Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Apparently I can weld

Not my first weld of the day.
I spent some time down at the local Miniature Train club doing some maintenance on the weekend. This time we were building a frame to hold some spare steel that we are keeping in stock for repairing the track as it ages. Seeing as we were making a steel frame I figured that I would take along my 220BZ Rossi Welder I bought from ebay a while ago. Unfortunately I haven't had a chance to buy gas or MIG wire so I had to borrow some rods to use. This did have the advantage of letting me compare this welder to the tiny bit of welding I have done before which has been predominantly stick welding on older transformer based machines.

Pros:

  • This thing strikes an arc much easier than the old school transformer based welders I have used.
  • I was using a lower current than the other machine that day (a 20? year old CIG)
  • It was light and easy to move around.
  • It was easy to remove the spend rod and put in a new one.
  • The air coming out the fan at the back of the case never got hot despite being in the sun.
Cons:
  • I seemed to get the rod stuck to the workpiece more than I remember doing so in the past.
  • The earth cable was so short that it barly reached straight up to the bench I was working on. I don't really like the idea of my welder being too close to my workpiece lest any spatter or slag get into it an short or something.
  • Similarly the stinger was a little shorted than I would have liked. However if the earth lead was about the same length it wouldn't be as much of an issue.
  • When breaking the arc off it lasts for a long time and often leaves a sooty residue before it quenches. A bit of a nit pick really because it comes of easily enough.
  • The earth clamp feels a bit wussy and seemed to have twisted at some point through the day.
Interesting points:
  • When the rod sticks to the job there is no buzzing like a the transformer units do.
  • Everyone commented on how quiet it was. The only noise that you could hear was the noise of the arc itself. This was in a reasonably quiet outdoors area.
All in all there was nothing that should be a dealbreaker I don't think and hopefully I will be able to find somewhere to get a longer earth lead. If you want to have a look at some of my welds, stick around after the break.
These are in order so this first one was my first weld in quite a while.














I know some of these have a few issues but there is plenty of good weld to hold the expected loads.

If you have any questions, comments or tips on welding feel free to leave a comment.

Cheers,
Rex