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I had to weld up some of the frame work on one of our 6.3tonners today. Simple stuff. Vibration cracks on the cage framework, bend splits etc. So I brought all the bits home in the astra and fired up the mig. It's a nice mig. Bought it off Warthog. Sip 130. But is can be a pain in the a*** to run the wire through so after the upteenth time of wire sticking, I thought ar*e and took it all apart to find the kink/block/snag. Short of the long is I stripped the thread on the end of the torch where the tips screw in. Don't ask how - I just did. Oddly enough I couldn't get a spare brass tube anywhere on a saturday...

So after kicking a few things around the workshop, my gaze fell on the sweet little 115amp stick welder I also bought off Warthog. Mmmmmm. Anything can be glued with stick. So I trooted off to Mole Valley Farmers and purchased the smalles pack of 2.0 x 300 sticks I could get - a mere 150 of them in a box for 15notes.

So I have spent all afternoon quietly and very satisfyingly stiching 3mm and 4mm angle and box back together. Used about 40 sticks but all is strong and so very neat and tidy.

As for the little 115 - it's great. Old 'Hog put a piggy back fan on the rear with seperate feed and the little thing just welds and welds and welds and welds. Love it.

I can now understand why Les uses gas so much...

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i quite often grab the arc welder for a small job as the mig can take a bit of setting up in my work shop, buy the time i've draged the bottle over, then the mig, then set it up, time i've done that the job has been done with my 100amp arc welder :D

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Just out of interest, what's the percentage of weld penetration in, say, a butt weld in thicker metals using a MIG?

I assume you would chamfer the eges to achieve better penetration. Would you have to weld both sides of thick steel to restore the same strength as the surrounding metal?

I weld no more than 3mm steel with my gas gear, and with a bit of care and chamfering, I can get the weld all the way though. On 4mm I would have to weld both sides if I attempted to weld it with gas. MIG is a lot hotter, but faster, so does it have the time to go as deep as a slower method?

Les

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Just out of interest, what's the percentage of weld penetration in, say, a butt weld in thicker metals using a MIG?

I assume you would chamfer the eges to achieve better penetration. Would you have to weld both sides of thick steel to restore the same strength as the surrounding metal?

I weld no more than 3mm steel with my gas gear, and with a bit of care and chamfering, I can get the weld all the way though. On 4mm I would have to weld both sides if I attempted to weld it with gas. MIG is a lot hotter, but faster, so does it have the time to go as deep as a slower method?

Les

Not nessescary to weld both sides, if the welding machine has enough power.

I have a 200 amp three-phase MIG/MAG, which I use for most of my welding and an old three phase 300 amp stick welder (which I only use for outdoor jobs). On full power the MIG/MAG unit will weld (properly prepared and chamferd) 10 mm mild steel as butt weld. It goes slowly, but with full strength. The two pieces of metal to be joined should be between 1 and 1.5 mm apart, then turn the power to maximum, and the wire speed as low down as possible for consistent welding. This will ensure maximum melting power, so that the surrounding metal melts and gets joined in the molten pool. By moving the nozzle in small circles all the time the weld bead has continuosly strength along the whole weld. If welding on a vertical piece, then weld from the bottom and up. More difficult, but lot stronger. I always use pure CO2 for critical welds - this gives more weld penetration (although I have been informed by some VERY competent welders on this forum that the gain in penetration is marginal)

Been thorougly impressed by your gas welds btw.There is an old tractor mechanic in the local area who can do similar things with gas. This is kind of an art.

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Cant beat a good ole stick welder , I use one at work for the bigger jobs such as digger buckets ,

But the mig is better for lighter stuff upto 10mm and has better gap filling abilities.

Interesting you say this - I would say that with thinner sticks on a bigger amps you can fill some pretty big holes. However the more I play with Mig the more it surprises me - the more I play with the stick the more I remember is possible.

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