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post #1 of (permalink) Old 08-08-2001, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
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Tested onboard welder. Pictures.

Done a more thorough test on the weldernator today after installing an additinoal tensioner on the bottom of the mounting bracket. The belt slipped before when trying to weld at higher powers due to lack of tension there. Now I can crank it up real tight. No slippage at all. I've done some 6-10 inch long beads and it holds the power nice and keeps on ticking.

Here are pictures of the tensioner:
http://webphotos.com/member/7612/253648.JPG
http://webphotos.com/member/7612/253647.JPG

Here are some pictures of the ugly welds. These are 1/4 pieces and I can get full penetration at 2500 RPM with a 1/8 6011 rod. And you can crank it up to 3500 RPM without any trouble. At that voltage I can make the 1/4 steel melt and drip down in pieces.
http://webphotos.com/member/7612/253642.JPG
http://webphotos.com/member/7612/253644.JPG

These are thin pieces done with 1/16 rod at around 40 volts.
http://webphotos.com/member/7612/253646.JPG

Here are the two 25 foot pieces of #4 cable with the stinger and ground clamp and quick connect ends.
http://webphotos.com/member/7612/253649.JPG

Obviously the weldor still needs a LOT of practice with the stick. This is the first time I used a stick ever but I'm learning. Like don't take your helmet off when the rod gets stuck to see what happened while twisting it to get it unstuck... [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/crazy.gif[/img] Anyway, now that it works reliably I can practice more. I'm also planning to install a panel voltmeter into the dash so I can set the RPM to the desired voltage with the hand throttle. Next to that will be a 110V outlet to run my mixer. [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/wink.gif[/img]
Overall I can't say enough good things about this system. I mean a weldernator in general. Once you set your voltage right for a given rod you don't have to scratch or tap to start an arc, only move the rod close to the piece and the arc starts by itself. And a smooth arc it is with the high frequency of the alternator. I'm happy now. [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif[/img] Now I need to find some scrap cast pieces and get some of those cheap ($30/lbs [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/shocked.gif[/img]) high nickel rods and see if I can make something stick besides the rod. [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif[/img]


'91 YJ w/stuff, http://members.home.net/t.molnar
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 08-08-2001, 07:54 PM
 
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Re: Tested onboard welder. Pictures.

Looks alot like what my Weldinator does! I'll post pics as soon as I get a chance. I can also do 1/4 plate no problem, however, I tend to burn through smaller stuff. If I turn down the RPM, I don't get a arc that is easy to maintain. I guess I need to get smaller rods. Im using 6011 and 6013, and have had better results with the 6013
Bob in Ma

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 08-08-2001, 09:21 PM
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Re: Tested onboard welder. Pictures.

I also think the 6013 is an easier rod to weld. Especially the aesthetics end. If you are welding thicker metals and can crank it up, a 7018 works well. May be tough to get that much heat though. At home welding headache racks and bumpers I only use a 7018. Besides, 70ksi instead of 60, but that is only as good as the other metal and welder. I agree with the nickle for cast.

JC
84 CJ7 258 AUTO M300 AMC20&D30 SOA 33/12.5'S
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 08-08-2001, 09:39 PM
 
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Re: Tested onboard welder. Pictures.

I saw an OBW today on a friends pickup and the electrode holder had a current control built in to the handle. He said he paid around 350.00 for it.
Heres a picture of it.


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post #5 of (permalink) Old 08-09-2001, 07:26 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Tested onboard welder. Pictures.

I've seen those, pretty nifty. Still, I only have about $150 into this project that includes the alternator, welding cables and stingers, quick connectors, combo pulley and the miscellanious relays, switches and such. Once I get the voltmeter in I can just experiment to find the best voltage for each rod I carry and be done with it. Actually you can do the same just by going by the RPM. I'd say the performance of this thing must be close to the 220v Lincoln AC/DC cracker box. At max RPM it can probably do 5/16 maybe even 3/8 steel. It does put out a good shine too. I got some mild tan on my arms and legs after the roughly 5 min arc time last night. I just couldn't get myself to wear full coverall in the 100F heat! [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/crazy.gif[/img]

Hey Bob. Does your w'nator slows down a bit once you start the arc? That's what mine does and once I figured it out I can actually use it to my advantage. I set the RPM based on what it will be once the arc started, which is usually a little slower than without the arc. But since the initial higher RPM results in higher voltage it helps to start the arc easier. It's like an auto boost feature. Before I'd set the initial RPM/voltage to what I measured during the arc and once the arc started the voltage would drop more (due to load) and I'd start loosing the arc. That's why the panel voltmeter is not much use to me really since I can't see anyway what the during arc voltage is. I guess you call these open and closed voltages.

Btw, it'd make a good squirrel disposer. Clamp ground to a metal plate, suspend stinger/rod above with a nut at the end of the rod, start her up and sit back. Voila! Instant quirry zapper! [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/laugh.gif[/img][img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/crazy.gif[/img] Sorry, the rays must'a got to me...


'91 YJ w/stuff, http://members.home.net/t.molnar
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 08-09-2001, 09:30 AM
 
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Re: Tested onboard welder. Pictures.

