Is this welder "any good" ???

Looking for a UK domestic mains MIG welder, and have seen this SIP model: Cosmo 145 Turbo Gas Mig Welder Is this "any good" ? Failing that, its a Clarke 151 ! (there doesn't
seem to be a lot of choice in the UK !)
Thanks for any help or advice you can give.
Paul
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Had the same problem just a few weeks ago.
Had a Clarke 150 Turbo, great little machine. Lasted me very well, some 10 years plus. I'm sure with a good service it will work again perfectly, but being an American/Canadian unit, finding dealers or parts was difficult. Have been given some help from this Group, so should be ok now ;-)
As I had a job to do, my car, and having it welded at a garage was some 100 +, with one or two other welding jobs buying my new Welder from B&Q, at 200, was very good. Now I have two welders and as said if I can get the parts they should see me well into the future.
Here in the UK we do have many choices, but if your like me, and I guess you are, your not welding very much or on a professional basis, getting one of the BOC Linkon, I believe, units at some 600 plus vat, its not very good.
I think the main point here is that if you are welding very thick material a cheap welder is going to have a low duty cycle, meaning stopping often to allow the unit to cool down. Also if welding for very long periods, on continues runs, again the duty cycle can play a large part.
On the professional side you will want regular servicing, and the 600 unit mentioned above had a very good service plan added/available, so if you are using the unit often having this could be a huge benefit?
Not much help here I'm sure, will be following this link to see what the real experts feel, but remember your not alone, if funds are low, usage is low, and your not looking for a welder to make money from, the above units did me very well.
Best of luck with your search.
Vaughn
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Hi Vaughn Thanks for the reply... funnily enough you have the two welders I was looking at !!! Went into B&Q today to have a look, and the Cosmos (?) units seemed a little "cheap" to the untrained eye... can you please let me know what made you buy this one ? Also visited a pukka welding place, fantastic unit for around 300 ... Miller I think it was, but its the extra money... its ok saying "only another 100" but where do you stop ?? LOL
Wanna flog me your Clarke ?
Thanks again Paul
Anyone else tuning in... I have a budget of 200....
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me
This last bit is Exactly why I purchased the B&Q one. Did look at a SIG version from Halfords, but they wanted 380.
One other reason was that as B&Q are so large a company, they will hopefully have parts for this for some time, at least until I find another company who can offer them.
With the correct gas it should weld up to around the 6mm, plenty for me, anything over this I use a Stick welder.
Have used it a few times now, and have very good results. Only doing small amounts so the duty cycle is well in my needs.
As for the other 100, here its up to you. If this has a full service procedure in place, then this could be worth having, but as I said I used my Clarke for some 10 years plus, with very few services, nothing major, so if I had paid an extra 100+, would it have given me any more real welding time. In that time I've saved 100s on MOTs, and never had to pay for Gas, or Wire, as I usually pick up enough work from friends to cover these costs every year.
All the best with your search, and final decision.
Was hoping, as you probably, to get one or two of these professional to offer some guidance here, but I guess their too afraid we might then buy one they suggest, do a bad weld and blame them? Not sure??
Cheers Vaughn
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Seems we are alone mate !! LOL Changed my mid yet again.... decided to keep the extra ton, and will be getting :
http://www.welduk.com/Details.asp?ProductIDs
Unless anyone knows better !!!!! ;-)
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Cheap MIG welders are nothing more than that! Often very poorly made, and difficult to get parts for.
Personally if I had 200 to spend on a MIG, then I would rather opt for a s/h professional machine, rather than a new cheap and nasty!
Finally before deciding on anything, do take the time to phone round all of your local welding supply places, as it would be far better to buy from them, than to use B&Q or Halfords!
Ken
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wrote:

