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Old 12-09-2008, 02:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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How to: Cheap welding for punks

I couldn't pass up posting this:

MAKE: Blog: Cheap welding for punks

Quote:
Don't have access to a welder? LIAR!! All it takes is some junk car batteries and a welding rod.

Or some dead microwave ovens to butcher for the transformers.

Make your own industrial revolution!
I had no idea the ForkenSwift was a rolling arc welder power supply.

But you still need a welding helmet! Or not...








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Old 12-09-2008, 06:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Back when I had to weld refrigeration tubing for a science fair project (supercooling a CPU), I just used a $30 MAPP gas torch. Only leak was a connection I forgot to weld. It held pressure once I fixed that.
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Old 12-09-2008, 06:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I thought the first picture was Red Green! Looks like something he would do, only instead of paper it would be duct tape.
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Old 12-09-2008, 06:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I fixed a spring hanger on a jeep in the mountains by taking all the batteries out of the trucks and stringing them together with jumper cables and a starter wire or two. I was lucky I left the welding rods in the back of my jeep but I didn't have a face shield so I just closed my eyes as soon as the arc started and went by sound. It was a terrible weld but it held up good enough to get it home so it could be fixed properly.

I think we used 4 batteries and had to jump start one of the trucks after putting everything back together. That was 15 years ago so I am not real sure

One thing that wasn't mentioned was an alternator makes an excellent high frequency DC welder. Just take out the voltage regulator and run 12V to the field and you get about 70-90V out of the alternator that can weld pretty much anything by varying the idle speed. Just watch the duty cycle so you don't overheat the diodes in the alternator.
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Old 12-09-2008, 06:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Old 12-18-2008, 07:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I saw a offroader's welding rig at a machine tool show that was quite clever... it used a Makita cordless drill to drive a flux core wire feed spool gun, and an engine mounted alternator for welding current. The guy did an on-site demo and made some decent welds on 1/16" -3/16" thick steel

edit: It was a special alternator, maybe higher voltage, could have even been a DC generator for all can remember.

Last edited by metromizer; 12-19-2008 at 04:59 PM..
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Old 12-18-2008, 09:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I never knew about the alternator, but I remember my dad saying something about using older car generators for welders..

I've used a battery charger with a 100A Jump circuit before, but it took forever w/ a zinc plated coat hanger, and the weld was less then desirable... it was enough to get me home, which is really all that's necessary.

I bookmarked that article for future reference, since I'm trying to teach myself how to weld accurately. *I've pretty much got brazing down*
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Old 12-19-2008, 09:54 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Old 12-19-2008, 04:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christ View Post
I bookmarked that article for future reference, since I'm trying to teach myself how to weld accurately...
You probably know this already, but...

My experience has been that welding isn't rocket science, but it is like machining, carpentry, sewing, finishing concrete, and any of the other trades. You can't learn how to do it from a book, the internet, or a lecture <sure, you can get a few pointers>. It really takes hours of actually doing it under the partial supervision of an expert just to get mediocre at it.
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Old 12-19-2008, 09:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Oh, I know... but I've had alot of instruction and some practice, I know the basic principles, I just have to stop being a whiner and actually get out there and do it.

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