Welding for Dummies

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jdh2550_1
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Welding for Dummies

The Dummy in question is of course ME!

So, hypothetically speaking, say I wanted to learn to weld so that I could make up brackets and battery boxes for my CB-750 conversion. What would be a good way to go about getting the equipment and learning how to weld?

All suggestions welcome... (especially those from echuck who has been dealing with hot bits of metal for a long time now)

jblamey
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Re: Welding for Dummies

Half.com has a good selection of welding books like http://product.half.ebay.com/The-Haynes-Welding-Manual_W0QQtgZinfoQQprZ687726
This one may be available at your local autoparts store in the Haynes section.

I have a decent book at home but don't recall the title. I bought an HTP 120 VAC MIG welder and have been very happy with it (did all the body repair on a 46 Mercury with it). MIG fairly easy to learn, practice on scrap metal before you tackle anything load bearing. Expect to have about $650-700 into one with the argon/co2 bottle purchase. The HTP will work best with a 30 amp dedicated breaker, a 20 amp might work okay if you keep the setting off the highest.

Before you modify the frame of the bike contemplate all the different combos of battery placement. I mocked up the three batteries that went where the engine was, they lay over on their side almost flat, the #4 battery is flat on it's side where the gas tank is/was, and #5 and 6 are tipped forward some in saddlebag positions. Keep in mind if you cut the frame the stability of the bike can be affected, I removed one support tube that was 8" long where #4 battery goes and introduced a little instability (or maybe it is my driving!). Check out Mike Bachandz bike on Evalbum, his battery placement placed his batteries fairly low, just don't know if your frame is conducive.

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Re: Welding for Dummies

Tip: Don't go forward-back-forward on your welds like is so common today. Weld a "C": C down C up C down... C_CC_CC Get it?

Don't electrocute yourself! Just kidding, don't be afraid of electrocuting yourself. Wear thick clothing to protect yourself from UV burns - no fun getting teased about looking like a redneck.

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LinkOfHyrule
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Re: Welding for Dummies

Hey, I was just going to post something like this! There's some mig/stick welders down at Home Depot, but all of the good ones rated for 230VAC. I have no such outlet in my house. How hard would it be to get one (or does anyone know of some good 120VAC ones)?

"Wear thick clothing to protect yourself from UV burns"

Or you could put on some oil and work on your tan. ;)

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echuckj5
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Re: Welding for Dummies

jdh,
Any welder should have a basic enough manual with it on purchase. Go to lincoln electrics website, they will have all the information you need for a mig welder. In the smaller welders, I prefer the Hobart Handler over the similar priced Lincoln. The Hobart handler is from 155 to 175 amps, depending on the month purchased, "marketing", the insides are the same. In Texas, the Hobart Handler is available, best price, from the Northern Tools retail store. This month it is 187 amps, they last me a long time, nice welders. They are owned by Miller, I can buy Miller because I am a business, It's weird, Miller welders are not retailed. I've owned three of these in the last 15 years, hard use, little trouble out of them. A local welding supply house will sell you longer cables, I pay about $140 for 12 foot leads. Very adjustable, very nice wire speed control, nice gun, consumable parts are cheaper. Hobart Handler 187 MIG Welder — 230 Volt, 180 Amp, Model# 500525

I have this welder, Lincoln, It is not as well supported (spare parts from local welding suppliers) as the Hobarts. I think I paid around $250 for longer leads, lots of trouble with the wire feed drive, The handle is not as nice as the stock hobart handle. I really don't use it much, nice welder, smaller, more compact than the Hobart. I use the Hobart, a lot. My main welders are a very nice lincoln, and a top of the line Hobart. I've owned several Millers, the Hobarts are just as good, last about the same. In the larger welders, the Lincolns are better, kinda like a john deere, pricey.

