Review Oxford MIgmaker 180 240 v single phase

  1. baldy Member

    Messages:
    276
    kent uk
    I ordered an Oxford Migmaker 180-1 from Technical Arc via Welding Supplies direct , Ive dealt with Tom and Jack to order the machine, which was quoted at around 2-3 weeks. Oooh the waiting,Its like looking forward to Christmas! .Tom is on the forum
    Next day the BINZEL Mig Torch arrived along with the wire and a few more bits a, i opted for the genuine Binzel torch and wasnt disappointed, a quality feel to the item,a 4 metre MB15 pro evo which suited me fine.
    I also ordered the machine with a 5 metre power lead , a 4 metre earth lead, and 3 weeks down the line decided to upgrade the build to inc the polarity conversion kit for gasless wire.I didnt order the spot timer as ive no need for it.
    I also added a piece of old trim i had lurking on the front to stop the load door chipping off the paint.
    [​IMG]
    Also i ordered a switch to disable the wire feed for when purging the gas out which always did my heeed in on other machines. I do like the way in which you can specify what you want!
    The machine is a top loader with the reel laid on its side.
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    The Eagle eyed amongst you will notice 2 rolls of wire, one is 0.6 and one is 0.8. I modified the reel retaining nut with the bench grinder so that when two rolls are fitted the lid will close and ive both sizes at my disposal without searching for stuff,also in the brown box are the mig tips and spare shrouds.
    This is the nut i machined on the grinder.
    [​IMG]
    The top loader is super handy as you can store the torch inside the machine when not in use to avoid damage and damp.

    [​IMG]
    It also has a quality wire feed with geared rollers and dual size 0.6 and 0.8 mm
    Heres a shot of the modded arrangement for the dual wires
    [​IMG]
    You can see that the feed wont be a problem from either reel.With the feed originating from the centre of both reels.
    [​IMG]
    When it arrived the donut courier driver tried to deliver, and didnt persevere enough with the door bell and i ended up waiting another day for the delivery.
    I also had a problem with gas escaping inside the machine, which to be fair was my fault.It wasnt an oxford fault or a binzel fault, just me being a Richard.
    With Many phone calls to and fro from me, Tom and Jack ,and then Technical Arc we sorted it out. Ive had five star service from Welding Supplies Direct, i cannot praise them enough, totally totally five star service, whatever you order you will NOT be disappointed, at all. Now anything i need i go there first without a second thought.
    I spoke to George at technical arc, trying to sort this gas escape, super helpful guy. its not very often you can speak to guy that built an appliance for you! Ive also a Jasic mma set , i doubt i could speak to fella that built that!
    The welder does weld really nice and super creamy welds are quite easy. When it arrived i took forum advice and decided to remove the side and check for polystyrene debris.I wasnt dispappointed. there was lots.
    Another pointer which i was disappointed with , was the use of shitty crimps put on with a pair of ratchet crimps. im sure an extra twenty minutes with some proper Lucars soldered on with decent sheaths on would make the longevity of the machine a lot better.The general build inside is very tidy with only one PCB controlling the wire feed which is also syncronized with the power level switch, so when the voltage is cranked up, the wire speed increases too.
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    I like the old school feel to the machine, which should last an awful long time with really only basic components inside and no real computers or wizardry installed.
    [​IMG]
    Heres a nice picture of the machine in the sunshine.Sorry about the van photobombing the picture.
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    It also has the capability to add a mig bottle on the rear with the usual chain type arrangement.
    The instruction book if im honest..... is pants.Its a basic pamphlet with just generic stuff and tbh Oxford you could do better.2/10 sorry.Pull your socks up!!!
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    Also i note the rear axle looks like a bare steel tube. i think ill take that off,and paint or laquer it.Im not sure why it wasnt galvanised for an extra 50p
    Ive done a few test welds.
    [​IMG]
    I was just messing about on some scrap and with the power levels. Ive had to crank up the breaker on my 16 amp supply from firstly a B type, then to a C type and lastly a D type. Ive hit power level 5/6 so far, ive havnt had the opportunity yet to go flat out as the c breaker tripped out, and only just as i type gone to a D type 16 amp.
    On the whole im pleased with the Binzel and the Oxford with only a poor manual,and crimps that let it down. The Sales and after sales from Welding Supplies Direct has been awesome.
    I hope this helps out,and Oxford read it, and up their game !
    Regards Pauly
     
