Erik writes –
Being on the ground in Nairobi makes it a little easier to find good AfriGadget stories. I took a walk down Ngong road, an area with a lot of shadetree mechanics, wood carvers and metal fabricators. The first place I stopped at had a home made welding machine.
Simon, the shop owner, showed me a couple of the machines and gave a video tour of how it works. He’s a prime example how an entrepreneur in Africa will figure out ingenious solutions to meet local market demands. The welders sell for around 14,000 Kenya Shillings (just over $200), but fabrication costs only a small fraction of that.
Homemade welding machine, Thanks Violet! – Link.
10 thoughts on “Homemade welding machine”
Wow, I am sure this is really SAFE.
My welding instructor once told our class of a trip to Asia where he asked a construction foreman: “your welder is not using eye protection, what do you do when he goes blind?”
The response was: “We just get another one”.
Thanks a lot for this one, the AfriGadget website is awesome!
It won’t be too long until this is how everybody will be doing things, assuming present global trends continue, so getting skilled at improvising the technology we currently take for granted now seems prudent since trying something that doesn’t work isn’t a major loss and we can practice in our spare time (for those of us living in industrialized nations anyway).
There are some photos of a similar rig in use in the MAKE Flickr pool, which come from a set here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/connors934/sets/72157601421044853/. The photographer (csc934) notes:
“The welder used no goggles. I didn’t realize it until later, but his technique was to do ‘blind welding’ He would attach the ground to the bike, close his eyes, and scratch at the point he wanted to work with the electrode. When the current flowed and the electrode melted, he worked it until it was close, then would stop, open his eyes, check his work, and continue on or finish up.”
I’d love to build my own welder, but Microwave Oven transformers are hard to come by – microwaves usually get picked up pretty quickly during “junk pickup week.”
Lots of Microwave transformers on ebay.
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