Picture of Cheap Welding for Punks
Cheap homemade welders compared: AC stick, DC stick, DC spoolgun. Oxyfuel discussion.

Welding is usually the easiest and quickest way to build something.
You just put the parts next to each other and weld them.
You don't have to drill bolt holes and go to the hardware store for bolts.
Metal doesn't split like wood. It doesn't have grain and knots that make every piece different.
You can get all kinds of scrap metal for free. Bed frames, parts of old cars, etc etc.
And you can make your own welder for free or close to it.

Don't have access to a welder? LIAR!! All it takes is some junk car batteries and a welding rod.
Or some dead microwave ovens to butcher for the transformers.
Make your own industrial revolution!

Make these welders yourself!
AC stick welder,
DC stick welding with car batteries
wirefeed spoolgun with car batteries
Solar powered battery welder

This instructable is my "table of contents" for welding projects. When I do more projects I'll add more steps here to link to them.
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Step 1: Welding With Books!

Picture of Welding With Books!
The most important welding tool is... INFORMATION.
Whenever I screw up a weld, I go look up how I should have done it. Sure enough, there's a proper polarity, current, feed rate, shielding gas/flow rate, flux etc for the weld. I do it that way, and suddenly I'm a great welder.

No matter how many welding books I get, I need them all. There's some kind of Japanese-style collusion between publishers to distribute the information between all the books. None of them have all the information you need. Every book will add a lot of information the others don't have. They also tend to devote a lot of space to info you'll never need, like how to weld train tracks using an automated submerged-arc machine.

The Miller online welding calculators are really good, especially for something like TIG that has 5 or 6 different parameters.

Hello Tim,

I enjoyed your article, but I must point out one minor flaw. Acetylene is great for welding not only because of the high heat but also it's shielding properties for the weld puddle. Propane should not be used to weld as it does not have the same shielding characteristics, and will result in porosity in the weld. PS: I use gas welding on darn near everything, especially motorcycle repair and bodywork. It is becoming a lost art but it does work great.

Steamdnt6 years ago
Along with the ventilation system, you should also drink a tall glass of milk after your finished welding,Don't know why but a well known welder told me that milk can be used as an antidote to the fumes.
PKM Steamdnt6 years ago
Something in milk (a quick google doesn't turn up the exact chemistry) helps absorb zinc from the bloodstream- zinc is thought to be the main cause of "welding fever". It seems like it's thought to be a decent treatment for some of the symptoms, but not a good replacement for having adequate ventilation and/or a respirator in the first place. Also, of course, I have no idea if it does anything about other nasties like manganese, chromium, aluminium etc...
bowakowa PKM6 years ago
Heavy metal salt ions are very reactive in solution, attacking the proteins of your body. The milk gives it proteins to attack and pushes the reaction towards completion lowering the molarity of ions in solution to "attack"(read, react with) the body. You can't breathe milk, however, so a respirator and ventilation system is still a great idea, as stated before.
You could breathe through a hookah or bong, filled with milk. A respirator is probably easier and cheaper, albeit not as weird.

haha, bong filled with milk. thanks for the funny comment. So many ibles out there with endless safety discussions that add nothing to the ible. There should be a separate section for safety comments. At least that was a good laugh.

That's an interesting idea, but it doesn't make sense. The main protein from milk (casein) should not be crossing over into your blood stream. If it is you have far bigger problems than a case of welder's flu. The first stop is in the stomach, where the acidity causes the casein to curdle (as in cheese). At the same time enzymes (biological chemicals) break down casein into smaller pieces. The next stop is the duodenum where more digestive goo is mixed in causing further digestion. Things are pretty well mixed up and torn apart by then. Further enzymatic digestion occurs in the small intestine (to some extent), and absorption into the body occurs in the same structure. Your body pretty much maintain the same molarity of proteins, ions and other goodies at all times. There are exceptions to this, but they are rare. Your kidneys remove excess ions, waste products and some proteins. They also can remove water to maintain a constant osmotic pressure. In the end who knows why milk is said to help welding fever? Most of the welders I know tend to favor beer as a post work beverage. Perhaps the fact that they are NOT drinking beer is more important than drinking milk. Alcohol is a diuretic (which means that it causes your body to remove water than normal). Maybe it is because you are not out with your friends drinking away and rather resting is more important (not too many bars sell large glasses of milk.) Maybe it is more important to maintain hydration? Working in areas with poor ventilation suggests cramped quarters that may be hot. This is the great thing about science. We can (well theoretically, poisoning people isn't exactly an ethical thing to do) test all of this scenarios and find an answer.
Not 100% sure if you were responding to me or not, but I felt obliged to point out that I mean milk drank specifically after ingesting heavy metal. They are in the same physical location, and don't need to travel anywhere.
I was writing in response to you. The various metals you are describing are inhaled, as they are in fume form. Some may dissolve in the saliva during the brief time it is in the nasal/mouth system in the way to the lungs. But as a whole, you'll breathe it in and that's the real problem. So...unless you breathe milk I'd say it wouldn't work :-)
Seriously, are you kidding? Did you not read my initial post before you replied? Because that is exactly what I said.
Dec 9, 2008. 1:49 PM
You can't breathe milk, however, so a respirator and ventilation system is still a great idea, as stated before.

Yes...I saw that post. I did think it was funny.

Dec 12, 2008. 11:38 AM
Not 100% sure if you were responding to me or not, but I felt obliged to point out that I mean milk drank specifically after ingesting heavy metal. They are in the same physical location, and don't need to travel anywhere.

This is what I was responding to in the follow up post. That's why I placed it underneath your drinking milk to stop welder's flu bit. You specifically stated that the metal salts are in the same location as your digestive tract. I was trying to point out that's not where you find them (in your digestive tract.)

Dec 13, 2008. 4:04 PM
Seriously, are you kidding? Did you not read my initial post before you replied? Because that is exactly what I said.

Yes, I was kidding. Yes, I did read your previous posts. I was responding to you saying that there was a specific answer to why the drink milk business might work.

Why I answered this question
I thought it was a good idea to offer a counterpoint. I would hate to think anyone might try to weld some metal that off-gassed a zinc compound AND then drink milk to prevent sickness. I doubt that it would work.

