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Old July 29th 20, 02:06 AM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Default Stick welding revelation

For years I have used a very basic SIP Merlin AC Arc welder (mostly
repair work, sticking the mower deck back together, and the occasional
bit of crude fabrication). Its a transformer based lump, pretty crude
with a ridiculously poor duty cycle (weld for 7 mins, let it cool down
for half an hour - improved to weld[2] for 7 mins let it cool for 15
with the addition of a couple of large fans internally). However I put
up with it on the grounds that I don't need to weld things that often.

[2] In fact never mind welding, just turn it on a wait for ten mins and
it will overheat and cut out all by itself.

However the thought also occurred to me that one of the reasons I don't
need to weld that often is because its such a PITA to use, one tends to
find alternative ways of doing it! That and it might be quite nice to be
able to do some proper fabrication work from time to time.

So earlier in the year when an excuse was presented[1] and I finally got
round to upgrading to a decent inverter based MIG setup, which has been
really nice. At the time I bought it I also got an electrode holder so
that I could also stick weld with it if I wanted - but had never got
around to trying it out until today.

[1] Daughter needed to do some welding for a college project, but could
not go in due to lockdown.

I wanted to weld up some bits of rebar outside, and the wind was quite
strong. So, ideal time to try it in MMA mode... and wow what a
difference! You can strike an arc with ease, it runs quiet and smooth
with a really nice stable DC arc, and makes it almost easy to get pretty
decent results with relatively little skill or practice. No buzzing,
spluttering, or sticking either.

So moral of the story, I wish I had gone for something like it years
ago, and I now have a new found respect for IGBT inverter arc welders -
they make the whole process quite civilised!

(anyone got a use for a 150A Merlin?)



--
Cheers,

John.

/================================================== ===============\
| Internode Ltd - http://www.internode.co.uk |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
| John Rumm - john(at)internode(dot)co(dot)uk |
\================================================= ================/

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Old July 29th 20, 02:29 AM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Default Stick welding revelation

On 29/07/2020 02:06, John Rumm wrote:

So moral of the story, I wish I had gone for something like it years
ago, and I now have a new found respect for IGBT inverter arc welders -
they make the whole process quite civilised!


Tell me exactly what to buy. Seriously. The welder I bought for £50 in
1976 is beginning to get on my nerves a bit.

Bill
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Old July 29th 20, 09:03 AM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Default Stick welding revelation

williamwright has brought this to us :
On 29/07/2020 02:06, John Rumm wrote:

So moral of the story, I wish I had gone for something like it years ago,
and I now have a new found respect for IGBT inverter arc welders - they
make the whole process quite civilised!


Tell me exactly what to buy. Seriously. The welder I bought for 50 in 1976
is beginning to get on my nerves a bit.

Bill


I added a 240v cooling fan to the case of mine, plus a handy 13amp
socket. The fan runs whether or not it has thermally tripped. It makes
a lot of difference to the run time before tripping and to the recovery
time after tripping.
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Old July 29th 20, 09:25 AM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 1,395
Default Stick welding revelation

williamwright wrote:
On 29/07/2020 02:06, John Rumm wrote:

So moral of the story, I wish I had gone for something like it years
ago, and I now have a new found respect for IGBT inverter arc welders -
they make the whole process quite civilised!


Tell me exactly what to buy. Seriously. The welder I bought for £50 in
1976 is beginning to get on my nerves a bit.

I have an old (very old) 140 amp AC/transformer stick welder and a
fairly new (year or so old) 140 amp inverter based stick welder. The
difference is huge! It's so much easier to strike with the new one
and it makes neater welds as well. It actually makes stick welding
almost a pleasure! :-)

--
Chris Green
·
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Old July 29th 20, 11:25 AM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 696
Default Stick welding revelation

On 29/07/2020 02:06, John Rumm wrote:
For years I have used a very basic SIP Merlin AC Arc welder (mostly
repair work, sticking the mower deck back together, and the occasional
bit of crude fabrication). Its a transformer based lump, pretty crude
with a ridiculously poor duty cycle (weld for 7 mins, let it cool down
for half an hour - improved to weld[2] for 7 mins let it cool for 15
with the addition of a couple of large fans internally). However I put
up with it on the grounds that I don't need to weld things that often.

[2] In fact never mind welding, just turn it on a wait for ten mins and
it will overheat and cut out all by itself.