Hello Paul, since you are asking for opinions. As a fellow hobbyist I would advise against these small machines. I'll bet if you buy one and then go to night school and use their machines you will be kicking yourself and wondering why you bought a toy welder. Take a beginners welding class. You will learn a lot and go through a lot of expensive consumables and gain some valuable experience on various machines.
I bought a SIP when I knew nothing and it is rubbish. Cheap Cheap Crap!
No proper wire speed control. The wire speed alters as you weld. That is bad.
Aluminium wire used in transformer and choke. How can a good connection be made? All that is done in my SIP is wrap the Aluminium wire round a bolt with washer and nut. Crap connection! Copper is better, you can solder lugs to it. If my SIP had Aluminium strip that would be better but it doesn't.
My SIP has a plastic wire drive mechanism with tiny toy motor. Self tapping screws into plastic is crap. The plastic gives up easily if the screws are removed and tightened a few times. How many times can you fit larger screws? What a joke!
There is a super cheap system of using one wire in the gun trigger switch to operate the main relay. How cheap can you get? Saving on a second piece of wire to operate the relay by using the gun main cable as the second wire. Nasty! When the polarity of the gun is changed from electrode positive to electrode negative for gas less wire the poor relay coil gets a dose of higher volts.
This same relay which switches power to the welding transformer is a tiny little thing. No wonder the contacts over heat and melt the plastic relay case. But it is cheap!
I don't know what the ERP is like inside. Check the insides out with your own eyes. I would not be buying on the grounds of that scant description on that website. There is no specification and that is a bit of a worry.
Go to welding shops and have a go, try out a few demonstration welders. Take along your car body type sheet metal scraps and pieces of angle iron and other thicker scrap steel and do some test welds. Go to night school first and you will get a better idea what you are looking for. I would rather have a good quality old second hand machine that a poor quality new machine. If you see some used machines being sold privatly go round and have a play. Have a look inside it.
If you are lucky enough to have three phase power at your place have a look at used three phase machines. Check the used prices, you will be pleasantly surprised.
Regards, John Crighton Sydney
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The ERP is NOT a small machne.... apparantly its is a rebadged Sealey model... I have just finished a welding course, and yes we did use nice "real" welders... but as I only have a budget of 200, I aint gonna get one of those am I !
Saw a really nice Miller unit, but its 300... which is out of my price range, so why taunt myself ? The question is simple... which one for 200 !!!!
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Look for a good condition s/h pro MIG machine. You may be able to find something from a local welding supply place, or alternatively from free ads paper.
Very very bad move to get hold of a cheap and nasty machine, especially if you have only just started welding!
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I faced the exact same delima a few years ago and bought a ~$300 Century mig. After about a year of frustration and poor welds I adjusted my thinking and bought a Millermatic 175. It is a low end Miller but the difference is night and day. So if you have 200 to waste go for it. Otherwise wait a bit longer and save yer money till you can get a piece of equipment that will do a proper job of welding. Failing that option get the one you can return after you play with it for a month or get the one they will let you try out and burn some metal with it before you decide. YMMV Glenn
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wrote:

What are the duty cycle figures on this ERP? I couldn't find any details on this ERP welder. http://www.welduk.com/Details.asp?ProductIDs No info available is a bit dodgy to me.
You say it is a re-badged Sealy. I saw this info on a Sealy from here http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&categoryd818&item877117521&rd=1 SPEC: Model No:PM150XT Welding Current: 30-150A Wire Capacity (Steel): 0.7-5.0kg Wire Capacity (Aluminium): 0.5-2.0kg Duty Cycle: 100% @ 45A, 60% @ 55A, 15% @ 115A Penetration - Steel: 3.5-4.5mm Penetration - Aluminium: 5mm Cooling System: Forced Air Gas Type: CO2, Argon & CO2/Argon Mix (gas and bottle not supplied) Torch: Non Live Power Input: 230V-1ph Absorbed Power: 3.7kW Sealey list price is 458.19
If the ERP welder selling for 200 pounds is the same Sealy welder for 458 pounds the duty cycle is still crappy.
Re-badging and selling for less than half the price? Sounds odd to me to have such a price difference. The ERP welder that you are considering might turn out to be even crappier than this PM150XT duty cycle wise and build wise.

Oh yes you can, if you take the trouble to look. Trade colleges sometimes get rid of their old equipment, a case of being at the right place at the right time. Three phase equipment sells cheaply. Check you local papers. Check auctions, factories closing down. Ask around. AS an example, here is a monster sold on ebay UK for 176 pounds. http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&categoryd818&itemu00271850&rd=1 Ebay has a lot of rogues and crooks, but you can get lucky, better to buy what you can see locally. Can you get three phase power connected at your place?

An old used industrial machine for 200 pounds that you can clean up, bash the panels straight, sand paper the rust off, re-paint and repair the bits of shabbiness. Or a new shiny toy welder that can hardly weld a bed frame and then needs a long rest to cool down.
Wait a minute! Here I am, trying to discourage you from wasting your hard earned cash! You have made up your mind already. Go ahead, buy the ERP 150 and then show us some pictures of some sample welds using the ERP 150, then we can all learn something. :-)
Regards, John Crighton Sydney
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NO.... its this one... http://tinyurl.co.uk/b223
What do you guys think of this ???