I wanted to encourage people to use proper equipment, and why folk treatments are a bad idea in this case. I can see in some bizarre situations how drinking milk might help, but it is far more likely that your kidneys would handle clean up. Heavy metals are secreted in urine, not through the digestive track. Your kidneys have to deal with the effects of osmotic changes AND high concentrations of toxic metals.
I will happily play the unwitting windmill to your Quixote in this strange, online morality play, as long as the moral at the end is "be safe". *("Be excellent to each other" was also an acceptable answer. -Alex T.)
sigh... I agree, let's be safe. Use a mask. Have the milk for cookies, not for welding maladies. "Weld unto others as you would weld unto them" - Iron Jesus Gospel of Alchemy
I am wondering why no one ever told me that welding fumes are dangerous. I used to work assembly and packaging at a metal shop, and over time I started operating a welding robotic arm full time and doing some small welding jobs from time to time within the company. So I never took any official classes or training, but over time just started being around the welding constantly. I learned quickly to keep my helmet down to protect my eyes and skin from sunburn, but no one ever told me the fumes were dangerous. Are all welding fumes dangerous, or only certain types?
YOU ARE GOING TO DIE! Well, it depends on a lot of things, but the best guess is sometime in your 80s at this point. You had a crappy health and safety program at your work. They should of supplied proper safety training and products. That said, Republican administrations tend to "relax" regulations on employee safety. It's the whole "small government" philosophy. This isn't a political statement of mine, but one that is platform of the Republican Party. One of the most infamous cases was the mine collapses in the last couple of years. You don't have to rescind the rules. Instead you cut the number of inspectors to an area. The other thing an administration can do is make it less expensive to appeal an infraction (lower fines, more time for compliance, etc.) Economics can be a really neat thing to study. I don't wear a tie (hate them) and I drive a beat up car. There are a lot of real world consequences from elections and political ideology.
I know stainless if overheated will put out zinc oxide, which shouldn't be breathed. I just bought a small book on welding, as I'm just learning, but haven't had time to read it, as I've just finished finals yesterday. If I turn anything up, I'll share.
TimAnderson (author)  ceramiceye6 years ago
I took a couple welding classes, and I don't recall ever being warned about it. Certainly I never wore a respirator in class or saw a welder wearing one.
Stick and fluxcore fumes are bad, and some others. I think gas on steel is fine.
My metal comes from junk, so there's always some finish to grind off or get burned in the weld, either way there's crap in the air. I'm really glad to know how to make my own gas mask now.

Steamdnt PKM6 years ago
Thats why is said "along with", I never intended someone to think differentley.
PKM Steamdnt6 years ago
Good point- it was just your phrase "an antidote to the fumes" sounded a bit general.
Even better is to not let that stuff get into you in the first place. A decent respirator is not that expensive.

Great work.

Nice work.

Extra ordinary Work.

Very nice

Fabulous work.

GeoNOregon2 months ago

Hi Tim,

Above, you said, "Get the free manual for gas cutting/welding from the welding supply shop." Did you mean that as, ' get a free manual from a shop', or were you talking about a particular manual you've mentioned elsewhere?


@ others buying used gas welding gear: I'm all for buying used & saving money on tools, but PLEASE be cautious. I've been gas welding for 45+ yrs, my first welding lesson was from Mom, (I was about 9-10 when I heard it told.)

Her & my aunt went to Texas during WWII & learned to weld, making boxcars. One day, in the adjoining shop, there was an explosion. She went to see what happened & got 2-3 steps into the shop before turning back due to smoke & fumes. She put her hand on the door to push it open & felt something wet & soft.

When she looked, it was brain tissue of one of the workers from the adjoining shop.

Acetylene is unstable, that's why tanks and gas are expensive. Gauges/regulators/torches are precision, delicate instruments. Combine oxygen & acetylene in an enclosed space & you have a bomb.

Gauges/regulators/torches can be tested with compressed air & soapy water for leaks. Either figure out how to do it, or pay someone. Also, don't use cracked hoses or hoses with hose clamps or twisted wire for a clamp; hose ends should be crimped.

Your life is worth more than the few bucks you might save.


Superb work

Fabulous work.

great spot

cool work.

nice work.

nice one

MuskanSingh2 months ago

cool work.


superb one.

BlackmagicSpt2 months ago

really nice

LoveMarriage2 months ago

superb work.

Extra ordinary Work.

KirpalSingh2 months ago

Super cool

Nice Work Great Job sir.

VoodooSpells2 months ago

great spot

SunilKmar2 months ago

good work/.

varunkmar2 months ago

good work/

Yuvrajsingh2 months ago

Fabulous work.

Rahulkmar2 months ago

nice work.

haiders2 months ago

Fabulous work.

elizazet3 months ago


good work

nice work.

very nice work

good one work.

Vashikaran3 months ago

Superb collection.

Nice one collection

its a nice

very nice work i like this work.

nice work.

good one.

nice job.

great work..

great spot

Nice Work Great Job sir.

This looks affordable

Awesome DIy Loved it

great work..

nice collectin dude

i love with your job

its works is very nice..

great stuff

This work is nice.

freddyjefrie5 months ago


johnsonpaul6 months ago

nice collectin dude

great work

GrahamAbbey7 months ago

i totally love this work....

Rejanblink8 months ago

cant get the solar powered battery shipped to my place :-(

Cringojames8 months ago

This is amazingly useful and affordable

Davementor8 months ago

great stuff

StevenMccan8 months ago

This looks affordable

KanwarSingh9 months ago

awesome work buddy .........keep it up :)

HarryLaine9 months ago

just one word-epic :)!!!!!!!!

indiadumbells9 months ago

Great tut sir

awesome stufff

Alexisanchez10 months ago


Alexisanchez10 months ago


nice 1

Vashikaranwife11 months ago

this is really cool

Clint Dempey11 months ago


etcmn1 year ago

Nice, thanks for the comparison of the different types.

Hi I got 7 different sized welding tips, 2 cutting torches, 2 sets of hoses all for under $30 at various garage sales, thrift stores and from friends done with 'em. (Mostly from yard sales). A lot of the time the Mrs. is running the sale and the Mr. put some stuff out and as I am a woman too there is usually some gabbing, then a sale for them, and welding equip for me! Everyone's happy! It just takes looking around. The hoses I got at Habitat for Humanity Resale store and 1 at Good Will. Oh and Tim have you tried guitar strings yet (for filler rod)? I love your experimentation and your obvious love of creativity!
cherze2 years ago
aluminum welding produces a very harmful smoke for your lungs. You must use a respiratory mask that brings pushed air from at least a few feets away.
1 lung full of hydrogen + 1 electric arc = many pieces of TimAnderson scattered around the countryside ... love the instructable though.
DeanGPotts2 years ago
i genuinely fear for your life!! ... but i love this project and may give it a try real soon.
skaar2 years ago
i have a mig welder, 120v plug in thing, takes more amps than the circuits in my apartment allows, so it's sitting there. it's dc output, and i've got plans to bypass the transformers to make it dc input. finding a schematic has been a tad less than easy, and i'm not up enough on electronics to figure out all the details, mostly being chicken to break something, can't afford to replace much.
so, maybe there's a generic method for finding out where the dc output is from the power supply, the heavy duty stuff is unfamiliar, and i'd guess these things are generic enough that all are familiar.
intended power source is car battery with small charger motor/windmill through alternator, that i'm more comfy with.
eric m6 years ago
Gas welding costs too much. I really don't understand the reason that torches and regulators cost at least $150. Don't forget tanks that cost another $200. And it seems less and less people are gas welding. Someone needs to make a cheap torch and rig for like $50 but i haven't seen them. Maybe someone from instructables could make a cheaper alternative homemade torch. Need less costly regulators too.
skrubol eric m3 years ago
Tanks are expensive as well because of the pressure the O2 tank has to deal with and storing Acetylene isn't as simple as just compressing it and putting it in a tank (I believe there is a liquid in acetylene tanks usually for the acetylene to absorb into.) This, I assume, is why I've never seen disposable acetylene tanks.

