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View Full Version : Advice on Gasless MIG welders



Bodgy
31st Jul 2005, 10:08 PM
Guys, Spent a few hours yesterday burning holes thru a thin box section steel extrusion with my trusty arc welder. Seems to always happen, jobs around the house always seem to have thin steel that I put more holes in than weld.

Finally gonna bite the buleet and get a gasless MIG, gasless cause I'm not going to pay rent on bottles for 3 uses a year.

Questions:
I manage alright with ARC, when the steels more than a pubic hair thick, is MIG any harder to use?
Can I weld aluminium, stainless and more with MIG?
Does it really let you weld very thin plate?
Dont much care about splatter, any other major differences gas/gasless?

Sorry the above are braindead, have googled all the MIG manufacturer sites but they assume a higher level of knowledge.

Finally, for 3-4 times use a year I thought I'd get a $200-300 model off Ebay. Without prejudice, what's the difference to the $600+ models.

Yeah it'd be cheaper going to the local weld place, but I just like tools - OK.

Bodgy

gatiep
1st Aug 2005, 12:04 AM
Questions:
I manage alright with ARC, when the steels more than a pubic hair thick, is MIG any harder to use?
Can I weld aluminium, stainless and more with MIG?
Does it really let you weld very thin plate?
Dont much care about splatter, any other major differences gas/gasless?

Sorry the above are braindead, have googled all the MIG manufacturer sites but they assume a higher level of knowledge.

Finally, for 3-4 times use a year I thought I'd get a $200-300 model off Ebay. Without prejudice, what's the difference to the $600+ models.

Yeah it'd be cheaper going to the local weld place, but I just like tools - OK.

Bodgy


Mig is easier when set up properly

Yes with the right wire and gas ( or gasless wire at great expense ) you can weld those. The cheaper welders will need the sheath of the cable/gun replaced with a plastic one for ali.

Yes, fairly thin plate, but not in unskilled hands. IOW, practice, practice and practice which you won't get by welding only 3 times a year. The higher priced machines use 15 amp plug and then the next step up is to 3 phase.


Cored wire for gasless is mainly used by amateur machines and is very expensive. The polarity of gun and 'earth' need to be swapped. Weld quality is not as good as with gas.

The more expensive machines are more voltage/current stable, more stable wire feed, better adjustable both in current and wire speed. They usually have the capacity to take 1Kg to 15 Kg wire rolls. 15 Kg is only very little more expensive than the 1 and 5 Kg rolls as they are manufactured for the industry. The more expensive machines have a greater output and can handle heavier guage wire.

Yeah, it will be cheaper going to the local weld shop plus the weld will be good too. If you like tools then buy the best you can afford as with mig welders the frustration of some of the cheaper models making using them impossible and soon they gather dust and take up valuable space in the shed.

Like with other tools: You only get what you pay for.

PS. Make sure you have a good quality helmet as arc eyes are definately not funny.

goat
1st Aug 2005, 08:20 AM
gassless wire is going to be phased out soon cause it's a carcinogen so go with gas or buy up big on the wire

Bodgy
1st Aug 2005, 04:54 PM
Thank you Gentlemen

No MIG gassless for me. Clinchers, poor results with handyman type machines, approaching obsolesence. Maybe learn to braize again, thin plate my main interest.

Bodgy

bsrlee
1st Aug 2005, 07:23 PM
Gasless MIG = stick welding without having to change sticks ;)

Another 'trick' I found handy when learning to weld thin section is to back up the weld with a big piece of Aluminium - it acts as a heat sink, reducing the tendancy of a whole section going 'blop' on the floor (I was welding a fair bit of stainless sheet, which tends to go 'blop' a lot :( ) If you are welding round or square hollow section you just have to find a size that fits insode down to the weld, and can still be pulled back out :D

And if you stuff it up, the Alli catches the drip before it goes in your boot, and may even keep it in place. :D

foaley77
8th Jan 2007, 10:20 PM
Does anyone have these mig welders from Ebay are they any good what does the cost of wire cost?

http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=250070654099&fromMakeTrack=true

http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=250070654086&fromMakeTrack=true

peter_sm
8th Jan 2007, 10:56 PM
In my opinion, gasless MIG welders are a waste of money if you want to do anything neat and/ or intricate. They are only good for building garden gates. They can't handle big jobs, and can't do neat stuff like panel steel on a car.

If you can't justify the cost of the bottle hire, then you can't justify having the welder at all. You will be dissapointed. Aluminium welding requires a different gas, wire and liner for the welding gun.

If the power and wire feed are setup right, you can with experience weld 0.85mm sheet upsidedown edge to edge.

SPIRIT
8th Jan 2007, 11:18 PM
nothing wrong with a gasless mig ,,true a big juisie mig that cost big bucks is great but we all don't have the cash to spend on something we use a few times a year l have the cigweld turbo 135 it can be gas or gasless the gasless wire is $26 a roll this will larst about 20 ark weld rods
that is round about ,for thin stuff it's good and easy to use my 11 y/old can use it,for heaver metal use your ark best of both worlds then .and as for clean welds it has a bit more of a slatter than gas welds ( 90% just rub off) l love my mig no bottle cost

foaley77
8th Jan 2007, 11:23 PM
How much is the bottle hire can't you buy them?

SPIRIT
8th Jan 2007, 11:27 PM
not that l know of it's like the oxy set just rent

EX's Timber
8th Jan 2007, 11:38 PM
How much is the bottle hire can't you buy them?

