Author Topic: Yesss! Arc welder!  (Read 16633 times)

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Offline XOIIO

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Yesss! Arc welder!
« on: July 23, 2014, 12:07:25 am »
If you need to lock this I understand, just super excited, someone posted a hobby arc welder for $50 on kijiji, I'm broke, but emailed him to see if maybe he needed a newer PC or some computer/electronics work done as a trade, turns out he needs a newer desktop, and the core 2 duo flat style (not tower) Lenovo works for him!

Best of all, it's 120v, standard plug, so no need for 20 or 30 amp sockets (though this place actually does have a couple 20 amp ones), and it comes with rods, a brush, and a helmet! The helmet even has the plastic cling stuck on the visor (though he says he used the welder a couple times, maybe with another helmet, or he just left it on  :-//)

Anyways, super excited about this, I've wanted a welder for ages, already fairly familiar with the basics, but this is going to massively open up what I will be able to do! I will need to pick up a handheld grinding or whatever those things with the coarse discs are to clean up welds though.

It's great that it's an arc welder since I won't need gas or big reels of wire, I think this is a much cheaper (though harder to use) option.

But hey, how hard can it be? It's just like soldering but bigger :P

(I know I could have made one with some MOT's and a car battery a long time ago, but never really had any car batteries sitting around, plus you would not be able to control the current.)
« Last Edit: July 23, 2014, 12:11:04 am by XOIIO »
 

Offline XOIIO

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Re: Yesss! Arc welder!
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2014, 02:52:44 am »
Hmmm, I will need much cleaner metal than the old road sign I have had for 8+ years. Even with a wire brush it's hard to spark it.

Offline GEuser

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Re: Yesss! Arc welder!
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2014, 03:56:46 am »
What's the open circuit voltage at the ends?

Rusty/dirty metal is no problem with a arc and the choice of a rod matters greatly but just for home stuff there is generally no problem ..
Soon
 

Offline XOIIO

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Re: Yesss! Arc welder!
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2014, 04:27:38 am »
What's the open circuit voltage at the ends?

Rusty/dirty metal is no problem with a arc and the choice of a rod matters greatly but just for home stuff there is generally no problem ..

Don't have it nearby, it can go up to 70 amps, I was keeping it around 20 to not blow the breaker, but a short while ago I took it up to 50 amps or so and it did spark fairly well (I did wirebrush it as well but it kept going through the dirt), it did not bond with the metal well though, a gentle tap with a wrench or the metal tip of the brush and it breaks right off. The sign might be made of stainless, not sure if that would have much of an affect. It's tricky getting it going well though, and if you slow down to try and get more material it's pretty easy for it to stick to the work piece.

I did do a successful weld, joining a welding rod to a piece of pipe  ::)

I want to get an auto darkening helmet, that would help a lot but they are minimum $89 around here, and that's on sale. It will be over $100 for one of the cheaper ones, it will be a while until I can get that.

Offline XOIIO

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Re: Yesss! Arc welder!
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2014, 04:29:36 am »
Oh shit wait, I remembered, I'm pulling, but I should be pushing the rod, right?  |O

Offline deth502

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Re: Yesss! Arc welder!
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2014, 04:31:29 am »
is the road sign aluminum? (most all in the us are, idk about canada) if so, you need special rods to stick weld aluminjum, and it is not easy at all, and that is a huge understatment.

rods must be kept dry and if left in an open enviornment will quickly absorb moisture from the humidity in the air and become useless. as the rod burns, the electrode melts up inside as the exterior flux is burned off and acts asa sheilding gas. if you stop a bead, you will need to give the rod a good hit against the steel to break off the ring of flux in front of the electrode to strike an arc again. ive never seen a 120v stick welder, and i have my suspicions as to how much current it could actually produce, so idk if id say that you dont need a 20 or 30 amp breaker for it. you will also likely have to stay pretty thin with your rod selection. and lastly, its NOTHING like soldering. my advice, if you get a chance, try some oxy acet welding. you dont hve the huge bright arc and you can see your weld puddle and get a good view of the entire process. i think all of my welding processes improved greatly once i started o-a welding.
 