You can get an oxy-mapp welding setup for around $50. It's utter crap, but it can be used to weld. The regulators are.. not, they're just needle valves and it uses disposable o2 and mapp tanks. Disposable o2 tanks get expensive really quickly though, as they aren't as high pressure as the refillable kind. It's a false economy unless you only use it for a few minutes (how long an o2 tank lasts) per year.
yeah, acetylene tanks are full of cardboard soaked in acetone. another useless fact courtesy yours truly.
I know im really late posting. sorry.
its not cardboard, but close. i have an acetylene tank that my welding teacher cut in half without dying somehow (i havent asked him how he did it, and he did it before i joined the class) but inside the tank is a chalky white substance that you can poke with a bit of force using your finger nail and it will leave a permanent indentation, and if you drag your finger on it it feels like really textured drywall. the acetylene absorbs into this material to provide stability (acetylene is EXTREMELY unstable and wants to explode when disturbed).
Jake-off eric m3 years ago
Actually I was watching a tv show recently called stuck with hackett, this hobo looking man goes around building amazing things out of complete junk. One invention was a make shift gas torch out of an old water filter, and surgical tubing. Its not exactly safe but if you're still interested I'd look into it
I know I am almost 3 years late, But today I bought an Oxy/Acetylene Kit for $89.00 + 20% off, From HF. It is ofcourse chinese, but it honestly works the same as my Victor Oxy/Acetylene. It came with Hoses, Regulators, Cutting, and Soldering Tips. Plus a Striker ans a pair of welding goggles, and a few rods. Total was $71.90
I am not trying to give a free commercial to them, but they have very cheap stuff, otherwise offensively expensive.
pfred2 eric m5 years ago
Cheap gas rigs are in a word, cheap! Nothing worse than gauges that creep, and when I am playing with explosive gasses the last thing I want to think about is equipment failure. I like my Smiths gas welding equipment myself. My rig cost a couple grand. I've had the cheap stuff too.
benner81 eric m6 years ago
The regulators are the big cost, mostly because they have to reduce oxygen pressure from 3000 psi on a full tank to something like 30 psi for cutting. However, if you want to save money, you can buy a pretty decent gas setup at Harbor Freight for around $100 (on sale, which is like every five weeks or so) and some gas companies will let you rent tanks for less than 50 cents a day (plus the cost of gas).
Dr Qui3 years ago
Do these methods work for thrash metalers goths and emos or just for punks?
piper12343 years ago
mm you never know when you gonna need to weld rail tracks with a submarined arc weld.... or how was it? :P haha ;) thanks for the info, blessings
gold035 years ago
The battery welding technique is used in the field by guys who are four wheeling, and break stuff off their truck like shocks or springs. I have seen a drive shaft repaired in the field using exhaust tubing and batteries. 

This is an emergency fix to get you back to civilization where a nice, neat, strong repair can be made.

Everyone who wanders the earth, should know this particular skill.
abadfart gold035 years ago
iv seen it done with a spare alternator for work on remote areas 
skaar abadfart3 years ago here's a setup that uses an alternator...
reinlar3 years ago
I have a Lincoln flux core welder too. My wire feed can be set to zero, so I'm planing to skip the over-ride switch you call for and just make a thick rubberband from a bicycle tire tube (about 1" wide) to hold the standard hand switch to the "on" position. One less step to do, then add a single standard welding lead attaching plug to the cabinet, to stick my cable and electrode holder into (that came from an old Lincoln Buzz-box welder). So, rubber-band, one extra outlet on the cabinet, = combo stick and wire-feed welder ! TAAA-DAAH !!!

Now I'm wondering if I could attach a cheap TIG hand-grip and gas cable, use the accessory MIG (gas-shielded) kit which I bought to turn this flux-core into a real gas MIG, and do some TIG welding??? Could this be possible??? Anyone out there done it before??? I suppose the only real challenge would be heat control, but maybe a by-pass circuit could allow use of a standard foot pedal. Ideas anybody???

Thanks, for the great instructable Tim. You may have inspired my to build the worlds cheapest FLUX-MIG-TIG-Stick Welder !!!

BTW- I'm also working on a cheap wire-feed gun using a standard battery-powered drill
chuckyd3 years ago
The discussion about the number of days required to pay for a helment is irrelevant. The real question is how many days will be spent in the hosptial recovering from a burned face received from the newspaper, and will he ever see again after burning his eyeballs?
steamer5513 years ago
alumaweld is the easiest way to weld aluminus together. You just need a propane or map torch. ey also have rods for welding bronze and brass.
Reeper6 years ago
so, can you make nice welds with that gun. when you start welding your wire is about 2 inches out of the electrode, it is suggested to be about 3/8 to 1/2 max or it makes those globes that you can see in the video. I dont know if your ticketed or not but the welds didn't look too sweet, but the welding off of batteries is a cool idea. Whats the duty cycle so you don't blow the batteries up?
TimAnderson (author)  Reeper6 years ago
I learned a few things after making the welds in that video. One or two loose spatters seem to come off even when I'm in the zone. Sometimes I use anti-spatter spray (lecithin). Quality of surface and wire seem to matter. The expensive stuff (harborfreight) seemed to be a bit better than the supercheap stuff I'm using now. What's your favorite brand? Maybe I'll try .035" now that I'm a bit handier with it. Batteries are juicy. A T105 golf cart battery stores a bit over 200 amp hours and can deliver it at electric car amperages. I don't have the table handy, but you can weld like you're driving uphill in a car that weighs 5000 lbs. More than you can with a buzzbox.
i frequent the origamiboat yahoogroup, and the old hands/farts say that to weld aluminum you crank the amps, move fast, the weld sounds like you're spraying, and you get perfect welds every time. i've been meaning to take up welding again, and was wondering, since it's been a while, if there's a particular sound that properly done steel welding makes.
icej75 skaar3 years ago
It should sound like frying bacon when you're in the zone.
off topic from your Instructable, do you think that non spatter spray works?
Downcount5 years ago
Great instructible! i myself use a hydro-oxy torch for small things, but i like the many different ways you can arc weld!

