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Average MIG welding costs? Answered

I was interested in welding, and I've heard that MIG is a good type to start with.
My question is, what are the average costs to you good citizens of Instructables with moderate use/ what were your starting costs?

Discussions

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evanengineer99
evanengineer99

3 months ago

I learned stick welding before MIG or TIG and I like stick the best. It is cheap, You just need a welder, mask and some rods. Other methods like MIG need wire, expensive shielding gas, contact tips, consumables, etc which increase the cost. Its easy to squeeze the trigger on the torch but its hard to get a decent bead. Stick welding is the best way to learn in my opinion because it is the simplest way of welding with far less variables. It also can weld dirtier metals and thicker steels than MIG. For a stick welding setup, I would say look on craigslist for a cheap stick welder, maybe $200 - $500 and then buy a new helmet, $100, plus a pack of welding rods, $20 or less. You can pay more for multi process machines or higher quality ones, but look at how the machine is built, not its price. Low quality welders are distinguishable not only by their price, but also by their simple controls and cheap wiring. Buy a 220 volt rig or dual voltage (110v/220v) rig as 110 volt only machines often pop breakers and are limited.

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steveastrouk
steveastrouk

7 years ago

What kind of scale are you thinking of welding ? If you're welding from 0 up to 6 mm, I'd really recommend a TIG welder instead, harder to use for sure, but vastly neater results.

DC MMA (arc) /TIG sets, which run any metal except aluminium, start at around 200 USD from your local Harbor Freight - you have to buy the TIG torch as an accessory. You can use standard stick for heavy sections with them too, making them more versatile than a cheap MIG.

Don't get me wrong, professional MIG sets (2000 USD +++) give beautiful results.

In my experience, its easy to make a good looking bad weld with MIG than any other process.

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The Dark Lord
The Dark Lord

Answer 7 years ago

I was thinking big-ish things. Like bike frames and objects around that size.

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steveastrouk
steveastrouk

Answer 7 years ago

That's not really big-ish - you're in TIG territory, where you need weld integrity and strength. I see from your profile you're in Florida - where abouts ? anywhere near either the Keys or Titusville ?

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The Dark Lord
The Dark Lord

Answer 7 years ago

Not exactly, Titusville is 40 miles away.

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steveastrouk
steveastrouk

Answer 7 years ago

He he. Closer to you than me ! I'm 100X further away right now.....

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iceng
iceng

7 years ago

Read the excellent instructables in the Related column on the right of this page.

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