Recommend a starter welder

FM155

RMS Regular
Drives
Alfa 155
I bought a Clarke 100e with my first student grant cheque in 1985 and still have it lol. I've changed the wire conduit for a teflon one and went with a BOC large bottle conversion after quickly getting sick of the disposable bottles. It has done some serious work, mostly car bodywork but lots of general fab work, making trailers etc. Wouldn't be without one for emergency repairs and getting bolts/studs out etc. Also bloody useful to be able to do your own bodywork, saves a fortune and will keep you in sh1te cars that really should have been scrapped forever. 👍
 

Coog

Admin
Drives
MK2 Golf
I bought a Clarke 100e with my first student grant cheque in 1985 and still have it lol. I've changed the wire conduit for a teflon one and went with a BOC large bottle conversion after quickly getting sick of the disposable bottles. It has done some serious work, mostly car bodywork but lots of general fab work, making trailers etc. Wouldn't be without one for emergency repairs and getting bolts/studs out etc. Also bloody useful to be able to do your own bodywork, saves a fortune and will keep you in sh1te cars that really should have been scrapped forever. 👍
Funny that's what I have. Well a Clarke but 170 amp one (after a run with a really crap Chinese yoke that nearly put me off welding forever). Also have a stick I bought off here for £20 which is great for firing into the boot of the car and working on heavier steel. I'm no fabricator though, just someone sticking bits of metal together in a shed to get a job done. Or patching up old scrap and exhausts up like yourself lol
 

roverspeed

RMS Regular
Location
Belfast
Drives
Insignia
I have a load of small bits off cuts that Pete Moore gave me ages ago for me to practise on, I even used some of them as gussets on projects I've built.

You are welcome to what's left in the bucket, is all clean steel with no rust.
 

stevieturbo

RMS Regular
Location
Antrim
Drives
Old Ford
As others say, don't waste your time with gasless.

And don't get the cheapest mask you can, it's worth spending say £100 for a good auto darkening mask with a decent sized lens #eyesmatter.

Gas itself is debatable. With BOC's deals in the last 5+ years or so, their gas is actually good value now. Albeit with their silly yearly rental charge.
But at around £60 for rental, and £60 for a fill...that bottle will last a very long time.

By comparison, say Hobbyweld HW5 and I presume Stargas pricing will be similar. I think they want £70 "deposit" for their small bottle, and last fill I got locally was £57. Quite an increase on the £30 or so when I first got the bottle.
And it'd probably take 3-4 small hobbyweld bottles to match a single BOC bottle.
So it actually represents terrible value for money, but if a very light user it removes that yearly rental charge. So if one bottle might last you 2-3 years, the non BOC bottles can make sense again despite the much higher cost, as it's offset by no rental.
When I was renting at their extortionate prices because they were the only option here years ago, I was paying around £120-130 a year for each bottle...and I must have paid that for 20+ years. Total and utter rip off. And similar prices for each refill too.
At least that has changed.

Really...step up the budget to closer to £500 and there will be lots of options. It's a long term investment and worth it. MMTS in Lisburn do a range of machines, a friend got a Parweld there a couple of years back at pretty keen prices. Much cheaper than online prices.
130-150A will do almost anything you'd need at home etc.
I've only had a 150A Murex machine since the mid 90's and apart from a couple of jobs, it's worked fine.
 

-Pete-

RMS Regular
As others say, don't waste your time with gasless.

And don't get the cheapest mask you can, it's worth spending say £100 for a good auto darkening mask with a decent sized lens #eyesmatter.

Gas itself is debatable. With BOC's deals in the last 5+ years or so, their gas is actually good value now. Albeit with their silly yearly rental charge.
But at around £60 for rental, and £60 for a fill...that bottle will last a very long time.

By comparison, say Hobbyweld HW5 and I presume Stargas pricing will be similar. I think they want £70 "deposit" for their small bottle, and last fill I got locally was £57. Quite an increase on the £30 or so when I first got the bottle.
And it'd probably take 3-4 small hobbyweld bottles to match a single BOC bottle.
So it actually represents terrible value for money, but if a very light user it removes that yearly rental charge. So if one bottle might last you 2-3 years, the non BOC bottles can make sense again despite the much higher cost, as it's offset by no rental.
When I was renting at their extortionate prices because they were the only option here years ago, I was paying around £120-130 a year for each bottle...and I must have paid that for 20+ years. Total and utter rip off. And similar prices for each refill too.
At least that has changed.

Really...step up the budget to closer to £500 and there will be lots of options. It's a long term investment and worth it. MMTS in Lisburn do a range of machines, a friend got a Parweld there a couple of years back at pretty keen prices. Much cheaper than online prices.
130-150A will do almost anything you'd need at home etc.
I've only had a 150A Murex machine since the mid 90's and apart from a couple of jobs, it's worked fine.
The stargas is actually dead on stevie, I use it for the mig and tig and the prices are good especially as they fill the bottle close to 200 bar (meant to be 200 but last couple have been a bit below annoyingly) I haven't looked at BOC in recent years but they would need to be significantly cheaper to warrant changing to a rental payment. maybe for the tig where more gas is used. I stick to 20 litre bottles as they're big enough for big jobs and still portable if i need to sling it in the boot for a mobile job somewhere. 47s are good but just a pain in the hole unless youve a big garage or shed to accomodate the space a welder and huge bottle takes up.
Parweld is a good shout too. my mig is a thermal arc 200amp combo machine and it does a fantastic weld, super smooth just wouldnt have the multi process mig like spray and multi pulse that a fronius or htp would have and the tig covers everything else (200 amp ac and dc)
 

stevieturbo

RMS Regular
Location
Antrim
Drives
Old Ford
The stargas is actually dead on stevie, I use it for the mig and tig and the prices are good especially as they fill the bottle close to 200 bar (meant to be 200 but last couple have been a bit below annoyingly) I haven't looked at BOC in recent years but they would need to be significantly cheaper to warrant changing to a rental payment. maybe for the tig where more gas is used. I stick to 20 litre bottles as they're big enough for big jobs and still portable if i need to sling it in the boot for a mobile job somewhere. 47s are good but just a pain in the hole unless youve a big garage or shed to accomodate the space a welder and huge bottle takes up.
Parweld is a good shout too. my mig is a thermal arc 200amp combo machine and it does a fantastic weld, super smooth just wouldnt have the multi process mig like spray and multi pulse that a fronius or htp would have and the tig covers everything else (200 amp ac and dc)
The Parweld he got was same, think it was 180A but a combo MIG/DC TIG. Unlikely he'll ever use that aspect of it...but does no harm having that option.
And the price on it was very good.
I had considered the Thermalarc myself a few years back, but as I had a 15kg roll of stainless which is bloody expensive it wasn't an option. That's been used, and tempted to change to a "smaller" 200A machine.

But yes for TIG, anything other than BOC would end up costing a fortune if you use it a lot. I don't use mine that often, but I still wouldn't change that bottle to some of the other gas companies.

But it pays to get a good machine. Buy a cheapy or bad one, and if it welds bad, you'll never know if it's you or the machine. At least with a good one if they're bad, it is very unlikely to be the machine.
Although some have said the same about gas, but I've never had any issue with the HW5 and my MIG compared to BOC.
 
Top