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  1. #1
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    Default How much we lose if we dont use it, or I knew there was a reason why I bought a Mig

    Up until about 6 years ago I lived about 40 klm inland from the ocean (for about 22 years) Being that little bit further away from the coast meant I could leave a bit of bare steel laying on the bench for months without it going rusty. It also meant that I could leave the spool of wire inside the Mig for months without it going rusty as well.

    6 years ago I moved closer to the ocean (only a couple of klm from it) and that's when the rust issues started. After having to strip about 1/3 of a big spool of wire off the mig one day before I could use the machine, I resigned myself to having to remove the spool , wrapping it in cloth, double bagging and storing it in a wooden cupboard after every use of the machine and then setting it all back up again the next time I wanted to weld something.
    That got old pretty quickly when only needing to do a small welding job. So about the middle of last year I replaced my ancient transformer stick welder with a small new inverter stick machine.
    Great little welder. Too bad the operator has lost so much stick welding skill over the 25 odd years since he did any serious stick welding. I used to be a pretty good stick welder (not pressure or anything like that of course) but on general purpose stuff I was ok. Unfortunately that would appear to have been a different person. . Im ok on straight downhand runs on steel with a bit of thickness to it but anything smaller (that I used to be able to do) I'm absolute rubbish now. As I discovered this arvo. I actually thought about setting the mig up but then thought "no, it will be fine". Except it wasn't. The time it took me to grind out slag inclusions and then reweld I should have just set the mig up. Grrrrr.
    I think I will make a notice up for myself to leave inside the Stick welder box that says something like - "You are a crap stick welder. Is it worth setting up the mig?"
    Don't you just love getting old?

    peter

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default

    Hi Peter,
    Well mate, I do not think you are not a write off just quite yet.
    There is a possibility that there are factors that can be changed to improve the MMA welding.

    Firstly I would review your eyeware if you have prescription glasses.

    Focal length in as far as welding goes, changes over time.

    If your reading F length set up focal length for welding try to get a rough measurement.
    With that measurement in mind , next time you are in the chemist shop have a linger around the reading glasses tree they all seem to have on display.

    The lenses come in various graduations and its not hard to pick a suitable pair. They are of course not safety glasses but might get you close with out great expense.

    Also there are magnifying diopters available mainly through dedicated welding shop and probably thief bay.

    In addition as we get older,changes to stance and perhaps supporting the electrode with a finger on the non dominant hand -in some circumstances. Another bit of old glove over those fingers stops burning.

    As well review you technique, arc length ,amp setting and electrode angle and clean condition of what is being welded.

    Never give up and never give in. I am sure there's more good stick welding left in you you. I shall move this to welding as it might help a few others.

    Regards

    Grahame

  3. #3
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bollie7 View Post
    So about the middle of last year I replaced my ancient transformer stick welder with a small new inverter stick machine.
    peter
    This may be part of the issue, I had the same problem when I replaced my ancient buzz-box with a Fronius Inverter machine after almost 40 years. The welding characteristics are markedly different between the transformer AC output and the inverter DC output and it did take a bit of adaption before I was happy with the resulting welds.

    And, as Graham says, our eyesight gets worse as we get older more mature, I have cheater lenses in my helmets now and it makes the world of difference.

    Rgds - Gavin

  4. #4
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    Default

    Thanks gents.
    I have those "cheap" reading glasses scattered all of the place in various strengths. Couldn't live with out them. I hadn't thought about that when I was welding yesterday. Funnily enough that distance is where my eyes are best. Any closer and I can't focus well.

    I think my problem yesterday was simply being out of practice. I might see if I can borrow some scrap plate from the bin at work and have a bit of a practice. In reality Id probably find I've lost a bit with the mig as well. I just don't do that much welding anymore.
    Its not just welding either. I've been off the tools too long. I'm finding now that when I do go to do something on the lathe or mill I really have to think about the process I need to use whereas It used to be 2nd nature too me. I certainly couldn't go and work for someone as a fitter or machinist and earn them money anymore.

    peter

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Ipswich QLD
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    Peter I wouldn't weld for ages years even then out of the need to out comes the CIG handy arc. I had usually just got stuck in put up with crappy results. Then I began running welds on scrap 1 to gauge my ability. 2 steady myself & the shaking hands we all get as we age.
    I'm no longer a teenager crawling round frames, engines or as flexibleHow much we lose if we dont use it, or I knew there was a reason why I bought a MigHow much we lose if we dont use it, or I knew there was a reason why I bought a MigHow much we lose if we dont use it, or I knew there was a reason why I bought a MigHow much we lose if we dont use it, or I knew there was a reason why I bought a Mig or as thinHow much we lose if we dont use it, or I knew there was a reason why I bought a Mig.

