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Which Mig Welder?


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As some low life broke into my workshop last week and stole my welder along with most of my other tools :angry: , I am now looking to replace my mig welder as it was luckily insured on a new for old basis, the old welder was an SIP topmig 140 turbo which I fitted with a euro torch conversion, which, contrary to popular opinion, I find to be a very good welder, mainly for 0.8 - 3mm steel, as I also have a pickhill bantam oil cooled arc welder for anything thicker than this, however now that I have got better at mig welding and have the opportunity to buy something a bit better and bigger, unfortunately I am limited to single phase, but do have a 32amp supply.

So, what suggestions does anyone have, I have about a 500pound +vat budget. I have looked at all the usually candidates, but have also found a company called Rtech, which seem to produce some good welders, made in the UK, what do you think of these? They appear to be solid machines of high spec at a good price to me, especially the 200 amp version.

Any help would be very welcome.

Will

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will

have you looked at the sealey supermig 220/235 plants. i used a 220 pretty much all day everyday for months doing 'shoehorn' antiroll bar mods on TUM wolfs at work, (work for mod) and couldnt fault it in any way. also good for basic panel work aswel, will easily stand up to general workshop abuse and will buzz all day without a stutter. wire feed could be a little stronger when your at the limits but other than that i cant really fault them. im hunting at the moment for a 235 myself at the right price for my garage. id like to go murex or miller but dont have that sort of money. happy hunting :)

andy.

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I was looking at the same one, the spec's look good but then I am not an experienced welder so not sure.

There is generally enough people on here who do know about these things that someone is sure to comment soon!.

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weldequip (trades through the phone and Ebay) does the Clarke 150TE (new version) for £219 delivered, I got one from him and no complaints whatsoever from me!

He also frequents www.mig-welding.co.uk ;)

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I'd expect a lincoln to have the standard format sticker / label on it somewhere (at the back behind the gas bottle?).

Failing that, look for the manuals online, almost certain to be there (if you don't have them)?

You might already know the above already - sorry, if so.

Will - sorry to hear of your burglary. My first welder was also stolen - before I had a chance to use it!!!! Don't miss it though - it was carp. Sorry I know nothing of the ones you mentioned, that may be why you're not getting much feedback, if no-one's familiar with them.

Cheers, Al.

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Hi thanks again for your help everyone,

I think I've made a short list of three machines now, which are

R tech I mig 200

Murex trademig 185

Butters AMT 220

Murex is probably bottom of the list as is slightly less powerful and poorer duty cycles, so probably between the R tech and Butters AMT, at the moment I'm probably going the way of the Butters as it is a well known make, has 7year warrenty and is a bit cheaper. Any opinions / other options would be very welcome, I will mainly be using it for Landrover / agricultural purposes, I am half way through making my own chassis for a series 3 88 " at the moment.

Will

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I used my mates brand new butters 220 to do all the work on the tray back. For tin work it is brilliant and flatters even a poor welder like me with the ease of use and ability to produce good welds without blowing holes in everything. BUT when it came to welding big stuff (6mm wall box and 4mm cage tube) it seemed to struggle a bit. If you wacked the amps up it would go OK for about a minute or 2 but then performance just dropped off leaving poor welds. I am guessing this has something to do with the elusive "duty cycle". For comparison I can pick up Steve90's big Oxford mig and produce welds on 6mm with the ease that the Butters does on 1.5mm.

So if you want a good welder for bodywork and perhaps an occasional chassis repair then the Butters is fine IMHO. If you want to spend half your spare time fabricating rock-sliders, roll cages and winch bumpers then get something a bit more HD

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Interesting!

It gets said every time, but I guess thats cos its a good idea... Have you considered getting something a bit more 'old school' second hand, Will?

With your budget I'd get a nice solid older welder, a speedglass helmet, or similar, and pocket the change. But I know thats not what you asked! Have you read the threads on here? They all end up saying pretty much the same thing, give or take the odd poster.

Al. :)

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Thanks a lot for all the advise so far, I have considered the big old second hand option, and havn't completely ruled it ouy, however it seems pretty difficult to find something that isn't potentially a disaster waiting to happen and I need a machine quite soon, so can't wait around for something to turn up.

So, I've had a look around again and have come up with another find, which is the MTA211 I think it is the same as the portamig 211, which seems to be highly rated on the mig welding forum. If anyone has any views on this, or any suggestions of anything else worth looking at I'd be very greatful.

Will

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Absolute maximum is 700 pounds inc VAT

Will

I have used one of these..........

