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  • Car(s):skyline
  • Real Name:michael
hi guys how much would i be looking at paying for a decent welder, im hoping to buy one sometime soon, i am a 4th year fitter/machinist and am looking at getting into stainless welding and aluminium, i have tried stainless and have done not too bad so thought i could make some custom parts up. im looking at spending $3000 or less maybe a bit over depending on what the brand is and how much more over the $3000

thankyou in advance, michael

Posted 04 April 2010 - 10:15 PM

How many killawasps under my hood...???


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  • Real Name:Scott
I bought a Allmax 200A AC/DC Tig at christmas time from a Vic based Ebay seller. So far Im more than happy with it, it has done all I have needed with ease and I have had no problems.

It cost me $1200 new inc delivery, a regulator and foot controller and comes with a 2 year warranty.

Budget for at least $2000 though to get yourself setup, you will also need:
A good TIG helmet - I paid $550 for a top of the line speedglas, and it was money very well spent. A $80 bunnings automatic helmet simply wont work with TIG, and even a typical good quality $300 MIG one still wont work at low currents... you need to buy a TIG specific one, you can get resonable speedglas TIG ones for about $400+ and its a small price to pay to keep your eyesight.

Gloves - $10 - $50

Electrodes - I got a few 10packs from ebay for about $25 each and they are working fine - you will most likely need a couple different sizes and types (for stainless/alloy etc)

Gas - $120 - $150 for a mid sized bottle + $15/month rent.

Filler rods - a big pack will cost you about $50- $70, again you will want thick and thin alloy, stainless and mild steel ones.

Scotch bright pads etc also come in handy for cleaning up the metal before welding...

You will also need a bench grinder, as especially when learning you will constantly be grinding the tungsten tips back to shape and removing contamination. Once your up and running grab a bucket full of alloy offcuts and weld them all together, don't try starting on something you are actually going to use on the car as you will more than likely just make a mess of it... =)

Edited by samstain, 07 April 2010 - 11:57 AM.

Posted 07 April 2010 - 11:55 AM


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Not the prettiest welding out there, but its functional...

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted 07 April 2010 - 12:01 PM


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hi there samstain, thankyou very much for you info and pics.

i have decided i will be getting either a lincoln, wia, or cigweld welder or even one from ebay if i can find any at the time i purchase,


cheers... michael p.s by the way the welds dont look too bad, ill post some pics up when i start they will be pretty bad.

Posted 07 April 2010 - 02:21 PM

How many killawasps under my hood...???


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I have been busy setting up my TIGstation at home.

Collecting and studying all the different stuff is quite a mission.

Have a look at " bob the welders " web site for consumables. His filler rods are not badly priced. I also bought gloves from him.

http://www.bobthewel...d91809a2b351e07

You can use solid MIG wire as a filler rod for mild steel if you already have that.

I bought electrodes from a china seller. Lanthium for steel and Zirconium for alloy. Started with 1.6mm $12 for 10 posted

http://industrial.sh...?...4095&bkBtn=

Also got 1.6mm collets off ebay for a very good price, I bought a 8.7 cubic meter Argon cylinder from BOC. Cost $89 for a fill and $14 a month.

Supagas and Liquid air quoted me stupid prices.

Bought a new Helmet, My old Speedglass helmet wasnt up to TIG, I wasnt going to pay $500 for a new Speedglass one so bought a CIG one for $285 from Total Tools, Works great.

http://www.thermadyn..... brochure.pdf

Also got a bench/ belt sander for sharpening electrodes for $79 off Deals Direct.

http://www.dealsdire...sc-belt-sander/

My welder is an MITEC off Ebay with HF start, pulse, plasma cutter, foot pedal and reg. Seems to have all the good stuff the brand names have.

Cost $1400

http://cgi.ebay.com....=item563b2db3d0

Cant wait to have some fun, Electrodes havent arrived yet.

Also bought a Miller welding student pack which has all the current calculators, course books you will need for TIG, MIG, Stick etc

You also get a cool DVD so you can see how its done.

http://www.millerwel...esources/tools/

Edited by Tektrader69, 07 April 2010 - 06:45 PM.

Posted 07 April 2010 - 05:47 PM

Comming to a race track near you !!

  • Gender:Male
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I ve got a UNITIG 200amp ac/dc tig
nice peice of kit $1700 (Trade tools/repco)

If you've got the cash get a kempi


cigweld auto mask suits all applications $106 (blackwoods)

Posted 07 April 2010 - 07:11 PM


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Why dont normal helmets suit TIG? I had to turn the sensitivity down on my auto darkening helmet for TIG, but it works fine. Is there something fundamentally different about the rays given off by TIG than MIG / stick? (apart from intensity)?

