MIG welders can do many things, but they cannot heat metal for bending or brazing. Your stick welder can do those things with a carbon arc torch added to it. 

I am using a torch already fully constructed, so you will not see the parts aside from their place in the final unit.

Materials needed:

2 pieces of 1 x 2 firring strip 6 inches long (each)
2 pieces of 1/4 inch steel rod 7 inches long (each)
2 1/4 inch water pipe nipples 2 1/2 inches long (each)
2 #8-32 thumb screws about 1/2 inch long each
2 #8-32 nuts
2 1/4 inch flat washers
2 pieces of steel 1/8 inch thick and 3/8 inch x 3/4 inch
2 crimp-on connectors for #10 stranded wire
2 #8 terminal screws from an old electrical outlet
1 compression spring about 1/2 inch in diameter and 2 inches long
1 nylon cable tie about 6 inches or more long
8 #8 round head wood or flat head sheet metal screws
20 feet of #10 stranded plastic or rubber covered copper wire
2 pieces of scrap steel or aluminum 1/16 to 1/8 inch thick and 1 1/2 x 1 1/2 inches (each)
1/4 inch carbon rods (Get at a welding supply house.)

Tools needed:

Wood saw
Hack saw
Drill press and bit assortment
#8-32 tap
Crimping tool for electrical terminals
Soldering iron (150 watt) or gas torch and solder
Arc welder

Begin by cutting the wooden handles from the firring strip--6 inches long each.

