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Gas.

So for various reasons I have two MIG welders at opposite ends of the country. My owner D size Argo bottle is with one of them and the other is set up gasless but it’s a bit shit.

Don't do much with it, but was considering getting one of those mini bottles of CO2/Argon from Toolshed or wherever. Those ones that run a 10mm threaded connector and mini regulator.

Anyone run those or have any feedback on them? Do they leak out or anything seeing how they don’t have a proper valve on them?

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Undo the reg off the bottle when not using it and they seal themselves 

Last about ten minutes full on welding so not cheap unless you buy on special and just use for the odd thing you need better welds than gasless - I burned thru 3 then just got a rental D cos that was pretty much the cost of a years rental 

Plus buy another reel of wire to use with gas and swap polarity on welder 

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The only thing I have been told about them is that they last bugger all time and arent cost effective. I guess its better than gasless, but would depend on how much welding you intend to do.

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8 hours ago, Transom said:

Plus buy another reel of wire to use with gas and swap polarity on welder 

Ha. I learned that lesson a long time ago.

Bought a second hand MIG and hooked it up. Ran like shit for ages then realised it was reverse polarity for a gasless set up and I was running gas.

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Alright chaps I'm going to upgrade this year I want to sell everything I have now and go to a new multi process welder. Eg mig tig arc all in one. 

Are they a bit of a does a everything but nothing well situation or heavy but mint deal? Ideally I want ac/dc so I can tig alloy I'm not an expert but can competently weld anything with good tools and a bit of practice.

Want to raise my options and get some quality work done and my old stuff has done well but I'm sick of 2 heavy ass machines.

Any ideas on who might sell a decent machine? 

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What am I looking for with a auto darkening helmet? I was doing a bit of welding on the weekend and came away with scratchy feeling eyes. My current helmet is a entry level one, even though I jammed a new battery before I started I don’t think it’s as good as it should be, also it looks like it has grinder swarf melted into the lens so I’m 100% sure that isn’t helping.

In the market for a new one, recommendations? My eyeballs thank you in advance :)

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1 hour ago, Abarth said:

What am I looking for with a auto darkening helmet? I was doing a bit of welding on the weekend and came away with scratchy feeling eyes. My current helmet is a entry level one, even though I jammed a new battery before I started I don’t think it’s as good as it should be, also it looks like it has grinder swarf melted into the lens so I’m 100% sure that isn’t helping.

In the market for a new one, recommendations? My eyeballs thank you in advance :)

There should be a plastic cover over the lens that you replace. The std rectangle ones are only a few $ at Mitre10.

I bought one of these Optrels two years ago, it may be an old model now. It was pretty expensive for me, $800. But the clarity in dark and not dark mode is fantastic, a massive improvement over my previous one! It also has a big viewing angle, not like the typical letterbox view.

https://www.prolineindustrial.co.nz/product/optrel-panoramaxx-auto-darkening-welding-helmet-204544

I'd definitely recommend it if your budget can accommodate it.

 

Note: My previous experience has been with a cheap non-auto darkening helmet. Then a ~$200 auto darkening helmet. Now with the expensive optrel.

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2 hours ago, Abarth said:

What am I looking for with a auto darkening helmet? I was doing a bit of welding on the weekend and came away with scratchy feeling eyes. My current helmet is a entry level one, even though I jammed a new battery before I started I don’t think it’s as good as it should be, also it looks like it has grinder swarf melted into the lens so I’m 100% sure that isn’t helping.

In the market for a new one, recommendations? My eyeballs thank you in advance :)

Think it was @Truenotch that put me onto these ones.

https://www.trademe.co.nz/a/marketplace/business-farming-industry/industrial/manufacturing-metalwork/helmets-safety-gear/listing/3303528436

that's around half recommended retail too.

I've been impressed with mine, I'm no expert but it's way better than my 3M one I paid twice as much for.

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^I just got a rebranded one of those from onlinetools.co.nz. 

Really happy with it. Big viewing area is grouse. Its not expensive. And I don't get sore eyes like I do from my old helmet. Haven't done big stints of welding. But for the hour or two I've used it, my eyes are fresh as a daisy. Where my other one, after laying down a couple of welds I can feel it in my balls (eyeballs that is)

 

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4 hours ago, Raizer said:

Think it was @Truenotch that put me onto these ones.

https://www.trademe.co.nz/a/marketplace/business-farming-industry/industrial/manufacturing-metalwork/helmets-safety-gear/listing/3303528436

that's around half recommended retail too.