However the thought also occurred to me that one of the reasons I don't
need to weld that often is because its such a PITA to use, one tends to
find alternative ways of doing it! That and it might be quite nice to be
able to do some proper fabrication work from time to time.

So earlier in the year when an excuse was presented[1] and I finally got
round to upgrading to a decent inverter based MIG setup, which has been
really nice. At the time I bought it I also got an electrode holder so
that I could also stick weld with it if I wanted - but had never got
around to trying it out until today.

[1] Daughter needed to do some welding for a college project, but could
not go in due to lockdown.

I wanted to weld up some bits of rebar outside, and the wind was quite
strong. So, ideal time to try it in MMA mode...* and wow what a
difference! You can strike an arc with ease, it runs quiet and smooth
with a really nice stable DC arc, and makes it almost easy to get pretty
decent results with relatively little skill or practice. No buzzing,
spluttering, or sticking either.

So moral of the story, I wish I had gone for something like it years
ago, and I now have a new found respect for IGBT inverter arc welders -
they make the whole process quite civilised!

(anyone got a use for a 150A Merlin?)



I did something similar a few months ago and wish I'd done it much
earlier. I'd had a large'ish transformer-based MIG welder for a looong
time, it worked well-enough but I used it so rarely that my welds were
always a bit embarrassing, which meant I used it less. I took the plunge
and bought a 180 inverter MIG/MMA from R-Tech and using it is a totally
different experience to using the old welder, I also switched from using
CO2 pub gas to an Argon mix. Welding is so much easier and gives
excellent quality, plus the box is much smaller and lighter. There are
cheaper units out there but R-Tech were helpful on the phone and have a
long'ish warranty. They aren't cheap, but I sold the old welder so the
upgrade cost was affordable and well worthwhile. I thoroughly recommend
R-Tech and the 180 MIG welder.


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Old July 29th 20, 12:12 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 23,799
Default Stick welding revelation

On 29/07/2020 09:03, Harry Bloomfield wrote:
williamwright has brought this to us :
On 29/07/2020 02:06, John Rumm wrote:

So moral of the story, I wish I had gone for something like it years
ago, and I now have a new found respect for IGBT inverter arc welders
- they make the whole process quite civilised!


Tell me exactly what to buy. Seriously. The welder I bought for 50 in
1976 is beginning to get on my nerves a bit.

Bill


I added a 240v cooling fan to the case of mine, plus a handy 13amp
socket. The fan runs whether or not it has thermally tripped. It makes a
lot of difference to the run time before tripping and to the recovery
time after tripping.


Yup, I used a pair of either 6" or 8" mains fans - it was better
certainly, but still far from good!


--
Cheers,

John.

/================================================== ===============\
| Internode Ltd - http://www.internode.co.uk |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
| John Rumm - john(at)internode(dot)co(dot)uk |
\================================================= ================/
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Old July 29th 20, 12:25 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 10,494
Default Stick welding revelation

On Wed, 29 Jul 2020 02:06:31 +0100, John Rumm
wrote:

For years I have used a very basic SIP Merlin AC Arc welder (mostly
repair work, sticking the mower deck back together, and the occasional
bit of crude fabrication). Its a transformer based lump, pretty crude
with a ridiculously poor duty cycle (weld for 7 mins, let it cool down
for half an hour - improved to weld[2] for 7 mins let it cool for 15
with the addition of a couple of large fans internally). However I put
up with it on the grounds that I don't need to weld things that often.

[2] In fact never mind welding, just turn it on a wait for ten mins and
it will overheat and cut out all by itself.


Yup, I have a very cheap (like 15 quid) one from Lidl and it's nearly
useless for anything serious. It does work though, for a very
restricted value of the word. ;-)

snip story

So moral of the story, I wish I had gone for something like it years
ago, and I now have a new found respect for IGBT inverter arc welders -
they make the whole process quite civilised!


I have a SIP branded 150Ah stick welder that I have built (and still
got) many things with, including several trailers. When you get a good
one, plugged into a good supply (and not a long extension lead) and
with the right rods, it worked very well.

(anyone got a use for a 150A Merlin?)


The Mrs bought me a Lincoln MIG years ago and that's a real pleasure
to use. Had an rental bottle on it from BOC (Argoshield Universal?)
but gave that back [1] and now have a rent free one that works out
much cheaper. I have gassless wire but not used it yet.

I did a welding class at college (one afternoon a week for 2 years)
and we covered most of the technologies available at the time and it
was very handy (for my practical lifestyle pov).

