The MGA With An Attitude

This spot welder is nothing special, just the cheapest one I could find on eBay a the time I needed one. It will be rather typical of the whole class of cheap spot welders. It had a few teething problems as received. The clamp block holding the top tong wouldn't clamp up tight until I ground the face off one of the clamp blocks to make it tighter. One wire on the trigger switch fell off due to a cold solder joint and had to be re-soldered. Had to fiddle with some part of the clamping adjustment to get it to work. Sort of what to expect when you buy cheap Chinese made stuff.

Once I got it to work it was okay. It's a little slow, needing 3 to 4 seconds of trigger time to make one spot weld on two layers of 18 gauge steel. A 230V unit would be quicker, and they are about the same price, but of course need the 230VAC outlet in the work shop. I have that, but I bought the 115V unit because it was going into the club tool crib as a lending tool when I was finished with it.

Spot welder with extended tongs For reaching around behind the MGA door post I bought the 8" offset tongs from Harbor Freight on-line store for about $40. The 6, 7 or 8" dimension on the tongs is the inside vertical space, not the front to back length. The 8" offset tongs are about 2" on bottom and 6" on top, and nicely squared off to reach around the square box post.

The conical contact tips are replaceable, screwed into the ends of the tongs with a coarse thread. When a tip wears down to a too-wide flat end, you can grind the tip back to a cone with a smaller flat point. After a few times doing that you might want to install new tips. The tips are pretty cheap from Harbor Freight. I finally buggered up a thread in one of the tongs, in which case you probably buy a new tong rather than trying to cut and drill and re-tap the old one. Any welding supply shop has the tongs and tips. You might get better quality longer lasting tips at a pro shop.

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