    Daveleonard, Yamhon and slim_boy_fat like this.
  2. Shedendman

    Shedendman Member

    Messages:
    4,416
    east sussex
    Nice tool
    BUT
    I dont like those top loaders,they seem to attract more dust/dirt than side ones imho
    Why you so worried about the axel,not thinking of taking it x country are you:laughing:
    So,if you get fed up with it i'll take it off your hands for half the price,:thumbup::laughing::laughing::laughing::laughing:
     
  3. baldy Member

    Messages:
    276
    kent uk
    Im just paranoid about rust and corrosion,and just couldnt understand why it isnt painted or proofed in some way.Re the top loaders, my last small mig was the same, nothing an oily rag wont sort out from time to time.
     
  4. northwest

    northwest Member

    Messages:
    2,059
    Location:
    Manchester UK
    Wouldn't be too hard on the crimps. Te latest thinking (so I am led to believe) is a simple crimp is better than a soldered connector. A soldered connector can fail from vibration whereas a crimped connection will flex.
    As I say, not my field but my source is an Industrial Spark that does a lot of panel fitting.
     
    Yamhon, arther dailey, J1nx and 2 others like this.
  5. Richard.

    Richard. Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    18,351
    Location:
    Cambridgeshire
    Bloody charming some people :fighting:
     
  6. Rig Pig

    Rig Pig Member

    Messages:
    3,755
    Location:
    Narrwich! U.K.
    Looks like a solid bit of kit, don't worry too much about the connections, my old mig has the same and it's been chewing wire since 1985!
     
    baldy likes this.
  7. angellonewolf

    angellonewolf Member

    Messages:
    5,653
    Location:
    bristol england
    Will the extra weight of the 2 rolls damage the roller mech ?
     
    Parm likes this.
  8. addjunkie

    addjunkie Member

    Messages:
    6,472
    Location:
    Northumberland. Reet oot in the sticks
    baldy likes this.
  9. baldy Member

    Messages:
    276
    kent uk
    no. it will take one 15kg roll i believe. so 10 kgs isnt an issue.
     
  10. baldy Member

    Messages:
    276
    kent uk
  11. ronan

    ronan Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    10,267
    dublin
    These still made in England ?
     
  12. baldy Member

    Messages:
    276
    kent uk
    They are indeed, and you can even speak to the fella that built it.
     
    ronan likes this.
  13. ronan

    ronan Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    10,267
    dublin
    Good to hear.
     
  14. Olderisbetter

    Olderisbetter Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    2,886
    Location:
    Wolverhampton
    I have the same welder but it is a 200-1, I got it about 5 years ago and it is faultless to use never been a problem, I wish i would have ordered it with a spot welding timer but i am sure if i ring them at some point i bet i could get a retro fit part.
     
    baldy likes this.
  15. Andrew Robson Member

    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Colchester UK
    I also have an Oxford 200-1 with a Binzel torch, bought it through same outfit, my ownership has not been so trouble free.
    I too was disappointed with the instruction book and the axle, which I painted and altered so it cannot slide side to side when the welder is wheeled around.

    Bought in May/June 2017, the welder has only had about 2.5 kg of wire through it to date and only car body welding with occasional higher power use.
    I was very ill for most of 2018 and so the welder sat mostly unused for that year (in a heated workshop).

    Out of the box the spot weld timer worked for one weld then stopped working! The only recourse was to send the whole unit back to Yorkshire for repair so I decided to live with it not working despite the additional £65 cost of having it fitted, that decision it turns out may have been a big mistake.

