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Buying a basic Arc welder.

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Buying a basic Arc welder.

Unread postAuthor: Counterstriker » Mon Apr 07, 2008 4:03 pm

I have been looking at Welding machines for about a year now, and since I have a job now I think I could get one, I don't want to spend more that 200 dollars though :wink: I have a harbor freight right near me and they have awsome prices, I also don't want the kind you need gas for. I am just gonna use it for small jobs, like welding something to a steel pipe.

I am hoping someone on the forum owns an arc welder or something and can pick one for me from this website.

Thanks!
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Unread postAuthor: rcman50166 » Mon Apr 07, 2008 4:21 pm

How's under $50 dollars sound? Just make your own. It's quite simple really. To make the welder itself you just need two microwaves. A little modifying to the components and you get an arc welder.

And some instructions.
http://www.instructables.com/id/Build-a-Microwave-Transformer-Homemade-Welder/
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Unread postAuthor: Counterstriker » Mon Apr 07, 2008 4:27 pm

rcman50166 wrote:How's under $50 dollars sound? Just make your own. It's quite simple really. To make the welder itself you just need two microwaves. A little modifying to the components and you get an arc welder.

And some instructions.
http://www.instructables.com/id/Build-a-Microwave-Transformer-Homemade-Welder/


But would it be to the full potential as a 100-200$ arc welder, and won't I lose a ball or something from the Microwaves?
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Unread postAuthor: rcman50166 » Mon Apr 07, 2008 4:36 pm

ball meaning ballast? Don't know what you mean there. Essentially you can get two microwave oven transformers (MOTS) to draw all 15 A from the wall. So it's best to run it on a current limiter, or ballast. I have a circuit, not a welder mind you, that uses two MOTS the same way and it runs on a 10 A ballast. But as far as power goes, not sure what the power rating of an arc welder is but each MOT typically runs at 1000W.
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Unread postAuthor: Counterstriker » Mon Apr 07, 2008 4:43 pm

I think I'll buy one, Aren't microwaves (not the appliance, the "waves") dangerous?
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Unread postAuthor: starman » Mon Apr 07, 2008 4:53 pm

Ummm, I don't recommend you build your own arc welder... :roll: go with the real, basic arc welder you're looking at....you will be 1000x happier. Be prepared to invest in some other things as well, welding mask, gloves, apron, a big pile of rods, several vise grip styles. A big thick metal welding table and vise comes in real handy as well.

Also, be prepared to get some scrap metal to practice your beads...it's not as easy as it looks.
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Last edited by starman on Mon Apr 07, 2008 4:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postAuthor: pizlo » Mon Apr 07, 2008 4:57 pm

Hehe My uncle has 3 arc welders and, get this a plasma cutter with 8 inches of plasma.
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Unread postAuthor: STHORNE » Mon Apr 07, 2008 4:59 pm

i would suggest you rather look on ebay than go to harbor freight. i mean, sure, there prices are unbelievably low, but you get what you pay for. Anything from harbor freight is pretty much a one time use piece of sh*t. anyway, good luck on your expedition lol.
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Unread postAuthor: rcman50166 » Mon Apr 07, 2008 5:04 pm

Counterstriker wrote:I think I'll buy one, Aren't microwaves (not the appliance, the "waves") dangerous?


lol they're extremely dangerous but the component that creates them (the magnetron) would never be used in this case.

BTW maybe your different, but I take pride in things that I make instead of buy because it seperates me from the consumer sheep of this world. (not that I'm calling you one, unless you have an Ipod. In that case, I say to you: BaHHH!)
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Unread postAuthor: STHORNE » Mon Apr 07, 2008 5:07 pm

what do Ipods have to do with being a consumer sheep. do you expect people to make an mp3 player from say a toaster?...
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Unread postAuthor: Counterstriker » Mon Apr 07, 2008 5:14 pm

rcman50166 wrote:
Counterstriker wrote:I think I'll buy one, Aren't microwaves (not the appliance, the "waves") dangerous?


lol they're extremely dangerous but the component that creates them (the magnetron) would never be used in this case.

BTW maybe your different, but I take pride in things that I make instead of buy because it seperates me from the consumer sheep of this world. (not that I'm calling you one, unless you have an Ipod. In that case, I say to you: BaHHH!)


I take pride in things I make also, just not things that could fry my testicles. :D
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Unread postAuthor: STHORNE » Mon Apr 07, 2008 5:16 pm

Counterstriker wrote:
rcman50166 wrote:
Counterstriker wrote:I think I'll buy one, Aren't microwaves (not the appliance, the "waves") dangerous?


lol they're extremely dangerous but the component that creates them (the magnetron) would never be used in this case.

BTW maybe your different, but I take pride in things that I make instead of buy because it seperates me from the consumer sheep of this world. (not that I'm calling you one, unless you have an Ipod. In that case, I say to you: BaHHH!)


I take pride in things I make also, just not things that could fry my testicles. :D


L...O...freakin...L
you make me laugh
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Unread postAuthor: starman » Mon Apr 07, 2008 5:36 pm

rcman50166 wrote:BTW maybe your different, but I take pride in things that I make instead of buy because it seperates me from the consumer sheep of this world. (not that I'm calling you one, unless you have an Ipod. In that case, I say to you: BaHHH!)


Many years ago, I thought I could "seperate from the sheep" by building my own power amplifiers and other stereo gear. I actually did some of that, designed from the ground up, the stuff sounded awesome and was a great experience. However, I ended up spending 3 times what I would have on commercial gear, plus an astounding amount of time was invested in construction and testing...and it never did look quite as good as commercial gear....I finally just abandoned the stuff and moved on.

Moral of the story: If it's your hobby and you want the experience, by all means, build your own arc welder. However, an arc welder is a tool, a fairly complex one. No one should be faulted for being a "consumer sheep" who needs one and buys it.

Do you wanna forge your own hammers as well?
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Last edited by starman on Mon Apr 07, 2008 5:43 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Unread postAuthor: TurboSuper » Mon Apr 07, 2008 5:39 pm

Look, it's the old time vs money debate.

Sure, you could build many consumer devices yourself, including an arc welder. But that takes time, effort, and know how. Buying a storebought one gives you a certain level of simplicity (and a warranty) in exchange for a higher price tag. You can see this in almost everything, Linux being my best example.

So, what's more important to you...time, or money?
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Unread postAuthor: rcman50166 » Mon Apr 07, 2008 5:44 pm

Argh! I said "not that I'm calling you one". Anyway. That's where the research comes in. Of course I'll buy if it's cheaper. But I mean the tesla coil I built, for the price of buying one, I saved a fortune. Maybe $3000 dollars bought. I built mine for $177.46. :D

BTW you should never try to build your own if it's new technology. The will typically cost more to make (i.e. a pentium 4 processor). But something has proven as an arc welder, well I would take the chances to make one. They not all that complicated. Just taking the power from the wall and lowering the voltage wil dramatically increasing the current. But Counterstriker, you do what feels best. I mean, it is your investment.
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