The stock leads on both welders are short, with a bottle of gas, you must have a cart for portability. That bottle of gas is very dangerous, 1200 to 2500 psi, if the bottle top is broken off, the bottle turns into a rocket, my Dad saw the aftermath of this phenomenom, I have'nt, very deadly. Shoot thru a house easily, thru brick walls.

The 110 volt welders are unacceptable, they are for crafts, making a statue or garden ornaments. They don't have enough heat to get thru the mill flash on mild steel. Do not use flux core welding wire for critical welding. Yes, after 25 years of welding, I could use one for making battery trays, I would trust my welding. I would absolutely never do frame welding with any 110 volt welder.

Century welders and chicago electric welders, junk, the circuit boards, power packs, junk, wire speed control, junk. Maybe good for a home hobbyist. They don't weld well, out of the box, the voltage sags, the wire speed varies, sticks, bad triggers, just junk.

C. cc. C, With mig welding, if the mig heat setting is correct, generally not advisable, the gun should be held still, no back and forth movement, the nozzle angle is important. If you find you have to weave, the gun nozzle is angled wrong, wrong size wire and nozzle, or the heat is wrong. on sideways welds, sometimes necessary, more of a very tight s, or little ovals, pushing the weld up. Sometimes turn up the welding gas, cools the weld, allowing it to set faster. With small parts, flip the part, much easier. On a table top, welding is fairly easy. When the battery trays are being welded to the bike, you might be laying on your back looking up welding. This is where arc welding excels over mig, overhead welding, tight places, but arc welding is much more difficult learn.

Harbor freight tools. Cheap gloves, helmets, electric hand grinders, Get their 4 to 5" model, usually under 15 bucks. The grinding blades are actually pretty good in these grinders.

A damn good hack saw, Sears, online. Can be indespensible. Drill press, nice. Jig saw, probably better than a sawzall for light steel. Porter cable makes the best saw blades, for metal, that I have found. Visit your local saw blade supplier. Milwaukee blades are among the worst, as are dewalt. Bosch is'nt bad. Chop saws, harbor freight tools, usually about 75 bucks, would'nt last me long, but, come on, my chop saws are running all day long.

Basically, jdh, a good hack saw, with a good sabre saw, and good blades, with a cheap hand grinder, will be more than sufficient.

Welding is a lot easier than part making. I probably have $6000 worth of welding equipment in operation, new price. I probably have $150,000 worth of equipment, new price, for fabrication of parts. To put welding into perspective. And I make wrought iron garden furniture. Not anything that requires expensive equipment.

I'll take some pics, of the shop equipment, some interesting equipment.

If you know anyone with a welder, I'd fabricate the parts, borrow a welder. Most small time welders, a keg of beer, get ya a lot of welding done, cheap.

chuck

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Deafscooter
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Re: Welding for Dummies

This is Deafscooter tell you about the welder on your scooter projects
Lowest price and Small Welder to Highest Price and Professonal welder
Wedll.jpg
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Deafscooter have own top of line TiG welder ( top of line equipment )
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The advanced Tig welding are Very difficulties to processes work
tungsten electrode got burned and too much foot Pedal controllers
and the filling rod to feeding to arc on metalwork ang got hole!!!
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Craig dont want use Mig Welding cause Spray Spark into Fire Hazard !
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Deafscooter done welded on metal like this one here neat tig welded
Tigstem1b.jpg

deafscooter

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Re: Welding for Dummies

I'll take your word on that Hobart.
Looks like I need to get some more tools. By jigsaw do you mean a sabre saw or scroll saw? I have a cheap Black & Decker sabre and always wanted a good scroll saw.

*sigh* Unfortunately, I don't know anyone with a welder. Wish I did. They could teach me. As it stands I'm going to have to go through a lot a scrap steel to get any good. And I don't know anyone who would have that anyway. Curses. You people in more rural areas have all the fun.

Do post those pictures, I'd love to see what you have.

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Re: Welding for Dummies

Yeah, SPF-50 sunblock keeps me from getting burned when welding if I don't have clothing protection (welding in 110* temps).

