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dangerous doug

Mig welder recomenditions (little different this time)

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Right, so this happened yesterday...

 

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my firm are getting annoyed with hiring people to come in and weld on their cranes, as you can guess a welder willing to do that is a rare thing and one willing to drag a welder up 60m of tower is even rarer......and expensive!

So they now want me to do it, which is fine. I’ve been told to pick a welder and they will buy it.

 

I’ve never looked at site welders much so I need a little help. needs to be

dual voltage

able to weld thickish stuff (5mm)

compact

and most importantly, LIGHT!

 

after a little mishap yesterday where the welder dropped a hot rod off the crane and tripped over his box of rods and nearly sent them down too, I’m leaning towards a flux-core mig.....chances are I’ll be on my own 90% of the time when doing anything so lightness is essential. I dont want to have to climb down the crane to get more rods. Also don’t want to take a whole box up there needlessly.

 

anyone have any ideas?

 

 

the dual voltage thing isn’t essential, if I’m up the crane I will be using 240supply and if I’m on the ground I can plug it into a transformer

 

is there a way of getting a spool gun to work with an inverter type arc machine?

 

 

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If you're wanting light then inverter type will be the way to go. Quite a lot of those I suspect will have MMA functionality to so you're not limited to just MIG.

If the budget is no problem then I'd start looking at the big names such as ESAB, Miller, Lincoln and Oxford (assuming you can get them in the UK). I think Brad over on mig-welding.co.uk is one of ESABs reps.

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Flux core MIG is just fancy wire, the cheap MIGs don't have gas connections so use flux-cored wire, the better ones I'd assume you just don't connect any gas and run flux-cored wire.

I reckon arc welders are going to be the choice for portability though.

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Check your insurance welding on lifting equipment!

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As Bowie says , correct insurance and welding qualification's (coding ? ) and test procedures in place assumed , R-tech make some nice inverter units as do Lincoln , Miller and ESAB . I had to source a new head-gear unit for my Miller Elite helmet this week and used a (new to me ) welding supplies company based in Wolverhampton - www.wirs.co.uk  - and had good results pricewise and service . No connection other than that but they certainly know welding and supply all the big names.

Do you already weld with flux-core?

great pic's of "what I did today " too Doug

cheers

Steve b

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Thanks for all the replys

 

your overestimating what I will be doing. I WONT be doing anything structural. Even if they offer me the code, no! 

 

This will be for building up worn parts (sheaves, rollers etc) that can’t be changed on site and welding on brackets and rope guards 

 

Welding/repairing lifting equipment is illegal now. 

 

Steve, I havnt welded with flux for a very long time. Is it any different to gas shield?

 

another for you, the day after I took this they put a bridge on floor 32 so you diddnt have to do the climb. Also emphasises the reason for small and light.....that thing was 163m when taken,   It’s now 180something. Don’t want to pull anything too heavy up that!

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31 minutes ago, dangerous doug said:

Don't want to pull anything too heavy up that!

2C77B48F-ED8F-4661-9382-70965074DBCC.thumb.jpeg.3130060378113ec75a41dddab49aaf6d.jpeg

What the the crane's for then? :ph34r:

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Didn't mention R Tech as supposedly it's semi pro but then again there's a chap on mig welding who's put over a tonne of wire through his with no problems at all, in a very short period I think, perhaps even before the warranty ran out.

I've got one of their plasma's and a TIG and they're good machines but not that experienced personally.

Edited by Ed Poore

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My experience with flux core is fairly limited , but it never looks as neat as MIG or MMA for me :) , most recently with a SIFWeld inverter MIG/TIG/MMA unit around 200a , +ve earth and always on site at the end of a long extension lead which I suspect does not help and could be an issue for you too ?

You may well find an inverter MMA only unit and rods will weigh less than a MIG with flux core wire and may well cope with voltage drop better too . We have an inverter MMA 240/110v at work that can only be a few kilo's , can't remember if it's Lincoln or Miller right now though .

And make sure you have a gopher with you to do the running for stuff :lol: works for me

cheers

Steve

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You are a thousand times better off going to the welding suppliers and talking to them and looking at the equipment than asking on the internet....  And have them send you for training.  Wire feed is a dangerous thing in the untrained hands.  It is easy to make great looking, but very weak welds.

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Love the pics - keep them coming, please !

As others mentioned, was wondering about the welding / certificates / insurance etc. as that is a very big thing these days.

" ... Welding/repairing lifting equipment is illegal now.. " So you basically can only swop like for like ?

That can be interesting...

We work a lot with heavy lifting people in the harbours putting big thing on trains & ships. Love working with the guys - and girls - as they have a very special sense of humour....

