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  • Know anything about arc welders?

    Being as there are a few tradies on here, I thought I might pick your brains about arc welders, if you don't mind.

    I am looking to buy an arc welder for home use. Dont want to get a no name import, and whatever I get needs to have a resonable duty cycle at around 130A. Im looking for something that has the capability to weld up to around 10mm MS plate, occasionally should it need to, something that will last a good number of years, and it must be able to be run off a standard household power socket. Also, I'd prefer to keep the price down, but thats not as important as the other criteria.

    Also, it does need to be an arc welder - yeah they may be old fashioned these days but they are simple and they work

    ATM these two welders are looking appealing:

    BOC 170 smootharc ARC Welder BOC MMA 170 Inverter + Bonus Electrodes - OZtion Auction Item 3981067

    and CIGWELD weldskill 170 Cigweld WeldSkill 170 Inverter Welding Machine #W1002901


    The price seems about the same between them. But the BOC seems to be a better arc welder, but the CIGWELD claims the ability to be used as a TIG - which would be fantastic, as I have some thin 1.6 ally and 1.6 stainless to weld, as part of my project bike. Just not sure if having the ability to weld TIG means it is capable of doing an alright job of it, particularly as TIG welders by themselves seem to be more expensive than this jack of all trades welder. Is it worth the hype?

    Just after your thoughts/opinions/other options/recomendations?


    Cheers,
    Ryder

  • #2
    If you want to do aluminium, it generall requires AC out and high frequency. Not usually found on cheap units
    Posted via Mobile Device

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    • #3
      investigate what TIG stands for with these arkers.
      Secondly look if they have an TIG lead/torch with them.
      Also check for an Argon input connection.
      If they not have this then ask the salesperson why not.
      130amp What duty cycle?
      Mig machine 250+ might be worth investigating/investing in or even a nice TIG machine.
      add to these the price of hiring gas bottles from Liquid air or BGC.
      Had a look at your links, they are just arkers, not MIG NOT TIG welders at all.

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      • #4
        investigate what TIG stands for with these arkers.
        Secondly look if they have an TIG lead/torch with them.
        Also check for an Argon input connection.
        If they not have this then ask the salesperson why not.
        130amp What duty cycle?
        Mig machine 250+ might be worth investigating/investing in or even a nice TIG machine.
        add to these the price of hiring gas bottles from Liquid air or BGC.
        Had a look at your links, they are just arkers, not MIG NOT TIG welders at all.
        Apparently I was mistaken, the BOC one claims TIG ability as well. I cant find a lot of detail on these welders, except for what the manufacturers put on their promotional material - on that note, here's another link.

        https://boc.com.au/boc_sp/downloads/technical_data_sheets/BOC_Smootharc_MMA_170_Data_Sheet.pdf

        TIG welding is a total grey area for me, never done it before, and I know little to nothing about the machines apart from the fact they use a non-consumable tungsten electrode, filler wire and shielding gas. That's why I was a bit surprised to see these machines supposedly offering TIG capability, and I was hoping someone other than a sales rep might be able to shed some light on this?

        Like I said before though, I don't want to buy a MIG machine, Arc is exactly what i'm after. But if isn't total a waste of time trying to use it for TIG, that would definately come in handy...

        Cheers,
        Ryder

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        • #5
          for MMA (arc) welding and Tig you will need an inverter. Just a straight DC inverter such as this one Castolin Eutectic Group are good for mild and stainless, either arc or tig. I have no affiliation with eutectic but have used this welder before and its an excellent little welder, Around $1000 from memory.
          If you want to weld ally you need an AC inverter, most machines are that will do AC are switchable back to DC for mild/stainless, but for a decent one, you are looking at around $4000. I got a cheap ebay one, $1200 that does ad/dc tig, MMA and plasma cuts as well. have not tried the plasma nor the arc, the tig works pretty well with steel, little hard to control the arc with ally but its useable. Generally the better the welder, the easier it is to use and get a good finish, but also the more expensive it is.

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          • #6
            It does not have TIG welding capabilities!! nor does it have the connections for it!
            It is an ARC welder only!
            It can weld mind steel.
            It can weld S/S with special electrodes.
            It cannot weld Aluminium!
            Hope this helps.

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            • #7
              It will tig. i have used it.

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              • #8
                Thanks for your help guys.

                So basicly it will do TIG, to a degree - but not aluminium yeah?

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                • #9
                  Yeah, you need AC for ally which is a more specialised machine.
                  Also most of the inverter welders that will run tig dont have high frequency (HF) start, meaning to get the tig running, you have to scratch the tungsten electrode on the job then lift it to get it started, much the same as you do with and arc welder. With HF start you have a button on the hand piece to start it.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sean'o View Post
                    Yeah, you need AC for ally which is a more specialised machine.
                    Also most of the inverter welders that will run tig dont have high frequency (HF) start, meaning to get the tig running, you have to scratch the tungsten electrode on the job then lift it to get it started, much the same as you do with and arc welder. With HF start you have a button on the hand piece to start it.
                    sorry to pinch your thread ryder.
                    seano's, ive a 1950's mg A that im restoring,it has the 4 holes in the boot lid from the luggage rack that need welding up, yep, its aluminium.
                    any chance of showing it to you mate?


                    Straightline2ten your motorcycle and motor car repairer for smash repairs

                    insurance or private work, plastic welding,resprays, restoration and classics

                    dianella 93703770

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                    • #11
                      I would go with the lower durty & cheaper MMA machine......If you dont know what you are doing with Ali and a TIG machine don't waste your money.....With TIG you will need take into account that you will need to get Argon, tungs, shrouds, defusers.etc etc$$$$$$
                      Be aware that if you get a machine with a greater duty cycle, you are going to have problems with the domestic RCD tripping every few minutes....and probably need a 15A plug outlet....
                      Last edited by quinn; 20-09-2009, 08:50 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by quinn View Post
                        need a 13A plug outlet....
                        uhh ... wut?
                        I love two strokes. Because they annoy the shit out of people. ^_^

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                        • #13
                          15A perhaps?
                          When life throws you a few curves
                          GET YOUR KNEE DOWN!!

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                          • #14
                            Yeh ....that would be what i meant.....lol....."note to self....re-read what you type".

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                            • #15
                              How would I go about checking what amps the socket can support? Just had a look at the meter box, all thats there is 3 20A circuit breakers (including an RCD) and a 10A one? I cant see anything on the socket itself either

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