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Best way to learn welding for home applications

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Default Best way to learn welding for home applications

    I would like to learn how to weld for some lightweight applications around the house such as shelving, screens etc. I used an electric welder a little a few years ago. What would be a reasonably priced welder to start with

  2. #2
    Golden Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Melbourne - Yarra Ranges


    MIG, ACR, TIG welding??

    You can get some great ACR welders these days for <$300. I.m no gun welder (just a light hobbiest for odd jobs) but I've had a little CIG ACR/Stick welder for many years. Its about a 150Amp max from memory and been handy.
    I'd say if youve never had any experience in ARC welding before, practice and Utube is your friend.quite a few of good welding channels. Try:

    Even now I still shy away from anything less than 2mm thick otherwise I just blow holes...which tells you I'm not about to get a job at welding anytime soon!!
    Generally people drag the stick way too fast or have it cranked with too high amps for the material they are welding.

    MIG welder I've had limited experience but picked up my fartherin laws $700 unit cheap and for me comes in handy for finer work/materials that I'd struggle with an Arc welder.
    Its both gas and gasless ...running gasless you need to find a good gasless MIG wire that minimise splatter. I find the Bunnings brand works better than other well known brands twice the price for gasless applications.
    I beleive the cheaper MIG's have issues with wire feeders slipping ...maybe others here will provide a little more info

  3. #3
    Golden Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Newcastle, Australia


    Quote Originally Posted by JS001 View Post
    I would like to learn how to weld for some lightweight applications around the house such as shelving, screens etc. I used an electric welder a little a few years ago. What would be a reasonably priced welder to start with

    For light/thin guage steel MIG is usually the go to. As far a brands UniMig is quite well priced and pretty decent. I wouldn't go too cheap with MIG welders, I did initially but not taking advice that I had seeked which said same, and it was a POS, the drive mechnism/rollers etc on really cheap stuff don't give smooth consistent wire feed.

    I paid about 1200 bucks for a Unimig 205 a few years back (Does MIG/ Stick and DC only TIG), I already had migshield gas from owning the previous POS mig I had. Note for most points you can't weld Aluminium with DC TIG, for TIG Aluminium you need a AC/DC TIG machine which are more expensive.

    Note with gas mig welding either need to weld in a ventilated, somewhat enclosed area or for there be very little wind if welding out in the open, otherwise you would need flux core wire to weld in outside conditions, but you also get generally higher porisity.

    Edit: Another thing to note, is depending on what size welder you get you will need a 15Amp outlet. Most general socket outlets are only 10Amps. For instance the welder I noted I have above the unimig 205 does require a 15Amp socket, however and obviously depending on your needs if you go slightly smaller welder for instance a unimig 185 only requires a 10amp socket. The size of the welder you want will depend on what thickness metal/steel you wish to weld specifically in one pass.

    Another thing to add is the duty cycle of machine, which is the time the machine can weld for a its rated maximum current vs how much rest time it needs between the next weld.

  4. #4
    3K Club Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Sunshine Coast


    I have ARC MIG and OXY
    The MIG is at my Son's place and has ALI feed and gas for it so good for building Ali trailers.
    Second hand ARC welders are worth very little these days
    About 5-7 years ago the tip shop was selling them for $10
    I sold one around that time for $40 with rods helmet and chipping hammer, and gave the buyer a quick welding lesson.
    I also gave another one to a mate.
    These are the easiest to learn on so look up Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace for something cheap to learn on.

  5. #5
    Community Moderator phild01's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Sydney, north


    I initially bought a stick welder and never got the hang of it, maybe the rods were old or damp, don't know. Got an entry level mig and just use the gasless wire, initially got from bunnings which were small reels and super expensive compared to the better larger spool I got off ebay. The only downside with gasless for me is the difficulty of seeing through the smoke. I say just get a decent low power mig unless you have a 15A outlet, because a lot of times you need an extension cord and you might find yourself using 1mm cable instead of 1.5mm.

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