PDA

View Full Version : Just Got A Hand Me Down Welder



GregLWB
02-08-2009, 01:18 AM
I am so excited! My father in law just gave me his old Miller Thunderbolt ARC welder! A friend of mine came over and rehooked up the 220 welder plug in my garage and I got a chance to practice this afternoon (he has the same one and he told me that with just the purchase of new leads this welder will also TIG weld). I welded two pieces together and filled in a 3/8" hole. I am learning and I couldn't break them apart with a hammer when I was done.

This was the last thing I needed to start my Zombie bikes (first the HR then the TourMaster to replace my current commuter LWB). I will be starting the HR this week. I'm sorry I haven't posted any pictures but I'm still trying to get my camera back from my oldest daughter.

The picture here is of the frame of the bike I ride now. Altogether I have close to 1800 miles on this bike but I have learned a lot from it and also the things I like and dislike. I had this frame built for me and I did everything else but my next bike will be better because it will be all me.

Greg

rickairmed
02-08-2009, 01:21 AM
Congrats on the welder Greg when you get a chance put up a pic of it . I had a thunderbolt for several years great machines .

trikeman
02-08-2009, 08:27 AM
Good going Greg. I have an old Miller Thunderbolt AC/DC model also. I actually like the older model better because the leads are not permanently attached as they are on the new model. Its a great welder.

As far as TIG welding with it goes, you are going to need a TIG torch, a gas valve, and an argon bottle. I am told it is not quite as easy as a dedicated TIG unit, but it does work on steel. There are several "TIG with a stick welder" threads on the Hobart Weldtalk forum. Here is one to get you started.

http://www.hobartwelders.com/weldtalk/showthread.php?t=26203&highlight=tig+stick+scratch

The Stickmate is the Hobart version of the Thunderbolt, but they are the same welder under the skin.

By the way if you want to try a stick rod that practically welds itself try some of the little 1/16" 7014s from Harbor Freight. There are several threads here on the AZ forum about them.

TheKid
02-08-2009, 04:35 PM
Yes those 7014's are easy start sticks and the welds look great.

pcorbett
02-08-2009, 09:24 PM
I am so excited! My father in law just gave me his old Miller Thunderbolt ARC welder! A friend of mine came over and rehooked up the 220 welder plug in my garage and I got a chance to practice this afternoon (he has the same one and he told me that with just the purchase of new leads this welder will also TIG weld).


Greg


Exellent score Greg. My neighbor was trying to give a welder to me because his sons wouldn't take it. I was inspired by your good fortune so I went to his house and picked it up today and dang if it ain't a Miller Thunderbolt. Model JC-50, but I got to get cables, ground clamp, and stick holder for it. Got the ends that go into the welder. The clamps I can get cheap at the local hardware store but their cable cost way to much and will find another source.

http://home.comcast.net/~ppcorbett/pwpimages/Miller_Thunderbolt_JC-50.JPG


As far as your daughter and your camera, I got two that do the same to me! All you got to do is ask her to take the pictures for you on the weekend. More than one time. bore her with the pictures. She may give it back to you to save her the pain. I don't know, works for me!

Pete

rickairmed
02-08-2009, 09:41 PM
Pete try your local welding supply company for leads they will probably be cheapest also TSC carries and seels lead wire by the foot.

pcorbett
02-08-2009, 09:47 PM
Pete try your local welding supply company for leads they will probably be cheapest also TSC carries and seels lead wire by the foot.

Thanks Rick. The leads are what I'm trying to get a good price on. I'll have to make a 30 mile road trip. What is TSC?

Thanks, Pete

greenevegiebeast
02-08-2009, 09:54 PM
Thanks Rick. The leads are what I'm trying to get a good price on. I'll have to make a 30 mile road trip. What is TSC?

Thanks, Pete

trctor supply co.

the are all over the usa.

rickairmed
02-08-2009, 10:06 PM
Yep what GVB said TSC= Tractor Supply Company. I know they have rolls ofwire back in the welding area and I actually did buy some lead wire there once as it was the weekend and I needed it . I will say you are somewhat in luck they did at least leave the connectors on the welder they should be reusable just loosen the set screws holding what little wire is in them now.

pcorbett
02-08-2009, 10:12 PM
What is TSC?

