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  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by mekanik View Post
    with Argon you will be able to weld Stainless & possibly Ally
    If buying a MIG pick a good one and it will be easier to learn and produce good work than one with less-good characteristics. I have an ESAB MIG that's great on light mild steel with CO2, for heavier sections a mixed gas like Argoshield is better and with pure Argon and the right wire it happily deals with Aluminium, Stainless Steel, Bronze, Copper, Brass and makes a lovely job on Cast Iron (with pre-heat and insulated slow cool), pick the right gas and wire and you can weld/braze most of the above (except Aluminium) to any other of the above.


    Tig is easier to pick up if you've gas welded to a standard where your welds are a lovely neat series of half-moon shapes, you understand about maintaining a weld pool and where using filler keeping the rod tip at the right temp and dipping it to add filler. If you need to work with thin Stainless or Aluminium Tig and Gas are by far the best options.


    MMA (Stick) is brilliant for heavier work in most materials, building up worn surfaces on machinery and hard facing, it's also excellent for outdoor work as not relying on gas for shielding it's tolerant of wind and even a bit of rain when you need to weld a hinge back into your neighbor's gate post on an inclement day.


    I would have all three if possible, but if choosing one it depends on the intended use.
    If you want pretty welds in light materials then your only option is TIG, also TIG if you're predominantly working in Aluminium and Stainless in a workshop.
    Generally speaking if you're working with materials above 1mm and you're happy with some post-welding cleanup on finer work then a MIG will do the job nicely, I've built Mini-Skips outdoors on a calm day with a MIG ;-)
    Never underestimate Stick, on fabrication work it will perform and produce a lovely job outdoors where MIG and TIG will struggle to function,
    Regards,
    Nick
    Last edited by magicniner; 24-11-2013 at 11:47 AM.

  2. #22
    I'd have to agree that Mig will do most jobs but there are occasions when TIG and ARC are more suitable. If you have a workshop and 3-phase, then I'm assuming you're setting up something a bit more professional than a garden shed workshop? If so, get a 3-phase MIG welder and a small inverter TIG/ARC. The latter will often be combined into one set as they're almost identical electrically. Inverter driven arc welders are an absolute joy to use. I bought one of these last year for 300. It's been better than expected, however it drinks Argon faster than I can drink scrumpy!

    SIP (S.I.P) 05266 Weldmate Welder P178 (160amp) HF Tig/MMA/Invert Welding | eBay

  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by birchy View Post
    MIG ......... It's ideal for mild steel down to 2mm - 3mm thick. Anything less than 2mm thick will be best welded with TIG.
    That's innacurate information and as a former Vauxhall Dealership Panel Beater and Jig Operator I can inform you that body steel down to 0.8mm is easily welded with MIG and CO2, ESAB set bodyshop proceedures for this using 0.8mm wire, thinner material than this is better welded with 0.6mm wire, some good MIG sets designed for lighter work will have an intermittent setting to help welders who are unable to deal manually with thin material,
    Regards,
    Nick
    Last edited by magicniner; 24-11-2013 at 05:58 PM.

  4. #24
    Thanks for all your advice folks. I'll have a good look into a 3 phase and good look into MIG in general.

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by magicniner View Post
    That's innacurate information and as a former Vauxhall Dealership Panel Beater and Jig Operator I can inform you that body steel down to 0.8mm is easily welded with MIG and CO2, ESAB set bodyshop proceedures for this using 0.8mm wire, thinner material than this is better welded with 0.6mm wire, some good MIG sets designed for lighter work will have an intermittent setting to help welders who are unable to deal manually with thin material,
    Regards,
    Nick
    I didn't say it CAN'T be done. For "on the bench" type work, TIG does a nicer job of sheet metals and gives better pool control, particularly for none-expert welders. I also said that thinner materials could be welded but you generally have to "spot" weld to avoid burning through if you're not an expert. I've welded cars with an arc welder in the past but I wouldn't recommend it.

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