Nice quality bit of kit, and 3 years warranty:

Speak to Gary - nice bloke and very helpfull, will weld 6mm plate up all day long not even breaking into a sweat

http://www.migtigarc.co.uk/MIG_Welder/mig_welder.html

Thermal Arc Fabricator 200 Mig Welder

200 amps max output.

240 volts 1ph 50/60.

8 voltage settings.

overload protection.

optimum arc starting feature.

8.8 KVA max consumption.

145 amps @ 30% duty cycle.

holds 5 and 15kg spools.

welding range in volts = 15-22 volts.

0.6 and 0.8mm feed roller included.

Dimensions (H X W XD) 770mm x 410 x 830

weight 58 KG.

This machine comes with...MB15 3m Euro Torch and Argon Regulator 300bar Single Stage Free of Charge

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I have used one of these..........

Nice quality bit of kit, and 3 years warranty:

Speak to Gary - nice bloke and very helpfull, will weld 6mm plate up all day long not even breaking into a sweat

http://www.migtigarc.co.uk/MIG_Welder/mig_welder.html

Thermal Arc Fabricator 200 Mig Welder

200 amps max output.

240 volts 1ph 50/60.

8 voltage settings.

overload protection.

optimum arc starting feature.

8.8 KVA max consumption.

145 amps @ 30% duty cycle.

holds 5 and 15kg spools.

welding range in volts = 15-22 volts.

0.6 and 0.8mm feed roller included.

Dimensions (H X W XD) 770mm x 410 x 830

weight 58 KG.

This machine comes with...MB15 3m Euro Torch and Argon Regulator 300bar Single Stage Free of Charge

You seem to be contradicting yourself Nige. :P

Does seem good value though.

I do have to ask why we are covering this question AGAIN, surely a search would have found several recent threads full of opinions. (No, I can't be ar*ed to search it myself :angry: )

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I do have to ask why we are covering this question AGAIN, surely a search would have found several recent threads full of opinions. (No, I can't be ar*ed to search it myself :angry: )

Agreed (repetition). Maybe we can make some kind of sticky divided into sections - like one for mig welder recommendation threads etc etc? One for the weld critique threads? etc etc? Sources of bits / tools etc.

Sorry for off topic.

Personally If I was spending up to 700 I'd want more than 145 @ 30 % but I'm sure its a nice bit of kit.

Al. :)

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It seems LandymanLuke, myself and I think a few others have been in the same situation as you now find yourself, I replaced my Clarke 150TE with a Portamig 211 and its a no nonsense piece of kit.

I'll tell you what I've learnt about 'Portamig'; The original company went bust in the 80's, allegedly had a very good reputation for quality, however it seems there were to many fingers in the corporate pie and they went under. The Portamig name was sold to the company (in York) that now uses that name for its welders. I'm led to believe this company is, if not the largest, then one of the largest suppliers of welder spares and components in the UK for all makes of welders apparently. They only build these welders to order, MTA and the likes of Pendle Welding Equipment (Weldequip) pre-order so they retain stock for immediate dispatch, MTA badge them as there own obviously.

This company in York will only supply these welders to reputable outlets with service back-up, so the 'Portamig' name does not mean a great deal. But the conclusion I've come to is that this company in York has access to a wide range of components from which to assemble its welders and has experience of what components last and which are carp. They are assembled in York (probably by chinese immigrants :P ) and you can pretty much spec what you want.

I don't know where all the components come from, But mine came with a Parweld euro torch, and the wire motor's swedish I think.

They are not littered with fancy graphics and I don't doubt the average punter wouldn'y give them a second glance, they are just solid bits of kit that are made the way British welders used to be made and that's the way many welder companies are still trading on, even thought their now made in china or wherever.

Threre's better welders out there than these Portamigs, but not for the same money.

Steve(Weldequip) has been selling and repairing welders for a good few years and he regards them very highly, and no he does not just sell Portamigs.

If someone offers you a trade machine like the ones that Paul Whightman is selling then their a leap up the ladder again and they are worth grabbing.

The Portamigs are not too big either, something to consider if your looking at second hand trade stuff as well.

I'm just a DIY welder but when I spend my money on expensive kit I try to do my homework first.

Andy (sticking his head above the parapet)

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The Portamigs are not too big either, something to consider if your looking at second hand trade stuff as well.

Thats a very good point Andy, these things sure start adding up. I'm pretty hemmed in by tools nowadays - its a pain, and big machines with separate wire feeds etc can really eat up the garage space once you've accounted for cables sticking out etc.

Al. :)

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