Thanks for the reply. No TSC near me. The only farming around here is either Aquaculture or Cranberries. One uses 4WD stakebodies on the salt flats and the later uses backhoes and helicopters.

I went on the TSC website but didn't find cable, only the ends. I'll keep looking.

Thanks, Pete

rickairmed
02-08-2009, 10:27 PM
Pete I will have to take a look around the shop I am pretty sure I kept a set of leads when I sold my Miller Dialarc last year and they were almost new which is why I kept them :D.

Rick

rickairmed
02-08-2009, 10:49 PM
Well looky here Pete a pretty much brand new set of leads 25' positive and 25' negative with Miller connectors on them and a new Tweco 250 Amp rod holder and ground clamp :D.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/34681559@N05/3264691187/


http://www.flickr.com/photos/34681559@N05/3264691215/


http://www.flickr.com/photos/34681559@N05/3265516744/


Let me see what I have in them and how ugly shipping would be and your welcome to them if the price is right for you :D.


Rick

pcorbett
02-08-2009, 10:51 PM
Sounds cool. I'm in no rush. I'm useing a 110v stick and it works fine for the bikes and small stuff. Still have my Crapsman if it still works.This Miller should be a better welder.
I saw a place once on the web that did sell cable cheap in 25 or 50 foot lengths. Just can't remember where.

Thanks, Pete

pcorbett
02-08-2009, 11:20 PM
I think I found what I was looking for in an old thread.

" https://weldingsupply.securesites.com/cgi-bin/einstein.pl?Next::1:UNDEF:OR:terms::PA "

Thanks Rick for your help. PM me with what you came up with. Maybe you can unload your set.

Pete

GregLWB
02-08-2009, 11:26 PM
Hey All,

TrikeMan and Kid - I did buy some of the 7014 rod the other day at Harbor Freight and had remembered Rick telling someone on another welding thread that it would be much easier to use.

Pete - I'm glad I was able to inspire you to get a cool deal. I've got 2 daughters also and two sons (two in college, one senior in HS, and one in Junior High). Your idea for getting back my camera just might work?!

Now comes the hard part and also the fun part - working on my welding skills (practice, practice, practice).

Greg

rickairmed
02-08-2009, 11:39 PM
Greg they dont call it stick welding for nothing :D. You will be sticking rods to steel quite a bit at first till you get used to it but once you have it down its actually pretty easy . There are 2 methods used which make stick welding easier one is to cut the electrodes in half so you are closer to the work when you start . The other which I prefer is to use one hand to hold the stinger and hold the rod with your free hand down closer to the work. Dont try the second method though if you dont have good heavy welding gloves.

Rick

GregLWB
02-08-2009, 11:50 PM
Thanks Rick,

I'll try those and see if they work for me. So far the method I have used is to use my free hand to brace the hand holding the stinger (my work includes a lot of contact with handguns and I used a similar two handed hold). I've been reading alot of the tips you've been giving in this welding forum and will be trying them out.

Greg

rickairmed
02-08-2009, 11:57 PM
Gregg for the 2 handed method if your right handed use that hand to hold the stinger and lightly hold the rod with 2 fingers from the free hand to help guide the rod where you want it to go.

Rick

GregLWB
02-09-2009, 01:27 PM
Thanks Trikeman - I went on the site you gave me and was able to download the original owners manual using the model and serial number. Also from reading the welding forum it appears that the unit I have is pretty easy to set up for Tig because it is the Thunderbolt AC/DC unit. But I am not concerned about that for now because I have far to go before I am a competent ARC welder and want to master "walking" before I try to "Run" (HaHaHa)!:rolleyes4:

Greg

rickairmed
02-09-2009, 02:43 PM
Greg yes you can use that welder to do what is refered to as lift ARC TIG what this means is you touch the work with the TIG torch and lift it to get the arc started . With that said however keep an eye on evilbay for a high frequency unit from miller . This can be plugged into your welder and will make it a true TIG machine with foot pedal and all :D.

