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Old 19-03-2021, 07:27   #46
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Join Date: Sep 2016
Boat: Montgomery 23
Posts: 220
Re: another 1st time welder for a boat question

Originally Posted by Manus Holm View Post
Stick would be my choice. Cheap equipment....very versatile...can weld almost any metal if you get the right electrodes. Not a problem to weld in wind were gas flux is. And you dont have to carry roles of each tipe of rod . You can have 5 castiron rods and be fine fore some time. Here in south africa its hard to find mig wire of any thing other than basig steel, ally and stainless. Where stick alows you hundreds of operations. The machines are also smaller and less fidly.
Just my 2sents worth.
It doesn't matter if you're going to weld 2 inches or 20 feet. You should become competent enough to make a weld that will not fail, and (if applicable) will not leak.
If you'll be welding in a shop, with the boat hauled ashore, or even at the dock,
use whatever you like. But if you expect to haul this welding gear around on the boat, and make repairs, etc. on the water, learn to weld with stick.
TIG (heli-arc) requires that everything be completely dry, and very clean. NO oil, grease, or paint, and no moisture at all. You need both hands to TIG weld, and it can be very difficult in a tight space. You must carry a bottle (tank) of argon gas around, plus a gauge/flowmeter.
MIG (wire feed) with flux-core wire, like Innershield, would be a better choice than TIG for sure. No outside shielding gas is required, so no tank to carry around. But you are right in that you can put down a very nice looking MIG weld, and break it with the casual swipe of a hammer.
Stick welding rules, especially in difficult, less than ideal conditions.
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