lol btw i went to a so-called "expert HHO welding" site yesterday and they called gas torches a "Settling torch". Obviously not expert enough to know that it's an Acetylene torch.
Some fabrication shops use Propane and oxygen torches, because it is cheaper. But it doesn't cut as well as Oxy-acetylene.
Hycro Downcount4 years ago
I'm thinking maybe buddy was spelling it how he pronounces it? A few "old-timers" that I know pronounce it as "a settling torch" because it's so similar to acetylene in sound (and much easier to spell:P)
trip08845 years ago
Call me a noob, but I haven't welded since I was 12 years old.  My old man had an old stick welder that he let me use as a kid. I don't remember if it was AC or DC (for some reason I think you could switch it--if that's possible). Also, I don't recall if it was 110 or 220V...that was about 13 years ago.  I remember all the PPE stuff (as that was stressed), how to lay a decent bead, and stressing them.  What I'd really like to know is what type of welder would be best for my needs. I want to weld some heavy gauge steel for a plow, but would also like the welder to be versatile enough for some shop work on lighter gauge metals for building tool racks and artwork. Suggestions/help please?
If you want to weld things about as thick as bed rails (angle iron or unistrut) you need 1/16" 6013 electrodes (these are AC) and the welder needs a dial so you can set it at 45 to 55 amps.  Above this current you destroy the steel, or else you overheat the rod.  These are very difficult welds and it takes LOTS of practice.  6011 and 6013 are very different rods.  6013 are much easier and can be bought at harbor freight.  Don't confuse 6011 and 6013!

If you want to weld heavy gauge things (like your plow), you need 1/8" 7018 (these are DC).  Normally, AC/DC welds with 1/8" rods are 95 amps, but 7018 rods use 115 amps (95 is much too low), so welding is fast and pleasant, but super hot.

At 115 amps, lots and lots of heat is made.  You should use at least 7018 for anything that needs very high strength.

So you should get a 110/220 volt welder that does both AC and DC.  You can wire the machine's plug for either a 110 plug or a 220 plug.  If you go the 110 route, you can't weld with any rods thicker than 1/16.  3/32 rods are too thick (not enough current out of a 110v box, and may destroy angle iron).  You can't weld angle iron well with 1/8 rod (too much current needed to melt the rod - metal gets destroyed), so it you don't need 220 for most projects.

A good rule of thumb: Rod should be no thicker than 1/2 the width of the metal you are welding.  1/16" on angle iron.  1/8" on 1/4" (or thicker) plate.

If you go the 220 route, be sure the welder can be turned down to 40 to 55 amps, else it is too hot to be used for thin stuff.  Above 120 amps is also useless, as pretty much any steel you will encounter as a hobby can be welded at 115 amps with 7018 rod.

My recommendation is to buy a cheap harbor freight 110v AC welder for thin things and make all your thin stuff with that.  Then buy a 220 volt welder for the jumbo stuff.  That way, you can set the 120v welder at the perfect current for the 1/16" rods and set the 220v welder at the perfect current for the 1/8" rod.  Switching the current back and forth is surprisingly time consuming and the 110 welder is probably what you will use 90% of the time.  If you spend $500 on a 220v unit, that's great, but you are likely going to end up rolling the current down to 50 amps and so the $75 harbor freight "el cheapo" unit is what I use almost exclusively for my fun welding projects.
Excellent guide, thanks. I will save it as .txt in my PC for later consult.

Google Translateado al Spanish y algo retocado:

Si desea soldar cosas tan gruesas como las barandillas de la cama (hierro ángulo o Unistrut) necesita electrodos 6013 de 1/16 " (se trata de CA) y la soldadora necesita un selector para que se pueda programar a 45 a 55 amperios. Por encima de esta corriente Ud. destruirá el acero, o si no, recalentará el electrodo. Estas son soldaduras muy difíciles y se necesita MUCHA práctica. Los electrodos 6011 y 6013 son muy diferentes. Los 6013 son mucho más fáciles y se pueden comprar en un Harbor Freight (negocio de herramientas económicas). No confunda 6011 con 6013!

Si desea soldar cosas de calibre grueso (como un arado), usted necesitará electrodos 7018 de 1/8" (estos son para corriente directa). Normalmente, las soldaduras AC/DC con electrodos de 1/8" son a 95 amperios, pero los electrodos 7018 usan 115 amperios ( 95 es demasiado poco), por lo que la soldadura es rápida y agradable, pero súper caliente.

A 115 amperios se genera mucho, mucho calor. Usted debería utilizar al menos electrodos 7018 para cualquier cosa que necesite muy alta resistencia mecánica.

Así que usted debería conseguir una soldadora de 110/220 voltios que funcione tanto para CA como para CC. Usted puede enchufar la máquina, ya sea a 110 o a 220 V.

Si usted elige 110 V, no puede soldar con electrodos más gruesos que 1/16 (1.6mm). Los de 3/32 (2.3mm) son muy gruesos (no obtendrá suficiente corriente de una máquina de 110V, y puede destruir el hierro ángulo). No se puede soldar bien hierro ángulo con electrodo de 1/8 (es necesaria demasiada corriente para fundir el electrodo - el metal se destruye), por lo que no necesitará 220 para la mayoría de los proyectos.

Una buena regla general: El electrodo no debe ser más grueso que la mitad del grosor del metal que está soldando. 1/16" en el hierro ángulo. 1/8" en placa de 1/4" o más grueso.

Si usted elige 220 V, asegúrese de que la soldadora pueda ser regulada a 40 a 55 amperios, de lo contrario estará demasiado caliente para ser usada para cosas finas. Por encima de 120 amperios es también inútil, ya que casi cualquier acero que se encontrará como un hobby puede ser soldado a 115 amperios con electrodo 7018.

Mi recomendación es comprar en un negocio de mercancías baratas una soldadora de 110v CA para las cosas finas y hacer todas las cosas finas con ella. Y luego comprar una soldadora de 220 voltios para las cosas grandes. De esta forma, Ud. puede establecer la soldadora de 110V para electrodos de 1/16" y la de 220V para electrodos de 1/8". Cambiar la corriente de un voltaje a otro insume sorprendentemente mucho tiempo, y la soldadora de 110V es probablemente lo que va a utilizar el 90% del tiempo. Si usted gasta $500 en una unidad de 220v, eso es genial, pero es probable va a acabar rodando la corriente a 50 amperios y por eso la soldadora "barata" de $75 es lo que uso casi exclusivamente para mis divertidos proyectos de soldadura.
Thanks for the in depth reply. I plan on taking your advice concerning the el cheapo stuff, and appreciate the rule of thumb reminder.  I guess my projects will be the true test!
6013 works for DC just fine. It's all I've ever used for it. 6011 is a deep penetrating rod that works that must be used with a whipping motion, and 7018 is a low hydrogen rod that must be kept in a rod oven to keep out moisture.
Is 6013 DC negative or positive?

