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Home made AC stick welder!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by VonMoldy, Dec 12, 2008.

  1. plym49
    Joined: Aug 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,803

    from Earth

    Right. Knew it was one of those -trons.
  2. Big Pete
    Joined: Aug 7, 2005
    Posts: 364

    Big Pete

    If I read it right the secondary is really a current transformer this design will try to hold the arc rather than current regulate. When you break the arc this design will really try to build voltage across the electrodes.
  3. Drive Em
    Joined: Aug 25, 2006
    Posts: 1,748

    Drive Em

    Alot of the ornamental iron gate guys around here use home made welders like the one in the picture that are made right across the bridge in Juarez, Mexico. They are really small, and seem to do a really nice job on steel up to 1/4" thick.
  4. RichG
    Joined: Dec 8, 2008
    Posts: 3,917


    You're damn right it will try to bridge the gap! Also, something that might not be getting across to some of you, but when you put in a higher than designed voltage to a transformer (say, feeding the secondary and working back to the primary?) bad things are going to happen. Fast. They call it "arc flash" and it sucks, big time. I had a 480v disconnect arc flash when I cycled it right over my head. This is big time shit here folks, it will get you DEAD. Making DC welders with car batteries is one thing, but when you start screwing around with AC you better know what your up against.

    Also, the site that advertises this idea talks about shorting out the capacitor with a screwdriver across the terminals...sure, you do that, just please, please unplug the microwave at least ten minutes before you do that, please? A real ten minutes too. A capacitor is a device that stores a high voltage charge and they can be very dangerous.

    I'll have to find my hat that has all the burn slag all over it to prove my point. Did you know that copper can be dissolved into a plasma gas with electricity? Don't find out at home, okay? I'm just lucky enough to have learned from an old electrician to turn away when I power equipment up! There's a reason electricians have to serve apprenticeships in most states, it's to keep them alive! If you can't read the National Code book, and you can't write down Ohms law and Watts law, then please ask for some help from someone who can. I'm all for learning, but do it safely.

    "There are old electricians and there are bad electricians, but there are no old bad electricians..."
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2008
  5. nickpayton
    Joined: Mar 14, 2008
    Posts: 126

    from a

    the first thing that strikes me is that they are using a vicegrip for a stinger. and if they are using regular 110 power with the 2 transformers pluged in to the same outlet, they could potentaly overload the circut. the standard household recptical is only rated for 15 amps. i dought that your doing any welding at 15 amps. all i'm saying is that if you don't shock yourself you could start a fire if your circuit breaker dosn't trip out first. they say to use 10 AWG wire for the welder, 10 can only handle i believe 30 amps. i didn't really look hard at their plans but if you wind the secondary coil too much your going to step up the xrmr (more voltage). there is just too much stuff to list that could go wrong with it to list off that could hurt you.
  6. rustyford40
    Joined: Nov 20, 2007
    Posts: 2,168

    from Mass Bay

    It may burn wire put i would not call it welding.
  7. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 5,257


    I read thru that. Im not an electrician therfore Ive been "stung" a few times.
    Ill build some crazy hand type tools to get a job done but when it comes to electricity I pay the $ for quality stuff.
    Electricity + Dumbass = Death
  8. power58
    Joined: Sep 7, 2008
    Posts: 432


    I hope nobody tries to post "How to make your own Arbor Press" ! The Mechanical engineers will have a fit , The Welders with cry foul , The machinist will insist that is can't be built to tolerance. And everyone will say "You'll SHOOT You're EYE OUT Ralphie" !!!!!!
  9. 29paul
    Joined: Dec 30, 2007
    Posts: 267


    He gives 5 stars on this thread [​IMG]
  10. stude_trucks
    Joined: Sep 13, 2007
    Posts: 4,755


    what's next, home made electric chairs?
  11. Bunch of sissies! Weld like a man!
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2008
  12. 39cent
    Joined: Apr 4, 2006
    Posts: 1,569

    from socal

    yes I remember those ads in pop mechanics, used to want one but didnt hav the extra bucks. we had to find somebody that could weld. My buddy and i took his 29 A, to the 'Arlington Blacksmith Shop' near Riverside. Welded in the 32 cross member. Now a days there,s welders all over. Long time ago but it doesnt seem that long.[over 50 yrs]
  13. 39cent
    Joined: Apr 4, 2006
    Posts: 1,569

    from socal

    haha good thing he has his safety glasses on!
  14. Well put 58. Maybe we shouldnt be building anything. maybe we should just buy everything.That way we willl always be safe. Why build a street rod when you can buy a Carolla?
  15. Big Pete
    Joined: Aug 7, 2005
    Posts: 364

