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Thread: Buying a Welder for Newbie

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Darwin
    Posts
    1,513
    Found this about coal mines, which explains a lot.

    The General rules for underground coal mines, Rule 29.1 prohibits unapproved aluminium alloys in the underground environment. An incendiary spark can result from impact between some aluminium alloys and a steel object.

    Aluminium gas cylinders | Business Queensland

    And then this.

    None of these ignitions were attributed to incendive sparks caused by aluminium contacting rusty steel. The study shows that the level of risk associated with the use of aluminium alloys in underground coal mines in the United States of America is extremely low (high uncontrolled use - no ignitions). It is proposed that where similar equipment and conditions exist in underground coal mines in Australia, the level of risk is comparable.
    There is no prohibition on the use of aluminium in the oil and gas industries. No data could be obtained as to the extent of the use of aluminium, or whether any ignitions had been attributed to its use in the oil and gas industries.

    https://www.acarp.com.au/abstracts.aspx?repId=C3066

    Guess getting off track for the purpose of the original poster, but cleared up something for me.

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Brisbane West
    Posts
    6,383
    Quote Originally Posted by Homestar View Post
    What he said.

    Unless you want to drop a bundle on an AC TIG setup or slightly less on a MIG and spool gun, drop Aluminium from your list. Both MIG and TIG require gas which as noted costs several hundred extra to get into.

    Price wise, a half decent MMA setup (Stick) welder allow $300 to $500 - there are MUCH cheaper ones, but generally a few hundred dollars gets you a nice little inverter unit that is light and easy to use.

    If you had a bit more coin to drop, then a MIG setup with bottle of MIG mix allow around $1000

    Cheapest AC TIGS go for around $800 but I wouldn't touch one of these myself - next step up is around $1300 but even these aren't the best so you can see how quickly this gets expensive. $2000 buys a nice unit, $4000+ buys a bloody brilliant one. Again, add the $400 for a gas bottle - Aluminium uses straight argon, so you cant use the bottle you bought for your MIG either - bit of a bugger eh...

    Personally since getting my TIG, I use that the most and I love it, but a quick job will see me drag out the MIG. I do have an older cheaper stick welder I take in the ute if I need to do something for someone - the good machines stay at home.
    I got an AC DC Pulse TIG from Trade tools about 15 months ago. 15amp plug. Foot controller came with it. Sensational bit of kit. Just under $800. I have, amongst other things, built an alluminium side console with shelves for my tinnie to convert it from tiller steer to forward control.

    I usually use my Esseti 150amp inverter for mild steel but using the TIG for mild steel is a lot of fun. The TIG is very precise.

    The Esseti is great though. You can just pick it up, jam in a 3.2mm rod and weld after not using it for a year.

    Cheers

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