Welding what do you use? Recommend?

tooljunkie

Member
Apr 4, 2012
663
4
16
Manitoba,Canada
i have an old stick welder,a lincoln 130 amp mig,and a longevity 50 amp plasma torch.
love the plasma,not the greatest,but for what i paid its great.

quality wire and quality rods make a nicer job.
bandsaw ,and abrasive chopsaw (havent used chopsaw in 5 years).

plasma is dirty,stinky and needs dry air.i ran it with a small compressor,but used a reserve tank for added volume.

doesent really matter what you weld with,if you can be proficient and satisfy your needs,its all good.
practice makes perfect,but then again thats why theres grinders....
 

BigBlue

New Member
Nov 29, 2011
781
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0
California
MT,

Try a Voltage Drop Calculator and you'll see that with the 50 foot extension cord, you're dropping the voltage that probably doesn't affect the generator as does directly plugging in the welder.

For your example, I plugged in copper wire, 12 awg, 120 volts 1-phase, 50 feet and a 20 amp load. The calculator estimated, your voltage dropped to 116 volts. 2400 Watts - 2320 Watts = 3.3% drop in voltage

Now if you were to say a 30 amp start-up surge, I plugged in copper wire, 12 awg, 120 volts 1-phase, 50 feet and a 30 amp load. The calculator estimated your voltage dropped to 114.1 volts.
3600 Watts - 3423 Watts = 4.9% drop in voltage.

Now if you were to say a 35 amp start-up surge, I plugged in copper wire, 12 awg, 120 volts 1-phase, 50 feet and a 35 amp load. The calculator estimated your voltage dropped to 113.1 volts.
4200 Watts - 3958.5 Watts = 5.8% drop in voltage.

My guess is that you're drawing close to 35 amps at start-up when directly plugged into the generator and that's why your having to reset and lower the setting from 4 to 3 because without the extension cord, you've max out the generator.

http://www.electrician2.com/calculators/vd_calculator.html

Dang, I am up too late and I don't even know if this is applicable to draws on an extension cord or much about electricity:confused:http://motorbicycling.com/images/smilies/mixed-up.gif

Good Luck,

Chris
AKA: BigBlue
 
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MEASURE TWICE

Well-Known Member
Jul 13, 2010
2,340
316
83
CA
Big Blue Thanks for that calculator.

I am at least hoping that is there is no adverse effect to the generator or welder with the lesser voltage. It's not a digital control type. In addition I would also hope that even if lower heat is attained in the weld, it is still more than on than setting #3 on the welder. This way I get as hot a weld as I can with the generator limited for start up surge and get to use setting #4.

At a studio I was at before I could have tried my welder directly connected to the outlet, but then I was going to be in another person space. I was told that in the space where I was at I had to provide my extension cord and run it back over to my space. I really don't know how it would have reacted, but my guess is that the utilities power company power would do just fine without the extension cord in between the outlet and the welder.

When I used that calculator and also did some my own math it seems in agreement that 3% reduction in voltage and bout the same in current. I may have never actually used the highest setting successfully, with or without an extension cord with the generator powering the welder. Calculations show roughly 7% reduction in wattage in the draw from the generator which has 3500 Watt continuous and 4000 watt surge.

If 7% reduction in continuous current draw is what the 50 foot 12 gauge extension cord does, then when start up surge is happening how much reduction is happening then?

If it still is the same percentage 7%, knowing what the surge goes above the continuous current draw would tell me if I’m on the borderline and that the extension cord can actually provide just the minimal amount needed to not bog down the generator and also get as much heat at the weld.

Next time I get a chance I’ll be measuring the continuous and surge currents.

=================================================================

I know that DC equation in calculations for AC are not exact, but just a look.

The 20 amp breaker does not mean the welder actually uses at max the 20A but somewhere close underneath.

P=VI Watts = 120V X 20A = 2400 Watts

R=V/I Ohms = 120V / 20A = 6 Ohms

I = V/R = Amps = 120V / 6 Ohms = 20 Amps

(if voltage drops and load resistance stays the same)

I = V/R = Amps = 116V / 6 Ohms = 19.3 Amps

P=VI Watts = 116V X 19.3A = 2243 Watts

2240 Watts - 2243 Watts = 157 Watts

157 Watts / 2240 Watts = 7% Reduction is wattage used

MT
 
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MEASURE TWICE

Well-Known Member
Jul 13, 2010
2,340
316
83
CA
MT,

Try a Voltage Drop Calculator and you'll see that with the 50 foot extension cord, you're dropping the voltage that probably doesn't affect the generator as does directly plugging in the welder.