This might help: http://www.expertvillage.com/interviews/mig-welding.htm

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Re: Welding for Dummies

link,
Sabre saw yes, scroll saw no. Band saw, very handy, the portable milwaukee band saws, good, for field cutting, away from the shop, but too expensive to run in the shop. As are sawz alls, blades just cost to much. Most of my cutting is by shears. Shaping the cuts is not really needed in my business. If you are working in a home shop, a saber, sabre saw, will do the cut outs and shaping on round and square tube, touch up with a grinder. A hack saw or sawz all, to cut to length.

Tig welding. Expensive, what little welding on sheet metal I do, gas works just fine. And, cheap, about the same speed and control as tig. Use tig, when the gauge of steel is lighter than say 18 gauge, spatter, not a problem with mig. (with the right nozzle and wire size). If you are doing stainless or aluminum. I could probably mig weld, no spatter, 22 gauge mild steel, as well as tig. Not lighter steel, thats for sure. Finding small enough wire and nozzles, that would be a problem. On stainless steel, the discoloration on stainless is more pronounced with mig than with tig, and I get about the same spatter. Of course, I use a top of the line lincoln mig for stainless, has about as many controls, as the space shuttle. My tig welder, is this great big overpriced, used once a decade machine, sits in a corner. Just not the type of welding I do. Tig is pretty much reserved for very light gauge tubing, medical type, and sheet metal. I bronze weld with gas (absolutely never brazed) the chromemolies, they scare me to death, always consult the manual, they are so thin, eggshell, hard to shape. It's about the trickiest steel out there. I refuse all chromemoly jobs now, eyes and hands just aren't as good as they used to be.

Last week, in anticipation of the rain, I added fenders to my bike with some stainless I had left over, used a arc welder, used a non stainless 6013 rod, 3/16,,, why, pretty is'nt more important than a wet back, did it in the driveway, not at the shop.
.100_0421.jpg
Pretty, no, strong, yes. Spattery, yes. Not bad though, could polish it, not worried myself, the fenders work, thats important.

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Deafscooter
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Re: Welding for Dummies

Submitted by LinkOfHyrule on Tue, 10/30/2007 - 19:49. == Quote =============


Looks like I need to get some more tools. By jigsaw do you mean a sabre saw or scroll saw?
LinkOfHyrule have a cheap Black & Decker sabre and always wanted a good scroll saw.

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Deafscooter use CNC Laser/Plasma Cutter actual like jigsaw on cut 1/2 inche metal to shape...
Here is Picutre on Cutting like jigsaw on metal and it fast than manual metal saw on table..
laseplcut.jpg

========================================================
This Very Expesives CNC machines & Laser/Plamsa cutter equipments to shape. like sprocket

deafscooter

LinkOfHyrule
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Re: Welding for Dummies

Dang, Deaf. Nice piece of machinery. What exactly do you do for a living that would warrant such sophisticated equipment? Or are you so rich as to just have nice toys ;)?

Chuck, exactly what would be the easiest way to cut a straight line in a piece of sheet steel? Shears? Circular saw with a fiber blade?

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Deafscooter
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Re: Welding for Dummies

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Chuck, exactly what would be the easiest way to cut a straight line in a piece of sheet steel? Shears? Circular saw with a fiber blade?
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Deafscooter using Pistol grip AIR SHEAR to cut the sheet metal like fender , Sheet as battery tray , panel , alum deck up to 1/8 inches
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Also 14 GAUGE AIR NIBBLER is much more precise than shears inside tight space like PCB sheet, plastic, fiberglass up to 14 guage thick
========

deafscooter

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Re: Welding for Dummies

These saw blades are carbide. Top blade is $80, fits the 18 volt dewalt metal cutting circular saw, the bottom blade is from harbor freight tools and tractor supply, fits a regular 7 1/4" circular saw, cost about $20, called cold saw blades, will cut 3/8" mild steel like butter. Very quitely, and fast, compared to an abrasive blade. The cut is cold when finished. Wear goggles.