Rick

TheKid
02-09-2009, 05:05 PM
I experienced very little "sticking" using the 7014's. In extremely tight spots, or if the flux fell off the stick, then it stuck, but otherwise, the arc starts as soon as the electrode is close enough to the project. Most of the time I don't even have to strike it.

rickairmed
02-09-2009, 05:49 PM
Kid remember you been doing this for a while :D How many rods did you turn bright cherry red when you first started :D. I will admit I turned quite a few Cherry red before I got the hang of it .

Rick

TheKid
02-09-2009, 06:11 PM
Actually, I only used a stick welder a few times, and after sticking a million times, gave up and bought a wire feed welder. Then Trikeman suggested the 7014's and 6013's in one of the threads. I tried the 7014's and there was almost no sticking from the start. I still get a lot of sticking with any other rod, but a little less with the 6013's. I'll stay with using 7014's.

GregLWB
02-10-2009, 11:17 AM
Hey Guys,

I saw a post on another thread that saved me from being stupid and just putting a metal plate on top of my workbench. I understand why now and I have always made sure to have an extinguisher and a bucket of water handy. That said would any of you be willing to share with me ideas for a portable (ie; lean against the wall, not taking up space when not in use) welding/building table that would be inexpensive to build?

Greg

rickairmed
02-10-2009, 11:23 AM
Greg did you read my post in that thread if not I can tell you a cheap and easy building table . I use a 1/2 sheet of plywood ontop of my tablesaw and have yet to have a problem . you could do the same with a couple of sawhorses $20,00 bucks at a home store and a 1/2 sheet of plywood. I will add as I said there have a good fire extinguisher on hand just in case and do your welding out away from walls. I have yet to have a problem with this setup . I did blacken the wood a little and get a little smoke when I was making the axle tabs for the front end of the Babystreetfox but I just picked them up with a pair of channellocks and set them down on the floor to cool .


Rick

GregLWB
02-10-2009, 11:33 AM
Greg did you read my post in that thread if not I can tell you a cheap and easy building table . I use a 1/2 sheet of plywood ontop of my tablesaw and have yet to have a problem . you could do the same with a couple of sawhorses $20,00 bucks at a home store and a 1/2 sheet of plywood. I will add as I said there have a good fire extinguisher on hand just in case and do your welding out away from walls. I have yet to have a problem with this setup . I did blacken the wood a little and get a little smoke when I was making the axle tabs for the front end of the Babystreetfox but I just picked them up with a pair of channellocks and set them down on the floor to cool .


Rick

HaHaHa! I had read the other thread just before your post and then had gone back and must have been reading your response while you were replying here. Thanks for the info.

I have half of my 2nd garage filled with the same type of OSB I saw in the Baby Fox thread. Where I work we got a semi trailer load of equipment from Canada boxed up in crates and I got to take it home as long as I took the crates apart on my own time.

Greg

rickairmed
02-10-2009, 11:41 AM
Greg I actually just went back and looked at my Babystreetfox thread and noticed I was still using the sawhorses in that thread. One of them is actually a cheap plastic homestore sawhorse the other is actually a cheap Harbor freight sawhorse with the adjustable clamping top on it I think it was $10.00 at Harbor freight. The good thing with the small wood table is if there was a problem it is small enough to grab up and run out of the garage with it although honestly I have yet to cause more than a scorch mark and a little smoke and let me tell you those axle tabs for the Fox were HOT :D.

Rick

GregLWB
02-10-2009, 11:49 AM
I ordered in the steel at my local shop to start on the High Roller and will be able to pick it up this afternoon.

I also went to the Miller site and downloaded the owners manual for my welder and I also found and downloaded the tutorials on stick and Tig welding. I spent quite a while last night reading them and have a much better idea of the methods to practice. I will be practicing alot this week and plan to start the HR this weekend.

Greg

rickairmed
02-10-2009, 11:53 AM
Good to hear Greg theres some good videos you can view on Millers site as well that may help some with technique to get you started. I will look forward to a new build starting :D.


Rick

trikeman
02-10-2009, 03:30 PM
Before I got my little steel welding table I set the tops of my Workmate vise on fire several times (MDF covered in some type of veneer).

