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post #1 of (permalink) Old 11-05-2003, 11:40 PM Thread Starter
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Check this out Homemade Tig Welder

Anyone know if this would really work or is it just crap??


Homemade tig welder??
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 11-05-2003, 11:54 PM
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Re: Check this out Homemade Tig Welder

I saw a post where a guy made a on board plasma cutter . It never ceases to amaze me the stuff that people will make .
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 11-06-2003, 02:10 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Check this out Homemade Tig Welder

Do you have the link to the homemade plasma cutter??? That I could go for.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 11-06-2003, 02:12 AM
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Re: Check this out Homemade Tig Welder

Looks like it'd work. I wonder how long you can keep the field charged with a jump box.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 11-06-2003, 06:45 AM
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Re: Check this out Homemade Tig Welder

IIRC, the plasma cutter was one of TR's ideas.

you could search for it, then thank whoever ran him off this board that we never got an update... [img]images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 11-06-2003, 07:02 AM
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Re: Check this out Homemade Tig Welder

It will obviously work, but with obvious limitations:

There's no high-frequency and no AC, so it isn't going to work well on aluminum. I've heard of TIG welding aluminum with DC, but it's not the preferred method.

The gas valve in the torch is common on low-price TIG welders, but a mild pain in the tuccus that wastes a little gas.

There's no readily accessible on/off switch, so stopping welds will require flaming out the arc, which can be a little messy.

There's no high frequency so you will have to scratch start.

The control knob isn't very handy to use for fine tuning as you work.


Now, that could all be fixed relatively easily:

You can buy a stand-alone gas valve and wire it into the system.

You could use a foot pedal or a torch with a thumbwheel instead of the dimmer switch to start, stop and regulate the output.

You could add a high-frequency box to the system.

And finally, you could probably bypass the rectifier in the alternator to get AC, but it will probably not make good AC for aluminum welding.

For welding carbon steel and stainless it will probably do a fairly good job once you get used to working with its shortcomings. I doubt it would ever do a good job on aluminum or magnesium.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 11-06-2003, 08:15 AM
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Re: Check this out Homemade Tig Welder

That's really cool! I like the idea, other than using the alternator as a power source. I wonder if you can scratch start from a dc stick welder source? Is the voltage and current compatible with welding steel?
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 11-06-2003, 11:07 AM
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Re: Check this out Homemade Tig Welder

Yes, you can use a stick welder to TIG except:

TIG needs straight polarity (electrode negative). Stick welding is usually done reverse polarity or AC, and the cheap machines are AC only.

TIG on thin steel is done at fairly low current - maybe 30 amps, and stainless likes to be considerably lower. Cheap machines have a multitap transformer that goes in pretty big increments, and not down real low. You'd have to be VERY good if your choices were 25 or 50 amps and you really wanted 35.

A good DC stick welder with infinitely variable output should make a passably good TIG welder.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 11-06-2003, 12:53 PM
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Re: Check this out Homemade Tig Welder

Anyone know how to build a rectifier to change an AC welder into a DC? What kind of bridge (standard 4 diode?) and what rating and where to get the diodes? Can you get the diodes at a reasonable price?
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 11-06-2003, 01:36 PM
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Re: Check this out Homemade Tig Welder

that would require some rpetty heft componnents I would think tim.

here is a quick search result.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...;category=4666

I have for years planned to get an argon bottle ro use with my ac/dc miller thunderbolt, BUT unless I need to weld aluminum, I havent really NEEDED the ability to Tig, it wouldbe prettier most of the time ( I have more tig than stick experience) BUt I cant justify the cost until I start messing with aluminum/stainless.

Ive used quite a few of the smaller cheaper inverter type TIG machines, they work well for scratch start, gas valve on the torch, non water cooled torch stuff.

I would hate to think I had to pass an Xray test using one of those though, Its much easier to make clean welds with a Miller Synchrowave 351 or similar device. Hi-freq start, and a foot pedal.
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