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  #11  
Old 10-26-2013
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Re: welding and welder options

I have a Miller Maxstar that I bought when I owned a steel boat, and I love it. I bought a pelican case for it and it now lives in the workroom of our current boat. You cant beat the size, and the thing is a little power house. It can run off of 110 or 220. Supper useful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ReefMagnet View Post
(on a side note, I think stainless is easier to weld than mild with stick).
I agree
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  #12  
Old 10-26-2013
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Re: welding and welder options

I have watched people who can weld aluminum with oxy acetaline. They awe me, my best efforts keep falling through. I agree MIG is the way to go with aluminum.
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  #13  
Old 10-26-2013
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Re: welding and welder options

I like Tig for aluminum. You need AC HF to weld aluminum with your Tig rig. SS and CS will do just fine with DC and a scratch start. Tig is the one that can do it all but cost the most needs the best prep and the deposit speed is on the slow side.
Stick is the most bullet proof of the electric heating means in my opinion. I have done cs,ss.and aluminum with good success. You will need to keep the rods dry.
Mig and flux core mig is the king of high deposit speeds. sub arc is the only thing I have done that is faster.
One advantage of oxy ace welding is you will not get a shock in the damp wet environment you wish to work your craft. It is one of the oldest welding methods and is almost like tig and can weld a great many materials gold and silver even ! A fuel gas other than ace can be cleaner when working with some metals. Ace offers more heat so that is why it is a good choice.
My best wishes for you. A little time at a trade school could help you find out what fits your needs and skill. You can use all the machines. Todays machines are truly wonderful.
Many a hope has been dashed by a poor cheap machine.
Good Day, Lou 452
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  #14  
Old 10-26-2013
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Re: welding and welder options

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou452 View Post
Many a hope has been dashed by a poor cheap machine.
Hehe I'm already convinced! Just not sure I want to pack three different ones!

I honestly think one of the little tig/stick toaster sized jobs would be best. But I'm just not sure I want to abandon Aluminum.

Another option I though of last night was maybe buying a cheap used gas generator welder, I could use as a power source.

Something like:
Blue Star 145 DX & 185 DX - Engine Driven Welders - Miller Welding

Once the boat is done, I suppose I could take it apart, take all the panels off and mate the head to a water-cooled diesel. in the engine room. Do you think something like that would be up to fairly heavy full time charging duties as a marine genset? It could drive stick directly or gimme ac to use a mig tig too. Wouldn't take 'that much' more space than I really wanted.
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Old 10-26-2013
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Re: welding and welder options

I use a 100 amp dodge alternator, which I paid $25 for in an auto wreckers , driven by a 10 inch pulley off my main engine.I feed the field from the staring battery ,thru a toggle switch and a 50 watt 12 volt car headlight bulb, to reduce the input to something which wont fry the field windings. To avoid frying the diodes, I put a 120 volt, 60 amp light bulb betweeen the negative and positive output.
You need a lot of RPM , hence the 10 inch pulley. I once had a commercialy buiult welder which used a 3800 rpm wisconsin gas engne and still a 10 ich pulley. That was a lot of RPM! I control the output with the throttle.
I find I get about three years out of the internal diodes which come with the alternator. When they go, I use a much bigger set of external diodes in aluminiumn plates as heat sinks , which never get warm. Dont have the numbers with me at the moment ,but they are common. I have only done, stainless, steel and aluminiumn stick welding with it, but I understand the high frequency of this setup may work well with TIG or MIG.
I have built several anchor winches and stainless woodstoves with it , from scratch, in my cockpit ,while at anchor. The output from it also runs my 120 volt angle grinder and other 120 volt power tools.
I couldn't fit it in my engine compartment, so I made a removeable panel on the side of the engine compartment to run a V belt thru, and mounted the alternator outside the engine compartment. I also mount my watermaker pump there.
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Last edited by Brent Swain; 10-26-2013 at 11:23 PM.
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Old 10-27-2013
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Re: welding and welder options