Richie Rich
02-10-2009, 08:38 PM
Hey Guys,....would any of you be willing to share with me ideas for a portable welding/building table that would be inexpensive to build?

GregClick here.....

http://forum.atomiczombie.com/showpost.php?p=18686&postcount=6

....Richie...
.

trikeman
02-10-2009, 09:45 PM
Very nice Richie. The dimensions look similar to my portable table/cart, but since it is just an old mechanics cart I found at the dump, I don't have a lip. I just flipped the top tray over to make a flat top. Top dimensions are 20"x27 1/2" and its pretty high so I don't have to bend down to weld on frames. Obviously bigger is better, but it was large enough to construct and weld my DW on.

http://www.atlantamusclecars.com/Paint/Cart1.JPG

I eventually decided I didn't like having my welder below all the dust that came off the top when I ground or filed things and built the welder its own all-terrain cart. The bottom is sized to hold my stick welder too, but I don't have it in there.

http://www.atlantamusclecars.com/Paint/CartwTank.JPG

rickairmed
02-10-2009, 09:54 PM
Ok Ok here is my actual welding table total investment on it $0.00.

http://www.shopfloortalk.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=13662&d=1151625531

http://www.shopfloortalk.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=13661&d=1151625519


Rick

trikeman
02-10-2009, 10:00 PM
Oh yeah - like RR, the cart my welder is now on is made from an old bed frame.

Richie Rich
02-10-2009, 11:07 PM
The portable welding cart is sort of a double-edged sword. It's great to roll it outside to work on a nice sunny day, but I gotta do a thorough cleanup afterward or the slag and grinding dust turns to an awful shade of rust in the driveway when it rains. Not pretty...!!!

...RR...

.

rickairmed
02-10-2009, 11:15 PM
I just hit my driveway with the pressure washer everu couple of months when it warms up outside takes care of any stains :D.

Rick

GregLWB
02-11-2009, 03:13 PM
Thanks guys,
That gives me some good ideas. Now I need to look through some scrap heaps to find the pieces.
Greg

GregLWB
02-16-2009, 10:02 PM
Hi Guys,
I finally got my camera back. Here is the promised picture.
Greg

rickairmed
02-16-2009, 10:05 PM
Greg that welder should outlive you :D.

Rick

trikeman
02-16-2009, 10:15 PM
Greg - if you really want to see how powerful that old Thunderbolt is try cutting some steel with it. I remember the first time I did it. I soaked some 6013s in a bucket of water for 15 minutes and turned it up almost all the way on AC. It cut through 1/8" steel plate like butter. It would put any plasma cutter to shame, but the cut looked like a beaver made it. Be careful if you do it though and be prepared because there will be molten steel falling down from the cut like a heavy rain. The strangest thing was the roar it made. Have a fire extinguisher handy and watch your feet and legs.

GregLWB
02-17-2009, 12:50 PM
Greg - if you really want to see how powerful that old Thunderbolt is try cutting some steel with it. I remember the first time I did it. I soaked some 6013s in a bucket of water for 15 minutes and turned it up almost all the way on AC. It cut through 1/8" steel plate like butter. It would put any plasma cutter to shame, but the cut looked like a beaver made it. Be careful if you do it though and be prepared because there will be molten steel falling down from the cut like a heavy rain. The strangest thing was the roar it made. Have a fire extinguisher handy and watch your feet and legs.

Sounds kind of scary! I don't think I'll be trying that. Most of what I'll be working with for the forseeable future is light duty bike stuff. I have a reciprocating saw, a hack saw and a grinder so I think I will mostly just use those. I am thinking of trading my boat and trailer for a gas welding setup and maybe a mig welder (this bike stuff is cutting into my fishing time:rolleyes4:).
Greg

rickairmed
02-17-2009, 12:58 PM
Greg Fishing was always like Golf to me it required Alcohol to enjoy and since I dont drink I dont fish or play golf :D.

