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Advice About Buying A Spot Welder


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#1 Viktor

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Posted 19 May 2022 - 07:50 PM

Hi all,

 

After a lot of welding and grinding, I'm seriously considering buying a spot welder. I still have a long way to go with my project, so I think that buying one will speed up things and keep my motivation high (and my pocket very low!)

 

Anyway, just looking for advice about what to buy and from where. This is to be used in my garage, for my project and any other projects that might follow, so I don't need anything too industrial.

 

Many thanks in advance!



#2 Homersimpson

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Posted 19 May 2022 - 08:19 PM

I bought one years ago and its a really useful bit of kit, my advice would be to get at least the 3kVA model as anything smaller won't be much use.  Really you need a 16A commando type socket on its own circuit for one of these.

 

Its important that the metal being welded is clean on both sides and in the gap so its no good for say welding a new rear valance on unless your changing the boot floor and/or the lower rear panel as any rust in the seam will stop it working correctly.  Mine seems to weld new metal to new better than new metal metal to old clean metal.

 

To make them work properly you need to make sure the panels are clamped together tightly and the spot welder is just gently crimping the steel, if you use the welder to try and pull the metal together it doesn't work as well and you can if your not careful burn a hole right through.

 

You also need an array of arms depending on what you are planning to weld, I have a couple of sets buy you always need more/different ones.  The arms are quite expensive so factor that in.

 

Overall its a great bit of kit and can help you replicate the factory seams/joins if thats what you want, they also help cut down the grinding which is good if your neighbours like to complain!



#3 Viktor

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Posted 20 May 2022 - 02:39 PM

Hi Homer,

 

Thanks for the advice.  Do you know any brands / models, or shops / suppliers I can ask for this?  I have checked on eBay and there are multiple options with a large range in prices.

 

Thanks.



#4 coopertaz

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Posted 20 May 2022 - 03:12 PM

i did the same and ended up getting one same as clarke csw13t, but another make. works fine on sills and boot lip etc. worth the money and a lot neater job. i tend to clean everything up and spray joining surfaces with weld through primer to give some corrosion protection. for power use a camping style socket and plug from dedicated breaker in garage,



#5 Viktor

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Posted 20 May 2022 - 04:41 PM

Thanks Coopertaz,

 

I have found this which looks similar to the Clarke you are referring to, and also is cheaper:

 

https://www.vevor.co...30aAjWWEALw_wcB

 

I cannot really see to compare the specs with the Clarke one:

 

https://www.powertoo...tAaAqtnEALw_wcB

 

But if the first one is good enough I'm sold!



#6 Gilles1000

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Posted 20 May 2022 - 08:50 PM

I got one from a garage which closed. No idea on the brand tough. 

But it works okay, and I just made new pins for it (bought some copper rods and formed them), as one tool is never enough. I needed to weld the rear seat/companion bin/ rear wheel closing panel together and made new clamps for it.

 

N1qrnCll.jpg

 

Works a treat, no regrets at all for buying it!!

 

Gilles


Edited by Gilles1000, 20 May 2022 - 08:55 PM.


#7 Verderad

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Posted 20 May 2022 - 09:13 PM

I bought one near the end of restore from eBay. Well worth it. Wish I had bought it at the beginning. Saves hours of grinding plug welds.

#8 Viktor

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Posted 21 May 2022 - 07:25 AM

Cheers Gilles, making your own tips that's another level! Yes, I'm convinced about buying one, that is for sure!

 

Hey Darren, do you remember the brand / model of the one you bought from eBay?  There are a lot out there, so it would be good to have some reference about something that actually works!



#9 Ben_O

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Posted 21 May 2022 - 10:03 AM

One important piece of advice when using the spot welder once you buy one is to perform a peel test before using it on the car.

Get two 2"x1" pieces of clean steel the same gauge as the panels you wish to weld and then spot weld them together at one end.

Then with a couple of pairs of mole grips clamped to the other end if each piece, try to tear the two pieces apart.

If the weld let's go and the pieces come cleanly apart, then your weld is not successful.

If the steel tears apart leaving actual weld intact and a hole in one piece, your weld is successfull.

 

Not sure how useful that test will be on this sort of spot welder where there may not be any power settings but if there are any  you can adjust to suit and have it set correctly.

 

Similarly, if the weld blows a hole when you make it, the power is too high and needs to come down.

 

I do this before each welding session as there is nothing worse than finishing spot welding on a panel and then hearing  the random pings of spot welds letting go 

 

I can't really recommend a make or model having only ever used industrial 3 phase welders but good luck.

 

Cheers

Ben 



#10 Viktor

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Posted 21 May 2022 - 01:45 PM

Thanks Ben, appreciate the advice.  

 

Once I manage to buy the kit, I will be doing a lot of testing before using it in the car. I have a few cuts of panels, with different thicknesses to try on!



#11 colinf1

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Posted 21 May 2022 - 05:43 PM

Hi Victor, you will see on my thread that I have boight one of those Vevor welders. It got delivered today

#12 Viktor

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Posted 21 May 2022 - 06:17 PM

Hi Victor, you will see on my thread that I have boight one of those Vevor welders. It got delivered today

Yep, I saw that Colin thanks mate.

 

I will be asking you many questions now... :shy:



#13 weef

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Posted 21 May 2022 - 07:42 PM

The price of the Vevor unit reflects the machines capabilities. Reading the  specification the duty cycle is low and it appears to use steel tips. The higher priced units are such that their performance  greatly out runs the Vevor. Copper tips can be dressed up to whichever profile is required and will give good weld performance and presentation, indeed if the "face" side of the tip is flat it can give almost unseen welds, something I fear will not be achievable with steel tips.

It is a case of how much welding you forsee using the spot welder for.



#14 colinf1

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Posted 21 May 2022 - 08:38 PM

I've just check the spare longer arms and tips that came with mine, definitely copper - verified by checking weight of material from the dimensions of each part minus the hole for the tip and the threaded hole...

#15 colinf1

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Posted 22 May 2022 - 10:54 AM

Here are the results from the test Ben has suggested above.

0.8+0.8mm material

Machine set to 0.8 and middle timer setting.

52089620512_623eb815af_b.jpg

52090895874_54cef45331_b.jpg

Peel test, smaller hole you see here is from timer set to lowest setting

52090895819_40fd8a5022_b.jpg

I had this in the vice on the bench and I could not get it to peel apart, used the vice grips and let them pivot against each other to get it to go.




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