On Board Welders?

AFBronco235

Crew Chief
If you are wanting to weld around/through rusted/painted metal get a stick welder. Migs are great but clean metal is a must for the m to work right. A stick is much more forgiving about this.

I have never used any of the welders you are referring to., I built my own out of a alternator. I can adjust the power by varying the engine rpm. I have used it quite a few times on the trail and in camp. Works great and the only part that might go bad is the alternator and I can get a replacement at any junk yard for $10 (or buy new) do a quick mod and I am back in business.
The plus side of this in my opinion is the fact that if my normal alternator goes bad I can un-mod my welding alt move it in place of the bad alt and be on the road again.

Food for thought anyway.

Darrell
I agree about using MIG over other welders. Not only are they forgiving when welding, but there is less that can break. MIG welders, and even spool guns, have too many moving parts to feed the wire that can break and leave you high and dry. A MIG setup is as simple as it gets. Two cables, two clamps, a welding stick and a power source.

Do you have any pics or diagrams of your setup? Especially wiring diagrams. What alternator did you use and what are you powering it with?
 

WSS

Rock Stacker
I redid my system last November to include dual batts, isolator, QC jumpers and a readywelder. The system works great. I get 13.8v out of the NOCO isolator and I had a custom 1 wire 100amp alternator built to accommodate. I have plans to add solar and a sine convertor later this spring. Here are some pics:

















Welds really nice:



All the gear is compact:



The two yellow QC's are the 24v yoke. Quick and easy. I read earlier were parameters are lost when the batts are disconnected, no trouble here, 1972 CJ5

 

Scoutn79

Adventurer
Theoretically it might work, for one size rod and one thickness metal. You need to be able to control the voltage to control the heat. Chances that what ever you break on your rig in the middle of an obstacle will be too thin and you will just end up punching holes in it. If you are going to run an uncontrolled welder you are better of using the battery method...you can use 12-24-36 volts and carry an assortment of rods to work with the various number of batteries.
This is precisely why I like my set-up, it's fully adjustable.

Darrell
 

anickode

Adventurer
I have a similar stick welding unit. It will run a 1/8" 6010 or 3/32" 7018 rod IF you are a skilled stick welder. I can make em run. Most of my buddies just end up welding the rod to the work.

I have never tried running it off an inverter, and I probably wouldn't attempt it. Electronics are notoriously picky about the power they get, and I doubt these welders would appreciate anything other than a pure sine wave. A pure sine 2500 Watt inverter would likely set you back more than an onboard welder system would, for 90 amps peak, versus 150+ amps for a onboard welder.

Frankly, you'd be better off borrowing a friend's battery and a set of jumper cables, and welding with 2 car batteries.
 

Scoutn79

Adventurer
Not a huge range, but 20-75 amps seems reasonably adjustable.
When I looked at the post all I noticed was "2500 watt inverter" but didn't click on the link. I thought you were going to try to weld with just an inverter. Sounds like Anickode has good input on the welder.
I would think that this welder PLUS a 2500 watt inverter would take up quite a bit of space for something that you may use once every 4 years....maybe never. When I was doing more rock crawling than exploring I was using it on the trail or in camp once every 3 years I bet...but it is one of those things that when you need it you REALLY need it.

Darrell
 

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anickode

Adventurer
OK I've tried posting this twice from my phone and it keeps getting deleted, so I'm trying from the computer now.

Something you might consider instead of an arc welding system of any type is a portable oxy/acetylene setup with a few different tips. Oxy acetylene is incredibly versatile, and in the right hands, can be used to weld just about anything, including cast iron and aluminum. O/A was the industry standard for decades before electric welding was commonplace. It's still the preferred method for a lot of types of repairs, and it is superior to just about anything else when working with dirty, greasy. oily, or sooty metal. On top of welding, it would allow you to do brazed repairs and heat/bend repairs as well. Break a leaf spring? weld it back together. Leak in a brake line? you can braze it. Radiator repairs, straightening a bent driveshaft, removing stuck bolts, soldering battery lugs, stitching up a damaged oil pan, you name it, you can do it with oxy/acetylene. It requires no electricity, and it's cheap. 500 bucks will get you a torch and full tanks, an assortment of tips for cutting, heating, and welding/brazing, a few different types of filler rod for different materials, and you can probably find an old-timer that can teach you how to do it all.

O/A gets overlooked a lot these days in favor of gadgety electronics. It is by far the most versatile welding process for doing repairs. No, if you jackknifed and broke the tongue off your trailer, you'd probably still be SOL, but if a repair is big enough where it cant reasonably be done with a torch, you're probably a lot worse off than a welder will help anyway.
 

anickode

Adventurer
Of course, there is a downside to oxy/acetylene... make sure when you put it away, you turn the gas of at the tanks, not just the torch, and bleed the pressure from the lines.

 

emtmark

Austere Medical Provider
Well there Is that

Totally sucks for that guy

Had a premier and a ready, sold the premier.


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anickode

Adventurer
Well there Is that

Totally sucks for that guy

Had a premier and a ready, sold the premier.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
That guy was about as lucky as a person can get. He was IN the vehicle when that happened. Torch was seeping gas overnight. He got in the vehicle in the morning and smelled it, so he went to roll down the windows. The spark in the window switch set off the explosion. It started in the driver's door, and moved backwards and across, blowing apart the entire vehicle except the corner he was sitting in. He sustained almost no injuries.

That aside, how do you like the readywelder? Thats the spool gun that runs off car batteries, right?
 

emtmark

Austere Medical Provider
Love it !
I like the portability and the size best of all space is a premium in these endeavors

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granitex1

Adventurer
I would second the ready welder,, will not go out in the woods without mine. without a doubt one of the smartest thing that I have picked up over the years. On a side note do not try to use a jump pack as one of the batteries,, they do not like it one little bit.
 

Arclight

SAR guy
I have done some welding back when I worked in shop and built several Hopers that held large bins with drop out bottoms that would allow the material to roll down a chute that was built into the hoper.

This was all done with an ancient lincoln stick welder so that is where my knowledge base is.

When I say infrequent shop welding, I really mean it. I doubt I'd lay more than a yard or two of weld a year.
In that case, I would find an old stick welder on Craigslist for $100, install a dryer plug and practice with it on your shop projects. Then put together a similar setup with a battery jumper and some cables for trail use.

Arclight
 
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