Step 1: Make the Wooden Handles

Cut two pieces of 1 x 2 inch pine, like a firring strip. Make them 6 inches long each.
<p>Thanks for posting your instructable. I think I want to use your info as a starting point for a project I may build. I'm mulling over building a carbon arc lamp. If I had a way to feed the rods towards each other at the right rate, and had a 100% duty cycle welder, what's your best guess as to how long 12&quot; rods would burn before they were consumed. I'm sure you've never sat and timed this, but any thoughts, musings, or feelings on the matter would be appreciated. Thanks. </p>
My rough guess would be 30 to 45 minutes. A lot would depend on how much current you run. More current would burn it up faster. <br><br>Motion picture projectors have often used carbon arc illumination, I wonder what those use for advancing the carbon rods.
<p>In my youth I used to operate one them carbon arc projectors in a local cinema. It was wonderful watching the carbon rods burn away. You had to watch thru a special sort of welding glass and a small regulated motor (in series with a variable resistance for precise tweaking) kept the carbon rods just at the right distance apart. Sometimes something happened and off they went. Then the whole audience would start screaming their heads off esp at a suspense scene!! My instructor used to remind me to check the length of the rods before starting as once the show is on nothing can be done esp if they didn't last the whole reel.</p><p>I really miss those days when everything had to be done manually.</p>
<p>Thank you for your story. It sounds similar to my experience heating metal with carbon rods and an arc. But, I do not have a crowd angry at me if I lose the arc.</p>
<p>I'm not sure what they used to advance the rods back in the day of motion picture illumination, but here's a video of a more current attempt to create an arc lamp. One of the rods might be advanced by use of a stepper motor driving the frame that holds the rod:</p><p>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8e_u_xqN30</p>
<p>Thank you for the video link. I notice the setup ran at about 23 amps. with carbon rods about 1/2 inch in diameter. Since the original title is in German, I expect the voltage is 230 volts. European systems run at 230 volts. I think the open (no load) voltage on an arc welder would be around 60 volts. I need to set the welder to around 70 amps. to get a decent carbon arc flame with 1/4 inch carbon rods. The larger carbon rods seem to have reduced the need for advancing the rods. </p>
<p>We used 1/4 inch carbon rods filled with a special composition to give more intense light. If I remember correctly power was about 60v at 90 amps or so which can be raised (for more light) but then they would consume quicker.</p>
How does this setup attach to the arc welder?
In step 7 I mentioned one wire is inserted into the ground clamp and the other is inserted into the electrode holder. Polarity is not important, but keep them from touching one another in use or there will be sparks all over.
I made it out of scrap i had in my garage i used 4 gauge jumper cables i have not used it yet i have get my 1/4 carbon rods
It looks really good. What are you using to secure the carbon rods in the tubes and insure a good electrical path to the rods? <br><br>In use I find one rod often burns faster than the other so that the flame burns at an odd angle with less efficiency. I sometimes need to stop and use a pair of pliers to loosen the thumbscrews I use to secure the carbon rods and move one or both rods a little farther out of the tube. I keep my gloves on to protect against the heated metal on the torch and to protect from electrical shock. <br><br>Congratulations and thank you for posting a picture. Let us know how it works out for you. I use mine quite often.
Im using 1/4 thumb screws and im using 1/8 flat stock for the wire connections
<p>That should work. I did not see the screws in your photo. Positioning the screws as near as possible to the lower end of the tubes allows getting the most from farm the carbon rods.</p>
Can i cut steel with this torch
<p>I cannot imagine cutting with it. Some do cut with an arc welder. The process involves running a relatively very high amperage on a relatively thin electrode. You get an arc started and push the rod through the puddle. Then you use a sawing motion to blow molten metal downward. I have not really tried it, but you are supposed to have a bed of sand below to catch the globules of hot steel. You go through a lot of electrode very quickly. I would use an angle grinder with a cutting wheel to cut whenever possible. </p><p>It is possible to blaze with a carbon arc torch, but there is a dirty rust colored residue that comes off of the torch and onto the metal. Some press thin sheet metal together, ground it, and hold one carbon rod against the sheet metal to spot weld. I did not succeed in making it work. It might be worthwhile to see if there are any helpful videos on YouTube. I read these things in a book by Forney, who makes welders.</p>
<p>can someone recommend what size of carbon rod and current for 220 ac welder.im planning to weld the floor pan for my Bug.thanks</p>
How are your planning to weld the floor pan in a VW Bug? Are you using carbon rods to make a hot flame that you use like an oxy-acetelyne torch to make filler metal fuse with the parent metal? Are you pressing carbon rods from both sides like a spot welder? Are you using a carbon arc flame to braze? Are you repairing something that tore? Are you making butt joints, or overlapping pieces of metal? Are you using a backing plate of copper or aluminum to minimize burning through?
Is #4 jumper cable alright to use
<p>I am sure it would be fine. </p>
I have 2 pieces of 3/8 rod 7 inch is that too heavy
<p>if you are using 3/8 inch carbon rods you will need to set the welder to a higher amperage in order to get a good flame. But, otherwise, y can use them.</p>
I have made my 220 arc torch
Can i use a shorter length of wire and instead of fering strip can i use 1x1 wood
<p>you need enough cable or wire to allow you to move freely. That can come from wire on the carbon arc torch or the welder cables to which it connects. </p><p>You might be able to use wood from 1 x 1. The voltage from the welder is relatively low, so you do not need to be concerned about the dielectric qualities of thinner wood. Whatever you use for hinges needs to fit the 1 x 1.</p>
<p>you need enough cable or wire to allow you to move freely. That can come from wire on the carbon arc torch or the welder cables to which it connects. </p><p>You might be able to use wood from 1 x 1. The voltage from the welder is relatively low, so you do not need to be concerned about the dielectric qualities of thinner wood. Whatever you use for hinges needs to fit the 1 x 1.</p>
Can u send my reply to joe.alves25@yahoo.com please
