Author Topic: Small Mig welder  (Read 1776 times)

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Offline bagpuss

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Small Mig welder
« on: May 09, 2020, 06:10:02 PM »
Hi guys im looking for a small home Mig welder I'm leaning towards a Boss 108 Mig from bunnings
https://dynaweld.com.au/product/mst-185-mig-stick-tig-inverter-welder/
they had it for $499 but I cant see it on the web site anymore they seam to have removed it from the web site so I think they may be dropping it from there range I can usually use one at a friends workshop but a lot of planing go's into doing this so I'm thinking of getting one for home to save the hassle
Do any of you have any recommendations of a small mig welder  that runs off a 10 amp plug I like the idea of gas rather than gas less I know you have to get the gas bottle so any info on this as well would be great

Thanks Mike

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Re: Small Mig welder
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2020, 06:24:12 PM »
I have a WIA  very  happy with it. Do your home work there is a big difference between cheap and good eg plastic fittings on wire drive rollers. You can buy the gas bottle then just pay for gas.

Offline Troopy_03

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Re: Small Mig welder
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2020, 06:25:55 PM »
You may be better off going second hand from somewhere like Gumtree, choosing a decent brand, and in reasonable condition.
4.2L TD Toyota Troopy, (Clarke's Country Camper Trailer, softfloor.) sold it and bought a Avan Ray small poptop caravan. I miss being able to acces the little tracks off into the scrub.

Offline MarkGU

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Re: Small Mig welder
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2020, 06:34:14 PM »
   bagpuss.

I bought a cheap mig welder many years ago, i think the brand name is Media Mig, and it hasnt missed a beat yet.
Not sure of the brand you are looking at,but the point is if you are only using it in a handy man scenario then there is nothing wrong with the cheaper ones.
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Re: Small Mig welder
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2020, 07:33:23 PM »
....I know you have to get the gas bottle so any info on this as well would be great

Mike, any tool specialist will have the bottles, and also do exchange.
Total Tools (Brooklyn and Hoppers) and United Tools on Old Geelong Road have them.

 :cheers:
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Offline MarkGU

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Re: Small Mig welder
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2020, 07:41:18 PM »
Mike, any tool specialist will have the bottles, and also do exchange.
Total Tools (Brooklyn and Hoppers) and United Tools on Old Geelong Road have them.

 :cheers:
BOC gas have them as well. Mine is a D size cylinder. its the smallest argon cylinder you can rent.
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Re: Small Mig welder
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2020, 07:44:29 PM »
BOC gas have them as well. Mine is a D size cylinder. its the smallest argon cylinder you can rent.

Best to buy them outright Mark. Works like swap-and-go LPG. No on-going rental charges....
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Offline Barson

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Re: Small Mig welder
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2020, 07:52:27 PM »
I have been using a smaller “Bossweld” gasless welder for a couple of years and it has been great. Nothing wrong with the brand from my experience.

Steve


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Re: Small Mig welder
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2020, 08:00:31 PM »
This is of interest for me as well, as the Boss has been making noises about wanting one as well....

I keep getting drawn to something like this kit:
https://www.totaltools.com.au/150389-unimig-viper-mig-120-promo-kit-pk11001 for ~$400

Offline MarkGU

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Re: Small Mig welder
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2020, 08:13:33 PM »
Best to buy them outright Mark. Works like swap-and-go LPG. No on-going rental charges....
yeah mate, i think we do something like that.The set up we have now is cheaper than the rent used to be.  :cup:
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Re: Small Mig welder
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2020, 08:17:15 PM »
Just having a quick look now, this was the other one I'd seen:
https://www.gettoolsdirect.com.au/bossweld-evo-141-mma-tig-welder-bundle-600141bundle.html

TIG rather than MIG, but there are some deals around at the moment.

Offline tryagain

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Re: Small Mig welder
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2020, 09:11:25 PM »
I have the 135A Cigweld weldskill, got it from masters when they were around,  can't remember the exact price, but it was a fair bit cheaper than it is being sold for at the moment, Supercheap seem to have it on a pretty reasonable sale every now and then though. Had an issue once, but that was fixed under warranty, the duty cycle is also pretty low, but I think most at the entry level ones will be similar.

With Gas, you can get the bottles from Bunnings, it's a $100 deposit for the bottle last I saw, but you get that back whenever you return the bottle.

Offline Pete79

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Small Mig welder
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2020, 09:43:28 PM »
Another vote for second hand welder. Especially if you want to start looking at band name units.

I picked up an awesome Unimig unit off gumtree for about half retail price, it the biggest single phase unit they make and in perfect condition. It even came with a full big roll of wire. ;)
The guy selling it had just upgraded to the latest model.

And another vote for the Bunnings gas bottles. It’s the best deal out there for home use.
You hire the bottle with a $200 deposit, instead of purchasing it like all of the other mobs make you do.
It was only $90 for each exchange when i did the last one, but might have gone up recently.
If you decide you didn’t need the gas any more, just return the empty bottle and get your deposit back. You are really only paying for what you use and not stuck with a useless bottle at the end of the day.

The only downside is Bunnings only do the smaller bottles, but 1 small bottle on my mig built my whole camper and complicated suspension setup.

