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New Skills During COVID Lockdown….?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by oldman, Jul 1, 2021.

  1. oldman

    oldman Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    10,763
    Location:
    Avalon Beach NSW
    With just about all of Oz. in C19 lockdown at some stage, I was wondering If people are having a shot, successfully, learning a new skill. So many of our members are skilled in their own right and I thought it could be an opportunity to share your knowledge.

    I’m currently researching combination Mig/Tig welders and plan on learning to weld so I can have a shot when the time comes. I reckon it’d be a great skill to have ……and from what I’ve been told by those that know, it’s all about a quality machine , running gas and plenty of practice…..
    I’ve narrowed the choices down to Lincoln, Hobartweld, CIGweld and Unimig ….. single phase machines, all around the $2k mark.
    If anyone has experience with any of these and can assist with advice, or others, I’d greatly appreciate it.;)

    What have you successfully tried during lockdown….?

    cheers,
    Mark
     
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  2. paul77

    paul77 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,024
    Location:
    Brisbane
    I am interested in your learn to weld journey Mark. Have been thinking of taking the same path myself.
     
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  3. chris taylor

    chris taylor Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,048
    Location:
    adelaide sth aust
    Hi Mark
    It is a skill thats is worth having .although not in lockdown here I have taught myself to weld using a gasless mig welder. Certainly no expert but good enough to get by ,great forum to have here especially for those restoring Kombies or cars or general use around the home.
    It is now an essential part of my workshop. Cheers.

    Chris T
     
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  4. Wiz

    Wiz Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    461
    Location:
    Near Ballarat
    Join the club!
    I bought a MIG in 2007, did an urgent job gasless at the time and it sat in the garage while I intended to take a course.
    March this year I hired gas bottles and started to teach myself on small projects as I now have the time to work on a few larger projects.
    Bay window 8-seater microbus is getting a mechanical workover - no bodywork at this stage.
    Bay window camper and 2 classic minis requiring substantial bodywork in the queue.
    Slowly working on getting my skills up to the level where I can do a decent job on major repairs like this:
    DSCF1995 small.jpg

    PR
     
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  5. chris taylor

    chris taylor Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,048
    Location:
    adelaide sth aust
    Once I stop looking for reasons why can't and looked reasons why I could, I found it wasn't that hard at all ,sure I made a lot of stuff ups but hell thats all part of the learning curve. Even now my welding skills are nor flash or neat but they are adequate..just my thoughts .:rolleyes:
     
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  6. Wiz

    Wiz Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    461
    Location:
    Near Ballarat
    Can't give any tips on current models.
    If I was buying a new one I'd be thinking about stick/TIG/MIG but I have no idea how well multi-purpose ones work.

    Mine is an Australian made Weldmaster MIG-170C - not made any more.
    15A power required so I can't use it in the garage, rotary dials for wire feed and voltage, gas adjusted manually on the bottle.
    I will understand more about the welding process due to having to learn how the settings control the weld. :)

    A couple of learnings from my foray into welding:
    Buy a decent welding jacket and use it when welding, angle grinding etc. (I set fire to my shirt when cutting steel last fortnight).
    Invest in some 3M AC019461493 50-Pack 125mm (5") Cubitron II 982C 36+ Grit Fibre Discs and a cheap 5" angle grinder.
    A 30 minute job with a regular grinding wheel will take a couple of minutes with the 3M discs.
    PR
     
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  7. oldman

    oldman Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    10,763
    Location:
    Avalon Beach NSW
    Had some great advice from a mate who is qualified in pressure welding today….
    He said that any of the Esab brands were good and well worth the money.
    CIGweld falls under this Company, so we did a bit of poking around and found this unit :
    https://sydneytools.com.au/product/...5-migtigmma-single-phase-inverter-welder-pack
    A good all rounder that will do bodywork easily and is Tig capable too…..just need to get the handset.
    So, I’ll do a bit more research….but this is looking pretty good for my basic needs.
    Cheers,
    Mark
     
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  8. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    13,508
    Location:
    sunshine coast
    Had an ESAB smashweld 180.
    Just like using an air operated sika gun. ;)
    Sweet as.
     
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  9. Ijam

    Ijam Active Member

    Messages:
    95
    Location:
    Robertson NSW
    Nobody has investigated welding brands and how to from u tube...? so surprised, must be something out there with lot’s of stuff to absorb during lockdown I seem to spend ages reading different ways to replace/repair things as for welding I am a stick person and it’s practice that counts , I just bought a small inverter arc welder as a replacement for an old Lincoln very impressed by its performance and size .
     
