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 Post subject: Re: Which welder?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 9:17 am 
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Hi,

Argyll wrote:
I bought that Draper welder today for £40 which I thought was a good deal plus he gave me loads of 2.5mm rods. I don't have a helmet or gloves yet but I can borrow those from my cousin.

I haven't got a clue about this so I'll have to watch some YouTube videos before I start.


Back to the plot before I hijacked Argyll's thread. Have you managed to get hold of the welding helmet or gloves yet Argyll and if so have you tried welding using your Draper welder? I've owned my SIP arc welder for over twenty years and think it's performance will mirror that of your Clarke if so you'll notice whilst your Clarke is switched on it's quite noisy giving a loud buzz; to prolong the duty cycle Argyll may I suggest that after each bead you put down switch off the welder until you are ready to apply more beads; I always treated my SIP like this because whilst the welder is switched on it's generating heat and it's this heat which will eventually automatically turn your welder off until it cools which can take ages; my SIP seldom cut out so by leaving it turned off as much as possible must have worked; perhaps other members have ideas on this but it worked for me so I could do a lot of welding before the SIP cut out. Your biggest problem will be with the rod sticking on striking but once you get over this then you are well on your way to laying beads; these cheaper welders certainly weld OK but the downside for a novice is how quickly the rod will stick until the knack is grasped; pity you don't live near Argyll I'd enjoy showing you the basics; please keep us posted.

Thanks Dave54; I always fancied a "Bobcat" to play around with but we don't have the space to keep one; same with a vintage tractor which I could have had a lot of fun with; I used to be friends with a farmer when I was about 15 years old and he would let me drive his Fordson Major tractor which started on Petrol then switched over to paraffin? I've always enjoyed being around big machinery.

Yes the Pickhill is a delight to use and so very easy; as you say they are so smooth without the drama of a lot of buzzing from the actual welder; the only thing I hear is the light crackle from the arc which is rather therapeutic. The difference between the SIP and the Pickhill though is vast in use; I've no problem using either but I think for a novice like Argyll he would very quickly take to the Pickhill whereas his Draper will be a steeper learning curve but I'm confident Argyll will enjoy arc welding once he grasps how to strike and maintain an arc.

I ordered 3 metre of 2.5mm round twin & earth cable last night through eBay and when it arrives I'll make a proper job of the supply cable to the Pickhill; next job will then be to sort out a pair of different breakers; the incoming consumer board has a 30A breaker but the newer garage unit has a 32A breaker both being different makes but both having class "B" breakers' I possibly need to change these to class "C" breakers but I'll report back on this shortly; I don't like tripping any breaker but I do like as much electrical safety as possible.

Kind regards, Col.

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 Post subject: Re: Which welder?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2016 4:49 pm 
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Hi,

May I suggest making a welding trolley for your arc welder Argyll as a first welding project; it would give you good practice not only in welding but cutting steel and holding the steel in position until it is "tack welded" then any clamps can be removed. Angle iron is easy to cut using an hacksaw or angle grinder (wear protection to ears; eyes and hands if using a grinder).

My new welding trolley is nearing completion; I keep working on it time permitting but it hasn't take a lot of time to reach this stage; I've used metal I had in stock and two large bearings for the wheels; the axle is 5/8" dia bright mild steel bar stock; it's drilled and tapped axially at each end to accept washers and 6mm set screws; the axle is positioned off centre and welded in position. A bit of old round steel pipe has been pressed into service as an handle. Whilst initially looking around my steel stock I noticed I had a nice piece of 1/8" steel plate which would make a top for the trolley allowing the top of the trolley to be used as a small welding bench; this top with a generous overhang for work clamping is now the same height as my general bench meaning I can rest long or bulky items on both benches whilst welding; I've previously crouched to the ground to do welding so it will be a luxury to weld standing in comfort. The welder earth clamp can be clamped to the new trolley then anything placed on the top of the trolley will automatically be connected to the welder earth.

I plan to add an upper shelf for electrode storage and also I'll weld on a few hooks allowing the welding cables to be wrapped neatly and safely when not in use. I should have made a welding trolley 50 years ago but at last I've finally got around to it. I hope the Pickhill fits OK after all this work? :scratch:

Kind regards, Col.

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 Post subject: Re: Which welder?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:18 am 
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I've never gotten around to carrying out his work due to life getting in the way.

To be honest I wasn't particularly confident in what I was doing so I've managed to get on a 12 week welding course at my local college. It starts at the end of the month so hopefully I'll get this trailer up and running by this summer :thumbright:


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 Post subject: Re: Which welder?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 10:24 am 
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If you go MIG this is a good little welder https://www.weldequip.com/gys-smartmig-162.htm

SN :occasion5:

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 Post subject: Re: Which welder?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 12:04 pm 
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Hi,

You'll enjoy the welding course Argyll so its something to look forward to; with an instructor showing you how to weld then you having hands on practice you'll be welding in no time at all and wondering why you thought welding to be difficult. Good luck. :salute:

What does the welding course cover?

Kind regards, Col.

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 Post subject: Re: Which welder?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 2:15 pm 
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Retired wrote:
What does the welding course cover?


Just to be clear the course runs for 12 weeks but it's just one evening per week.

''This course is aimed at those who would like to undertake welding as a hobby. It also gives fabrication engineers an opportunity to participate in other welding processes not available at their place of employment. This course covers practical welding in one of the following processes: Manual Metal Arc (MMA), Tungsten Arc Welding (TIG) or Metal Inert Gas Welding (MIG). Participants to decide process.'