    Depending on amount of rust we use to still use mig wire but if to bad yep streams of it would be found in bins. It's good for light filler rod for oxy welding or lay it down weld over it with the mig.

  6. #6
    BobL is offline Member: Blue and white apron brigade
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    I'm the opposite. If I pick up a MIG torch my hands tremble and I end up with stuff all over the place. I don't know what it is but they seem to tremble much less with stick. TIG is in between. I guess it depends what you are used to.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Perth
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    Default Mig

    I donít suffer with the wobbly hand, mig or stick, depending on what or how thick the material I am welding. Prefer stick mostly, the old fashion transformer, I do have an inverted stick, pain the butt, itís in the welding cupboard mostly.

    Mig wire going rusty, same where I am, only 800 metres from the big swimming pool, but I had the same problem when I lived 60 klicks inland from the coast, if I left my full size mig wire in the CIG 195 Rural Pak mig, it would go rusty, clog the gun and you know the rest.

    I would remove the spool after I had finished for the day and store inside my company flat, then put it all back when next I needed to use it.

    DD

  8. #8
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    Bollie could it be that 25 years ago u were welding AC Stick on a transformer welder and today u are welding DC on a inverter welder? for the mig spool u can place it in a plastic bag and zip tie it closed to stop the rusting, i live about 15mins away from the salt water lake and river mine rusts over about 4 to 5 months

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by gazza2009au View Post
    Bollie could it be that 25 years ago u were welding AC Stick on a transformer welder and today u are welding DC on a inverter welder?
    Possibly but I still think its just that I'm out of practice. lol

    Quote Originally Posted by gazza2009au View Post
    for the mig spool u can place it in a plastic bag and zip tie it closed to stop the rusting, i live about 15mins away from the salt water lake and river mine rusts over about 4 to 5 months
    Pretty much what I've had to do. I'm not sure how far we are from the ocean but when there's a big sea running we can just hear it from our place. I bought the little stick just to do those little quick jobs where it takes longer to set the mig up than to do the job. Anything more than that, I'll set the mig up.

    peter

  10. #10
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    Hey Peter i can't stick weld for the life of me but i found different brands of rods worked better than others, I found the Lincoln brand the hardest to weld with hard to strike and arc and keep it going, i have another pack of rods in a grey or light blue'ish packet i think from memory i can't recall the brand i would have to check but these were much easier and very friendly to use on the same machine

    i have the Unimig 180amp stick welder for me i just can't keep the consistency even but i have noticed the better machine easier to use over my Repco MechPro 140amp arc welder its a world of difference for being user friendly, starting the arc and keeping it going is much easier with the better machine

    if u have a ebay machine maybe thats where your welding is playing up?

  11. #11
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    I got sick of mig wire rusting in my dad's welder as he uses it very infrequently so I just put some pieces of VPI paper (paper that emits a rust prohibitor) inside it, worked a treat

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by gazza2009au View Post
    Hey Peter i can't stick weld for the life of me but i found different brands of rods worked better than others, I found the Lincoln brand the hardest to weld with hard to strike and arc and keep it going, i have another pack of rods in a grey or light blue'ish packet i think from memory i can't recall the brand i would have to check but these were much easier and very friendly to use on the same machine
    Yes I've come across that before. I think mine (some of them) are Satincraft. Also all pretty old which wouldn't be helping but they weld ok once they are warmed up. My biggest problem is I just don't get enough practice at it anymore. Once I get the machine settings right I'm fine on down hand but its the vertical ups that I'm crap at atm.

    Quote Originally Posted by gazza2009au View Post
    i have the Unimig 180amp stick welder for me i just can't keep the consistency even but i have noticed the better machine easier to use over my Repco MechPro 140amp arc welder its a world of difference for being user friendly, starting the arc and keeping it going is much easier with the better machine

    if u have a ebay machine maybe thats where your welding is playing up?
    My inverter stick is a Metal Master Miniarc 200stl. I did a fair bit of research before I bought it and they got good reviews. I have no doubt that there is nothing wrong with the machine - its the tool on the other end of the hand piece that's causing the problem.

  13. #13
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    Those welding rods i found easy to use are called Gemini

  14. #14
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    They appear to be cheap enough although I have no idea what other brands are worth now as I haven't bought any rods for a long time.

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