PDA

View Full Version : New purchase: Small Stick Welder



Tinker
06-28-2010, 11:18 PM
http://reviews.canadiantire.ca/9045/0588107P/reviews.htm

This is the Small stick welder i bought 2 days ago. At first i was skeptical, as anything from Canadian Tire may be questionable, in my experience, and in stories i've heard. I have a background in welding, used to use a wire-feed welder, very similar to this, when i was a bit younger making chopper bicycles, as well as just having graduated from a first-block college welding course. So i thought i would give this one a shot.

It came with 5 x 1/16 rods, 7018 or there-around, by the appearance of the bead, however unmarked.

I practiced on an old fork i had, and i found it VERY difficult to strike an effective arc. It would constantly stick, even on the "max" setting, as if there was not enough power in the machine to properly burn a rod. After a while, stubbornly trying, i did get a few nice beads. Incredibly tedious to keep a consistent bead however, and i really didnt have a perfect one by the time those few rods were burnt. I could see that it may be possible to attain one, however.

Being disappointed at the lack of output amperage, i boxed it up, and was going to return it for a refund. Now my mindset has changed however. I'm thinking now that i may not have a dedicated 20A circuit to power this little baby, as it had a lot of trouble burning even a 1/16" rod, and it is rated for up to 5/64"!

I see good reviews, so i may pick up a package of rods, and look into the circuit in the shed, and see if it is actually a 20A, which i highly doubt. A review on the link above states that it needs a 20A, which is what i'm basing my rant on.

Anyone with a similar experience? Will update when i get some news.

stormbird
06-29-2010, 02:54 AM
Hi there

Well I am no hot shot welder , still learning , but those specs are not good !

Includes 15A plug. Metal thickness: 18-gauge to 1/8" (1.2 to 3 mm).
Duty cycle:
20% at 50 A; this means it can only weld for 2 minutes out of 10 minutes at this current
10% at 70A. this means it can only weld for 1 minute out of 10 minutes at this current

Electrodes used: 1/16" (1.6 mm) to 5/64" (2 mm) Brad recommends 3/32 welding rods they are usually rated 40 - 110 amps well past this welders ability ?

I also understand 1/16 rods need more heat which = more current ?

Without the current you will get cold welds and no penetration , sorry.

My machine is rated at 125 amps on a 13amp supply.

I am sure someone more knowledgeable will be along shorty , but I would get my money back while you can , even if this welder could do what you want you will spend more time waiting for it to cool down that you will welding with it.

regards Paul

graucho
06-29-2010, 08:45 AM
Good points stormbird.
Sorry about your welder Tinker, if you want to switch to a 20 amp circuit you must make sure you have at least 12 gauge wire in the wall.
14 gauge won't cut it with 20 amp. Some do, but the wires run extremely hot. Unless you enjoy watching flames climbing up the walls.
If its not too late there are good wire feed welders in your price range.

Tinker
06-29-2010, 11:00 AM
Back in he box it goes. I'd like to check online for a small welder, but i'm afraid the shipping fee's may equal the cost of the machine, to eastern Canada.

graucho
06-29-2010, 11:53 AM
Back in he box it goes. I'd like to check online for a small welder, but i'm afraid the shipping fee's may equal the cost of the machine, to eastern Canada.

Thats a bummer. I noticed they have a mig welder at canadian tire but its 89.00 more than your stick welder.

http://www.canadiantire.ca/browse/product_detail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=84552444331 3423&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=1408474396672077&bmUID=1277826668279

Tinker
06-29-2010, 12:26 PM
My dad has one very similar to this, maybe a bit better in fact, i may just see if i can borrow that, he barely ever uses it.

