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Old 11-24-2015, 01:49 PM   #1
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On Board Welder

I searched around and didn't see a thread about the topic.
Has anyone rigged an on board welder to their SMB?

The Mobil-Arc 200x looks great but you can't have an alternator that is over 200a.
http://anythingscout.com/products/3146- ... elder-200x


The ready welder just uses deep cycles but I read that there is a chance that a battery can explode. (I have not read about it actually happening though)
http://readywelder.com
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Old 11-24-2015, 04:04 PM   #2
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Re: On Board Welder

Check this one out. http://www.premierpowerwelder.com/

Carl who posts on here as well reviewed it on his website. http://www.xtrememobileadventures.com/about.html
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Old 11-24-2015, 05:43 PM   #3
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Re: On Board Welder

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeH
Check this one out. http://www.premierpowerwelder.com/

Carl who posts on here as well reviewed it on his website. http://www.xtrememobileadventures.com/about.html
That looks like a lot more product. The price is a bit more hefty but still seems reasonable.

The only thing is I want to run a higher output alternator. Kind of a trade off I'm not really interested in. I guess you could always just have the alternator in a case and swap it out if you ever actually need to use the welder...
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Old 11-25-2015, 03:59 AM   #4
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Re: On Board Welder

I'm curious why you need/want an on-board welder? Breakage can't be that big an issue while traveling/camping----or can it?
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Old 11-25-2015, 10:07 AM   #5
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Re: On Board Welder

When I finish my build which will be hopefully the end of next year I'm going to hit the road for a couple of years possibly more. I just want to be able to be self reliant I'll be doing a lot of dispersed camping.

The lincoln engine driven welder is what I would like because you can also use it as a genny if needed. I just wanted to see if something that didn't take up a lot of space was possible.

Also I want to build a small utility trailer and solar panel rack.
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Old 11-25-2015, 08:03 PM   #6
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Re: On Board Welder

SixCardCharlie: I am the worst welder on the planet, so please consider the following dumb questions in that spirit:

What is your welding experience? And with what process?

The reason I ask is that STICK welding requires some serious practice, ask me how I know, because I am still practicing. And because that little welder doesn't state its DC amps output. And how do you set the amps output? I am still blowing holes through metal I am trying to weld because it takes me a while to find the sweet spot amount of DC amps for the thickness of metal I am trying to "stick" together. Yes it says it goes "up to" 1/8" stick but if 1/8" is its upper limit then that cannot be at a 100% duty cycle.

The advert also says it does TIG and MIG but both require inert gas shielding which requires a tank of gas. (Yes, you can flux core mig, but .45 wire flux core mig used for structural welding is an expensive wire which requires special storage.)

MIG also requires a spool gun, or a wire feeder and gun, and a wire feeder and gun or a spool gun would likely cost more than the welding power source itself. And would the type of gun which would hook up to that power source be able to handle a thick enough wire to carry sufficient amperage to the metal to do structural work?

If I were you, I think I would search for that unit in google and see if there are some people who have used it and see what they really think of it. I would also like to hear what the real welders on this forum think.

Yes, a real welder can probably weld anything with any machine. Could a regular joe or joan build a utility trailer with a unit like that, maybe, but they would have to have uber skills IMHO.
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Old 11-26-2015, 09:49 AM   #7
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Re: On Board Welder

My skills are lacking. I'm almost halfway decent lol. I took a few classes at the community college just to learn the basics so I could learn from a few family members. Both my cousin and my dad are highly skilled so I won't be going into the trailer alone. I just wanted to see if anyone could vouch for any of these products.
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Old 11-26-2015, 10:14 AM   #8
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Re: On Board Welder

SixCardCharlie: You may be a better welder than me. FWIW, I bought a Miller Thunderbolt XL AC/DC STICK welder on craigslist for ~$200 (I think he had it listed for ~$275) and like most of my tools, it has way more capability than me.