I've been impressed with mine, I'm no expert but it's way better than my 3M one I paid twice as much for.

Thanks man, just hit buy now.

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https://nzsafetyblackwoods.co.nz/en/speedglas-welding-helmet-9100xxi-air-parp-adflo-each--03056455?gclid=CjwKCAjw_L6LBhBbEiwA4c46usZt_1qzCPp2wszTNuYNFjvkPtG5tKxy5dCBa3vW36msVJIoQIr70BoCqP8QAvD_BwE

Have been rolling this for the last 4 months. Pretty spendy but one of the cheaper respirator mask setups (got it for about $1600 through trade deals and a special sale). Definitely recommend if you're welding often as I do a decent amount of heavy fabrication at work, usually a few full days a week so it gets a good workout. I've only needed to charge the battery a handful of times and the filters are barely worn in.

 

I've never had any issues with sore eyes or arc eye in the last 5 odd years I've been welding and and my previous hood was a ASAB Sentinel A50. Only reason I upgraded was due to work hookups and also I've had galv/zinc poisoning in the past (which is fucking horrible, really bad fever and aching muscles for about 1-2 days) due to fumes. The only real issue is with it being a little bulkier with the lines and belt, it can be pretty difficult with work on site getting into tight places especially if I'm climbing under track gear or such on a bulldozer or what have you.

 

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On 18/10/2021 at 20:14, Muncie said:

Alright chaps I'm going to upgrade this year I want to sell everything I have now and go to a new multi process welder. 

Lincoln 200M. Have been eyeing them up at around 2.1k+ gst. Seem to review well and being a lincoln its easy to get part.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi all.

I'm a shit welder, but have been decent in the past. I can stick stuff together, it's just not pretty and takes more grinding than I'd like. My gear is ok for home, a Lincoln Handymig 170, so it's lack of practice really...

I was in Blackwoods today and the Trade n Go bottle swap seems a deal worth looking at (no rental costs etc) so pretty keen to move on from gasless MIG. I have questions however...

The Mig gas is I assume an Argon-CO2 mix. No idea of the composition. What regulator do I use for this, a standard argon one? And what is a decent one to look at...? (not the cheapest but not industrial grade).

* Do I need a flow meter? I'd like to see flow when pulling the trigger, but is it actually necessary...?

I gather the flux cored and straight wire are different sizes. Can I just change the tips, or do I need a new conduit, feed roller etc...?

Size of bottle, they offer a 2.1 and 4.9m2 bottle. I have no idea how big these are, but assume the 2.1 would last me yonks...?

Think the bottles have a type 10 connection. Guess that's normal...?

I'd do more welding if I got set up ok, and using gas would let me tackle some panel stuff. Always put it off due to cost and complexity but think it's worth looking at. All answers gratefully received, cheers...

*edit - looked at some pics, I'd assumed one gauge was tank pressure and other was pressure to welder, but seems it's flow. I was talking about the floating ball type flow gauge that seems I don't need if I have dual gauge reg...?

 

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my 2c - for the home handyman type stuff straight co2 is the best.

Downsides:

-It has its limitations in that it wont spray transfer, most little welders probably won't get there anyway.

-about 5-10% more splatter (in my limited experience)

-Probably other things, I'm not an expert

Upsides:

-owner bottles in the form of fire extinguisher bottles are cheap, usually around the $300 mark full.

-it stores as a liquid unlike argoshield mixes. this means that you fit a whole lot more in the bottle. This is a massive upside in my book, when I want to run mig I want it to be cheap.

-Last fill I got was at gaspro, cost $45, a lot better than the $130 swappa bottles for argosheild. The chap there said its $10 per kg, its a 5kg cylinder but it was a bit too warm to get the whole 5kg in one hit that day.

-Apparently runs a bit hotter than argosheild mixes would for the same amperage on short circuit mig. For little machines this might be handy. In saying that I haven't had any issues welding panel steel either so not an issue for rust repairs.

 

I have put a good number of hours on the mig over the last few years, built a couple of trailers and lots of random crap with co2 and haven't had any cracks/breakages or weld related issues. I guess the caveat is that I also have a tig so if I want a fancy weld I can use the tig but generally I use mig for most fabrication type things.

Also, I'm just a guy in a shed sticking stuff together for fun so I don't really know what I'm talking about hahaha.

 

 

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