For your example, I plugged in copper wire, 12 awg, 120 volts 1-phase, 50 feet and a 20 amp load. The calculator estimated, your voltage dropped to 116 volts. 2400 Watts - 2320 Watts = 3.3% drop in voltage

Now if you were to say a 30 amp start-up surge, I plugged in copper wire, 12 awg, 120 volts 1-phase, 50 feet and a 30 amp load. The calculator estimated your voltage dropped to 114.1 volts.
3600 Watts - 3423 Watts = 4.9% drop in voltage.

Now if you were to say a 35 amp start-up surge, I plugged in copper wire, 12 awg, 120 volts 1-phase, 50 feet and a 35 amp load. The calculator estimated your voltage dropped to 113.1 volts.
4200 Watts - 3958.5 Watts = 5.8% drop in voltage.

My guess is that you're drawing close to 35 amps at start-up when directly plugged into the generator and that's why your having to reset and lower the setting from 4 to 3 because without the extension cord, you've max out the generator.

http://www.electrician2.com/calculators/vd_calculator.html

Dang, I am up too late and I don't even know if this is applicable to draws on an extension cord or much about electricity:confused:http://motorbicycling.com/images/smilies/mixed-up.gif

Good Luck,

Chris
AKA: BigBlue

Thanks again!

I guess you and I were both adding to our posts. I just noticed you think I may be with the surge start up current around 35 amps and that sounds right.

35 Amps X 120 Volts = 4200 Watts.

200 Watts over the line! The breaker never pops, but it might take a while and I already see the weld not doing well an stop.

If there is not that nice even sizzling sound it is not right.

MT
 
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Tool Maker

New Member
Oct 28, 2012
86
0
0
Las Vegas, NV
I use one machine for most everything. A lincoln TIG 300/300. From pop cans to plate, it will do anything I need. Makes a great stick arc machine too.

Of course it draws a bit more than 35 amps. In fact it would blow a 125 amp breaker in my old shop...



For MIG I still use a 250 amp CAV Airco. That old sliding brush supply will never die.

B.
 

Tool Maker

New Member
Oct 28, 2012
86
0
0
Las Vegas, NV
Nothing wrong with a brazed joint in thin material like bicycle frames, as long as the fit-up was good before brazing.

Of course you can braze with the TIG too, but it takes more skill to get good braze fillets with a torch.

B.
 

2door

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 15, 2008
16,325
106
63
Littleton, Colorado
Bumping this thread to offer a little hint for you who use MIG, wire feed machines. I've always used tip lube. It looks like vasoline and you dip the torch tip in it before welding. It keeps your gas nozzle and tip free of slag build up.

If you ever have to weld a nut to something you might have experienced some heat damage to the threads.Especially with a plated nut. If you coat the threads with a little dab of tip lube it prevents gauling and the threads won't be damaged by the welding, unless, you burn through to them. Tack weld the nut but don't overdo it and the tip lube will retain the threads without having to retap them.

Tom
 

moonerdizzle

New Member
Jun 28, 2009
874
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Cheese head capitol
when i weld nuts onto things i ussually put a stainless bolt into the nut, and carefully weld it on, then let it fully cool before removing the bolt, that usually saves the threads. and that tip lube works pretty good, only problem i have with it is when your welding aluminum, it covers the weld with black crap.
 

tooljunkie

Member
Apr 4, 2012
663
4
16
Manitoba,Canada
good advice,Tom.
nozzle dip should be in the mig tool kit.as well as spatter spray.keeps the c-clamps and vise grips from building up with spatter.

i try to not use plated nuts,and after welding i try to run a tap into them.
if its a through hole below nut,i thread a non plated bolt into nut to keep spatter out
of the threads.a couple tacks at a time,letting it cool before removing bolt,which i think also serves as a heat sink.

there is a felt ring with a clip,placed inside the welder on the welding wire to clean the wire and has a little lube of some kind.
i find this thing keeps the liner clean,makes for a better performing welder.
it helps to blow the dust out of the liner from time to time.
 
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2door

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 15, 2008
16,325
106
63
Littleton, Colorado
good advice,Tom.
nozzle dip should be in the mig tool kit.as well as spatter spray.keeps the c-clamps and vise grips from building up with spatter.

i try to not use plated nuts,and after welding i try to run a tap into them.
if its a through hole below nut,i thread a non plated bolt into nut to keep spatter out
of the threads.a couple tacks at a time,letting it cool before removing bolt,which i think also serves as a heat sink.

there is a felt ring with a clip,placed inside the welder on the welding wire to clean the wire and has a little lube of some kind.
i find this thing keeps the liner clean,makes for a better performing welder.
it helps to blow the dust out of the liner from time to time.
Yep, I use the wire lube too. Doesn't take much. Just soak the felt ring once and it lasts a long time. Like you said, it helps keep the liner feeding the wire smoothly. Good tip, TJ.

