Clarke MIG130EN for car bodywork

  1. gjkathome New Member

    London, UK
    Hi, complete novice here.
    I am thinking of buying a second-hand Clarke MIG130EN for bodywork repairs on a pre-war car. Metal thickness is about 0.8 mm. I believe from other posts on this forum and reading the tutorials that this welder's minimum of 30 amps will be OK but maybe marginal. Would I be better looking for something with a lower setting?

    A couple of supplementaries:
    • What do the Clarke suffixes mean - EN TE etc?
    • What is it that limits the low current capability on a welder? Naively it would seem to be simple to reduce the minimum current offered but, presumably, this is not so?
  2. Cobbler

    Cobbler Codger bodger

    Gloucestershire UK
    The 30amp low setting will be fine, You won’t need anything lower. The EN machines are able to be used with gasless wire, have the facility to change the polarity to enable it, the TE ones haven’t. Useful machine, spares are readily available through Machine Mart & others, it will do all you need for bodywork. For bodywork, don’t consider gasless, it burns too hot & likely to burn through, particularly if you are learning, it also produces clouds of smoke.
    If the price is right, buy it!
  3. gjkathome New Member

    London, UK
    Thanks for the advice. I ended up with a 135TE and have started on a long learning process.
    a111r and rtcosic like this.
  4. a111r Member

    The EN suffix stands for electrode negative (the gas-less configuration)
    Country Joe likes this.
  5. Country Joe

    Country Joe Argoshield Dark

    Somerset - United Kingdom
    And I've just learned something new!

    All the Best,
    a111r likes this.
  6. neutronstar64 New Member

    leicester uk
    I've had the 150 te for 30 years and it still welds 100 percent perfect, replaced a few parts to keep her going over the years but never let me down, had my own restoration/bodywork business for 10 years and it was the only welder I had, built many things with it and still recommend it, 130 te will be fine for what you need and easy to use..
    Couple of tips if you are new

    Dont have the gas blasting out, most newbies do this but a professional welder taught me you should barely hear the gas coming out when the tip is near your ear! He said too much freezes the weld, blows the flame and causes spatter, just enough to lay gently over the welds as it cools.. my welding improved 200 percent after being told this!
    Also invest in a large regulator and use pub gas bottles of co2, much cheaper than argon mix.
    You can get a pipe that goes from the regulator into the little plastic pipe on your welder so you don't need to open up the welder or make any changes to it..
    Hope this helps.
  7. Craig-SM

    Craig-SM Member

    I’ve had the 135TE and it’s a good machine but ditch the disposable bottle and get a 9 ltr argon/CO2 with a proper regulator. The gas and regulator will help you get consistent welds.