    Big Pete

    I read it over a couple of times it looks good to me. If I was stuck and needed a weld to cross the desert.....
    There's no volt amp rating on the transformers so you have no means of current regulation other than the limit of the big seperation of the iron core. Problem with instructions is they tell you how to get 10 gauge wire and not really what to do with it. I'd try it with a 20 amp gfi feeder and a big dimmer control to forcibly current limit the primary, you just won't know when you reach saturation till you get there.....
  16. captainjunk#2
    Joined: Mar 13, 2008
    Posts: 4,419


    thats some scary shite think i will stick with my miller thunder bolt AC/DC welder thanks
  17. RichG
    Joined: Dec 8, 2008
    Posts: 3,917


    I'm not saying don't build one, just have the sense to have an electrician buddy help you.

    Please. I know enough dead people already.

    Everyone likes to joke about getting shocked, but I've seen some videos of people dying from the weirdest electrical shocks you can imagine. It doesn't take much. The one that sticks in my throat the worst was the young man washing and cleaning his new Jeep. He had a shop-vac next to the car, and when he reached down to turn it on, well, it turned him off. Seems the rubber guard over the switch had a tiny tear in it, and he wasn't plugged into a GFCI outlet. 18 and dead because electricity doesn't care.

    I watched a guy get electrocuted when he was working on a Motor Control Panel. He'd been doing this for years, but he forgot or neglected to verify power was interrupted, and he didn't check his lockout, it was on the wrong main busse breaker. I watched him get electrocuted and there wasn't a goddamn thing I could do about it. 43 and dead because electricity doesn't care. This shit ain't funny. If you don't know what your doing with electricity, GET HELP.
  18. VonMoldy
    Joined: May 23, 2005
    Posts: 1,561

    from UTARRGH!

    I really want to build one just because I can. I would use an actual stick welder rod holder and some gloves and put the thing in a case so the super Gamma X rays don't turn me into spider man.
    Anyone want to give me an arc welder so I don't build one of these and electrocute myself?

    Here is a sample of the weld the guy made on stainless steel. Looks really good to me. Of course I have only MIG and TIG welded.

    Last edited: Dec 13, 2008
  19. bruce hylton
    Joined: Dec 12, 2008
    Posts: 194

    bruce hylton
    from toledo wa

    This has been a really interesting post. I currently have more than a dozen welders on hand from buzz box, to wire feed, to 400 lincolns, to ranger 9's, to three phase that I need a convertor to run[which I will build myself, because I can]. It take the same mentality to build a welder as it does a hotrod. It is wonderful to know others have this flaw also.
  20. budd
    Joined: Oct 31, 2006
    Posts: 3,478


    i had one of those welders to, i was 12 and the muffler fell of my 1966 bridgestone 90, well it was a bright sunny day and dam i left my shield in the shop and i was just going to tack a washer on anyway, so i did it without a shield, well at three in the morning my dad took me to the hospital and i ended up wearing patches over both my eyes three days, play safe out there..
  21. Ice man
    Joined: Mar 12, 2008
    Posts: 983

    Ice man

    Go get a welder that puts out some heat and do some real welding. Ice man
  22. metalshapes
    Joined: Nov 18, 2002
    Posts: 10,978

    Tech Editor

    I acctually have a lot of respect for how they make things work in 3rd World Countries.

    If we happened to be born in a different place, that could be any of us...

    new welder 2.jpg

    new welder 3.jpg

    new welder.jpg
  23. ironandsteele
    Joined: Apr 25, 2006
    Posts: 5,645


    that's what i was thinking. there are four on craigslist here locally for less then $100
    a friend of mine just bought one for $50 that had only been used a few hours.
  24. curtiswyant
    Joined: Feb 6, 2005
    Posts: 461


    <embed src="" bgcolor="#FFFFFF" flashvars="allowFullScreen=true&initVideoId=958778490&servicesURL=" base="" name="bcPlayer" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" seamlesstabbing="false" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" swliveconnect="true" pluginspage="" width="486" height="412">
  25. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,617

    Rusty O'Toole

    There was a machine shop in town that kept one of those little yellow $12.99 buzz box welders around just for the carbon arcs. They used the carbon arc to remove and install bearing races, bushings etc. Just run the arc around the bearing boss for a minute to heat it up and the bearing falls out.
  26. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 11,365

    Blue One
    from Alberta

    What the heck is a Carolla ? Is that something you buy after drinking too many Caronas ? :D
  27. tommyd
    Joined: Dec 10, 2010
    Posts: 11,721

    from South Indy


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