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wanqare
03-05-2014, 09:14 AM
Hi folks,

Looking for some advice over here in West Africa..

Two facts combined have led me on a search for a very low wattage flux core welder.

1. Our power situation is 'intermittent' at it's very best and yet we have a lot of sun and a 1000 watt inverter (120 volt).
2. I'm frequently welding very light materials (the other day I was stick welding .7 mm thick square tubing and I'm commonly using 1 mm thick tube for bike racks).

So, does anyone know of a welder that will work for this (ie be able to weld light stuff and run off 1000 watts)? I've seen a couple 25-85 amp ones online which it seems should work on the lower settings, but am wondering if anyone has experience welding off a battery or small generator?

I need to make a trip to the states next month and hope to pick up something that will work as described above.

Thanks for any advice!

Erik

Modern man
03-05-2014, 11:54 AM
Welcome to the forum. Although everyone here will be willing to help the main focus is bicycles. You may be better off to ask your question at http://weldingweb.com/ which is a forum for welding & equipment & welders. Good luck in your search.

Cheers

edspedalcars
03-05-2014, 12:27 PM
Hi Erik

Can't give you any direct experience, but your question peeked 'my' interest.

I recently bought a Hobart Handler 140, so checked to see what they had for "battery welders'
Check this out. Bit expensive for my needs but I found it to be something you may be interested in.
Our Sears store has it at $1399.99, USD You may be able to get it cheaper.

http://www.sears.com/hobart-trek-180-welder/p-SPM7513002710?prdNo=1&blockNo=1&blockType=G1

A little more 'down your way' of doing things
http://www.lcool.org/technical/80_series/bat_weld/battery_welding.html

A Hobart Trek 180 review
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOtQ25aOO5U

Anyway, I'm interested in what you come up with.
I'm sure other options will soon be posted.

Enjoy
Ed

bambuko
03-05-2014, 02:06 PM
Do you have to use electric?
Brazing (using oxy-propane) would be far more flexible, or gas welding (using oxy-acetylene) would be a good choice as well, but I guess it also depends on local gas availability?

Twinkle
03-05-2014, 03:38 PM
Heres a link to a dc battery stick welder
http://www.instructables.com/id/Golfcart--Welder/

and a spool welder

http://www.instructables.com/id/SpoolGun/ (http://www.instructables.com/id/Golfcart--Welder/)

darnthedog
03-05-2014, 06:05 PM
Here is a fluxcore welder that works directly from a battery. Not sure of the availability in your part of the word. But they are used by off roaders for quick fixes. With your inverter you could recharge the battery after welding. http://readywelder.com/

wanqare
03-06-2014, 05:33 PM
Nuts! Just lost the post that I had written - will try again..

Modern Man, you're right, I could post on a welding forum, but the thing is, I 'know' these guys!! Of those posted: Bambuko has given me advice on the rear rack of a longtail, DTD has encouraged on more than one project, I (like everyone else) am enjoying following Ed's amazing inferno build, and Emma seems to live just down the road from my in-laws in West Sussex.

Thanks for all of the advice thus far!!

Ed, that hobart welder looks pretty awesome, but you're right that it's a biiit out of my price range. The off-roaders welding straight from batteries was completely unknown to me, but I'm guessing that I will end up trying someday. The car mechanics here use a similar technique to heat a carbon rod from a D-cell flashlight battery to red hot in order to solder with (for example when removing the brushes from an alternator).

Bambuko, I guess I'm just a bit nervous about getting into gas welding. I'm pretty new to stick welding and that seems to be another game altogether - especially here with the crazy contraptions that they use to transform solid calcium carbonate (?) into a substitute for acetylene. That combined with the difficulty in getting an oxygen tank has put me off, but maybe someday..

Twinkle and DTD, those are interesting ideas - I think I'll have a look for a spool welder on e-bay or craig's list. I would need to find some older batteries to use as I'd be hesitant to use our expensive solar ones for that. Or maybe see what this whole microwave transformer idea is all about.

What about the question of the smallest run of the mill flux core available and if it could run off a 1000 watt inverter? Any ideas?

Thanks again everyone!

Erik

Modern man
03-07-2014, 02:20 PM
Erik, not my intention to belittle the contributions of any of the folks here, I'm always amazed by their knowledge, skills & ingenuity (that's why I come here). Just suggesting more potential resources for you.

Cheers
Paul

bambuko
03-07-2014, 02:49 PM
Erik, your choices will be driven primarily by locally available stuff, so if you cannot get oxygen than you are really stuffed as far as "anything gas" goes...