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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-
    1978 Gemini Sedan - Powered by i change my mind every week
    1980 Gemini Sedan
    1992 Land Rover Discovery 200TDI

    #2
    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
    ------
    The new nugget
    I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself. - D.H.Lawrence

    Comment


      #3
      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.

      Comment


        #4
        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
        ------
        The new nugget
        I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself. - D.H.Lawrence

        Comment


          #5
          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

          Comment


            #6
            Yeah. I find the D size pretty good for home use though, about the right size.
            Chris
            ------
            The new nugget
            I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself. - D.H.Lawrence

            Comment


              #7
              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
              1978 Gemini Sedan - Powered by i change my mind every week
              1980 Gemini Sedan
              1992 Land Rover Discovery 200TDI

              Comment


                #8
                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

                Comment


                  #9
                  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!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    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.

                    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-
                    1978 Gemini Sedan - Powered by i change my mind every week
                    1980 Gemini Sedan
                    1992 Land Rover Discovery 200TDI

                    Comment


                      #11
                      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.
                      1978 Gemini Sedan - Powered by i change my mind every week
                      1980 Gemini Sedan
                      1992 Land Rover Discovery 200TDI

                      Comment


                        #12
                        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.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          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.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            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

                            Comment


                              #15
                              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.

                              Comment

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