Posted 09 April 2010 - 07:12 AM

A car isn't powerful enough until you find yourself standing in front of it in the morning, scared to unlock it

 

- Walter Rohl


  • Gender:Male
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Sometimes they will work fine, but often if you are doing very fine welding with a tig (at only 5-20A) a standard helmet won't sence it and will be to bright, or if it does sence it you can't turn the shade down enough to still see what you are doing. With a good helmet you can set it to turn on at anything from looking at a fluro light right up to the heaviest of welding, and you can change the shad setting to suit grinding right through to heavy welding.

All the helmets I tried were crap compared wiht the one I ended up with. I can weld all night with it and not get a single flash or sore eyes, and you can see every detail in the weld. With other ones I have borrowed (everything from a $100 Tecman to a $300 older style mig Speedglas) you would have lots of trouble with it false darkening or not darkening, and generally after 20 minutes of welding you would have a blind spot such that I had trouble driving home.

Posted 09 April 2010 - 04:50 PM


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Its all in the speed and the weave, and practice.

I am a first class metal worker by trade but not working with steel ATM, but give me a hour or so to get back into the groove and it doesnt look half bad.

My tip is to make up everything and anything, if you can get neat with good penetration you can pay for your gear by doing jobs for the boys, rip of as much material from work as you can and start stockpiling.

Also look into polishing gear for finishing.

Having you gear mobile is a huge plus to as you can fab up at peoples homes and workshops when you get good.


$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Posted 09 April 2010 - 05:04 PM

This post represents the official view of the voices in my head


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Mine has separate settings for darkness (how dark the lens goes when it strikes an arc), sensitivity (at what flash intensity it darkens) and delay (how long it takes to darken after you strike an arc). I thought that should give me enough adjustability. I don't know how much the helmet cost me, as my wife got it for me for Xmas - bought from HAre and Forbes in Brisbane. I haven't had a chance to try a $600 uber helmet, so don't know what a "proper" one feels like, but this one is infinitely better than the old flip style that I managed to make do with for the last 15 years.

As far as making money from welding - I think I'll pass on that. My fabricator charges me about half what I charge myself out for in my normal job. If I tried to do my own welding (and took time off work to do it) or decided to start welding for a living, I'd suffer a huge pay loss (apart from my welding skilz letting me down :P )

Posted 10 April 2010 - 07:34 AM

A car isn't powerful enough until you find yourself standing in front of it in the morning, scared to unlock it

 

- Walter Rohl


  • Car(s):skyline
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tanks again for the info guys, im not worried about gloves electrodes and stuff as i can get them from work for free or a 6 pack, material is also easy to get, i might look into the kempi welders, depending on the price of them. might even buy a flash helmet i think id rather just pay 600 for a nice one though, can never be too careful when it come to your eyes.

Posted 13 April 2010 - 04:28 PM

How many killawasps under my hood...???


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  • Real Name:Scott
That was my thoughs on the helmet also, I had no problems buying a $1200 welder with a 2 year warranty as if it died after 2 years and was unfixable I would have probably got my moneys worth out of it by then (and top of the line ones will have probably dropped by about $2000 by then anyway). But for the helmet I though how much my eyesight is worth and decided there is no point comprimising on a cheapie, at best it would probably frustrate me, and at worse could lead to permanent eye damage. You can still get very good speedglas units for around $400 - $450, the only difference between those and mine is my screen is about twice the size of a standard one... so you can see what you are welding and everything around you at the same time. Its not really a neccesity but its nice.

I spent quite a bit of time looking for horror stories of people that had bought no-name chinese TIG's that had died, but in the end apart from one particual line of early combo Arc/Tig/Plasma cutter units that were dodgy I only found one person that had a welder die on them... the fact that the brand welder I got now comes with a 2 year warranty shows they are fairly confident they are going to last a while. If your relying on it for your business and using it 5 hours a day then I would buy a kempi or similar, but in my case im probably averaging about 3 hours of welding a week with it, and its all fairly low current stuff I don't think im going to burn it out any time soon.

Having said that though, I wouldn't buy just any no name TIG, if you go that way, get one from a shop that specialsies in welders and has been selling them for a few years - they will have sourced a reliable supplier by now.

Edited by samstain, 14 April 2010 - 09:28 AM.