    I found that the welder worked well (except for the spot timer) and produced very nice welds, even for a low time migger.
    Fast forward to a month or so ago when the welder quit working part way through a weld, pulled the trigger and nothing, welder fan was still running but nothing happened when torch trigger was activated, not so much as a click. I tried jumping the torch terminals to see if the wire feed would work but nothing there either so I called Oxford welders and they suggested the overload cut out may have tripped (I was welding on about 1/3 power so should have been no issues with tripping out) and to wait and see if it started to work again.
    After 30 mins or so I went back to it and low and behold it worked....for a short time then quit again. I spoke to Oxford welders a second time, they suggested that I open the machine and check that all the wire connections were tight, this I did (after unplugging the machine of course) no sign of anything untoward, (though it became apparent that the welder may have been assembled in the UK but it appears that almost everything inside the case was of Chinese origin, certainly all of the electrical parts are. British assembled would be a more accurate trade description).

    I tried the gun again and it was working so I put the panels back together on the welder and proceeded to finish welding the part. Fast forward 3 months and I needed to weld again, after a few minutes the machine quit welding, light was on, fan was running but nothing at the gun. I talked to the company again and spoke to a tech who suggested that it sounded like the PCB was the cause but the only way to know for sure is to send it back to them so that they can take a look at it, this will mean taking the wheels and the gas bottle tray off so it can be safely packaged for transit, the all this on a welder with very little time on it.
    At the moment I am hunting around for a sturdy box to put it into, needless to say I am really very unhappy about it and will be curious to see how they handle the issue as it has had so little use and is only just out of warranty and to be honest the spot weld timer failure is possibly an indicator of a fault you PCB.
    I will report back as and when I get the machine back, now off to figure out how to pack it for shipping.
    Andrew
     
    steve t likes this.
  16. baldy Member

    Messages:
    276
    kent uk
    Keep us posted,sorry to hear of your troubles. I did ask for a schematic so i could puzzle any faults out myself, but was turned down and told no. even after spending a small fortune with them.
     
  17. Wedg1e

    Wedg1e They call me Mr. Bodge-angles

    Messages:
    6,611
    Location:
    Teesside, England
    As I've reported elsewhere on here, Tech Arc are very protective of their secrets. That said, nothing they build is complicated and any electronics techie worthy of the title could fix their PCBs (I've had a few issues with Oxfords, Romarcs, PortaMIGs and my SMP TIG and nothing's stumped me - I've even bought dead sets from other forum members and repaired them).

    Andrew, you may just have one or more poor solder joints on the PCB or a board component that is failing thermally. Crimp connections on high-current circuits are way preferable to soldered as (a) the solder can add resistance which limits the flow and (b) the solder can crack due to heat cycling, breaking the joint.
    Granted many/most electronics components are now of Chinese extraction but that's across the board and not exclusive to Tech Arc. My '05 TIG has a Chinese fan and a Chinese main thyristor so it's not a new thing. At least TA wind (or have wound for them locally) the most expensive bit - the transformer. All copper, unlike the likes of SIP, Clarke et al with their aluminium secondaries that fail due to heat cycling.
     
    tom2207 likes this.
  18. baldy Member

    Messages:
    276
    kent uk
    Whats the latest then?
     
    Yamhon likes this.
  19. Yamhon Member

    Messages:
    1,095
    Location:
    Earth
    I've been reading up on these machines recently; prefer them over the separate wire feed models, which seem to come without a cover for the reels. Glad you mentioned adding the button for gas purging; would have assumed it was standard.

    I'm still some time of being able to purchase a new MIG, the secondhand one will do me for the time being; though I'm now favouring one of these styles over an inveter for the range of amps I'm interested in.
     
  20. baldy Member

    Messages:
    276
    kent uk
    This one only has 6 voltage settings,the larger models have 12. I wish i had bought the larger set now.When the warranty expires i may sell this unit and buy the bigger one. I was welding some 5mm box yesterday which it just coped with.I reckon 6mm it will struggle. Ive got full mains power capability for it, just chose the 180 as i thought i wouldnt end up doing big stuff.But people keep finding me big stuff to weld.!
    This is a bench grinder under construction at mo.

    6x2 grinder.jpeg
     
    Olderisbetter and Shedendman like this.
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