Tom
 

GearNut

Active Member
Aug 19, 2009
5,104
7
38
San Diego, Kaliforgnia
A good friend of mine is a retired general manager from Parsons Airgas welding supply. He also has many certifications and used to teach welding so I listen when he recommends techniques to me. He said to not waste your $ in tip dip. Get a jar of Vaseline and a box of Q-Tips. Use the Q-Tips to swab the Vaseline all over the inside of the tip. Just coat it, don't pack it full up in there. Avoid the wire and very end of the copper tip. My experience? It works very well. All the dingles just fall out effortlessly, nothing sticks.

Wire lube and cleaner? Use this: Ferro Slick
 

2door

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 15, 2008
16,325
106
63
Littleton, Colorado
Sounds like good advice from an old pro. I suppose the difference would be in convenience. With tip dip you just stick the whole end of the nozzle in just befor you weld as compared to taking the time to swab with a Q-tip. The dip isn't really that expensive and I've been using the same tub for several years. Of course I don't weld every day, don't make a living doing it so in the long term I'm sure it would save $ if you used a lot of it.

Good advice, gear. Thanks.

Tom
 

MEASURE TWICE

Well-Known Member
Jul 13, 2010
2,340
316
83
CA
Thanks again!

I guess you and I were both adding to our posts. I just noticed you think I may be with the surge start up current around 35 amps and that sounds right.

35 Amps X 120 Volts = 4200 Watts.

200 Watts over the line! The breaker never pops, but it might take a while and I already see the weld not doing well an stop.

If there is not that nice even sizzling sound it is not right.

MT

I know this is a bit late to go back to, but I found out what was the deal with using my generator for the MIG power source.

The generator does not do well with a large surge in general, unless you have in the generator gas tank less than maybe an 1/8 of the tank filled.

Must be something to do with fuel starvation in the bowl when a surge of current demand speed up the engine quickly. The carburetor needs to get fuel quick and the gravity feed does not have a problem unless you have the tank near empty. The generator does not stall and starts fine, but the funny thing is that it won't perform well with out about an 1/8 of the tank or more filled.

Can I say wt*.

MT
 
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2door

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 15, 2008
16,325
106
63
Littleton, Colorado
I know this is a bit late to go back to, but I found out what was the deal with using my generator for the MIG power source.

The generator does not do well with a large surge in general, unless you have in the generator gas tank less than maybe an 1/8 of the tank filled.

Must be something to do with fuel starvation in the bowl when a surge of current demand speed up the engine quickly. The carburetor needs to get fuel quick and the gravity feed does not have a problem unless you have the tank near empty. The generator does not stall and starts fine, but the funny thing is that it won't perform well with out about an 1/8 of the tank or more filled.

Can I say wt*.

MT
Are you using the white wire?

Tom
 

MEASURE TWICE

Well-Known Member
Jul 13, 2010
2,340
316
83
CA
Are you using the white wire?

Tom
You might have misunderstood. The engine I am talking about is not a gas engine on a motor bike. It is a gas generator. I use it as it is. It is big enough to run my MIG Welder to weld stuff on my motor bike and other projects.

MT
 
Sep 18, 2011
296
0
16
Tyler Texas
Well, since I just got a new (to me) welder, I thought I'd add to this thread.

I have had a Campbell Hausfeld stick welder for several years, and it has been pretty good for most of the light welding that I've had to do.

But, a couple of days ago, I found an ad in the local Craigslist for an old US made, stand drill press. I've wanted a good, drill press for a long time, and the guy only wanted $75 for it.

So, when I got there, I found out that he had a few other items that he was selling off too. He had a Firepower FP120 MIG welder (uses gas), a welding cart, helmet and stuff for it, a 4hp-20 gallon air compressor, and a large capacity sand-blasting pot with a couple of hoses and tips.

He said I could have the drill and everything else for $700. I told him that I didn't have it, and that it was too bad he couldn't take a credit card. He called a buddy at the business next door, and worked it out to take my card, so I'm now the happy owner of a bunch of new toys that I hadn't expected!

I'll have to learn to MIG weld, and wire my shop for 220 to run the compressor, but now I can get some air tools to go with it!

Plus, I decided that I needed a 7x14 mini-lathe to go with all that, so ebay to the rescue! I made a best offer of $500 on a new mini-lathe, and it got accepted (with free FedEx shipping from CA too)!

Let the fun begin!

.weld

.