UNI-MIG welders - are they any good?

Hey
Just doing a bit of research on getting a small home MIG and came
across the aussie UNI-MIG brand welders.
Any one have any info on them?
Good or bad?
Quality?
Specifically looking at the MiniMig Panther 120
Thanks
Hugh
Reply to
HughChapman
Loading thread data ...
Hello Hugh, the uni-mig brand is OK. I am thinking of the mig welders that have four casters under them. The Panther 120 is very small, are you sure you want a near toy welder? If it is old, second hand and cheap then buy it for fun. If new and top dollar, forget it. Put your money towards something bigger. They are all imports now, I believe.
Regards, John Crighton Sydney
Reply to
John Crighton
Hey John Thanks for the advice. I would be using it for auto body work initially, but who knows what I would end up wanting to weld with it. They can be picked up for about $400 on ebay. The thing is I need one soon so I can get my car on the road. I will have a look around cash converters and auction groups and that for something better second hand.
Also does anyone have an opinion on the SIP Migmate 150?
Cheers, Hugh
Reply to
HughChapman
Hello Hugh, I have a SIP MIgmate 100 and it is a toy. Well the SIP Migmate 150 may be a bit less of a toy but it still is a very low quality piece of gear.
There isn't a proper wire speed control. The wire speed power comes from the output of the welder. The wire speed varies as the welder output voltage varies. You will have enough to worry about without having to put up with that sort of thing on car body thickness material.
The gun is crappy. The trigger switch is just a bent piece of copper strip. Not two independent wires for the trigger switch. The main conductor acts as the second wire for the gun switch. Cheap! The SIP company saved one piece of wire! :-)
The main power to the transformer is switched by a little plastic relay. Common problem, the contacts get hot and the plastic relay melts and the relay doesn't work any more or becomes intermittant. Cheap!
Transformer and choke have aluminium wire which is not as good as copper. Connections to this aluminium wire are crappy. Just a nut, bolt and washer.
The little plastic gear box and tiny wire drive motor are crappy. On mine the roller runs slightly off centre meaning the wire tension varies as the shitty made roller revolves out of round.
Is this what you have been looking at
formatting link
?ViewItem&category=46413&item=4394683326&rd=1 Have a look at this one
formatting link
seller says "working but not prentrating properly" At least he is honest.
If you are in Sydney, you can borrow my Liquidarc mig welder until you find a decent one of your own. Just leave a $600 deposit.
Have you tried the Trading Post to buy privately? You get a chance to try the unit out and wave your cash and pick faults in the item for sale and negotiate. You can't do that with an ebay item.
If you are in the Sydney area, call in at Forbes machinery at North Parramatta and try out some new machines, auto darkening helmits too. Then you will know what the used old machine should feel like.
They stock this unimig Panther 172 also
formatting link
better than the Panther 120 you were considering. I haven't seen the inside of the Panther 172 maybe you can have a look when you are at Forbes machinery trying it out and can tell us what the quality is like. Test weld with your sample car body sheet metal using the the bigger unimigs also. The more expensive unimigs on wheels have capacitors. Test weld them also and see if the sheetmetal welds are nicer and easier for you.
Regards, John Crighton Sydney
Reply to
John Crighton
Hey John, Thanks for the offer of lending a MIG but I live in south vic so that is not really an option, thanks anyway. There is a welding supplier in my town which deals Uni-mig stuff so tomorrow I will go in and have a look at the panther 120 in person. As for the SIP, after a quick search I realised they were apparently crap but I think the 150 would be better than the machine you have. They all do seem to have wire feed problems tho. Hopefully I can find a decent S/H mig tomorrow, I have done a little welding on a very high end MIG so I hopefully will be able to pick a lemon if I test out a S/H one.. I have a pretty small budget as I need money for other parts for the car resto (66 Beetle) I could buy the 120 just for this job, and if need be sell it afterwards and buy something better. I would prefer to spend under $500 Too bad we dont live in the US as the Hobart Handler 125 goes for AU$400 over there. And yes those welders in the links you posted were all ones I have been looking at. Cheers, Hugh
Reply to
HughChapman
Well I went and had a look at the panther 120 today, didnt seem like too bad a machine at all, for the money. I had a look at the panther and a SIP Migmate 150 side by side and the panther seems to be much better quality, especially the wire drive on the SIP looked anemic, the 120 one looked much better. However the torch on the 120 seemed a little budget, can you buy aftermarket torches with the "Bayonet" type fitting? The sheath protecting the torch lead was just thin rubber, wouldnt want to step on it.
Is it OK to run a 15A welder on a 10A circuit?? keeping in mind that it will mosty be used in its lowest setting (25amps)
Im gonna try and get that one on ebay tonight. It was on special in the shop for $600 and they go on ebay for around $400
Cheers Hugh
Reply to
HughChapman
Hello Hugh,
formatting link
I see you got the Panther 120 at the price you expected and with a nice bit of seconds to spare sniping :-)
According to the advertising blurb you only need a 10 amp power outlet. It says "Works well of 10amp house mains"
Now that you will have the machine soon, I am interested to hear how well it works on your car body steel and maybe you could try 1/8" thick steel also just for fun.
BOC Gases mentioned a new cylinder size in the last bill they sent me. I can't find the leaflet but you will find out all about it. Make sure the cylinder you pick up says " Argoshield light " on it.
Have Fun, John Crighton Sydney
Reply to
John Crighton
.
I don't know a lot about welding but have been lurking on here & learning. I have a SIP-130 DP. The rollers are flimsy to say the least. I know a lot of people in the UK who also use SIP, mainly as they are budget machines. It has served me to restore my Beetle ('75) & keep my Bay ('78) on the road :)
Good luck with the VeeDub.
Reply to
Balders
Got it today, very happy with it. Welded a few panels in the car today with flux core and it worked great, despite what I have read about flux core on thin sheet. Obviously not as good as gas but deffiantly useable Came with a pretty decent quality twin guage regulator too Theres a few pics here.
formatting link
Would deffinatly reccomend it to anyone thinking about buying it, especially for the price I got it for.
Cheers
Reply to
HughChapman
Looks like you're missing a captive nut plate at the top of your arch, have you plated where there should be a 'proper' hole? ;-)
Good luck, enjoy.
Reply to
Balders
Ooops, I hit send to early.
I wish my 'project' bug had arches in that nice condition!
Reply to
Balders

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.