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Swain View Post
I use a 100 amp dodge alternator, which I paid $25 for in an auto wreckers , driven by a 10 inch pulley off my main engine.I feed the field from the staring battery ,thru a toggle switch and a 50 watt 12 volt car headlight bulb, to reduce the input to something which wont fry the field windings. To avoid frying the diodes, I put a 120 volt, 60 amp light bulb betweeen the negative and positive output.
You need a lot of RPM , hence the 10 inch pulley. I once had a commercialy buiult welder which used a 3800 rpm wisconsin gas engne and still a 10 ich pulley. That was a lot of RPM! I control the output with the throttle.
I find I get about three years out of the internal diodes which come with the alternator. When they go, I use a much bigger set of external diodes in aluminiumn plates as heat sinks , which never get warm. Dont have the numbers with me at the moment ,but they are common. I have only done, stainless, steel and aluminiumn stick welding with it, but I understand the high frequency of this setup may work well with TIG or MIG.
I have built several anchor winches and stainless woodstoves with it , from scratch, in my cockpit ,while at anchor. The output from it also runs my 120 volt angle grinder and other 120 volt power tools.
I couldn't fit it in my engine compartment, so I made a removable panel on the side of the engine compartment to run a V belt thru, and mounted the alternator outside the engine compartment. I also mount my watermaker pump there.
Thanks Brent, I have considered it. One thing I really like about the premier power unit is that they've wired in a switch to flip between regular charging and welding. I know this crap ain't rocket surgery but I have no clue how they do that.

But also, how do you adjust it when you're welding? Just seat of your pants looking at the beads? I'm still a total newb and can't really tell what I'm doing yet. Definitely need some classes just don't want to go for a year to be a commercial welder
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Re: welding and welder options

Yes , you can tell by the look of it if it is too hot or too cold, as most welders do. Slow the engine down or speed it up, as needed. For beginners ,start on the hot side.
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  #18  
Old 10-27-2013
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Re: welding and welder options

I have always thought I might try using the welder as the boats inboard engine ? If I ever get a big boat. They have 2- 4 and 6 cly gas or diesel air and water cooled. I would think adding a pto for the prop a gear box for reverse, and a throttle control is all one might need ? You would use less space than having an inboard engine and large welder on the boat. I have not seen or heard of any one doing this. Seems like you would have a lot of extra power generation ?
The small toaster size welders have come a long way from past years. Some are very capable of making x-ray welds. They will burn 3/32 7018 with 110 voltage at a normal pace. You can max them out.. kick the breaker if you push but with a large 100 power cord they do a good job. 1/8 rod is to much for the suitcase welders I have seen. Light easy to use. When you plug them in they know if they are using 110 or 220 Smart machines !
The thing I do not like to see is a machine that would not even be a good battery charger giving a new person the idea that welding is not something they are capable of doing !
Just please everyone remember water and electricity bad ! I will check again Monday if I remember. I think the safety men said 21 mill a volts can kill. I have had some good jolts with just sweaty Tig gloves. My fitter will keep two or three pair of gloves on a humid 85 + degree day . Wet and welding not good. Some where out there is an Underwater welder ? You are looking to work near a water hazard. It is done but lets plan to be as safe as we can be doing it.
I just have a Catalina-22 so my plan is to weld at work and sail on the water.
I am enjoying this thread !
Good day , Lou 452
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Old 10-27-2013
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Re: welding and welder options

Brent I would sure like to try your set up. It sounds very interesting ! I have not seen this. I wonder if you could rig a foot pedal for a tig rig ?
I once worked with a mechanic and we tacked a small emergency repair with a bank of batteries it was not pretty or quality work but it was like innovative !
You can also charge batteries and jump start engines This has a lot of danger ! I saw a battery blow up. You just do not do that kind of stuff any more.
Good day, Lou 452
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Re: welding and welder options

xymotic You could find a night school. Lots of times they have 6-12 week classes from say 6:00pm -9:00pm two or three nights a week. Kind of lose instruction with lots of home projects going on. You will get to use a few different welders can't beat that.
Good day, Lou
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