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Suggestions for inverter welder


heath robinson
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Hi all

I'd like anyone's thoughts and suggestions for a good, reliable, not-too-expensive inverter welder.

It's going to be used "in the field" as it were, so no mig, no big all-in-one stacks, needs to go in a belly-box on a truck.

If I can afford one that has a plasma on it (truck has descent on-board air) I'd love it.

A few names/units to look for second hand would be perfect.

Thanks,

Jake

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Power isn't an issue, it's going onto what I'm quietly confident is the largest mobile solar rig in the country... :D

I really wanted a few recommendations of makes, eBay has a bewildering array.

Forkrentfitter, I may be being a berk, but I can't find a BOC site that has a welder on it. Any further clues?

Thanks guys.

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Thanks, I've dropped him a line.

It actually seems relatively hard to find an MMA welder with a high duty cycle for a 4mm rod. There's a 200A one on eblag (Chinese parts, English company) that claims a 100% duty cycle at 153A, with a 2 year warantie, and what reviews I can find seem good, but it is essentially Chinese. Cheap enough to almost be worth a punt, at £229.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/271138436055?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

The other one I've been peering at is the Parweld XTi 160 (seems identical to Gary's thermal arc 161s, without the 110V ability), as my local welding shop recommended them, and said they've used one (older model) as their backup/loan welder for about 7yrs without a single issue! Also has a touch-start tig function. That I found on the bay for under £220 delivered, and it has a 60% cycle at 155A.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/PARWELD-XTI-160-MMA-INVERTER-ARC-WELDER-TIG-WELDER-/281022458687?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item416e3e6b3f

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I'm going down to the Inverter Fusion factory in Honiton, to wave fistfuls of cash at them and see what kind of deal I can get. It's the same gear that Gary at Mig Tig and Arc suggested, but i though that as the factory was just down the road i might get an even better deal. Although Gary was by a little margin the cheapest I could find on line. I'm currently looking at their 180MA box, which is more than I intended to spend, but it really is made in Britain, and better yet made in the southwest, it has a high duty cycle, a good reputation, and I've seen one of these that's been used and abused by a foundry in chard, and although it was astounding battered and looked fit for the bin, it worked immaculately. The only reason I didn't have it in the running before was that I couldn't read the face plate...

I tried the Parweld 160, and for most stuff, it's exceptional. Small, well made, really good little lump, and only £190 here - http://www.weldingsuppliesdirect.co.uk/welding/Parweld-XTI-160-MMA-Inverter-XTI160MMA.html. If the spectre of some really heavy plate welding hadn't reared it's head, I'd have bought it I think.

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Dilema dilema dilema :(

I won't need the extra top end of the Termal Arc and the Parweld has a small edge when it comes to duty cycle.

Either would seem like a sound pick anyway so I will see which one I can get a better deal on. Looks like the Parweld at the moment.

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Quick report, I went down to Inverter Fusion today, and got a 180MA from them (100% duty cycle at 160a at 40 degrees c! Essentially, at about 25 centigrade, it has a 100% duty cycle flat out).

I have to say, nice guys, great service, and the whole lot (welder and heavy duty 400a cables etc) with a box of 7013 2.5mm rods and a box of 6013 4mm rods, for just less than the price of the welder alone from Mig Tig & Arc before postage. Not that Gary wasn't helpful mind.

It's really nice to have bought something like this from a local company not just because they're local, but because it's the best tool for the job.

Having spent the day overloading my car with some loverly oak, several hundred meters of beautiful canvas and a welder and rods, I haven't had time to fire it up yet, and tomorrow I need to pick friends from heathrow tomorrow, and have a spoon making workshop (leave it...) on Sunday, so I ain't going to get a chance to fire it up until Monday! Grrr.

Dan, I spoke to a mate who owns a 175SE, and has used a Parweld 160, and he completely disagreed with me, and confirmed what you're thinking. The Parweld works better, harder, for longer, by his estimation. And for under £200 it's not to be sniffed at.

Jake

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I was debating getting the TIG attachment for my Green3K, or even asking if the TIG attachment for that Parweld would fit, but I wonder if its worth it.

The only thing I note thought is I think its £192 for the stick welder, the TIG attachment is another £75. Thats how I read it.

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I think (from looking at one in my local welding shop) that almost any scratch-start gear will fit any appropriate welder, so long as the dinse plug on the cable fits the socket, and the torch has a gas flow/cutof control, and the amp rating matches up.

As the gas doesn't go through the welder, all the welder knows of it is when the tip makes contact with the work piece. There are generic torches, regulators and the rest, that'll fit any scratch start rig, not that I'd recommend them over a known make, I just mean that you don't have to buy a Parweld torch just because you have a Parweld box.

Looking at weldequip's offerings, it strikes me that a quick call to them or MigTig&Arc oryour local suppliers or whoever could sort you out with a torch to suit both you and your box. All the different backs, tips, flexi-heads etc. aren't things I understand, but I reckon someone might be along presently to enlighten us, with a bit of luck.

I think that if I come to getting one, I'll give the guys I got the welder from a ring, and compare it to the weldequip one. That seems to be the best priced reputable one so far.

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I've had a scratch start tig for quite a while, any of the scratch start torches should work fine if it has the right fitting as said.

One thing that was done fairly soon after trying scratch start was to modify the welder for a foot pedal to control the current, it's far kinder to the electrode starting on a lower current and the added control transforms the welding experience. It's a simple mod

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