I never really go to the "whipping" thing, because the rod had so many sticking issues. It always seemed to fight.

I am not sure how a "deep penetrating" 6011 rod works on metal that is 1/8" thick or thinner. It doesn't seem like 1/8" metal even has a "deep". Maybe 6011 is only useful on thick metal with 1/8" rod? 1/16" 6011 electrodes (multiple brands) caused me a lot of grief as a new welder. When I switched to 6013, most of my problems went away. It was like night and day.

My theory is 6013 is a sort of "sweet spot" for thinner angle iron welded with 1/16" electrodes on cheap AC welders. It was sort of like finding jack's magic beans, it was that much an improvement. Considering AC welders are so much simpler and cheaper than DC, and 6013 is the only 1/16" rod my local harbor freight carries, everything really came together, and that doesn't usually happen when I am making things.
abose894 years ago
Sir, between this project and your home made gas mask, you are f$*king insane, and if I ever meet you I'd love to shake your hand :-)
I didnt know that you can get sunburn from welding till its to late lol.
darnocpdx6 years ago
Yeah the glasses would probably prevent flash burn (temporary eye damage), but in the long run they're all blind...if they survive the fire that transpires on their face when the paper ignites. I know I've caused my fair share of fires while welding.
That is why all good Chinese welders use the yellow pages and I don't mean out of the phone book either!
twotowner4 years ago
Nice overview of the welding technologies. I am seriously going to have to try that reducing flame trick!

Gas is expensive, but if you keep your eye on the used equipment market, you can reduce the cost. (I got extremely lucky, full gas rig for nothing when I found it cleaning out my mother in law's place.)

I would like to add that a welding book I bought warns against using coat hangers for filler since it is typically the poorest quality steel the manufacturer can find.
I was hoping to make some bed rails like these: Is it even worth the effort?
Oh Cc'mon......nothing like adspooge to clutter up someone else'd gig.
The answer of course is a resounding YES, totally worth it to make this kind of thing yourself and not waste time and money buying a gate for Grama's bedside.
wackyvorlon6 years ago
Bear in mind: Welding with AC is much harder than welding with DC.
y is that?
The polarity is changing sixty times per second, so the arc is constantly stop and reestablishing itself. Makes the whole thing vibrate and the arc is very hard to keep going.
that's a massive overstatement! both kinds of welding are easy.
Not if you need a code weld.
and that is
If you have to make a weld that is legally "safe", like on a bridge or a pressure tank, you have to follow a code like the building code.
i agree with iBurn because anybody welding a bridge or a tank or things of that sort will have exp and probly store bought welders
And much more importantly, certs.
In Canada, it is regulated by the CWB. It's a standard for weld quality and strength. Pressure vessel welds are regulated by the TSSA. Until my tickets lapsed, I was ticketed in two positions for the CWB, and all-position for pressure welds.
...In all fairness...if you're doing a code weld, you PROBABLY aren't using these methods...
Depends on your local manciple power. You may be on a 50hz system like in the euro countries. You are correct though. After a person masters it, there isn't a problem getting and keeping it going. If you are to do a weld on something that really matters, one would use a dc welder or tig welder.
There is a patent of Nikola Tesla's that talks about rectification. This would allow higher currents with less loss from the semiconductors. US pat 413353, some of the illustrations are to show the idea rather than an industrial use.
yeah but remember that with DC you get arc blow which is pretty freakin' annoying
If you want to weld DC, look around for an SCR bank from a variable speed DC motor drive. I pulled one out of a dumpster and put the leads from an ancient Marquette (massive coils) through it. Best welder I've ever used and that includes a lincoln upright with foot pedal. The problem with small coil welders is the inrush current when an arc is struck. Put a capicator bank on them and they should work a lot better.
i find it easyer
me too i thin ac is easyier because no arc blow whick is fu_ _in annoying
brb1129884 years ago
if ur getting bad arc blow try taking the ground wire and wrapping the insulated part of the wire around the peice that you are welding and ground it out i dont know what it does but it seemed to work pretty good for me when i was in welding school
killerke4 years ago
Welding with is oldschool, that wath i think.
I've been schooled for 7 years in welding that is tested with RX pictures.
Most of it was welded with TIG(wig) and MIG/MAG