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&categoryd818&item877117521&rd=1
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&categoryd818&itemu00271850&rd=1
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This machine is crap, and in no way comparable to a s/h pro machine, you could probably find for less money.
However as you seem intent on wasting your money, then I guess no advice anyone provides on here is going to make that much difference!
Would advise you to buy something like this locally though, as you will probably be taking it back quite a lot!
Ken

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&categoryd818&item877117521&rd=1
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&categoryd818&itemu00271850&rd=1
200
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So if this welder IS crap, what are your recommendations then ? And why so hostile ? I only asked for a little help... how about some positivr input ?
Thanks Paul
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Sorry to seem hostile, but had already tried to answer your question in an earlier post:
"Look for a good condition s/h pro MIG machine. You may be able to find something from a local welding supply place, or alternatively from free ads paper.
Very very bad move to get hold of a cheap and nasty machine, especially if you have only just started welding!"
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Yea but what IS a "pro" machine ?

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The type of machine that would be used by someone whose job is welding, or that you would use if attending a college course on welding.
Its always a good idea to have a phone round all your local welding supply places, as they may well be able to help with a s/h machine.
Ken

an
if
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Hello Paul, for illustration only, I don't like ebay myself but have a look at these ebay photos of a light industrial. machine. You might pick up something like this locally for less than $200 http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&categoryd818&itemu01765785&rd=1 http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&categoryd818&itemu02695946&rd=1
http://www.murexwelding.co.uk/mrxcont/arc/Parts%20Lists/Tradesmig%20130-160-230-240.pdf These are photos of the insides of the Murex tradesmig 160 that are shown on the ebay photos above.
I suggest you buy something bigger if you can but these pictures are just to show you something better than the ERP http://tinyurl.co.uk/b223 (Duty Cycle: 100% @ 30A, 80% @ 50A, 50% @ 70A, 10% @ 150A) Weight 26Kg
If you explore the Murex site http://www.murexwelding.co.uk/mrxcont/arc/mrxae_instructionmanuals.htm http://www.murexwelding.co.uk/mrxcont/arc/Instruction%20Manuals/Tradesmig%20130-160-230-240.pdf You can see the circuit diagram and other interesting things of the tradesmig 160 shown in the ebay photos. They don't look nice and shiny but if the innards are working, the outside can be prettied up by you. Notice that the duty cycle of the Murex 160 is better than the ERP machine (100%@70A, 60%@90A, 35%@120A, 20%@160A) Weight 63Kg
Look at the weight difference. ERP 26Kg Murex 63Kg The light industrial Murex machine is conservatively rated. For light fabrication of steel O.5 to 4.5mm
Here is the information on the ERP machine you gave to us http://www.welduk.com/Details.asp?ProductIDs "Welds .7-6mm. Uses .7 & 5kg .6 or .8mm mig wire.Includes handshield CO2 /Argon adaptor & double regulator. Ideal for moving around as this mig comes with wheels plus a shelf for holding your gas bottle & with its larger output it. Can weld thicker material."
The point I am striving to make is this. That paragraph above, and this URL http://tinyurl.co.uk/b223 is the only information we have on the ERP machine. NEXT TO NO INFORMATION! When a maker supplies little information, ALARM BELLS should ring for you.
Paul, do you really believe the ERP 150T will weld lumps of 1/4" thick steel plate when the much heavier Murex 160 industrial machine can not? (4.5mm max)
To see "pro machines" that Ken is talking about in the flesh call into some crash repair workshops in your neighbourhood and ask to see what mig welders they are using and ask if you can have a go at welding some of the scrap steel you brought along. Some will oblige, some will tell you where to go. Be thick skinned :-) Call into small metal working places also and ask to see what mig welders they are using. Tell them you are looking to buy a used machine. You might get a few leads on an old machine for sale locally.
Regards, John Crighton Sydney
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Funnily enough John I am watching these on Ebay already ! Seems they will make 200 + in any case.... Good point about the ERP... I have been told they are rebadged Sealey models... Saw a Miller machine for around 300 at a local dealer (new price) does anyone have comment on Miller ? They seem popular in the states...
Many thanks for your replies guys, please keep them coming.
Paul

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