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On 28/06/2018 at 5:37 PM, FridgeFreezer said:

Flux core MIG is just fancy wire, the cheap MIGs don't have gas connections so use flux-cored wire, the better ones I'd assume you just don't connect any gas and run flux-cored wire.

Almost true, at least on my cheapo Clarke 130 you have to swap the polarity internally, easy enough to do because they've got thumb screw knobby things. Can never remember which way around they go but there is a helpful diagram inside I think.

There is a world of difference I've found though between flux cored and gas shielded welding. Given the option gas any day, although in this scenario I can see why carrying a bottle around with you is undesirable...

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If your employers are the ones asking you to do it I'd still be inclined to see what their thoughts are on sending you on a training course / getting coded?

You mention rope guards, are those for stopping people falling over the edge? In todays blame society if one fails (or even a roller fails and then knocks something or someone) do you want the possibility for it to fall  back to you? At least if they've given you some formal training there's some protection there.

I hate this blame mentality but unfortunately it's the world we live in now. Perfect example, I keep getting phoned up now asking if I want to claim compensation for when I motorbike rode into the back of my 110 in France. He literally knocked some mud off the back of the cross member (OK it is a bit Barkeresque) and didn't even damage the paint. I heard a bang but thought it was a stone being flung out of the tyres. They just don't seem to understand it when I don't want to claim for whiplash... <_<

Anyway rant over

Edited by Ed Poore
Rant

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2 hours ago, Ed Poore said:

Given the option gas any day, although in this scenario I can see why carrying a bottle around with you is undesirable...

You would not want to being doing MIG welding in the field.  You cannot have any wind and the surfaces must be completely spotless.

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There is the esab caddy 160i too... The difference from the 200 is the 200 is for aluminium too as semi synergenic

The 160i is mild steel only and can be used with flux cored too. Also slightly lighter too and more portable

 

https://www.esab.co.uk/gb/en/products/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.product&productCode=430955&tab=2

There is a datasheet PDF on the link page too

 

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There's lots of compact sticks which is what I would go for, try and get a slim one you can put on your back, I'm sure I've seen a rod carrier with a carabina clip on and a magnetic parts tray for spent rods. 

 

I have a tec arc m200i and love it for field portability can be powered from genny ect but by the time I've made a metal frame to try and life proof it it's heavy esp with 5kg of wire in it.

 

will

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Thank you all for the replys!

 

some really helpful info here. I like the point of a mag tray for spent rods, I could even fix that to the welder case! And a tube for the rods on a lanyard....could even put a magnet in the bottom of that tomstop them falling as easily.

 

I was talking with a colleague about this today and he’s in agreement about welding structural things, as soon as something goes wrong I will be thrown to the lions, certification or not. I do t want that. 

 

Rope guards are normally a piece of bar covering the entrance/exit of a sheave or hoist drum, there only purpose it to stop the rope jumping off if it goes slack. 

 

Modification, including repare to a certificated piece of lifting gear is not allowed as it is essentially in a different configuration to how it was tested.

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I thought you had to swap polarities when going from gas to gasless on a mig? Not sure how important it is but if it was important you wouldn't just be able to switch the gas off you'd have to modify the machine. I would vote stick personally as that's what you see everyone else do on this sort of thing :lol: I'm sure I saw someone up a chimney once who had one hung over his shoulder on a strap, it was hard to tell from the ground but worth a bit of research. I assume you'll also have to carry up grinders, lumps of metal etc?

H&S is way OTT in this country, common sense doesn't exist, so even though you say the rope guard isn't structural if it came off and got stuck in the drum or caused a cable to fray it could escalate and it all comes down to proving that the company instructed you to do it and were happy with what you'd done so I would consider having a written works order which gets signed off when they're happy, risk assessment, method statement etc signed off by your superior. If they're not willing to sign it why should you have it on your shoulders? I guess you've just got to stand back and look at each job and decide how critical it is before you take it on.

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That's gotta be a job for an MMA machine.

You mention replenishment of consumables, but you still need rods/wire/filler with any kind of welder. With MIG & TIG you have a gas bottle to lug about too.

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On 29/06/2018 at 3:55 PM, Red90 said:

 Wire feed is a dangerous thing in the untrained hands.  It is easy to make great looking, but very weak welds.

Stick is the way to go, with training to do it properly, even if non-coded.

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esab Rebel would be my suggestion, latest model is mig/tig (ac/dc) / stick

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1 hour ago, RedLineMike said:

esab Rebel would be my suggestion, latest model is mig/tig (ac/dc) / stick

Sounds good, but appears to be some sort of American-market machine, since it's advertised as working on both 120V and 230V...

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53 minutes ago, elbekko said:

Sounds good, but appears to be some sort of American-market machine, since it's advertised as working on both 120V and 230V...

Surely that just means you can use it on sites as well with 110V?

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