hedghawg715 years ago
I guess a severe Hot foot doesn't bother this OSHA nightmare in the pic. I was wearing my tennis shoes last summer when I was doing an emergency road side repair on my boat trailer to get it home and the sparks and other things that fly off of that tip burned thru the toe of my tennis shoes and smoked my foot pretty good. Normally when I am prepared to weld I got my engineer boots and starched jeans on and he has SANDALS on! Ouch!!!
haha, I used to wear flip flops and shorts when I was welding in high school. got some cool scars.
natcrazz4 years ago
Would you recommend welding for punks if the punk has no previous experience welding whatsoever? I have a basic knowledge of electricity (circuits, voltage, etc) and can do the math related, but I have relatively little practical experience. My intention is to spend the summer months with a friend teaching ourselves to weld with the many resources online and in books. With which type of welding would you suggest we start?
twhaley6 years ago
I welded my tonge to a flagpole once, on a dare.
Uhhhhh, how precisely?
 The pee from their body would easily be warm enough to melt the frost sticking your tongue onto the flagpole and the bond would be broken.
I was asking twhaley but oh well.
 Oh, oops.
static twhaley6 years ago
Do you know getting someone to pee on your tongue, would "unweld" it?
MrRodrigez5 years ago
well you can make a decent low-temp welds with a few couplers, a regulator and a mapp blowtorch and small oxygen tank.. but thats just me
kill-a-watt6 years ago
Scary. That poor guy has a sheet of newspaper to keep the UV rays from giving him sunburn. Are those sunglasses UV proof? Dark enough?
He's supposed to be wearing a proper welding helmet. A sunburn from welding hurts like you wouldn't believe.
I can and have had to believe
I wonder how much a proper welding helmet costs over there? My auto-darkening solar powered Chinese import cost less than a day's wages to me.
That's a very good question. Economists have a term called Purchasing Power Parity (PPP). Economists are also incredibly bad at teaching their ideas to others. It's almost like they try to make it impossible to learn by making it WAAAY to complicated or just too damned boring. A better way to word this question is: How days does it take to earn the same helmet in China? We know it took about a day to earn. You also make a lot more than the average Chinese worker. So it must take him more days worked to earn that helmet than it did you. There are a lot of ways that involve a lot of complicated and boring math. But probably the best way to say it is many, many days of work. Probably on the order of months of wages. Probably close to 7 months of wages. That is to say every penny he earns over 140 work days must go to the same helmet you bought for 1 day. He may also not appreciate the need for a good helmet. We have OSHA, which is a government body that regulates work place safety. He also has a lower educational background. And probably doesn't have any other choice.
I bet it's pretty safe to say that the Chinese version of a "welding helmet" (newspaper and reading glasses) probably cost a Chinese person about a day's wages. Now that's what I call parity! XD
The glasses are very expensive. What's even more important is the lack of knowledge (education) about the effects on his health. He also has few, if any options in his safety. Education is very important. Education means you have specialty skills. If you are specialized you can earn more. Education means you can make choices about your future, rather than be driven by your socio-economic past.
I have an auto-darkening helmet. The plain tinted lenses themselves are something like $7 each and they go into an ordinary plastic mask that could be improvised with locally available materials. Yet he doesn't even have that! Seriously, I'll bet I could make a welding helmet out of a large plastic food container. My brother recalls eating breakfast in a city in china by buying a huge pan-fried scallion-bread from one of many street venders for something like 3 cents.
That's 3 cents US I imagine. The dollar has a different value. The best way to look at it is the time worked it takes to earn a good. Look at it this way. Salaries in NYC tend to be higher than elsewhere in the nation. However it is also more expensive to live in NYC. Does it make sense to say that a loaf of bread costs more in NYC than it does in Thomasville, GA if they both take 20 minutes worth of work in a minimum hour wage job? It is your time that is being traded in the the end for your wages. Also, there may be differences in how a culture uses and produces products. Food consumption is very different in many Asian cultures than in the West. I noted your brother bought his breakfast. I also noted he bought it from a street vendor. The same bread may have cost 20 times more in a restaurant. This is do to overhead such as a restaurant, it's equipment, staff, upkeep, etc. As far as him making a helmet from scratch, why should he have that knowledge? I think that there's a stereotype that people in the developing nations are very clever and can do anything with a bit of know how and local materials. It's a romantic and false view. People in China are just like anyone else. There is division of labor. Some people work more in other fields because they have the education, social background, connections, geographic chance and many other variables. On that note, my close friend is from Beijing. One thing she cannot get over is how multi-talented Americans are. In her eyes we have the ability to do many things. I restore car as well as study economics. She is a finance professor and is just floored at the idea of people having so many skills. My neighbor was building a wall and she wanted to watch him do it. Again, she is use to people having a single job and that's that. Education is low in China. Illiteracy rates are high. A person has minimal training and tends not to be heavily invested in by a company. The capital (resources, training) a company provides can easily be poached by another company. There are no real "no compete" laws (or copyright.) This means that I can learn everything I need to from my parent company about production or whatever, quit and set up a company using my old employer's exact technology.
Astinsan6 years ago
I don't think the glasses would help even if they did block the uv. They need to block IR also. You can actually cook a contact lens to a eye in a second with a arc welder flash. I also recommend using clothing that is thick enough to block some of the light. I can remember having a arc burn tattoo of a t-shirt with a logo on it.
ps it cant burn a contact to ur eye its a myth promise.
Hollon Astinsan6 years ago
You obviously say that about contact lenses without knowing what you're talking about. I, who wear contact lenses, have looked at an arc for a second or longer without having them "cooked to my eyes". Not that I did this on purpose, but it has happened, and I came out with contacts that were still easily separated from my eyes. So please don't just repeat things you hear, without finding out if they are true or not.
Astinsan Hollon6 years ago
This was taught in a welding school. I didn't think to question it since it was an instructor.
Siphon Astinsan6 years ago
I think I can shed some light on the contact lens Issue here. Let me just state first that I am a Certified pipe welder.. and also a wearer of contact lenses. What actually happens that makes the contacts stick is getting welders flash. Welders flash is actually a sunburn that happens on the skin of your eye. When that happens your eyeball swells to deal with the pain creating a vacuum between the lens and your eye. Hence the rimer that the lens is fused to your eye which is not the case. Easiest ways to avoid it, (A) don't watch someone welding w/out a helmet, (B) if you think you got weld flash take your contacts out right away so they don't get vacuumed onto your eye. Removal of the contact after this occurs will also possibly remove the top layer of skin from your eye.
boderichie5 years ago
just wondering, but how do you adjust your voltage?
TimAnderson (author)  boderichie5 years ago
You can clamp to a different place on the battery pack. These are 6 volt batteries, so that lets you choose 12,18,24,30, or 36 volts.
pfred25 years ago
ha ha I have that black book on the bottom of the pile. A couple of others too not in that stack.
In case any were unaware, you can use that same aluminum stick welding rod to oxy-fuel weld. Try it, practice makes perfect.
Go by your local schools and ask if they have any broken desks. My school has a giant pile of them, their legs just rusting away... Well not really rusting, they're stainless steel. But you know what I mean.
jianqiang6 years ago
Loved the China welder pic :). I'm in China now and saw a dude squatting welding something on the ground. He just squinted his eyes.
okieman6 years ago
OK if you want to weld aluminum (with aluminum rod of course) remember that aluminum diffuses heat very quickly, so first take a torch and preheat the joint you want to weld on for a few minutes.(I suggest putting the work on a fire brick or some type of insulator so your table doesn't soak up all your heat)now you may have to play with it to get the right amount of heat. but the overall result is that the metal flows together much better.
scafool6 years ago
OH YES, and Tim, be real careful about sparks near the batteries when using them to burn stick like this. Hydrogen gas is generated in large enough amounts to provide dramatic explosion effects. (Battery parts and acid everywhere.)
Umm... Hydrogen gas is produced by overcharging batteries, not discharging them, yes? In the charging cycle, once the lead sulfates reconvert into sulfuric acid, the electrolyte begins to split through electrolysis, creating Hydrogen and Oxygen in sufficient quantities to explode. When discharging, the reaction produces lead sulfate and water, which is why a dead battery freezes quicker than a charged battery.
Yes, hydrogen is only generated during the charging process, though it is generated during *all* charging, not just overcharging.

I work for Exide Technologies (The world's oldest battery manufacturer!) and I can tell you we have had a few blue flame spouts from the hydrogen gas. We charge both in series and parallel, and when you have 150 batteries in a 30'x30' area, you learn to be real careful not to make sparks.