I just stumbled upon this home-built TIG plan, and by the looks of it, there's not a helluva lot to it. The gas is the only inconvenient part, really. I'd love to do TIG, i had some great results with it before.

http://www.mig-welders-tig-welder.com/tig-welder/build-tig-welder.htm

Locutus
06-29-2010, 12:32 PM
I have a stick welder very similar, same brand, except IIRC, I think it's 50 & 90 amp but then again it could be rated the same as yours. (I'm at work so can't check.) Anyway, I've built a Maurauder and Street Fox with it. With the thin materials used in bikebuilding, I usually use the lower setting, and the higher setting for the thicker bits. I don't think penetration will be an issue if you move the stick slower, making a fatter bead of weld. In fact, I have to be careful not to blow holes in the material. Just takes some practice. Try 7014 rods. They're easier to work with than most others. Harbor Freight has 2-pound packs of 1/16 7014 rods for 5 or 6 bucks. A 20 amp outlet will be helpful also. If you need to use an extension cord, get a thick gauge one.

Overall my welder has performed satisfactorily, considering my relative newbieness at welding. I have no experience with other welders, however. This was my first. I did have to replace the electrode clamp for a better quality one because the original broke.

fultondp
06-29-2010, 12:43 PM
Gentlemen,

I'd like to introduce you to the world of government surplus auctions.

If you are in the US, and live near a military base, this can be your ticket to good used shop equipment, welders included. I purchased a trailer last year, Gov't paid $8000, my price - $136.

http://www.govliquidation.com

Search by state, good and/or wacky stuff comes up all the time. Anyone need 138 pairs of size 7 combat boots? How about 172 ammo cans? On the other hand, if you live in Florida, there are 10 welders coming up in the next few weeks, also band saws and sheet metal brakes. Check it out.

--darren

Tinker
06-29-2010, 01:08 PM
I have a stick welder very similar, same brand, except IIRC, I think it's 50 & 90 amp but then again it could be rated the same as yours. (I'm at work so can't check.) Anyway, I've built a Maurauder and Street Fox with it. With the thin materials used in bikebuilding, I usually use the lower setting, and the higher setting for the thicker bits. I don't think penetration will be an issue if you move the stick slower, making a fatter bead of weld. In fact, I have to be careful not to blow holes in the material. Just takes some practice. Try 7014 rods. They're easier to work with than most others. Harbor Freight has 2-pound packs of 1/16 7014 rods for 5 or 6 bucks. A 20 amp outlet will be helpful also. If you need to use an extension cord, get a thick gauge one.

Overall my welder has performed satisfactorily, considering my relative newbieness at welding. I have no experience with other welders, however. This was my first. I did have to replace the electrode clamp for a better quality one because the original broke.

After i burnt the few rods included with the machine, it seemed it worked OK, and i just went out to the shed and checked the breaker.... Well, there's a small extension cord wire running though the wall for a light, and a nearly as small wire for the plug i was using (or vise-verse). Not to mention i was using an indoor extension cord as well, to reach outside the shed. (I may be lucky i didn't burn the place down, with that shoddy job.)

It may be my own fault actually, I'll talk to my landlord when he gets home, see if there's a better plug around. This thing may actually work fine.

However i must say, the electrode holder doesn't look overbuilt, if ya know what i mean. i may make my own.

Say i wanted more juice down the road, would it be hard to put more turns on the transformer, and maybe some kind of controller switch to adjust amperage?

Tinker
06-29-2010, 01:41 PM
Hi there

Well I am no hot shot welder , still learning , but those specs are not good !

Includes 15A plug. Metal thickness: 18-gauge to 1/8" (1.2 to 3 mm).
Duty cycle:
20% at 50 A; this means it can only weld for 2 minutes out of 10 minutes at this current
10% at 70A. this means it can only weld for 1 minute out of 10 minutes at this current

Electrodes used: 1/16" (1.6 mm) to 5/64" (2 mm) Brad recommends 3/32 welding rods they are usually rated 40 - 110 amps well past this welders ability ?

I also understand 1/16 rods need more heat which = more current ?

