Two very small 120v MIG projects

   / Two very small 120v MIG projects #1  

Sodo

Elite Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2012
Messages
3,198
Location
Cascade Mtns of WA state
Tractor
Kubota B-series & Mini Excavator
Here's a couple simple welding projects, examples of ways to use a MIG welder. I'm certain that somebody could do this with a stick-welder, but not a newbie. With a MIG, a newbie could do both of these simple welds. Both of these were very easy, and (I think) required very little skill, but were quite helpful.

===============

I've been welding with 2 Honda inverter generators paired together to get 20A of 120v. To pair these generators there is a ground wire that requires a screwdriver to attach.

thumbscrew1.jpg

I got fed up with this today and decided to weld on some ears so I can tighten it by hand, don't have to get a screwdriver to hook up.

thumbscrew2.jpg

I cut the wire back so it would have a little time for the gas to arrive. Then just aimed, and "ZAP ! " (with my eyes closed). It's a very short weld, really just about long enough to say "ZZZZZZAP".

thumbscrew3.jpg

That somebody else might ever do this (specific hack) is highly unlikely. But now you've seen how small a weld is possible with a MIG.

thumbscrew4.jpg

I suppose I can order a nicer thumbscrew on Amazon if I ever get a round tuit. I'm out in the woods for the week, and Amazon doesn't deliver out here anyway. But anyway, this shows that a tiny weld is possible with a MIG.

===============

Here is another small weld. A friend stopped by on a motorcycle. He had an engine protection crashbar structure that had cracked due to vibration. To remove the crash bars, the bolts had to be removed but one allen-head was stripped, and was impossible to remove the nut. I welded a scrap onto the head to hold the screw and then removed the nut.

thumbscrew5.jpg
 
   / Two very small 120v MIG projects #2  
Handy information, Sodo :thumbsup:
 
   / Two very small 120v MIG projects #4  
Nice.
 
   / Two very small 120v MIG projects #5  
Sorry Sodo I don't buy it. The picture of the thumbscrew shows way more weld than the ZZZap you describe. Also great example for the newbie you seem determined to educate, no glove on the hand on the nozzle and no helmet just shut your eyes.
 
   / Two very small 120v MIG projects #6  
Your MIG did a nice job on the little projects, but if there ever was a project crying out for TIG, that was it. But you made it work with what you had, and I applaud you for that. I have done such things with 1/16 inch 6013 sticks, but it is hit or miss. Mostly miss.:) And a real PITA. but a simple 17V TIG torch on your DC stick welder can get you set up for a small amount of money to do small and thin projects with much better control than even the MIG.
 
   / Two very small 120v MIG projects
  • Thread Starter
#7  
I have done a bit of welding with 6013 1/16", it was no fun. I had better luck using the stainless 1/16" rods, was it "316"? This was 35 years ago. I would not even consider using any stick less than 3/32 for any job (now that MIGs exist). However as one guy (might have) said, "you go to weld with the welder you have not with the welder you want".:D

With regard to tools though, my MultiMatic200 is a MIG/TIG/Stick, which is one of the reasons I chose it over the 211. I bought the spoolgun too, but now wish I'da got the TIG torch instead (and another gas cylinder). That stuff is on the list.

If I revisit this thumbscrew will probably go this route rather than welding. Unless I get the TIG torch first. :D
knob.jpg
 
   / Two very small 120v MIG projects
  • Thread Starter
#8  
Sorry Sodo I don't buy it. The picture of the thumbscrew shows way more weld than the ZZZap you describe. Also great example for the newbie you seem determined to educate, no glove on the hand on the nozzle and no helmet just shut your eyes.

well then I'm teaching 'em how I got thicker skin :laughing:

Todd, there are several zzzaps.

I often tack just closing my eyes and no helmet. NOTE you can get a sunburn from too many zaps in a short period. I couldn't guess how many a guy can take in a day. I have felt it like a sunburn on my eyelids, that told me it was a little too much. That was welding a whole lot of little tacks, on expanded steel screen, when auto-darkening helmets were prohibitively expensive.
 
   / Two very small 120v MIG projects #9  
I have done a bit of welding with 6013 1/16", it was no fun. I had better luck using the stainless 1/16" rods, was it "316"? This was 35 years ago. I would not even consider using any stick less than 3/32 for any job (now that MIGs exist). However as one guy (might have) said, "you go to weld with the welder you have not with the welder you want".:D

With regard to tools though, my MultiMatic200 is a MIG/TIG/Stick, which is one of the reasons I chose it over the 211. I bought the spoolgun too, but now wish I'da got the TIG torch instead (and another gas cylinder). That stuff is on the list.

