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Author: Subject: Use it or lose it!
David Jenkins

posted on 3/7/21 at 03:41 PM Reply With Quote
Use it or lose it!

No, not that...

I had to do a bit of MIG welding today - what a carry-on! It's probably 7 or 8 years since I needed to do some tidy welding and I just could not get the welder settings right. I think it took me almost 45 minutes to get the settings somewhere near correct so that I could do some tidy plug welds.

Perhaps I need to do some welding occasionally so I don't lose the knack again!





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rusty nuts

posted on 3/7/21 at 04:31 PM Reply With Quote
If you used the same reel of Mig wire it probably has some rust on it which doesnít help ?
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David Jenkins

posted on 3/7/21 at 04:46 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by rusty nuts
If you used the same reel of Mig wire it probably has some rust on it which doesnít help ?


It had been packed away, and looked clean, but that could have been a factor.





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BenB

posted on 3/7/21 at 08:50 PM Reply With Quote
In my case the cause for my recent rubbish welding was easy- I foolishly used the Clarke instruction manual for the settings! Historically I didn't have the manual so just got the settings right by trial and error. In the interim I'd downloaded the manual for my smaller welder (I've got two now, a 90A mini and a 150TE whopper for bigger stuff). I set the welder to the recommended settings but no amount of fiddling back and forth on the wire speed got it working right until I reduced the speed to a third of what the manual said and it worked fine!!! I wonder if the motor controller needs replacing as I can't believe it should be that out of spec. Either that or one of the current switches isn't doing anything....
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snapper

posted on 3/7/21 at 09:05 PM Reply With Quote
Having done a 10 week welding course at my local Ag college itís clear that you canít just dial and go, if your an occasional welder then you need to set the welder using similar metal scraps to the work piece.
Practice makes sort of OK





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David Jenkins

posted on 3/7/21 at 09:07 PM Reply With Quote
I have the Clarke 150TE as well - works OK, but it's nothing special. I always spent a major part of any session getting the settings right. It's what makes the difference between a rank amateur and a professional, I guess!

I used to have a TIG welder, and I was a far better welder with that. I don't have it any more as it needed a special feed from my consumer unit, to get around 30A (it was old technology!). Perhaps I need to invest in a small inverter TIG that will run from a normal socket...





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James

posted on 3/7/21 at 11:46 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by David Jenkins
I have the Clarke 150TE as well - works OK, but it's nothing special. I always spent a major part of any session getting the settings right. It's what makes the difference between a rank amateur and a professional, I guess!

I used to have a TIG welder, and I was a far better welder with that. I don't have it any more as it needed a special feed from my consumer unit, to get around 30A (it was old technology!). Perhaps I need to invest in a small inverter TIG that will run from a normal socket...



I haven't done any in 10+ years so will probably be appalling at it I give it a go!

Inverter TIG's seem to vary a lot in price, let us know if you get one and what model you go for.





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David Jenkins

posted on 4/7/21 at 09:19 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by snapper
Having done a 10 week welding course at my local Ag college itís clear that you canít just dial and go, if your an occasional welder then you need to set the welder using similar metal scraps to the work piece.
Practice makes sort of OK


I did use an off-cut from the piece I wanted to weld - it ended up looking like an incontinent blackbird had emptied its bowels all over it!

I'm just glad that my welds aren't going to be structural, just strong enough to hold one piece inside another. My biggest worry was blowing holes in the outer bit of the plug weld, and I managed to avoid doing that.





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ArthurR

posted on 4/7/21 at 11:39 AM Reply With Quote
Snapper mentioned doing a welding course, I've been trying to find one somewhere not too far away from Oxfordshire, but not been able to find anything. If anyone know of any I'd be interested.
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David Jenkins

posted on 4/7/21 at 03:59 PM Reply With Quote
I did a course many years ago at our local ag college (Otley, Suffolk) - it was a mix of stick and MIG welding. I enjoyed the stick welding bit as they were using HUGE Oxford welding transformers that made the job so easy: if you struck a good arc to start with, you would probably get a good weld. However, I think everyone else on the course had been there before, as when the instructor announced that it was time for MIG lessons, they all galloped into the other room. By the time I got there I was left with the massive welder that no-one else wanted to use!