I currently have 2 Bunnings welding gas bottles at home.
1 bottle of mig gas and a bottle of argon for my tig.
I’ve only done a handful of welds with the tig, but it’s not costing me anything to have it turned off and sitting on my welding trolley, ready whenever I need it.
If when this Argon bottle is finished and I don’t need to do any more tig welding I’ll just take the empty bottle back and it’s only cost me $90 for the gas.

Edit;
Just checked the prices for the Bunnings bottle and see they now also do the larger E size mig gas for $160 per exchange.
I recon when my current D size mig gas is empty I’ll swap it for the bigger one. The little one is fine for my Tig gas, I rarely use that one compared to the mig and stick.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2020, 09:49:49 PM by Pete79 »

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Re: Small Mig welder
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2020, 07:27:25 AM »
I hadn't noticed the bottles at Bunnings, Pete. I'll keep an eye out next time I'm there.

....just checked online pricing....

Bunnings and Total Tools are line-ball on prices for the D size. Both want $99 for refills. Difference is in deposit v purchase for the bottle itself.
Doesn't really matter, unless you get out of mig all together.

It's $300 deposit at Bunnings on the E bottles, and $159 for gas and refills. Total Tools want $475 for a full bottle, then $159 for refills. Not much in it.

Might look at an E myself, and keep the D as backup for the next time I forget to turn the gas off.... ::) ::)

 :cheers:
« Last Edit: May 10, 2020, 07:52:10 AM by GeoffA »
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Offline Spada

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Re: Small Mig welder
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2020, 07:39:48 AM »
So my ears have pricked up with this thread, and I'll also watch with interest. But my question is, is Mig much easier to weld with than a stick? I don't weld a lot and when I do it's just random little jobs in the shed. I've only ever used a little Cigweld stick welder that came from BigW 25 years ago. But ever since the little migs have become available I've often thought about it, but never really looked into it?
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Re: Small Mig welder
« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2020, 07:56:37 AM »
Another vote for second hand welder. Especially if you want to start looking at band name units.
......

Reckon I'd agree with that ^....
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Offline MarkGU

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Re: Small Mig welder
« Reply #16 on: May 10, 2020, 08:38:59 AM »
So my ears have pricked up with this thread, and I'll also watch with interest. But my question is, is Mig much easier to weld with than a stick? I don't weld a lot and when I do it's just random little jobs in the shed. I've only ever used a little Cigweld stick welder that came from BigW 25 years ago. But ever since the little migs have become available I've often thought about it, but never really looked into it?
A mig welder will be better suited to you if your doing thinner gauge material.Lot more settings on a mig to weld those smaller jobs.Stick welder for the thicker material jobs.
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Offline Mitch92

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Re: Small Mig welder
« Reply #17 on: May 10, 2020, 09:05:33 AM »
So my ears have pricked up with this thread, and I'll also watch with interest. But my question is, is Mig much easier to weld with than a stick? I don't weld a lot and when I do it's just random little jobs in the shed. I've only ever used a little Cigweld stick welder that came from BigW 25 years ago. But ever since the little migs have become available I've often thought about it, but never really looked into it?

If you can stick, you can MIG. It is dead easy, and almost anyone can get a reasonable looking weld from a MIG, particularly using gas. No dragging to arc, just on/off switch. No chipping slag and getting slag inclusion.

I would highly recommend one, especially for smaller/thinner materials. I can do both, as well as oxy-welding, and the MIG is definitely easier, especially out the farm in the shed where it is set-up. Field work still gets a stick
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Offline Pete79

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Small Mig welder
« Reply #18 on: May 10, 2020, 09:09:08 AM »
So my ears have pricked up with this thread, and I'll also watch with interest. But my question is, is Mig much easier to weld with than a stick? I don't weld a lot and when I do it's just random little jobs in the shed. I've only ever used a little Cigweld stick welder that came from BigW 25 years ago. But ever since the little migs have become available I've often thought about it, but never really looked into it?
I spent about 10 years on stick welders and only used wire feed units for really big stuff (think 100mm  thick stick steel plate, double V butt welds), so my opinion is a little biased. ;)

I have all 3 options on my welding trolley in the shed.
If I want it stuck and I need to know it’s stuck, I grab the stick every time.
If I want it to look pretty I grab the mig.
If it’s shiny or really thin I grab the tig.

Yes, you can sometimes have battles with slag inclusion with the stick. But once you get your eye in and learn to see what’s happening in the weld pool that should become less of an issue. But even when it does happen, it’s pretty easy to chip it out, give a little hit with the grinder or wire brush and reweld the slagged bit.
I use a lot of low hydrogen rods. They are a bit of a bitch to get started if you don’t know how, but they give a much nicer finish, especially with vertical welds.
Stick would have been my choice to do your pipe sculptures.
Actually, I go stick for anything galvanized, it’s just heaps cleaner.

Migs are much easier to use, but also much easier to stuff up.
You can lay down a beautiful looking mig weld that has absolutely no penetration or just below the surface is full of porosity and that beautiful looking weld is destined for failure.

