Lotus Elan

What welder??

PostPost by: pauljones » Fri May 25, 2018 5:05 pm

Guys.

Is there and welders out there that can guide me towards a good welder primarily for constructing enginge mounts.

Ive got about ?220 to spend.

I have no clue what to look for. Idealy im told Tig would be usefull.

Thanks guys

Paul
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PostPost by: JonB » Fri May 25, 2018 6:27 pm

Unless you know how to weld I'd get a mig.

Problem is they cost. You can get a cheap one for that sort of money but it won't be that good.

About these mounts. Have you cut the steel to shape and just want to weld them up? I can do this, it'll be strong but not amazingly pretty. PM me.
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Fri May 25, 2018 6:40 pm

I?ve got a stick and a mig welder under the bench, hardly ever use them and hence when I do the welding is not the best. I?d suggest making the metal to the size / shape required and take it to a local engineering firm for them to professionally weld it, probably cheaper and definitely a better quality weld.
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PostPost by: JonB » Fri May 25, 2018 6:43 pm

Good point BBB. My welding is best saved for "desperate measures"! But if Paul's never welded before, it'll take him a while to get to my (admittedly mediocre) standards.
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PostPost by: pauljones » Fri May 25, 2018 7:05 pm

Good points guys.

Last time i welded it was stick welding in a field in Canada to fix my broken Tank.

Try welding too Armour plating. It was not pretty but it worked.

This needs more...finesse...i think would be the word.
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PostPost by: LaikaTheDog » Fri May 25, 2018 8:08 pm

I got my migmate 130 off the internet second hand for ?50.
It replaced my 150 that had a failed gas valve.
This one works perfectly and has been used over and over again to fabricate anything from engine mounts to petrol tank straps.

I got a mig welding mask which has an auto dim from Lidl for ?25 which was the best gadget from the junk aisle I have ever bought !!
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PostPost by: Chancer » Fri May 25, 2018 8:28 pm

I have just bought one of them for ?35, its 100 times better than my existong auto one (I need one in each country) which cost ?200 back in the day, still working though.

Old one only has one rotary knob adjustment, the new one has 3 adjustable parameters plus a LED light for when striking the arc, weighs nothing as well, I was convinced it was an empty box!!!
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Fri May 25, 2018 9:39 pm

Don?t have a Lidl nearby, but Aldi have much the same, must look out for one of those masks, gotta be better than the one that came from Machinemart with the mig.
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PostPost by: UAB807F » Sat May 26, 2018 5:21 am

pauljones wrote:Guys.
Is there and welders out there that can guide me towards a good welder primarily for constructing enginge mounts.
Ive got about ?220 to spend.
I have no clue what to look for. Idealy im told Tig would be usefull.
Thanks guys
Paul

Hi Paul,
Like most other here, I'm an infrequent welder but over the years I've collected "one of each" :D

Arc welding sets are very cheap these days, the one I have now is a cheapie similar to what you can buy at Aldi/Lidl/Machine Mart. About 150 amps and I use it mainly for welding mild steel above 2mm thick. It's fine for making things in steel up to 6-8mm thick, above that you need patience and time. You'd get an arc set well under budget, the one I have is probably ?50-?80 these days and would make your engine brackets easily.

MIG sets can be either with or without a shielding gas. To use without a shielding gas you need special wire which contains flux although it looks pretty much the same as conventional MIG wire. Gasless MIG sets are cheaper than those which use a shielding gas because they are less complex but you are restricted in what you can weld. With a "gas" set you can weld carbon steel, stainless & Aluminium. The advantage over an arc set is that it's much easier to weld thin metals such as car bodywork but you need care to ensure full penetration on thicker (8mm ?) metals with a hobby set.

Mine is an old BOC branded mig set, 130 amps and takes a gas bottle. I've used it both with & without gas and I'd think a similar set would be just within your budget. If you'll weld car bodywork then this is a better option than an arc set. BUT.... it will be more expensive to run and require more maintenance as parts do wear out.

TIG sets are out of your budget unless you buy s/h. I'll go against convention now and say that a TIG set is probably the least useful for general car related tinkering. I bought one simply because I wanted to learn how to tig weld and I have made a few things with it.

The advantage of TIG is good control on thin metals, 1mm or less, plus of course you can weld any metal you're likely to come across with suitable filler/gas. My set is a "cheap" one but it's still ?500+ to get up and running, the only slight compensation is that you can use it for both TIG and Arc welding, so in one sense it could replace the old arc set. (but it's not as portable)

Again like the others, one thing you must have is an auto darkening mask. Mine came from Ebay at around ?25-?30 but the Lidl ones looked fine the other week.

Also I'd suggest something called a "cheater lens". This is a small plastic magnifying lens which fits behind your visor screen and gives 2x or 3x magnification of the weld pool area. That is very useful if you're starting out and your manual dexterity is in the L plate class because you can see easily where you're going wrong.

Brian
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PostPost by: JonB » Sat May 26, 2018 7:38 am

Oh, forgot to say, mines a Migmate 130 Turbo (has a cooling fan).

Not well regarded in the professional world but perfectly good for hobbyists, as I have found.
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PostPost by: Chancer » Sat May 26, 2018 8:24 am

Something that sits between a mig suitable for thin sheet/car bodywork and a 200/300 amp arc welder for heavy steel fabrications is a DC arc "handbag" invertor welder, I bought one when I came to France because all my other welding sets were in the UK and it has proved to be so usefull that it is my go-to welder for 95% of the time.

It was very cheap, around ?100 but has the pro bayonet couplings for the cables which I have since replaced with long heavy duty ones with a proper earth clamp and electrode holder.

I already posess oxy acetylene, mig and arc and Tig aside I did not think I needed another welder but the handbag one has earned its place.

It will definitely weld much thinner steel than the arc welder but not as thin as a good mig. For someones first welder I would recommend it over a normal arc welder for the ease of striking an arc and the auto-cut off if the rod sticks.
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PostPost by: 69S4 » Sat May 26, 2018 8:30 am

I did 2 yrs of welding classes back in the 90's and got quite good with MIG, TIG and gas by the end. Lack of practice these days has taken its toll but what I do recall was that with MIG in particular the professional (= expensive) sets were very easy to use. With a bit of care I could get acceptable welds with a wide range of settings whereas my home ?200 SIP set needed (and still does) very precise set up and care to get good results. Which, I suppose, is what you'd expect but not what what you'd hope.

My rule of thumb with home welding is that I'll tackle anything appropriate except items where failure could have lethal consequences. So no suspension or brake parts for example. Was it Dirty Harry who said a man's gotta know his limitations

Unless home TIG sets have moved on since I last used one I'd forget it and stick with MIG.
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PostPost by: pauljones » Sun May 27, 2018 11:21 am

Thanks for all the advice.

Ive had a few offers for welding, so i think ill pop to fleebay and buy a kit, along with some new mounts. When ive got them ill be able to move forward.

Ta all
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