Rick

macka
02-17-2009, 01:07 PM
you're missing out on a lot rick. I don't need booze to enjoy either sport, to me its a challenge against myself to get better every time I go out. Its like welding :stooge_curly:

GregLWB
02-17-2009, 01:40 PM
Greg Fishing was always like Golf to me it required Alcohol to enjoy and since I dont drink I dont fish or play golf :D.

Rick

LOL. I'm with you Rick, I don't drink either, but for me fishing is about the solitude. I work 4-10's so I have Fridays off and not many people are out on Fridays.

You did give me an idea though. I have a pretty good set of golf clubs that I haven't used in 7 - 10 years. Maybe I could trade those too!

Greg

rickairmed
02-17-2009, 02:17 PM
LOL Fishing bores me to tears and Golf well now theres a sport I am gonna knock the snott out of this little white ball . Then I am going to go find it so I can knock the snott out of it again so I can go find it and knock the snott out of it again :D:D.and I am going to repeat this for 19 HOLES .

Rick

GregLWB
03-04-2009, 07:39 PM
Hey guys, you all talked so much about Mig or Wire-fed welding that I just couldn't take it anymore.:rolleyes4:

I found a Lincoln Weld-Pak HD wire fed welder on Craigslist that looks to be in almost brand new condition. It can't be converted to gas but most of the folks I know who have one that can haven't bothered to do so. I picked it up for $140.

What size/spec of flux core wire would you recommend?

Greg

trikeman
03-04-2009, 07:58 PM
Most likely it was designed for 0.030 wire. It might also run 0.035, but you don't want anything that big for a 120v welder on the thin stuff we do here. They don't make fluxcore thinner than 0.030. Home depot has pretty good prices on consumables.

You can probably download a manual at the LincolnElectric website (at least you can at the Hobart and Miller websites for their machines).

rickairmed
03-04-2009, 09:56 PM
Greg .030 will be fine in that welder buy the good Lincoln wire from Home Depot unless you have a local welding shop you can get a beter price from . That little welder should serve you just fine and you can get tips and such at Home depot for it .Welcome to the wonderfull world of wire feed welding :D. You wont miss the stick machine much unless you get a hankerin to weld something really thick :D.

Rick

GregLWB
03-04-2009, 10:33 PM
I did go to the Lincoln site and downloaded a manual. It said .035 and I stopped at the welding shop on the way home. I installed the spool and did two quick practice welds, have to go to my daughter's choir concert. Here are pics of the welder and the welds. The first weld pic is the top of the weld and the second is the backside.

Greg

http://i694.photobucket.com/albums/vv301/gdfran0/Picture014.jpg
http://i694.photobucket.com/albums/vv301/gdfran0/Picture015.jpg
http://i694.photobucket.com/albums/vv301/gdfran0/Picture016.jpg

rickairmed
03-04-2009, 10:56 PM
I know where Greg's gonna be after the concert for half the night :D Playing with his new toy :D. Greg .035 will work fine in that machine as well its all I ever ran in my 110 volt machine and never had a problem with it . The only reason I even upgraded to a 220 volt machine is mainly the Chassis work I have planned for my 63 Ford Unibody pickup . I want it lower than a Marauder Reloaded :D.


Rick

GregLWB
03-05-2009, 11:22 AM
I know where Greg's gonna be after the concert for half the night :D Playing with his new toy :D. Rick

As much as I want to I'm not a night owl. Too many years up at 04:30 to go to work. But I will definately get in a lot of 'play' time on Friday and Saturday.:)

Greg

trikeman
03-05-2009, 11:55 AM
I run the 0.035 wire in my little Hobart 140, but only because I am cheap. You can buy a 10 pound roll of the stuff at Home Depot for something like $39.95. Everywhere else its about $60. If you buy just 1 pound, its $10 or more, so the 10 pound roll was an easy decision.

Since the Lincoln he bought comes recommended for 0.035, they probably made it run that best.

I am told that smaller wire gives better penetration, because it has a higher current density, but I like the price of the 0.035 much better (at least for 10 pounds at HD) and penetration is not my problem on 16 ga metal. The wire also feeds better off the big reels, especially when you get near the end of a roll.

rickairmed
03-05-2009, 12:23 PM
Greg will look forward to your reports on how much easier it is with Wire :D. Your first welds look pretty good I think you will have the hang of wirefeed real quick .