Offline deth502

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Re: Yesss! Arc welder!
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2014, 04:34:16 am »
pulling or pushing will work, depending on the job at hand. also, check out the duty cycle on it. this being an electronics forum, i dont think i have to explain duty cycle to you. they usually go by 10 minute intervals. (ie, 40%= 4 min welding, 6 min cooling)
 

Offline XOIIO

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Re: Yesss! Arc welder!
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2014, 04:36:59 am »
is the road sign aluminum? (most all in the us are, idk about canada) if so, you need special rods to stick weld aluminjum, and it is not easy at all, and that is a huge understatment.

rods must be kept dry and if left in an open enviornment will quickly absorb moisture from the humidity in the air and become useless. as the rod burns, the electrode melts up inside as the exterior flux is burned off and acts asa sheilding gas. if you stop a bead, you will need to give the rod a good hit against the steel to break off the ring of flux in front of the electrode to strike an arc again. ive never seen a 120v stick welder, and i have my suspicions as to how much current it could actually produce, so idk if id say that you dont need a 20 or 30 amp breaker for it. you will also likely have to stay pretty thin with your rod selection. and lastly, its NOTHING like soldering. my advice, if you get a chance, try some oxy acet welding. you dont hve the huge bright arc and you can see your weld puddle and get a good view of the entire process. i think all of my welding processes improved greatly once i started o-a welding.

Not sure, the sign feels more like it would be steel of some description.

Don't really think there are any places around here I could try out welding without enrolling in a college class, not really much around here for diy at all sadly :/

pulling or pushing will work, depending on the job at hand. also, check out the duty cycle on it. this being an electronics forum, i dont think i have to explain duty cycle to you. they usually go by 10 minute intervals. (ie, 40%= 4 min welding, 6 min cooling)

Ah, alright, just figured by the small amount of material from the bead pushing is wrong but considering it doesn't really bond well I guess that would make sense.

I need to get some scrap steel or something, I do have a large square frame with post from the 12 foot satellite dish I took down though I would like to leave that as intact as possible, don't really have anything to weld to it anyways, and no way to cut it to get practice pieces.

Offline GEuser

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Re: Yesss! Arc welder!
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2014, 04:43:21 am »
What's the open circuit voltage at the ends?

Rusty/dirty metal is no problem with a arc and the choice of a rod matters greatly but just for home stuff there is generally no problem ..

Don't have it nearby, it can go up to 70 amps, I was keeping it around 20 to not blow the breaker, but a short while ago I took it up to 50 amps or so and it did spark fairly well (I did wirebrush it as well but it kept going through the dirt), it did not bond with the metal well though, a gentle tap with a wrench or the metal tip of the brush and it breaks right off. The sign might be made of stainless, not sure if that would have much of an affect. It's tricky getting it going well though, and if you slow down to try and get more material it's pretty easy for it to stick to the work piece.

I did do a successful weld, joining a welding rod to a piece of pipe  ::)

I want to get an auto darkening helmet, that would help a lot but they are minimum $89 around here, and that's on sale. It will be over $100 for one of the cheaper ones, it will be a while until I can get that.

Poke around utube to look at vision of the pointy bit when welding , backwards/forwards/sideways all depends on what your doing at the time and what is needed and position .

As someone has mentioned arc is for similar metals (steel to steel and not steel to alum) , but in typing that there are rods around that can do quite a lot even cutting but read them as expensive .
Soon
 

Offline calexanian

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Re: Yesss! Arc welder!
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2014, 05:37:07 am »
Start with thinner rods and keep them dry. Sometimes you should toss a few in the oven to dry them out before use. Smaller rods will help you get the pace down. When your pool is right you are dipping the stick into the melted pool and dragging a pool along effectively, and not jamming it into the steel. Invest in a cheap angle grinder with good quality cutting (Thin) and grinding (Thick) discs. Beveled clean edges weld better. Plenty of tutorials online. Just look on Lincolns website as they are still the bees knees for stick welders.
Charles Alexanian
Alex-Tronix Control Systems
 

Offline XOIIO

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Re: Yesss! Arc welder!
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2014, 05:43:22 am »
Calling it a night, based on some of the videos I'm watching I think the road sign is aluminum, it just doesn't feel like it at all. Welding on steel looks waaaay different.

Offline pickle9000

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Re: Yesss! Arc welder!
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2014, 05:58:08 am »
 

Offline XOIIO

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Re: Yesss! Arc welder!
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2014, 06:11:00 am »
If you have a Princess nearby.

http://www.princessauto.com/pal/Helmets/Fixed-Shade-Auto-Darkening-Welding-Helmet/8511578.p

We do, princessauto.ca didn't have much though. That is really good though, and would be a huge help.

update while editing: seems they might have that one here (would have to call in and check), which would be awesome, except that I am flat broke. Below that actually.  :-\

Couldn't help myself, this is one of those things that will give me trouble going to sleep, went back out, grabbed the shell from an old power supply, dialed the amps to a bit below 40, and tried it out a bit more. It's a lot better, I welded a small split where the case was bent together, and it wasn't too bad, though seemed a bit dark.