I'm using 1/4 inch carbon rods what would I use for amps can i use the arc torch to bend 1/4 inch flat stock
Around 80 to 90 amps should do fine, y can get the flame quite close to the steel, but you need to keep the flame moving. If it stays in one place a little too long, a molten spot forms on the surface of the steel and leaves a little crater. Those can be annoying, especially for the sake of appearance. Also, be careful that the steel you are heating does not close a circuit with the current from the welder. It is easy to touch the steel with one of the carbon rods. And, do not be in a hurry. The steel will bend quite easily when it is hot enough.
Is it possible to burn out the welder with this carbon torch in any way
<p>I cannot imagine that. Carbon arc torches were made commercially for use with welders. Even now there is a process called back gouging. It uses a carbon arc rod. </p>
All I have is a 225 welder
Your welder is more than adequate. Do be aware of the duty cycle, usually that means running the welder continuously for too long will cause it to overheat, and probably to shut down. If the duty cycle is 20% the welder should cool for 8 out of every 10 minutes.
<p>isn't number 10 wire a tad thin? It is rated for a max of 55 amps. Using 1/4&quot; rods will use just under 100 amps. I am considering number 8 wire for this.</p>
That's for your comment. In practice, the #10 stranded wire has worked out well. I use currents quite a bit less than 100 amps. I have never noticed any signs the wires are overheating. #8 is a good choice.
A carbon arc torch is something I've wanted for my AC stick welder......<br><br><br>I did have an idea though.....<br><br>a couple of cheap stick electrode holders fixed together with a hinge and a spring.....<br><br>you then have a slightly more refined carbon arc torch! :)
Your version will be more expensive to make and will be heavier for your hand to hold and control.
I know it would be a bit more expensive to make (the cheap electrode holders are less than &pound;10 each)....<br><br>http://www.thewelderswarehouse.com/Welding/200amp_Crocodile_Type_Electrode_Holder2.html<br><br>I dont know if they are more expensive in the US though......<br><br><br>but apart from a hinge and a spring of some form, its all that would be needed.......<br><br><br>as for the weight, I'm not sure it would be heavy......<br>the budget electrode holders arent heavy as most of the material is plastic......<br><br><br>I'm definitely going to make a carbon arc torch though.....<br><br>I'd eventually like to use it for welding aluminium plus brazing of various metals...<br><br><br>is it possible to simply use aluminium TIG welding rods for filler material?<br><br>aluminium welding is the one thing I always seem to need, but I currently havent got the tools to do so (I cant afford a TIG capable of aluminium welding, and my MIG is configured for steel.....)
I know this is three years late, but, did you find that the cheap holders didn't have the staying capacity? And I would have thought they might not have the strentgh for 1/4 Carbon to be held firmly enough?
check out harbor frieght tools .com . not the best quality gear but if yr on a budget go thier.
In the US I have seen electrode holders for about $15. As I remember the Pound is around $2 plus, so maybe around seven Pounds. <br><br>I have no experience with welding aluminum or with using a TIG. I have read about both and watched some videos on YouTube, but that is about all. I am not much help to you. <br><br>I would be interested in seeing a photo when you get your carbon arc torch ready to use and to hear a report on how it works for you.
I think I'll make up a basic one from scraps (similar to yours) to see how I get on with it....<br><br>if it works out, I'll make a nicer one (which will also allow me to correct any errors/problems)<br><br>I've never welded aluminium due to not having the right setup, and I've never used a TIG welder due to costs.....<br><br><br>although, I am planning an alternator welder, which will become a DC TIG welder.......<br><br>but once I've built a carbon arc torch, and had a go with it, I will indeed post an update of how I got on with it.......
hey to the gentle who looking a microwave transformer np im sitting on to of them i can send u 1 np
still have 1 atm out of the unit an another still ing the unit.
G'day Phil, many thanks for your excellent tutorial. I'v long wondered about a cheap heating solution to allow me to harden custom cutting tools; adapting the little stick welder for the job is of course perfect. Just finished mine, haven't experimented with it too much just yet, but seems to work great. I'm running 8mm rods on a 150amp welder. I find at this early stage that the arc has to be extremely small which is a little tricky--I dare say that perhaps a gutsier welder would allow a wider arc/greater heating area. Or maybe, 6mm electrodes and rebuilding another one with thinner diameter rod? Not sure, just a bit of conjecture.
I thought I left a reply to your comment, but it does not appear, even after refreshing the page. Thank you for making a carbon arc torch. It looks really good. I have been able to heat and bend steel rod up to around 13mm (1/2 inch) using 6mm carbon rods (1/4 inch) at around 90 amps on my big 230 volt welder. I generally get an arc at least the diameter of a finger. I have some 8mm (3/8 inch) carbon rod, but the metal tubes on my torch are too small for them. I could weld larger tubes parallel to the existing tubes. Try clamping some 6mm carbon rod inside your existing torch tubes and see how that works. Thank you, again.
A picture
Is it possible to make a fairly precise cutting tool without having to crank the up welder and blow through welding rods on this type of welder? I'm looking for some fairly clean edges and not molten globs. The only option I can see is a gas setup to do the cutting. On this inst...I like the ability to heat and bend that will make some projects I have in mind a lot easier to complete!
The only precise methods for cutting metal: - waterjet (expensive tooling) - special saw (band or circular like the Evolution saws) for straight cuts The melting or combustion tools like plasma cutting or arc leave always molten globs to finish.
Not if the process is set up correctly. I use a oxy-propadine torce on a regular basis and it leaves a very clean edge.
What you are referring to is carbon-arc cutting. Essentially you use a stream of compressed air to blow through the puddle. It produces a lot of sparks and is a very messy cut.<br><br>You would be far better off using a plasma torch or a gas cutting torch.

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Bio: I miss the days when magazines like Popular Mechanics had all sorts of DIY projects for making and repairing just about everything. I am enjoying ... More »
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