澳洲Australia property Welding Machines | Sydney


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I am looking at purchasing a welding machine to weld up steel z section to make a roof.

Could someone here give me some suggestions on the type of machine required and approximate costs.

Thanks

Glenn  

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Originally posted by Glenn
I am looking at purchasing a welding machine to weld up steel z section to make a roof.

Could someone here give me some suggestions on the type of machine required and approximate costs.

Thanks

Glenn
Click to expand...

Glenn,

You have a few options.

1. MIG (Metal Inert Gas) which is a fantastic welding system, starting at around $1000 a bit of a learning curve as one has to learn how to adjust current and wirespeed, however its easy to strike and continue an arc with a MIG system. When problems do occur they take longer to resolve (usually wire feed issues).. MIG feeds an inert gas down a hose along with a strand of wire that carries the eletrical current, the gas provides a great little shield around the arc that is struck and leaves a very clean weld, no flux to chip off.. MIG is expensive to set up, and there's ongoing costs of bottle hire from CIG ($6pm).. MIG is very versatile.. MIG is not very portable.. the units are heavy, the bottle is heavy etc.. There are some gasless MIG systems available the wire that is fed has a flux internally that generates the Gas Shield.. I don't know much about theses systems and dont know anyone who owns one.


2. Arc welding, very cheap to set up, around $250 will get you up and running.. Arc is a little more difficult to get the hang of than MIG as its more diffcult to strike an arc and not get the rod stuck, its a skill that just has to be learnt but once learnt stays with you for a lifetime The setup is much easier than MIG.. read the guide on the welding rod box and dial up the amperage and you're off.. no bottles, just a plug into the wall job.. the nice thing about Arc is that its VERY portable.. the units are small and they can be moved more easily. a huge variety of welding rods to choose from that gives you a vast range of welding options.. Unike MIG, you have to keep stopping to insert a new rod.. MIG just keeps on feeding the wire and the rolls are huge.. Rods are easy to change though, only takes a few seconds.


3. TIG.. not really suitable for the job you described..

4. Gas welding (Oxy Acetylene or Oxy Propane).. not really suitable for the welding job you described. But unbeatable for cutting steel with a cutting head.. if you have a lot of steel to cut for the job it would be worth getting an Oxy kit for the day, you'll need to have someone show you how to adjust the flame and how to cut but it'll save you so much time.



I think I'd almost definitely go for a little Arc Welder, it'll last for years and you can pass it onto your children when you die. Easy to set up, a bit of a learning curve, lots of muck to chip off afterwards.. but unbeatable for the money and so reliable.


Hope this helps.

Duncan.  

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Hi Duncan,

That was perfect mate!

Could you name some of the more reliable and well sold models?

Glenn  

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I own a Lincoln gas/gasless MIG welder (SP-170). But I don't weld up garage roofs. I use it in my garage to weld shelves, stands, stuff like that (ie. indoors). My little unit weighs roughly 25kg and the small gas bottle would probably be another 15-20kg.

I've never used it in "gasless" mode - basically unless you're outside in the weather you'd never really want to bother. For workshop fabrication MIG beats a standard arc welder hands down. For welding "up in the air" I'd say unless you can get MIG gear really close to you and there's barely a breeze then ARC will be the better/easier choice.

I don't think Oxy would be appropriate (except perhaps for oxy-cutting) and I don't think TIG would be used in that kind of environment. TIG is *real expensive* last time I looked.

MIG is capable of welding much thinner sections than ARC in my opinion (part of this may simply be that arc welding rods < 2.5mm don't seem generally available). It has no slag to clean up, it does not require constant changing of electrodes, and it is my opinion that a MIG welder is substantially easier to learn to weld with.

Cost-wise a small decent ARC welder will set you back $200 since it is basically just a big transformer. An entry level MIG welder I think is in the $600 range and something considered decent will be easily over $1000.

Now, I'm assuming you're not a welder, so a couple of words of advice:

1. Welding is not easy. It is an acquired skill. ARC welding is harder that MIG partly because your hand is usually further away from the work due to the length of the electrode.