This stuff is super think though and does warp easily. The rods I have are 1/16th.

Anyways, put an ad up looking for scrap metal to practice. We'll see if I get any bites. Accidentally looked down a bit and got some flash from below the helmet, my eyes are mildly ache-y but that could be from being up so damn long as well. Who knows.

I also need to get some sleeves, there are some on kijiji for $25, but auto darkening would be much better, the occasional little hot spark that lasts a fraction of a second isn't really bothering me, plus it only happens if I run the rod down really low.

Offline pickle9000

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Re: Yesss! Arc welder!
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2014, 06:18:22 am »
The masks are on sale all the time. A small grinder (not a dremel) is very handy. You can lay tracks and spots on the inside of computer cases, the thin material is good to practice on.

 

Offline GEuser

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Re: Yesss! Arc welder!
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2014, 07:13:31 am »
Calling it a night, based on some of the videos I'm watching I think the road sign is aluminum, it just doesn't feel like it at all. Welding on steel looks waaaay different.

A Magnet , or a File ..

Come on now , your in the hobby of electronics and it spans across practically everything , metals just for starters ...

Got any car wrecks close by? cut cut cut cut ....
Soon
 

Offline G7PSK

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Re: Yesss! Arc welder!
« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2014, 07:30:18 am »
Go to a nearby fabrication shop and see if they have any off cuts you can have, they will bin most off cuts as otherwise they get over run with them go for thicker stuff to learn on 3/16 or 1/4 inch would be best nothing below 1/8 at first as you will have trouble. practice first with a right angle fillet weld and a butt weld, when doing the butt place the metal about a 1/2 thickness apart. Is your welder AC or DC output you need DC for welding aluminium with rods reversed polarity as well, for welding steel with a small welder stay away from basic rods as they need a high OC voltage use cellosic rods, you can tell if you have those as they smell like burning wood when running them, the flux is made from wood pulp whereas basic ones use limestone as the main ingredient.
 

Offline deth502

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Re: Yesss! Arc welder!
« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2014, 09:51:22 am »
saw something about an antenna tower or some such?? most of them i saw wer galvanized steel.

DO NOT WELD GALVANIZED STEEL!!

well, you can, but you have to grind all of the coating off, do it in a WELL ventilated area, and even then you are still at risk. the fumes given of when the galvanized coating is burning is DEADLY.
 

Offline houdini

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Re: Yesss! Arc welder!
« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2014, 10:46:04 am »
I would recommend pulling for stick welding pushing just mixes the slag into the weld.
 

Offline GEuser

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Re: Yesss! Arc welder!
« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2014, 10:54:38 am »
Also it'd pay to look at this welder gizmo first too I reckon , check on the isolation from mains input to rod output , I can just imagine standing on damp concrete changing a rod and >>>>>>>>
Soon
 

Offline XOIIO

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Re: Yesss! Arc welder!
« Reply #19 on: July 23, 2014, 12:50:42 pm »
saw something about an antenna tower or some such?? most of them i saw wer galvanized steel.

DO NOT WELD GALVANIZED STEEL!!

well, you can, but you have to grind all of the coating off, do it in a WELL ventilated area, and even then you are still at risk. the fumes given of when the galvanized coating is burning is DEADLY.

Yeah, I think that most computer cases are galvanized, so I don't know how that will work.

woot

id love to see pics of your experiments, take pics, alot of pics. doesnt matter if they are botched. i bet those with experience have a better way to give tips on what is wrong after seeing pics. :D

Probably lol, I do really need an auto darkening helmet though. On a big thing I can just start arcs to get light to see where I am but accuracy is terrible. I might set up my phone on a tripod and make a couple videos of my failures  ;D If I get an auto darkening helmet I will probably tear the lens out of the cheap one to record through, that way people can advice on the technique.

Calling it a night, based on some of the videos I'm watching I think the road sign is aluminum, it just doesn't feel like it at all. Welding on steel looks waaaay different.

A Magnet , or a File ..

Come on now , your in the hobby of electronics and it spans across practically everything , metals just for starters ...