100_0422.jpg

I have 2 plasma cutters, expensive to run, air has to be dry, I use 5 dryers in series, still use up the consumables, one is a drag tip, one is a non contact tip, played around with stepper motors, built an x,y plasma cutter, cost me about a $1000, ended up using a gas cutting torch, the plasma cost to much, also, the plasma on my machine made the computer go haywire sometimes. Used coral draw to drive this. Plasma has to much angle to it to cut gears, almost 15 degrees, would have to finish the gears off with a standard cnc lay out. Gas cuts at about 5 degrees, still too much for gears.

If I had to cut gears, I have an "old" Rotex end mill, and a rotary indexing table. Could cut the gears, pretty quick, maybe an hour or two, why, just buy one, 80 bucks. By the time I buy the correct steel, heat treat it, normalize it, temper it, and hope, I got it right, 80 bucks ain't bad. There is no way a plasma cutter can cut a finished gear. I've been in this business a long time Deafscooter.

chuck

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Re: Welding for Dummies

hi chuck

If Chuck had to cut gears, Chuck have an "old" Rotex end mill, and a rotary indexing table.
Could cut the gears, pretty quick, maybe an hour or two on Milling or Drill hole on metal

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Deafscooter doing cut the gear with High Powered LaserCutter no problem
and it took only 7 -15 minute to complete & prefect cut the gear/sprocket
no messy, as plasma or torch becuse it use airflow to melt like 5~15 degree
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Deafscooter do make gear/sproket by Titanium, Stainless, Alum, Brass ,Steel
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Here is Picture of Titanium sprocket for high powered Currie Phat Flyer w/eTek
570c.jpg
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=

deafscooter

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Re: Welding for Dummies

Deafscooter,

Are you using a plasma cutter, or a laser cutter, not up on lasers, but I know a plasma cutter on an x,y cannot finish a gear. Understand? Cutting steel with water, probably the closest one could get to a finished gear. None of the machine shops in Dallas, that I am aware of, are cutting steel with a laser.

Second, can't cut non ferrous metals with plasma. Your picture, showed a plasma cutter, a very common, homemade plasma cutter.

I'm not knocking you, Deafscooter, plasma cutting has its place, but, you are not cutting gears with a plasma cutter.

If, you want to disagree, fine, your fantastic, what you do is out of this world, just get your facts straight.

chuck

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Re: Welding for Dummies

jdh,
I guess it is confusing.

Mig welding, ie wire welding. The Hobart I reccomended will very easily weld steel in the thicknesses ranging from 22 gauge,(1/32 of an inch) about the thickness of house gutter, to 5/16" thick steel. The Lincoln welder will handle up to a thickness of 3/16 steel. I weld 1/4" steel with the small lincoln succesfully, but, it would probably not last long doing a lot of heavy welding, for example, on a farm. The Hobart would probably last a farmer 30 years. The lincoln I recommended is just a little small for farm welding. (flux core mig welding is done without the bottle of shielding gas, the flux is inside the welding wire and protects the weld by producing slag, just the same as arc welding, and slows the actual welding down by 50%), Flux core is for outdoor welding in windy conditions, buy an arc welder, if you are stuck on flux core.

Arc welding, arc welding is also refered to as stick welding, arc welding rods are the sticks. Arc welders, available from Home Depot, the 220 volt models, will handle steel in the range of 1/2" probably down to 18 gauge-(1/20 of an inch). Harder to learn, many different types of rods, a horizontal weld uses 6013 rods, a vertical weld would require a 6011 rod, that rod sets faster. There are different rod coatings, for dirty steel, rusty steel, new steel. Then, recomended thicknesses of rods, the thicker the steel, the thicker the rod. I always consult my reference manual, which is the size of a websters dictionary, before purchasing rods. The 60xx refers to the strenght of the rod, 60,000 psi. There are 70xx series rods, 70,000 psi. That is the weld strength. The 60xx and 70xx being the most common for steel.