Rick

GregLWB
03-05-2009, 12:26 PM
I run the 0.035 wire in my little Hobart 140, but only because I am cheap. You can buy a 10 pound roll

The manual said to get the 2 pound rolls. Will the 10 pound rolls (seems more economical) work or does it need adapters?

Greg

trikeman
03-05-2009, 12:34 PM
The manual said to get the 2 pound rolls. Will the 10 pound rolls (seems more economical) work or does it need adapters?

Greg

On your welder, I don't know. Some of the less expensive ones won't take larger reels. I'd look in the owners manual. I should have said 2# on the small reels, not 1#. It looks like Northern Tool is selling the 2# Hobart reels for about $23 now,

rickairmed
03-05-2009, 12:52 PM
Greg I just looked at the manual and it looks like you need an adapter to put the larger reels of wire on that unit . I dont know if it came with the adapter or not but I would bet you could get one from your LWS if it didnt come with one . Alot of the smaller machines require an adapter to run the larger reels.

Rick

rickairmed
03-05-2009, 12:58 PM
Greg the part number for the spindle adapter for the larger reels is ( M15445 ) it should have come with the welder but if it didnt I would bet you can get it from your LWS or Lincoln.


Rick

newrider3
03-05-2009, 09:00 PM
I know this isn't really related to this welder, but for some with smaller Flux Core welders, you can't fit a 10lb spool in the machine. I modified mine with a simple wooden stand, and a 1/4" hole in the rear of the case. Works like a charm, but the stand falls over sometimes.

http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa239/newrider3/CIMG0415-2.jpg

rickairmed
03-05-2009, 09:06 PM
Newrider alot of the 110 volt migs have adapters to use the 10LB rolls even my HF one did.

Rick

newrider3
03-05-2009, 10:54 PM
The spool was physically too big for the case.

scootdaddy
03-05-2009, 10:58 PM
I know this isn't really related to this welder, but for some with smaller Flux Core welders, you can't fit a 10lb spool in the machine. I modified mine with a simple wooden stand, and a 1/4" hole in the rear of the case. Works like a charm, but the stand falls over sometimes.

http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa239/newrider3/CIMG0415-2.jpg

I had not thought of that THAAANK YOU
I always run out of wire right inthe middle of something then I have to break out the old trusty "buzz box"


keith

Richie Rich
03-06-2009, 12:47 AM
Greg...I have the identical welder and built 10 of my bikes with it with no problems.

The only thing to keep in mind is that welding wire will tend to oxidize over time depending on the environment in your area. If you don't plan on using your welder very often, it's recommended that the wire be removed, covered and stored in a dry area.

But I've found that the smaller spools of Lincoln wire from Home Depot are the way to go. That way, you'll always have a fresh supply ready to use.

...Richie...
.

GregLWB
03-06-2009, 02:26 AM
Greg...I have the identical welder and built 10 of my bikes with it with no problems.

But I've found that the smaller spools of Lincoln wire from Home Depot are the way to go. That way, you'll always have a fresh supply ready to use.

...Richie...
.

Thanks everybody. When I stopped at the welding supply yesterday I bought two 2 LB rolls, so I guess I'll see how long they last and then decide if I will be using it enough so that it doesn't oxidize (I am in Oregon after all and it's hard to keep the humidity out of anything) and wether or not 10 LB rolls will be worthwhile.

Well tomorrow I will be using the welder and trying to make as much progress on the HR build as I can.

Greg

trikeman
03-06-2009, 02:51 AM
I know this isn't really related to this welder, but for some with smaller Flux Core welders, you can't fit a 10lb spool in the machine. I modified mine with a simple wooden stand, and a 1/4" hole in the rear of the case. Works like a charm, but the stand falls over sometimes.

http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa239/newrider3/CIMG0415-2.jpg

Quite ingenious newrider. It sort of reminds me of the large industrial machines where they put the wire roller on top of the machine.

My machine came with a big plastic adapter that goes through the bigger rolls. It sounds like a lot of them do.