2. If you can't weld well already, do you really want to put your welding skills to the test on something that might crash down on your head? (I once read a book that said an owner-builder could build a double-storey house and lay a second floor suspended concrete slab - as long as same owner-builder was happy sleeping under that 25 ton slab of concrete at night).

But if you want to persist...

3. Invest in your machine then some serious practice time before building a roof.

4. Seriously consider investing in an LCD auto-darkening welding helmet. About $500, but worth every cent - your eyes will thank you and it makes welding easier.  

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Originally posted by Glenn
Hi Duncan,

That was perfect mate!

Could you name some of the more reliable and well sold models?

Glenn
Click to expand...

Glenn,

Arc Welders are extremely reliable.. I believe even GMC sell one these days (140AMP $168).. the name brands such as BOC (at least another $150) are more expensive and probably not worth buying for the occasional use you're going to put it to.. Go with what ever KMart or Bunnings are selling these days and you'll be fine.. the higher the amperage the better.. some will have a 15amp plug which wont fit into the standard wall outlet (10amp GPO) you could of course make up an extension lead with a 15amp inlet at one end and a 10amp plug at the other :)

Be prepared for some frustation in learning to strike an Arc, some people recommend a quick tap and then lift off, I tend to use a Match Striking motion..

Oh and you'll need a Mask! this could make all the difference if you buy the standard cheapy welding mask you wont be able to see a thing until the Arc is struck and it makes things so much harder.. better to spend a few extra dollars and get a Welding Mask that auto-darkens when an arc is struck. Until the arc is struck you get a really clear view of the job and it goes dark only when required.. these things are a godsend and bring welding down into the realms of mere mortals like myself..

Good luck!

Duncan.  

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4. Gas welding (Oxy Acetylene or Oxy Propane).. not really suitable for the welding job you described. But unbeatable for cutting steel with a cutting head.. if you have a lot of steel to cut for the job it would be worth getting an Oxy kit for the day, you'll need to have someone show you how to adjust the flame and how to cut but it'll save you so much time.Click to expand...
If you've got a lot of steel to cut I'd recommend simply hiring a metal cutoff machine (metal drop-saw). You will get beautiful square cuts, not even a pro with an oxy could come close and you'd probably have to clean oxy cuts up with a grinder.  

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Originally posted by Kevmeister
If you've got a lot of steel to cut I'd recommend simply hiring a metal cutoff machine (metal drop-saw). You will get beautiful square cuts, not even a pro with an oxy could come close and you'd probably have to clean oxy cuts up with a grinder. Click to expand...
I reluctantly agree as you just gotta love the sound and smell of an Oxy Flame ugh ugh ugh...

Do the discs last long on those cut off saws? I've been thinking of buying one.. I have a large angle grinder I use but the saws have been beckoning me at Bunnings..

Duncan.  

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Hi Guys,

The metal drop saws do seem the way to go...the fabricator we saw on the weekend said that we can pre-cut and weld all the top sections of the roof structure before hand by getting 2 x 600mm of z tube for each peak, cutting the required angle on both pieces, putting them in a jig and then welding together as per the AS standard he shall be providing.

Guys, your help has been fantastico....

Glenn  

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Duncan:

It's a bit hard to answer how long the discs last. A single 14" disc (which cost about $12 - so they're cheap) would give you 100-200 cuts in 1" RHS 1.6mm thick.

Difference steel sections wear the disc down more. Cutting flat bar is the worst.

But the benefits that come from very accurate fit-up are totally worth it. It cuts square, and you don't have niggly gaps to worry about when welding.

You do get a sharp edge "dag" on the cut which you have to remove, but this takes all of 10 seconds with a file.  

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Hi

Having a little welding experiance myself ;)

MIG has a smaller learning curve than ARC.

Two hands work best for novices.......let your supervissor/other half watch with the hand held sheild.

ARC is always on power source, while mig only passes current when you pull the trigger letting you get set up ready before you flip the helmet down.

Having 20amp power in the shed is a good thing :D

Ear muffs and drop saws go hand in hand.

Use an angle grinder with a handle. Also more ear muff teritory.

Ray burn is a lot worse than sun burn - t-shirt and shorts is not good enough :(

Sparks seek out groins and shoes :eek:

Have fun :p

bundy  

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