I'm sticking tp MMA stick Welding and see how I get on :thumbright:



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 Post subject: Re: Which welder?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 2:26 pm 
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You'll enjoy the course. :thumbright:
I always enjoy welding anything. Very satisfying somehow.



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 Post subject: Re: Which welder?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 5:03 pm 
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Hi,

12 weeks at one evening per week will soon pass Argyll but there's nothing to stop you having a go at home with your new welder once you get the basics; it doesn't take a lot of practice before you can do a decent weld; stick with it though because welding opens up an whole new world to explore. Like Dave54 I too always enjoy welding in fact I've only just come out of the workshop where I've been welding a motor belt adjuster for the saw bench I'm making.

Welding will also open up new workshop activities for you Argyll such as cutting metal; drilling; angle grinding and filing etc which go hand in hand with welding. Below are a few pictures of the adjuster I've just done and enjoyed. Please note the large file; I enjoy keeping my hand in doing such work.

I've never had the need to use MIG or TIG welding so I'm unfamiliar with these welding techniques; arc (stick) welding has always covered my welding needs. :huray:

Being new to welding Argyll perhaps you'll settle right away with wearing a welding helmet; I was taught using a hand held shield and over 50 years later still prefer this over using my helmet; it's just habit with me and old habits die hard. One thing you'll quickly learn whilst welding is not to casually pick up metal with your bare hands; a slight pause with my hand near before touching is enough to let me know when a lump of metal is too hot to touch.

Kind regards, Col.

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 Post subject: Re: Which welder?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 3:06 pm 
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I went the first time 2 weeks only to sign the enrolment form, watch a video and then be told the course doesn't start until 20th April because of the school holidays!!!!

I would have thought it better to begin the course on the 20th.

To make things worse the video was some American guy who chuntered on for an hour about different welding rods which I'm sure we don't use the same terminology over here. I'm sure it was just a filler so the tutor could have a coffee and a chat.


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 Post subject: Re: Which welder?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 3:08 pm 
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He gave us a choice of mig/tig or stick welding. He told me as I hadn't welded before I would be better choosing mig as it's easier. However I ignored his advice since I've already bought a stick welder. In hindsight maybe he's right. Am I best choosing mig?


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 Post subject: Re: Which welder?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 4:14 pm 
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If you've got a stick welder then I'd stick with that. (no pun intended :-) )
MIG's fairly easy to pick up if you can already stick weld.
With both, once you understand the process and get the settings right it's more about practice than anything else really.



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 Post subject: Re: Which welder?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 4:51 pm 
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Hi,

I'm sure you've done the right thing Argyll in choosing to learn stick welding first. It's so easy to worry about attempting something new and leaving your personal comfort zone but stick welding isn't to be dreaded; once you've successfully run your first bead of weld you'll wonder what all the fuss was about. The instructor will advise as to amps for the electrode being used then its only a case of striking the arc and away you go; just ensure no skin or your eyes are exposed to the arc and you'll only pick up a piece of hot metal once.

I was taught both gas (Oxy/acetylene) and arc (stick) welding when I was 16 years old and compared to gas welding arc welding is just so easy with a little practice; if your first lesson is hands on then you'll possibly be welding at the end of the lesson; the first lesson though might just cover basics like setting up and safety but certainly such a course is to look forward to; had you lived nearby Argyll I'd have been happy to let you loose with my welder whilst I looked over your shoulder.

I've been stick welding for almost 55 years and I can still get the electrode to stick whilst striking the arc; a light stick and it will break free quite easily but a bad stick then just release the electrode to cut the current; it really is that simple. Good luck Argyll and enjoy the course. :salute:

Kind regards, Col.

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 Post subject: Re: Which welder?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:01 pm 
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My first lesson was last Thursday. I arrived half an hour early but was the last to get started as the instructor was whizzing around setting stuff up. I think I was the only one who had never welded before so he told me he would be with me in 20 minutes, I stood around getting pissed off and almost went home. Anyway he set me up on a machine and told me just to weld straight lines to practise and that was me for two and a half hours. He never came near me again. He didn't even ask how I was getting on or if I was doing it right :shock:

Maybe he's just waiting to see if I turn up again as I guess a few don't. I enjoyed it anyway but I'll give it a few more weeks until I'm confident to start on my trailer. I'll miss Thursday 4th as I'm canvassing for the SNP elections that day so might try it after the 11th May :thumbright:


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 Post subject: Re: Which welder?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:24 pm 
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I'd have thought he'd have kept an eye on you and come and had a look to see how you were getting on. :roll:
Still, you're using their rods and steel to practice on, so that has to be a bonus. :thumbright:
Any photos of the welds you've run so far ?
Once you can reliably run a continuous weld that looks OK, you should be moving on to joining pieces together.
Keep at it!



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 Post subject: Re: Which welder?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 3:09 pm 
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Hi,

Thanks for the update Argyll. :salute:

The quickest way to learn is to simply practice on your own with some scrap metal; I was taught arc welding over 50 years ago and once the welder was set up and after a bit of "arc eye" all us apprentices were soon joining metal with good welds; I'm pleased though to learn you are enjoying it and as Dave54 rightly says you are not using your own rods or metal to practice on. Quite literally stick with it Argyll; your introduction is over and any worries should now be history because you've at last got your foot on the welding ladder. I'd put money on you running some decent beads very soon then you'll be over the moon. Welding is such an asset in a workshop and something I've always enjoyed doing. :huray:

I'm about to go into the workshop and play with my welder; the last Time I switched it on it refused to weld; the leads are like brand new as are the ring connectors; one of the leads had pulled free of the crimp ring connector and although these connectors look very neat I've never liked or trusted them so I bought two screw type lugs which I plan to fit and I'll report back.

Kind regards, Col.

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