Posted 14 April 2010 - 09:25 AM


  • Car(s):Bluebird
  • Real Name:Sam
I just bought a Lincoln 180c which cost 1550 all up with the welder, auto darkening helmet, wire, gas hire the lot. 180Amp max and up to 8mm plate. Can buy a handheld aluminium spool to do aluminium work with which was also quite appealing. Very portable and has been real easy to weld with, even for a hack like myself. Portable also which i didnt like about the larger cigweld units. I pondered over it for months and in the end i just went for a welder that i would get the most use out of. Might consider buying a decent TIG welder down the track but want to work out how much ill actually use it.
Another major consideration was the grinding and cutting involved with using the welder quite a bit as the neighbours can get rather shirty with all the noise. stuff em in the end, i spose

Posted 23 May 2010 - 12:58 AM


  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Wollongong, NSW
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keep an eye out on ebay...there is always plenty of good ones out there. I went through 3 different welders last year and i can say one of them was chinese and blew up when i turned the power one. The other was italian and didnt have the balls i need to do what seemed to be the smallest of jobs and buy luck I got a 3 phase lincoln 230amp welder on a run out sale for $1500, usaully $4500. So with the left over i added 3 phase to my place and bought a water cooler. The most basic welder in terms of adjustments I have ever had and i am welding better now than ever before.....KISS is the way to go.

Edited by ISL33P, 23 May 2010 - 05:33 PM.

Posted 23 May 2010 - 05:32 PM


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f*ck automatic helmets, $12 CIG special ftw!

also, have played with one of those UNITIG's, and thats what i'd be looking at as a starting point. they are basically the same as the $1200 welders on ebay, but they dont blow up when you turn them on. from my research, its about a $500 fix when they blow up, so you will spend the same as buying a UNITIG locally, but you wont get the support with it.

Posted 25 May 2010 - 10:30 PM


  • Gender:Male
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f*ck automatic helmets, $12 CIG special ftw!

also, have played with one of those UNITIG's, and thats what i'd be looking at as a starting point. they are basically the same as the $1200 welders on ebay, but they dont blow up when you turn them on. from my research, its about a $500 fix when they blow up, so you will spend the same as buying a UNITIG locally, but you wont get the support with it.



Lad`s You GET WHAT YOU PAY for ,KEMPI are a GREAT machine,having used one for many hour`s ,
Now WELDING helmet`s same ,Buy a good Helmet if your spending many hour`s welding then you can adjust len`s to YOUR EYE`S ,having been in Welding for few year`s & spend 10+ hour`s aday with your HEAD IN A CHEAP BUCKET you will now about it if you want a GOOD LEN`S look at OMNI GOLD great len`s & will help with EYE strain,
good luck
Cheer`s Chuckie.

Posted 25 May 2010 - 11:34 PM


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i've have spent years with my head in a cheap bucket, i actually prefer it. for me, i prefer the nice, lightweight, cheap (ie: breakable) CIG special. the only real benefit i see of the expensive ones is quick changing between light and dark shades, but i just leave a dark one in my lid all the time and never have an issue... each to there own tho, i can understnad why some people like the idea of auto darkening, but its not that special in reality IMO

Posted 26 May 2010 - 09:23 PM


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i can understnad why some people like the idea of auto darkening, but its not that special in reality IMO

People said the same about power steering, synchromesh gears, central locking, cruise control, remote controls etc.etc. Personally I find the auto darkening helmet 100% easier to weld with than the old flip style helmet. The flip helmet worked fine when welding in a normal position (so that gravity easily drops the helmet down as you're about to strike the arc) but in awkward positions I struggled with it.

Of course I'm just a rank amateur welder, and what I've seen some of the boom welders achieve I reckon they'd weld better than me with their eyes shut and both hands tied behind their backs.

Now I'm having the same discussion at work with all the young engineers and tradies about my non-digital vernier calipers. They can't understand why I persst with old skool technology while they all have the fancy digital stuff - until they stuff up a reading because they forgot to zero the verniers.

But I digress

Posted 03 June 2010 - 09:02 AM

A car isn't powerful enough until you find yourself standing in front of it in the morning, scared to unlock it

 

- Walter Rohl


i just bought a kemppi welder
still waiting for it to turn up

my old man was about to hook this new toy up for me

its a kemppi welder MasterTig 2300
AC/DC
single-phase (inverter)
Foot Pedal Control
Pulse
high frequency

cant wait to use it ! ive always wanted a tig welder with pulse and foot control

this baby cost me $5000
alot of money but hopefully i can make my money back from it in no time

Edited by STR8E180, 05 June 2010 - 07:27 PM.

Posted 05 June 2010 - 07:21 PM


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If you dont want to fork out for an auto darkening mask... Get a really big spotlight for your welding station. ha ha ha

I've found the snap on auto helmet to be awsome- relativly cheap in the US

J.

Posted 06 June 2010 - 06:46 AM

Bundy, Bitches and Bad Ass Cars....




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