For most people, you probably wont be charging more than 3-5 batteries though, so the risk is minimal but still present. However this is why we say...
Always, ALWAYS wear safety glasses!!

Just two months ago, our newsletter featured an article on a driver who was loading junk cores at one of his stops and dropped a battery, causing acid that had pooled in the vent cap area to splash upwards and hit him in the eye. Despite rinsing it within 30-45 seconds of the incident, he did lose the vision in that eye. The acid in these batteries is the biggest risk when handling/charging them!!

The risk when charging batteries is that the gas builds pressure from accumulating inside the cells. Combustion is what you'd expect the danger to be (and it is a risk), but the hidden danger is from acid sitting in and around the vent caps (from tipping the battery, overfilling, etc.). As the pressure inside builds, it's very possible to be moving the batteries and break loose a pocket of gas that sprays acid.

Always carry batteries at waist level (not chest high), and before charging check to make sure you have not overfilled the batteries. Keep Windex (or other glass cleaner) handy, as it will neutralize and wash off acid that contacts your skin. Trust me when I say that if you've got any cuts/tears that get acid in them, you will be glad for the Windex!

That said, having charged thousands and thousands of batteries; from deep cycle, to orbitals/AGM, and enormous "Giant Lego" industrial batteries...flare ups of gas are rare, and easily avoided by having a fan to dissipate the gases, and being constantly alert and aware of where the current is at all times.

As long as you ALWAYS, ALWAYS wear safety glasses, you should have few troubles!
TimAnderson (author)  PerfectlySquare6 years ago
Great information! Do you have safety videos or other stuff you could post? other info none of us would know to ask about? I've heard of "lead foil" batteries as a promising new thing, but can't find good info online - any hints where to look? have you worked with them?
Yes, and to Astinsan the personal protection equipment and practices matter.

BUT remember that PPE is your last line of defence. Your first line of defence is to remove or control the hazard.

A problem with a lot of us is that familiarity breeds contempt.
When I began working as a carpenter the table saw scared the crap out of me. After 25 years of using one every day I ignored a basic safety principle and fed my table saw a finger.
(I am back to having a very healthy respect for safety measures.)

If these people claiming batteries only blow up when being charged maybe they can explain why so many car batteries explode when people are trying to start their engines.
The batteries in this case are being used as the source, not being charged.(no boosting involved)

Hydrogen is generated whenever there is a high current flow through the electrolyte (sulphuric acid in a car battery but large alkaline cells will produce hydrogen too).
This is true both in high amperage "quick" charging and when the batteries are under heavy load.
(A car engine being started usually draws from 80 amps to over 120 amps.)
Your welding batteries are likely supplying 70 amps or higher depending upon the welding rod you are using.
Burning heavier sticks means more current has to flow through them.
In addition to PPE the batteries should be in a ventilated battery box to prevent schrapnel if they do explode and protected from sparks.
The box does not need to be very elaborate, even an old cardboard one with a few holes in it would be a safety feature.

I am sorry, but as computers are a new thing to me I don't have any great videos or links.
There is a site called Battery Safety that has a page on this though.

I have blown up a couple of batteries in my life.
The first was a six volt battery in an older VW beetle. If you remember they were under the back seat. My friend had run the battery flat trying to start it. he asked for a boost and I agreed.
That battery exploded the moment I touched the second clamp to its terminals. (hence the advice to connect your ground to the car frame instead of the battery as your last connection)
Note that the battery was not been being charged but had been drawn down heavily.
It went of with a huge bang and sprayed battery parts and acid all over the inside of the bug and all over me.
It made quite an impression on a (at that time)young and inquiring mind.

I really have enjoyed reading your Instructibles, and except for this little bit about safety I have found no fault with any of them.

To repeat a question.
About how much bead will a couple batteries like you are showing allow you to run before they are unable to supply enough current or voltage?

Hey does excide do lift truck batteries? Energysystems can't seem to get me a instruction manual for proper service. Nobody seems to think about what happens when you over fill a battery. I am sick of going through it with them over and over. Do you know where I can download one?
forgot to say: I totally agree with you on safety equipment. PPE should be used with any and all acid or gel battery servicing and handling. I baffles me how someone who knows the dangers ignores the easiest form of protection. glasses. You don't really hear about the average joe running into these situations, its always the guy that works with the stuff all the time.
Batteries don't seem to care if they are being charged or discharged when they blow up.
"Theoretically, Hydrogen is only caused by an over-load current. So long as a rechargeable battery is close to full charged, the fed-in current (i.e., the charging current) will be converted into electrochemical energy. In fact, however, certain quantities of hydrogen and oxygen are generated in a rechargeable battery at any time, and that means both when charging and discharging - even when inoperative!"

They will produce gas when being discharged too, so play safe, shield them from sparks and ventilate.

Absolutely. That is correct. I was going to mention it, but I figured it wasn't worth it. I looked at it this way. Keep all sparks and flames away from batteries and you'll be safe.
salec6 years ago
To make battery a "current source", you need an inductor (with high enough current capability) in series with it. It will start slower, but it will have higher "open-circuit voltage".

Here's an untested, potentially dangerous // ! \\ idea:

I would try to use (unplugged, of course) welding transformer secondary as inductor, because it can handle the high current, but beware: in that case welder secondary becomes primary, boosting the voltage in its "secondary" (i.e. in welder's primary, the winding that normally goes onto mains), which may damage it (high voltage breakdown of windings isolation), or cause lethal electric shock if anyone touches the plug ("but it wasn't plugged anywhere!").

To be sure, one should measure the voltage on welder's output when it is plugged in, and divide it with mains voltage, in order to determine transformation ratio. High voltage generated on the plug contacts when using the secondary as inductor, should be approximately battery voltage multiplied by calculated transformation ratio. If that calculated voltage exceeds mains voltage, don't do it.