If you are willing to put the time into learning STICK, it is probably one of the most versatile and truly structural processes out there. The power source is cheap. It does not require gas, because the rod is coated in flux. The flux doesn't blow away so you can weld out doors (if you have a 220v AC power source) while MIG gas and TIG gas can be blown away by the wind. I made a honking big, thick 15' extension cord for 220v for mine.



https://www.millerwelds.com/equipment/w ... ick-welder

So for a little more than the price of a new underpowered wimpy 110v H.F. MIG unit (yes, I started with one of those too), you can buy a used STICK machine that will weld 1/4" steel.

E.G., here is an older version of the same machine:
https://chico.craigslist.org/hvo/5321760247.html
Here is the current model brand new:
https://fresno.craigslist.org/tls/5264257474.html
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Thunderbolt XL 225-150 AC-DC.jpg  
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Old 11-26-2015, 10:27 AM   #9
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Re: On Board Welder

Quote:
Originally Posted by E350
SixCardCharlie:
What is your welding experience? And with what process?

The reason I ask is that STICK welding requires some serious practice, ask me how I know, because I am still practicing. And because that little welder doesn't state its DC amps output. And how do you set the amps output? I am still blowing holes through metal I am trying to weld because it takes me a while to find the sweet spot amount of DC amps for the thickness of metal I am trying to "stick" together. Yes it says it goes "up to" 1/8" stick but if 1/8" is its upper limit then that cannot be at a 100% duty cycle.

The advert also says it does TIG and MIG but both require inert gas shielding which requires a tank of gas. (Yes, you can flux core mig, but .45 wire flux core mig used for structural welding is an expensive wire which requires special storage.)

MIG also requires a spool gun, or a wire feeder and gun, and a wire feeder and gun or a spool gun would likely cost more than the welding power source itself. And would the type of gun which would hook up to that power source be able to handle a thick enough wire to carry sufficient amperage to the metal to do structural work?
Yes, a real welder can probably weld anything with any machine. Could a regular joe or joan build a utility trailer with a unit like that, maybe, but they would have to have uber skills IMHO.
Yes, stick welding really takes practice to get a good clean weld.
You do have to find the right settings for the material you are welding. I learned early on in my career how to find a good starting setting is to take the size of the welding rod, lets say 1/8th inch, the decimal equal is .125 so a good starting setting is 125 amps. That is a good starting point on material 1/4 inch and thicker. 3/32 inch (.094) welding rod is great for 1/8th material using the setting of about 93 amps. Then adjust for what is comfortable and the procedure you are using. Up hill vertical will probably use lower and flat and overhead may use higher. These settings are when I used a DC welder and 7018 weld rod. AC welding rod should be close to the same settings.
This worked for me. Every welder needs to be comfortable at what they are doing, that also helps to make a good weld.
I am retired now and what little welding I do at home is MIG or TIG, mostly MIG. I use a 120volt Millermatic 130xp with .045 flux core wire. It makes a good weld on material up to 1/4 inch. I have done 3/8 material but I preheat to about 500 degrees. The flux core wire makes a good weld but the solid wire with gas makes a prettier weld. I like the flux core because you can weld outside without worrying about a little wind.
This is a heavy welder, I think about 45 pounds and I believe you would need at least a 3000 watt generator to run it.
I hope this info helps somone.

Woody
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Old 11-26-2015, 10:33 AM   #10
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Re: On Board Welder

Woody: You're the man! I really looked into flux core .45 for my existing 220v Millermatic MIG welder before I bought the Miller Thunderbolt XL. I didn't know you could weld 1/4" steel with a 120v machine. I will definitely look into the 120volt Millermatic 130xp you recommend and maybe eventually selling my Thunderbolt and other Millermatic because 120v is so more convenient than 220v. Thanks for post and keep it coming brother. Happy Thanksgiving!


P.S. Are you using a BBQ or a torch to do your preheating?
P.S.S. What .45 flux core wire do you recommend? I assume it is a Lincoln, but they have a few varieties and it was going to have to be special order at my LWS.
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