Homebuilt arc welder

05-Build Your Own Arc Welder!
Rudy on the Dorkbot list writes “This site has some neat ideas. Dan has plans for a car battery powered bike light (heavy, yes, but bright!) and a home made Arc Welder out of Mircowave oven parts.” Link.

16 thoughts on “Homebuilt arc welder

  1. super_J_dynamite says:

    How does one arc weld without shielding gas or a feeder that provides flux core?

    I’d love to experiment with welding, but I don’t want to go through the bother of dealing with shielding gas, and I don’t want the spattery debris that flux can leave.

  2. BoTz says:

    Very neat little project. Thanks for taking the time to post it.

  3. Lagg says:

    This is arc welding, also known as stick welding. You don’t need any shielding gas, and the flux is on the welding stick.

    One don’t need a feeder, because the stick you’re welding with is alot like a hot-glue gun in that it melts away as you use it. The stick is held in a spring loaded clamp with an insulated handle. You hold that and away you go.

    You are correct though, this method can leave alot of splatter, but it can also weld up some pretty stout stuff quickly.

    The type of welding you are confusing arc with is MIG welding. Mig does use a wire feeder and shielding gas. Unless you are wanting to weld stainless steel, the shielding gas really isn’t that much of a hassel.

  4. burndup says:

    With nearly a decade of “hobby welding” experience, (truck bumpers, chopper frame, etc) allow me to suggest…

    1)get someone to give you a “lesson” on AC stick welding… because basics a re good to learn, and you’ll know what a PITA stick welding is.

    2)Buy/borrow/rent/steal, ok, just USE a true mig setup… fluxless wire with argon/CO2 gas sheilding and become an awesome welder.

    3) THEN, build a rig like this and use it.

    IMHO, people who rock with the stick welder are the shizzy. ITS FREAKIN DIFFICULT. The rest of us mortals should stay with mig, although the cost of entry is high… about $650 new for my Hobart 145 + first bottle of gas, imho the beefiest and best for the money 120V welder you can get.

    If you are lucky enough to have access to 220V, dont even waste a second thinking about a 120V welder….

    Oh, and this whole time, I have been referring to welding steel only… complexity/hassle/price exponentiates with other metals.

    my $0.02.


  5. sleddie says:

    I have a beccamig 140 welder that is missing the selector switch does anyone know how to wire this corectly.I can get after market switch as beccamig is NLA

  6. --LeRoy-- says:

    I dont need a hobby welder telling me how to weld. I think the guy did a great job building this. He is a very smart person. Thank for posting that.

  7. Old^N^Tired says:

    Nice to see any DIY welder plans on here. Arc welders are good, (the 220 volt AC ones anyway), but I’m thinking of trying to build my own version of “The Makowicki welder”, (more commonly known as a “spool gun”):

    Its similar to the commercially available Ready Welder, but doesn’t cost over $500 to make. Although I would change the design a bit, so that it only used flux cored welding wire. I only plan on using it out of doors and gas just doesn’t like wind. Besides, the thought of lugging a bottle of argon, or co2 around, just doesn’t fascinate me.

    If anyone else wants to give this a try before I get to doing it and posting to this site, go for it. Its currently winter here, my cash level is low and living in a small town with few sources for parts doesn’t help matters. I’ll get to it eventually though. Have a good one!

  8. Dan - Experimental Welder - Army contractor/teacher says:

    I TAUGHT welding … through physical demands : SMAW/Stick welding aka Shielded Metal Arc Welding supplies its own flux for the application. Theoretically, after this production, will cost you a total of $45/box of rods to maintain. I’m amazed this post is even still open. I was looking at this my 1st year into welding. Now, I’m building things I can’t talk about and I’m still saying .. this isn’t a bad idea and it don’t cost anything .. but it does take a few brain cells.
    – 6011 1/8″ rods : root weld (root .. like plant root, digs deep for penetration into both base metals)
    – 7018 1/8″ rods : face weld : strong, reinforced welds.
    – 60** rod means 60,000 psi tensile (pull apart) strength
    – 70** rod means 70,000 psi tensile (pull apart) strength
    – **1* means all positions
    – ***0 sodium } 1 or 0 .. heat difference, thats all.
    – ***1 potasium } 1 or 0 .. heat difference, thats all.
    – ***8 “Low Hydrogen, Iron Powder” rod. Basically .. keep it clean because it’s the most important weld. Little to no impurities. This rod LITERALLY outlasts the metal itelf, beings standard steel has a tensile of 55-60k psi .. 7018 rod has a tensil strength of 70k psi.

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