Thursday, December 11, 2014

Welding machines

Welding machines  for clandestine manufacturing (and working out of the trunk of a car)

Lately there has been lowering  of costs when it comes to welding machines.

The old heavy transformer AC powered welder like from Lincoln or Sears, or related type is not  suited to portable fabrication.

AC welders require a large amount of power and big generators to operate.  The new news is DC inverter powered welders.

Now those of you out there who  know how to weld and say MIG welders or  TIG, I will reply "Of course those work better"  But the inverter DC welder has so many advantages for our purposes.

the DC inverter welder  will run off a small  gasoline generator.  By small I mean those little ones that while  they will not power a 1hp electric motor, they will power this.  Since the cheap generator ratings are fudged wildly, suffice to say that a cheap 5kw generator actually only puts out about 1000 watts and barely that.  Yet you CAN power a small DC  welder with it.

They are small, and will fit in the  trunk of a car.

Second, the DC welders are easier to weld with.  The spark starts easier and it is easier to control vs the AC models.

Here is   a Inverter welder with TIG controls built in.

Third the  DC welder can be used for TIG welding with add on kits that run about 200 dollars. While  they do not have the  high frequency start of the dedicated machines or many fancy features, it  will let you TIG weld in metals  more than 1mm thick.

Lastly Sitck welding vs MIG in the field. Stick welding  requires no extra tanks of  gas.   It works in high winds, and it can be used as  a crude cutting torch.

So for example, You get the call to repair something that has been used and abused or  to fabricate  a facility out of the reach of  shore power.  What do you put in your trunk?

Generator,  Fuel, DC Stick welder, Extension cords, Portable lights of the LED or CFL variety, Chop saw and Angle grinder, hammers, wire brushes, and hand tools.  With that basic load you can build a steel building, make hillbilly armor, make a  water tank, and many other things.

The welder pictured below is the one I have. It is rated  for 200 amps but the duty cycle is limited  at that setting.  You can weld for a little bit and let it cool off.  If you are welding at 100-110 amps you can weld all day.

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