Saturday, October 27, 2007

How to arc weld

I am using my homebuilt arc welder, it is capable of about 180 amps, has infinitely variable heat control, and I am building a MIG welder into the same chassis!

This may be the blind leading the (soon to be) blind, but Here's a clip of me welding a practice bead - notice I had to tap the end of the rod to expose the metal (the flux coating burns slower than the metal rod, creating an inverted cone on the end if you stop welding before the rod is used up.

The ultra, ultra cut down lesson..

1.) Safety - Liquid metal spraying, high current electricity, noxious gases, intense UV light, woohoo! Good ventilation, long pants, long sleeves, gauntlets, and welding helmet are needed.
2.) Ground the metal peice (no galvanized!) with the grounding clamp. Pop an electrode in the rod holder. Turn on Arc welder, set amperage to whatever.
3.) Strike the arc, either like a match, or "jabbing". Otherwise it will stick, and eventually the rod melts like a string of butter.
4.) Keep the rod (it's always getting shorter) same distance from work as rod diameter. Run a bead along the metal.
5.) After is finished, chip that slag off with chipping hammer and observe that crappy weld!
6.) Get out the angle grinder and grind it off so you can practice more.

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