You can use a stick welder anywhere, but conditions need to be just right to use a mig outside of the shed.

If you do give a mig welder a go, it’s worth going with a proper setup with gas. I’m not a fan of flux cored wire, unless you up in the bigger diameters.

And just on the tig.
Mine is a fancy high frequency pulse tig, with all sorts of cool knobs and dials, that never get touched. ;)
Any half decent inverter DC tig would do 95% of the work I do with a tig in my shed. I expect most people would be the same.
It’s nice to have all of those extra options and settings for the 5% of jobs, but I could get by without them if I had to.

All of your brand name units (cig, boc, essab, unimig, wia, etc) should serve any home handyman just fine.
Cheaper no name stick welders can also be fine, there’s not a hell of a lot to them. But as others mentioned cheaper migs and tigs will be using poor quality components on key parts, like the drive gears on the wire feed.

And finally, I’m old school and always prefer analog controls on things like welders.
Digital dials and touch pads look cool and all, but I’ll take flicking a switch or turning a dial every day.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2020, 09:20:06 AM by Pete79 »
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Re: Small Mig welder
« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2020, 09:14:47 AM »
Good write-up Pete... :cup:
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Offline Spada

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Re: Small Mig welder
« Reply #20 on: May 10, 2020, 10:25:06 AM »
Thanks Pete,

I knew you had a background in gluing steel together, so your advice is valuable  :cup:
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Offline MrHorsepower

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Re: Small Mig welder
« Reply #21 on: May 10, 2020, 01:27:44 PM »
I spent about 10 years on stick welders and only used wire feed units for really big stuff (think 100mm  thick stick steel plate, double V butt welds), so my opinion is a little biased. ;)

I have all 3 options on my welding trolley in the shed.
If I want it stuck and I need to know it’s stuck, I grab the stick every time.
If I want it to look pretty I grab the mig.
If it’s shiny or really thin I grab the tig.

Yes, you can sometimes have battles with slag inclusion with the stick. But once you get your eye in and learn to see what’s happening in the weld pool that should become less of an issue. But even when it does happen, it’s pretty easy to chip it out, give a little hit with the grinder or wire brush and reweld the slagged bit.
I use a lot of low hydrogen rods. They are a bit of a bitch to get started if you don’t know how, but they give a much nicer finish, especially with vertical welds.
Stick would have been my choice to do your pipe sculptures.
Actually, I go stick for anything galvanized, it’s just heaps cleaner.

Migs are much easier to use, but also much easier to stuff up.
You can lay down a beautiful looking mig weld that has absolutely no penetration or just below the surface is full of porosity and that beautiful looking weld is destined for failure.

You can use a stick welder anywhere, but conditions need to be just right to use a mig outside of the shed.

If you do give a mig welder a go, it’s worth going with a proper setup with gas. I’m not a fan of flux cored wire, unless you up in the bigger diameters.

And just on the tig.
Mine is a fancy high frequency pulse tig, with all sorts of cool knobs and dials, that never get touched. ;)
Any half decent inverter DC tig would do 95% of the work I do with a tig in my shed. I expect most people would be the same.
It’s nice to have all of those extra options and settings for the 5% of jobs, but I could get by without them if I had to.

All of your brand name units (cig, boc, essab, unimig, wia, etc) should serve any home handyman just fine.
Cheaper no name stick welders can also be fine, there’s not a hell of a lot to them. But as others mentioned cheaper migs and tigs will be using poor quality components on key parts, like the drive gears on the wire feed.

And finally, I’m old school and always prefer analog controls on things like welders.
Digital dials and touch pads look cool and all, but I’ll take flicking a switch or turning a dial every day.

Was going to comment as a fabricator with 35 years experience but Pete took all the words straight out of my mouth.  Good advice all round.  :cup:
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Offline bagpuss

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Re: Small Mig welder
« Reply #22 on: May 10, 2020, 09:09:47 PM »
Well guys thanks for all of your reply's I really appreciate you taking the time to reply I've bit the bullet and bought a Bossweld from bunnings @ $499 is not that much dearer than a second hand unit of Guntree but comes with a 2 year warranty so lets hope it works out to be ok
I went with this due to price, Warranty  and features, I'm gong to get a bottle from total tools tomorrow I'm looking at a size C this will help with storage as my shed is a massive 3 X 1.5m   :-[

First job is to make a new work bench that will house all my larger tools as I keep having to move one to use the other  It will need to house a small pillar drill my compressor, bench grinder, tool box and the mig its self with its gas bottle so should be a interesting first project think  Tardis  oh and also be a work bench Wish me luck  :laugh:

If it the bench comes out ok I'll put up some pictures

I think i will go with Black for the colour  :laugh:

     

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Re: Small Mig welder
« Reply #23 on: May 10, 2020, 10:04:00 PM »
......
I think i will go with Black for the colour  :laugh:

Something in common with Henry Ford there Mike......"any colour you like, as long as it's black".... ;D
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Offline bagpuss

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Re: Small Mig welder
« Reply #24 on: May 11, 2020, 08:40:19 AM »
Something in common with Henry Ford there Mike......"any colour you like, as long as it's black".... ;D

 :laugh: Never thought of it like that