Small by decent Mig welder.
I taught myself fairly quickly and a small unit will manage 2mm steel
and 4-5mm if you "V" grind the joint and do more than one pass.
The most important/irritating thing is wire feed. Some cheap units are
rough and sticky. Smooth feed is essential and more important than most
of the other attributes.
The other is gas - I got a baby industrial CO2 cylinder - not the
throw-away ones. Very economical and lasts forever. But not too big to
be a pain to store or lug around - couple of feet long IIRC, but
otherwise heavy and proper. You need to hire this and buy a regulator.
These days you need to define what junior means by "welding" as it's
massively expanded as a field over the past 40 years when there was
essentially just gas and stick (arc).
Hopefully junior will be happy to learn stick as it's the cheapest route
so if he gets fed up with it you won't suffer too much pocket-burn.
+1. While there is much to be said for gasless MIG as others have
suggested (and which is what I have), things like MAPP gas get you into
gas welding but also silver soldering which is, for many things (steam
engines, bike frames?) a more useful technique. Not too difficult to
migrate from MAPP to Oxy Acetylene and that takes you into a world of
new possibilities (car restoration for example). Or demolition which is
probably a growth industry, with all these coal fired power stations to
get rid of. (As an aside, I havn't seen any discussion of whether the
cause of the boiler house collapse at Didcot Power Station has been
The other standard advice used to be Evening Classes, I've no idea if
these still exist.
The Welding Institute (TWI at Abington, near Cambridge) used to do some
good VHS training videos at not silly prices. But these days I guess
everything you might need is on YouTube somewhere.
On 8/4/2016 9:38 PM, email@example.com wrote:
I was thinking about this sort of thing
but doing a bit more research it does not seem to have many devotees for
welding. I had been under the impression that it was similar to OA, only
slightly cooler, but it doesn't seem to give such an effective reducing
I'd still go back to the first point. It all depends on what sort of
things the lad wants to make. So the right answer might be stick, MIG
(normal or gasless), TIG, or OA. My point about MAPP / oxygen is that it
is a relatively cheap way into gas if you are interested in small scale
stuff. And I would still say that silver soldering might be the right
way to start: getting used to controlling temperatures and seeing the
way molten metal behaves without having your workpiece disappear before
The other big recommend for MIG is to get a self darkening helmet.
On Mon, 8 Aug 2016 12:21:44 -0700 (PDT), firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
You could reply Billy Connolly who was a boilermaker though he may be
too old to be a Celeb to a 16 year old.
Possibly Nicholas Parsons as well , despite his somewhat cultured
presentation his parents insisted he took an apprenticeship in
engineering so he spent the war years in Glasgow at a pump factory
On 8/9/2016 12:11 AM, email@example.com wrote:
Annoying he might be, but he has a certain amount of technical knowledge
and plenty of enthusiasm. Not to mention balls.
Fred Dibnah was rather like Marmite to IMechE members. Personally, I am
pretty sure George Stephenson would have approved.
To my mind, anyone who can raise the profile of engineering to the
younger generation has to be a good thing. Those of us who were raised
in the 1950's won't forget the influence of rocketry, V Bombers, Calder
Hall, and all the other new technology.
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