If the voltage doesn't exceed it, still make sure the mains plug is isolated - make a closed, isolated box with a blind mains socket and plug the welder's mains plug into it.
skrubol salec6 years ago
An inductor won't limit current (other than due to its coil resistance,) on DC. That only works with AC. The only passive element that will limit current with DC is a resistor. The inductor will limit current at arc strike (transitioning from no current to a DC current has an AC component,) so it may help in arc starting, and it may also help stability of the arc as it may reduce quick variations in current. The voltage on the primary may get very high when breaking the arc, as the secondary (inductor) will try to keep current constant as you break the arc, making voltage on both the primary and secondary spike.
salec skrubol6 years ago
Inductor will limit the change rate of the current, not the maximal magnitude of it, I agree with you on that. However, too high current will saturate the core (then it will be like you have no inductor in the circuit) or even damage the windings, therefore the current-handling requirement. My idea was to use that "current inertia" to help maintain the arc: if it is broken, the voltage in inductor-containing circuit will surge and cause re-establishment of the arc (voltage surge will cause sparking). I thought that was the point, the benefit of high open-circuit voltage mentioned in TFA.
skrubol salec6 years ago
Ok, gotcha. Inductor should help striking and maintaining the arc, just won't help much keeping heat consistent.
static salec6 years ago
I guess I don't see how this could boost the open circuit voltage of a battery based DC arc welder. The only time a current will induced in the transformer's primary is when the arc is struck or broken. The current induced at striking the arc will be relatively weak compare to the current induced when the arc is broken. The induced current will be stronger at breaking the arc because the transformer is fully saturated.
salec static6 years ago
No current is induced in open windings. EMF (electromotive force, and therefore the voltage) is. Voltage will surge in transformer's primary, which may cause electric breakdown of primary windings isolation, therefore the caveat regarding voltage ratings.
some welders have cooling fan powered in parallel with the primary (high volt) of the transformer. without the fan working all the time they overheat and get damaged
scafool6 years ago
About how many inches of bead can you run off two fully charged norma sized batteries?
That would be hard to figure out. Your load is always going to be changing because of the distance from the ground and the distance of wire being feed to the arc. It would still be cheaper to get a ac welder than to buy a bunch of deep cycle batteries and a welding attachment.
I agree on the cost unless you were using scrap batteries, and even then you need to charge them. His idea of using a solar charger makes a bit of sense there, but it still seems like pretty high cost solution.
Very cool, good job with the safety bits, it's nice to see someone who realizes who RIDICULOUSLY DANGEROUS ''SMAW(stick) welding is for once. I use TIG personally, which is safer, produces higher quality, slag and (mostly) smoke free welds. wouldn't happen to be related to Gene Terrell (Sr. or Jr.) of Terrell Battery Corp. would you? I work in the PHX distribution center for Exide, and I see Sr. all the time. Seemed a real coincidence to see the Terrell name on a page dealing with batteries, so I figure I'll ask! :)
Nope, never heard of him. Might be related to him though.
djpoizon6 years ago
good idea. health and safety wise, i have a criticism to make, its not very possible there but you shouldnt weld facing the wind, your back should be turned to the source of the wind. secondly, you need some more practice before you make anything that will bear any significant weight. i noticed that your welding isnt too god, and im sure if you hit some of your work with a hammer a few times, the weld would crack. i did a level one performing engineering operations (welding, machining, oxyacetelene welding, etc) and passed with flying colours (just to let you know lol) by no means intending to brag, but i thought i would give you a couple pointers. to produce a solid weld, by conventional welding machine anyway, with rod welding the gap from tip of rod to workpiece should be anywhere from 2 - 4 millimetres.
I wish my dad didnt get rid of the oxy-acetylene.
ltnemo20006 years ago
wow. this is exactly what I've been looking for for about a year. being a bike mechanic, I can make anything with this. I'm really excited. i just hope I don't go temporarily crazy from the fumes like I did on labor-day...
liseman6 years ago
awesome instructable; it'll post to blog.makezine on monday. making and using the 3-car-batteries-in-series welder convinced me i loved welding enough to get a mig setup. we should have a "welding shopping carts" competition to see who can make the coolest creation using solely shopping carts as their source of metal!
Stealing shopping carts is naughty and raises the price of groceries. So, donate your creations back to the grocery store when complete.
Sandisk1duo6 years ago
For steampunks?

kidding great instructable tho!
scafool6 years ago
Batteries were the original source of power for electric welding in the British ship yards. They used large banks of the wired in parallel to get the current. They only needed about 36 volts, but the current was the thing. Batteries supplying direct current still give the easiest and best arc for welding. It is just the bulk and the cost that make them unable to compete with generators or mains fed transformers. If you look at the mass of batteries a welding truck operator would need to get through a days work he would be hauling at least 4 tons of lead acid batteries around with him instead of a little gas or diesel powered "Lincoln Welder" on the bed of his truck.
scafool scafool6 years ago
I meant "They used large banks of the batteries wired..." I guess I could add that the batteries have problems with freezing if it is really cold out.
Scythan6 years ago
Aluminum, if difficult to weld. You need to have your rod angle pretty much dead on (varies depending on what position you are welding) and same with the settings. Another thing to keep in mind is that the fumes from Aluminum are also alot more Hazardous than Mild or Stainless Steel. It produces alot of smoke, so it would cloud up your lenses fast if you don't keep clear.
In the rat patrol ooohoh.
bowakowa6 years ago
Should any man inquire, I would say with confidence, "Yes, Tim Anderson is absolutely a friggin genius!". I would probably follow you into battle! ("If the hypothetical, completely unpremeditated need arose, in an alternate universe. Can't be too careful what you say these days.":)
jason6 years ago
"It doesn't drive people off with UV, fumes and noise. For aluminum you use some white flux to paint on the area before heating." Any time you use flux you're going to generate fumes that you shouldn't breathe. Infrequent exposure probably won't hurt you but if you're going to do this a lot make sure you have good ventilation.
LinuxH4x0r6 years ago
Great instructable! I'm taking welding classes and absolutely love it! BTW a lack of O2 is called a carbeurizing flame (not sure if I spelled that right)
Or, to the chemists in the group, a reducing flame.
Very good instructable. I'm looking on Craigslist for a oxy/acetylene outfit. I simply cannot live in a world that I don't work with steel in! Thank you for inspiring me. Best regards, Spencer
rimar20006 years ago
Tim, you are one of my "idols". I envy you, you are great!
carpespasm6 years ago
Mmmmmmm. I want an oxy/acetylene setup for Christmas.
gmoon6 years ago
I'm about to begin learning arc welding--thanks for all the info. There's something inherently cool about welding. Bright flashes, sparks, red-hot metal--and a thing created, rather than destroyed.
Lftndbt6 years ago
This is about the 5th article I have read on welding in the last month.
Including your other and kip's effort on youtube.

Seriously though, are you trying to tell me something?
With all this pressure you are seriously prompting me to actually "get to it".

One more of these and I don't think I'm going to be able to resist anymore.

Hmmm, You can weld of car batteries I heard someone say... te he he

You want to race me to the "Solar Powered Welder

I call head starts..... GO!!


Nice effort once again Tim...

I continue to eagerly await you next I'ble.

Any chance you may be increasing your activity?

You I'bles have a certain presence and elegance that deserves a place in mass publication.
Metal does split like wood. It does have grain and knots that make every piece different. You need to read those books a little more carefully.
That would be "erudite blacksmithing for non-punks".
Hoopajoo6 years ago
Excellent reference! Most of my current projects (rope winder) will require some welding. I'll be referring back to this page frequently! Thanks, Tim!