Without the current you will get cold welds and no penetration , sorry.

My machine is rated at 125 amps on a 13amp supply.

I am sure someone more knowledgeable will be along shorty , but I would get my money back while you can , even if this welder could do what you want you will spend more time waiting for it to cool down that you will welding with it.

regards Paul

Thanks for your input, however i fail to see the need of using 3/32 rods, since most bike tubing is 1/16 or less, in my experience. It would be a waste of filler metal, "a bridge is only as strong as it's weakest point". 1/16 are harder to come across though.

The duty cycle is fine for me, it's not like im using it for industrial purposes, only joining a few pieces of tubing together.

The machine had good penetration if moving slowly, in fact, i blew a hole in a BMX fork i was testing it on. I suppose, my only real problem with the machine, was that it's very hard to get going, and won't maintain an arc unless i go slowly and almost insert the rod into the weld puddle, which should not be necessary. However, i suppose, what do i want for $100? :thinking:

I'm going to eliminate the extension cord, and try it again. How would i tell the size of the wire needed for the 20A service? there's 30a fuse in the breaker box right now, connected to a 3-wire (pos, neg, ground) cable.

Tinker
06-29-2010, 03:56 PM
I'm now leaning towards building my own stick welder, and from the small amount of information i've looked into, it wouldnt be that hard.
http://www.wranglerforum.com/f118/alternator-welder-29626.html

This guy just uses a rewound alternator for the power supply. I'm thinking, i may need a car battery, or some type of capacitor to regulate the current draw, from starts & stops? or maybe not?

like Buckshot500 says, a rheostat would be nice, so i wouldn't blow holes in thin stuff.

fultondp
06-29-2010, 04:41 PM
It's possible to do basic DC welding with just 2 car batteries in series, 24v, 350A is plenty of juice. There is even a wirefeed rig sold for Jeepers for doing emergency field repairs. It is pretty hard on car batteries however, because they don't like to deep cycle. Keep that in mind, a marine or deep cycle battery will be much happier.

Here is a link:

http://www.readywelder.com/index.php

--darren

Tinker
06-29-2010, 11:19 PM
looking into a older used floor model 230amp now, waiting on a reply from the seller.

Tinker
06-30-2010, 11:33 AM
I just spoke with a guy selling a 230amp ac stick welder, for a 220v service line. He wanted $200 obo, which i thought to be quite a lot for a used machine, which has some rust on the case and was an older model. He's selling it for a friend, and said he don;t think his friend would go lower than $175, as it was barely used and he went away for work shortly after the purchase. So, my question is, do you think this is worth $175? I told him i'd take it for $150, to which he replied that he probably wont speak to his friend for a week or more.

http://i50.tinypic.com/15pn141.jpg

Any help appreciated!

Tinker
06-30-2010, 11:51 AM
I just though, that i'm quite sure i don;t have any 50amp receptacles in this house either, so i may not be able to run it at all.... the search continues!

TheKid
06-30-2010, 05:40 PM
Another thing that may be occuring is voltage drop. It's been discussed here in the past, and was very informative. Gaucho is right about the wiring. Check the guage of the wire going to the shed, as well as the distance from the box to the shed. If it's more than 50', the wire should be at least 12ga. You're on the right track with the extension cord. That should also be 12 ga. minimum

pcorbett
06-30-2010, 06:46 PM
Another thing that may be occuring is voltage drop. It's been discussed here in the past, and was very informative. Gaucho is right about the wiring. Check the guage of the wire going to the shed, as well as the distance from the box to the shed. If it's more than 50', the wire should be at least 12ga. You're on the right track with the extension cord. That should also be 12 ga. minimum

Always a good point Kid and Graucho. Must have the power up to snuff at the input end.

I love this welding talk, makes my head whirl :rolleyes4: just thinking of it. I've got two 230 volt welders, one being an old Miller Thunderbolt stick. They still sit there, never use them on my bikes.