Cheers, T i m

p.s. College welding class, lad in the booth next to me stick welding
up a test piece. I here a 'pop', then see a torch come over the screen
and into my booth and hear some screams. I put my torch down and flip
my visor in time to see him busting out though the curtains behind the
booths and run over to the quenching tank, where he plunges his face
into the rusty water ...

It turns out a ball of weld / flux had ricocheted off his apron and
gone up his nose ... ;-(

They sent him to hospital 'in case' and I believe he made a full
recovery. ;-)

[1] Along with my oxy-acetylene bottles.
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Old July 29th 20, 12:39 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 23,799
Default Stick welding revelation

On 29/07/2020 02:29, williamwright wrote:

On 29/07/2020 02:06, John Rumm wrote:

So moral of the story, I wish I had gone for something like it years
ago, and I now have a new found respect for IGBT inverter arc welders
- they make the whole process quite civilised!


Tell me exactly what to buy. Seriously.


Well based on my limited experience, something inverter based with IGBTs
in the electronics.

If all you need is stick, then something like:

https://www.r-techwelding.co.uk/arc-...ch-pro-arc135/

(and having now used a decent welder in stick / MMA mode, it has greatly
expanded my concept of what kind of work I would be happy to tackle with
it - I would still probably not want to try welding very thin sheet
steel, but general fabrication with, bar, tube, angle, and square hollow
etc would be fine)

The one I went for is:

https://www.r-techwelding.co.uk/mig-...tech-i-mig180/

(many of the reasons being similar to the other poster in this thread
who got the same machine)

I also got a cart to stick it on, the stick electrode, and reels of both
0.8mm and 0.6mm wire, plus a few spare tips etc.

For shielding gas I found a local Mark One hire shop was also a
Hobbyweld agent:

https://hobbyweld.co.uk/

They do bottles with no rental element, so well suited to intermittent
users. The gas was £35 (plus you pay a £65 deposit with the first
bottle, but then just swap it for a full one for the price of the gas).
I went for the Hobbyweld 5 mix which is 93% Argon, 5% Carbon Dioxide, 2%
Oxygen.

The welder I bought for £50 in
1976 is beginning to get on my nerves a bit.


ISTR the Merlin cost me about that in the late 80's, and yup, getting on
nerves seems to be about what they are best at!

With hindsight, I bought it as a solution looking for a problem - I just
thought it would be a handy thing to have. I remember telling a work
mate who I knew was into welding, and his only question was "Why?" - the
significance of the question dawned on me over the next few years, when
as each problem presented, the solution turned out to not be that good.



--
Cheers,

John.

/================================================== ===============\
| Internode Ltd - http://www.internode.co.uk |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
| John Rumm - john(at)internode(dot)co(dot)uk |
\================================================= ================/
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Old July 29th 20, 01:11 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Default Stick welding revelation

John Rumm presented the following explanation :
With hindsight, I bought it as a solution looking for a problem - I just
thought it would be a handy thing to have. I remember telling a work mate who
I knew was into welding, and his only question was "Why?" - the significance
of the question dawned on me over the next few years, when as each problem
presented, the solution turned out to not be that good.


I bought my transformer stick welder in the mid-80's second hand,
complete with a pile of new angle iron. I learned stick welding working
on a contract in Italy and fancied keeping my hand in. I had in mind to
make lots of heavy duty shelves for my new garage. I ended up with two
at each side, near the car door and they are still there, but over full
now. It has come in useful many times since then for lots of jobs.

Since then, I bought a transformer MIG welder, but that has been much
less useful or used.

Best welding accessory I bought was a auto-dimming welding helmet.
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Old July 29th 20, 01:16 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 10,494
Default Stick welding revelation

On Wed, 29 Jul 2020 12:12:22 +0100, John Rumm
wrote:

snip

I added a 240v cooling fan to the case of mine, plus a handy 13amp
socket. The fan runs whether or not it has thermally tripped. It makes a
lot of difference to the run time before tripping and to the recovery
time after tripping.


Yup, I used a pair of either 6" or 8" mains fans - it was better
certainly, but still far from good!


I actually have two of the cheap Lidl / Alto stick welders (I just
wanted to try them for the S&G's) and the 'better' of the two is fan
cooled as you say.

I wasn't aware of any 'duty cycle' with my old SIP stick welder as it
never cut out on me. ;-)

Cheers, T i m


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