Advice please for a novice

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    G’day, I’m also new to this forum but thought I would try to answer some of your questions.

    1) MIG welders are a good idea for someone starting out, and the prices are coming down all the time.

    2) There are gasless MIGs and gas MIGs, the difference is the wire used, the wire for gasless MIGs has a flux core that turns into a gas when heated protecting the weld like the gas would in a gas MIG, technically all MIGs use gas it is just transported in a different state, flux cored MIG wire is a bit more expensive but you dont have to worry about gas bottles, probably better for the work your looking at.

    3) Most MIGs can be set up to run with or without gas, most cheaper small MIGs will come set up for gasless.

    4) The two things you have to take into account when choosing the size of a welder are the weld current and the duty cycle. The weld current basically determines how thick the materials your welding can be and the duty cycle is how long for (usually showed as a percentage at a certain current 25% @ 70A for example) From what you have said something around 100Amps would be fine, if you do have to crank it up to weld something bigger just take the the duty cycle into account and let the welder cool down every few inches.

    5) As far as I know running a welder off a generator is fine as long as it can keep up with the welder, there are actually generator/welder combos available but I have not dealt with these before.

    Hope that answered your questions.


    Hi there,

    I am a newbie to this forum.

    I am also a newbie to welding – did some arc and oxy decades ago (try 30 years or more) so have ZERO experience with the new fangled stuff.

    I need to have a welder to do some basic stuff around the property – such as welding angle irons to hold up fence wires, fix the steel gate where its broken, welding shelving from tube stock, and things like that.

    Nothing major and nothing that needs to hold a great weight.

    I have a few questions for the forum please.

    1) IS a MIG welder a good idea ?
    2) Do I need to use a gas bottle with MIG welders, or can they run gasless ?
    3) How can I tell ?
    4) For small scale welding like this, how do I tell if a particular model of welder is big enough or not ?
    5) The final question may be a bit odd – is it ok to run welders from a generator, or must they be mains fed ?

    Thanx for the advice in advance !!

    I appreciate it.





    Thanx for the advice  – really set it into perspective for me.

    I think then that a MIG that runs gasless and using a normal plug will be what I end up getting – if I can go a little above the 100amp unit I will, but if thats the max on the plug size, thats ok.

    As I intend doing short welds, stopping every few inches will not be an issue.

    THEN all I need to do is to learn how to use it………. Now that could challenge me.


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