Zero money got me this and it's all I use with 3/32 6013 rods.
http://home.comcast.net/~ppcorbett/pwpimages/MyWelder.jpeg

and I made this with it
http://i611.photobucket.com/albums/tt198/Graylock_photos/TheShadow-48.jpg

I'm not trying to bust nads here but don't under estimate my welder. This microwave transformer jem has served me well. Point being is that you need the power to weld the bike tubing. With a lot of expermentation I have plenty of power. If you must buy a stick welder pick one that fits the budget but has enough power, maybe a bit more power than you need and plug it into a 20 amp outlet.

Pete

Tinker
06-30-2010, 10:31 PM
Coincidentally, I was looking into building my own today. I've seen a *very* simple DC welder online, a guy used 2 car batteries in series, threw a set of jumper cables on there, and bent one alligator clip to accept rods easier. The instructable says it works. http://www.instructables.com/id/Golfcart--Welder/

This is my kinda rig, very simple. However, i see there being a few possible issues:

-would this damage the batteries?
-would the batteries give off gas, and possibly cause an explosion? (obviously i'd use this contraption in a well ventilated area i like to call "outside""
-there wouldn't be a lot of adjustability here, only in 12v/??amp increments, unless i add some sort of rheostat to the unit.

Would it be possible to hook some sort of dryer motor to an alternator, to charge the batteries as i weld, so there's less (or no) downtime?

I'm getting all excited.

Tinker
06-30-2010, 11:33 PM
Pcorbett, how difficult is it to set up one of those welders? Would you mind telling me how you did?

graucho
07-01-2010, 08:54 AM
Tinker... I'm luv'in it. I'm snickering as I re-read through your thread. You've done a 360 since
your orig post. From "this is my new welder" TO "how do you build a welder"
Reminds me of myself when I build a bike. My orig version in my head... to what finally gets built.
The instructables video was interesting. Thanks

Tinker
07-01-2010, 06:49 PM
Tinker... I'm luv'in it. I'm snickering as I re-read through your thread. You've done a 360 since
your orig post. From "this is my new welder" TO "how do you build a welder"
Reminds me of myself when I build a bike. My orig version in my head... to what finally gets built.
The instructables video was interesting. Thanks

Haha, this brings something to mind my dad says, "if it was easy, everyone would be doing it!"

I'm only looking for something i can build a frame out of, i think i could pull it off with a few car batteries and a set of jumper cables. Maybe throw in some sort of current limiter, for thin tubing.

Sometimes, simpler is indeed better. Im sure i can pick up a few cheap used car batteries somewhere.

Tinker
07-01-2010, 07:14 PM
I'm loving the simplicity.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tHJ0NSjZnM

After watching this video, can anyone tell me if there's a reason i couldn't use this on a regular basis, for bike building?

pcorbett
07-01-2010, 07:31 PM
Graucho that is funny how this thread winds up. (pun intended)

Tinker I would gladly show you how I made mine.............but............at this moment I am involved in a bike build off elsewhere on the interweb that has a deadline. I have gone under fire by others in the build off because they think that I'm breaking build rules :*****: by welding. I have not broken rules and I keep welding to my enjoyment and to the delight of others. In August when the contest is over I will then scratchbuild a new welder that will have a place to ride on this bike. I will offer this welder build to AZ members as a newsletter item with Kat's permission that is. This could have a permanent place at AZ. It's a lot of fun to make and becomes so much more a part of your builds. Talk amongst yourselves till then :rolleyes4: and collect a few transformers from microwaves , safely there is things in there that could kill you:wings: , and some # 10 house wire. I will explain how I made taps in the windings and how to use them to change the heat settings.

Pete

Tinker
07-01-2010, 09:14 PM
Awesome, thanks!

Tinker
07-02-2010, 01:36 AM
Apparently there's a serious risk of explosion if the hydrogen gas emitted from the batteries discharging is ignited by the welding sparks, it's said to keep the batteries as far away as possible, and preferably covered with something...