Got any car wrecks close by? cut cut cut cut ....


No car wrecks sadly, and nothing to really cut lol, but we do have some metal working shops, I'll call them to see if they have scraps.


Also I'm fairly sure it is DC output on this one, don't recall seeing it, but I did just wake up  :=\

Offline XOIIO

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Re: Yesss! Arc welder!
« Reply #20 on: July 23, 2014, 01:00:22 pm »
Pretty sure this was galvanized, lots of white residue, somewhat flakey on the back side, kind of figured it was yesterday.

Anyways, that's where I was messing about a little, that's the road sign face down as a work surface.

A couple weld attempts, the long one was the first, and I didn't really get the material between the two pieces so I had to go again, but the short corner one was one go.

Also turns out this one is AC, not DC output.




I wish I had a jerry can nearby, I would have put it on the table for the picture to mess with you guys :p

Offline GEuser

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Re: Yesss! Arc welder!
« Reply #21 on: July 23, 2014, 01:23:51 pm »
Jerry can Ha Ha Ha Ha , I won't mention my experiences with things that have "Whoooomhed" ..

All ok on that welder , I thought it was a homemade kit thing so it looks like it'll have no dramas by the looks of it ..

Those welds are terrible , even for a beginner (I'm razzing you) , back in my day we would have had to push the broom around the workshop for a week if that had happened but I did have real real good mentors to get clipped around the ear by , and in typing that previous bit practice will sort you out as it sounds AND looks like you got the brains , now you just gotta get the brains to co-ordinate with the hands and eyes ...

Good luck and fun ...
Soon
 

Offline XOIIO

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Re: Yesss! Arc welder!
« Reply #22 on: July 23, 2014, 01:36:07 pm »
Jerry can Ha Ha Ha Ha , I won't mention my experiences with things that have "Whoooomhed" ..

All ok on that welder , I thought it was a homemade kit thing so it looks like it'll have no dramas by the looks of it ..

Those welds are terrible , even for a beginner (I'm razzing you) , back in my day we would have had to push the broom around the workshop for a week if that had happened but I did have real real good mentors to get clipped around the ear by , and in typing that previous bit practice will sort you out as it sounds AND looks like you got the brains , now you just gotta get the brains to co-ordinate with the hands and eyes ...

Good luck and fun ...

Apparently the Chicago electric brand (what this is) is sort of the harbor freight of welders. Didn't cost me anything so better than nothing lol.

The long weld on that image is where I arced a bunch to try and find the small one since it was bad anyways lol. I have pretty good hand-eye co-ordination, it's just a pain not being able to see the start position.

Offline dfmischler

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Re: Yesss! Arc welder!
« Reply #23 on: July 23, 2014, 03:43:33 pm »
Apparently the Chicago electric brand (what this is) is sort of the harbor freight of welders.
Actually, it is literally the Harbor Freight house brand.

Quote
The long weld on that image is where I arced a bunch to try and find the small one since it was bad anyways lol. I have pretty good hand-eye co-ordination, it's just a pain not being able to see the start position.
The head nod that arc welders always used to lower the helmet before starting was one of the hardest things for beginners to do well without losing their place.  An auto-darkening helmet will help a lot.  I have a pretty nice Optrel helmet that I use at work, but my Harbor Freight helmet at home works OK.
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: Yesss! Arc welder!
« Reply #24 on: July 23, 2014, 03:59:21 pm »
Funny enough I had a coded welder out yesterday to come weld a shaft back together that fatigued.Solid 304 stainless plug as a inner reinforcement, and a whole lot of TIG welding later and it is as good as before. Took him about 2 hours in total to do the entire 60mm pipe, as we did not want it to get too hot, and did not want to quench it. Failure was from manufacture where they had ground off a weld and redone it leaving a sharp point that acted as a stress concentrator, and it eventually fatigued through. I bought 5kg of stainless solid rod, and it was under 4kg when it came off the lathe to get it to the right size where it went into the pipe using only a little "gentle persuasion" and a lot of filing of damaged edges.

Well done on the chicken scratching, a little practise and you will be better and do decent welds. Tip is to not be too fast, and to realise that you will use rod at an incredible pace to fill, it will look like you are just pushing it down and barely moving, but that is what is needed to make a good join. Look at the tips from Weldingtipsandtricks on Youtube, Jody is pretty good at explaining and showing you how to start as a beginner, just look for his videos on using a MMA welder.
 


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