Choice of a welder


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    Default Choice of a welder

    Folks

    I am looking to buy a welder (can be more than one) that is able to do the following...

    - weld steel (from 16 gage sheet to up to 3/8 thick)
    - weld stainless (from 16 gage sheet up to 3/8 thick)
    - weld aluminum (0.1" up to 3/8 thick)
    -weld pure (90%+) copper (0.1" up to 3/8 thick)

    I dont need a volume welder, just able to weld with min skills required. Oh and argon/hilium may not be available where I am at (flux core is available)

    Any suggestions!?

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    Your not going to get a flux core to weld anything but steel. Even then they are a splatter mess. Sounds like you need a good tig welder. However I've never seen copper welded in anything but a laser. I don't know if it can be done or not. Either way plan on spending 2k or more for what your trying to do. Cheap welders are just that. Get a miller or holbart.



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    Quote Originally Posted by underthetire View Post
    Your not going to get a flux core to weld anything but steel. Even then they are a splatter mess. Sounds like you need a good tig welder. However I've never seen copper welded in anything but a laser. I don't know if it can be done or not. Either way plan on spending 2k or more for what your trying to do. Cheap welders are just that. Get a miller or holbart.
    Just to doublecheck. There is no way I can flux weld my way in stainless?

    Also it should be possible to weld copper with TIG (in theory at least). Or am I detached from reality here?



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    Welding copper is very difficult, even with TIG. Copper is so thermally conductive that you have to increase the current to get any fusion at all, because it just wicks all the heat away. Much like welding aluminium on steroids.

    There's a reason copper is brazed...



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    Default Re: Choice of a welder

    The best option that will cover all the metals you list is a TIG. With the options available in filler rod, all are pretty straight forward, even joining dissimilar metals. Copper and copper alloys are no big issue they can be joined by using a silicon bronze and tig brazing. Other than maybe brazing with a torch and flux, you're not going to be able to "weld" anything but steel without using a shielding gas. To the best of my knowledge, they don't make a flux core for anything but steel. TIG isn't very hard with a little practice. With an AC/DC Tig you'll also have the option to do standard stick welding. Some of the import TIGs are rated well by users and are very affordably priced. Many operate on both 120/240v.



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    Default Re: Choice of a welder

    Hi......I use a Multiplaz 3500 plasma welder......been using it for the last 5 years now and I will say from the start that it's an acquired skill to achieve good results.........that goes for any welding process.

    I already have a complete welding outfit for stick, Mig and Tig welding, but after using one I always had the idea that a plasma cutter could do a welding job if it was modified.....that never happened as it was just an idea.

    About 5 years back I saw an advert on EBAY for a plasma welder.......I was all ears, and as it was a new process and had just been brought into the country (OZ) I went to the dealers to get a hands on demo.

    A mate and myself had 4 hours playing with the device and I was so impressed I bought the outfit, special price as a demo machine.......it cost a bit, but I can only say that it has been the most powerful welding process I can think of.

    There are videos on UTUBE to fully demonstrate the capabilities of the device.

    Just for the record......it uses a 50/50 water and alcohol mix for the plasma generation.....no compressed air or Argon gas etc.

    The fact that there is no Argon gas to use means you can fire up and be welding without worrying about if you have a bottle of gas on hand.

    It also uses any scrap metal as the filler material and will weld anything you can lay on the bench......yes copper is no problem.........the temperature of the plasma stream is quoted at 8,000 deg C.

    You can compare it to an Oxy acetylene welding process with TIG characteristics.....on steroids..... and it runs off the 240 volt 15 amp mains supply.

    I'd like to go on more, but there is a whole run down on the Welding Tricks and Tips web site.

    BTW....as an example, try butt welding two 3/4" thick steel plates, with no cleaning or weld preparation..... that is with grease, mill scale or paint on it, and no vee prepping the joint..........with TIG and you won't stand a chance, but the plasma stream just cremates the impurities and leaves bare steel.
    Ian.



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    Default Re: Choice of a welder

    Far out. If only I had a lazy three and a half grand kicking around...



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    Default Re: Choice of a welder

    $3 1/2K ??.....nothing like it.......it currently retails at A$2,400.....I bought the demo model, one that I did the hands on demo with some 5 years back for A$2,000......the beauty is no tungstens....no Argon......no arc flash and top of all no pollution or dangerous fumes....I weld in my garage in Winter with the door down.

    OK, so a bottle of gas is relatively cheap in comparison even if you have to rent the bottle forever, but the ability to weld anything as it is, rust and all, is a big bonus.

    You'll never have to hammer the flux off a bead or worry about inclusions in the weld......you also weld with the same parent metal as the job and the weld penetration is something to brag about........and it cuts too, even HSS.
    Ian.



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    Default Re: Choice of a welder

    My bad, Iain - I assumed their $2400 was USD and that I'd need to buy extra stuff to make it work. Bunnings are pretty good with D cylinders now, $200 fully refundable deposit, no rent and $70 or $90 for the cylinder so it doesn't cost a fortune in rent to have a cylinder of argon sitting there for the very occasional time I drag out the TIG.

    But that thing of yours is a pretty sweet rig and, if I discovered the need to lash out $1500 for a not-complete-rubbish AC TIG to replace my $300 DC inverter, I'd be seriously looking at just dropping the extra grand and getting the Multiplaz



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    Default Re: Choice of a welder

    Hi, it may be a powerful outfit but it does need careful application or you just melt everything in sight.....control and dexterity is the name of the game.

    However, the welding outfit I now have is up for sale on EBAY for 1 1/2 grand as I haven't used it now for the last 5 years and as I've learned a few tips and tricks along the way it's not needed anymore.

    One thing that tipped the scales was the fact that the newie one is completely portable and doesn't need a gas bottle.....comes in a fitted shoulder type bag that you "could" carry around with you.....20 Kgs all up etc.

    I like the ability to weld without having to do any weld prep at all,,,,......,it's not the be all and end all of welders, but as it was the thing I dreamed of some time back it works for me.

    One of the most difficult welds to do properly is the 90 degree inside corner weld and previously with stick I always had a joint that looked like bird poo on barbed wire etc.

    If you have ever had to use that blue painted or galvanised square steel tubing for work stands etc the tedious task of chamfering the ends and grinding the paint off is a chore I don't have to do now.

    You can weld high tensile steel without worrying that the filler material is different to the parent metal.

    I did a bit of aluminium welding for a frame for my spa pump and that does take some practice or the whole lot melts through and collapses on you if you aren't careful.

    Thanks for the Bunnings tip on the gas bottle, I might go down there and have a looksee as it might make the outfit I'm selling more interesting.
    Ian.



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