Depending on what size bottle you use, the hire cost are about $20 to $30 a quarter plus whatever the cost of the gas is. When it's empty you just swap it for another bottle and just pay for the gas.

As for buying bottles, they are around the $500 to $700 mark and when the run out you have to pay to get them filled which includes a pressure and safety test and on top of that you also pay for the gas as well. Don't know what this cost is but generally it is cheaper to hire the bottles rather than buying them.

Grahame Collins
9th Jan 2007, 09:10 AM
Gasless it is not.The topic has been done to death a few times here as a search will bear out. The flux core process is designed around the need for depositing large amounts of filler metal in the flat or semi flat positions. It involves fairly large heat inputs and therfore not suitable for thin walled sections or sheets

Two factors always seem to crop up in pre purchase mig discussions and they both involve money. Avoiding cylinder rental (rental only -no one sells the shielding gas cylinders outright OK ) and purchase of a cheap machine.

GMAW - Gas Metal Arc Welding and FCAW Flux core Arc Welding are radically different in their useful applications. GMAW is a shielded process that is capable of welding thin section.FCAW at best is suitable from 3mm and up and is even worse than the poor old stick welder at bridging burnt gaps in sheet metal.

Secondly purchasing a no name brand from ebay usually begats a no available spares and no available service / backup situation. Please do not misunderstand , there certainly are genuine sellers there selling named products.The kicker is you pay extra for the good stuff.

Perhaps it time to do another photographic tutorial,this time on the welding process applications as applicable to the Welder DIY Domesticus genus.

What say you all?

Grahame

Harry72
9th Jan 2007, 09:21 AM
Perhaps it time to do another photographic tutorial,this time on the welding process applications as applicable to the Welder DIY Domesticus genus.

What say you all?

Grahame
Yep I'll be reading it!

Wood Butcher
9th Jan 2007, 09:25 AM
Perhaps it time to do another photographic tutorial,this time on the welding process applications as applicable to the Welder DIY Domesticus genus.

What say you all?

Grahame, I'm sure that a lot of members would appreciate the effort!!:2tsup:

(or maybe even a video:p)

Outsider
9th Jan 2007, 01:04 PM
Grahame

I too would love to read another of your tutorials.

I too am a very part-time welder. I built a stick welder while an apprentice electrical fitter. Trouble is with my eyes. I can see any thing if there is enough light. Of course a dark welding shield is lightless.

The few atttempts I've had with my auto-darkening shield was much better. Not partarcularly good mind you but much better.

I have read the thread on the auto-darkening shield and I had bought the one from Gaswelld.

Cheers
Brian

fuel-depot
9th Jan 2007, 01:29 PM
Im at the point of wanting to get into doing some welding and fabrication in a DIY manner so a tutorial and guidlines of what to use and how best to use it would be really helpful for me and im sure plenty of others.

Look foward to it if you have time Grahame

cheers

dave

mobjack68
9th Jan 2007, 01:55 PM
In my opinion, gasless MIG welders are a waste of money if you want to do anything neat and/ or intricate. They are only good for building garden gates. They can't handle big jobs, and can't do neat stuff like panel steel on a car.
If you can't justify the cost of the bottle hire, then you can't justify having the welder at all. You will be dissapointed. Aluminium welding requires a different gas, wire and liner for the welding gun.
f the power and wire feed are setup right, you can with experience weld 0.85mm sheet upsidedown edge to edge.

Hey Peter and all the rest, there are some difficulties with a "small" mig, duty cycle being the major. Lack of "heat" settings would be next. As far as big jobs, multiple pass with my $225 cheapie has proved to be a lifesaver on several occasions. As far as thin sections are concerned, a "copper spoon" (solid copper chunk that is held to back up the section being welded, copper won't stick to weld) will shield and heat sink at the same time ( www.eastwood.com) AND, have you ever tried using a filler rod with the mig welder???? Use it like a steel brazing rod, add the filler as the puddle starts to form, the filler cools the weld slightly and adds additional metal to prevent "burn thru" Lean the rod into the point where the mig wire contacts the base and I have found it best to weld backwards, the gun pointing to where the weld is (new weld) rather than where it ain't. Buy what you can afford and learn to make it work for you. Good luck!!
mobjack68

Pulpo
9th Jan 2007, 06:17 PM
Graham

You forgot to mention bottles is for beer cylinders is for gas.

Always interested in your informative posts.

If only it will help my welding, thats a lost cause.

I was also taught using both flux core wire with a shielding gas.

A great mig always on my wish list but a stick welder is sitting in the shed.

Cheers

Pulpo

SPIRIT
9th Jan 2007, 09:56 PM
yes graham would like to see it also :) l still like my little gasless mig its quick and easy:U

peter_sm
14th Jan 2007, 11:24 AM
I agree gasless setups have their place. I just see people dissapointed so often when they want to do panel steel with a gasless and it all turns to doo doo. They get angry and upset and sometimes totally withdraw from doing something that may have been quite a pleasurable experience for them.

When I say gasless is a waste of money I am being more specific to anyone that wants to do car body work. If the machine suits your other applications, great. I will now humbly say I have no experience with those other applications, except with a MIG.

Today I am finishing putting integrated 3/4 chassis rails into a Chev V8 converted old Holden. The small MIG I use quite easily achieves the quality required for my work to be approved and certified by an engineer, as required by the registration authority.

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