It depends what you want or expect to weld. For around 3mm upwards in
thickness I use an ARC welder. If you want to weld things like car
bodies then the only thing to use is MIG. An ARC welder will just blow
holes in thin material.
I have both in my garage and the MIG only rarely gets used.
On 8 Jan 2004 05:51:45 -0800, chip email@example.com (ian) wrote:
Definitely wire-feed MIG. Stick is fun, but pretty useless for under
You've got budget-related options:
S/H cheapie. Maybe £50. Gets you started.
New cheapie. Probably a lousy wire feed, but it works and will fix
your rusty Escort. Disposable bottles are expensive if you're using
it a lot, or intermittently (they don't store well once opened)
£300 - Cebora. Starts to be a really decent machine. Cheap too,
because the consumable costs get a _lot_ cheaper once you're into this
£500 - Gurt big Murex or something.
Gasless wire is sometimes handy for outdoor use, but it's expensive
wire to buy and you need a machine that can run it. Personally I don;t
touch the stuff.
Gibson's "Practical Welding"
<(Amazon.com product link shortened)>
is a book well worth having, and so is an automatic hat. You'll also
like a halogen floodlight, an angle grinder, and more clamps than you
ever think you'll need.
Look at evening classes too. Often a good bargain and you get your
hands on full-size kit to see what it's like.
MIG - if you can run a good bead with a mastic gun
you can MIG weld - that simple
Arc - if you can draw a reasonable portrait
with a pencil held at the wrong end you
can Arc weld - can be very frustrating and some people
never get the knack.
Want to build trailers = Arc
Want to mend car bodies = MIG
Arc = sooo cheap to buy & use (£50)
MIG can be expensive if u use Argon mixes
I use CO2 as I don't weld Aluminium = cheap
Some don't like CO2 cos of spatter but I don't mind
cos the welds are either not on view or are ground
I use this
but I've used things like this
and got metals to stick together
as everyone says you must get an auto helmet
don't consider welding without one
lol. Arcs are way cheaper but are not as easy to use, and leave a lot
of hard mess all over the weld that has to be hammered off. Thats your
One thing I would look out for is welders that go to low current
settings. For thin metal sometimes that even the lowest current
setting is too high.
Gasless wire is the simplest and nearest to idiot proof, but of course
it costs if you use it much.
Finally you can make your own, but theyre so cheap that its usually
not worth bothering.
Buy a small (130amp) mig. It'll do most DIY type jobs. Make sure you never
use gasless mig wire though cos the fumes are awful and can cause cancer.
Use a gas bottle. You can but small bottles of CO2 or argon mix but at
around £8 each they're expensive. You can use pub gas (CO2) but it's not
brilliant as the bottle could contain water. OK for the odd job though.
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