It was fun though, as everyone else was given bits of 1/8 or 1/16 sheet, while I got 3/8 plate! The instructor helped me to set it up, then I was away - the noise was so loud that everyone stopped what they were doing to see what was going on. I think it was running at 125 - 150A. It was fascinating to watch how the plate edges melted into the weld pool as I moved along - probably the best welds I've ever done. Just a tad scary to use though!





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Simon

posted on 4/7/21 at 07:43 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by David Jenkins

I used to have a TIG welder, and I was a far better welder with that. .....a normal socket...


I have an R Tech 170 AC/DC tha runs off normal 13 amp fused socket. Works a treat

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nick205

posted on 5/7/21 at 10:09 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by rusty nuts
If you used the same reel of Mig wire it probably has some rust on it which doesnít help ?



I know exactly what "david jenkins" is talking about.

I suffered what "rusty nuts" is talking about too. Some surface rust on the wire in my MIG welder was a PITA. I ended up spooling a good few metres out of the torch to ensure clean wire and a better ge of a decent welds.

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David Jenkins

posted on 5/7/21 at 10:18 AM Reply With Quote
I think my problem was a slack or dirty wire feed roller - another job to sort out! Also, I was using pub CO2, which can be unforgiving - when I built my chassis I was using BOC Argoshield gas, which took at least 50% of the set-up worries away (it really makes welding much easier).

Trouble is, I probably won't need to weld again for another year or two!





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nick205

posted on 5/7/21 at 11:05 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by David Jenkins
I think my problem was a slack or dirty wire feed roller - another job to sort out! Also, I was using pub CO2, which can be unforgiving - when I built my chassis I was using BOC Argoshield gas, which took at least 50% of the set-up worries away (it really makes welding much easier).

Trouble is, I probably won't need to weld again for another year or two!



Ditto - Argoshield makes MIG welding easier (I find) CO2 seems a bit more hard work. If you're not going to be welding much and not for long then a small CO2 bottle is cheaper and gets the job jone, but Argoshield is nice.

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James

posted on 6/7/21 at 01:20 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by David Jenkins
I think my problem was a slack or dirty wire feed roller - another job to sort out! Also, I was using pub CO2, which can be unforgiving - when I built my chassis I was using BOC Argoshield gas, which took at least 50% of the set-up worries away (it really makes welding much easier).

Trouble is, I probably won't need to weld again for another year or two!



You're probably well aware but you can buy minibottles of Argoshield for small amounts of welding.





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"The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses, behind the lines, in the gym and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights." - Muhammad Ali

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David Jenkins

posted on 6/7/21 at 01:40 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by James

You're probably well aware but you can buy minibottles of Argoshield for small amounts of welding.


I was sort-of aware - but I have a CO2 bottle sitting behind my welder, and I only had a few welds to do.

What I plan to do in the near future is to have a good go at the welder to make sure it's functioning as it should, then put it bed properly to be ready for the next time (which I didn't do previously).

[Edited on 6/7/21 by David Jenkins]





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James

posted on 6/7/21 at 04:07 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by David Jenkins
quote:
Originally posted by James

You're probably well aware but you can buy minibottles of Argoshield for small amounts of welding.


I was sort-of aware - but I have a CO2 bottle sitting behind my welder, and I only had a few welds to do.

What I plan to do in the near future is to have a good go at the welder to make sure it's functioning as it should, then put it bed properly to be ready for the next time (which I didn't do previously).

[Edited on 6/7/21 by David Jenkins]


I you suggesting leaving mine in a free-standing garage that's often 1/2" deep in water for 10 years is a bad idea?





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"The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses, behind the lines, in the gym and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights." - Muhammad Ali

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nick205

posted on 9/7/21 at 08:30 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by James
quote:
Originally posted by David Jenkins
quote:
Originally posted by James

You're probably well aware but you can buy minibottles of Argoshield for small amounts of welding.


I was sort-of aware - but I have a CO2 bottle sitting behind my welder, and I only had a few welds to do.

What I plan to do in the near future is to have a good go at the welder to make sure it's functioning as it should, then put it bed properly to be ready for the next time (which I didn't do previously).

[Edited on 6/7/21 by David Jenkins]


I you suggesting leaving mine in a free-standing garage that's often 1/2" deep in water for 10 years is a bad idea?



That garage needs sorting out!

The welder should be up on a welding cart/trolley a couple of feet above ground too. Get some steel and make yourself one!

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