From rLab

Clarke MIG Welder

This tool requires induction
Owing to it's dangerous nature, delicate nature, or expense, this tool requires that you be inducted on it's proper handling before use.


The Clarke MIG welder has been retired and donated to another hackspace, this page is kept for historical record only

Clarke 150A MIG Welder

The Clarke MIG welder is a 150A MIG welder that uses 15Kg wire spools and Albee gas bottles that's used to join metal (mostly steel) together. It should be left loaded with 0.6mm mild steel wire and Argon/CO2 gas blend. Note the welder says it's 220A but it's not, it's only 150A because the transformer was replaced with a smaller unit. Owing to the hazards of electrical arcs, UV radiation and molten metals, Induction is required before using the MIG welder. We ask for a donation of approximately £10 per linear meter of weld to cover the cost of gas and wire.

Current Status[edit]

Date Status Comment
10th September 2019 Retired Removed from service in favour of our new ESAB EMP235ic welder


The MIG Welder lives under the rear stairs in between the forge and the air compressor, the routine-use accessories for it are on the shelf that's suspended below the stairs and the specialized accessories for unusual welding jobs are kept in the grey lockers to the left of it. It's used to join metals (usually steel) together. It operates by striking an electrical arc between the workpiece and a steel wire that's fed continuously from the torch which melts the wire and deposits the molten metal into a gap in the workpiece, when the metal cools and solidifies the workpieces are permanently joined. In it's normal set-up the machine is loaded with 0.6mm mild steel wire and Argon/CO2 gas blend and can be used to weld steel thicknesses ranging from just under 1mm up to something in the region of 3.5mm. When set up with thicker wire and the highest power settings it may be possible to weld up to 5mm thick in a single pass. For thicker materials then a multi-pass welding approach is possible, or it might be better to switch to using the 200A stick welder if you've also been inducted on that. For materials thinner than 1mm then MIG welding is possible with care, but TIG welding may be more effective. If you're not sure of the best welding process for your job Steve's written a short guide that's here

The MIG welder can be loaded with aluminium wire in order to weld aluminium, level 2 induction is recommended for this, and that will allow the MIG welder to join reasonably thick aluminium sections together. For thinner aluminium or where surface finish is important, TIG welding is likely to give better results. We do not currently have any stainless steel wire and for now TIG is the only process we have that can weld stainless reliably.

MIG Welder Caretakers[edit]


The following people are able to provide inductions on the MIG Welder

Name/Contact Induction levels provided Notes
Steve-R 1,2 In Reading about 50% of the time
Ian-P 1,2 Only does 1-to-1 sessions
Arthur-P 1 Currently on haitus, busy being a pirate


These are the people who look after and repair the MIG welder, they're the ones to contact if there's any problems with it

Name Notes
Steve-R In reading around 50% of the time, fast response if in reading

Recent Changes[edit]

If you make any non-trivial changes to lathe or perform maintenance please note it here, delete records older than 1 yr

  • Reinstated the thermal safety system to prevent transformer overheating - Stever (talk) 15:35, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Repaired melted wire leading to transformer primary - Stever (talk) 15:17, 8 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Replaced faulty ground lead plug&socket - Stever (talk) 11:58, 12 September 2018 (UTC)