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Tools for a MIG Welding Hobby Shop

A while back I said I was gonna' list tools needed for a Mig welding hobby shop in Tips for the Hobby Welders http://keenovens.com/articles/hobby-welders.htm

I got sidetracked, but here it is. I'm sure I'll leave something out here, but it's a good general list of what you'll need.

Mig Machine

welding termsJust like buying a car, this should be a well thought out decision. You can check the internet, and you can also check your local welding supply store to see ‘em up close.

There's pro's and con's to buying off the net, or from your local supplier. Buying off the net may save money with no tax if it comes from a state other than your own, and a lot of the companies will deliver free.

Buy new on the net and you can still get it serviced at the welding supply store, but make sure you're buying from a reputable site. Some people will want the personal touch that comes with a local supply store.

I've gotten five different prices from five different places with over a hundred bucks difference, so it pays to shop around!

Also, make sure it comes with leads (Mig Gun / Work Clamp) and a power chord.

Shielding Gas Bottle

If you use Flux Core you won't need a bottle but if you're gonna' Mig you need a bottle of shielding gas. The cheapest is pure Carbon Dioxide.

It produces a lot of spatter, deep penetration into the steel, and a decent looking bead.

For your Mig welding hobby shop though, I'd recommend 75/25. (75%Argon / 25% Carbon Dioxide)

75/25 though more expensive, has less penetration but makes a better looking weld bead and produces way less spatter which is perfect for hobbyist.

I'd HIGHLY recommend an 80 Cubic Feet bottle because it has plenty of gas and is easy to handle. If you're doing a lot of welding, you might want to go up in size, but any lower like 40 or 20 cf and I think you'll wish you would've gone bigger when you're constantly filling them.

I think I paid about $170 for a full 80 CF bottle of 75/25 a couple of years ago. But with the crazy gas prices now I imagine that will go up. Buying it will save you rental fees. To heck with paying rent on a danged bottle.

Make SURE it is always SECURE and remember that it is under about 2000 pounds of pressure! LEARN how to handle cylinders before using one!!!


Mig Pliars

Good for cutting the wire, removing spatter out of the nozzle and even has a dad gummed little hammer on ‘em! That's good so the welder will use it and NOT the Mig nozzle to hammer with!

You don't have to have ‘em, you can get by with needle nose pliers, but they sure are nice.

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