So feeling inspired by Kevin's have a go attitude (well done Chap)
What welder should I buy for making sliders etc? I am a complete novice so be gentle please?
Had a look at www.mig-welding.co.uk, but feeling a little out of my depth
Don't be. There are some shockers on there. Kevin's work look pro compared to some of it. Just don't buy a cheap MIG. It's not worth it and you'll struggle like hell. Start with a cheap buzz box if you haven't the cash. Just don't try to weld thin metal from the start. Get something solid to get stuck into. Really common mistake. Cheap chinese welder and trying to weld 1mm sheet.
Oh you can run some pretty big stuff from the cable that comes into your house. It's how you deal with it on the wall that makes the difference. From a domestic plug, 115 is around the biggest that you can plug in for a stick. But if you put in a separate breaker and a run a round plug, you can go considerably higher. Its limit is single phase really. Once you need three phase, you have to start getting all clever. I am no electrical engineer, but in terms of being safe and sensible, domestic supply will give you more than you'll ever need for a hobby welder. The trick is getting a breaker that is motor rated. Normal domestic mini circuit breakers are a fast trip. That's why they go when light bulb pops. it's not the running current that's the issue, it's when you strike the arc that the load comes on. I got a 20 amp D rated breaker IIRC. I did have a 30 amp std one and couldn't weld on full at all. Not the amps, it's the trip speed.
Hard to give advice exactly. 6mm steel you can weld with my 115 stick. But I wouldn't make a ship with it and sail the seven seas. Or make a tank from it. I guess what you are looking for in the main is the ability to join two pieces so that in effect there is no join at all. If you have 30mm steel, you'd need ability to penetrate 30mm or 15mm and go from both sides. See the point? But as most people don't go much about 10mm you'd need 10 or 5 respectively. Now, a 115 amp stick is not going to give you 5mm. Probably about 3mm with no root gap. So in effect you have a 10mm plate only joined for 6mm in places. My MIG is 180 amp. I'd have liked bigger, but really using .8mm wire, getting higher amperage will typically just melt the wire faster and not give that much more penetration. Tests have shown my set to deliver 7mm penetration so effectively I can fully join 14mm plate. I don't envisage using 14mm anything really. So welding 10mm sheet is well within my range. There is way much more to this than just blobbing weld everywhere and I don't know the half of it. But I do get the principles involved. Being able to weld sheet from one side only and have it appear on both sides of the sheet is a good sign. If you are serious about welding then forget the little disposable bottles. It's like having a EuroFighter with a jerry can sized fuel tank. You need around 10L /min flow when welding hard. It's highly addictive and if you like the off road stuff, in my view invaluable. Even a little buzzer like mine will open whole new Worlds. I may get another stick now that I have a proper supply, you can really bang down a good bead with a stick. I like 'em.
Depends on your budget Julian but for a proper job I would look for something in the 180-220 amp range and pick one with a Euro torch which means there's a big plug arrangement where the torch hose assembly joins the body of the welder. The quality of the Euro torches is much better than the hobby ones and they can be replaced when you wear them out. When choosing power, consider the duty cycle and durability of the fittings at higher power settings e.g. a 150amp welder may be capable of welding 6mm but you'll spend a lot of time waiting for it to cool down and the shroud etc will be much smaller and less durable (shroud problems applies more to hobby torches than the Euro style ones).
Also consider that buying a welder is a slipery slope and you will soon be wanting to add more tools to support your new addiction
I've been thoroughly spoilt picking several thousand pounds of 3 phase Cebora mig welder for £400 on eBay, however if I was to buy something for normal mains I would aim for around a 180amp welder running 0.6mm wire. 0.8-1.0mm may be useful for sliders, but for all round use 0.6mm should be fine.
The best thing to do is to pick a good brand line Cebora, Snap-On, etc and then pick something up on ebay.
Also make sure that you get a good auto darkening mask.
Even more importantly, find you local welding supplier. I get all my discs, visors, gloves, electrodes, wire, sprays, gas etc from them for a fraction of the cost of anywhere else. Very friendly, lend me stuff on demo, get me samples, give me advice etc. I set up an account with them which make spending really easy!