Equipment for a total beginner.

  1. DangerMouse

    DangerMouse New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Orne - Normandie France
    Hi everyone, thank you for taking me on board.

    I wish to buy a welder for my wife, she is very keen but is a total beginner. She wants to make up plant supports and other items for the garden and also wants to progress on to art later on. Could someone please offer me advice on what machine would be best for her to start with, I have been looking at anything up to £250, maybe a bit more or even less if that is deemed sensible here. The machine should be easy to learn and use and must run on mains electricity. Essentially she will be a hobbyist although we have a friend who has an independent garden centre who has offered space for her work.

    Your advice and guidance would be most valuable. Thank you very much.

    Have a pleasant weekend.
     
    metalmelt, Retired, duncans and 2 others like this.
  2. duncans

    duncans Member

    Messages:
    685
    Location:
    leicester
    Welcome to the forum Danger mouse
     
    James1979 likes this.
  3. duncans

    duncans Member

    Messages:
    685
    Location:
    leicester
    hi mate id be looking around for a good second-hand MIG welder there's been a few welders for sale on here if you keep your eyes peeled id also be looking on Facebook as well I've seen quite a few i would have been interested in if I was looking for one im sure they will be lots of people on the forum giving you advice
     
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  4. barking mat

    barking mat Barking at Pigeons

    Messages:
    4,642
    Location:
    Brittany, The Arz Valley.
    If starting, I'd get an inverter arc welder for example.

    No need for gas accounts, you're in Normandy.

    If it's supports for planters, it's not bodywork thin.

    I'd go in that direction.

    Welding and gas in France starts getting expensive...

    And welcome to the forum.
     
    metalmelt, mdr, tom2207 and 7 others like this.
  5. Memmeddu

    Memmeddu Member

    Messages:
    2,954
    Location:
    Italia Sardegna
    Arc welder of some kind.
    Good 6013 rods.
    A pair of welding gloves.
    A pair of leather gloves.
    Maybe a leather apron.
    Surely safety glasses.
    A good welding helmet .
    A chipping hammer.
    A wire brush.
    A rough file.
    An hammer (1kg )
    Various F clamps
    A pair of vise grips
    A workbench with a good vise
    A chop saw
    A good angle grinder
    A good drill (cordless or corded )
    Drill bits
    Cutting wheels, grinding wheels ,flap discs .
    That's the bare minimum for hobby metalworking
     
    johnyev, BarrieJ, Retired and 2 others like this.
  6. Pete.

    Pete. Member

    Messages:
    9,817
    Location:
    Kent, UK
    Good insight there Matt because I would have echoed Duncans' advice to get a used MIG. A MIG welder is pretty fool-proof for anyone to learn on with non-critical stuff.
     
    Retired, barking mat and Memmeddu like this.
  7. Jbo2231

    Jbo2231 Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    150
    Location:
    essex - UK
    Dont skimp on the PPE. I would get a decent auto darkening helmet, a welding cap, a decent jacket/overalls, decent dedicated welding shoes and some gloves as well for her. Probably looking at around your whole budget just on PPE!
    I have been welding 3 weeks and my shoes have already saved me from a nasty accident, I didn't have a welding cap and I have had several sparks land on my head.
    My jacket has saved my skin several times. If you have exposed skin it will get burnt, either by sparks/spatter or if shes welding enough then from the UV.
    As a new person to welding you make lots of mistakes which usually increase the size of the spatter/molten drips coming off the work.

    Very fun hobby and very useful as well. I hope she is thrilled with whatever lands in her stocking :thumbup:
     
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  8. barking mat

    barking mat Barking at Pigeons

    Messages:
    4,642
    Location:
    Brittany, The Arz Valley.
    Don't go mad on PPE, a lidl helmet, and gloves and apron, is all you need.
     
    VW Phil, johnyev, hunter27 and 6 others like this.
  9. DangerMouse

    DangerMouse New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Orne - Normandie France
    What a brilliant bunch of blokes you are, (but, hang on, that's a bit sexist) What a brilliant bunch you are. Thank you all for taking the time to offer your valuable advice. It looks like I need to go for MIG (is that also ARC?) Is it possible to get a mask/helmet that protects the head and hair? I take the point about PPE she's an ex-safety inspector so should know the score. I've sent for three instructional books from Amazon and she is pretty good at reading the instructions for just about anything she does. I will most definitely point her towards this forum. Thanks again everyone - most grateful.
     
