MiG Welder | The Z Club of Great Britain
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MiG Welder

Discussion in 'Anything and everything' started by Rob Gaskin, Jan 14, 2018.

  1. Rob Gaskin

    Rob Gaskin Treasurer in training Staff Member Committee Member

    I'm thinking of buying a MiG welder. All my previous welding was done with acetylene and huge bottles!

    Advice on purchase would be helpful please.

    Are the 'no gas' systems any good?

    What size machine is appropriate for chassis, body and bumper/spotlight brackets/tow bars etc.

    When the description states 'needs hard-wiring' I assume that's because a standard 13A plug can't take the current. I could hard-wire with 'twin and earth' but the machine needs to be portable so I can weld on the drive?
  2. Turn & Burn

    Turn & Burn
    Z Club Member

    I use a Clarke 160 turbo. It is a hobby Mig but I’ve used it solidly for 5+ yrs and it’s never let me down. From 0.8 upto 5mm, stainless, c.stl and Ali. Always run on Argoshield. For cars and light fab it’s great.
    I have it on a 16A blue plug rather than a 13A. So ideally this will need a good supply.
  3. Mr Ex Jnr

    Mr Ex Jnr Zeds is the way iv been shown Staff Member

    Av got a small welder in garage that on a 13amp club if I have them on the very top settings it trips. But I messed around with the setting turned the power down to 2 go upto 4 but I played with the wire feed till it was nice and it works lovely on the car body work and exhaust welded my daily car up with it really handy having one it runs on gas aswell
    It's also a euro mug that I bought 2nd hand off eBay 40 pound came with 2 pin plug put normal plug on it that was 4 years ago and came with full reel of wire bonus

    Never had experience with gas less but I wouldn't get one personally

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 14, 2018
  4. jonbills

    ZClub Administrator
    Staff Member Committee Member

    I’ve got a clarke pro 90 - it runs on domestic 13A mains. It goes as low as 24A which is good for thin (0.5mm) steel but tops out at 90A so can’t handle more than about 3mm steel which might not be enough for your lamp brackets. It works pretty well - I’m happy with it.
    I’ve heard gasless is not good.
  5. Jimbo

    Jimbo 1978 260z in yellow

    take a look on this fantastic forum for the advice as ive found them invaluable http://www.mig-welding.co.uk/forum/
    they have a section on different welders and they can best advise what to get.

    i have a portamig and its a great machine that makes welding incredably easy.
    with these machines generally the more money the machine the easier and better the job will be.
    150amp is about the max a 13amp plug will take so you wont need to buy any thing mahoosive
    but take good care looking at the lowest setting s as most start at 45amp which will blow holes in car body work.
    ideally you want 25-30 amp min and then up to 130 for the thicker stuff ie 3mm.
    gas can be had from BOC on the VOLKSZONE offer courtesy of another clubs discount.
    if you want to learn to weld theres plenty of people on the forum i mentioned who would be happy to train you or if you like pop down my way and i can show you the little i know
  6. Jimbo

    Jimbo 1978 260z in yellow

    as regards thickness of metal it can weld all welders need the metal preparing properly before it can be welded including grinding a big V into both pieces to allow for penetration.
    using this method fairly low power machines can weld much thicker pieces of steel.
  7. uk66fastback

    Z Club Member

    About ten years ago or more I did an evening course to learn to do it - eight weeks @ 2hrs a week - by the end I was able to do it to the standard I needed to restore metal on my car and know what to look for and what machine to get etc - and the website above is invaluable for learning from ...

    It's a nice skill to have up your sleeve - have welded/repaired many items over the years - base of my neighbours parasol in his garden etc!

    TIG is when it gets serious of course. On this course the lecturer guy said have a go at it after he showed us how etc - it was ridiculously hard first up - at least for me! Practice makes perfect though I suppose ...
  8. Jimbo

    Jimbo 1978 260z in yellow

    i would love to learn to tig especially aluminium but the basic sets are over a grand :eek:
    i suppose if you got good you could make the money back pretty quickly in odd jobs but like yourself im gonna stick to mig :bow:
  9. Jimbo

    Jimbo 1978 260z in yellow

    one more thing second hand welders often turn up on that forum so you can get top notch gear all setup for not a lot of money so its worth keeping an eye out
  10. johnymd

    Z Club Member

    I have used a Clarke 160turbo for quite a few years and think its perfect as long as you don't try and go much over 5mm. It's great for all general car stuff. I get the gas from a motorparts supplier (can't remember which) and you don't pay a yearly rental.
  11. pmac

    pmac Well-Known Forum User

    Thats why I bought a Clarke 151TE Turbo.
    It is the biggest in the range that will run from a 13amp plug.
    It has given me years and years of service both in the workshop and out n about.
  12. candy red

    candy red Active Forum User

    I use a Murex 120 with argon shield will weld 0.8 sheet metal to 10 mm plate with ease Great welder just the bloke using it not up to much :lol:
    just plugs into a 13amp socket
    Derrick ;)
  13. Rob Gaskin

    Rob Gaskin Treasurer in training Staff Member Committee Member

    Thanks guys. :bow:

    Yes Pete your's seems to be a 'good un' - I've looked at reviews. I'm not ignoring your advice last week.

    I have done a lot of gas welding and a little Mig, so I'm hoping I can 'pick it up again'.
  14. johnymd

    Z Club Member

    I've run the 160t for years on a 13a plug with no problem. Initially I put a clamp meter on the live cable to check the current draw and it was well below 13a even on the higher settings.
  15. uk66fastback

    Z Club Member

    One useful thing is if you get a 13a plug one - mine is 13a but has some bigger round 3-pin plug I had to get and wire in for a special plug, you can take it to friends etc and use it on their cars ... it's fully portable. Mine having this different plug, isn't. People have to bring their parasol bases to me!
  16. Huw

    Z Club Member
    Staff Member

    Hi Rob.

    Loads of good options out there. Again depends what you want from your welder. The Murex 120 and the Clarke 151TE Turbo are really lovely machines to use. The feed and amp settings are responsive and give you plenty of options for a range of thickness to weld. I'm currently using a Sip Migmate 105 Turbo, its happy welding 0.5 to 10mm steel. I use argon gas as I personally find it give a better weld for me. My machine will also use gasless wire, the feed roller can be flipped over to accommodate it. Gasless wire is not useless or awful as suggested. It can give you a very even weld for thicker materials, as long as you store it properly in a warm dry environment otherwise the flux core will absorb moisture from the air and give a poor weld. You also need to take a bit more care cleaning the joint to be welded than with a gas shrouded wire. It is handy to have it as an option for those times the gas runs out. What ever machine you go for, I would suggest getting a good quality auto darkening helmet. Make life a bit simpler. Have fun welding.
  17. jonbills

    ZClub Administrator
    Staff Member Committee Member

    +1 for the auto darkening helmet
  18. Rob Gaskin

    Rob Gaskin Treasurer in training Staff Member Committee Member

    Bought one of these.

    Thanks for all your advice guys.
  19. candy red

    candy red Active Forum User

    Happy welding Rob :D
  20. uk66fastback

    Z Club Member

    It's a nice skill to have and you'll have lots of fun doing it ...

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