Intro: Miller Jack Plug DIY, Welding for Punks
How to make a male jack plug for a Miller welder, quick and extra dirty.
Roll up some copper pipe, solder on 10 gauge wire. Done.
I inherited a small welder (not Miller brand). It had no plugs nor cables. I bought some Miller plus. They didn't fit but they were close. They also cost $28 and change, each.
Being a crafty cowboy I figured I could figure out something better and cheaper so it was off to plumbing aisle.
This is a fun little project for parents and children where you get your hands dirty with metal working and electricity. You get to explore how to use a variety of metal cutting and shaping tools with a nice soft bit of copper. You get to solder something larger than an LED. And best of all, you get to save serious money by making part of a tool. The steps laid out here are readily applicable to lots of other copper objects you might want to make.
Step 1: Materials
1 1/2" x 3/4 copper pipe stub *might be wrong dimensions* This was a short bit of pipe with a dimple in the middle possible for butt joining. What are these thingies called anyway?
10 gauge copper wire.
Electrical tape and shrinky tube.
Torch, vice, pliers, hammer, hacksaw.
Step 2: Cut
As with everything, start with a hacksaw. Cut the pipe lengthwise.
Open the pipe up. Do not squeeze it together at first like I did here. That was a mistake.
Step 3: Roll It Up
Open the pipe up and clamp it in a vice. Bend over a little lip and crimp. Repeat until you have a rolled up copper sushi, burrito, Swiss log etc.
Step 4: Check the Fit
My welder uses some sort of twist lock jacks. My copper rolls were asymmetrical enough that they sort of twist locked on their own. I intended to use a screw as a twist lock nub but these copper rollups work just fine.
You may need to adjust the last layer of your copper roll to fit your socket snugly. Pry it open with a screw driver or slice a bit off if it's too big.
Step 5: Solder
After you're satisfied with the fit, tin the top of the seam with some electrical solder. You will probably need a small torch to do this.
Strip and tin the wire too.
Put both together and melt the solder together. Remember to hold them until you see the solder snap into solidity. This may take a lot of seconds since these pieces are not teeny.
Step 6: Make Another and Insulate
Different coloured wire would have been better. Actually, jumper cables would have been better still.
Electrical tape and/or shrinky tube would be good to put on your new plugs at this point. I really should do that in case someone licks them or something.
Anyways, that's it. Be safe and enjoy.
Step 7: Expound
Now go tell everyone how you just saved enough cash to buy everyone a jug of malt liquor.