  10. dobbslc

    dobbslc Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    5,764
    Location:
    Hertfordshire UK
    I've got a GYS Easymig (made in France!) It's a very nice machine to use and it will also ARC weld.
    Don't buy anything MIG related if it's made by SIP as it will put her off welding forever!
    Get some 3mm or thicker steel to practice on first as it's easier to start with then go onto thinner stuff if she wants.
    Plenty of good advice on here without the usual Facebook nonsense!
    Some of these guys really do weld for a living and know their stuff.
    :thumbup:
     
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  11. duncans

    duncans Member

    Messages:
    685
    Location:
    leicester
    like I did i went through the tutorial on here gives you all advice you need shows you welds etc mate
     
  12. duncans

    duncans Member

    Messages:
    685
    Location:
    leicester
    ever thought you will not see your wife as she will be too busy making things she will love it when she gets her bearings
     
  13. DangerMouse

    DangerMouse New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Orne - Normandie France
    WOW! - Duncans, never thought of that. Anyone care to comment please on this machine. - -
    Sealey 160XT Arc Welder 160Amp with Accessory Kit
    £118.00 - Quantity: 1

    DODSLC, thanks for the suggestion. I've had a look at GYS Easymig and it's a bit above my paygrade, but seriously I'm concerned that my wife may find that welding doesn't suit her, on the other hand if she goes for it she can have whatever she wants, I can always sell the other machine.

    Thanks again for your input.
     
    metalmelt, Retired and dobbslc like this.
  14. mike os

    mike os just a little insane.....

    Messages:
    7,010
    Location:
    North Wales
    @barking mat is the guy for whats what your side of the water, plenty of options, but whats best for you in France is hard to judge from here
     
    slim_boy_fat and barking mat like this.
  15. eddie49 Member

    That Sealey is a large, heavy ( 17Kg ) old-fashioned transformer Arc welder, with AC output and no beginner-friendly features. On the other hand, it will be very reliable, and will last for ever.
    An inverter Arc welder is a small, light, relatively cheap box of electronics. It has a smooth DC output, and features such as "Arc Force" and "Anti-Stick". All this makes it easier to use. However, unless you pay for a high-end machine, and/or a long warranty, reliability might be an issue.

    Another feature of the electronic inverter machines is that some of them can do both MIG and Arc, like this one:
    https://www.uptimewelding.co.uk/upt...-160-amp-igbt-with-torch-and-accessories.html
    Review here:
    https://www.mig-welding.co.uk/forum...igbt-160-amp-mig-welder-mma-euro-torch.88278/
     
    Retired likes this.
  16. mdr

    mdr Collector of welding machines

    Messages:
    344
    Location:
    wye-on-earth
    While I don't want to assume gender stereotypes, I would suggest when picking gloves get on eBay and look for welding gloves in size 8 or medium. I use Tegera 17 size 8 myself and don't consider myself to have the smallest hands.

    The 'normal' welding gloves are generally large or size 10 - for smaller hands large gloves will hamper the experience (cannot easily and accurately press the trigger for MIG, nor have best control and dexterity for holding the electrode holder for stick welding). They tend to be very loose and side off the hand.

    Just a thought.
     
    metalmelt and Retired like this.
  17. Screwdriver

    Screwdriver Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    6,907
    UK London
    I would say (as a total amateur!) the single biggest improvement to my welding ability came after I invested in a really decent auto darkening helmet. The difference between an entry level Speedglas (secondhand in my case) and a cheapo no name knockoff is literally night and day.

    There may be decent super cheap (sub £50 - 100) helmets and someone on here may be able to recommend one. The problem is if they are non-name, no brand or eBay seller recommendations, those items often change over time.

    I was glad to see arc welding ( stick) being recommended to start with, that was my first thought because it really teaches you what the process is all about. Plus (as a cheapskate) a really decent setup can be had for very little money whereas the same cannot be said of a cheap MiG. Then you won’t have to skimp on the accessories which can be tempting if you blow the budget on just the machine.
     
  18. barking mat

    barking mat Barking at Pigeons

    Messages:
    4,642
    Location:
    Brittany, The Arz Valley.
    Willing to shell out 300 odd euro, for three years, that's just the bottle.

    I'd go arc, but hey?
     
  19. Cobbler

    Cobbler Codger bodger

    Messages:
    5,563
    Location:
    Gloucestershire UK
    I think I would agree with Mat, I’ve made garden supports & obelisks out of re-bar & generally used the arc welder for it. I know it’s a trickier method to learn, but for garden bits & pieces the welds don’t have to be anything special. The cost factor to start, not knowing whether it’s an ongoing hobby would steer me that way, a cheap inverter off the web, practice on some scrap & she’s away. If long term she’s serious, then buying a mig & gas would then be an option
     
    metalmelt, Memmeddu and duncans like this.
  20. barking mat

    barking mat Barking at Pigeons

    Messages:
    4,642
    Location:
    Brittany, The Arz Valley.
    A mig welding machine does have advantages....

    You point, pull the trigger and weld...

    Bisch, Bosch, Bang.

    A rod takes a bit more skill, but not alot.

    It's a very steep learning curve.

    I'm not that far away from you, with the exception of current state of affairs could offer an afternoon in basic welding..
     
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