If I revisit this thumbscrew will probably go this route rather than welding. Unless I get the TIG torch first. :D
View attachment 381377

Nah, no point buying a thumbscrew if you can make one..:D Ain't nothing wrong with making it yourself even though you could have saved time by buying it. Here look at these two TIG projects

http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/welding/294161-making-small-chain.html?highlight=chain

http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/welding/239186-am-i-stupid-crafty.html?highlight=crafty
 
   / Two very small 120v MIG projects #10  
I do small things like that with my MIG on a regular basis - and you're right, there's no way I could do them with my stick welder, there'd just be another hole in it, or it'd be gone :eek:

I probably shouldn't post in this thread 'cause my MIG is a 240 volt MM252 - Sodo, you've seen a small example of the stuff I play with so you know I'm not really your "target audience" - but I haven't heard many of my reasons for particular choices so thought maybe others might benefit.

My first MIG was a MM211, complete with the Spoolmate 100 spool gun. My initial reasoning for that particular machine was "portability" and the dual voltage - I figured that there might be times when I would want to throw it in the car, drive to #1 son's place and fix something of his that broke (they're on a tight budget, no way they could afford to take anything to a weld shop and pay going rates)

The reality (mine, anyway) - That particular machine weighs 75 pounds WITHOUT a spool of wire; add 10 pounds for wire, 40 pounds or more for gas bottle, and (especially at my age) it ain't all that "portable" - so it ended up on a small cart in the garage. I do have 240 volts in the garage, so it never even got switched to 120 volt.

Reality #2 (still my reality) - While I do small projects/repairs, I also have two tractors and a full-size backhoe, and am in the process of setting these up so I can (more easily) maintain my 10 acre place as I get more feeble - at least partially because I know myself, and if we had to either live in town or in a "retirement facility", I'm pretty sure there'd be body bags involved :rolleyes:

Reality #3 - When I get into a project, (in spite of my "slight case of" OCD) I don't wanna spend much time "getting ready" once things are cut/shiny/ready-to-weld - I just wanna DO it. One of my recent projects (never enough dry shop space) was a "porta-shed" - 12x12, fiberglass roof (9 to 11 ft tall) with an 8 x 12 "side room" that folds down for transport - all framed with 2x2 .120" wall square tube. I can drive inside with the Case, pick up the whole thing with the FEL and drive somewhere else and set it down. Tarps stretched around the sides and it's calm enough inside to wire weld without losing shield gas.

By the time I got around to that, I knew I'd outgrown the MM211 (not quite portable enough for me, and by then I knew I'd rather MIG than stick weld most of the time) - so when I saw a nearly new MM252 on CL with the dual running gear and a NEVER USED 30A spool gun and 2 large tanks in the deal, all for less than the cost of the basic machine, I grabbed it.

Yes, I know I'm not your "average hobbiest" :rolleyes:

Things I like/need/want about the more "industrial" MIG - wire drive will push a 15 foot gun, 10' was almost NEVER enough and Miller will void your warranty if you put a 15' gun on a small machine, even though they will fit.

The 252 and up have "auto-sense", where they "remember" your settings for regular torch and spool gun, you just touch the trigger of either gun and the machine changes to what your settings were the last time you used it. NOT to be confused with "autoset", which I got along just fine with on the 211.

30A designation on the (much beefier) spool gun refers to the 30 foot leads. I'm not into aluminum (yet) so I loaded the spool gun with .035 solid wire and welded the entire 12x12 shed with the spool gun. Took 3 of the 2 pound spools and a calm day, but was able to leave the welder in one place and reach everything.

My best friend is a millwright, his arms are about the same diameter as my LEGS - he has my MM211 now - LOVES it and thinks it's plenty portable (for him, a small tractor is "portable" :D ) In one of his previous jobs, he welded drag lines together for coal operations - 100 cu. yard buckets, 5/32 7018 was "small" rod.

I guess my point here (not sure there IS one :rolleyes:) is that "one size fits all" really fits NO ONE - we each have to make our choices based on individual needs/wants/finances - and, if we're lucky, our choices work for us the FIRST time - mine didn't, but it all worked out in the end.

Sodo, you'll be happy to know that I'm STILL looking for a TRUE portable MIG (meaning, NOT 80+ pounds) to do the kinds of projects you do with yours - haven't found one I wanna PAY for yet. And yes, it'll probably be 120 volt but since I have an 8kw (non-inverter) jenny, it won't HAVE to be.

Sorry this got so long - (but then, you're used to that these days, right? :D ) ...Steve (master of shiny metal thingy's :D )
 
 
Top