  10. oldman

    oldman Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    10,763
    Location:
    Avalon Beach NSW
    Looking at YouTube is like descending into a wormhole…….everyone is an expert and there Is so much choice. Back up service and spares are important to me as well.
    That’s why I posted here….I know most of the folks with proven skills and value their input on brands.
    Lots of really good “how to” clips, though….
    My understanding of stick welding is that creates too much heat, distorting the panels very quickly….I understand that mig can do the same if moved continuously, however mig seems to be the preference of panelbeaters working thinner gauge metals.
    That’s why I’m leaning towards an inverter mig/Tig as my preference…..
    Cheers,
    Mark
     
  11. Ijam

    Ijam Active Member

    Messages:
    95
    Location:
    Robertson NSW
    I know, buts it’s always interesting to look at Eastern Europe repair shop technology lol
     
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  12. wombatventures

    wombatventures Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,547
    Location:
    Peterborough SA
    I did a welding course through tafe last year even though I've been welding since high school, including when I did my trade. My arc improved immensely, as did my mig and I finally got to try tig.
    Last weekend I picked up a CIG 180amp ac/dc tig and stick. The reason I went with this over the 200amp was because it will run from a 10 amp plug, over 180 amp must be a 15amp plug.

    I went ac/dc because I want to weld aluminium as well. I had a cheap mig/tig/stick inverter that I only ever used as a gasless mig and arc until it stopped working and I went back to arc.
    I'll get a mig next but will go to a gas one as the welding is much easier and cleaner.
    I'll add a couple of good youtube clips when I get the chance. There is a lot of crap out there and a few good ones.
    Now go melt some metal!
     
  13. Wiz

    Wiz Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    461
    Location:
    Near Ballarat
    Was your course real or virtual reality?
    PR
     
  14. wombatventures

    wombatventures Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,547
    Location:
    Peterborough SA
    Hands on at TAFE. Our high school here in Peterborough has a TAFE workshop with 8 welding bays, machining equipment and 2 hoists for automotive. They run a metal fabrication course up to Cert 2 and prevoc automotive for the high school students. To keep numbers up for the fabrication course locals can enrol and do welding units. I did intermediate and advanced in MIG, Arc and TIG as well as some of the other parts of the cert2. To qualify to do the whole course I would have had to go through an employment agency or apprenticeship but as I already have job I did one day a week on the units I wanted. The bloke running the course was an ex railways and pipelines welder who had then run his own shed construction and fabrication business. He added real world experience to the learning which made the course worth the effort.
     
  15. oldman

    oldman Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    10,763
    Location:
    Avalon Beach NSW
    We had an awesome Engineering Section at the TAFE I used to work at..
    Plasma cutters,CNC machines , laser tables, hydro cutters and every welding process you could imagine.
    Then, the bean counters came through and shut it down. That was about 8 years ago now…..
    We lost an awful amount of skilled Teachers and the equipment was auctioned off.
    Bloody politics……
    Cheers,
    Mark
     
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  16. oldman

    oldman Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    10,763
    Location:
    Avalon Beach NSW
    What a great opportunity !
    Wish our system had the foresight to implement such a strategy…..
    Cheers,
    Mark
     
  17. wombatventures

    wombatventures Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,547
    Location:
    Peterborough SA
    That's why they offered to locals here Mark. To keep it open. Hope they can for a bit longer. Sounds like the new TAFE boss in Port Pirie is a bit of a bean counter. :(
    In a low socio economic country town like ours its good to have something that offers an employment pathway to the school kids and younger adults. Not too many here will go to uni, for various reasons, but many would make reasonable tradies which is what the non metropolitan areas really need.
    For all round welding from heavy (10-12mm) down to light (1.5mm) MIG with gas can do everything. Most good ones can even be set up with aluminium and stainless steel wires.
    Check out the CIG range at Sydney Tools and also have a look at Weldforce gear. The only reason I didn't go Weldforce for the AC/DC TIG was I like the ability to use my machine anywere there is a 10amp plug. If I was keeping it in the workshop I'd go 200amp with a 15amp plug for the extra power and versatility.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2021
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  18. chris taylor

    chris taylor Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,048
    Location:
    adelaide sth aust
    Unfortunately Mark ,we have yet to find a Government that wants to look beyond their 4 year term. They always talk about fixing the countries financial woes but the do not elaborate how.
     
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  19. Grantus

    Grantus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    18,622
    Location:
    Southern ACT
    Our Upholstery business we use, could employ 2 or 3 new apprentices, especially with the Govt subsidy offer to pay half their wages as an incentive to get more trades people………….. but there is currently no upholstery TAFE courses in the ACT or NSW for those apprentices to be able to attend and fulfill all the requirements to become qualified trades people. :confused:
     
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  20. chris taylor

    chris taylor Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,048
    Location:
    adelaide sth aust
     

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