I made my with a voltmeter, based on another write-up I found on the web-the one that uses the blue metal box...
I didn't see the logic in using a ammeter, as I understood how it works, it only shows current while the arc is struck, in which case you would need someone else to watch the gauge as you welded to find out the amps you are using.
I don't have a tach, so I set idle speed based on volts. I have been welding the 1/4 plate at about 60 volts, and am still trying to find the best combination of voltage and rod diameter for smaller stuff.
The reason you see a "slow-down" in engine RPM after the arc is struck is because thats when your really pulling amps and the weldinator is dragging down the engine.
My test bed for the weldinator was bolting the weldinator to a bench, and powering it with a big electric motor I had lying around. It worked well enough to validate the principle, but while welding, it bogged the motor down severly, and stalled it when the rod stuck.
Bob in Ma

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post #7 of (permalink) Old 08-09-2001, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Tested onboard welder. Pictures.

Yeah, it's kinda interesting to see a 200HP engine running at 2500 RPM to be loaded down by a little bitty alternator! [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif[/img] Anyway, we use different methods to the same result so it's fine.
I have a question regarding welding technique with a stick: maybe it's the lack of women but my hand shakes a bit and with a new long rod it's enough to mess things up. Can I steady the rod with my other hand while welding? I've seen a welding instructor do it. He was working on a grounded metal welding table with the piece layed across it. He's left hand was resting on the table (and was grounded I guess) and was also supporting the rod at mid length while sliding along with it. I would find this easier but was worried about getting zapped. I do ware a heavy welding glove while stick welding.


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post #8 of (permalink) Old 08-09-2001, 01:22 PM
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Re: Tested onboard welder. Pictures.

Kutyafal,
I hold the stick when I weld all the time. I shake like a cat trying to pass a peach pit with a new long rod. I usually hold the rod until I am about halfway down the electrode. The index finger on my left glove is always shrunk and twisted because of this, but I am just not steady enough to keep the rod exactly where I want it without holding it. I actually learned this trick from an old welder. He had been welding for 40 years, and he held the rod, so don't feel bad. It makes it easier to start the arc too, because you have so much more control. No offense, but your stick welds make me feel pretty good. Mine don't look so bad anymore. It is definitely an art. Just remember to watch the puddle, that is where the action is. It really isn't a lot different than wire, except that you have to feed the filler material into the weld, instead of the gun.

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All my Jeeps are in pieces!
post #9 of (permalink) Old 08-09-2001, 04:15 PM
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Re: Tested onboard welder. Pictures.

Cool, I like your design, kutyafal. I am looking for a welder for my shop and I have never welded. I don't expect to weld on my Jeep very often but since I have a small garage I don't have much space and it would cost me almost as much just to run 220 out the the garage as it would to make my own onboard system. I have two options for driving the welder- I have an extra pulley on my crank that used to be for A/C or something, and I have PTO. I run my winch off the PTO but it has a clutch on it so it would be simple to mount the alt on the bumper and run a belt over from the winch drive. That way the alternator would be out in ambient air and would be cooled better.. But, it would be more likely to attract thieves and there is plenty of room under the hood so I could mount it right to the engine. I'm trying to decide... A very cool winter project this would be.

I have been thinking of installing a cheap cruise control and mounting the sensor to the PTO shaft instead of the driveshaft and using it as a governer/voltage regulator. This would be cool. The pto shaft still spins at the speed of the input shaft the the transfer case so the cruise could be used in low range off-road and not drop out due to low speed. I could still use this method even if I just mounted the alternator on the engine. I could rig up a remote so I could speed up or slow down the engine from the gun and also cutout/resume while I am not welding. I would also rig up an ignition cutout to a deadman's switch for safety.

Regards,
Josiah

Hillsboro, OR
1955 Willys CJ5 Buick 225 V6 160HP 270ft-lbs, T90 trans, Warn OD, PTO winch, Spicer 18 T Case, RS9000's, Dana 25F/ 44R,
5.38:1 gears, 11" brakes, Bestop Supertop, Hurculiner
post #10 of (permalink) Old 08-09-2001, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Tested onboard welder. Pictures.

Well without seeing your engine compartment it's hard to say what are your options so I give you some general pointers:

1. Alternator RPM. The pulley size works out to a 2.5 to 1 or 3 to 1 ratio in most cases. This will give you between 7000-10000 alternator RPM. This range is the goal no matter how you plan to drive it.

2. Alternator and regulator cooling. This thing gets HOT! The bigger the alternator case the better the heat dissipation is. The case design is also important in this regard. The rectifier also needs sufficient cooling. The commercial designs (PPW, Zena, etc.) all use heat sinks attached to the rectifier diode pack. By having the hole package in the way of the engine fan airflow and in the open I don't have any problem with over heating. However the system also picks up radiated heat from the engine. Most alternators are designed to take this kind of heat but you're advised to mount the rectifier pack as far away from the engine heat as possible. With a simple modified internal rectifier this is not possible. You'll be at the mercy of the quality and rating of the factory diodes. However retrofitting an external rectifier is relatively easy once you understand how it works and they're available fairly cheap from the sources listed on my site.

3. Sturdy mounting bracket. This is a must and you want to err on the beefy side. I know from experience that the forces acting on the alternator and it's bracket are considerable. Alignment is also crucial but it can all be done with some patient engineering and fabrication.

4. Keep it simple. It's a trail tool for me (well shop also) and it needs to be simple. A hand throttle will do for keeping the right RPM and if you have a tach that is enough for reference. Lacking that you'll need an inline panel voltmeter. It is my experience that you don't need to have the voltage set super accurately, you can compensate some with the rod distance and speed.

Above all it's a fun project and very useful for a trail vehicle.


'91 YJ w/stuff, http://members.home.net/t.molnar
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