Mig welding and arc welding do about the same thing. They both are for the heavier gauges of steel.

Tig welding. It is for light gauge steel. 18 gauge would be considered thick for tig. Tig is for very thin steels. Its main purpose is welding other types of metals (nonferrous metals). It is also extremely expensive, compared to mig. It is also agonizingly slow compared to mig. Mig is much easier to learn than tig

I don't know why anyone here is recomending tig for your purposes, general welding of mild steel in the heavier gauges. You will probably be using steel in the 11 to 16 gauge range (1/8" to 1/16") for your motorcycle. The actual motor mount might even be 1/4" steel, well out of the range of Tig. Tig does not make better, stronger or prettier welds than mig in these mild steels. Mig might spatter, (little tiny balls of steel) these balls of steel scrape off easily, sometimes not so easy, would have to get a small hammer and a old screwdriver, give the offending ball a light tap, to remove.

If owned a sheet metal shop, lets say ductwork and roof flashing. I would recommend a tig welder. I own a steel welding shop, I hav'nt used my tig welder in a long time. Probably 5 years. I weld the gauges of steel that you will be using on your motorcycle with mig, not tig. So does every welder across the nation, every shop. period! For auto body restoration, the complete body restoration of a 1964 chevy 409, tig, for my newer chevy truck, the body shop uses, mig.

I don't know why anyone is recommending a plasma cutter. I own 2 plasma cutters. I probably use them a couple of times a year. Great for sheet metal cutting, not very good for tubing, angle, bar, rod etc. Just for flat sheets of 22 gauge to 1/2" steel. Generally, for pattern making, duplicate flat pieces. Once it is set up, it is pretty fast. Need a very large 5 hp, 220 volt air compressor, to run my plasma cutters, and an extremely clean, filtered, dryed, air supply. Just my filtering system is in today's prices, 2 to 3 hundred dollars. Without good air, the plasma is bad and ruins the consumables at a rate of many a day, 10 to 15 dollars each tip, versus about one a day with clean air. Then, I have to clean the filters, dry the dessicant in the dryers, etc, etc, etc. If you feel you need to cut steel, buy an oxy acetelyne setup, (gas welder) they run a couple a hundred bucks, and cut angle, bar, tubing, rod and sheet steel. And, it cuts sheet steel just about as good as plasma.

Gas welding. (oxy acetelyne) Simple, It Does Everything, cuts, welds, brazes, used for most all metals, all thicknessess. Never lay an acetelyne bottle on its side, ever. The acetelyne is immersed in acetone chemically, the acetone will ruin the valves, from the shutoff to the backflow preventors in the torches, as well as degrade the supply lines, again, never lay an acetelyne bottle sideways. Not when transporting, even for a couple of minutes.

If you have a 220 outlet in your basement, buy a 50 foot 220 volt cord. I often run a one hundred foot cord for even my larger migs. Every welder in my shop is running off at least a 50 foot cord. The fire marshall visits 2 times a year. Never has questioned this in 10 years.

You will find mig to be easy to learn if you are handy and have just the most basic of mechanical abilities. Having some one show you the basics would be nice, call up your local muffler shop, flip someone there a case of beer, (or 20 bucks) to show you the basics, just a 1/2 hour or so, then decide, both welders that I recommended, will do the job very nicely. Both should have good resale value, if you were to decide to give welding up. They are small units, both can be tucked away on a shelf, buy a small gas bottle. Trade it in for a bigger one if you where to ever end up welding a lot.

chuck

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Re: Welding for Dummies

Curses. I want a decent welder but I have no proper 230VAC power outlet in my house. Exactly what would getting one entail? If it's too much trouble I think I'll have some fun working out a way to run it right from a high current DC power supply (eg. batteries).
Should be simple as wiring some thick cables to the secondary winding output on the transformer, yes? I think I have just enough electronic circuitry experience to keep things from exploding. Still would test it on a cheap/free/broken one first.