I may go the modified alternator/lawnmower engine route.

Tinker
07-02-2010, 01:59 AM
There are ample sources with modified alternator welders, i think i'm going to try it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bez0gqBOQA&feature=related

Apparently only an old externally regulated ford alt will do, hooked up to a engine to drive it. Would make a great small portable welder, and would save a bundle!

Tinker
07-10-2010, 02:58 PM
Score!

I've decided against building one, as my dad offered to give me his! It's a Canadian Tire Wire Feed Welder, and i know it works, i built a few bikes a couple years ago with it, before i knew how to weld.
http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/browse/6/Tools/WeldingSoldering/Welders/PRDOVR~0588108P/Mastercraft%252BFlux%252BCore%252BWelder.jsp?local e=en

Similar to this, but a Lincoln Electric brand machine, it seems they don't sell his exact model anymore.

:punk: :D

pcorbett
07-10-2010, 06:54 PM
:punk:

Pete

Tinker
07-13-2010, 11:34 PM
Got my welder! Same one here, on sale for $330+tax. I think my dad paid 400 or so, maybe more a few years ago. It has good reviews. It is a fantastic gift!!!
http://www.overstock.com/Auto-Parts/Lincoln-Electric-Handy-Core-Wire-Feed-Welder/2888262/product.html

http://i30.tinypic.com/vevwxt.jpg

http://i28.tinypic.com/secep1.jpg

I fixed a small return issue with the trigger, and all ready to start welding tomorrow. Now, to pick up some donors... I don't want to waste any time! :D:D:D:D

Tinker
07-15-2010, 10:55 PM
OK... :(

The welder is fine, however, i don't think there's a big enough dedicated breaker in the house to run it!

It needs a standard 3 prong grounded plug @ 20amps. I have checked the household breaker panel, and there are large breakers; mostly 15's (too small), 20's, 30's, and 40's. The house has oil heat, so im assuming the 40 is for the dryer. Nothing is labeled in the panel box, so i dont know what breaker is for what plug. I'd probably have to run an extension cord outside from the house, and i think the power cord i have is an AWG 12 gauge. This is an old house, so who knows how many junction boxes there are splitting off after the breaker. Too much money & hassle to get a dedicated 20a plug installed, i fear.

I may look into getting a generator. I need at least 2300w, as 115v x 20a = 2300w.

And, i probably wouldnt want my generator at %100 load at all times, so i may want an even larger one. Now, to find a large generator for cheap.... Argh!

mausball
07-15-2010, 11:42 PM
If you can get a 10x3 extension cord to someplace near the breaker panel, it's easy to add a 20A outlet a foot or so from the panel.

Tinker
07-16-2010, 02:30 AM
If you can get a 10x3 extension cord to someplace near the breaker panel, it's easy to add a 20A outlet a foot or so from the panel.

This could be done, i'll look into it. thanks!

Wingman
07-16-2010, 02:11 PM
I would recommend finding out what loads go with what breaker and label them (really comes in handy during home improvement projects so you don't light yourself up).:oops: Then I would spend a few bucks to have an electrician actually look over your situation and tell you what you need and what it might cost. You may be able to do some of the work yourself to save money and in the end have a feed worthy of that new welder. Another thing to consider: your homeowners policy may not cover you if you burned your shop down using an improper electrical source that didn't meet code. Just like building a bike, put the proper effort and resources into it and you'll be confident from then on.:punk: Good Luck!

Wingman

Tinker
07-16-2010, 05:51 PM
I wish i could. I'm looking for work atm, and i'm just renting a room (area) with my other half. Not my house :(

argh, everything fights me!!

fultondp
07-19-2010, 06:47 PM
Take a look around your area for a bike building or artist coop. They may let you use their workspace in trade for some bike mechanics or other (broom) time.

--darren