Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Belleville, Illinois
Thanked 18 Times in 13 Posts
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.