Welding in remote areas

Submitted: Wednesday, Jun 09, 2004 at 12:15
ThreadID: 13616 Views:3278 Replies:13 FollowUps:3
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G'day
My job involves me driving into remote areas. Often vehicle and equipment bits break off. We have a 2KVA Honda 20Ui generator on board to drive the equipment we carry.

My question is: will the 20Ui run a small 240V stick welder without damaging anything on or in the generator?

Alternatively, can a small portable welder be made from a small 240V electric motor driving an altered (?) vehicle alternator via a fan/drive belt? I've heard a Chev alternator will do the job.
Would I be able to obtain the appropriate alternator (model?) from a wrecker and would it have to be modified (how?) by an auto electrician?

Looking forward to your replies. Thanks.

Cheers

Mario

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Reply By: Member - Sam (NSW) - Wednesday, Jun 09, 2004 at 13:04

Wednesday, Jun 09, 2004 at 13:04
Mario,

In last weeks edition of The Land (can't remember the page number off the top of my head), there was a offer to send away for instructions on how to make a welder from an alternator. Not sure how good this is or anything, but might be of some use to you.

cheers,
Sam.
AnswerID: 62410

Follow Up By: Mario - Wednesday, Jun 09, 2004 at 13:42

Wednesday, Jun 09, 2004 at 13:42
Sam
Thanks. I'll chase it up
Mario
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FollowupID: 323720

Reply By: Damon - Wednesday, Jun 09, 2004 at 15:10

Wednesday, Jun 09, 2004 at 15:10
Have a look at Piranha Offroad Products, I'm sure they have both 12V stick and mig systems off the shelf, around $300 and $1200 respectively. If they are too pricey, some jumper cables holding welding rods off the battery could do the job in an emergency.
AnswerID: 62421

Reply By: Member - Penguin (NSW) - Wednesday, Jun 09, 2004 at 16:22

Wednesday, Jun 09, 2004 at 16:22
Hi Mario

Have a look at the Landcruiser Owners On Line site. They have an article on Emergency Welding Using Automotive Batteries.

I must admit that I haven't tried it but it could be fun.
AnswerID: 62431

Reply By: Lone Wolf - Wednesday, Jun 09, 2004 at 17:30

Wednesday, Jun 09, 2004 at 17:30
Not too sure about the Chevy Alternator. Even the smallest purpose built welder is way bigger than these. Lincoln etc......

Lot of welders, AC stick run around 40 volts, so at say 30 amps on the stick, you need lets say 90 amps at 12 volts. 30 amps on the stick is only enough for sheetmetal, and your duty clycle is probably going to be around 15 %. May as well drill holes and bolt the bugger back on.

Pretty hard on batteries and the like. Is it REALLY neccesary to weld on site? Surely bolts, wire 7 stuff can get you to a depot.
AnswerID: 62443

Reply By: Member - Gerk Yorke Pen (SA) - Wednesday, Jun 09, 2004 at 18:14

Wednesday, Jun 09, 2004 at 18:14
We have tried welding with 2 batts in series (24v) but wasn't very good would suggest 3 would be ok with small rods. Dependable Distributors in Adelaide had an altenator system to replace the original that they recond you could weld with. cheers
AnswerID: 62461

Reply By: Wayne (NSW) - Wednesday, Jun 09, 2004 at 18:33

Wednesday, Jun 09, 2004 at 18:33
Mario,

I have used the two battery welder a few times. The welding jobs so far have been a broken rear panard rod 100 Series, a strut on a Pathfinders front suspension, and the fixed spring hanger on a early model Pajero.

All the welding was done in remote area and used two 12v heavy duty battries. When the batteries were put back into me Cruiser, it started straight away, the batteries did not appear to be flat.

Wayne
AnswerID: 62466

Reply By: Eric Experience. - Wednesday, Jun 09, 2004 at 23:01

Wednesday, Jun 09, 2004 at 23:01
Mario.
There has been several modified alternator welders on the market but none can be used on modern vehicles because the alternater is part of the vehicles engine managment system. My sugestion for you is to make up a heavy duty battery charger that is switchable from 12, 24, and 36 volts, if you have to weld take 3 batteries from you vehicles and connect them in series and charge them from you honda while welding. Eric.
AnswerID: 62540

Reply By: Goran - Wednesday, Jun 09, 2004 at 23:10

Wednesday, Jun 09, 2004 at 23:10
Best option (for offroad use) is to use 2 or 3 batteries in paralel. BE AWARE of the fuel tank repairs. Very dangerous.
AnswerID: 62543

Follow Up By: V8troopie - Thursday, Jun 10, 2004 at 01:18

Thursday, Jun 10, 2004 at 01:18
Surely you meant batteries in series??
batteries in parallel gives you more currens at the same 12 V, BUT:
!2v is not enough to strike an arc.
Drawing lots of current from batteries in parallel guarantees that one of them is taking the lion's share while the others contribute not much - especially so with different types of battery and bush type makeshift connections.

Connect 3 batteries in series and you get 36 Volts with plenty of current to weld 3mm welding electrodes, IF your connections also can carry the 120 or so amps required for that.
Klaus
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FollowupID: 323857

Follow Up By: Goran - Thursday, Jun 10, 2004 at 11:24

Thursday, Jun 10, 2004 at 11:24
I meant series......
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FollowupID: 323898

Reply By: Mario - Thursday, Jun 10, 2004 at 08:42

Thursday, Jun 10, 2004 at 08:42
My sincere thanks to all who replied. I really appreciate your responses. I've now got a lot of investigating to do.

Cheers

Mario
AnswerID: 62573

Reply By: scott111 - Thursday, Jun 10, 2004 at 12:57

Thursday, Jun 10, 2004 at 12:57
try a portable dc inverter welder $ 400 - 1500 depending on brand but i suppose if not doing a lot a cheap one will do the trick and the will run on a 2kva generator no worries
AnswerID: 62629

Reply By: Sam - Thursday, Jun 10, 2004 at 18:12

Thursday, Jun 10, 2004 at 18:12
I would have a look at the current draw on the cheap stick welders from Bunnings etc.

Your genny will put out 2000watts; a normal 10A power point will give you 2400watts.

I have run one of these crap welders off a power board and not had a drama with tripping circut breakers.

It might be the cheap alternative. Mind you these small welders are garbage. They do the job but are excessively frustrating with a 10% duty cycle. (pleanty of beer gets drunk in the waiting times) I could not wait to get rid of mine and purchase my new BOC250A remote mig, but you need 25amps and a truck to cart it around.

If you grenny is anything like the smaller Eu10i you cannot overload it. The red light will come on and deliver no power when overload is detected. Simply shut down the genny and restart. This clears the error.

Hope this is useful info.

Sam
AnswerID: 62667

Reply By: flashnick - Thursday, Jun 10, 2004 at 23:27

Thursday, Jun 10, 2004 at 23:27
Mario
Ive been using a small 10amp stick welder for 18 years made by WIA (Welding Industries Australia) I use it for some serious work in hard to get to places (Its light - I have taken it up ladders to weld etc) - It draws 10 amps and will run off your Gennie no problems - It cost me $120 near new at a flea market and has been the best electrical tool I have ever bought - You'd need a bit of skill to get consistent good welds but we are not talking engineering certificate stuff here.

cheeers Nick
AnswerID: 62732

Reply By: Mario - Friday, Jun 11, 2004 at 08:13

Friday, Jun 11, 2004 at 08:13
Thanks again everyone for the info.
Cheers
Mario
AnswerID: 62754

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