a pretty common binzel style torch.



    Wire speed and amperage / voltage settings is really going to depend a lot on the machine and its setup. So you are best googling the machine and see if someone has a cheat sheet, or write your own with trial and error. If you have a mate that can weld, it will be really helpful to give you some base settings.
    Last edited by Madhatr; 21-04-18 at 07:19 PM.
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    Unregistered User Permit Roadsailing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madhatr View Post
    Stick with 5kg spools of wire too. Don't go right for the 15kg ones. Unless you are doing a lot of welding, you can run into issues with surface rust forming on the wire due to humidity.
    cheaper machines will struggle with the bigger reels too, mine does anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Madhatr View Post

    Stick with 5kg spools of wire too. Don't go right for the 15kg ones. Unless you are doing a lot of welding, you can run into issues with surface rust forming on the wire due to humidity.
    Yeah this. The surface rust will rub off on the inside of your liner, and after a while the wire feed will get "sticky" and you will be scratching your head wondering why you can't weld for shit anymore. Good idea to keep a spare liner as well.

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    A tip my neighbor gave me is don't let the cable "droop" at an extreme angle as it comes out of the machine and generally avoid bending it in any sharp angles.

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    BOOSTFARKIN Morcs's Avatar
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    For cleaning the wire grab a foam ear plug and thread it between the spool of wire and drive rollers.

    Helps in cleaning the wire as most have a bit of residual oil on the wire which is not benifical for good welding.
    Can also give the wire a little bit of tension without tensioning the spool going into the roller/drive system to help smooth the wire at the business end.

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    Unregistered User Permit Roadsailing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morcs View Post
    For cleaning the wire grab a foam ear plug and thread it between the spool of wire and drive rollers.

    Helps in cleaning the wire as most have a bit of residual oil on the wire which is not benifical for good welding.
    Can also give the wire a little bit of tension without tensioning the spool going into the roller/drive system to help smooth the wire at the business end.
    can clamp a folded up rag on with a clothespeg or similar too.

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    Registered User Shane001's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricardo View Post
    https://www.tarrantsgas.com/page/bocpricing

    BOC pricing for their "no hire" plans is in the link above. Available from all BOC agents. They also do G sized ones if you want to use plenty of gas...
    Yep, that's the deal I was on.

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    Gimme six Schlitzes Beavis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by F3ARED View Post
    -Gas and Gasless wire; is there actually a difference between the two or is it another way of milking money out of idiots? My understanding is that the gas wire can be used gasless, but will make more of a mess with splatter and require more grinding. Actually, lets face it, regardless of what I do ill probably need to do a lot of grinding but thats a different story :lol
    Others have covered this quite well, but I'll chip in with one more thing. Gas welding looks better, because there is virtually no spatter. Gasless welding with flux core looks awful, because you end up with spatter everywhere.

    One advantage of gasless welding is that, well, you don't need to carry a tank. So the setup is more compact if that's important to you. A related advantage of gasless welding is that you can do it when it's very windy outside. In other words, it's good if you're a farmer or are working out in the middle of nowhere.

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    BOOSTFARKIN Morcs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roadsailing View Post
    can clamp a folded up rag on with a clothespeg or similar too.
    Yep same same

    Nozzle dip has not been mentioned helps the shit come of the end easier and less likely to weld itself in causing the gas flow to be an irregular coverage and then shit welds.

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    Non Compos Mentos Gammaboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beavis View Post
    One advantage of gasless welding is that, well, you don't need to carry a tank. So the setup is more compact if that's important to you. A related advantage of gasless welding is that you can do it when it's very windy outside. In other words, it's good if you're a farmer or are working out in the middle of nowhere.
    Another advantage is that flux core copes a little better with dirty welds - ie seaming a crossmember or something that's got oil and grime deep inside the joints.
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    Thanks for the advice guys. So far had a small opportunity to have a play gasless and its actually surprisingly clean if you prep metal/have settings set up correct. For everything else, there are flap discs.... Probably shouldnt have bought a pack of .9 tips given my wire is .8 but anyway, better to have then not in case i get some .9 wire at some point.

    Saw some mention of putting silica bags inside the welder to stop wire going rusty, anyone tried this? There was also a tip about putting ear plugs in to clean wire as it goes through but fucked if i know where you would put it.

    Any tips to stop the wire from unravelling the minute you try to feed it through the roller?

    Cheers

    N-

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