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Thread: Welder for general farm use

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    Welder for general farm use

    Looking at buying a welder for general farm use. I've heard MIG is a good choice but stick is cheaper. Does anyone have any advice on what to look for? Nothing too industrial, just for hinge breaks, patching sheet metal etc. But happy to invest around $500.

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    Re: Welder for general farm use

    MIG is my preferred type cause it's simple and fast, but it really depends on lots of different factors - skill level, quality of weld needed, speed etc.... There's a good chart on here which will help to explain. Stick machines are tempting cause they're cheap to buy but it's worth it IMO to spend a bit more on MIG and save time.

    If you do go with MIG, the Hobart 140 looks like a winner for your budget - but all the breakdown of stuff to look for is on this guide. I'm guessing the appearance of the weld won't be too important but it's definitely worth thinking about the weight of the machine and what power outlet you're going to use!

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    Re: Welder for general farm use

    Steel needs to be clean for mig. Also, mig not so good for out doors if it's a bit windy. I have mig and arc welders and I bought myself an inverter arc welder 2 years ago for outside jobs. It's brilliant. I always thought they were toys but it's a proper bit of kit. http://www.gys.fr/prod-031210-586/AR...V_with_case/en
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    Re: Welder for general farm use

    Quote Originally Posted by wr. View Post
    mig not so good for out doors if it's a bit windy.
    good point - but could used flux cored

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    Re: Welder for general farm use

    Quote Originally Posted by comelf View Post
    Looking at buying a welder for general farm use. I've heard MIG is a good choice but stick is cheaper. Does anyone have any advice on what to look for? Nothing too industrial, just for hinge breaks, patching sheet metal etc. But happy to invest around $500.
    I have had a little Lincoln Mig (15 or so years) - gas or gasless (10 minutes to swap from 1 to the other)

    Gasless will permit me to weld thicker steel (3/16 to 1/4) while with gas it is about 1/8

    Gasless generates more heat - if you are using the welder to create heat to bend steel, the gasless or stick works better

    for doing "auto body tin" thickness you want the gas

    I have enough portable generator to do welding remotely (i.e. away from the shop)

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    Re: Welder for general farm use

    for general farm maintenance , bits and bob , keep it simple go with the stick . migs are great for fabrication work but if your not doing much welding its not worth the expense renting gas bottles . sticks tend to be better with rusty metals as well

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    Re: Welder for general farm use

    Quote Originally Posted by Recycled View Post
    for general farm maintenance , bits and bob , keep it simple go with the stick . migs are great for fabrication work but if your not doing much welding its not worth the expense renting gas bottles . sticks tend to be better with rusty metals as well
    Good point about rust & crap, a good rod will make a huge difference, you want it to be easy to use and also with a useful flux coating that will help make an easy start plus be capable of lifting out the impurities as you weld into a reasonably easy to remove slag covering the weld. You don't need to buy rolls-royce, something BMW-Range Rover will be much better than the bottom end cheap rods.

    I'd also consider an inverter for rods, light to carry and will work from a 13a plug and a surprisingly long power lead. Look for a genny compatible one if thats a requirement. They will weld very nicely because of the electronics I expect. Mine has disappeared up the quarry/dryer farm on permanent loan by the look of things!
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    Re: Welder for general farm use

    To add my 2p a pro welder friend of mine put me of Mig welder years ago on the basis that i do not do enough (just general occasional repairs) to justify the gas and also the problem of corrosion in a drum of Mig wire if not used fairly regularly and stored in a dry place. For a quick minor repair easy to grab a few sticks from a dry store, switch on and go.

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    Re: Welder for general farm use

    Quote Originally Posted by Footsfitter View Post
    Good point about rust & crap, a good rod will make a huge difference, you want it to be easy to use and also with a useful flux coating that will help make an easy start plus be capable of lifting out the impurities as you weld into a reasonably easy to remove slag covering the weld. You don't need to buy rolls-royce, something BMW-Range Rover will be much better than the bottom end cheap rods.

    I'd also consider an inverter for rods, light to carry and will work from a 13a plug and a surprisingly long power lead. Look for a genny compatible one if thats a requirement. They will weld very nicely because of the electronics I expect. Mine has disappeared up the quarry/dryer farm on permanent loan by the look of things!
    Which rods do you recommend? I use very few now. Still have half a box of ESAB. Used to use WRX years ago. Now I only use MIG in the workshop, I'm not up to speed on rods any more.
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    Re: Welder for general farm use

    Quote Originally Posted by wr. View Post
    Which rods do you recommend? I use very few now. Still have half a box of ESAB. Used to use WRX years ago. Now I only use MIG in the workshop, I'm not up to speed on rods any more.

    Similar here, mainly use the two migs so MMA is mainy out in the open or just temp until its back to base with the gantry and mig.

    When I first started here Uniweld were popular down here in the Ag world, but usually then I'd stick to brand names- most work was then downhand and a little overhead so I'd usually plump for a universal rod for most stuff and IIRC BOC did a pinky coated overhead/uphill rod that was good value for money. We did have a few low-hydrogen for a few odd jobs, plus a good disimilar rod but I'd keep them hidden away because they were a bit pricy and to stop amateurs from using them badly leaving a mess for someone to repair properly.

    Used to use Eutectic a lot where I was an apprentice (foreman & lorry fitter liked the sales rep in her micro kilt ) and I used to buy a few packs again until we went to mig. The lorry fitter was ace at gobbing this - https://www.castolin.com/en-US/product/eutectrode-680 on lorry chassis's really good product when used correctly! Also they came in their pretty airtight plastic tubes, always sought after although its been so long since I bought any that I did buy one of these http://www.apm-supplies.co.uk/Produc...ectrodes/WA605 from somewhere else.

    Worst rods I've seen seemto be the "Super6" - seem to suck up moisture from now where IMO. But I have been using up 6 packs that came with a similar inverter model to this back when Lamma was at Newark https://www.mrmig.uk/Catalogue/MMASt.../Invertec-135S Good machine annd the rods have been good too!

    Best advice is to ask a pro welder or next best is a good welding supplies company. Nearly anything in small packs or really cheap needs avoiding.
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    Senior Member T P's Avatar
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    Re: Welder for general farm use

    For general farm use a stick inverter would be the best option. As others said buy decent rods ,cheap ones are near impossible to weld with anyway. Look for a recognised brand name like ESAB or OERLIKON etc in rods. It's worth while seeking out a proper welding supplies vendor as opposed to farm supplies shops as the latter tend to stock utter garbage rods (in my area anyway)These are a nice simple "brand name" welder , you might find a better price somewhere other than amazon. There are cheaper welders but spares backup might not be so good.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/ESAB-Buddy-...s=esab+welders

    I have a sophisticated digital one of these rtech brand for several years and it's been faultless so far and seen plenty of 4mm rods on digger buckets etc, there is uk based support if necessary.

    https://www.r-techwelding.co.uk/weld...rc-mma-welder/

    Check the duty cycle on cheap ones as a low duty cycle can be frustrating if it cuts out all the time. The Rtechs are quite good compared to others.

    https://www.r-techwelding.co.uk/weld...rc-mma-welder/

    I've no hesitation in recommending Rtech.

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    Re: Welder for general farm use

    Thanks for the advice everyone! I'll go with a stick inverter

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    Re: Welder for general farm use

    Quote Originally Posted by comelf View Post
    Thanks for the advice everyone! I'll go with a stick inverter
    Good result then. I think you've chosen well.
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