Don't try this at home, kids.

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Re: Welding for Dummies

link, jdh,
These small welders, do not need to be set up next to the service, ie, panel box. Despite what others say. Link, should'nt be to hard to add a 220 outlet. Open up your panel box, see if you have 2 blank spaces, usually above and below each other on modern services. Write down the model of the panel box. go to home depot, lowes, or the local electrical supply house, most 220 30 amp breakers are about 30 dollars, some are very expensive, I think both welders I recommended are only 20 amps, spend about 60 bucks, breaker, outlet, outlet cover, receptacle. Add wire, I think 10 gauge is recommended for a 100 foot run, 30 amp. If the welders are 20 amp, I think 12 gauge is more than acceptable, check, don't take my word on this. The wire nowadays, for that much, probably close to a 100 bucks. Coppers expensive. Its really not hard to do, don't do it a home, though,

Call an electrician? Have a 220 put in for ya? The electrician probably would'nt take them 10 minutes in the panel box, 1/2 hour at the recepticle end, running the wire between the panel box and the recepticle, probably the most time.

I'll take pictures and show you guys, I doubt my service is any larger than 200 amps at my shop. Every thing in there is 220. 3 large shop fans, large ring roller, 2 welders, Shear. My welders get moved around a lot, all run on extension cords. In the summer, I do a lot of welding outside, my big welders, are running all day on 100 foot extensions, in temperatures up to 105 degrees here in Dallas TX, never has caused a problem.

chuck

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Re: Welding for Dummies

Take LOOOK Inside ==>>>

Deafscooter have 240 Volts, 18,000 amps for 15 minutes from The large array of batteries
Banks on shelve to feeding high Current discharge to metal melting furnace Equipement
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An electric direct-current metal-melting furnace ( using Graphite Rods to strike the heat )
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Also Metal melting furnace from high Powered Arc & Argon filled in chambing then firing
then molten-metal pour into casting & make custom Monster DC Motors Housing Parts
===
!Warning! The Melt metal is very dangerous to handle the high temp yellow glow metal !
I use 15,000 amps to power ARC into Metal melting furnace for 15=30 minute to melt!!
===
=
Craig Uyeda
Deafscooter

deafscooter

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Re: Welding for Dummies

Those voltage value are nominal. Which is like average. Due to distance constraint of how far your house is from electric stations, and the way it is distributed in your house you won't get an exact value. Same goes for your battery. Pop open your car hood and hook up a multimeter to the battery chance are it'll be between 12 and 13v if it's not messed up. Your computer on the other hand use highly regulated voltage and so if you stick a multimeter to those molex connector you'll get 12v. It's the real world, there's no exact value. You get a trade off in between

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Re: Welding for Dummies

Thanks very much to all of you for the info. I might still end up getting someone else to weld it for me - still trying to decide. Like link I'm thinking the more time I spend with this new EV kick the more that welding comes in handy - so although at first I'll start off with tacking a battery box I might end up fabricating my own Lotus 7 replica chassis (just kidding!).

So, I guess I'll be looking for a good used 220V MiG welder on craigs list...

Thanks again!

John H. Founder of Current Motor Company - opinions on this site belong to me; not to my employer
Remember: " 'lectric for local. diesel for distance" - JTH, Amp Bros || "No Gas.

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Re: Welding for Dummies

Lotus 7? I love that car! I think that's the one from the "Secret Agent Man" tv show. (I love that show!)

I say, go for it. http://www.georgecushing.net/Lotus7.html

Maybe you could make an electric one. :)

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Re: Welding for Dummies

I'll get right on that... ;-)

John H. Founder of Current Motor Company - opinions on this site belong to me; not to my employer
Remember: " 'lectric for local. diesel for distance" - JTH, Amp Bros || "No Gas.

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