Just bought an arc welder

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TheNiceGuy
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Just bought an arc welder

Post by TheNiceGuy » Sat Dec 16, 2017 8:53 am

Hi guys
Couldn’t refuse, as they were getting rid of it for next to nothing.
https://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/aw/d/B000W9 ... op?ie=UTF8
Never used one, but I’m sure I’ll find something to do with it. I’ve watched a few videos on arc welding, and I’ve got the gist enough to get started.
I realize it’s a cheapie . It appears to run off either 100 or 200 V. Normal Household current here is 115 V, 60 Hz., 15A ( 20A possible ).
Instructions are limited, but reviews indicate it can handle up to 1.6 mm rods. Past that, it wasn’t clear. I’m hoping to use 2 mm rod’s, as that size is much cheaper.
A couple of basics were not thoroughly covered in the videos:
Safety. In the event that something goes wrong and something touches something it shouldn’t, how dangerous are the shocks? Can this be lethal, or is that unlikely?
Grounding (negative). I don’t have a steel workbench for welding. Must the negative clamp be in touch with all the work pieces simultaneously at all times? What about dirt and painted surfaces? What about work where were pieces are separated and cannot all be grounded at the same time?

Thanks

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A. Spruce
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Re: Just bought an arc welder

Post by A. Spruce » Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:43 am

The possibility of shocks is pretty low. One thing that is very easy to do it flash yourself by touching the tip of the electrode before your welding helmet is in place or when setting the electrode down and inadvertently touching it's tip to the grounded object.

Stick welders will not strike an arc unless the workpiece is properly grounded. As you can see, there is only one ground lead from the machine, which means that you only need to ground the workpiece as a whole, not all the individual pieces. The one thing to keep in mind, however, is that you want direct contact with the workpiece that you're welding, never ground through bearings or other isolators, as this will result in a poor ground and collateral damage of components. Two pieces of metal in contact with one another will ground each other. If there is an air gap and the mating piece is not grounded you're going to have a hard time getting the pieces to weld together. In this case you would have to come up with an auxiliary ground. 99% of the time, this will not be an issue.

You want the surfaces you are welding to be as clean as possible. Buff with a wire brush or grinder to remove paint, dirt, mill scale, etc. If the pieces are oily, wipe them down with acetone. Dirty materials result in bad welds. The dirt creates cavities in the weld and prevent good penetration, arc strength, and overall ease of welding. There are special types of rod to use with dirty materials that can't be cleaned.

Lastly, stick welding is for heavy gauge metals. If you want to weld sheet metals and lighter metals a mig machine is more versatile. I would recommend finding a couple of really good welding channels on YouTube to get you through the basics.

I have not gone through this channel, I know him from another channel I watch, but he is very knowledgeable and goes through the processes well. He may have some stick welding videos to get you going. https://www.youtube.com/user/schneetiger77/videos
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Shannon
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Re: Just bought an arc welder

Post by Shannon » Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:32 am

That is all good advice from Spruce. I can not stess enough how important it is to have your eye protection in place to save your vision. Also people within eye sight should be prevented to look at the flash as well or they can damage their eyes also. Arch welding in the wind outside does not work very well either and avoid arch welding while standing in a puddle.
Good quality arch welders will use 240 v but 120 volt units are ok for occasional use.
Striking an arch takes some practice and can be frustrating at first but you will get it.
Two things I will I’ll suggest that are worth the money is a decent helmet with an automatic lens and welding rod containers to keep the rods good and dry.
Good luck with the new toy and a little practice can make a big difference.
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Shannon
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Re: Just bought an arc welder

Post by Shannon » Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:37 am

One more thing. I actually like welding but don't get to do it much anymore as I do not spend as much time at the farm as I use to. It always takes me a minute or so to get back in the groove when I start a welding project and I am far from a pro but I can "stick " things together ! Be sure you are getting enough weld penetration, that is key for a good long lasting joint
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TheNiceGuy
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Re: Just bought an arc welder

Post by TheNiceGuy » Sat Dec 16, 2017 2:14 pm

LOL
Thanks for the info guys, very helpful. What would happen if someone were to grab both contacts with their bare hands?

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Shannon
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Re: Just bought an arc welder

Post by Shannon » Sat Dec 16, 2017 4:39 pm

You can hold the ground clamp and welding rod. But if touch them together you will get sparks
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emtnut
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Re: Just bought an arc welder

Post by emtnut » Sat Dec 16, 2017 5:44 pm

The risk of shock is low, but it is there.

Guys have had shocks when trying to weld on a metal table, and they touch the table.
Always best to have good work boots (insulated), and wear gloves.

Always make sure that whatever you are welding is grounded.
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A. Spruce
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Re: Just bought an arc welder

Post by A. Spruce » Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:38 pm

As a child I remember standing on a workpiece to hold it in place while my father welded it and getting "tingles" through my rubber boots. Probably not the safest of things, but aside from the occasional uncontrollable twitch, I'm none the worse for wear . . . :? :mrgreen: :lol: I'm kidding, of course, about the twitches, not the tingles. :mrgreen: As long as you are not standing hip deep in a mud puddle, you will be fine.

Something to add, when I was shop classes in high school, back when dirt was a new fangled thing, it was reported that those with contacts should NOT wear them when welding, as the arc flash and intensity of the light can dry the surface of the eye behind the contact, resulting in catastrophic eye damage. Old wives tale or not, I'd recommend not wearing contacts, if you use them, while welding.

Seeing the pix in your link of the welder you purchased, I'd invest in a better helmet, either an automatic, as Shannon suggests or a more traditional one that is worn on the head, as opposed to a handheld shield. While the handheld will get you by, having both hands to steady your rod (insert inappropriate comment here ) is the preferred manner of welding.
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Shannon
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Re: Just bought an arc welder

Post by Shannon » Sun Dec 17, 2017 8:17 am

Ya those hand held shields are not great, you will have a easier time learning if your second hand is freed up.
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TheNiceGuy
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Re: Just bought an arc welder

Post by TheNiceGuy » Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:16 am

Cheers guys. By way of comparison, how would this shocking you compare with say shorting out a wall outlet with your hands? I don’t really have a lot to compare it to, and I’m trying to get a handle on the actual dangers.

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A. Spruce
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Re: Just bought an arc welder

Post by A. Spruce » Sun Dec 17, 2017 10:39 am

Seriously, unless you're standing in water and welding in the rain, the odds of a shock are small. I'm certain that mobile welding guys weld in the actual rain all the time with no ill results. I grew up on a farm, welding was a way of life. The shop had a dirt floor and the welder was located in the front corner where the doors were and the weather could get under the doors, i.e. damp ground most of the time. I never received any shock, other than the aforementioned tingle a couple of times, in 20 years of being in that shop. In that time I also had 4 years of shop classes in high school, never once got a shock there either, and the welders had gone through a fire when a disgruntled student torched the shop building. We did get the lovely experience of using up the rods that got wet during the fire suppression, talk about frustrating trying to hold an arc! Again, no shocks to speak of.
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Huang Joo
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Re: Just bought an arc welder

Post by Huang Joo » Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:15 am

Amazon is a great source for buying new tools for working. I have already bought few tools from there.

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