Thursday, 24 January 2019

MIG Welder Upgrade

I've owned a SIP MIG welder for some years. It's a handy tool that allows me to carry out repairs and make things. Being MIG (metal inert gas) it uses wire allowing it to weld thin metal, exhaust pipes etc, without blow through.

The machine was not without its issues. I had to modify it a bit just to get it to run correctly. I replaced the plastic wire feed tube with a metal one. I also spent a lot of time modifying the wire feed roller arrangement to get it to work. Basically it was a piece of crap when new but now works pretty well.

I then decided to add a cooling fan. Most welders have one but mine does not. In fact there is a circular vent in the case for a fan but none fitted. Using full power the duty cycle is only 15%. That means that can operate for one minute then require a seven minute cool down. In practice this isn't a problem. I don't weld for long periods and the machine has never cut out due to overheating. I hope that the welder has thermal protection but maybe not.

Anyway, it not being broken don't mean I'm not going to fix it anyway!     

It looks like there should be a fan here.

To that end I bought a 240V, 120mm diameter cooling fan and a switch.

There is an unused switch hole in the casing

I fitted the switch here

The fan fitted and wired into the main off/on switch. The fan switch allows the fan to be switch off when the welder is working. But it's pretty quiet so I might as well leave it on.



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