SLO247

Mig welders!

51 posts in this topic

I've been struggling along with a bunnings ozito brand mig for a while. It's shit gasless, worked great with gas at first but now its hopeless. The missus old fella is a welder by trade, he tried it out and agreed its shit.

 

I'm after a decent quality one, but just a 10 amp small machine. It's only for car panels so the duty cycle and amperage are irrelevant. It will just be used for occasional panel repairs once this ute is done.

 

I see a local tool place has uni migs for 500, Cigweld does a 150 amp weldskill that are 7-800 anybody have experience with these? Cigweld also does a 150 but it looks the same as the Ozito one I have. I plan to use with gas. Or do I need to live on rice for a while and stretch for a Lincoln? If I could get something reasonable around 5-600 I'd be stoked but I'm not holding my breath.

 

I just want a good diy one, I'm not going to be using it daily or welding over 2mm steel.

 

Any advice would be great.

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That Unimig is the one I have and i find it a pretty good welder, problem is it requires 15Amp plug. And that is going to be your biggest problem is requiring a 10Amp machine. I have a mate that bought the cigweld 130 and he was welding 10mm plate to galvanised steel using gasless and it did it fine, mind you he is a boily and know how to weld a bit. For what you want the 130 cigweld will be fine but if you can get the 150 cigweld for around the same price go that way as bigger is always better. Just make sure you confirm any welder your looking at is 10Amp plug.

In regards to these little welders it's not so much the duty cycle that matters it's the setting the machine works well with, the less setting you have to choose from on a machine the less chance you will have to make a good weld. I have found this on my Unimig as I just can't seem to find a good setup on a couple of the setting, but since the machine has 6 settings I can usually get one close enough to what I need.

SLO247 and slydog like this

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Uni migs are good...legit. I use and have a BOC full size 275amp mig plant and it's a ball tearer. Never over stress it cos its too big but only costs like $1200-$1300. Last for ever when you don't use 1/4 of what they can do. 

SLO247 and wagoon like this

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James its always worked poorly from day one. The torch is crap, I've replaced it once already and the end always comes loose. The wire speed is inconsistent and the knob has broken off the adjuster. Gasless it either doesn't penetrate or tends to blow through depending on the voltage, when working with thin sheet. With the gas it won't do anything now.

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Yeah it sounds like shit then!

 

I bought a Nuweld one and its been pretty good. Its copped a flogging welding everything from panels to fences.

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Wagoon what do you normally weld with it? What wire and gas?

I haven't used mine for gasless yet as I like to use gas. the gas I use is Argon 5/2 from Supagas. This gas is the same as BOC argosheild light which is great for thin steel up to 6mm thick, this gas has a small amount of oxygen in it which gives a much nicer weld and just argon/CO2 which most people use.  Supagas is cheaper to hire from than the other major suppliers, cheaper to refill the bottle and you only have to pay for the time you have the bottle so if you have it 6 weeks you only pay 6 weeks.

 

The wire I use is cigweld 0.8mm wire  http://www.cigweld.com.au/product/solid-mig-gmaw/autocraft-lw1-6/

 

Regarding what I weld, I've made the exhaust on my sedan and fixed the exhaust on my wagon, rust repaired a trailer, repaired a cracked ride on mower deck, made my engine mounts for my sedan plus more. I will be using my welder to weld 6mm thick stainless so that will be it's first big test as I will be finishing off my stainless steel car trailer :)

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So no think stuff like car panels?

 

Pretty keen on the unimig, only problem is the 15A plug.

 

Should be OK to use it on a 10A socket (I hope) in my case as it will only ever be on the lowest settings.

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So no think stuff like car panels?

The closest was the rust repair on the trailer which was a ute body on a trailer frame, so guessing that is around the same thickness as car panel. I used the middle setting on the welder and welded 3mm thick angle to it and it welded great and didn't blow through. I have also welded a 1.2mm thick trailer floor into a trailer frame. Didn't blow through on either job and used the same setting both times.

 

I really wouldn't recommend using a 15Amp plug on a 10Amp circuit, yes it can be done but it's not a good idea. You will find that the welder will not work as well either if you do adapt to a 10Amp plug. The cigweld 135 mig is 10Amp plug and is a pretty decent welder for it's size, and don't be put off by the fact that other welders look the same as it. The only thing the cig 135 wont do compared to the unimig 180 is weld 6-8mm steel easily, but in saying that I have seen the cig 135 weld 10mm plate laying down 75mm long welds and it did not cut out and it was welding these size welds every 3-4 minutes.

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The cig is a clone of the Ozito one and suffers the same fucking annoying wire feed problems according to the interwebs.

 

I'm going to grab the unimig, $489 retail at the tool place here and I'll get trade too. Not expecting much discount on that though.

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When I was looking at getting a mig, I did some research and saw some good reviews about the cig weld 135 and it was in the budget. Comes with a 10 amp plug which I needed. So off to the shop I went to pick one up. I had been filling holes in the engine bay and it was doing a good job. (Still have to be careful on thin steel). At the end of the day packing up my new machine I noticed it had a 150 sticker on it. Moral to the story is I got a 150 in a 135 box. Bargain!

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Weldskill. It's been great. I'm no pro welder but I've had a crack at panels, exhausts, made a rear strut brace for the dato, and fixed a trowel for the father-in-law (bonus points).

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I don't know your situation but TBH with welders buying the biggest most overpowered welder you can should be priority. Then you will never stress it.It WILL weld thin material alot better than a small welder and will last alot longer because it will have alot more head room and never be stressed.

 

Just saying :)  

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Be careful with small cheap welders, check the minimum amps it can run at for thin panel steel. Some won't have the working range, a lot of the cheaper ones only go down to around 40 amps. The more expensive ones do have the capability to drop low enough for.8mm steel. That's why I was looking at the 135 cigweld as it can go as low as 17amps by memory and your not spending too much.

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I'll just have to work around the 15 amp plug.

Not sure if you own your house or not. If you do getting a 15A circuit put in would really open your options as far a welders go. It really is annoying tripping the breaker all the time or having to turn the amps down and weld at snail pace. You could then buy a welder that will see out any project you have for the next 20+ years. I have the same Unimig 180 that wagoon has, I bought a Speedgas E size Argoshield equivalent bottle from Gasweld because it works out cheaper for me in the long run not paying yearly rental. I bought the Unimig because it has the replaceable Euro torch & liner which was the only one that did for the price as well as being a reputable brand. There are slightly better, more versatile inverter units such as the BOC 180A and CIG 175i which offer slightly better control and have a scratch start TIG function as well. At double the price of the Unimig they aren't double the welder to me and I already had a little TIG.
wagoon and gerg like this

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Feeling pretty good about the unimig.

 

I do own the house, I'll have to price getting a 15amp in the shed. Should be OK for now anyway as I only want to do 1mm steel.

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I looked at the 3 in 1 cigweld units and in the end decided as nice as it would be to have a tig 99% of the time a mig is all I need. I also waited and kept an eye out on gumtree for what was coming up second hand. I ended up with a cigweld 200 transmig for $600 bucks. They are a pretty simple welder with no flashy settings so theres fuck all that goes wrong with them. We have the same one at work which was also why I bought it cause I've been using it for years at work with out any problems and am familiar with it. I agree with what Sly said earlier bigger is better. Without getting ridiculous a bigger welder will weld smaller stuff but it doesn't go the other way. Mine is actually really good to use on panel steel and can still weld 8-10 mm plate with out giving itself a hernia.By the time I'd payed for a bottle of gas and a new helmet I was still well under a grand.

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